Multitrack Video Series – May 2017

This is the first installment of my new Instagram multipanel-video series. These are quick original compositions that have no restriction on genre or instruments used.

This sentence is a link to my Instagram account. If you like what you see, please feel free to hit that follow button.

(If you don’t have Instagram, you can also subscribe to my YouTube channel. Or you can just come back here each month.)

 

Tone Loc’s Lament – May 10, 2017


Vacation on the Dimensional Cusp – May 11, 2017


Earth – May 16, 2017


Help Computer – May 19, 2017


They Say Time Flies, but with the Way the Airlines Are Going These Days, Maybe Time Should Take the Bus – May 23, 2017


Orbs Were Banned in Europe and Cast into the Chasm After the Incident – May 31, 2017

An-Dron Yekrae – Atalean Spxldror

bandcamp

An-Dron Yekrae – Atalean Spxldror

andronyekrae.bandcamp.com

I am proud to present another new solo album. I think that its origins are worth discussing, as they’re pretty… odd.

One of the main principles that I follow while creating art is that the work must be allowed to flow freely, and that I should follow the art wherever it wants to go. Most of the time when I’m working on my own material, I try to actually get out of the way of the art, let whatever it is show itself, and then mold those raw impulses into a finished product. It feels like channeling something. This album was done that way, and it led me on a few twists and turns throughout its creation process.

Last year, melodies, chord progressions, and bass lines in the style of old jazz standards unexpectedly began popping into my head. Whenever this sort of thing happens, I make sure to capture and transcribe the ideas. After a few weeks of this process, I ended up with 14 complete pieces.

Originally I thought that they should be played in the style of a jazz combo, as would be expected for jazz standards. But I didn’t know how I was going to accomplish that. At this point, I can confidently say that I play drums and bass well, and piano decently… but playing jazz drums, bass, and piano is a different story. And I don’t play any traditional jazz lead instruments at all. My skills in that genre would need a lot of work before I could pull something like that off. So I puzzled over that impasse for a while, and the songs just sat while I worked on other things (like Retail Monkey – ADD/Nihilism and [syzygy] – [visitor] {which was “channeled” in a similar way to this album}).

When I have a project sitting, I can feel its weight in my mind. It takes up space and it makes me anxious. If I wait too long, the inspiration of the project can sometimes leave and never return. It wasn’t long before the incomplete project really began to bother me. I prefer to get things done and move along, but I knew something was not right about the way I was approaching it. So I couldn’t. After some time I realized that my original instrumental vision was definitely not how they were supposed to end up.

I realize how weird this all might sound, but at that point, the answer came to me. The project wanted to be a concept album: songs written by a character, an alien (An-Dron Yekrae) from another world (Atalea), who visited Earth and fell in love with two sounds: classic jazz and synthesizers. He got together some friends and recorded this album, melding those two interests. I don’t know where this idea came from, but it felt like the right answer, so I just shrugged and followed it. Immediately I rediscovered the flow state, and the entirety of the project was tracked within the week. After being stuck for quite a while, it turned back into a naturally flowing process. It was a blast to record all this stuff.

Yeah, like I said, it’s weird. But that’s what this project wanted to be. It was fun working with you, little alien jazz buddy.

Released on Big Name Records. BNR1701
Available on cassette via the Big Name Records Webstore or Bandcamp.
Cassettes were printed in the Big Name print shop.

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Retail Monkey – ADD/Nihilism

addncover

Retail Monkey – ADD/Nihilism

retailmonkey.bandcamp.com

I am very pleased to bring you my newest solo album. For fans of The Dillinger Escape Plan, The Locust, Daughters, Converge, and other bands of the mid-2000s era.

This was the first project that I began working on when I finished my current studio space. The recording process took nearly two years to complete. I had also been dreaming of actually recording these songs for almost 10 years by the time that I started working on it.

I would like to put forth a huge thank you to Stephen and Joel for their involvement in the writing process all those years ago.

Info from the Bandcamp:

“Instrumentals written by Stephen Navarrete, Joel Freeman, and Jon Lervold collaboratively over the internet via MIDI-based guitar tab software between 2004 and 2006.

We were teenagers at the time. Since we used TabIt to compose, we were able to write whatever the hell we wanted with no limitations based on how ridiculous or unplayable it seemed to us. We never figured real, recorded versions would exist. After spending another decade making music, it was within reach.

This album was performed, tracked, edited, mixed, and mastered by Jon Lervold at Big Name Recording Studio in Olympia, WA between January 2015 and November 2016. Vocals were written in early 2016.
bigname.org

Interlude 3 was graciously provided for use by the original artist, Publio Delgado. You can find his work here: youtube.com/user/vendidou and here: facebook.com/publiomusic.

