If you haven’t heard the news from my Facebook or Twitter or Linkin or some other kind of social network… My new music video is out now! Before you do anything, make sure to watch “Shadows on the Ceiling.”
Now that you’ve watched it, make sure to leave a comment over there on YouTube to let us know how you liked it! I want to thank the awesome A. R. Kagan who dreamed up and directed the video. That’s her daughter who stars in it too, and they did such a great job. I helped with some of the editing and effects (using some tricks I learned making my “Dreams Like These” music video). “Shadows on the Ceiling” actually had its premiere at the first annual Nevada Women’s Film Festival. I couldn’t make it because it was the same week I was in Austin for the RXSm Self-Medicated Film Expo, but I’m very happy and grateful that the video was able to have a premiere in front of a lot of people. It sounds like it was a great event. And now the video is out for all to see.
By the way, the song, “Shadows on the Ceiling” has also been selected for the new Zia Record’s “You Heard Us Back When” Compilation CD which comes out on April 18th, Record Store Day. It’s a great honor and I’m so happy that so many people are going to get to hear this song. And of course, An Unseen Sky, the album that the song will officially be on, is now available for pre-order! You can order the limited-edition CD version from Bandcamp and get a download of two songs, plus access to a special bonus download of extra songs and remixes later this year. Or you can pre-order it in MP3 format from Bandcamp, Amazon or iTunes (ordering from iTunes also gets you an immediate download of “Shadows on the Ceiling”). It will be hitting many more online stores once its official release date, April 7th comes.
So one more time, thanks again to A.R. Kagan, I look forward to working with you on some films in the future and maybe even another music video…
The past few weeks have been crazy, and the future is looking awesome. Let’s start off with a recap…
“If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” won Best Music Video at the Pollygrind Film Festival where it screened twice (actually three times due to a little projector glitch haha). Seeing (and hearing) it on the big screen was amazing and something I hope to get to experience many times in the future. Also, “The Gradations of Purgatory” (which can be viewed on Youtube by clicking the link) was awarded Best Nevada Short. I scored it, and it was directed by Doug Farra, who also directed “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” … So go Doug! We have a bunch more projects coming up together, and I always love working with him and his people at House of DON Productions.
I also got 8th place in a composing contest sponsored by music site Rekkerd.org. The idea was to create a piece of music that is inspired by an artist/band who inspired you to make music in the first place. Of course I chose The Cure, and created a track called “The Fallout.” It was a really cool contest to be a part of because all of the musicians had to vote on each other… It wasn’t just the usual popularity contest style thing you see all the time. Some of the other pieces of music were absolutely excellent, and getting 8th place was an honor. And also, the organizer said the track had a Disintegration vibe… Which if you know me, is pretty much the highest compliment anyone could ever give me, since it’s my favorite album of all time. I also won some really cool software that will probably end up being the subject of an upcoming This Thing Rules segment. You can check out “The Fallout” here:
In the past month I’ve also had my birthday, my girlfriend’s birthday, her grandma’s birthday (in California), and my grandma’s birthday (in New York). Plus two friends staying with me in separate weeks, Halloween (my favorite holiday), and a Community Event in the neighborhood I live in… So to say I’ve been busy is a bit of an understatement. I didn’t get to work on music as much as I’d have liked to, but now it is time to get back to work.
My second album is basically in the narrowing down phase now. I might still add another new track or two, but I am currently making my list of edits and adjustments needed to finish all the songs I’ve started. To put that in perspective… Last time I started that process, Echoes In The Dark was finished less than 2 months later. I think with the holidays and other work it might be a little longer than that… And I gotta start the promotional schedule, new music videos, and everything else that goes with the album launch… But the important thing is it is coming REALLY SOON. I’m aiming for the first few months of 2015. I love this second album so much. I’ve been listening to Echoes In The Dark and the second album back and forth a lot to make sure I really like it as much and I think I might like it even more. Oh, and it definitely has a title already. I’ll announce it once I have some artwork to go with it.
What else is happening? Well I have a bunch of film projects lined up. Just waiting on the film-makers to finish things on their end before I get started on those. I’m also submitting music for various potential opportunities and just continuing to push myself out there. I feel like I accomplished a lot this year. There are some things that didn’t quite go how I had hoped, but overall, I think it’s been a great year so far… And it’s not over yet.
Next week I’ll be posting another This Thing Rules segment with a new piece of music… Well, that’s not entirely true… If you pay really good attention to everything I do, you may have heard it before… But chances are, most of you haven’t heard it yet, so it’s basically new. I’ll get another one up ASAP too. Hoping to get two in November and two in December. Ideally, I think I’ll be ready to share a song from the second album this year too. We’ll see. Might happen. Might not…
OK… I get the feeling I might be rambling a bit haha, but you know what, I’m catching a plane soon, and like I said… It’s just been nonstop running around this past month. Once I get home, it’ll be time to get back to music. I can’t wait to get this album done. Thanks for reading.
