Author Archives: solarno

New album in the works!

New album in the works!
Current mood:  creative
Category: Music

With the new studio up and running, I can officially say that a new album is in the works. It’s amazing how a change of scenery, even if it’s merely a change of rooms, can spur creativity. So far the tracks in the hopper have a more atmospheric, organic feel to them than Random Processed Memories did. I expect that the new album will have a much more cohesive sound. Unless it’s well executed (by Weird Al), schizophrenic albums can be hard to listen to. RPM was more of an experiment to push myself over a very short period of time, hence it being all over the place as I tried a bunch of different ideas.

What to expect from the new tracks? Hard to say at this point, but I can already hear the obvious influences of BT, Orbital and Depeche Mode.

When to expect the new album? Right now I’m looking at late spring of ’08.

If I’m feeling generous, I may post a track or two as a teaser for what to expect.


Currently listening :
Place Without a Postcard
Release date: 2007-05-01

The new studio

The new studio
Current mood:  artistic
Category: Music

After a few years of running a ‘studio’ from my desktop that also doubled as the home office/entertainment area, I finally have myself a dedicated studio area. Now granted it’s not big, just a small area carved out of my bedroom, but it serves my needs quite well, and unlike the previous area in the front room, can be much more sonically isolated. I don’t record much in the way of live instruments or vocals, but not having the sounds of the world permiating the studio space is a nice addition.

While the diminished ambient sound is nice, the biggest plus is having the ability to have all of my current controllers pluged in and ready to go. Keystation 49? Check. Axiom 25? Check. Trigger Finger? Check. Mic? Check. The previous set-up didn’t allow me to have more than one controller running at a time. Even after only two days of the new set-up I can say that creativity flows much more quickly an efficiently when I can bounce between different controllers instead of having to take the time to unplug one to plug in another.

How did I manage this with less space? I went shallow, but vertical. With transferring my active DAW to my Macbook Pro, I could get away with far less ‘desk’ space. It also helps that IKEAs Ivar shelving is incredibly flexible.

Now back to using it.

Currently listening :
By Seal
Release date: 2007-11-13

2007: Random Processed Memories

1. These Aren’t the Disco Droids You’re Looking For
2. No Time for Rain
3. The Magic of String Theory
4. Departures
5. Hop to It
6. Transect
7. You know, Round…
8. Found ‘Em (Droids Reprise)

RPM Challenge

RPM Challenge
Current mood:  accomplished
Category: Music

Well, the whole reason I’ve even got this thing going is due to the recent RPM Challenge. You know, write an album in the month of February. Simple really. 10 songs or 35 minutes.

I suppose I needed the motivation and reason to complete what is a mostly cohesive series of music. Usually I’ll just fire up the Logic DAW and start tinkering with sounds and settings until something catches my ear. No time frame(s) involved. What tends to happen is that I’ll start what could be a darn good piece, but I don’t end up finishing said darn good piece. Why? Perhaps I get bored with it after focusing in on tweaking one or two particular things over and over. Perhaps I find a new sound that sends me off on a music writing tangent. Iin any case, I have probably 3-4 dozen songs in various states of completion that have been started over the last 12-18 months.

RPM changed that for me in February. I was forced to focus on not just starting, but on finishing songs to complete what is essentially a personal challenge. The challenge was not to create the best album ever, but just to create one. In the drive to complete the album, I believe that I managed to create some of the most interesting, mature, and diverse sets of tracks that I ever have. That didn’t come out of taking the time to think about what I was going to create. Between a full-time job, being in three different community bands, and getting in my weekend cycling (not to mention eating, sleeping, etc.), I didn’t really have the time to think. I just did. I went into an almost instinctual writing mode. One that provided many interesting patterns and paths of music creation.

Do I ‘write’ better songs now because of this? No, not really, but I ‘create’ in a new way. Possibly a more effecient way. In any case, it’s different.

Ultimately, participating in the RPM Challenge this year has allowed me to feel better about what I create, and if I can sit back, listen to 37 minutes of music and say “I’m proud of that”, that’s what matters.

Now, about that ‘best album ever’…

Currently listening :
Release date: 23 September, 1997

1995: Reconstruct the Future

1. T.G.I.F.
2. Digital Information
3. Formula (Kombustion Mix)
4. Hi NRG
5. KAOS Theory
6. Phaseatronic Overload
7. Faire of the Grail