It was one year ago today, September 3rd, 2013, that I finally released my first album,Echoes In The Dark. I can’t even fully put into words how proud I am of the album and everything that’s come since, so I figured today would be a great day to look back, as well as look forward to what’s next.
It was a long time coming when I made Echoes In The Dark. I had been composing music since roughly 1997, but it wasn’t until at least 2008 that I felt I was getting towards the possibility of making an album. Not that I didn’t put out a lot of other stuff in that time, but never an album of mymusic, under my name. It took me another 5 years to not only find the songs, but find the confidence to release an album that represents me as an artist. The funny thing is that now that I finally did it, I feel like I’m better than I’ve ever been and I’m actually almost ready to release my 2nd album… But more on that later…
You might remember that I went up against Nine Inch Nails’ Hesitation Marks on that day, and while “Copy of A…” is a great freaking song, my album got a lot more plays by me over the past year (haha). It started off a couple months before that date with the video for “Lights In The Sky” which went on to win two awards and be accepted into 5 film festivals around the world. I then had the soft launch of the album at the 2013 Paracon Convention at Binions downtown where I got a ton of great feedback. Once the album came out on September 3rd, I got a couple of great reviews and released the second video, “Whirlwind,” as well as the three interactive videos, “Dark Rain,” “Embers,” and “Reveal.” We then started working on the “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” Music Video with House of DON Productions. Before it was completed, however, Connor Biddle of the show “Paranormal Encounters” created a video for the track “Broken Circuits,” which went on to so far be accepted into four festivals, getting nominated for Best Music Video at the Salt Lake City FilmQuest.
With the completion of the “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” video, I started the fundraiser which did incredible. It blew way past my expectations, and I can finally say that it will screen on Saturday, September 20th at the REEL Recovery Film Festival at the Container Park in Downtown Las Vegas (I’ll have more details and showtime soon in its own blog post). After that screening, on Monday, September 22nd I’m going to finally release the video online for everyone to see! And then we will also have it at Pollygrind where I just found out this week that it is officially an Official Selection (and “Broken Circuits” is too!). After both “Lights In The Sky” and “Whirlwind” were Official Selections (and “Lights In The Sky” won an award) at last year’s Pollygrind, I couldn’t be happier to see both of the new videos get selected too.
It wasn’t just the music videos that made this album a special experience. I’ve been working hard to become a well-known, constantly-working composer for a long time now, and I think in the past year since the album was released, I’ve probably doubled the amount of work I did in all the years preceding it. I think it’s probably just the exposure of being out there, promoting the album and its videos, as well as collaborating with directors on my own videos which leads to me composing for their films. With the director of “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep,” Doug Farra, alone I’ve scored I think 7 film projects already, and we still have his first feature, “Finding The Truth” coming up soon.
So that brings us to now. What’s next with this new year? Well first of all we’ve got a bunch more film festival notifications to wait on. You win some, you lose some, but I still have plenty to hear back from on “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” and a few left on “Broken Circuits” and I’m confident that when all is said and done, they’ll have screened at a lot of festivals. Of course I have more film projects I’m composing for too, some of which you’ll get to see soon. Most importantly however, I think it’s a good time to announce officially that if all goes well… My sophomore album might be ready THIS YEAR. I’m not gonna rush it. There’s no need to. I might even have one more video in the works from Echoes In The Dark, so there’s no reason to rush it… But I have an album title, a possible album cover, and more importantly… 18 songs so far. Of course these song need to be tweaked and perfected, and ideally I want to have between 20 and 25 to choose from for a perfect 12-14 song album. But I can tell you, I’ve been listening to these new tracks constantly, and I think it’s an even better album than Echoes In The Dark. Maybe a song will end up online soon… We’ll see.
Thanks for reading. Thanks for listening. I hope to see some of you at the September 20th screening and at Pollygrind!
Thank you so much for all your support on the “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” Film Festival Fundraiser. I didn’t even think we’d hit $500.00 but as of the time of this writing we’re at $1,001.00. As I’ve mentioned before, my family’s record store, Wax Trax Records is matching all the contributions, so that means even if we don’t get another dollar between now and midnight, we’ve hit over $2000.00. That’s just insane. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it.
At this point 22 people have submitted some dollar amount between $5 and $101. I kind of lost count of the people who shared the fundraiser but it’s somewhere around 60. Just amazing. So happy with the way people actually were willing to help out by sharing or contributing. I’ve got a lot of Thank You’s to post on Social Media, and a lot of music (including a few custom songs) to send out for the people that donated! Speaking of which, the extra bonus for me is that so many of you are going to get to hear more of my music! I love sharing it with you, including my Echoes In The Dark album and its Further Into The Dark bonus disc.
