An Unseen Sky – Looking Back

Today marks three months since the release of my most recent album An Unseen Sky. I figured this would be a perfect time to look back at the songs on the album (something I planned to do right after the release but never got around to it), and the reaction the album and its music videos has received.

An Unseen Sky is my second full length release, and in a lot of ways, for me, is the thing I’m most proud of in my career so far. Part of that is because it actually has so much in it from my influences like The Cure, Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails and other alternative groups that were a huge reason I got into making music. It even has a lot of elements of the industrial music that was the real reason I got a keyboard and some music software and started to learn how to do what I do. I also just love the album. I listen to it constantly. It’s not that I didn’t love my first album, Echoes In The Dark, too. But this album has everything I loved about Echoes In The Dark, and adds so many new kinds of organic layers that just makes the music sit side by side in playlists with my favorite bands’ songs so well.

Here’s some back-story on the songs:

  1. The Lie – I knew I wanted to start the album off with a creeping, dark piece of music, kind of like the last song on Echoes In The Dark, “The Dark.” It came together so perfectly. Sometimes I surprise myself, and I don’t know where those drum fills came from, but I love them.
  2. An Unseen Sky – I actually named a couple of other songs “An Unseen Sky” (the album title actually came to me before Echoes In The Dark was released) before settling on this one. I had a bunch of songs that the title just seemed to fit so well with, but when I made this one, it was just perfect. It also worked great as the music for the amazing Virtual Reality Music Video that Elemental Spark made for me, “An Unseen Sky: The VR Experience.” For those that didn’t hear about it (you can read more in this blog post), it’s one of the first of its kind, ever, and got a ton of attention. It’s been downloaded 1000s of times and put me in front of a lot of people at various events
  3. Forgotten – This was my early favorite track on the album. I knew a 2nd album would be coming sooner rather than later after I made this one. A lot of the extra layers that come in at the end got added only in the last couple weeks before finalizing the album.
  4. Dreams Like These – This was sort of the first “single” off the album, since I put out the music video on New Years Day. It’s just such a cool track and so different for me. I’m really proud of it, and really proud of the music video. I didn’t do a big festival push with it because I’ve already done that with two of my public domain footage-based videos, but I did just submit it to a couple fests, so who knows, maybe it will get some extra attention soon.
  5. Last Kiss – I absolutely love this song. I actually have a very in-depth music video idea for it… I just need the right people (and some money) to make it with. This is just one of those songs that I listen to and can’t believe I made.
  6. Cut Open – This one changed a million times during the making of it. There’s seriously like 20 different versions floating around on my hard drive. I’m hoping that a music video will happen for it because it is probably the biggest, most exciting piece of music I’ve ever made. I’ve had 3 filmmaker friends discuss doing a video for it, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see one happen…
  7. Shadows on the Ceiling – The music video for this one, directed by A.R. Kagan has already been accepted into 5 film festivals and won the Global Independent Film Awards “Best Music Video” award. It’s also the track that stands out to most people as their favorite on the album.
  8. The Fallout – An early version of this track actually placed in a contest for Rekkerd.org to make a song that is inspired by your favorite band. I of course picked The Cure, and the response was really great. I added a lot more electronic flourishes for the final version, but the main melody and overall feel of the music I think really captured mid/late era Cure in a way that I’m really proud of.
  9. Phantom – I actually started this song BEFORE Echoes In The Dark was released. It was kind of a mess though, but the main driving rhythm I thought was too cool to just let go. I kept going back to it over and over to try to turn it into something, and while it took a long, long time, I think I got it.
  10. Into The Black – The last track I made for the album. I actually took a break from mastering the album to play with this new synth called u-He Hive (which I reviewed in my This Thing Rules blog series), as well as some expansion packs I had bought for iZotope’s Break Tweaker. This track  happened and right away I knew that it needed to be on the album. It’s super dark, and has a really cool feel to it.
  11. A Decision – For those that really pay attention to all the music I put online, you may have heard this track a while back. For a little while I was planning on my 2nd album being more of a very ambient, lighter album (that will happen eventually, just not this time around). To start getting the buzz going for that idea, I released this track on my new music player on the homepage of this website. I still really like the track so I decided to keep it on An Unseen Sky, even though the full album changed direction. I still think it fits really well as a place of calm, especially in the play order between “Into The Black” and “Dead Battery,” two of the heaviest, darkest songs on the album.
  12. Dead Battery – I made this one with the specific goal in mind of doing something like Nine Inch Nails so that Doug Farra, a huge NIN fan and the director of my “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” music video could have something to work with for our next collaboration. While a start date on the video has been pushed back for now due to other projects, we have a really awesome idea for it, and it will happen eventually, and it’s going to be insane.
  13. A Stranger – Another early track that grew and changed as time went on. With the album out now for a few months and letting the whole thing really settle in, this has become my personal favorite track. Something about it is just so cool to me. Part of it may be that it doesn’t feel like I made it… Which is fitting given the title haha. But yea, it’s hard to put my finger on it, but I love this track.
  14. Fragile Things – I knew I wanted a track that was upbeat but still very quiet and hushed in a way that would make for great tension. This is definitely the one track on the album that doesn’t quite sound the same as the others, but I think it works regardless, and definitely captured a specific sound I wanted to try to make.
  15. Every Little Bit – As I was finishing the album, I realized that there wasn’t enough songs with a heavy electronic influence. I spent so much time trying to capture more of an alternative feel, I left behind a lot of the electronic sounds that made Echoes In The Dark such a success. So “Every Little Bit,” was the place for me to go for straight up electronic music and try to make something that still fit the album, but brought back some more of that influence.
  16. Never – I don’t care how many albums I make in my lifetime, I’m always gonna end with a big huge dramatic finish. “The Dark,” on the last album did it, and I ended An Unseen Sky with this over the top, meant to be played LOUD, burner of a track. A music video is actually being made for it by Free Your Mind Films, a company out of New York who I’ve scored two short films for (“Unrequited” which was just released today, and “The Usher“). It’s really exciting because I never would have pictured this song as one that would get a video, but I think it’s going to come out great.

