Today I officially begin work on my final album, PROMONTORY, the concept of which has undergone several revisions in my mind since conceived approximately ten years ago.
The original idea for this album involved writing a short story and scoring it. I planned to score it so that the reader could choose to play the music at different speeds to match their reading pace. I intended to record 5-10 different versions of the same album, each at different tempos. Ideally, the music would stay in sync with the reader, page by page, paragraph by paragraph, and (to an extent) word by word, depending on which tempo they chose before beginning.
Although I am still very passionate about this original idea, I realize that it would be extremely problematic. Never mind the fact that nobody would take the time to determine their reading tempo before playing the music...and I mean that...never mind that fact. I pay no mind to how my work is received and utilized. However, after much introspection, I decided that narrating the story from the first person perspective of the three main characters would be most satisfying to me.
PROMONTORY track listing:
01. Mark Oberheim
02. Korg Crumar
03. Josh Day
04. Jon Zaremba (instrumental bonus track)
Tracks 01-03 will each run for approximately twenty minutes. The fourth bonus track will be a ten minute summary of my work since I began in 1997.
I'm aware that our culture is inundated with zombi-related entertainment. I have no love for most everything produced this millennium...the movies, the TV shows, the graphic novels, the proms, etc....I disregard all of it. My love of zombi lore is rooted in 1970s European cinema and the philosophy of a voodoo-inflicted humanity. Rather than capitalize on the current trends, I will capitalize on my obstinant nature by scoring the zombi story I sketched before such things were socially acceptable. Any similarities between PROMONTORY and what's new are coincidental.
PROMONTORY speaks to the struggle of a human caught between two immortal opposing forces...The choice between introverted peace and extroverted destruction...And the will to remain conscious when faced with an endless ever-devolving froth of persistently slow-moving death.
PROMONTORY will take me back to basics. I've been re-collecting vintage hardware synthesizers, drum machines, and effects units to rebuild my old fashioned studio. Although, the album will be sequenced on a computer, it will be recorded live on a single stereo track. I will not employ any VST or virtual instruments.
Production begins with the writing of the story. Once finalized, the narration of the story will be recorded. As soon as the cadence of the narrative performance is solidified, composition will begin. The words shall be scored. Their meaning expressed in music. Do not expect an elaborate mix. PROMONTORY will be primitive in sound. There will be hiss and hum...a healthy noise floor. I will not sacrifice spontaneity to sonic scrutiny.
prom·on·to·ry [prom-uhn-tawr-ee] - a high point of rock projecting into the sea or other water beyond the line of coast
“Promontory” resonates with me. The protagonist of the story projects his being into a sea of the devouring dead. The lifeless among him break against his stance, like the selfless tides against a cliff edge...forever receding and returning...driven by a singular whim of the distant glowing moon that owns their ambition.
Beyond the philosophical merit of the word, the location continues to inspire me. While living in Utah, I had the great privilege to frequent Promontory Point on the Great Salt Lake. From the very first time I made my way to the Spiral Jetty (before that road was resurfaced), I felt instantly at home there...a fervid sense of content belonging. I've trekked all over this area, spending many days and nights amazed by the shallow foamy water, the piles of volcanic rock, and the pungent in-habitability of it all.
My PROMONTORY tells the story of ambitious forces meeting in the center of things...to complete a task that will ultimately alter the future of mankind...rather similar to the actual events that occurred on Promontory Point in 1869 where the golden spike was symbolically laid to join the Union and Central Pacific Railroads. Furthermore, my PROMONTORY is the “golden spike” to end my endeavors as a musician. The end of an era. My final seal.
The word “promontory” is perfectly suitable for what I hope to accomplish with this album, both philosophically and in tribute to a place and time where my heart belongs.