With this money we’re going to be able to expose “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” to a lot of film festivals. I was hoping to have another acceptance announcement or two to include in this message, but these festivals can take a while, even after their notification dates, to get schedules out, and I’m still waiting on confirmations. I’ve submitted to a whole lot of festivals so far though, and am still planning on submitting to a bunch more. I am totally confident that when all is said and done, we’re going to have a great success rate. Some of these fests aren’t even until 2015, so the news on this video will be continuing well into next year. Getting the video screened at film festivals is just one goal on the journey… Like we’ve mentioned many times in the fundraiser, this video has a great message about the struggles of addiction and recovery and I’m hoping to get it shown at events where it can also be beneficial to people who are going through their own struggles. I believe this video will have a long life ahead of it.
So now that the fundraiser is over, I want to thank our director, Doug Farra and his company House of DON. Of course, thanks to all of his crew, all of the actors including Victoria Cameron who did an amazing job in the lead role. The full list of cast and crew can be found over at the IMDb page (along with your Thank You credits if you donated over $25!). You guys all did such awesome work, and I can’t wait for people to see this video… And I can’t wait to work with you all again! I’m actually scoring another of Doug’s films this weekend, and am looking forward to scoring his first feature-length film, “Finding The Truth,” later this year.
Lastly, I know you’ve all been asking over and over again… When can we see the video? I know I keep saying soon, but the answer is… Soon! I wrestled with the idea of releasing the video today to coincide with the ending of the fundraiser, but it would just be a disservice to all the hard work we’ve done to just throw it up online without getting some kind of local screening going first. I’m working hard to secure our first screening, and once that happens, it will definitely be up for everyone to see. Thanks so much for your patience, and thank you again for your contributions… I’ll be in touch with your rewards over the next couple weeks! And in the meantime… You’ve still got a few hours left! I’ll shut off the Paypal button when I wake up tomorrow morning!
First of all I just want to thank all of you SO, SO much for supporting the “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” Music Video Fundraiser. Even if I stopped it today, the fact that we broke $500 (which will be doubled by Wax Trax Records) is just crazy. I’m really happy with how well the fundraiser has done and I really hope that I’ll soon be able to share some good news about the festivals I’ve been submitting the video to. Even better will be getting to finally just post the thing online and let everyone see it! We’re still figuring out the best way to do it… Ideally I wanted to have a local screening first and then put it online… And I’m making some last minute pushes to try to make that happen, but we’ll just have to see. Regardless, the video will be available for all to see really soon!
Also… As of now the end date was supposed to be Monday, July 21st. However, since that’s really a somewhat arbitrary date (it was roughly the two month mark from when I launched the fundraiser), and I know some people that have told me they want to contribute but just haven’t gotten a chance yet, I’m going to push the deadline back until Friday, August 1st at 11:59pm. That means you’ve got a little less than 2 weeks to get in your donations. Remember you can get the limited edition “Further Into The Dark” download of bonus tracks and remixes, or you can get an IMDb credit, or even get your own song composed by me! As well as lots of other great stuff. So if you haven’t yet, now is the time! And there’s even ways to contribute that don’t require money… So make sure to read all the details over on the fundraiser page!
I’ve got another blog post coming in the next week with my thoughts on my experience at FilmQuest, the film festival that just nominated my other recent video, “Broken Circuits” as one of four nominees for Best Music Video. It was a great time and I think you’ll all enjoy reading about the festival.
I’m also spending the next few days working on music pretty much non-stop. I’m gonna have some new music to share really soon with all of you, and I might even be getting close to the point of announcing my next album… But not quite yet!
In the meantime, check out the “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” Fundraiser… SHARE the fundraiser. And again, I thank you all so much!
Last week, I posted a blog post about the 8 bonus tracks that make up the bulk of Further Into The Dark, the collection of B-Sides & Remixes taken from the sessions that led to my debut album, Echoes In The Dark. If you don’t have this bonus album, you can get it by supporting my Fundraiser, or buying the CD version of Echoes In The Dark at Bandcamp. This week, I’m going to talk a little about the 4 remix tracks on this album.
1) Broken Circuits (Bent & Glitched Remix) by Elemental Spark – I sent out tracks to 8 musician friends of mine and in the long run got back a total of 4 finished remixes. This was the first one. It’s also the first time I ever heard one of my pieces of music remixed by another musician, and it’s such an interesting and cool experience. This one uses elements of the original song as sort of a backbone and then composes new music all around it. It came out really cool, and the synth lead is awesome. He’s also using this track in an upcoming video game that he’s designing, so it’ll have a life outside of this album, which is always great for a composer like me. You can find out more about Elemental Spark and his other projects at his website.
2) Bandwidth (Black Camarican Remix) by Brian Garth – Black Camaro is one of my favorite bands in Las Vegas, and I was really happy that Brian Garth was down to do a remix for this project. He replayed some of the parts on real instruments, rearranged things, and added some new elements. It’s a killer remix and I hope he’ll be down to do another one for the next album. You can find out more about Brian Garth and Black Camaro at their Bandcamp profile.
