Independent Releases Music

New Release: Lights from Distant Stars

(Cover art photography by Mark Casto.)

I’m happy to announce my next release, coming out November 20, 2020. It’s an ambient track titled “Lights from Distant Stars.”

Coinciding with the single I’ll be releasing a video, and for this video I’m excited and honored to team up with a terrific amateur British astrophotographer named Mark Casto (aka Astrocasto), to feature his work alongside my music. The video will be produced in Full HD and will showcase Mark’s breathtaking photos of galaxies, star clusters, and nebulae.

I can’t wait to share the new track and video with all of you in November.

Independent Releases Updates

New Single: Morning Walk In The Sunshine

My newest single “Morning Walk In The Sunshine” is out now. It’s a nice jaunty little groove with some electronics, some percussion and a little improv going on.

Find it at Google Play/You Tube

Find it at Spotify

Find it at iTunes/Apple Music

Find it at Amazon Music

Find it on Deezer

Independent Releases

Extasis: Soothing, calming music for coping with tough times — an overview

Download or stream at these fine outlets:

Google PlayiHeartRadioMediaNet
DeezerApple MusiciTunes

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.

Independent Releases Updates

Extasis Drops July 10

My new release Extasis will be available to download/stream in most music outlets July 10. Stylistically speaking, the new album is a follow-up to Circadia, and goes further down the ambient/new age path.

Here’s a track list for the new album:

  • Lauds
  • Fragrance of a Future Sea
  • For Deloras
  • The Golden Hour
  • Extasis
  • Sleepless Dream
  • Tender Warrior
  • The Corner of Luna

I’m releasing Extasis through DistroKid, and you can follow it (and me) here.

Independent Releases

Single: COVID Mosh Pit

Please take a few minutes to check out my new single, “COVID Mosh Pit.” It’s sort of a nightmare scenario with a rocking beat.

Independent Releases

Aquarian Eyes EP Reissue

I’ve reissued my EP Aquarian Eyes. It’s now available for sale exclusively at Bandcamp.

Independent Releases Updates

Warts And All EP out now!

Warts And All, my five-track singer-songwriter EP, is now available exclusively at Bandcamp. Sample and buy here.

Independent Releases

Warts And All EP Track-by-Track: Counting To A Million

The song “Counting To A Million” is the rocker of the EP. It’s also a very personal expression of acceptance and hope. When you’re in a certain place in life, like trying to overcome some obstacle or recover from an illness or addiction, it seems like the struggle will never end. In the song “If I Let It” I wrote a line “some days each minute feels like an endless climb.” “Counting To A Million” is sort of the flip side of that. It’s about learning to embrace the process and not worry so much about results.

Once I figured out the analogy of trying to survive, heal or whatever being like counting to a million, the lyrics came very quickly. The came the melody and chords. After that, it was a matter of arranging everything. I was almost finished with the recording and mixdown before I came up, as an afterthought, with the idea of counting while the song was going.

The bottom line is, this was my way of saying it’s about the process. The Eagles sang about “The Long Run,” but according to economists in the long run we’re all dead. “Counting To A Million” is all about learning to love the process of living, and re-learning that process each day if the day before got messed up. Even if you don’t know how you’ll ‘get there,’ may all your journeys be fun.

Check out this track and the other ones on the EP at my Bandcamp site. (Opens in a new tab/window.)

Independent Releases

Warts And All EP Track-by-Track: Cascades (Instrumental)

Back around 2006 or so, I was fooling around with this old Alvarez folk-classical guitar I used to own and got the idea to write and record some instrumental demos featuring the guitar. I had been working entirely with electronics and keyboards and wanted to change things up a bit.

The first thing I came up with for this little tune was the three-note figure at the beginning. Two notes were harmonics and the third on the fretboard. It’s possible to do that third note as a harmonic up the neck as well, but I was having too much trouble hitting accurately up the neck, so I played it further down on the fretboard. I fit chords with those three notes and then messed around some until I came up with a melody to fit the chords.

To change things up a bit I came up with a key change and a contrasting section to act almost like a chorus. Other than that, the tune has a really simple form: Intro, A, A, B, Repeat intro, A, B. I laid down a rhythm guitar track without a metronome to guide me. It sounded really organic (which is to say I messed up the tempo), but I was able to work around it laying down two more tracks. I put a shaker in there to give it a little more rhythm, and then tracked the lead.

Before I mixed down I put in a little digital delay on the lead. The sound reminded me of the effect of a cascading waterfall and that’s where I got the idea to call it “Cascades.”

I don’t have that guitar anymore. I gave it to my son Alex, who still has it out in Utah. I’m thinking about getting another one though.

Please check out the Warts And All EP, which includes this track, on my Bandcamp site. (Opens in a new window/tab.)

Independent Releases

Warts And All EP Track-by-Track: If I Let It

The song “If I Let It” came about at a very low time in my life several years back. I had gotten into a rut of self-destructive thinking. I wasn’t eating well or getting any exercise. I had forgotten to focus on the things that are under my control: thinking, feeling, behavior and focus. I was trying too hard.

I had to “get it” — to stay within myself and control what I could control. In order to do that, I had to “let it” — to stop worrying about things I couldn’t control. The song expresses that.

As for the lyrics, they came out of where I was living at the time. It was out in the country, and there were a lot of wild animals around. I can recall several times that I came in of an evening and saw foxes out in the yard/field out in front of the house. One very early morning, I woke to the sound of a mourning dove that was so loud I thought it had gotten into my bathroom. It was outside, but so loud the sound resonated in the shower. That experience inspired the verse about the “bird who sings a song.” (Originally it was an owl, but I changed it.)

The first thing that came to me musically was the first few notes of the melody (“in the twilight . . .”). I sort of worked out the lyrics and melody around it and fit harmony (chords) around that.

I did a basic demo of the tune back then, but wanted a more fleshed out arrangement to support the melody. The countermelody that ends up in a harmonica patch on the final version was originally on a piano. There was also a pad underneath in the original demo, but I wanted something that would convey a little more emotion. I’ve always liked the idea of using a string quartet to provide a more intimate feel, so I came up with an arrangement that would give a warm pad as well as some contrapuntal highlights.

You can buy and download “If I Let It” at my Bandcamp site. I hope you’ll check it out. (Link opens in a new tab/window.)