Sunday, November 21, 2010

Stealing The Sun - finally here!

Well, it's been a long road from March 2009 when I started this project but Stealing The Sun is finally released. Cheers!

Stealing The Sun is the album I've been wanting to make for the last ten years. Filled with a wide spectrum of synth textures and embellished by my voice, it's an exploration of epiphany and change viewed through the lens of modern electronic pop.

Diverse elements like the mythos of H.P. Lovecraft, Native American traditions and Greek mythology combine into something strange, personally engaging, and hopefully "greater than the sum of its parts"

The CD and Digital Album is currently available through though CD Baby, iTunes and Amazon will soon follow.

The above streams don't really do it justice as they are only 128k mp3s - higher quality MP3s as well as FLAC downloads are available in addition to the CDs: Please note all CD purchases get a free instant download in the medium of their choice so you can enjoy the album while waiting for the CD to hit your mailbox.

Stealing The Sun is packaged in a four panel digipack. All the artwork is by yours truly.

A complete set of lyrics is available here: Stealing The Sun

For seven people who buy the CD, I've got a little surprise in store - I'm doing a random drawing from the first batch of CD sales for some swag, including a shoulder bag, a clock and five t-shirts:

For the gear-interested, the instrumentation is as follows:

Silver Thread - Ensoniq Fizmo and Waldorf Q provide backing pads, Korg Oasys is bass and string sounds while Digidesign's "Boom" provides percussion.

Breathing Machinery - Korg Oasys does Piano and Wave Sequencing, Weird Pads are NI's Absynth and, except for some clickety bits from Digidesign's "Boom", all the Drum Sounds and Rhythm Beds were done in NI's Absynth.

Subterranean Bathers - Ensoniq VFX is the voxy pad, Korg Oasys is piano, drums and everything else.

The Initiation - Lead Drones are from the SCI Prophet 600, Piano is Nord Stage, Pads are provided by Nord Wave, and Metallic Stabs and Drums are Korg Oasys.

Luna - The Nord Stage is on "distorted lead", Nord Wave on "grungy Santur" and Oasys on drums and "ambiance".

Walden - Waldorf Microwave XT is synth lead, Nord Stage is all pianos, Absynth4 and Alchemy provide ambient beds and Korg Electribe ES-1 is drums.

Stealing The Sun - All pianos and synth sounds are Nord Stage, drums are Korg Electribe ES-1.

The Big Room - Sync lead is Nord Wave, Grungy synth organ is Nord Stage, Pads are Korg Oasys and Drums are Digidesign's Boom.

Strangeness - Drums are provided by Korg Electribe ES-1, everything else is Waldorf Q.

No Time - All sounds provided by the Korg Oasys.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Final cover art for Stealing the Sun...

...Dealing with prepress issues now but the album should be out before too long. I'll let everyone know (as soon as I do) when it will be available as CDs and as downloads.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I Feel Fine

Working on a new song. This is a rough mix.

Most of the noise is Serge Modular with the exception of one Alchemy patch and the drums, which are Digi's "Boom" thru a bit reducer.

I'm going to diversify the drums more between chorus and verse while fixing their stereo image, add some hand percussion and stick a bridge in (that I've already recorded). A couple more Serge lines and two vocal tracks and I'll be done...probably.

Song for a lost friend...

Some days are better than others...
Loss is such a hard thing to deal with as there is nothing to "get over". The Lost remain lost. The empty spot in your life remains... :

Monday, August 16, 2010


My respect and awe for those of you who are parents is profound.

Married at a late age with health concerns and a problematic gene pool, it was never really a realistic choice for me.

My music and my art take what little "extra" time I do have and are, for all intents, my "children". Pale shadows in comparison to real children...but it's all I have to offer other than myself.

What an amazing journey on a beautiful yet uncertain road.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Welcome to Walden

Finished another song this afternoon: Walden. A little ditty about a certain naturalist's take on epiphany. :)

A little stranger than I was originally intending...

