Monday, November 2, 2009

Next EP is slowly becoming next full - length CD!

Things are really coming together these days! I was planning on having a 3 song EP recorded in January 2010. Much to my surprise, it looks as though I am well on the way to creating a brand new full - length album! Six new songs are currently on the menu three of which came to life in the last two weeks! One of the six songs is over ten minutes in length! Prior to leaving to India for three weeks in December, I wouldn't be surprised to see a few more tunes pop out of nowhere.

Recording times for this next full - length (yeah, that's right - I am already calling it a full - length), may have to be pushed back. In the event this occurs I am looking at a possible late spring/early summer release in 2010.

Musician's will once again include Erik Swanson (bass) and Dave Bowers (guitar). Tim Sandusky will, once again, pour his heart and soul into the sound engineering process and co-producing. Tim may even add some more Maui Xaphoon as well! Depending on the circumstances this winter I may consider adding some other musician's as well.

I haven't forgot about the Yellowstone sounds I recorded back in September 2009. I will be adding some of these samples to one or more of my upcoming songs. Keep an ear peeled!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New Music Seminar, Chicago, IL 10/6/2009

I didn’t know what to expect from the New Music Seminar on October 6th so I went with an open mind and open ears. With badge in hand, I found a seat directly in the thick of it all. In a strange twist of irony, I happened to have a job interview earlier that same day. Because of that, 4 p.m. was the earliest I could get there. It didn't matter. The important thing was that I showed up! What a thrill! These few words are all that is necessary to describe my adventures when I walked through the front doors of the Park West situated just north of the loop in downtown Chicago.

Right out of the gate I found a comfy seat. I caught the tail end of the panel called the " The Creative Process and Radical Differentiation". Despite the fact that it was nearly over by the time I got in, I still absorbed a lot from it! The next panel, " Your Live Show & Tour: Simple Steps to Cut Through the Glut & Reach the Magic 300 Ticket Mark" began. The panel members, Martin Atkins, Tour:Smart; Invisible Records, Joe Carsello, The Metro (prominent Chicago club), and others, took the stage. Two large video screens mounted on either side of the stage began to fill up with messages sent from audience members’ cell phones in the wireless abyss. Tom Silverman (Tommy Boy Entertainment and a whole slew of other music business related careers) gave his final words including a proverb from a prominent Native American, which was very moving. The New Music Seminar wrapped up as neatly as it unfolded.

After the panels ended, the lights came up and room became a Schmooza-torium (yes, that’s what they called it). New contacts and friends were soon made by attendees and panel member alike. I recognized a few faces. CyberPR founder and social networking/PR master Ariel Hyatt was someone I was curious to meet. I read her "Music Success in Nine Weeks", watched her YouTube interviews with guys like Derek Sivers (founder of CD Baby and an old high school acquaintance), and admired her aggressive, yet honest approach to helping Indie musician's get their names out there.

I recognized Ariel from across the room and knew that it was now or never. I had to meet her! This was it! I had to overpower the music on stage to grab her attention. I called her name and she immediately turned and smiled. She greeted me with a kind hello and I introduced myself. Just to point out how kind she is, she immediately grabbed her camera and took a picture of us!

Unfortunately, there was just too much going on at the time to actually have a conversation. Ariel was surrounded by names like Michael Spiegelman (head of Yahoo! Music), Lou Plaia (co-founder of ReverbNation), and the list went on and on! I respected her space and moved on to talk with local artists . I hope one day to get another chance to talk to her in person. I wasn't looking for a PR person at the time (however things will be changing in the months to come). But I am definitely considering approaching Ariel simply based on the great energy and positive attitude I felt from her.

Simply put, I appreciate and respect those out there who are helping sculpt the new music business and supporting independent musicians like me. I want to thank the organizers of the NMS. I hope they have this even next year (and I plan not to have a job interview on the same day). And a huge thanks to Ariel for coming to Chicago and for her efforts in propelling indie musicans to new heights!

If you’d like to learn about the NMS, please visit this link.

And if you’d like to learn about Ariel Hyatt and her Cyber PR services, please visit this link.

Did you attend the New Music Seminar in Chicago? If so, let me know what you thought. Would you go again next year?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The sounds of Yellowstone to be added to next EP

A 10 - day adventure now in the past; my wife and my trip to Yellowstone National Park was full of wonderful memories and amazing sounds!

