Well here we are at the end of another great year of music. As I finish up 2015 and a lot of loose ends on projects and things I’ve been working on, I also wanted to take a minute to quickly look over this year and let you all know what I’ve been up to.
Lets start with the NOW…
If you haven’t been on my Facebook lately you may have missed my TWO new music videos. Well, the first one is actually a new version of an old one. “An Unseen Sky: The VR Experience” was one of the biggest things I’ve been a part of this year, and my amazing developer Elemental Spark, rebuilt it from the ground up with better graphics, smoother animation, and a new 360 degree version that lets you experience the impressiveness, even without a Virtual Reality headset. The new updated version is also coming to Oculus Rift soon, and is already compatible with Google Cardboard, but now you can also view it on Youtube and on Facebook. Or embedded right here on this blog post! Just use your mouse while the video is playing to click and drag to change your perspective within the 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 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.
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.