And that’s the album! The reaction so far to it has been really great. My only real disappointment has been the lack of press I’ve gotten (thank you to the few outlets that have reviewed the album or talked about it and my music). It really is tough getting the word out, but I keep pushing, every day, every week to get these songs the notice that I believe they deserve. During the Las Vegas Lift-Off Film Festival (where both “Shadows on the Ceiling” and “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” were official selections and had screenings), FOX 5 News More Access aired an interview about the festival where they specifically spoke to me and April Kagan, the director of “Shadows on the Ceiling.” You can watch that here. That was a great piece of press. With each new music video, I get a chance to start pushing the album more and more. If you’re a writer or blogger or podcaster and I sent you my album and you didn’t review it… You better believe I’m going to be following up with you haha.

An Unseen Sky (Back Cover - FINAL) (Large)

So what’s next for An Unseen Sky? Well aside from the “Never” music video, more festival notifications for “Shadows on the Ceiling,” and more promotional events for “An Unseen Sky: The VR Experience…” You may remember that with Echoes In The Dark, I released a special, FREE downloadable bonus album of B-Sides (really just extra tracks that didn’t fit on the regular release) and remixes called Further Into The Dark. It was sent, for free, to people who purchased the CD version of the album and/or people who supported my “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” Fundraiser… Well I’m doing it again.

I don’t have an exact release date picked out, and the track list and album cover are still in the works, but I’m proud to announce that Another Sky will be the next bonus album of B-Sides & Remixes. Again, people who pre-ordered and/or purchased the CD version of An Unseen Sky will get a copy for free when it’s ready. There will also be other ways to get your hands on this bonus album, which let me tell you, is coming out awesome. I’ve already got 4 amazing remixes from some great musicians, and the bonus tracks are definitely stuff you’re going to want to hear… I’m aiming for a late-August / early-September release… But we’ll see what happens. Just know that it’s coming. Soon.

So I think this blog ended up being much, much longer than I anticipated. I guess I like writing about my music. What can I say? Hope you enjoyed reading. Hope you enjoyed An Unseen Sky. If you did, please make sure to go to the digital music store of your choice (mainly, iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby or Google Play) and leave a review of the album. It helps get it seen if the album is getting action on those sites. So get to it and let me know how you liked it. I’m done typing for now.

