Project: Archives

Project: Archives-related posts and items.


Dragon's Lair

Dragon’s Lair

Back with a new Project: Archives post! This one brings a little heat to a collection that was otherwise predominantly atmospheric and pensive. Unearthed Arcana’s “Dragon’s Lair” was another staple of my live sets and has the distinction of being re-recorded and remixed on three separate occasions over the course of three years (this original version, a version I recorded around the time of Mystic Visions that features the Roland drum machine I was using for that album, and a completely rebuilt version for a compliation of new material and remixes I did in 1989).


Machine (Electric Groove)

Composed entirely around layered rhythmic patterns, Panoramia‘s “Machine” puts percussion front and center as it draws inspiration from a rather unusual source: the industrial fixtures of a waterworks facility in Holland. This is one of a handful of completely melody-less songs I wrote, but the bass line almost acts as a kind of melody, giving what would otherwise be a very noisy piece some grounding in tonality.

Machine (Electric Groove)

Chill Winds

This week we’ll explore the third track from my 1990 demo, a song that also appears alongside “Memories of Summer” on Images of Autumn. Daylight hours growing shorter, skies dominated with turbulent shades of grey…these are just a few of the signs that the icy winds of winter will soon be sweeping across the land.


After The Ball

Did you know…? …that there is more music lurking in the darkest recesses of the Archives than just my early instrumental work? Take this week’s song choice as a case in point. “After The Ball” is a previously unreleased Parlormuse track as well as the very first song I chose to play through in my collection of antique sheet music back in 2007. It’s a delightfully romantic – yet ultimately tragic – piece, and the version I’ve presented here hasn’t been modernized in the way that the other songs on “It’s Not The Coat Makes The Gentleman” were. Dust off your […]

After The Ball

Memories of Summer

Memories of Summer

Summer may not be here quite yet, but you can catch a musical glimpse of it via this week’s Project: Archives post. “Memories of Summer” was originally the lead-off track to my 1988 song collection Images of Autumn, but I also gave it a slight reworking and included it on my three song demo two years later. Ordinarily, every track on a themed album like this would be directly related to or reflective of its theme, but for this one, I decided to do something a little different. Rather than launch headlong into the moodier fare that I knew would play […]


Easter Egg Hunt

With Easter right around the corner, I thought we’d do something a little different for this Project: Archives post. I’ve hidden 14 Easter Eggs throughout this site. Although they won’t be too difficult to spot, there’s no location that’s off limits when it comes to where I’ve hidden them. Why 14? Because that’s the number of tracks on my very first song collection (Unearthed Arcana), which is what you’ll find waiting for you, in its entirety, should you complete your task. PLEASE NOTE: The hunt will be active from now through 8am (EST) on Monday, April 17th, 2017. Have fun, […]

Musical Easter Egg

Automotive

So let’s see…we’ve heard plenty of atmospherically experimental music emerge from the Project: Archives vaults, along with some traditional Irish music and even some flat out pop. How about some jazz fusion? :O This week’s track was written in 1990 to serve as the first song on my first official demo tape, and it represents the only time I ever went anywhere near this genre. You’ll find elements of rock, pop and funk in a lot of my material, but this one definitely catches me at my would-be-jazziest. Enjoy your test drive!  


Spirits in the Night

The Haunt was my way of testing whether or not I could still write simpler, more atmospheric songs following the relative complexity and more structured approach of Mystic Visions. “Spirits in the Night,” the lead-off track, is a great example of this kind of return to form. This would be the last song collection to feature my original Yamaha portable keyboard – it was subsequently traded in for an upgraded model with full-size keys. A necessary step to be sure, but I definitely missed the slider-based sound programming!  


Chivalry and Sorcery

Chivalry and Sorcery

As promised, here’s today’s second Project: Archives post! An unlikely moment of pop simplicity on an otherwise-multi-dimensional and genre-crossing album, this closing track from Mystic Visions was easily my most popular song of the period. I couldn’t imagine a live set that didn’t include “Chivalry and Sorcery,” and it marked the beginning of a shift toward less experimental writing, despite my initial reluctance.


Darken Wood

Double the Archives, double the fun! I’ll be posting two of my most popular early tracks today, so please stay tuned a little later for the second one. “Darken Wood” originally appeared on The Lost City, adding a nice little dash of electro-funk to the latter portion of the album. Enjoy!

Darken Wood

Drunken Sailor

I’ve mentioned how much traditional Irish music has influenced and inspired me many times over the years. This week, Project: Archives goes international, revisting Eire, my sixth song collection. “Drunken Sailor” is a rambunctious, dexterity-testing little tune meant to get your feet tapping and the Guinness flowing. Slainte!

Drunken Sailor

Legends and Lore

Legends and Lore

Switching gears for the moment – you won’t find any atmospheric New Age stylings on this song! A front-and-center rhythm track and rock-influenced songwriting dominates here instead. Taken from my fourth song collection, Mystic Visions, “Legends and Lore” went on to become a staple of my live performances, often serving as the set opener.


The Forgotten Room

This week’s Project: Archives song takes us back to my third song collection, The Lost City. Atmospheric and dreamy, this one relies solely on a Roland Juno-106 synth to conjure up images of a place untouched by time. A place where imagination reigns and forgotten secrets still lie buried among the dusty remains of days gone by.


Grave Encounter

Grave Encounter

We travel back in time one more year for this latest Project: Archives offering. Originally written in 1987 as part of my second song collection, The Bard’s Tale, this track features the first non-console keyboard I ever owned – a semi-programmable Yamaha portable with mini keys. Also featured here is a borrowed Digitech delay that I employed to create the wildly sweeping flange effect that serves as almost a rhythmic element. Enjoy!


Let The Journey Begin

The first Project: Archives track is now live! I couldn’t think of a better place to start than with The Journey Begins, a track I wrote back in 1988 as part of a concept album based on Jules Verne’s A Journey to the Centre of the Earth. This one drops us squarely in the middle of my early songwriting days, and features a programmable Casio mini-synth as well as a Yamaha portable that typically handled most of the core instruments (drums, bass, guitar, etc.) at that time. Enjoy!

The Journey Begins

Less Than One Week To Go!

The archive doors will finally be sawed open in less than one week! It’s been a lot of fun revisiting this material, and I hope that you’ll enjoy hearing it as well. There are a couple of quick reminders I wanted to post before we get into it, with the hope of avoiding confusion and maybe answering a question or two in advance. The music that you’ll be hearing was written and recorded a long time ago – between 1987 and 1990, for the most part – using home-grade equipment with practically no engineering skills. It represents a stage of […]