General Music Stuff · Popular Music

#MusicMonday Feeling Good the Bassnectar Remix

I love remixes. When it takes something classic and nostalgic and flips it on edge with futuristic synergy it gives me the chills every time. I guess you could say this remix in particular represents the dual sides of my personality: vintage and low key, and hyperactive dance crazed. Retro futuristic some call it.

One of my favorite singers is Nina Simone. Her voice is silk velvet in crimson–soulful with an undertone of cold steel. Add to that my favorite dubstep remixers Bassnectar with their impeccably timed beat drops and syncopated grooves on an old classic and you’ve got a honey dripping popalicious remix that never fails to make me… feel good! Ha!

Art by

General Music Stuff · Soundtracks


When I first heard them:
They were one of the groups I heard on Sunday nights, late as I listened to Hearts of Space on my trusty little radio. The internet being rather limited I wasn't able to find out much again until high school when I watched Bladerunner for the first time. This music was everything I loved about science fiction–it was expansive as the universe but intricate. It had traditional orchestral sounds mixed with bizarre synthesizer that can only be categorized as 80's synthesizer. It was a meeting of "real" music and technology in sound form.

Information about the group:
Vangelis, in actuality, isn't a band per day but a single man: Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou. I admit that I just found this out by researching him for this very post. His music is so complex and layered I just assumed it was multiple people–that will teach me!

I'm not going to give a detailed biography since if you are reading this you too have internet and can look him up. Here are the things I find interesting: he started his music career in several different bands throughout the 60's and 70's as well as composing scores for several French animal documentaries but it wasn't until 1981 that he really became well known. He composed the score for Chariots of Fire and its main theme* won an Academy Award as well as topping the American Billboard chart for one week after climbing steadily for five months. This was followed in 1982 with his soundtrack to Bladerunner which is a marvelous blend of science fiction noir and melodic beauty.

He is mostly self taught having started composing as early as the age of three and with a career spanning 70 years and over 50 albums he is considered one of the most influential figures in electronic music. He does not read music but instead works from memory. He's written music for stage plays and ballets. Most notable ballets being in 1985 and 1986: "Frankenstein – Modern Prometheus" and "The Beauty and the Beast".

Personally, not much is known about him–he is very private and he has no children stating:

"Because of the amount of travelling I do and the nonsense of the music business, I couldn't take care of a child in the way I think it should be taken care of."

I appreciate his honesty and dedication to his art form.


What I enjoy about his music:
Wow. This is the hard part of the review–how do you take something that is meant to be heard and felt emotionally and is different for everyone into mere words. His music is expansive and at the same time intensely personal and melodic. It is aurally luminous and transcendent–but then has that classic 80's saxophone. His music reminds me of space and that is probably mostly why I like it.
Favorite tracks:

Obviously if you've lived under a rock all your life you should check out Chariots of Fire.  All parodies aside, it is a beautifully rousing piece of music that makes me want to go conquer the world–when I can stop giggling and pretend running in slow motion.

The entire album of Voices is epic and very ethereal.

Bladerunner is dark and brooding with a neo noir cyberpunk weird synthesized 80's saxophone thing**


* You know what song I'm talking about–the one everyone uses for slow motion parodies.

**I should just write a post on my love of 80's saxophone and be done with it!

General Music Stuff · Inspiration · Popular Music

Tonight, Tonight

Time is never time at all
You can never ever leave without leaving a piece of youth
And our lives are forever changed
We will never be the same
The more you change the less you feel
Believe, believe in me, believe
That life can change, that you’re not stuck in vain
We’re not the same, we’re different tonight
Tonight, so bright
And you know you’re never sure
But you’re sure you could be right
If you held yourself up to the light
And the embers never fade in your city by the lake
The place where you were born
Believe, believe in me, believe
In the resolute urgency of now
And if you believe there’s not a chance tonight
Tonight, so

General Music Stuff · Reminiscing

warning, nostalgia ahead

I have a terrible memory.

It is a constant source of irritation and sadness for me. I desperately want to remember moments of my life–especially the happy ones and often they are more like floating clouds than clear snapshots.  They are there and I can see the shape and color of the moment but nothing crisp and distinct–maybe that is not how memory should work.  It definitely explains why I am a photoholic with my children.  However, I digress.