No need to explain everything in detail. It is the sounds that I would like to further elaborate upon. From the endless, random splash of the Clepsydra geyser off the Fountian Paint Pot Trail to the tumultuous waters of the hot spring Dragon's Mouth in the Mud Volcano Area, Yellowstone earns its star on the map!

This is where my iPhone's "Voice Memo" app really was of tremendous help! With cupped hands around the iPhone, I was able to block most of the relentless wind allowing play by play action of all thermal action that lay before me (please select links above to listen to the end result!).

My next plan is to seamlessly and selectively sneak some of these captured sounds into the background of a song or two on my next three song EP. Keep your ears and mind open when listening to these three songs when released in March 2010!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

What's goin' on....

Working on an intro to my latest 5/4 - 4/4 tune (no title as of yet). I finally finished the bastard last night (drum and keyboard tracks so far). It was one of those 5 day rehearsals (~ an hour a day) for just one 1 - minute intro. All piano (Kurzweil's PC1x' Grand Piano sample was the final selection), this time with some bizarre-ass background sound I also found on the PC1x, but this time off of the vintage chip. It is quite a menacing tone to say the least! I like to plop good tones/happy melodies with scary/combative underlying layers at times - creates tension. It makes you squirm for the duration - making your subconscious mind wriggle and pray for resolution! :~)

Once I snap this aforementioned juxtaposed set of melodies into the correct location on my Tascam I will have completed 3 new songs (keyboard tracks for the most part), and will move on to the Vdrums for all rhythm/beat tracks. The 5/4 tune was based off a beat, so, for the most part, this song is almost ready for phase 3: Vocals.

Yes, only 3 songs for the 2010 EP. I could blame it on the economy, so I will. The economy is just preventing me from creating another full -length (would have written 6 new songs to add to the 5 - song EP "Feel No Evil" I released back in April 2009. But no!! Economy issues! Enough said.

At this point in time I am not certain who will be accompanying me to the studio and what studio this will be recorded in as, again - the economy is predicting my fate at this point in time.

My wonderfully talented wife and I are off to Yellowstone, WY soon (road trip!!) and we just can't wait!!! I will post from the road complete with possible photos and places to see.

More to come in the weeks, months, years, decades and cent.. (ahem - yeah right), to come! Stay tuned and remember to never give up on your dream(s)!

My tps = 0 (thoughts per second)


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Out of nowhere: Really?

I believe we have all heard this expression regarding how most musicians write music: "...and it's like this song came out of nowhere." Really? Out of nowhere? I beg to differ! For one thing nowhere is just that. How can a something be yanked out of nothing? This is preposterous! Order in the court!

Well, not really. Nowhere is a loose term we all use when we can't wrap our heads around something we can't hear, see, taste, or feel. We are all guilty of using this popular word: "It just came out of nowhere, he's going nowhere fast", or "we're on a road to nowhere".

Songwriting is no exception. A melody from "out of the blue" comes into your head, your hands tap out a rhythm you may have never heard before, or you begin humming what you thought was a familiar tune only to find out later it came from....well.....nowhere. Why is this? Who's really the orchestrator behind all this?

For me personally, I feel that it is a combination of spirit and human experience which leads to human emotion which leads to in some - melody, rhythm, and lyrics. Spirit's definition is not an easy one. I personally feel there exists an invisible connection to and from everything. If you are made up of atoms you are part of this (yes, even a brick has its part!)

A song comes to me in pieces. I grab a melody out of "nowhere" by striking non-thought out, random chords on my keyboard. Once I get two or more chords working in my head and that "feeling" of what I call "spiritual emotion" kicks in; the beginning of a song is born. So is the initial spark of the song truly coming from nowhere? No! I have answered this question in the second and third sentence of this paragraph: ("by striking non-thought out, random chords on my keyboard. Once I get two or more chords working in my head and that "feeling" of what I call "spiritual emotion" kicks in; the beginning of a song is born.") Ah, hah! Nowhere no longer exists!

But what about this "spiritual emotion"? What the hell is it? Is this somehow different from emotion? The answer to this is simply - Yes. I define spiritual emotion as an emotion which lies at the epicenter of emotion. Spiritual emotion has tendrils connecting anger to glee, elation to depression and sadness to sassy. From where is it derived? My belief is that it is derived from a human-to-sound vibration that we all posses. If your spiritual vibrations within lay between a couple vibrating chords your body will resonate, thus a feeling will arise (any feeling....I unconsciously gravitate towards the positive in my music).

