Chroma Key | Graveyard Mountain Home (Standard Edition)

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Graveyard Mountain Home (Standard Edition)

by Chroma Key

The shape of the music was inspired by a strange "social guidance" film from the 1950's that Moore discovered. He slowed it down to half speed and stipped out the soundtrack, then used its surreal action as a guiding structure for the music. Film included
Genre: Electronic: Pop Crossover
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Yyy
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2:11 album only
2. Give Up
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4:04 album only
3. White Robe
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4:55 album only
4. Mother's Radio
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4:15 album only
5. Graveyard Mountain Home
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2:32 album only
6. Salvation
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2:40 album only
7. Before You Started
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4:24 album only
8. Human Love
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6:01 album only
9. Come in, Over
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5:01 album only
10. Pure Laughter
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2:08 album only
11. Andrew Was Drowning His Stepfather
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2:12 album only
12. Sad Sad Movie
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5:38 album only
13. True and Lost
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2:30 album only
14. Again Today
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6:28 album only
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Chroma Key - AKA Kevin Moore founding member of progressive metal legends Dream Theater.

All three Chroma Key releases to date have been self-produced recorded in Moore's home studios, the location of which changes album to album. After leaving Dream Theater in 1996, Moore relocated to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where much of the first album, 1998's Dead Air for Radios was written. 2000's You Go Now was written and recorded in Los Angeles, right before another move to Costa Rica, where Moore lived for 3 years. In Costa Rica he began writing and recording ideas for a new Chroma Key album, during the day producing a bi-weekly, activist, musical radio program for Radio for Peace International, a short wave station based in San Jose. Last year Moore released a compilation of the program - a mix of original music and politically volatile spoken word recordings - as a downloadable album on chromakey.com as The Memory Hole 1.

Long distance Memory Hole collaborator (and fellow CalArts graduate) Theron Patterson was teaching film and doing his own radio show in Istanbul when he invited Moore to visit and collaborate on a show last year. Soon after, Moore relocated to Istanbul and the pair began collaborating on new material for the weekly radio show Music Lab. Moore was also commissioned to score Turkey's first horror film, and the resulting soundtrack Ghost Book was released by InsideOut im mid-2004.

The experience of scoring a film inspired Moore to take a new approach to composing the next Chroma Key album. "Instead of just developing song ideas out of nowhere and trying to make them all relate somehow," he explains, "I thought I could find an old film that already had a particular mood and texture to it, and then let that film dictate the song's themes and structures, and even the song lengths. I eventually found this gem called 'Age 13' in an online archive of public domain films."

One of the many "social guidance" films produced in the 50's and early 60's for schools and police departments, Age 13 proves the perfect subject for Moore's musical ministrations. It is a strangely surreal moral tale of a boy who loses his mother and is convinced that if he can repair the radio she always listened to, he will somehow be able to bring her back. The film is beautifully distressed, on fuzzy film stock, with all sorts of chemical degradation and staticky imperfections caused by aging and exposure. Like a grade school filmstrip or an unearthed home movie, Age 13 is a mysterious glimpse into another life and another time.

"The subject matter and the look of the film was really suited to the kind of music I usually find myself writing," recalls Moore, "and I knew as soon as I watched the opening scene - which is a burial scene - that I wanted to get under the surface of those images and play against them."

Moore slowed the film down to half speed, stripped away the sound and crafted an alternative audio track, which is Graveyard Mountain Home. The film's original dialogue and score occasionally bubble up through the songs, playing off and against them, and hinting at the unseen film's space and conflicts.

The Chroma Key accompanied version of the film is included as a DVD in the Special Edition of the CD release, and as a Quicktime file on the standard edition CD. Watching the hybrid version of the film, the songs alternately support, upset, and recast the accompanying scenes. Occasionally, character's dialogues are replaced with unlikely sources - for example deep south AM radio samples (in Give Up) and a darkly comical Krishnamurti parody (in Human Love).

By design though, Graveyard Mountain Home is just as sonically compelling when removed from its visual element, a slowly seeping, darkly dramatic, series of epic musical vignettes: Sweet, sun-dappled vibraphone melodies over fuzzy, glitchy throbs; a dreamy, Tortoise-y post rock filtered through the Eastern rhythms of Muslimgauze and layered over a rumbling drone; ambient street sounds and muted minor key melodies obscure distant vocals, ethereal and indistinct; Sparklehorse-like melancholia, with tinny shortwave vocals and arid desert twang; displaced, lost and lonely voices, snatched from the ether, a warm jazzy shuffle, revisiting earlier sonic themes - all a framework for Moore's world weary vocals.

In addition to writing with the film in mind, the album was also written to be played in front of an audience, and Chroma Key expect to stage an European and American tour for the first time this winter.

The Regular Edition of Graveyard Mountain Home contains the film Age 13 as a QuickTime file. The film is included as a seperate DVD in the Special Edition.


Reviews


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Phagun Oswal

An Inspiring work of art.
The question is not how does Kevin Moore compose songs that have so much depth, unstated reason and beauty, the more relevant question is that how can an entity THINK like this. How do you know that merely a guitar motif coupled with sounds of rain falling and that of a stray dog may conjure up images in your mind that may be personal and very close to your heart. I want to think that Graveyard Mountain Home is reflective of a lot of pain, interesting experiences, emotional maturity and depth of persona that Mr. Moore possesses. But these views are just mine. This album is so beautiful that it is a gift to the musician community as well as to someone who is a non-musician but a genuine lover of meaningful music.

Songs such as Come on Come over, YYY (my favorite), Again today, Give up, Mother's Radio are so intense yet peaceful that it is amazing what this album can do to your mind. A song like YYY might conjure up images of a lost love, a tumultuous time, or merely a hectic yet positive commute to office. And then there is that monster of a song called "Sad Sad Movie"...in which Mr. Moore has the clairvoyance to write something like "my mistake was not knowing...by mistake I kept on going"...and that coupled with the textures and layers of synth sounds as well as percussive fillers makes for a song and an entire album that can be savored over a very very long time to come. Which is nothing BUT a MASTERPIECE!!! PERIOD.

There is also that song called "Before you started"..which can just be described as maybe a monk's heavy metal trance kind of chanting song. SO BEAUTIFUL!! So trippy...and then again a musician's mind wanders into thinking HOW can Kevin Moore think up such sound textures and song structures. Listen closely and you might find the similar percussive theme to what plays in "Bigger Wave" by OSI. How cool!

This is not an album that you just listen and grow out of within a year. This is an album that you probably may end up giving to your kids when they start comprehending something like this. Yet again I suggest that BUY THIS!!! RIGHT NOW!!! let it grow on you...and then you may listen to JUST this day in and day out. THIS ALBUM IS BEAUTIFUL, SERENE, and almost too good to be true. BUY IT!!!!