Thursday, November 10, 2011
Sanctum - Part I
I’ve been asked to write a bit about what went into some of the tracks in our libraries. I figured I’d start with a couple of tracks from the album I had the most involvement in: OMN 179 Sanctum (http://bit.ly/di5zwB)
Previous to starting work on writing these tracks, I had spent years as a freelance composer and producer. This meant that I was either writing for someone else’s specifications or working on someone else’s music – again, to their specifications. Being busy trying to make a living precluded me from having the luxury of just writing something for ME and not for someone else.
When I started writing for Omnimusic, I was given more leeway in writing than I was used to having, and I liked it. I pitched the idea for “Sanctum” to Doug and he let me run with it and pretty much do whatever I wanted. I spent the next year following my muse wherever it led.
I envisioned something with a world influence, fairly acoustic, and peaceful. In preparation for some of the ideas I had, I bought and learned how to play an erhu, duduk, pennywhistle, Irish tenor whistle, cello, viola, and various percussion instruments.
I started at 5AM on New Year’s Day. The astute will note that either I was still up from partying all night, or I was an incredibly boring human being. I assure you it was the latter. But for some time, I’d been bouncing around the idea for what became the second track on Sanctum, “Transcending Time” and having the day off afforded me a chance to get started.
I wrote the piece before the family got out of bed, and recorded it a few days later. The title “Transcending Time” came out of the fact that it was a bit non-standard in its phrasing. Pulling out my new cello, viola, and Tenor Whistle, I played all the parts myself, making me a one-man quintet (something I’d always wanted to try.) Here’s the resulting track: http://bit.ly/rZcw67
Now the liberation had begun and the floodgates had been opened. For the first time in as long as I could remember, I was writing for me, and had the freedom to write what I wanted, instead of what I had to.
It's a nice feeling.