13 Apr 2011

On to the Next One!

Feeling a bit fed up with programmatic music, yet weirdly enough still fond of "concept" albums, for the next one I have come up with a concept so abstract it doesn't really put any restrictions on the music it can contain nor put specific images in the head of the listener. Or so I hope.

So, the next album will be called "Concurrences", and each piece will simply be named "Concurrence #n".

Note: That's "concurrence", not "concurrency". Amongst other things, it's a term used in quantum computing, and has to do with, errr, very roughly speaking, simultaneously occuring states or events. (By the way, "very roughly speaking" is the only way I and 99.9999% of the rest of the world's population CAN speak of quantum computing and quantum theory I'm afraid. However, that doesn't stop my favourite author Terry Pratchett from constantly referring to various odd events as "probably quantum"...)

Other things I'd like to strive for are seriously long pieces of music with great fluidity and lots of transitions. The snippet of Concurrence #1 here is just the first part of something substantially longer!

  Concurrence #1 by pethu

6 Mar 2011

Trek - Full album available

The download version of Trek is now available in high-quality MP3 files. Just click below and then prove to my web server that you are a human and not a web robot  :)

pethu - Trek.zip (68MB)

Also included in the archive is a PDF version of the CD booklet.


I was brought up in the era of the high-tech vinyl LP, where much effort often seemed to go into producing as long an LP as possible. Soon, of course, came the CD where one selling point was being able to cram much more music in than the LP ever could.

Those are a few of the reasons I have to fight a definite (though irrational) sense of embarrassment producing something like Trek, which is not very remarkable length-wise. But you should of course be aware that your formative years are never more significant than anyone else's!

The point is that while mega-albums may have been the order of the day during my teenage years, things were very different in the sixties and early seventies. Many famous bands you feel were around forever and must have a humongous output really, er, didn't. If you'd like a different perspective on the concept of "impressive body of work", let's have a look at Simon and Garfunkel, for instance.

Total number of "proper" studio albums produced: 5. Album lengths:

Wednesday Morning 3 am - 31:31
Sounds of Silence - 29:13
Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme - 27:54
Bookends - 29:41
Bridge over Troubled Water - 36:46

(forgetting for the moment sound tracks and solo albums...)

So, a total output of about two and a half hours there... and only one album substantially over half an hour long.

Now, if one of the top ten LPs of all time didn't need more, then why should mine? In fact, "Trek" is now also exactly 36:46 until the music stops - the four extra seconds on the final song is just letting all levels drop to zero from the final note!

All in all, I feel much better now!

5 Mar 2011

Sea And Beyond (Final)(?)

Since I just uploaded this to Soundcloud, I might just as well share it right away. I'll be back later with answers to pertinent questions like "Why 4:59?" and others! :)

  Sea And Beyond by pethu

3 Mar 2011

...and we're back!

Music takes us out of the actual and whispers to us dim secrets that startle our wonder as to who we are, and for what, whence, and whereto.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Sea And Beyond", piano roll score, current stage.

Sorry, been a bit busy: Several versions of the game released, game website redesigned/recoded, change of operating system and complete re-install of the main computer, Christmas, work, and a couple of health issues (though more "health hiccups" than "health scares", fortunately).

Anyway, last time (way back in November) this final piece of my "Trek" puzzle was one minute long and counted six instruments (just at the "1" marker in the sequencer screenshot above). Now it's grown to four minutes and 23 instruments which means its all but a minute or two from being finally finished. You'll probably get to hear it this weekend!

26 Nov 2010

Sea And Beyond, Part 1 (Partly)

The final piece for Trek is finally underway! This is reaching the seashore from land, and starting to dream of what lies at the other end of a journey a thousand times longer...

Sea And Beyond, Part 1 by pethu

This time around, I did something I've come to do more and more often when composing: Not thinking much about melody or rhythms, but instead thinking of moods and sounds. Here the basis is a drum group of mainly taikos, but also djembes and tabla, along with some wishy-washy "sea chords". Whether this will build up into more of a majestic orchestral rock piece towards the end or continue more or less in the current vein, I have no idea as of yet.

Anyway, it's the kind of a start I feel confident I can build on.

Leaving you for now with with a truly compelling argument for software synthesizers:

(By the way — I won't leave here without my entire collection of Simon Pegg sketches!)

13 Nov 2010

Still Here! (+ some 70s style TV music)

Well, it's been nearly a month without music now, but there are some reasons for that. Here's some old music to listen to while you read!

  Anyone Can Play by pethu

Firstly, I'm coming up on the final piece of the lot and for a long time I've only known two things for sure about it: It'd better be long, and it'd better be very very good. Not enough to start beavering away, really.

Secondly, I have two projects to finish before Christmas, and Trek is only one of them. The other is version 2.0 of my extensive computer solitaire collection SoliLuxe. (But don't click the "buy" button, 'cause this version won't exist for probably a couple of weeks yet! Everything online still points to the completely free 1.4 version.) If all goes to plan, there will be a CD version of the game in addition to a downloadable one that contains at least part of Trek as the sound track.

I've used my cinematic music style for games before, and you're currently (probably) listening to some examples from this recreation of a 1973 pinball game called OXO.

Club OXO by pethu

These are short soundtracks intended to be looped while playing the game, and pure 1973-style T.V./movie music: the ubiquitous rolling congas from every 70's cop show chase scene ever, and the wild and crazy jazz flute that was a must for every "packed nightclub" scene featuring a soundtrack by Lalo Schifrin or Henry Mancini!

Anyway, back to Trek: I might finally have come up with a kind of synthesizer "sound idea" to build upon, so perhaps the final piece will start to slowly creep its way towards completion. It'd better — Christmas i just six weeks away!