Green Magic

Most of these works were inspired by the artists who introduced us to the trance and/or ambient genres, from Tangerine Dream to Steve Roach. Includes a few experimental pieces as well. By the way, I enjoy pretending this is a special 3-LP vinyl release from Unreasonable Records; click the cover art at left to see the completed jacket, inside and out.

 

Disc 1 Side A

Track 1: Alien Ancestry
Released 13 March 2022

Here's a classic electronic trance piece to start things off, nothing more than a satisfying blend of stock loops—some heavily manipulated—from many different sources. This is yet another track that began as something altogether different; when I changed direction, however, I kept the opening percussion, which gave the finished piece its "foreign blood." I could make simple tunes like these all day.


Track 2: One Hundred
Released 29 July 2021

The feeling I was after is that of driving on a long, straight, empty highway at night, passing nebulous memories drifting by in the distance. You can get some idea by watching the video I made.

 

Disc 1 Side B

Track 3: Rebecca
Released 5 August 2021

Beginning with a synth pad best described as cheerful melancholy, this exercise in ambience gradually deepens and expands before drifting off into space. Rebecca is actually an old college flame with whom I'm still in touch. Despite living at opposite ends of the country, we're still close, as paradoxical as that may seem. The sound is rather bittersweet, since I realize I'll never see her again.


Track 4: Green Magic
Released 13 August 2021

This fifteen minute opus—long-planned as the title track for my first "album"—is an homage to an old Italian movie, Magia Verde, a documentary about Italian explorers trekking across South America in the 1950s. Some of the sounds from the film still echo in my mind over fifty years since last seeing it. The incessant drumbeat carries us from one exotic location and experience to the next. While perhaps not to everyone's taste, it was something I had to get out of my system.

 

Disc 2 Side A

Track 1: The Missing Piece
Released 13 March 2022

The origins of this track date back to 2000 or even earlier. I've been carrying the fragment of a melody around in my head since then, and have struggled on and off to, first, successfully transcribe it, and second, to do something with it. Originally I'd wanted to compose an orchestral symphony. Fat chance. But it could serve as the seed crystal for a serious trance track, a genre I've not only been obsessed with lately, but also find quite satisfying. It takes me back to the days of Tangerine Dream, when you didn't need drums or electric guitars. Just imagination. (And headphones.)

 

Disc 2 Side B

Track 2: Tectonic Symphony
Released 7 March 2022

If you enjoy artists such as Steve Roach, this track may be of interest; if not, then you may as well move on—nothing to see here. It's almost exclusively realized in the lower registers, so it's pretty pointless to play it on your cell phone. The title evokes its theme: massive, earthly sounds progressing ponderously through space and time, carried along by the ever-present planetary heartbeat. Put on your headphones (or, better yet, fire up that subwoofer), lie back, close your eyes, and escape into an ancient epoch.

 

Disc 3 Side A

Track 1: DNA Sequence
Released 13 February 2022

Every sound in this energetic piece is 100% mine—no commercial samples, clips or loops. You might enjoy it, or you might want to bang your head against the wall for relief after it's done. Definitely different, very dense and repetitive, just like a deoxyribonucleic acid strand.


Track 2: Deep Wood
Released 10 February 2022

Imagine such a place... a lush, verdant, dripping forest. Separated by perhaps kilometers, unseen denizens participate in an impromptu jam session using nothing but what's at hand—even the birds join in. Completely re-engineered from the ground up on 12 March, every sound used is in sync with the rhythm, including the rain and thunder. Also, except for the thunder, rain and birds, I created all of the sounds. This is an experimental piece, so it may not be to everyone's liking. Incidentally, the two "soloists" are a white-throated sparrow and a wood thrush.


Track 3: Fade to Grey
Released 3 March 2022

Whilst taking a walk in the woods one day recently, a melody popped into my head. I immediately returned home to realize it, and it gradually morphed into a long electronic trance piece. I'm still not happy with how the melody is voiced, so a remix may be in store.


Track 4: Place and Time
Released 10 February 2022

Have you ever been somewhere, perhaps a seemingly ordinary place at a seemingly random time, and found the experience magical for no particular reason? Perhaps you were standing beside a pond, surrounded by woods, and perhaps there was an airplane passing far off in the distance, and the sound put you in a trance state. Here I've tried to recreate just such an experience, one I had when I was young. Most listeners will likely find it boring and a waste of time, but there just might be one or two visitors out there who can relate to a special place and time. Certainly my least musical work, this soundscape occupied months of my time on and off. The plane sound is from a recording I'd made back in the 70s using a cassette recorder while drifting around in a canoe; cleaned up and processed, it's mixed with modern natural sounds, as well as a brief introductory synth pad, just because I needed some reason to call it music.

 

Disc 3 Side B

Track 5: Into the Sunlight
Released 18 March 2022

When a good friend and fellow music lover gave me a challenge, I gladly accepted. My task was to create a musical sound that evoked the sense of water running in a brook. I took my time addressing the challenge, and the sound I eventually realized naturally required something to accompany it. I knew in advance it would be a lengthy ambient work, and after days of experimentation and refinement blending both synthetic and natural sounds, a composition emerged. It's is not for everyone; it's for those willing to surrender their spirit to the ebb and flow of rich soundscapes. As to whether or not I was successful with the original challenge, it doesn't really matter; the sounds can be whatever your mind may envision during the journey. A little side note: from moment to moment, the sound is never the same; it is always changing, albeit very slowly. I also recommend playing this at lower volume levels.

 

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