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Performed entirely on the virtual ARP 2600 analog synth. This is all messing with a stack of free running oscillators all rigged to modulate one another as well as the LFO, S&H and sequencer. I just kind of let it take me where it wanted to and put a little meat on the bones with some effects in Cool Edit Pro. This is all atmospherics and electronica.


Hi all.

Yeah, I've actually posted another episode! And it hasn't been a year between the two of them! At any rate, I'm back to doing more film-ish, soundtrack/score stuff than any of that other weird crap I've been shovelling out.
*A musician's lament*
A great deal of my creative output depends on the sounds my instruments make. When I first got this Halo, I was really fired up. The sounds I was getting out of it were way better than the ESQ no matter what I did with the ESQ. That poor old thing is 20 years old. No matter how I program it, to me at least, it's going to sound like an old ESQ 1. So this Halo was quite superior in sound quality and for a while, I was enchanted. Then the enchantment wore off when I opened the manual and began to "read" their directions. Now why they chose to re-name every function and parameter (especially MIDI stuff) with their own terminology is completely beyond me, but lemme tellya, it took almost a month to figure out how to break into a voice and alter the parameters! I've read many reviews on the Halo and many others have commented on the fact that this unit has a particularly steep learning curve. Geez! I mean really! I'm no newb to electronic music and digital synths - hell, I cut my teeth on the big analogs whenever I could get a chance to play one, but this thing made me feel like a complete amateur. I've been studying the owner's manual for the Halo off and on now for years and finally am really seeing some progress in digging down deep into the workings of the machine in order to get it to make new sounds which I can use in my work. I hate to admit it, but this Halo - equipped as it is with a certain ROM card (how the presets and voices it plays are stored) seems to be optimized for rap/hip-hop performances...just about as far away from a progressive/symphonic feel as one could get. This basically means starting a new voice from a "tabula rasa" ("blank slate" for those of you who don't speak any Latin). Seeing as how a sound created on the Halo involves setting values for no less than 100 parameters (and there are four layers!) - and some of these values range from minus 256 to plus 256 (!)- it is a very time-consuming process to drag a new sound from the beast. It can be done, it's just damn difficult.
*end of lament*
As to the piece itself: well, here's a piece of news! The entire piece was played freehand. NO sequences at all were programmed into the ESQ (which is how I usually lay down bass and percussion tracks). I may be a doof when it comes to spending years trying to puzzle out how to use the instruments I have, but my actual confidence and playing ability is improving...at least a little.

The title was inspired indirectly after reading a book written by August Derleth. He was the guy who single-handedly rescued the entire collection of H.P. Lovecraft's work from dropping off into obscurity by starting a small publishing company ("Arkham House") and printing HPL's stories in hardcover book form soon after Lovecraft died of intestinal cancer in 1937. Not only did Derleth get all of HPL's finished works, he also got his unfinished stories and notes for stories he never wrote... and Derleth took it upon himself to continue HPL's work. (He called these early pieces of his "posthumous collaborations"...Yeah, right!)
Anyway, it was one of these "collaborations" - in fact, the first one Derleth wrote - which I recently read which inspired the title. In case you are at all curious, it was "The Lurker at the Threshold" Pub Carroll & Graf 2003. Original story by Derleth first published in 1945.
This piece was created fairly rapidly. From initial idea to mastering and final mixdown was about 4 hours a day for 3 days and most of that time was spent on mastering rather than performing/recording. Recall I said this was all freehand. Yes, indeed. Nine tracks of freehand strings (various kinds)and percussion. I was trying to invoke the sinister mood of that Gothic sci fi (the only way I can think of to succinctly describe their rather unique genre) that both HPL and later Derleth create in their work.
Some time back, I'd mentioned that fantasy film project I was involved in... well no surprise here! It failed... just faded out like a child's interest. Feh on them. I'm working on my own screenplay. (he! Caught you by surprise, did I?) Yep. I was thinking of doing a story first, but then decided with the notes I had and the stuff I've already plotted out in my head without writing it down I was pretty much ready to break it down scene by scene as I write it in screenplay format. Making progress. More to come on that later.
Hey Mr. Benicio Del Toro, are you listening to these? I wanna score your next film.
Thanks for listening.
Till next time, be safe. And remember: Always wear a condom when crossing the street and look both ways before sex. Her husband could come from anywhere.


Hi All.
Finally got around to tinkering in the studio... IRL issues keep me from my music a lot of times these days. Ah,so... the responsibilities of a dad and married man.

Hey, I wouldn't trade it for anything... the married life, that is. Barb's a wonderful lady. This is it, boys and girls. She's the one I want to grow old with.

Ahem!! Yes, anyway; the new song...
Well, what can I say about it? It's partially freehand and partially sequenced and boy did it get the FX, too. Session contained 6 tracks. Total rec/prod time spent: about 24 hours out of 4 days.
And summer solstice. HOT HOT HOT here in FL


Here's the latest effort on my part to create the kind of moody and surreal trance or rave stuff I'm led to believe is the kind of stuff the other project I'm working with my brother on is supposed to sound like. This piece is 7 tracks deep and believe me its complex this time. There are a load of effects on the individual tracks in this one-literally dozens. The main timekeeping was the arpeggiator of the Halo. All other tracks were added live- no sequences (this includes the drums, folks. In fact, out of the 7 tracks, 5 were percussion.)


Seeing as how the animated film I mentioned several months ago is still needing much preproduction work and won't need the scoring efforts of my bro and I for some time, I decided to see how long it would take me to throw out a rave-ish kind of dance piece so here it is: about 10 hours. I spent about 5 last night laying what ended up being 7 tracks, five of which are percussion. This morning, I finished with the effecting and final mixdown which took another 5 or so today. Before I let myself get burned out hearing it too many times, before I produced it to death, before I had any kind of second thoughts on remixing, here it is. Yesterday at this time, this piece of music didn't even exist.

