Note: These are not full length tracks.
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Individual Track Notes
Since there are no lyrics to help define compositions for the listener, as with all instrumental music, titles are usually based on a mood or feeling given off by the composer through rhythm, tones, melodies.. the scales that were chosen and sometimes effects and or soundscape. Most titles on 'Cycles' are simply reflective of this, though there are tracks that do have some personal meaning or message.
In most cases, while composing material, I was not creating with particular artists in mind. As with anyone who has composed music before, influences tend to come out. The music on this release was influenced in many ways by the artists listed below.
Jazz Fusion or Crossover artists: Al DiMeola, Pat Metheny, Mike Stern, Jonas Hellborg, Jaco Pastorius, Stanley Clarke, Chick Corea, Lyle Mays, Joe Zawinul, Jean Luc Ponty, Jeff Lorber, Bob James, Dave Weckl, Lenny White, Dennis Chambers, Steve Gadd, the band Ozric Tentacles.
Rock artists: Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, Dave Gilmour, Richard Wright, Steve Winwood, Tony Banks and Neil Peart.
~ Reflection ~
Reflection has dual meaning. The arps and guitar delay lend towards the title in a rudimentary sense, as well, the overall mood could be thought of as a period of reminiscing.
Based around the C# Mixolydian Scale. It has a latin jazz feel, with latin rhythm patterns being used for drums and bass lines.
~ Astral Traveler ~
I heard that in the not too distant future you will be able to take a ride into outerspace on a shuttle like vehicle.. provided you have the funds for the trip..
A division of Virgin(www.virgingalactic.com) has actually worked on making this possible and it has been reported that several people have already signed up to take the first ride.
I believe it's only about $100k a ticket.. though I'm not sure if that gets you into first class...
Maybe in about a hundred years or so this will be less expensive and more common.
Who knows.. maybe it even ends up a ride at Disney.. in say.. 2112 ?
In the meantime, sit back, have a listen, and enjoy the ride...... This one won't cost you much!
This composition has a Jazz-Funk vibe within the celestial soundscape and makes use of the D Locrian, A Dorian and A Minor Scales.
~ Echoes ~
With a latin rhythmic base, the soundscape is set through the use of arps, synths and guitar with delay to provide... "echoes".
G Minor and the Blues Scale in D. This track combines Jazz and Rock.
~ Soular Flair ~
A play on words within the concept. The track starts off with fusiony e-piano intro. Overall, the bass and rhythm tracks provide some soul to go along with more bluesy electric piano.
This composition also makes use of a Joe Zawinul-esq sequence, arps, several synths and an added leslie cabinet effect to an electric piano solo.
Several scales come into play. Mostly done in E using the Blues Scale, but also with E Minor, E Dorian and a section in B Dorian. More "Crossover" or Popular Jazz oriented.
~ Crossing Pathways ~
At some point in time, you may have met someone who had an effect on your life in some way. Looking back on the journey that has led me to this work, for me it was my friend Gino Foti. This one was actually an ode to him.. Little did he know while he composed and recorded the bass track.
Thanks for your guidance, wisdom and friendship over the years G. If our paths had not crossed, I don't know if this would have happened.
Using E Dorian and it's relative Minor B, this track is more Jazz-Rock based.
~ Where Earth Meets Sky ~
The heavy drums and funky bass underneath lay foundation to the earth, while the use of synths, arps, sequencers and electric guitar with delay are atmospheric and trippy in nature.
The G Blues Scale. A fusion of Jazz, Funk and Rock.
~ Benevolent Forces ~
Sometimes bad things happen for a good reason. It could be something subtle or something that hits home involving angst or heartache. When things don't go well, it can be especially hard to see "the forest for the trees", but it might just be the work of "good willed" forces in the end.
The piece moves along from an unassuming open on electric guitar and acoustic piano, into a march of the benevolent forces, conveyed by the drum pattern and synth bell. I then entered into an electric guitar solo, suggesting the forces are beginning to take control. The relinquishing of power takes place, and soon the realization that this was for the greater good hits home, reflected with the use of mallets accompanied by synth pads and backing string section. The final movement is towards a more calming state of mind.
Written in D Major along with it's relative Minor in B. I would consider it a fusion of Jazz with Progressive Rock.
~ A Road To Elsewhere ~
"Wanna get away?..." There are times in life when we would just rather be somewhere else.
A jazzy vibe through acoustic piano and electric guitar solo, with funky drums and bass paving the way out...
E Dorian and it's relative Minor B in Jazz-Funk.
~ Zero Gravity ~
Free floating.. feeling weightlessness in outer space.
An arpeggiator, several synths and guitars with effects all come together to set up the soundscape.
Written with the E Minor and A Dorian Scales, also utilizing the Bebop Scale in D. This one has a more modern Jazz Fusion vibe to it.
~ Greetings From Atop Olympus Mons ~
Greek for Mount Olympus, Olympus Mons is located on the planet Mars and is presently documented as the largest mountain known to man.
Many have pondered if we are the only beings in a vast universe. Seems unlikely..
The opening electric piano chords set the tone for signal transmission, before acoustic piano comes in, leading to the heavy attack on the kick drum ringing out over the mountain tops and across the universe..
Done in A Minor. This track is Jazz-Rock based.
~ Eternal Boundaries ~
A dichotomy of terms, combining eternity or infinity with boundaries or endpoints. When pondering existence and the universe, we are left to wonder several things, like how or when it began or even ends? Science tells us some things.. and religions do too. Does it really just go on forever? It would seem to be endless.. Maybe the boundaries are only within our minds..
Movement is from the Blues Scale in D, to D Dorian, to C# Phrygian. This track could be considered more close to that of a retro Jazz Fusion piece than others.
~ Because I Love You ~
Referencing the term unconditional love. This retro-fusion ballad opens with atmospheric synths to set the mood, before a heartfelt guitar solo moves into a chaotic section of both beauty and tension. This marked by atmospheric synths, an interesting but strange synth patch showing up in the background, and the prevailing sound of acoustic guitar chords strumming along adding levity and beauty. The next movement is into a section of melancholy feel, with the use of a moog synth patch, electric guitar and more atmospheric synths. Ending with atmospheric synths reflecting beauty, but with some tension on out to fade.
Done in A Phrygian and A Minor.
~ Groove Planet ~
Bass and drum, loops and samples, were used in the arrangement from the Big Fish Audio collection named "Groove Planet". It didn't hurt that one of my favorite Joe Satriani releases was similarly titled.. 'Crystal Planet'. This composition is somewhat reminiscent of Jonas Hellborg work on his 1990 release "The Word", which I found very interesting because of it's overall tone or mood, especially with orchestration used as part of the arrangements.
The key of B Minor. Based on Jazz and Rock.
~ Rhythm Of The Universe ~
Every second of every minute, every hour of each day.. motion is happening throughout the universe. Planets rotating on their axis, moons orbiting their planets, all rotating around the sun within our own galaxy. Sometimes shifts occur within the planets causing sudden problems within. Occasional collisions in space causing matter or debris to be displaced throughout the universe. As we move along throughout our busy lives, these are some of the things happening over time we take for granted, unless we actually see their effects.
The opening sequencer sets the piece in motion rhythmically. Several synths, arps, and electric guitar with delay help to enhance the celestial soundscape.
In C Minor. This track is a fusion of Jazz and Progressive Rock.
© 2011 Christopher A. Rossi, All Rights Reserved.