I really have no proof of what my previous paragraph describes. I only know what I personally feel when I listen to someone's music, or my own. That feeling of oneness with the song, the ebb and flow of aliveness within, the pain, the pleasure, how I can relate to it. Nowhere is attainable. Nowhere comes from somewhere after all!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The division: Left vs. Right

This is always a challenge for me: How can I balance my left and right sides of my brain? For me logic and creativity work hand in hand. It's almost like my mind needs this balance. I go to work as a network engineer doing logic, logic and .... logic. I come home and when I feel like it I just sit behind the keyboard, or vkit and try some stuff off the top of my head, add to songs in the making, or listen to things I sang into my iPhone and usually something comes thus .... create, create and .... create. I really don't think I could do all of one, or all of the other. The balance for me works and works well!

Now the key is to balance the time between the two!! A whole other topic! :~)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Amazing this Web 2.0!

I am just amazed how absolutely incredible Web 2.0 is!! And not just for the independent musician like me. Visual artists and the average Joe benefit immensely! I am just on the precipice of this Web 2.0 monstrosity and am already addicted! The Olympus Mons of social networking and I have my mountain climbing I go! See you at the top? (not sure how to associate "top" to social networking.....hmmm.....knowing and understanding everyone and everything? :~)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

MY PROGRESS: "Dust of You" from my latest 5 - song EP "Feel No Evil"

"Dust of You" from my latest 5 - song EP "Feel No Evil"

Here is song one from my latest 5 - song EP entitled "Feel No Evil". The song is called "Dust of You". You can download this song FOR FREE from my website. To listen just click on the white post title above!

Friday, July 10, 2009

An absolute thrill!! Great review! This made my year!

I was speechless when this review slipped into my inbox this week. My eyes pooled, my energy became focused and like Charlie, reading each line was like opening the chocolate bar eagerly awaiting what lay inside; I was on the highest of highs! What a wonderful review! My first true review and you really can't start off much better that this!

Album Title: Weight of the Words

Artist Name: Ian Narcisi

Reviewed By: Rhonda Readence

Any progressive rock lover will be absolutely delighted by Ian Narcisi’s extremely well-crafted album Weight Of The Words. The album starts out with an otherworldly intro that brings to mind space odysseys and time travel. The intro slides smoothly into the opening track, “Twilight’s Last,” which begins with a melodic journey of keys and guitars and expert musicianship. We know from the get-go that Ian Narcisi is not your average artist and that this is most certainly not your every day music.

As “Twilight’s Last” continues, we are greeted by Ian’s vocals which further emphasize the fact that we are in for one hell of a ride with this album. Throughout the song the space odyssey theme persists and Ian treats us to a wide range of vocal talent that, at times, seems to emulate aliens speaking.

After the dramatic opening track, we might feel a sense of anticipation at what is next, along with a mild sense of anxiety when we consider the fact that the rest of that album can’t possibly measure up to “Twilight’s Last.” Ian proves us wrong, of course, with the beginning of “Veil” which starts off with only vocals and no instruments. Then crystal clear guitar work shines through the sound of falling rain. We might be reminded of Pink Floyd while listening to this song, specifically early Pink Floyd. “Veil” is a melodic piece of art that captures us completely.

“Burning” is also rather Floydian and Ian’s voice brings to mind the esteemed Mr. David Gilmour. This song is soft and flowing and the piano really gives it what it needs. The lyrics are rather thought provoking as well. Ian’s sings, “Rivers of cigarette butts fill the streets, plastic bags launched helpless through the trees…” It makes me think of a desolate inner city landscape in the dead of fall under steel grey skies. Between the lyrics and the music, this song can’t get much better, but it does. Cue harmonica. Nice touch.

The fourth track is a truly ingenious instrumental piece titled “Along For The Ride.” Indeed. Aptly titled. We are being taken along for a ride on this one; A ride that consists of extraordinary soundscapes that rival some of the best musicians I’ve ever heard. Each instrument rings out clearly without being obvious. The music sounds very nearly perfect in my headphones, and I find that if I close my eyes I can hear it better. I can almost SEE it. This song is entirely too short. It should continue indefinitely.

“Throw It Away” transports us from the dreamy soundscape of “Along For The Ride” and takes us directly into Italy or perhaps Spain. The guitar work on this song is phenomenal and “Throw It Away” will be sure to get people dancing some sort of Latin dance that is complicated and beautiful. The background vocals on this song are exceedingly well done and they compliment Ian’s voice beautifully. Salsa, anyone?

