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On July 10, 2020 I released a new digital-only New Age/Ambient album, Extasis. This post provides a track-by-track overview of the new release.
The opening track on the album, “Lauds,” was actually one of the latest ones I produced for the project. I created a track with lots of synth bell sounds. It’s similar in style to “The Oceanic Feeling,” from my album Circadia, and my holiday single “Snow Globe.”
As is the case with many tracks I create, I didn’t have a title in mind when I created it, but it made me think of the dawn of a bright new day. After doing some research, I settled on “Lauds” as the title. Lauds was the first morning service in the traditional Western church, and was traditionally said or chanted at daybreak.
Fragrance Of A Future Sea
This second track was one I wrote with a certain ambient atmosphere in mind. I found the title in a phrase from Ayn Rand’s first novel, “We The Living.”
Deloras was my mother (January 4, 1926-June 10, 1990). I wrote this little piece for her on what would have been her birthday a few years ago.
The Golden Hour
The Golden Hour is that brief span of time around sunrise and sunset each day when the Sun’s light is softer, and objects in its light have a magical glow. It’s also called the “magical hour” and is a favorite time of day for photographers and filmmakers.
About 25 years ago, I was living in Chattanooga and working on an IT contract in South Carolina. I did most of the work in Tennessee, but used to drive over to Greenville every few weeks or so to work on site. One of my fondest memories was driving back late on Friday evenings through the forests and mountains of the Eastern Carolinas and Northeast Georgia during the late winter of 1995-96. I recall that the scenic roads and small towns fairly glowed in the light of the Golden Hour (even though I didn’t realize at the time that that was what it was called). The memories of those enchanting drives back home inspired this piece of music.
At the end of this piece, there’s a four note sequence in the lead instrument that holds special significance for me. It musically spells “C-A-G-E” in honor of composer John Cage, who played a key role in expanding my sense of musical possibility. I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Cage and participate in a creative workshop with him when he visited Wright State University, where I was studying music around forty years ago, for a performance of his Etudes Australes.
The title track of the album features a complex ambient drone from which a piano emerges. I made heavy use of the iZotope Iris 2 software synth for this track.
This track is a simple tune with a piano lead over an electric guitar and synth pads. Very mellow and gentle.
The title of this track was inspired by an interview I read with the great jazz sax and flute player Charles Lloyd. Lloyd, who has played on recordings with The Doors, among others in his long career, described himself in the interview as a “tender warrior.”
The Corner Of Luna
The last track on the album was actually one of the first ones I composed for the project. It features thick synth pads and ultimately transitions to a section with a synth vocal. I found the title in a documentary about Nostradamus. One of his quatrains allegedly predicted that men would travel to the Moon. The particular quatrain included the line “. . . they shall take him to the corner of Luna . . .”