Pulling off my Eyelids with a Pair of Pliers contains writing contributions by Alexander Galavodas, Mark Solomon, and Joseph Malicke.

Released on Big Name Records
BNR1700
bignamerecords.com

 

Cassettes can be found on the Bandcamp or on Big Name Records.

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Loiterer – Key West (Pure Data Algorithmic Composition)

A 5edo generative ambient composition made in Pure Data. Every playthrough is unique. This video shows merely one example of what might be generated by the algorithm. No MIDI was used in the patch; all sounds were generated by oscillator matrices I designed in PD.

I made this while on vacation in Key West, FL. The video footage is from the day after I finished the bulk of the composition’s programming.

This piece consists of four note generators, a lead generator, a monophonic sequencer, and a white noise generator, all of which automatically generate their own note choices, durations, and timbres. The overtones on the synths become more exaggerated as time runs on. Each playthrough automatically begins winding down around 3 minutes and finishes by 3:30. The patch can also be set to run indefinitely.

For anyone unfamiliar: “edo” means “equal distribution of the octave.” Almost all Western music is written in 12tet, the system that divides the octave into 12 steps of 100 cents each. This composition divides the octave into 5 steps of 240 cents each.

Genesis 32:12 – Jacob Turns Heel and Hits the Angel with a Folding Chair, Which Pleases God

This song is my entry into the HP TALENT SHOW 2017 contest. The goal of the contest is to create the “most ridiculous/goofiest/best” TabIt song. The rules state that the entry must be less than two minutes long and can use no more than 5 tracks. I decided to write a piece for a bass and drums math-rock duo. Tracks 3, 4, and 5 simulate various effects pedals sent through separate amps. Lately I’ve been experimenting with quarter tones, so I put a few in there.

I’ve been using TabIt for 15 years. It’s been 8 years since I last officially released a tab, as that was when I moved to producing real audio tracks exclusively. Taking part in this was a very nostalgic experience. TabIt and the TabIt community helped make me the musician that I am today.

Pure Data – Endless King Crimson Riff Generator

A few days ago I started learning the visual programming language known as Pure Data. I’ve never programmed anything before (though I have done a lot of html coding in my day), so starting from square one was a bit of a daunting prospect, but it turned out to be really enthralling. My experience as an audio engineer really helps, since it has given me a solid understanding of signal flow.

This is the first patch I have made that I would consider a satisfactory v1.0. It was incredibly fun to design this system and my mind is really reeling with the possibilities of what else can be done with this software. It really makes me want to learn how to program commercial music apps.

Under the hood.
A small section of what’s under the hood. More in the video.

The patch first generates a one-measure riff (reminiscent, to me, of 80’s-era King Crimson) in a random time signature which plays for 8 repeats. Then it plays another newly generated riff in the same time signature. This process repeats 6 more times, for a total of 8 riffs in a given time signature. At that point, it switches to a new time signature and starts the process again. The result of all the riffs together reminds me a lot of some Philip Glass compositions. Not every riff is outstanding, but there are plenty of more-than-usable musical ideas in there!

In this version the non-drum instruments are just sine waves generated by PD, but I am currently modifying it so that they generate MIDI events that can be sent out to a DAW. My larger vision involves incorporating this patch’s functionality into a much larger music generation program. More to come later…

[syzygy] – [visitor]

syzygy-cover-smaller[syzygy] – [visitor]

http://syzygywa.bandcamp.com

My newest solo album. 6 tracks (36 minutes) of impressionist piano. Tracked, edited, mixed, and mastered at Big Name. The album was recorded and mixed entirely analog on the Tascam 388 and TEAC A-1200U tape machines.

CDs and cassettes made in the print shop. The cassette version was mastered straight to tape and has never entered the digital domain.

Physicals can be found on the Bandcamp or at Big Name Records.

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A God or an Other / The Vatican – The Great Northern (Split)

A God or an Other / The Vatican – The Great Northern (Split)

http://agodoranother.bandcamp.com or http://thevaticangrind.bandcamp.com/

3 tracks (17 minutes) of black metal/hardcore and 6 tracks (17 minutes) of grindcore. All of A God or an Other’s side was tracked, edited, mixed at Big Name. The Vatican instrumentals were recorded at Big Name. Both sides were mastered together at Big Name.

Tapes and CDs manufactured at Big Name in the print shop and available through Bandcamp.

 

 

The Lunch – Thinkin’ About Stuff

The Lunch – Thinkin’ About Stuff

http://thelunch.bandcamp.com

4 tracks (15 minutes) of experimental instrumental indie recorded, edited, mixed, and mastered at Big Name. This is the first project to be released from the studio to utilize the awesome Tascam 388.

Tapes and CDs manufactured at Big Name in the print shop and available through Bandcamp.