The tools available today make composers, dj’s, record producers, and instrumentalists of pretty much everyone. The high school student has access to the sequencing, mixing and mastering products professionals paid dearly for just 10 years ago. They have the advantage of beats and prerecorded parts made by experts. This proletarianizing of sophisticated technology has resulted in an unprecedented ability for the average person to make surprisingly good quality tracks. But what happens when all that gear ends up in the hands of a truly skilled and talented, trained and experienced musical technician? The answer is in Audistry. All the stuff we all have, and then add the hands, ears and mind of real masters. The material in this album is a sensuous treat, made with the combined expansive palettes of Clemistry and Audnoyz. The pieces are evocative and programmatic, conjuring visual images as powerful as the sounds. Not that the work is a Tone Poem in the way of the later Romantic period, when some composers chose to use music to mimic the sounds of other things and thus draw pictures of specific items or events. There is much more latitude for the listener to conjure and create his or her own images, vivid, like a dream in color, but highly individual. This quality provides potential applications of this music to film scoring, exhibit enhancement, choreographing ballet, or just plain sonic imbibing.
There are 12 tracks here. They can be experienced as individual pieces or can be seen as movements in a larger more symphonic work. This is not a symphony in the technical sense where 4 movements of an expected length and style are sequenced, and each follows a classical form. Rather there are multiple frescos that emerge from a single wall, a dozen meditations on different ideas, but all somehow linked.
The first two tracks are edgy and hard, one featuring a jagged piano riff, the other a metal guitar power chord motive. The underpinning is rhythmic and driving, but with much more nuance and constant subtle permutations than could be made with a straight up repetitive drum track. These first tracks stir the urge to dance, but in the way of Stravinsky’s Firebird, with 20th Century Classical orchestrations and punching insistent rhythms, rather than a Pop style 4/4.
The third track, WTF, is both movie music, and modern classical orchestration. Just when you think you might have the album pigeon holed, the next piece sequences effortlessly into a progressive rock tone reminiscent of the great rock show bands like Dream Theater, or Yes. But this is no tribute piece. The sections of the piece could not have been conceived before the breakthroughs that make synthesis of European post modern art music and industrial rock acceptable.
Sometimes you think Bollywood dance styles are about to take over, then the tonescapes and sound paintings of the post Phillip Glass sound world emerge seamlessly from underneath, and you have to change your mind, your perspective. The 4th track, or movement, as I have come to think of the organizational structure, Aud vocalese demonstrates a type of musical CAD, using a slight shift to take a human voice and transform it from waves reminiscent of a lone wolf to a lonely woman. How little manipulation it takes to morph one into the other. How much more alike are these than we might think?
Like all symphonic works, there are places of rest and slower movements. Ray’s Dream provides us with that sensibility in this set of pieces. The orchestrations carry over from the more vigorous Stravinskyesque movements, but the tempo drops a bit, and there is more space. Fine production adds a tactile element to the work that makes the experience truly visceral. You feel, as well as see and hear. It is not physically possibl for music to be multisensory in the most literal sense, but this music makes it seem almost possible.
A democratizing revolution has taken place as elite technology has reached the hands of everyone. The musical material of the centuries and the many cultures of the world come in the same box to be part of the artist’s musical palette as never before. The choices of material are limitless. Beethoven, with all his godlike ideas, could only conceive of them through a small set of instruments. In the same way that teachers are no longer limited by textbooks, but can use all material in the world in their classrooms, so the world comes into the composer’s studio. It is no longer necessary to write with a handful of instruments and styles in mind. Now they are all here at once. This is a mindblowing change without precedent since the printing press. This album demonstrates that revolution in thinking about musical composition. There are no limits to the genres, the rhythms, the instrumentation that can now be combined in the hands of the right musicians. Audistry brings the talent and skills of two extraordinary musical minds to the tools of the masses, that’s why this recording is the new paradigm.
CLEMISTRY MUSIC ANNOUNCES “AUDISTRY” RELEASE APRIL 16, 2013
Hollywood CA: Clemistry Music, created by award winning film composer Shawn K. Clement announces the April 16, 2013 release of AUDISTRY, an evocative music compilation on the Clemistry Music Label. Coinciding with the general availability via download and CD an invitation only launch event will take place at Paramount Pictures, Hollywood, CA.
AUDISTRY was conceived and constructed combining Clement’s deep Other-Worldly cinematic orchestral music and signature guitar sound, with the genre-mashing production aesthetic of music producer Audnoyz (Steve Thomas). German music technology journalist, Joerg Sunderkoetter was first to frame the Audnoyz aesthetic ‘Kopf Kino’ (mind cinema) an aural sojourn for the inner eye. Like experiencing synesthesia, seeing the music, imbued by its multi-referential stylistic cinematic properties.