Among the clouds of memories from my childhood something came through this morning, bright and clear and gleaming red.  It was the red power light from my old radio I had as a kid. You see I had terrible nightmares as a child–I would get myself so worked up while I lay in the dark and silence, every sound and shadow magnified into monsters and Freddy Kreuger (my childhood nemesis!) in my closet. I cannot remember if my parents got me the radio because of the nightmares or if it came about as an arbitrary Christmas or birthday present but that radio was everything to me. The soft music ranged from Fox 97 with it’s oldies to, classical music on NPR to 99X as I got older which introduced me to alternative and rock music, and this music helped quiet my brain. It was a focus point in the dark.  The little red power light was my beacon of safety and I do remember waking up to that light being extinguished and having moments of sheer panic.

I recorded my first mixed tapes on that radio. Picking songs I loved and hovering anxiously till they played again. I saved up my allowance to get packs of tapes to fill up. One of my favorite tapes was of haunting Russian Orthodox hymns recorded from the local public radio station at midnight on a Sunday evening. Hearts of Space, Sundays at 11:00 introduced me to the eerie soundscapes of ambient music which only fueled my obsession with science fiction. It’s funny how those details live on but I couldn’t for the life of me tell you the brand of that radio–perhaps that isn’t the important thing to remember. Memory is tricky like that.  I recorded myself on those tapes too. Silly stories made up to sound like radio personalities. It was the first time I heard myself recorded and thought I sounded like a chipmunk! (I still do!)

That radio went on one of the few truly happy family vacations we had. My brother and I were strapped into an old van seat in the back of my dad’s pick up truck (covered with a camper shell of course!) when we wanted to escape the cramped confines of the extended cab.  There were tapes of The Drifters, Ray Stevens and my brothers tape of cowboy songs.  We went through a lot of batteries on that trip!

A lot of childhood items get lost to time, they just gradually disappear as we grow older and move on.  This radio, however, lived a long noble life and died a noble death.  It was replaced that Christmas by a shiny new stereo system with detachable speakers and played these new things called CD’s. I dove into this new era of music listening with all the zeal of a fourteen year old.  That radio, though, will live on in my cloudy memory its red light shining like a comforting lighthouse anchoring my young overactive imagination and reminding me how important things are never truly lost to us.



General Music Stuff · Goals! · Inspiration

26: hypnogogic reverie

hyp•na•gog•ic (ˌhɪp nəˈgɒdʒ ɪk, -ˈgoʊ dʒɪk)  adj.1. of or pertaining to the period of drowsiness between wakefulness and sleep
reverie (ˈrɛvərɪ) or revery  n, pl -eries

1. an act or state of absent-minded daydreaming: to fall into a reverie.

2. (Music, other) a piece of instrumental music suggestive of a daydream

3. a fanciful or visionary notion; daydream

So together this phrase means “an absent minded daydream that comes right before sleep”. I cannot tell you where I saw this phrase but it struck me and I have decided that it will be my made up electronic band name whenever I get around to writing music. 

You laugh, but writing music has been a dream of mine since starting violin lessons al those years ago but instead of sweeping symphonies I want to play with a mixture of electronic and natural sounds. Somewhere between Brian Eno’s soundscapes and Moby’s more popular beats. Mellow but with conviction–inducing a sleepy atmosphere but catching enough to keep you right on the edge. 

Daydreams in music form. 

Moon’s Chateau by Daniel Merriam
General Music Stuff · Visual Art

Music is awesome….

Sometimes Pandora annoys me, but other times Pandora hits it right on the head!

Today is such a day with my VAST inspired station. Everything is mellow, grooves with a beat and has just a touch of darkness to it. It mirrors my mood quite nicely (watch out characters I may be in the mood to axe one of you, muhahaha!)

In other news I started doodling again, my creative pendulum swinging from intense writing inspiration back towards the visual arts. I used to fight it, but only got frustrated. I have instead learned to harness my Project ADD, as I call it, and know that I will get finished with all my projects in time.

Airship by Tuomas Korpi
Airship by Tuomas Korpi