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!
First of all, my music video, “Broken Circuits,” which was originally just an Official Selection for the festival ended up getting nominated for Best Music Video! We didn’t win but believe me when I say, just getting nominated is good enough! I’m extremely proud of the video and so happy that it got recognized. Congratulations also to Connor Biddle, the director of the video. I hope he’s proud of how well “Broken Circuits” is doing. We still have some more festivals coming up that I’ve submitted it to, so hopefully it continues to have success.
The festival itself was a wild, crazy time. Walking through the crowd of 100s and 100s of fans dressed as knights, elves, warriors, comic book heroes, video game characters, princesses, fairies and more. Total madness but totally fun. I met a lot of great people, watched all kinds of crazy stuff like the battle arena in the middle of the show floor, and even got a chance to catch up with Too Many Legs Studios, the team behind the game Bimey, which I’ve done some music for. It was great getting to meet those guys in person, and they were doing a special live drawing competition where they battled each other trying to draw someone in 10 minutes. That ‘s where the picture at the top of this post came from. Thanks Ben! I’m looking forward to working with those guys again sometime soon. And yes, I did hold that pose for pretty much the whole 10 minutes, like an idiot.
Then there were the films. I saw a load of great films during the FilmQuest portion of the festival. Some of the stand-outs for me were:
“I Helios” – a really inventive and beautiful sci-fi film.
“Lessons Learned” – a puppet-based film created by Toby Froud from “Dark Crystal”
“Pac Man: The Movie” – pretty self-explanatory and really well done!
“The Last Ten” – a really unique and tense one-shot film.
“Carolina Parakeet” – a smart spin on the zombie genre.
“Rise Of the Kitchen Appliances” – a funny dark comedy about a man whose kitchen appliances plot to kill him.
“Cockroach” – another funny dark comedy with a guy who dies and comes back as a cockroach.
I’m sure I’m forgetting some because I saw quite a few good ones, but these ones all stuck in my mind. I got to meet some of the filmmakers after their movies screened, and we all talked and discussed filmmaking and who knows, maybe we’ll keep in touch and I’ll get to work with some of them in the future. Plus I met Doug Jones (the guy in the picture in the slide-show up above)… If you don’t know who he is, it’s because he’s usually covered with all kinds of crazy make-up and costumes… Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy and all kinds of other crazy character-based films. It was really cool getting to meet him.
So that about does it for this post. I’ve already submitted “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” for next year’s festival. I’m not sure if it’s exactly the right fit, given the genre-focus of FilmQuest, but they were having a $5 submission special for anyone who screened this year, and I had such a great time that I figured why not? Speaking of “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” … the Fundraiser is almost over! Just over a week to go. You can probably tell from this blog post that I had a great time at this festival, and I’d like to get into and attend more festivals like it so I can see these great videos we’re making get screened with an audience, and so I can meet and network with more filmmakers… So get over to the fundraiser page and get in those contributions! Lots of great stuff to get for your money. I promise I will make it count!
Oh and one more thing. Connor, the director of “Broken Circuits” is having a fundraiser right now for a new project called “The Unseen” that I’m also doing music for. Go check it out at http://www.gofundme.com/btsttc and consider throwing in a few bucks if you think it looks cool! I definitely think it’s gonna be awesome!
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!
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!
Well how about that! My video for “Lights In The Sky” won Best Experimental Music Video at the 2013 Pollygrind Film Festival! That’s two wins so far for a video made up of old public domain footage… Pretty damn cool! Thank you to Pollygrind’s founder and organizer Chad Clinton Freeman for not only screening and picking the video, but for being the one who pointed me in the direction of public domain footage in the first place. I had seen a really cool public domain footage-based film called President Wolfman (Directed by Mike Davis) at the 2012 Pollygrind Fest, and I didn’t get a chance to talk to Mike about it, but asked Chad if he knew where to get that kind of footage so I could make my own video and he told me some sites to check out. Pretty cool, right? If you haven’t already, you can check out the video on Youtube here:
Not only that, but House of DON Production’sA Moral Discord and Finding The Truth won Best Experimental Short and Best (Real) Trailer, respectively. I scored both of those and am really proud to be working with these guys. Congratulations to Doug Farra and the whole team! Can’t wait to get to work on the full Finding The Truth film, and can’t wait to see how our “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” video turns out!
What else it new? Oh yea! I’m featured in the debut issue of a new Nevada based magazine called Desert Magazine. You can read a Q&A with me as well as a review of my album, Echoes In The Dark, at Desert Magazine’s website in the 1st issue. I’m really excited to be featured in the magazine and you guys should really go check them out!
That about does it for this blog update. I’m working on music for no less than 3 short films, a couple of little viral videos, a video-game (which is gonna be amazing and I can’t wait to share more details with you guys about that!), and maybe, just maybe, starting to plan another album. First I gotta get a couple more videos out from Echoes In The Dark before I can move on to the next one though haha.