The twelve tracks that comprise AUDISTRY vary in breadth and depth, speaking to the collaborators cerebral sonic creativity and unique artistic vision. Menacingly dense, this work envelops you in an aural journey, replete with unexpected genre juxtapositions, cinematic soundscapes, stirring orchestra, sublime vocals, and biting guitars. Often in a cacophony of sound, something familiar emerges only to segue to a well-placed Zappa moment of discord. Sometimes frenetically bombastic, sometimes contemplative, this music is always cinematic, evocative and exciting.
Taking several months, the bi-coastal collaboration occurred North of Los Angeles and in suburban Boston, its slicing, dicing, mixing and mangling reaching completion the last of December 2012. AUDISTRY will be available digitally from leading electronic distribution retailers and sources including: CD Baby, iTunes, Spotify, MySpace Music, Amazon.com, Rhapsody and eMusic, as well as in Compact Disc from Amazon.
I keep getting asked by fans around the globe “how did you do this or that” so, I thought it was time I started sharing/providing insights into how I actually go about the crafting of Audnoyz. That said, the Audnoyz Aesthetic as I practice it is much like a philosophy. When I am creating with the Audnoyz frame of mind I approach how I put things together differently than creating a piece of generic production music or working on song for an artist etc.
As it goes all art is shaped by something: the times, influences, experiences. I have always been a cathartic writer in that, something I experience triggers a melody or harmonic progression. With Audnoyz music a sample or sound could trigger my mind in the formulation of a song.
A brief backgrounder on projects I feel are part of the “formative” years of what I now call now the Audnoyz Aesthetic. On the 2003 jaz-mobi Project album there is mashup entitled ‘jadermash’ which is my fusionesk mashup which was contemporary at that time. Guys like ZTrip were riding high on their mashups of famous artists like Madonna, Michael Jackson, Led Zep and the Police. The thing with Jadermash is that all the source material for the most part were samples from other tracks on the jaz-mobi Project album with exception of some drums loops, my daughter’s 5 y-old voice, and a section of a song called ‘No Rage’ from the 1999 Sympatico Album I played on. Here’s a link to Jadermash http://snd.sc/pn716Y
I did quite abit of sound design for the permanent exhibit installation of Windows on Earth that is in a few museums around the USA including the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum and and St. Louis Science Center. I also composed and produced the Earth Orbits soundtrack for TERC. The soundtrack accompanied the special Windows on Earth software developed for the 2008 Richard Garriott Mission to the International Space Station. I came up with a whole lot of crazy machine noise and such that ended up being ideal textures for tracks on the first Audnoyz album.
Sound design and sculpting factors into a great deal of Audnoyz material. What you might hear as a modulating synthesizer pad is actually many samples of D-tuned (alternate tuning) acoustic guitar that has been reversed (audio played backwards), ran through a frequency equalizer (EQ) and, then the many clips of audio are randomly cross-faded together (creating the modulation effect that you hear) with final treatment being mixed together with a nominal amount of noise (machine sampled or electronic generated) in the sound picture. It’s a great example of the labor intensive process that is the under pinning of the Audnoyz production aesthetic. Feka http://snd.sc/s4DbpY and Piano Mood http://snd.sc/ug9KbB are good examples of the above process from Audnoyz Project Vol One. A great track to provide a little insight on how arrangements are put together is J-sing http://snd.sc/smMHxQ again, from the Audnoyz Project Vol One. Basically, the sample of the women signing/playing came first and the arrangement formed underneath her atonal voice and her out of time playing or whatever you want to call what’s she is doing.It’s not until ½ way throught the song that things are locked to time and aligned. I choose not to time stretch material to make it work rather I move things around until I can make it work.
Much of the textures heard in Audnoyz arrangements are random intersections of audio and noise; woven together creating an audio pastiche. Here discordant sounds interact and create harmony. Random Pix Audnoyz Project Vol 2 http://snd.sc/p4nCpu is a great example of the use/placement of old samples from old needle drop LPs (symphony orchestra tuning up, teletypes, dial phones, jack hammers, circa 50s computer noises, typewriters, analog door buzzers) with electronic instruments and the aud textures being noise. The noise in this case is not synth created but, layers of pitched/distorted guitar and it’s the intersection of that noise, some containing harmonics when layered or overlapped that creates “space” sound (originally used for the Earth Orbits Soundtrack). How I created the “noise” was by playing a 175type jazz guitar known for feedback into a distortion box and Lexicon LPX 5 multi FX processor and recorded with a SM57-mike in front of a shitty practice amp… Majic!
What should be obvious by now is most of the sampled material for Audnoyz Project Vol 2 comes from my own previous work. The cool sounds in daBreeze (track 10): the ewi, sax and bass all from jaz-mobi Project. The other thing is the vocals as with many of the guitars are samples from past recording projects, in some cases 10 years ago. So basically nobody sang to any of the backing tracks. The Vocals were placed there like an instrument as part of the arrangement.
