For as long as I can remember I have loved to gaze at the night sky. If you like to be swept away with music and you love stereo effects, then the Stargazer Album is for you.
At an early age I enjoyed listening to music and loved Science Fiction. My imagination would take me on journeys through space as I would stare at the stars. One of my most favorite things as a kid was visiting Seattle's Laser Dome. The music was electronic and the dome would be inundated by lasers superimposed over stars. I always said that one day I would make music to look at the stars with- and so I have.
One of my favorite past times during summer is to take a pillow and my iPod out into the yard, crawl onto the trampoline and look up at the stars while listening to a playlist I have created. I watch for shooting stars and satellites as I am immersed in music. It’s a show unequaled in beauty and creativity. No matter where you live you can look up at the night sky. Some places are better than others with less light pollution, but you get the picture. What I have attempted to do is bring us all together with a soundtrack of music to watch the stars with, no matter what hemisphere you are located on. In my studies I have found that if you sit in a dark room, or outside in the dark for about 30 minutes and then look up at the night sky, your eyes will be adjusted and you will see much more than if you just walked out of a bright room. If you live in a highly light polluted (street lights, city lights, etc.) area, then I recommend driving to a location that is darker. Then plug in your headphones, put on this album and relax for the over hour long journey.
I so enjoy creating stereo atmospheres, and thus have made this set of music with that in mind. I have a studio in my living room with a nice computer set up. Over the years I have owned several sound modules, an actual Moog synthesizer and more. As of right now, I create on a Korg Triton Le keyboard and other various sound sources. From time to time I will play guitar or my digital grand piano as well. I love thick rich sounds with a good beat.
While growing up I was greatly influenced by Pink Floyd, Tomita, Alan Parsons Project, ELO and Kraftwerk. Any artist that would put sound effects and electronic sounds in and between their music not only impressed me but inspired me as well. I not only create electronic space music, but have written over a hundred vocal and other instrumental songs as well. I have been in a rock band, played bass, electric guitar and sang. As a fan of filk, I do Star Trek Parody songs on a monthly basis for a world-wide audience on Rick Dostie’s Treks In Sci Fi podcast. In doing these songs and meeting interesting people from all around the world I saw a need for more music that could identify with the Science Fiction fan base as well as geeky computer folks and all around lovers of space travel and astronomy.
This project is really designed to listen to on some good headphones with dynamic bass response. Of course you don't have to look up at the night sky while listening, but it is recommended. The sounds are soothing and the idea is to sweep you away into the Universe. I incorporated real sounds of space from Sputnik to Apollo 14 and Apollo 8 astronauts. On the first track you actually get to hear the launching of Saturn rocket and landing on the moon. I also found sounds of radio emmisions from Saturn. These all mix into the music in stereo to flood your senses with the weightlessness and wonder of space.
I don’t hide the fact that I believe in God and am grateful for his creation. This is what motivates me and inspires me to create. I hope you enjoy my first “official” album called Stargazer. I hope it is the first of many more to come. Enjoy!
Track 1. Lauch to the Moon: I took some audio from the Apollo 14 Lauch of the Saturn 5 rocket while playing a rich bed of music behind it. Then I added some electronic drums at lift off. From there I proceed to find audio from landing on the moon, then stepping on it. I hope you enjoy the musical score which is reprised in the song Rings from this album.
Track 2. Radio Emmisions: This song was fun to do as I enjoy listening to sounds from space. I used some radio emmisions from Saturn and mixed them in as the funky music surrounds it.
Track 3. The Aftermath: One of best Star Trek TNG episodes of all time was "The Best of Both Worlds" part one and two. I will never forget the chills that went down my spine when the Enterprise pulled up right after a gigantic space battle. The hulls of once proud starships hanging lifeless and destroyed amongst the stars. I wrote this song with the idea of this in mind. The dynamics of timpani drums combined with atmospheric like orchestra sounds is emotional and epic.
Track 4. Rings: I love seeing mock ups of probes spinning through space with antennas and silver shining bodies orbiting and such. Imagine rotating by Saturn and orbiting next to the rings. That would be something, and that would be motivation for this song.
Track 5. Big Dipper: I'm not the best at remembering my stars and constellations, but I can spot the Big Dipper. During our summer it is always faithfully above a tree in our front yard until it gracefully moves up North. There is something relaxing and reassuring about it. So I created a song that tells its story.
Track 6. Telemetry: Don't you just love the sounds of beeping data being recieved by scientists? I do. Add some scratchy radio communications from Cosmonauts, and sounds of Sputnik and you get the song Telemetry. I used the little pitch bender on my keyboard to get the fluid and fun technique on the main part that you hear. I enjoyed playing the drum part by hand and the sequenced bass part on this one too.
Track 7. Constellations: The beauty of the stars reminds me of warm air and rhythmic beats. I can imagine what the folks thousands of years ago said as they gazed up at the sky. So many stars to be named and recognized. I used older ancient sounds with an orchestra plucking timbre. That and harps and a string section, coupled with the percussion elements makes this a relaxing journey back in time.
Track 8. Maneuvering: What would it be like to float through space being guided only by small thrusters? Fascinating is the word that comes to my mind. This song uses the whole idea of that. It is very stereo and should create a sense of being guided carefully through a mission in deep space. You can hear the small cone thrusters as they operate and move your ship back on trajectory.
Track 9. Look at the Stars!: This song was originally titled "Muse" and was for a different project. After listening to it I got the feeling of inspiration. On a crisp cool night where the sky is very clear you can see the Milky Way galaxy, and I can only say. "WOW look at the stars!"
Track 10. Greetings: What would it be like to travel to another planet and discover intelligent life? That would be incredible! I wrote this song with the idea of traveling a long distance, approaching the planet where the alien life was and preparing to greet them. It uses many alien sounding timbres as well as a beat three quarters of the way in that knocks your ear buds out. I love playing the solo synth part. The synth bass part was a lot of fun, I kept dancing and having to re-record it because I was rocking out. It was cool to put a false ending in this one, then using a more Moog sound at the end. This is a very fun and ancient yet funky song!
Track 11. Final Stage: After years and years of flight through empty space the probe finally reaches it's destination. It has accomplished its mission and is now sending its last bit of information to headquarters. The beat is ancient symbolizing the time that has gone by and the instrumentation is meant to bring a classic orchestral peace to the song. It should remind you of the closing credits to an epic space movie.
Track 12. Splash Down: Watching footage from the Apollo splash downs I was inspired to bring the helicopters out and write a song that was pop in its sound. So many folks showed up to help the astronauts from the frogmen to the battleships. So the song is active with all sorts of things going on it, just like splash down.
Track 13. Lunar Sunrise: Apollo Eight astronauts Lovell, Anders and Borman read from Genesis Chapter 1 on Christmas Eve December 24, 1968. I was only three years old as they inspired the world during a lunar sunrise. I wrote music that I hope captured the moment.
Special thanks to:
My wife Amy, my kids, Nathan, Andrew and Catherine, Jen and Dave, Rico Dostie, Kenny Mittleider, Jeff Jobb, Vartok, Curt Klinger (remember Godspace?) Wendell and Angela Edwards, all of the folks who support Take Him With You Podcast and all my friends at Treks In Sci Fi. Thanks to the many folks who have inspired me over the years to create. Special thanks to the creator of the Universe himself- Jesus Christ.