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 my music, 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!
I spent last week at FilmQuest & FantasyCon in Salt Lake City and man, what an experience!
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!
It’s been a couple weeks since the last update and I’ve got some exciting news about the “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” Film Festival Fundraiser, as well as news about my last video “Broken Circuits.” Let’s start with the latter…
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.
Do I have some exciting news for you!
Coming this Thursday is the Official Music Video for “Broken Circuits” from the Echoes In The Dark album! The new video was directed by Connor Biddle, who is also the creator and host of Paranormal Encounters, a web-show I scored that is available on Youtube and through Roku. We’ve been talking for a while about him using some of the extra footage gathered for his show to create a creepy video for the track, and he went above and beyond with this thing! I couldn’t be happier with it. Just wait till you all see it.
Also coming up is the video for “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” which is almost ready. We’ll be planning a release for that video soon. I know I’ve been talking about it for a long time, but it will definitely be worth the wait. I finally got to see a rough cut and it’s looking AMAZING. I can’t wait to share it with you… And we will… As soon as it’s done!
What else is new… Well, this past weekend I attended the 1st annual Las Vegas Black Film Festival at the Suncoast Hotel. “Spring Forward,” a film I scored, directed by Brian K. Palmer was screened, and it went over great. I realized after that it was the first time I’d seen a film I scored on a real, full sized movie theater screen. What an amazing experience. I’ve seen my music videos a couple times, and heard some background music of mine during a promo… But never an actual film I scored. Very exciting, and it sounded excellent… And it was a great event too! I was glad to see that they got such a big turnout.
Last thing for this update is the Remixes & B-Sides download is basically done! Just gotta finish up the artwork and do a final master to the whole thing… But it’s just a matter of deciding when to put it up. I’ve been listening to it pretty much nonstop lately and if you liked Echoes In The Dark, you’re gonna love these tracks.
And yes there will be more This Thing Rules segments… When it rains it pours, you know?