The Ascent of Mt. Sneffels (Live Version)


I thought we’d bring things full circle and wrap up this half of Project: Archives the way it began – with a track from A Journey to the Centre of the Earth. This version was recorded live in the summer of 1988 at Pine Ridge Country Club in Wickliffe, OH. The recording quality is passable – there was never a studio recording done for this song, so this is the only version I have outside of an extended remix.

Year Composed: 1988

About the Song

The second of three completed tracks for the ill-fated A Journey to the Centre of the Earth album, this one sadly never got a full studio recording like its counterpart “The Journey Begins” did. Save for its inferior sound quality (it was recorded on a portable consumer-grade radio/cassette deck), this live version is fairly true to the original. The only other version I have is an extended remix that appeared on a compilation of new tracks and alternate versions of existing tracks in 1990.

This was a fun one to do live. I was covering the bassline along with the offbeat synth chords and let me tell you – keeping the latter in time was no easy feat! The original line had a left hand component that made it a lot easier to anchor to, since it was essentially a back and forth kind of thing. No such luxury here. I always tried to minimize the amount of programmed tracks I used for my live performances, but there are times and circumstances where I really felt that not including certain elements would diminish the effectiveness of a given song. I think audiences are probably a lot more accustomed to and accepting of sequenced and triggered elements these days, especially considering the widespread use of laptops as sound engines. One of the most exciting and challenging aspects of doing the acoustic coffee house shows in the mid to later 90s for me was translating songs that were quite often far from acoustic in their original forms into something that I could effectively convey with just a piano and microphone.

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