3) 1000 Years (Feral Remix) by Shawn Lee Farrell – Shawn is a fellow Sonar user (the software I use to compose music) that I met online and a great composer. His remix is the most “traditional” of the four. It’s kind of what my mind expected when I imagined someone remixing one of my songs, and it’s really awesome. He totally nailed it, taking my original song and changing it in a way that gives the whole thing a different feel. I’d almost say he turned it into a “dream-like” version. You can find more about Shawn Lee Farrell at his website.
4) Broken Circuits (FUBAR Nation Remix) by MC Randumb – Any of you who know me personally know MC Randumb. We’ve put out a lot of funny, silly, ridiculous rap music (the kind of stuff I don’t normally talk about on this website) as MC Randumb & Jewish Dave. So it only made sense that I asked him if he wanted to try doing a remix, since he is a musician too. He did an awesome job of taking “Broken Circuits” and making it sound even dirtier and grungier than the original. The added synths and snares and hi-hats, as well as the way he pulls some of my original layers out at parts really transformed the song in a really cool way. He did an awesome job. You can find more about MC Randumb and his music at his Reverbnation Profile.
So that’s it. Between this and the first part of this 2 part blog post, that covers my thoughts and reasons behind the tracks on Further Into The Dark. I hope you enjoyed listening and reading. Now I’ve got a bunch of film projects lined up, as well as promoting the “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” video release. I’m already working on a full 2nd album, but it will be a while before that comes out. In the meantime, I hope you keep listening. Thanks for reading.
Also, if you don’t have Further Into The Dark album yet, and haven’t checked out the fundraiser… Now is the time! Just a little over 2 weeks left until I pull the plug on it! A lot of really talented people worked on the “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” music video and it’s got a great message and it’s just absolutely beautiful and I want to share it with as many people as possible. The fundraiser has gone great so far, but there are some things (like this bonus album) that you’ll never be able to get again. Plus you can get your own personal song, which I mean, if an artist I liked offered that, I’d jump on it! So check out the fundraiser page and consider supporting. You can even do the free option which includes leaving an album review and sharing the fundraiser which gets you the album without having to donate any cash. The full details are at the fundraiser page, so go check it out!
I am so excited to announce that “Broken Circuits” has been accepted into not one… not two… but THREE film festivals! The FilmQuest Film Festival in Salt Lake City, the Wasteland Weekend Film Festival in California City and the Las Vegas Lift-Off Film Festival happening at the Palms here in Las Vegas! I’d be lying if I said I expected it to do so well at festivals, but I submitted it to about 7 before the “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” video was finished, and now that I’m starting to get confirmations… Let’s just say, I am so happy and excited! I love the video and Connor Biddle did an amazing job with it. I’m hoping to be able to attend all three and I’ll definitely be keeping you posted on how we do at the fests and if we get into some more.
And that brings us to the “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” Music Video Fundraiser. Like I said in the last update, I’m aiming for a first goal of $500.00 (but the more the merrier, right?) and we’ve now hit $411.00! I will be keeping the fundraiser running until JULY 20th. That will officially be 60 days… and that means if you’ve been waiting… NOW is the time to show your support! Remember by contributing just a little cash you get a copy of my CD, Echoes In The Dark AND the exclusive, digital-only Further Into The Dark featuring an extra 12 tracks. There are also other rewards you can get including a song written for you, your very own IMDb credit, and more! So please check out the fundraiser and consider giving. We’re almost to that $500.00 mark, and with Wax Trax Records matching all of our donations, that would make for $1000.00 which would go a long way towards getting this video seen. It has a great message about strength and addiction and recovery and we feel that the video will really mean a lot to a lot of people. Not to mention, getting it seen for all the amazingly talented Las Vegas filmmakers who worked on it.
I’m working on some new projects right now, and I’ll also be posting some blog updates about the Further Into The Dark album over the next couple weeks, explaining some of the choices that went into making the album. In the meantime… Show some support, share share share (and yes I’ve been keeping track of everyone who has shared so far!), and thank you so much to everyone who already has checked it out and shown some love.
First and foremost, I want to thank everyone who has supported the “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” Fundraiser! The campaign is moving along at a great pace. At the time of writing we’re up to $285 raised, after less than a week. That’s well on its way to my “level one” goal of $500. Remember, my family’s store, Wax Trax Records will be matching whatever is raised, so if we hit that $500, that’s a total of $1000 and that will go a long way towards getting this video submitted to a lot of film festivals. Speaking of which…
Our first acceptance! The Reel Recovery Film Festival, which specializes in films that deal with addiction and recovery, has named “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” an Official Selection for its 2014 Las Vegas edition of the festival. This is actually a travelling festival that takes place in multiple cities and they may even show the video at some of their other stops as well. The fest hits Las Vegas in September and I’ll be sure to post more details as we get closer to the date.
