Holiday special 2016

Musicam novam præsento. I’m calling this one my “holiday special”; it’s a fun little thing that came out of mucking around with a bunch of vAnalog synths. (I had spent several days writing to Adam Lastiwka’s very electronic Travelers soundtrack and was inspired to spend a studio day working with electronic sounds, which I haven’t really fiddled with since this.) In terms of production-approach and mix, nothing has really changed from Saoirse and Between Breaths, so I don’t have a lot to say about that. I will say a couple of things about instrumentation.  

The main synth lead is an Elektrostudio Davosynth, an emulation of a two-VCO monophonic Italian synthesizer, which sounded okay until I rammed it through a distortion plugin, and all of a sudden it became holy crap! That guitar-synth duel thing is familiar from, say, Dream Theater or this, and that big, cutting synth sound lends itself very nicely to sparring with the Ibanez. Among other things, there’s also three 6MJ polys (also from Elektrostudio), which provide both the synth underpinning the guitar chords at the top and also the arpeggiator, a MinimogueVA (does exactly what you’d expect), an EVM UltraSonique (provides some quasi-modular bubbling noises) and a couple of different string-machine synths providing pads. There’s also a Korg M1 and Roland D10 lurking around in the mix; that big square-wave pad that comes in under the solos is the M1, which sounds as glorious today as when I first heard it on Mike Oldfield and Genesis records over two decades ago. Lastly, there are both acoustic and electronic drums; the electronic snare is from a Linn emulation, and I can’t remember off the top of my head whence the kick. 

I should say that if there is one word that captures the feeling, it’s wistful. This has been a difficult year. But there’s an ecstatic quality in the second guitar solo that recalls the Between Breaths solo, and I think that makes a lovely contrast.