Tag Archives: electronic

Voxel EP is now available on Spotify and iTunes

Voxel EP

Voxels are these square things you can use to represent three-dimensional space. They’re like pixels but in 3D.

Voxels are used in 3D games and brain imaging. Minecraft has voxel blocks you can use to build cool stuff, virtual stuff. Legos are like voxel blocks in real life.

Voxels are cool. Square, but cool.

The Voxel EP is now available on Spotify, iTunes and all major digital distributors.

Listen on Spotify.

Get a copy on iTunes.

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Finders Keepers (lyrics)

You can run and you
You surely can hide

You, the fleet-footed hare,
Can run from the sky

Dive deep enough
You can crouch in the rough

The green never
Has had this mesmerizing sheen

Rolling in the hay
Diving like Scrooge

This, my friend, this is life
In livelies hues

Sun ups the pace
Speeds up in the race

You see, rules are
It’s finders keepers all the way

At this rainbow’s end
Hid in the pot

A green hanging, ticking fish
Thrones wrongly got

Looking glass games
Don’t quite work with true names

You see, rules are
It’s finders keepers all the way

The Games We Play (lyrics)

The morning star is rising again
Reborn out of a candle flame
It is but just a silly game we play

Seconds chasing one another
The time draws near but scarce few bother
It is but all these silly games we play

The honey tongue spins sweet little lies
Rumpelstiltskin in disguise
It is but all these silly games we play

Pawn and bishop play as equal
The golden yarn shines lustrous to all
It is but just a silly game we play

From Voxel EP.

All Tomorrows (lyrics)

Jenny’s got a brand new song
It keeps on playing in her head

I guess she liked it first
But now she’s hoping that the song would go away

It’s always so easy to crave
All tomorrows that will save
From the silence that life still
Feels like today

The thing is that no matter what she does
The song sits stuck tight in her head

It’s numbing repetition makes her think
It’s like these days, their all the same

She walked into the diner
Humming to the song and missed a change

The world slipped for a moment further from her
Gave the change the space to grow

It’s always so easy…

Now Jenny sees the change she’s brought about
By humming to that sticky tune

The contrasts have grown deeper
Sunlight scatters in a new, peculiar way

She looks out of the window
At the people hurrying down the street

And no one stops to note her Mona Lisa smile
She knows how they must feel

It’s always so easy…

The Anatomy of an Album

Any music is really a network of ideas. At the heart of Launchland is the deep influence of the music of Jean-Michel Jarre and Vangelis. Also, many songs have been directly influenced by film music and classical music.

“Row Row Row Your Boat” references a scene from (yes, I know the movie sucked but anyway) Star Trek V where Kirk and Bones are singing the song and Spock is wondering about the ritual. The song itself goes way back to stuff like Brian Eno’s Apollo and Jarre’s Waiting for Cousteau. It’s also a hat tip to Joel Goldsmith’s outstanding Stargate Universe score, which I loved to death. (It’s funny but I just realized that you can hear tones from that score on “Tau Ceti Center” too, which was directly influenced by Goldsmith’s dad Jerry.)

“Aldebaran” began with playing with a Top Gun-ish sound on the Yamaha SY99, which led to this amalgam of the “Top Gun Anthem” by Harold Faltermeyer, “Main Sequence” from Albedo 0.39 by Vangelis and “Chariots of Fire” by the same.

“Quantum Thief” – a nod to my countryman Hannu Rajaniemi’s mind-blowing novel by the same name – steals or borrows (you name it) from the second movement of Beethoven’s seventh symphony and from Clint Mansell’s Moon soundtrack. The flute melody is a nod to Ennio Morricone’s mindblowing and chilling soundtrack for The Secret of Sahara. (Which I last saw as a little kid and loved back then.)

“Stella Maris,” another name for the VIrgin Mary, is of course an obvious nod to Charles Gounod’s “Ave Maria,” which is in turn based on Bach’s “Prelude no. 1” from the Well-tempered Clavier. Another Bach song is also a direct influence, namely the “Air on a G string” (which is actually an adaptation by August Wilhelmj, but anyway). The bassline turnover between verses was actually a carbon copy of the Air at first (going G, A, B, C, D, F, E, D), but then I changed it to a straight G major scale since… I don’t know. To make it slightly different after all. Why do you make these choices in music anyway?

To complete the circle, “Approaching Delta Pavonis” nicks a synth comp from Jarre’s “Magnetic Fields I” (an amazingly majestic song), one that the impOscar’s default preset just cries out to play with a little added portamento. (And yes, while tweaking is amazing, there is nothing wrong with playing with default presets when they fit. Ask Vangelis.)

I know a musician should not write analyses like this about their music. The music should speak for itself. But really: this is almost as much fun as writing the actual music. And anyway, there is so much left to discover in the songs even with this anatomical study that I think I haven’t spoiled all the fun.

To wrap up, Igor Stravinsky once said, talent borrows, genius steals. The rest of us, we just make music we love to listen to.

(And yes, my musician friends always told me I think too much. So there.)