Oh the title! I had to get back in and edit. I forgot to mention it. The title is from an Alan Dean Foster book and that book is of itself very deliberately Lovecraftian in tone. Foster's story is of a dimention so utterly dissimilar to our own that the beings that live there can only be described as evil. Not "mwahaahaa, I'll get your SOUUULLL!" evil, just so completely different than anything in this Universe that there is only one word to describe it: evil. In Foster's book, a very few people on earth were aware of these things and that they were preparing to rip a hole in the "veil" and come pouring over into our nice tidy universe. The "hero" of the story must cross "Into The Out Of" to stop the evil ones before they break into our world.


All that needs be heard is in the 'cast.


This all started with the Moog Modular. I was working on a sequenced filter patch and began some experimentation. I was soon recording and laying additional tracks and ended up with this piece. Even being only 3 tracks, there are a lot of sounds in this one, using not only the Moog (bass and filtered lead) but the Halo (percussion and strings) as well as the ESQ1 (all other sounds). I also used the heck out of CEP's effects rack in this one. Some parts of all three tracks as short as one beat of percussion have as many as 4 effects applied to them. In short, this is one very complex piece from a sound engineering standpoint and took the better part of 2 1/2 hours to finish.
As far as the title goes, I was reading a book which proposes a rather "out there" theory that Mars was once inhabited by beings much like us here on Earth, but who came to this planet after they destroyed their own ecosystem by unwise management of their resources. I got to thinking if how I were to embody a Martian's personality in a piece of music, this might be it. The name of the (imaginary) individual in question came to me in a flash...maybe he isn't so imaginary after all...

[EDIT addendum 5/12/07] |+|+|+Oh and a status report on the movie project I mentioned...Production problems in the writing and SFX are causing major delays. We can't get to work until we at least have some sketches from the art department so we can begin to color the music with the character. We are still in essence "telecommuting" him in south Florida and I in the panhandle-a good many hundreds of miles apart. Awkward, but doable, for now. Ultimately, what we'd like to see coming our way is a full-length animated pencil storyboard. I keep asking the producer if they want only music or are we also expected to add the "zwing" of a drawn sword and crunch of feet and all the other sounds in a "foley" session as well. She still ranges from an "isn't sure" to an outright "I dunno" so its kind of frustrating. Anyway, my bro and I will keep working as well as we can blind as we are for now. He'll keep doing his own stuff outside of the movie project and so will I. From time to time I post my work although I don't post everything I compose...|+|+|+
~>One last thing: I'm not sure if I am violating some law from somewhere, but I found this clip of Mars as it turns on its axis. Taken by an amateur astronomer on his backyard telescope over a period of several hours, you can see the various colored terrain pass. Since this is through a telescope, the image is upside-down. Thats the south polar icecap you see on top.
Mars' day is about 35 minutes longer than ours on Earth. One Mars year is 20 Earth months long. Mars' total surface area is almost exactly the same as all of Earth's dry land. If Mars had an atmosphere (a very expensive and time-consuming project, but theoretically doable) and all the water ice under the surface was thawed and settled in the lowest areas, 40% of Mars would be covered in water up to 2 miles deep.<~{end addendum}


Yeah, so its been a while since I posted music. Actually its been a while since I posted anything. I'm working with my brother on the soundtrack/score for an animated hi-fantasy IMAX film which is currently in preproduction. As the filmmakers come up with storyboards, outlines and scripting, we modify the score as we get new info. Anyway, this piece is not a part of the score we are working on.

About 22 years ago, I was in a short-lived band with a guy who fancied himself a keyboard player but actually trained as a trumpet player. He came up with a certain riff which we briefly tried to do something with but he abandoned it. I didn't. The groove has been percolating around in my mind for a couple of decades and I finally decided to try to get it out. As I said in my profile, many of the pieces of music here in my 'cast are pieces of improv with not too much of the originally-imagined music showing up in the final work. Not so with this one. I carefully broke down the piece as I heard it in my head and laid it out painstakingly track for track. This most recent piece is the culmination of about 40 hours of work. The title is a play on words. If you know anything about music, you'll get it. If you don't, contact me and I'll tell you; I'm not typing it here.
This is a fully sequenced piece. 8 Tracks recorded in Cool Edit Pro but sequenced on the ESQ1 which drove the Halo. Not too much pan info was used, but there was quite a bit of track for track EFX prior to the final mixdown to stereo. The spacy intro was created with a program called Coagula, recorded in CEP and EFX'd heavily.


This is yet another piece I found in the seemingly bottomless files I have in my system which sat unfinished for many months. The work session was already titled but as to why I called it what I did, I have no idea. I suspect I may have seen something on some nature program which was stuck in my mind when I started this one.

It is true, however, that lobsters do "march" in straight line formations for great distances across the sea floor. As few as 2 to as many as dozens have been seen by divers and it was probably this type of footage which inspired the title. Whatever its reason, I hope you enjoy it.


I was listening to some Jimmy Smith and decided I'd try and do an old fashioned jazz club sounding thing. Yeah ok... I'm not Jimmy Smith. Or Klaus Wunderlich...or Keith Emerson either, but I did have fun with this. The Hammond was played live over the 2 sequenced tracks (drums and bass). All sounds created on the Halo. Very little post production. No compression or EQ, just a bit of reverb and I added a bit more Leslie-ish chorus on the Hammond towards the end.


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