Author Archives: solarno

2013: We Three Robot Kings – A Holiday EP

1.  Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel
2.  Sevivon
3.  We Three Kings
4.  Greensleeves

Just in time for the Holidays comes the third installment of my “A Holiday EP” series.  After a long year of hibernation, my house band of jolly robots, The Singing Sines, are back and energized to bring you four more morsels of frost laden synths and delicious winter beats.

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2013: Viridis EP

1.  Wolfgang’s Devil
2.  Photosynthesis
3.  The Third Ray
4.  Chlorophyll
5.  Wyrms of Beinn Nibheis

Viridis is the fourth EP in my series that looks to explore the science, nature, and history behind the seven primary additive and subtractive colors.  These seven colors represent the CMYK and RGB color spaces.

Viridis is my exploration of the color green.  The word viridis is from the Latin verb vireo, meaning to be verdant, or to sprout, and was strongly associated with the color green.  Sources for subject matter for this EP were quite varied, with religious art, natural science, metaphysics, and geography all providing inspiration.

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2013: Magenta EP

1.  Extraspectral
2.  Telekom
3.  Amor mi fa cantar a la Francesca
4.  Three Hours in Magenta
5.  It’s Complementary My Dear Watson

For those of you keeping score at home, Magenta is the third EP in my series that looks to explore the science and history behind the seven primary additive and subtractive colors.  These seven colors represent the CMYK and RGB color spaces.

Magenta itself is a highly unique color in that it does not exist as a part of the traditional, linear spectrum.  It’s not artificial, per say, just not obvious.  For this collection I’ve curated a selection of tracks that draw inspiration from it’s non-linear roots, it’s use in identity and branding, the musical history of it’s geographic origin, and the history, via warfare, of how the color received it’s name.  I’ve even managed to bring all four topics together in one continuous storyline as presented in a final fifth track.

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A call to crunchy krautrock arms! Dementio13’s ‘Last Test’.

Modern Krautrock from Dementio13 Last TestThe first time I was introduced to Dementio13, the musical environs populated by the neurons inside of Paul Foster’s brain, was through his 2011 EP ‘Vulcan Foundry’.  I fell in love with that EP because of masterful manner in which he melded the future, past, and present.  The past two years have seen three significant releases  from Paul, each one evolving his overall sound.  Now in early 2013 he is unleashing his latest masterpiece, ‘Last Test’, which takes everything he’s learned over the past two years, throws it all into a blender, hits puree, and pours out a super smooth mixed beverage of sonic krautrock brilliance.

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70’s and 80’s

1972:

  • Wakes to the possibilities with my emergence to life.

 

1982:

  • I take up the trombone in 4th grade.  Funny story here: I wanted desperately to play the saxophone like my older (by two years) cousin Jeff.  By the time it was my turn to choose an instrument, the ‘band’ already had enough sax players, but they needed students with long arms to play the trombone.  A decision I do not regret as I have been playing ever since.

 

1986:

  • Make the amazing discovery of the 3-voice magic that is the SID chip in my Commodore 64.  This began countless hours of writing/creating music one note at a time, having to manually program each minute change in timbre, length, and volume without actually hearing what the outcome would be until I saved my progress and opened the file in another program. Over the next 4-6 years I create at least a couple of hundred songs using the SID, most original, but also dozens of covers in an attempt to replicate as closely as possible the sounds of the original.
  • My eventual moniker Solarno is born during some esoteric late-night middle school discussion with a good friend.  For the life of me I cannot remember what prompted the name other than I was trying to come up with something somewhat futuristic and space-y sounding.

 

1989:

  • Two people of note enter/re-enter my life.  One is my cousin Jeff who had moved out to California to enroll in the USC music program.  Shortly after moving out he introduced me to the basic techniques of analog 4-track recording.  We produced a handful of ambient/electronic/experimental tracks together under the name Genre. We even dabbled a bit in the creation of an Atlantic Rhythm & Blues outfit (ala The Blues Brothers or Sam & Dave), and while that didn’t pan out, during the process I was exposed for the first time to MIDI programming by a bass player we had met with.
  • The second was Steve Cooley, a fellow trombone player.  Our meeting through the band program at Simi High led to many years of musical exploration and collaboration as we learned the ropes in MIDI programming, mod tracking, and sample based electronic music.  Together we discovered the rave scene, and for me the wonder of techno and early trance music.
  • Another funny story:  One afternoon we were rummaging through the fancy new CD racks at Tempo Records in Simi Valley looking for new and interesting music.  This was in the days of CDs being in way oversized (double height) packaging to discourage/thwart theft.  One of us finds this CD with cheesy low quality artwork of an old Tandy-esque 60’s computer with bad drawings of 4 guys on the screen.  That was enough to catch our attention, but the kicker that convinced Steve to purchase the CD was the statement on the back of the packaging that said “…if you like Depeche Mode…”.  The CD in question? Kraftwerk’s Computer World.  Yes, we were late to discover the wonder that is Kraftwerk, but we caught on real quick, especially Steve, who went on to sample seemingly darn near everything from that album.

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