Synths used:
Waldorf Microwave XT, Nord Stage, Absynth4, Alchemy and Korg Electribe ES-1

Lost soul running over the ice so wide
Hearing the voice

"You will come to us"
"You will come to us"

Tiny log cabin by water so bright
Blinded by nature

"You will come to us"
"You will come to us"

Walk in the forest, day and night
Life in the woods

"You will come to us"
"You will come to us"

Transcendental in your daily life
It's only Walden

"You will come to us"
"You will come to us"
"You will come to us"
"You will come to us"...

Friday, July 16, 2010

Stealing the Sun - nearly finished now

My work-in-progress, "Stealing the Sun" is nearly ready. I'll add tracks to this set as they get mastered in preparation for CD production:

Stealing the Sun - preview by Carbon111

In the meantime unfinished tracks will be removed from this blog. I'll replace them later as they get polished and prepped for the CD and Digital Download release.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

Finally, A Burger Worth Dying For.

Due to the high mortality rates, the famous Kanoobang burger chain has decided to change their marketing slogan to "A burger worth dying for" a spokesperson said today.

This has come just three weeks after the media furor over the leaked revelation that Kanoobang burgers were made entirely with fossil beef, strip-mined from ancient bovine deposits in environmentally sensitive Wyoming and Oregon watersheds.

Environmentalists are still picketing Kanoobang locations in many states. The FDA and EPA have taken no stance as of yet.

Kanoobang sales have soared.

More on this as the story unfolds.

Friday, May 28, 2010

My new general-purpose PC

In addition to my music DAW and Softsynth PC, I have an all-purpose PC I use for Photoshop, Gaming, web browsing, DVD burning and what-have-you. The old machine I was using was getting pretty long-in-the-tooth so it was that time again...time to piece together a new computer! I love doing this!!! ^_^

This was also the perfect opportunity to finally upgrade to a 64 bit OS and now that the specter of Vista was behind us, Win7 was looking pretty good.

The sheer amount of power you can get these days for $1225.00 boggles my mind - this relatively modest machine replaced a five year old pentium D machine that cost me twice as much to build and was an absolute slug by comparison.

Here's the specs:
  • Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz Quad-Core CPU (clocked cool and stable @ 3.6 GHz)
  • Intel DP55WG LGA 1156 P55 ATX Intel Motherboard
  • ZALMAN 120mm 2 Ball Low-noise Copper CPU Cooler
  • Kingston SSDNow V Series 64GB Solid State Drive (OS/boot)
  • Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7200 RPM SATA II Hard Drive (apps, storage)
  • Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7200 RPM SATA II Hard Drive (backup)
  • G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (4 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 SDRAM
  • Asus DVD-RW
  • PNY GeForce GTS 250 - 1 Gigabyte GDDR3
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
...and I already had a nice 4U rackmount case & PS from my earlier build...though, because it was an older PS, I needed to spend about three bucks on an adapter for secondary power to the video card. The D-400-6 rack cases from IStarUSA are fantastic BTW!

The DP55WG is a basic board but with some surprising extras like SPDIF audio, onboard diagnostic LED readout and external bios reset button. I've been building my own PCs for a couple of decades now and have found that pairing an Intel board with an Intel processor and decent cooling makes for a very stable system, even in this case with the quad-core CPU clocked to 3.6 GHz.

Been using this machine for about a month now and, so far, it tears through every app I've thrown at it. DVD encoding takes minutes instead of hours now. Some of the most demanding photoshop filters take only moments and I'm getting very high frame rates (at 1920 x 1080) for Fallout 3 and TES4! Haven't had a single crash, lockup or bluescreen either - this has been absolutely rock-solid! I give Intel and G.Skill high praise for this.

The only thing I'm still not happy with is my I've ordered something special. I'll blog about it soon. ;)

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Lot Can Happen In A Decade...

Just for fun, this is me in my studio ten years ago. Tali was one year old.

The Waldorf Micro-Q had just been released. It and the Microwave XT were the centerpiece of my studio. I was using a couple of Bose patio speakers for monitors.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Messing about with Win7's Movie app...