The Audnoyz.music styling in places may seem similar to that of Massive Attack the English DJ duo from Bristol, England largely credited with the creation of the trip hop music genre. Boards of Canada BoC, known for their eclectic mix of analog and electronic equipment with conventional instrumentation, distorted samples, lyrics, replete with intricate layers and blends. Where the BoC approach differs from that of Audnoyz in is their refrain from the use of synthetics sounds. Much of the textures heard in Audnoyz arrangements are random intersections of audio in whatever form and noise; woven together creating an audio pastiche. Here discordant sounds interact and create harmony and a unique approach perhaps. I ‘ll be the first person to say no art is NEW or simply created in a vacuum. Everything comes from something. Viva la Audnoyz Aesthetic :-D
SOUND ON SOUND
The mysterious “master musician” behind Audnoyz is nothing if not ambitious. The aim behind his second full-length collection of material appears to be to include absolutely everything. Upright bass, techno beats, guitar feedback, Indian and African instruments: all are grist to his mill, and they are often overlaid with fragmentary, heavily processed vocal samples. In fact, little here is immune from heavy processing, and one of the most impressive aspects of the album is Audnoyz’s ability to retain a focus on the bigger musical picture while throwing himself into some very detailed sound design. There’s not much here you can dance to, but there are plenty of hidden depths in which you can immerse yourself. Sam Inglis
Somewhere between 2001:A Space Oddity, andKraftwerk, and Tangerine Dream lies recording industry expert Steve Thomas’ Audnoz Project, a self described ‘aural journey for the inner eye.” It’s a beautifully rhythmic journey of electronica surfing waves of ambient vocal and instrumental passages. Listening to this fresh approach to multicultural instrumental influences, you start to feel like you are experiencing synasthesia, seeing the music. A natural work for filmmakers to explore. This genre-breaking collection pleases, startles, and stimulates the mind.” –Craig Dalton http://www.emusician.com/artists/0767/playlist/147999
SOUND & RECORDING *Translated from German
The 16 Tracks deliver a vast spectrum of electronic music styles, american Jazz-guitarist Steve Thomas uses several composing techniques to produce the tracks, whereby in every track there’s a great flair for intense atmosphere and drama. Thomas combines music from different productions, but the result never sounds just like a normal remix. While using vocal tracks, instrumental scores, field recordings, sound experiments and film scores, he combines this material in the sequencer to produce something new, putting this material in a completely new context. The album is filled with tremendous sounds, beautiful tracks and all of it sounds very fresh, while never getting tedious. It’s a non trivial album, which can be downloaded at iTunes or amazon. –Joerg Sunderkotter
Audnoyz Project Vol. 2 is the second release of the Audnoyz project by music producer Audnoyz. He is a self-proclaimed “psuedonisticmusictechnophilosoph,” and his real world embodiment is that of Steve Thomas, a music/media/marketing/technologist and multifaceted musician producing music for artists, institutions, and other creatives working in TV, film, and all forms of media.
The Audnoyz Project can trace its roots back to Thomas’ 2003 jaz-mobi Project album and a mashup called “Jadermash” in which most all of the source materials were samples from the other tracks on the album. It is this styling that led to the creation of 2008′s Audnoyz Project Vol. 1. For Audnoyz Project, Vol. 2 he has melded international elements that are fused in new ways with European, American, and Indian pop, classic triadic rock chords, Latin rhythms, and techno. Through the use of digital tools, these are brought together by a musician grounded in jazz, deep theory, and multiple pop and dance influences. The attempt is to provide an accessible, rich and rhythm-driven mind/body experience for discerning listeners.
In the Audnoyz Project Vol. 2, sound design and sculpting shape the music, giving depth and breadth to the listening experience. There is a wide range of styles on the tracks that go from slow jazzy blues to ones with an international flavor. They are made up of sampled works from the artist’s previous projects that date back as far as ten years ago. Even the vocals on some tracks are samples that were used the same way the instruments were used within part of the arrangement.According to the artist in an email interview, “All art is shaped by something – the times, influences, experiences. I have always been a cathartic writer in that something I experience triggers a melody or harmonic progression. With Audnoyz music a sample or sound could trigger my mind in the formulation of a song.”
It is hard to define the Audnoyz Project Vol. 2 as a single distinct style. If you could, it would be something along the range of “Techno-NuJazz Fusion,” or as the artist calls it, “Electroganica.” The songs range from “Emotions (She Went Away)” with its throbbing bass, out-worldly sounding guitar work, and haunting vocals, to “Not Alone” with its mechanical beat and castanets sound that permeates throughout and provides a distinctive flavor. You have “daBreeze” which is a slow, very smoky sounding tune that has a jazzy blues feel to it, “Bonkers for Bollywood” with its Indian sounds and jazz under-tones, “Andreas to a Fault” with a light cinematic feel, “C-Head” which is disjointed and ethnic-sounding, and “Bugs Grove” with a smooth pulsing beat.
Overall, Audnoyz Project Vol. 2 is a wonderful listening experience with a lot of style and so I can very highly recommend it. –T. Michael Testi
Interview in Computer Music Magazine