David Rosen is an award-winning music composer. He composes original music for films, commercials, jingles, video-games and all other kinds of media projects. He has a vast music library of original tracks available for licensing and is also available for custom compositions. Contact him on the ABOUT page for pricing and availability for your next project.

 

The Fundraiser is Almost Over!

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!

– David

Further Into The Dark – The Remixes

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!

– David

Further Into The Dark – The B-Sides

By now, a whole bunch of you have gotten a chance to check out Further Into The Dark, the bonus album of B-Sides & Remixes from the Echoes In The Dark sessions. If you haven’t, just go support my fundraiser, or buy the CD version of my album from Bandcamp to get a free copy. These next two blog posts are going to be a somewhat stream of conscience breakdown of the tracks on this release, and why I left them off of the main album.

Up first, the B-Sides.

1) “Escape” – I love this track. I think it’s one of the most exciting and fun pieces I’ve ever written. Plain and simple, the only reason I left it off of Echoes In The Dark is because I felt like it had probably been heard already by anyone who had ever checked out my website or Reverbnation profile. It was the first track on my profile for a long, long time. As it is, the album is almost half and half between tracks that, although updated, had been in some form on my site in the past, and new never-before-heard music… Including “Escape” would have pushed it over into more tracks that people might have already heard before.

2) “Neon Halo” – The track I pretty much made with the bonus tracks / B-Sides album in mind. This and “Bandwidth” were the last two pieces I wrote while creating the album. I love it but I wanted to add some cool stutter effects to fill it out some, and I couldn’t quite get it right, so I figured this would be almost like the center piece of the bonus album. It’s also the first track I put up for everyone to hear after releasing the album, so it’s almost like a “single” in a way.

3) “Forgotten World” – A very cool track that just felt too long. In the end, I decided not to cut it down at all because I really like how all the sections work together. I’m glad I held it off the main album, because it would have made the tracklist drag a little, but I’m glad people get to hear it now. And it just so happens that a bunch of people have told me it’s their favorite track on this release.

4) “Am I?” – I always considered “Echoes,” “The Necessary Steps,” and “Am I?” to be a sort-of three part trilogy. They fit really well together, but including all three on Echoes In The Dark would have been somewhat redundant. In the end, I decided to to pull “Am I?” and I’m glad I did because I ended up adding some extra layers of piano towards the end that, while very simple, add so much to the song.

5) “Moving Backwards” – This is the track that I had the hardest time cutting from Echoes In The Dark. Right up until the last minute, it was a 13 song album, but I just decided that a) I wanted a 12 song album for my debut full length (OCD? maybe…), and b) the track just wasn’t perfect. I ended up playing with “Moving Backwards” and changing things over and over until I was finally happy with it. I really love this song even though it’s overall a pretty simple piece of music.

6) “On The Outside” – A really cool track that I just couldn’t get the mixing down right on. It was a real tough one to get perfect, but I think I finally got it. It would have been great on Echoes In The Dark but again, 12 songs was my goal, so it probably would have gotten cut even if I had finished it in time.

7) “The New World” – This was one of the first tracks that I made and decided “I think I’m ready to make a full album.” I was so proud of it when it was finished. I must have listened to it a hundred times in a row. I left it off for two reasons… a) I consider it to be a little too similar to “Takeover” and I didn’t want to include both, and b) this is another of those tracks that had been heard a ton of times on my website and I wanted to keep the balance of previously unheard music above tracks that people had heard.

8) “Where Shadows Go” – A really cool track that I actually almost left off this compilation. I was worried first of all that the tone is too far off from everything else. I also had trouble properly working the transition to and from the slow part. But in the long run, I got it right, and I felt like it’s too cool of a track to hold back on.

In the next blog post I will go over the four remixes and the people who did the remixes.

– David

“Further Into The Dark” Coming This Week

It took a lot longer than I originally planned but man was it worth the wait.

The album of B-Sides & Remixes I’ve been teasing for over six months is finally finished. It’s called Further Into The Dark and it features 8 songs that were cut from Echoes In The Dark (for various reasons which I may detail in a future blog post) and 4 remixes of songs from the album which were done by Elemental Spark, Brian Garth of Black Camaro, Shawn Lee Farrell and my old buddy MC Randumb.

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.

– David

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