Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Recording "Sounds Good"

"Sounds Good" is the last track on the new Aethellis album and last Thursday I recorded Erik's bass part for the song (he is co-author of the tune as well). Last night we recorded Mike Harrington on drums at Mark Van Natta's studio. Mike has a funny Keith Jarrett-like way of humming the music while he plays! So we did 3 takes and he minimized the humming by the end of the session. He may do that live but we'd never notice!

Chris Marks is scheduled to put his guitar parts down in the next week or so for "Sounds Good." His parts will nicely compliment Mark Van Natta's guitar bits as they do totally different things in the tune.

Dyan Brown has had to postpone recording her vocals for a while so I'm focusing on polishing up my vocals on a few of the other tracks and getting some mixing underway. I'm determined to have this all wrapped up by year's end and the plan is for a concert in early 2011 to debut the new material live. So stay tuned for upcoming Aethellishows! It's shaping up to be a busy year!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Northumbria update

All the main parts for the new Aethellis album, Northumbria, have been recorded. There are just some vocal parts to record along with some bass, guitar and drums on the final track (by Erik Marks, Chris Marks, Mark Van Natta, and Mike Harrington respectively). All these are scheduled to be done in October after which mixing will commence.

So things are taking longer than planned, but then again I've expanded the scope of the new album and the process of adding new things pushed the completion date back. That said, most keyboard tracks are pretty much pre-mixed so that should shorten the overall completion time.

The track listing has been firmed up and is as follows with approximate track lengths -

1. Northumbria (Hall, 10:48)
a) Northumbria
b) Mephisto Breeze

2. The Awakening (Hall/Van Natta, 3:27)

3. Van Diemen's Land (9:58)
a) Dire Need (Hall)
b) The Penal Colony (Van Natta/Hall)

4. Without A Sound (Hall/Gill, 5:30)

5. Celui Qui Soit La Bosse (Hall, 2:54)

6. Exchequer Prague (Hall, 3:16)

7. The Peace Path (Hall, 10:09)

8. Sounds Good (Hall/E. Marks, 4:44)

Sure there are some shorter tracks (and to some that's not PROG!) but they are more in the vein of eccentric miniatures rather than standard pop tunes (not that there's any thing wrong with pop tunes, eh?). The closest any song comes to a standard pop tune would be "Without A Sound" which is sort of a prog ballad, if you will.

I plan to release the full version of "Northumbria" as a single along with a music video of the first section.

Also in the video front, from the the first album, "Saint Augustus" will be released in December along with a new version of "Hubris." I'll be retooling "Hubris" as it was rendered for YouTube with their bandwidth, file size and video resolution limitations back in 2007. Things have changed rapidly since then. I have the original footage and will get a high quality re-render and put out the revision by year's end.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Jazz Fusion - Aethellis : "Djibouti" live (end section)

While we're in the process of preparing two new Aethellis music videos ("Northumbria" and "Saint Augustus") I thought I'd get this little live clip of the band up which was recorded last year by my wife Cheryl. It was to be an outdoor gig at St. James in Parkton, MD but the rain dampened that endeavor.

It features our whacky guitarist Mark Van Natta doing his bizarre jazz fusion lead. Take heed, this is the LIVE version - there's no such lead on the album version!

Play the video from our Facebook pages.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Bait and Switch TV vids

I've been working on episodes of the satirical Bait and Switch TV show for a few years now, doing music, sound effects and voice overs. It's been really taking off online with several videos really making an impact on YouTube (see below).

My epic production Beside the Manor Selby had its theatrical premiere at Imagicon in May. It'll have its online premiere later this summer and plans are to also have available on DVD at Amazon.com

Oh the Aethellis front, the new prog rock/electronica album Northumbria is coming along nicely and is on target for completion mid-to-late Summer. I'm also working on two new promotional videos, one for the title track of the Northumbria album; the other for "Saint Augustus" from the first Aethellis album. They are thematically related and both pertain to particular events of the 7th century.

Here's a sample B&S video -

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

"Northumbria" sound sample

FINALLY! There's now an excerpt from the title track of the next Aethellis album, Northumbria.

"Northumbria" excerpt - click here

The full version will clock in around 10 minutes and there are vocals in the tune as well.

The excerpt can also be heard at Aethellis.com and Aethellis at MySpace.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Northumbria and Beside the Manor Selby updates

Just got word that my World War I epic Beside the Manor Selby will have its premiere at ImagiCon, Birmingham AL on Friday, May 21st at 5 p.m. It will be shown again at 3 p.m on Saturday, the 22nd. Both screenings will follow the sci-fi epics Shubian's Rift and Shubian's Rift: Failed Diplomacy which I both scored (along with Selby of course).

Cult actor Conrad Brooks who stars in Selby is also promoting the movie at a convention in New York the weekend of May 15th.

Aethellis: Northumbria is coming along as well and I expect an excerpt from the title track to released online this weekend or early next week. I wanted to have it ready in March, but soundtrack commitments and preparing the widescreen version of Selby delayed that a bit.

Monday, January 11, 2010

"Northumbria" - title track nearing completion

This past weekend the drum track was recorded for "Northumbria," the title track of the new Aethellis album. As stated before this tune will have a cacophany of dissonance blended with sweetness all stirred together in a pyrotechnically-performed proggy stew. Okay, it's obvious I just came off from watching Julie and Julia, but it's time for lunch!

As this track is nearing completion and I'm VERY excited about it, I'm going to post an excerpt from it online in March for folks to hear. Hopefully it will stimulate more interest in the new material which will be for the most part a departure from the style in the first album. It will still have the "Aethellis" sound however.

As mentioned on the website, a concert is planned for later this year which will be videotaped and feature material from both albums. Of course the live versions tend to be a tad more adventuresome; "Djibouti" in particular takes on a new life when performed live with Mark Van Natta's guitar solo taking the jazz-influenced tune "way outside." So we hope to capture that on video for people to hear.

I still have a load of soundtrack work to do, but with Beside The Manor Selby completed and premiering soon, Aethellis: Northumbria will be my focus in the months ahead with a tentative completion in the Spring.