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MP3 LPKaster - Thick As Steel

Theremin and synthesizer, 21st century musical compositions by an energetic visual artist.

15 MP3 Songs in this album (77:44) !
Related styles: ELECTRONIC: Experimental, AVANT GARDE: Sound Art

People who are interested in Philip Glass Brian Eno Theremin should consider this download.

Why is a successful visual artist presenting a music CD?
Believe me, you’re not the first to ask. One very good answer is- that it’s fun.
Next, maybe even better, is that I always wanted to do this.
Since I was a kid playing with electronics in our garage, making music for the ears, or music for the eyes- are all the same to me.

My approach to making sounds that fit together is much the same to me as https://www.tradebit.comn I compose a work I am aware of the edges as much as the space in the middle.I am aware of silence and openness, and I am aware of sound as a graphic element that forms a boundary, or is a gesture. Gesture brings me to the Theremin. It is so simple, yet it takes a Tai Chi master to play it well. It takes a strong sense of pitch. (not perfect- nothing is perfect until it is dead.) This is all very intriguing to me.

The Theremin is an endless breath that defines a space by moving effortlessly through it. It is so much like a voice, be it in this world, or as an unknown voice in another. Deep in the ocean is a mysterious world that is just within reach. We have yet to really explore those depths. Beyond our thin protective atmosphere is truly limitless space that cannot support us as we now exist. We are creatures of gravity and breath, and we have to take our planet with us to explore there. The Theremin is suggestive of both these kinds of Otherspace.

My compositions are more informed by Classical composers. I grew up listening to European Baroque and Romantic composers when my friends were destroying their hearing and mental capacities with sensational acts like Led zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix. Never mind, I finally got around to them, too, but I listened to them finally from a “classical” perspective. World music and Generative music ala Brian Eno and Steve Reich, difficult contemporary composers like Philip Glass and Laurie Anderson, even Frank Zappa, and David Byrne are the kind of sounds, and people who make them that I really admire. They all have a good sense of humor.

1. Stealth Pepper

You know how it is, you go to some restaurant, and the waiter insists on grinding "fresh black pepper" on your salad, and hours later a piece of it that has lodged somewhere in you back teeth appears. Suddenly you bite into it---life is like that sometimes. Stealth pepper can really get your attention.

2. Sixteen Oranges

This is the signature piece of this collection. On the cover of the CD are sixteen Oranges, but the secret is that they are all the same Orange. Next, try to find a rhyme for orange in English. Yes, that is a kalimba playing in the background.

3. Palasaides

Somehow this piece turned into a kind of anthem. I keep thinking about huge ramparts and the sounds echoing in celebration of the immensity of it. Vocalizations appeared out of nowhere.

4. Orca

A peculiar little VSt instrument came my way. The GUI looks like two open mouths, evocative of killer whale jaws. I think undersea chirpings are a great source of amusement for all the inhabitants, their whistling tones bouncing off the seabed.

5. East of Java

I presented this piece as “Krakatoa” in a simpler setting, and then added several new layers of Theremin reverberation. It celebrates the anniversary of a cataclysmic volcanic eruption in the Pacific in 1883. A lot of people seem to like it now. (Not the eruption, just the music.) We have much reason to be in awe, and take nothing for granted.

6. Chuka Chuka Chuka

A chance to exercise some drumming, and liven things up again. Some humorous (to me) bits.

7. Astralis

This is one of several works on the CD that are all synthesizer. Easy listening. I developed it mainly to accompany some video footage for a public art project. Water

8. Aeolus

I remember the singing of my VW van crossing the Blue Ridge in North Carolina, the little air-cooled aircraft engine sounding like the breaking of tiny chains. Music comes from the wind sometimes, for me, in the twilight over long distances, over the meditative hum of the beginning of night. That could be the sound of a theremin.

9. Water

All synthesizer. Some things are best left simple

10. Flying

I think this is an apt title for a pleasant little piece.

11. Seige Perilous

I challenged my daughter to dance to this. She refused because it doesn’t have either an accordion or a cowbell in it.

12. Remember This Was

Probably the most complicated work I have ever done. Three, sometimes more Theremins are playing all at one time between two synth tracks. One synthesizer is creating a symphony of sound suggestions, while the other is rhythmic. It is very close to cacophony, but just this side, I hope. Of course, beauty is in the ear “…of the beholder.” This composition exists in several forms, but this is to date the best version, I think. Even if it is monophonic, the qualities of Theremin can be multivoiced.

13. Some Chinese Ghosts

Lafcadio Hearn is a favorite author of mine, and the title was taken from a book of Chinese stories he collected and retold. He was a journalist who loved living in exotic places. He wrote Creole stories, and then Japanese and Chinese stories. Many of these include supernatural elements. I think Hearn particularly liked living in places where the natural and supernatural live in close parallel, with the flavor of the unknown darkness informing the life of the day. Me, too.

14. Soma SamaVeda

The vocal part of this track is pure thermin, with a complex set of filters. It really sounds this way in “real time.” It is from a hymn in the Sama Veda To Soma, the food of the Gods. I added a Tibetan singing bowl for punctuation.

15. Sirens in the Mist

This is about the ocean, but more of the surface than of the deep. It combines Theremin and Synthesizer to create a seascape that stretches into the distance. I think it’s a fitting end to the CD.

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