For the last five plus years, I haven’t touched a musical instrument, nor had I deliberately listened to any music. The reason for this is complex, but suffice it to say that I had to take the time away from music to figure out what I was doing musically, and more important, why I was doing it. However, after all of this time had passed, I was no closer to an answer. The idea came to me that I was never going to figure it out until I went back into the studio to face my musical demons, deal with them face to face, and resolve this issue, one way or the other. It was this process whereby I had created these tracks.
Over the period of three days in the studio (September 23 - 25, 2015) I was able to put some of the pieces of my strange puzzle into place, and at least see the problem I was dealing with in a new way, by creating the five songs listed below.
I titled this album “Sanguinity,” and I consider it to be a “concept” album. The title has a dual meaning. First, it refers to an optimistic view of the future, and second, music being in my blood. While “Sanguinity” is based on my personal journey, I think that is representative of what most musicians, artists, writers, and poets deal with regularly. At least the ones that I know.
The first instrumental is titled “Mars Squares Mercury,” where Mars, (rhythm guitar) represents the base emotions, and Mercury (represented by the E-bow guitar) represents the intellect, whereby emotions and intellect battle against each other, resulting in the complete silencing of the soul impulses, where I believe the connection to creativity exists.
“Mars Squares Mercury” could be categorized as a Rock / Progressive Rock instrumental.
The second piece, titled “My Secret Garden,” is the imaginary “secret” garden where the soul impulses dwell, but the “garden” is inaccessible due to the conflict of “Mars constantly squaring Mercury.” In this piece, however, Mars and Mercury appear to be cooperating. This lulls one into the delusion that they have entered into the “secret garden,” and while it appears that the goal has been achieved, in actuality, the observer is standing outside of the gate and is looking in. (As represented by the picture on the cover art for that piece. Each piece has its own artwork (aside from the album cover) which helps to tell the story.)
“My Secret Garden” could be categorized as a Progressive Rock / Jazz instrumental.
The third piece, titled “Radio Secrets (Transmissions from beyond),” is conceptual, experimental, electronic music, where the “incomprehensible” oscillations represent the “odd space” between consciousness and sleep. It is within this “odd space” (Contemplation /Meditation) where we attempt to listen to the things that our souls are trying to tell us (as represented by the “radio chatter,”) but it information is just barely audible within waves of interference.
“Radio Secrets,” as already mentioned, is Conceptual, Experimental, Electronic Music.
The fourth piece is titled “Rise.” “Rise” was resurrected from an earlier ideas from an incomplete musical composition from 2008, and represents the attempt to reach beyond the limitations imposed by emotion/thought, and make some sense of the “radio transmissions,” and represents the struggle to make beautiful and inspiring music/art/poetry etc., (represented by the guitar) in spite of the influences from the world of emotion, (represented by the violin) lulling us to stay tied to the past, fear, regret, conformity, etc., the arpeggiated harp (representing mind/thoughts), and the drums and bass (representing the passage of time).
“Rise” could be categorized as a Progressive Rock instrumental.
The final piece, titled “Sparky’s Rockin’ Dance Party,” is a classic style 50's/60's dance/stomp rock tune that represents the return to my roots (rock) in and effort to rekindle the “spark” that set this musical journey into motion, in the first place. This time around, however, I am searching for the answers to questions that I had not asked the first time around. This piece also represents the idea that “what’s old is new again,” and also, of the journey coming full circle. Finally, never again can the claim be made that I don’t play music that you can dance to.
“Sparky’s Rockin’ Dance Party” would be categorized as a Classic Rock / Dance Instrumental.
Special Thanks To:
Emily for her encouragement and support during this project.
Mikey Holleran for drums and percussion on “Rise,” sound engineering on “Mars Squares Mercury” and “Radio Secrets,” other sound engineering advice, and the many hours he spent collaborating with me on this project.
Gavin Baker for his help and encouragement.
And, finally, Sparky for keeping me company through the wee hours of the night while putting the final touches on this album.