I’ve also submitted to a bunch of other fests, mostly in California and Nevada, and have been working on a list of festivals around the world to submit to next as we continue to raise money. I’d love to be able to go to any and all festivals that accept the video, so keep supporting the fundraiser! And by supporting the fundraiser, you can also get your hands on my new album, Further Into The Dark, which features 8 new songs and 4 remixes of tracks from Echoes In The Dark. Remember, even if you can’t afford to donate any money, sharing helps too! Whatever you can do to get the word out to as many people as possible. All the details on how you can help are available at the Fundraiser page.
I will most likely keep the fundraiser going through all of June to maximize what we can raise. Technically, since I’m running this independently and not through IndieGogo or Kickstarter or any of those, I could keep it up for as long as I want, but I want to have some kind of cap on the thing.
One last thing before I go back to promoting… I’ve been asked by a lot of people, “When do we get to see the video?!” The answer is SOON! I’m just trying to get a bunch of festival submissions in before the video is publicly available. The video is ready though, and I’m sure we’ll find the right time to release it sometime this summer.
To be honest…. It’s so good that I kinda wish I had decided to just put it out as a regular 2nd album, but I already planned on this thing being a freebie for the most supportive fans. Anyone who pre-ordered the Echoes In The Dark album or purchased the limited-edition CD copy of it are eligible to get the free download of Further Into The Dark. Just contact me by e-mail or on Facebook. But if you didn’t pre-order or buy the CD version, you’ll still have a chance to get a copy…
I will be announcing details this coming week about a fundraiser I’m going to start to help raise funds for submitting my new music video, “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep,” to film festivals around the world. The video which was created by House of DON Productions, is incredible, has a moving, beautiful and important story, and we really want to get it seen by as many people as possible. With your help, we’ll be able to make that happen, and in return, there’s lots of music you can get for your donations, including the new Further Into The Dark album.
I’m keeping this blog post short, because I gotta go back and listen to the new album 100 more times and make sure I’m 100% happy with the final mix, but seriously… All I can say is, if you enjoy my music, you’re in for a treat. If you don’t already, make sure you like my page on Facebook or follow me on Twitter, because I’ll be posting regularly about the fundraiser and all the ways you can get your hands on this new collection of music.
First and foremost, some amazing things happened today… This morning my “Lights In The Sky” music video screened as an Official Selection at the Berlin Independent Film Festival! And not only that, but this morning I also found out that the video is also an Official Selection for the Byron Bay International Film Festival in Australia! When I put this video together, there’s no way I could have guessed it would win the awards it’s won (Best Short at the 2013 Vegas IndieMeet and Best Experimental Video at the 2013 Pollygrind Film Festival), or get accepted into film festivals in other countries! Totally amazing and I am so proud of it. I still am waiting to hear back on a few more film festivals that I submitted it to and then it’s time to move on to the next video… If you haven’t seen “Lights In The Sky” yet you can check it out on Youtube (and make sure to share it on your social network of choice!):
The next video I’ve got coming off the Echoes In The Dark album is for the track “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep,” directed by Douglas Farra and his House of Don Productions crew. They’re finishing it up right now, and from what I’ve seen, it’s going to be AMAZING. I absolutely can’t wait to start getting the video out to festivals all over the world. I plan on pushing this one much harder than I ever pushed “Lights In The Sky,” and I’ll need to spend a good amount of money on the push, which is why I’ll be announcing my first ever fundraising campaign in the next couple of weeks. I have some money set aside to spend on festival submission and promotions, but the more I put in the more we can potentially get out, and I really want this thing to be seen. The video is beautiful and it’s probably my favorite song on the album. I also love working with these guys and girls, and want to get it seen for them too.
Speaking of House of Don, their short film “A Moral Discord” screened as an Official Selection at the Dam Short Film Festival in Boulder City this past weekend and I got to go and be part of the Q&A for the film. My first time going to Dam and I got to be up on stage. Pretty awesome. I love that film and the score I did for it, so I’m really glad to see it doing well.
Aside from the video and the fundraising campaign (which I’m doing by myself by the way, rather than go through IndieGogo or Kickstarter), I’ve got a bunch of short films coming up that I’ll be scoring. I might cut another reel too soon since I’ve done so much in the last year and I rarely get to post any of these things online for you all to watch. There is one project I’ll be working on soon that you will all definitely get to see… But I can’t really talk about that yet… Soon!
And lastly, my This Thing Rules series has been getting a lot of great feedback so I’m going to keep trying to get them out twice a month for now. I’m running a little behind on the one I have planned for this Thursday, but hopefully I make it… If not… Well, come on, I’m busy making music over here! Oh yea… and new music coming soon!