Lands with Shawn Johnson

I roped in saxophonist Shawn Johnson to add his EWI playing to the main tracks “Trees” & “Night Crystals”. I sent him the tracks and noted the main area where a part was needed. After that I was pretty open for him to do his thing. Shawn recorded 4-5 parts for each track and sent them back for me to mix. The tracks really gained as a result of his very different approach to playing contrasting with mine.

If you like the music, please purchase it over at Bandcamp. Purchase is the only way that I get payment for this, my life’s work. The album comes with a few bonus tracks to make up 40 mins for only $5.

official video – main tracks

Blown Amp

I wrote a lot of this material with no real ability to hear what I was doing as my studio amplifier got blown up in a power outage. The NAD C 320BEE was ~15 years old so it was about time. It rather looks like a capacitor had leaked which is common.

Replacing the amp was not as easy as rushing to the shops as with COVID-Mania still the fashion, there was almost no product in the country.

That left me working on a UE Boom2 Bluetooth tub, which is not the equal of my Jamo C 803s. But I am very thankful for it keeping me in music.

I have some headphones but I would rather chew my own feet off than have to use them for any period of time. While I can admit the usefulness of cans in some situations, I firmly believe that in listening & mixing terms, headphones are a tool of the devil.

Eventually I got a shiny new Rotel A10 amp and everything got finished.

Blender Offender

I have had the idea of doing a rendered-world walkthrough for a while. I even had Jane do it for me for Voice Of Space and did something similar myself for Red Skies Yellow Sand. Still, I didn’t feel done.

Despite my almost pathological loathing for Blender, I got back on the ornery horse and forced myself to get some results. I did (with Jane’s help) but I always felt I was totally missing my mark until she explained the Workbench rendering mode (that some infernal expert told me was utter rubbish and never to be touched).

Yes, it is really simple but that was the simplicity I was looking to express. No obsession over textures, shadows… Just plain faces with no pretensions about reality. That let me finish the lands I had and make the intro. I eventually decided to render at slightly higher quality, but still deliberately kept a very minimal “charm” to everything.

Yes the trees float. I have no idea why. There was another mode where they didn’t but then I didn’t like how they populated. They want to float, let em float. They look more like Chupa Chups anyway. Dali would approve.

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