"Silver Thread" from my forthcoming album was used as a Guinea Pig, trying out the free video software in Win7. It's basically a slideshow of a number of my CG images.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Monitor mayhem...

To my profound disgust, one of my beloved ADAM P11a monitors died over the weekend. The internal amps were both distorting and crackling horribly, rendering it completely useless. I was so furious at first as this was the last thing I needed while in the midst of mixing the new album. In the end, I suppose I figure I did okay, getting almost seven years out of the ADAMs. I'll most probably get the faulty one repaired if I can find a decent tech in the area without a months-long waiting list but, in the meantime, I desperately needed new monitors.

I spent most of Saturday at my local Banjo Shack inflicting an entire CD's worth of my rough mixes on two very patient sales guys. Unfortunately, my budget was only about half of what it was when I got my ADAMs so I had to be extremely thrifty as well as critical.

I had almost settled on a pair of KRK VXT 8s but every one of the four units I tested had some weird flaw - a silent tweeter, a fluttery woofer, an intermittent high-pitched whine, etc. It has completely soured me on KRK as a brand. Shame, because the VXT 8s looked to be a perfect fit.

The M-audios I tested colored the midrange too much, the JBLs had too many "bells and whistles" adding much to the cost and little to their functionality, the Events were too colored, the Mackies weren't in stock, etc...

My final choice was a bit of a revelation for me. After hours of listening and re-listening, I finally ended up settling on a pair of Yamaha HS80M monitors. I had been prepared not to like these as Yamaha modeled their aesthetics on their famous NS10 grotboxes, white woofers and all. Sound-wise though, they were a welcome surprise with a very flat response and nicely revealing of the subtle flaws in my test mixes. At less than $400 a piece, the price was seriously too good to be true - especially considering the sound quality. Suffice to say, I left with two largish boxes on a hand truck.

So far these HS80Ms have been perfectly lovely in the studio, much better than I had hoped in fact! The HS80Ms have a slightly more "forward" or "aggressive" sound than the ADAMs but, so far, haven't been fatiguing, even during long mixing sessions. Working with them has been an absolutely painless transition so far. They're not overbright and the response seems very flat all the way down into the lower bass regions though there is a noticeable rolloff around 50hz or so. I hate to admit it but, in some ways, these are more helpful to me than the ADAMs have been. Placement of instruments in the stereo field seems more accurate and the bass extension seems more detailed, allowing me to fit "bassy" instruments together better with less overlap. The "sweet spot" is a lot wider than what I've grown used to as well. I've had a chance the last few days to remix a number of my tracks and check their translation on other systems and have been getting great results!

I should mention that despite my exuberance, the new monitors aren't perfect - nothing is. The HS80Ms' tone is a trifle agressive as I mentioned before. They're not razor-flat either...but no monitor I've ever tried has been. You just have to decide if it's good enough for you and will the mixes translate? If the answer is "no", there's plenty of other monitor choices. So far neither of these things has been an issue...but I'll be sure to say something if it becomes one. But, for now, the honeymoon ain't over yet. ;)

We'll see how these "budget" monitors hold up but, so far, I'm completely floored by the quality/price ratio on these things. I'm even starting to get used to the ugly white woofers.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Thursday, April 8, 2010


<a href="">Professional (Feat. Robin Guthrie) by Halou</a>

Another wonderful band that's been around for more than a decade...that I've never heard of.

Beautifully dark, with coarse as well as silky timbres. I find this kind of indie stuff charming as hell and impossible to resist.

Recommended if you like Bel Canto, Massive Attack or Cocteau Twins.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


I hope everyone is having a relaxing weekend. I can highly recommend the application of a cold beer and a warm cat. Cheers!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Complete album, Shadow, free to listen...

As some of you probably noticed, I got myself a Soundcloud account. It's made managing my online music much easier. One upshot is I can make entire albums of work available now.

Last year's instrumental chill album "Shadow" can now be listened to in its entirety:

If you like it, pick up the CD at CD Baby.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Silver Thread

Another busy weekend in the studio...for me anyway. I can't speak for Tali:

I've been on a bit of a roll - yet another new song is completed!

