Master The Skies is a broad theme around the concept of birds and how they live. Their worldview must be different from that of humans. Birds have communities and cities when they breed but many also have a greater sense of independence than us.
While I have considered birds in general, the real vision has been of those sea birds like gannets or albatross who spend a lot of time flying alone.
Normally I am careful about talking about gear at album time as the music is what matters, not the tools. In this case, the tool was the central thing in this process.
Master The Skies happened because through Higher Hz I got the opportunity to review the Falcon synth from UVI with a three-month license. Sure, I was gonna make another record seeing the last one was done and this is what I do, but this time I had something I have looked at with wide eyes for just shy of eight years.
Trying a tool is never the same as using the tool “in battle”. Because Falcon is a large investment, and I have had it as a possible target for “betterment” for so long, it seemed the wise thing to not just be impressed for a week and leap in, but to use that opportunity to really use Falcon – 100% as my ONLY sound source and for effectively all of the mixing as well.
Cover & Video
I had the video before the cover art. I was thinking about how I used to make “better” videos for my music but the reality was that never did anyone pop up to say how great the video was (they did tell me how I did a, b, c, d… wrong) and the facts show that albums with fancier videos did not $1 better than those with no video. I still believe in being present on YouTube (even tho that seems a logical stretch looking at the numbers) but there seems little sense in sinking days into videos that no one cares about. So I grabbed Flowscape and set up a quick scene with waves and birds to virtually flap about for the duration. It is lazy but it is also done & delivered.
Speaking of AI and other computer-generated art, I loathe seeing these “AI Art” covers all over music. It seems that every Berlin School and Space Music artist is putting ridiculous non-art on their covers, indicating (to me at least) that their music is as thoughtless and artless as the (stolen) images on the front. Not I. So I deliberately went completely the opposite way and made a cover that looks a bit Letraset 60s. It has a parallel in my Sleep Call I – IV album artwork (which I did put a lot of time into for only two sales and a lot of comments on how wrong it was – some people sheesh). It is what it is people will judge as they will. I do what I do.