UPDATE: Make sure to scroll to the bottom for an important update that I added just before posting this blog post… Then scroll back up and read the rest haha. Happy New Year!
As 2014 comes to a close, I figured this would be a good time to take a look back at what I accomplished. This is 2014 In Review.
The first and most obvious thing was the release of the music video for “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” and its fundraiser. We raised a lot of money that helped in getting the word out about the video, album and my music in general. The video itself got such great feedback from all across the internet. It premiered at the REEL Recovery Film Festival which was just perfect considering the subject matter of the video. People there really loved it which was a beautiful thing. It then went on to win Best Music Video at the Pollygrind Film Festival, where a year prior I won Best Experimental Music Video for my “Lights In The Sky” music video. Overall, we didn’t get into as many film festivals as we had hoped, but the feedback from the places it did play was all amazing and we still have some more we’re waiting on results from for next year.
While “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” was the big defining project of my career in 2014, I also did a lot of other great, exciting work. The first thing that comes to mind is all of my work with House of DON Productions and director Doug Farra. Aside from “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep,” Doug also directed “The Gradations of Purgatory,” “The Milkman,” and “Cho5en,” as well as some other smaller projects that I worked on. These three though were some of the coolest films I worked on this year and really gave me an opportunity to create some great music. I’ll be working on Doug’s first feature, “Finding The Truth” in 2015, as well as another music video for one of the songs on my second album.
I also worked on a couple of other great films from regular House of Don collaborators: Jeremy D Brooks’ “Jasper,” and Brian K Palmer’s “Spring Forward.” The premiere of “Jasper was a really fun night at the Vegas Indie Film Fest, and “Spring Forward” premiered at the Las Vegas Black Film Festival which was also a great time that I got to meet a lot of cool people at.
Speaking of film festivals, one of the most fun weeks of the year was my trip to FilmQuest at the Salt Lake City Fantasy Con. I posted a blog recap of the event where you can read all about the craziness that happened there. My music video “Broken Circuits,” was nominated for Best Music Video and the whole trip was just an amazing experience. Pollygrind was also a great time this year, as it always is. The festival organizer (and my buddy) Chad says that he may be taking a year off from Pollygrind, but I hope it comes back ASAP. It really is the most fun film festival ever.
I worked on a bunch of other great films this year too. “Pathos” from director Eduard Ospiov was entered in the Project Greenlight competition and made it to the second round. It was nice getting to work with some new people on that one. I also started the year off working at last minute with my friend David Michor on his short “The Hoarder” which ended up being one of my favorite scores I’ve done. I then ended up working with the DP from that film on my first 48-hour film competition with a film called “Dig.” It was a wild experience scoring a short film in one morning, but it came out pretty damn great.
There were also some various for-hire composing gigs I did this year. Not as many as 2013 to be honest, but I at least kept a solid momentum going. Hopefully that side of the career will pick up next year. In the meantime I did get more of my music accepted into some music libraries, so hopefully some of that stuff gains some traction.
Which brings me to album number two. I made some of the best music of my life this year. I didn’t expect to be ready to release a 2nd album so fast, but it is coming and it’s coming soon. The album is probably 90% done. Album title and album cover are set. Tracklist is set. Songs are basically done. Just gotta really sit with the album, make sure I’m happy with everything, and then master it. I’m expecting to release it in the first few months of 2015. The first music video off the album will be for the track “Dreams Like These” and will be online on New Years Eve.
And that leaves me at 2015. I am ready to work on some amazing new projects. I actually have 3 features I may be working on (as well as “Finding The Truth” which is already set). So right off the bat, I’m gonna be plenty busy. I also have some ideas for more music videos, and I’m hoping to make those happen. More jobs, more music, more everything. I can’t wait.
UPDATE: Well well well… Guess who forgot to post his 2014 Year In Review wrap-up before 2015 hit?!? Haha. So it’s the 1st… My new music video is out, and the new album title and cover have been revealed . But that’s not all… Right before New Years Eve I found out that “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” was chosen as an Official Selection for the Dam Short Film Festival in Boulder City! I am super excited to head back there, as I had a great time last year when “A Moral Discord” played. I’ll also be announcing very soon another festival that it was accepted to. Great way to close out the year! If you haven’t already checked it out though, make sure to check out the new video, “Dreams Like These” over on Youtube and make sure to leave a comment!
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!
I am so excited today to finally bring to you the first of three interactive music videos created by my good friend and frequent collaborator Ryan Daugherty (aka Sharmandra)! Hopefully if you’re a regular visitor of my site you know about my first 2 videos off the Echoes In The Dark album: the multi-award-winning “Lights In The Sky” and its follow-up “Whirlwind.” Well joining them now in the VIDEOS section of my site is the interactive video for “Reveal” which you can also access by clicking the image below. Playing with the video is as simple as clicking the mouse, moving the mouse and clicking some more. Play around and experiment to see how your actions affect what you see. Some of the things that happen are predetermined and happen no matter what you do, but the rest of it is determined by your actions, and everything blends together into a trippy, awesome interactive experience. These videos were an idea I had since before the album was complete and Sharmandra really brought them to life. So please check them out, SHARE THEM, and let us know how you like them! Also, please note that they are intended to be played on a computer with a mouse but will also work on a laptop, but not on smartphones/tablets… Maybe in the future!
Following “Reveal” in the next 2 weeks will be two more interactive videos for the tracks “Embers” and “Dark Rain,” both from the Echoes In The Dark album which is available from iTunes, Amazon, Bandcamp and everywhere else (for a full list, check out the ALBUMS section).
In 2014 I’ll be following these up with the next full music video which is for “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” and then… Well, who knows what happens next, but you know you can check back here to find out.