Red Skies Yellow Sand

Red Skies Yellow Sand looks at how we would feel moving to live in a new & different world. The (unnamed) new world is not entirely hostile, yet it is not entirely a comfortable fit for us either. We must live in habitats as we and the new world get used to each other.

If you take pleasure from this work, please purchase it for $5 at Bandcamp as this is my only income.

Red Skies Yellow Sand – full album


  1. The Journey Pt I – Getting anywhere in space takes a long time. Any journey will seem like a huge slice of a lifetime. There will be optimism but there will also be tedium.
  2. Different Skies & Landscapes – The new world will be quite different from what we are used to. That cannot be fully understood until we are there as looking out any window on Earth it is obviously Earth. Looking out any window on another planet it will be very obvious that this is not what we are used to. Sometimes those differences will be wonderous, others will be plain frightening.
  3. Life In Habitats – is necessary in any new world until we get used to each other. Living in habitats will be reminiscent of the journey and full of rules of repetition & tedium along with the sense that we are doing something amazing.
  4. Red Skies Yellow Sand – is just a little idea expressed twice in two different ways.
  5. A Day In A New World – our new world will feel very alien, even if it were a green world. It will be hard on the senses to cope with all that newness. Yet truly amazing at the same time. The structure of science and building our new homes’ infrastructure will help us to cope.
  6. Four Bells – is a simple piece that has a more nautical feel. It is the sense of being awake when no one else is. Coupled with the structure that holds us together and helps us get things done that our greater than ourselves alone.
  7. The Auld Green Land –we will long for the familiarity of Earth and the sense of comfort of our biological & ancestral home for a very long time.
  8. The Journey Pt II – is the second evolution of the sense of going to a new place. The first is to physically go there, the second is to let the mind catch up that this is the new home.
  9. Home Is Home – eventually, we will accept that this new place is how & where we live and we will be comfortable & happy.

Gear Spotters Corner

There are those who like to know what was used, how it was all done. Music was all made in Reason 11.3 from sounds of my own making using mostly Europa, Thor, and a few of my Space Case synths. Subtractor and Oberon make their usual appearances.

You may have noticed quite a few string sounds. They are spread equally between synths and samples. Synths are mostly Europa & Thor as usual. Friktion (the new physical modeling resonator synth) does make a few appearances but to be honest, I am preferring Europa or even Resonans for the more out-there stuff.

The most used effect plugins were:

  • Delays: The Echo, my own Echolater & Echo Nest, as well as a few instances of Echobode, Titus and Le Space.
  • Dynamics: Red Rock C1-L1 (Molot) and AdHd Levelling Tool do most of the work. The Master Bus comp manages the overall track gluing. Onyx still graces the final output.
  • Saturation & Overdrive: Scream 4 and Softube Saturation Knob.
  • Equalization: all handled by QRange.

Sonically I wanted a bright clear sound. A sense of hope and positivity. This means light drums and plenty of clarity in the mid-range to let the musical parts speak very clearly. This can make the tracks seem really loud. They are not. Compression on the instruments & master is minimal. It is just the “presence” that gives the sense of loudness. This is the old-school way of making a record seem loud.

The video was made in HitFilm Express 15 from images I made using Terragen 4.4. I used Terragen ages ago and enjoyed it. You can see an early Terragen render on the cover for The Body Pool from 2008. The free/demo version of Terragen lets you output your work but in a limited way. I used that to make it seem more like photos we get back from Mars. With a few layers and the “Atomic Particles” effect, I made the photos seem more immersive.

Initially I was hoping to make a completely animated or even a playable walkthrough using something like the Unreal engine but found the learning curve prohibitive in the time I wanted to spend. Maybe next time.

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