The next track, “Unified,” begins with a funky bass line that is soon accompanied by guitars and drums and instruments of every kind in this spacey creation. Another amazingly well-crafted instrumental, “Unified” has an almost holy feel to it, with an underlying current of sensuality. An odd combination, perhaps, but one that works exceedingly well. This song is a show of brilliance.

“Around To Face You” has a melody to it that vaguely resembles I Love The Night by Blue Oyster Cult. It’s not overly obvious, but since that is one of my favorite songs I was able to pick up on it. “Around To Face You” is a difficult song to describe because there is so much going on here. This song cannot be properly placed in a category, or a box, as it were. Not being able to categorize a song means that it is truly diverse with regards to musical influence and that it is a well rounded piece of music. There’s so much happening in this song, and it all comes together surprisingly well, that we could conceivably listen to it multiple times and probably hear new things each time.

Track eight, “Quevlar’s Journey,” is another instrumental that is beautifully engineered. This song, like much of the album (especially the other instrumentals), has a space-like essence to it that reverberates with unworldly images and sounds. Each transition is as smooth and seamless as glass as Ian takes us through the various stages of “Quevlar’s Journey.” Yet another nearly prefect show of musicianship and talent.

The next song, “Cold Rain,” is a melancholy piece of music with guitar work that could rival David Gilmour. This is a sad song that gives me chills and the lyrics are heartbreakingly beautiful. Ian shows off his vocal talent exceedingly well in this song, but there is something going on in the background. There are words being said, as if through a phone with a bad connection. Try as I might, I can’t quite hear what is being said in the background. I can pick out a word here and there, but I can’t get it all. “Cold Rain” is probably my favorite song so far, and I wish I could hear what that odd and alien voice is saying.

“Forever Today” starts off dramatically. The short intro reminds of an old black and white movie and I can’t even say exactly why. It sounds very ominous, but once the song gets going, that ominous feeling fades. It doesn’t leave completely, it just fades a little. Ian’s voice holds a touch of urgency and the piano seems to add to this feeling. The lyrics too give us a feeling that something either terrifically great or terribly tragic is about to happen.

Song eleven, “Trouble Free,” has some excellent piano work to take us into the soft, swaying beat and the calming vocals. This is a great song to listen to enclosed in someone’s arms, feeling fine and free. “Trouble Free” is one of those warm-n-fuzzy songs that just seem to make the day a little better and perhaps brighter than it was before. I especially enjoy the break at around the three minute mark when we think the song is over, but not yet. Ian takes us into some stellar instrumental work and then comes back strong with the closing of “Trouble Free.”

The song “Raid 5” is another instrumental that showcases the undeniable talent of Ian Narcisi and the other musicians. This song has a bit of a twist to it though, and we are taken into the future for a brief moment with the almost creepy sounding voices of what appear to be robots. It definitely has a sci-fi feel to it, while still managing to maintain the melodic mastery that the rest of the album radiates.

The closing song, “Violet And Blue,” sums up the album Weight Of The Words perfectly. It’s slightly melancholy, a bit space aged, and thoroughly and completely well done. Ian Narcisi is an artist of the highest regard and his album clearly shows this. I have rarely, if ever, heard an album in which the sound quality is as good as this. Weight Of The Words puts to shame some big name acts who can afford to spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on top of the line recording equipment. And who knows? Maybe Ian did too, but I don’t think so. I think Ian simply knows what sounds good and has a talent that is nothing short of a gift. Weight Of The Words is an extremely well thought out album that sounds indescribably incredible.

More music on the back burner. This weekend I will complete the 3rd of three songs (keys only). If I get an extra half an hour I will add the vdrums and vocals will be next week!

Friday, June 12, 2009

6.12.2009 New songs in the fetal stages.....

Working on three new songs.Two were written on piano and one, so far, on drums. The drum-based song will mainly have a 5/4 feel. The two piano songs are in 4/4. It looks as though my next release will be a 3 - song EP. Not exactly sure when I will be releasing this one - most likely in the spring of 2010.

Feel No Evil (5-song EP) is doing quite well, but I would like to get the online radio world to further push these songs from this EP as well as Weight Of The Words for that matter!

Promotion has taken precedence for now. I will be working with a online publicist very soon. Any suggestions (publicists you can recommend) would definitely be appreciated!