Silver thread  by  Carbon111

Silver Thread was composed with Ensoniq Fizmo, Waldorf Q, Korg Oasys and Digidesign's Boom softsynth. The vocals are all me again.

Past the hour when little girls should dream
The road is silent, the hills are steep
Your wings are heavy with dust and sleep
You're miles afar from places you should be

Follow my voice along this silver thread
Follow my voice along this silver thread

Incense trees grow along dim lanes
A shadow city full of candle flames
Fly on and on my Abyssinian maid
Leave Kubla Khan to history"s fate

Follow my voice along this silver thread
Follow my voice along this silver thread

My house is warm and the time is late
Dip your wing and find this path safe
Little bird flies down to a sunless sea
What draws you on to set your heart free?

Follow my voice along this silver thread
Follow my voice along this silver thread

Sunday, February 28, 2010

A New Song: "The Initiation"

The initiation  by  Carbon111

I think one of the most interesting Initiations is the "Walkabout" Rite Of Passage when one is forced to finally rely on no one else and accomplish a task that tests the limits of one's spirit. When the initiate gets home they are then full members of the society, having gone through the same trial as everyone else. A magical transformation through finding one's self in the wilderness.

My new song, The Initiation, is an echo of this.

Lead Drones are from the SCI Prophet 600, Piano is Nord Stage, Pads are provided by Nord Wave, and Metallic Stabs and Drums are Korg Oasys.

How can I say from where
Light just shines out of there
These eyes that wear no mask

There's nothing left to ask

And nothing left to hide
It's black up in the sky

The stars have all gone napping

Who can say just what's been happening?

I'm not your hero anymore

I'm just The Fool

You have to stand alone this time

Or be destroyed

As gentle as a dove

And with a serpent's love

You have to leave me here

There's nothing left to fear

Now find your own way home

All journeys made alone

Through darkness and cold air

You know I'll meet you there

I'm not your hero anymore

I'm just The Fool

You have to stand alone this time
Or be destroyed

Through darkness and cold air

You know I'll meet you there

Through darkness and cold air

You know I'll meet you there...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Life is good!

No, really.

I think most of us in the "developed" world forget sometimes how good we have it, focusing on what we want rather than what we are lucky to have. Shattering cataclysms like the Haitian quake can really drive this home when you see people who had very little be reduced to people who have nothing.

Recently, a friend clued me in to Shelter Box, a nonprofit org supplying shelters and supplies to people in desperate need. Every $1000 they get buys one "Shelter Box", containing the following:

• One ten-person tent, including two fabric interior privacy partitions, outer fly-sheet and repair kit. These tents are considered ‘winter suitable’ by international relief standards.

• One 49 gallon box (The ShelterBox) initially the container for delivery of the materials listed below. Once delivered, the box takes an all kinds of uses and can be used as a water tank, food store, table, even a cot.

• Vinyl insulated sleeping mats and lightweight thermal blankets. More compact than sleeping bags, these mats and blankets have multiple uses. The blanket can also be fashioned to catch water, as a tarp, while the mat also serves as a ground ‘table’ for meals, or tent rugs.

• One pack of 180 water purification tablets or a water purification kit; and one 5 gallon flat-pack water container (Each tablet will purify a full container of water providing 1,800 gallons of clean drinking water which should be sufficient for a family of ten for up to three months).

• Two 2.1 gallon, collapsible, plastic water carriers.

• One collapsible trenching shovel

• Rope, 164 foot

• Repellant-treated mosquito netting

• Ten PVC Ponchos/ ten heavy duty plastic bags

• Tool kit in canvas bag: hachet, jack-knife, screwdriver, hammer, hoe head.

• Multi-fueled cook stove

• Eating utensils: plates and cups

• Children's activity kit-simple school supplies, stickers and coloring book.

A place to live and the means to provide some self-sufficiency amid devastation is a priceless thing.

In this day and age when people are afraid to give because so many so-called charities are skimming too much off the top for "administrative" purposes, it's refreshing to find a solid organization that takes a different tack.

Any size donation is acceptable and will help:

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