Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Instrumentality Project Comes To An End

Okay, I should have posted this here first, instead of to Facebook, Google Plus, and Twitter (although, let that be a lesson to you! Follow me on Facebook, Google Plus, and Twitter!), but I've announced that I'm pulling my first widely-released full-length album, Instrumentality, from stores and streaming platforms.

Everyone who has been following me since those early days knows that Instrumentality was an experiment in distributing songs that I had self-published non-commercially (on the EPs Progress Report, Progress Report - The Alternate Spin, and The Hypnotic Jamboree on Bandcamp, NoiseTrade, and Jamendo) to a wider audience. Many of those songs had been composed on a cellphone screen while using crappy earbuds. They were later remastered and edited for their widely-distributed debut, but they now stand out as amateurish compositions, all of which have since been reworked for later releases, with the exception of "Winter's Salve (Alternate Spin)," which stands out as the "definitive" version of that piece. So it's been bothering me for awhile now that, when people access my discography for the first time, they may not be hearing the songs as they're intended to be heard. Really, I just want to cover up my almost-embarrassing early efforts. I've developed a much better grasp of my tools over time, and when someone clicks on (for example) "A Determined Snail," I'd rather they heard "A Most Resilient Snail."

So, for my upcoming November 2nd release (October 31st for Patreon patrons), I'm replacing Instrumentality with The Instrumentality Project, closing a chapter of my music that began with those four early EPs. I feel almost all of those songs have had their most fully realized versions published, and I want them together as Instrumentality should have been...would have been, if I'd developed my skills more before uploading an album for wide release. But all artists are constantly developing their craft, are they not? I don't regret it's release, but I think my music is better represented by more intentional albums (I still publish songs that I don't feel are my best work on my EPs, to be considered "rarities"). Besides, it's always bothered me that there are multiple versions of the same song on that album, so for The Instrumentality Project, I'm going to try to set a limit of one version per song.

Some of the songs published on Instrumentality will still be available on free releases such as Progress Report - The Anniversary Spin; the rest will be reclassified as "rarities," and will still be available to my Patreon patrons. For now, I'd like to invite you all to download this early effort while you can. It's available for just $3.00 USD from my Snail Tunes store, and Patreon patrons can download it now for pleading $1.00 USD toward The Instrumentality Project.

A bit more about the Project: it's not only going to be previously published tracks. The main catalyst for this was that I've been thinking about writing new versions of a few of the songs from Instrumentality, and that's where most of my focus has gone as I've been trying to get back into the swing of songwriting since my life was interrupted by my mom's wedding and my move. Progress report: it's working. I'm thoroughly enjoying using my tools again and creating art. Now, these new versions aren't going to be just remixes. For example, I went to work on a new rendition of "Introducing..."/"Jade's Theme," using elements from the original, as well as "No Introduction Needed" and the variations on "Jade's Theme" to create a song that's closer to the original, but with the new skills and sounds that I've developed since. When I began, it quickly became apparent that rerecording would be more practical than a cut-and-paste job, and I retaught myself all the instrumentation and even wrote some new parts. This is what I came up with:

I hope you enjoyed that private demonstration! I would appreciate it if this video didn't get shared around, as anybody with a link can view it since it's simply "unlisted." That said, you can look forward to reworkings of "Winter's Salve" and "The Nocturnal Dervish," as well. Why "Dervish," you may ask? Even though it's one of my most successful songs and the first that was ever picked up for rotation on a radio station, the drum track has been feeling a bit convoluted to me for quite awhile now. It was one of my first experiments with using multiple drum machines, and so I'd like to use what I've learned since. In this case, it's most likely to be a simple remix. Anyway, I look forward to sharing it with you, as with The Instrumentality Project in general!

May your inner snails remain determined and resilient, folken!

ADDENDUM: As we draw closer to the release of The Instrumentality Project, I'd like to share with you the newly completed "Winter's Salve (Fedund Remix)." This is another private demonstration; as was with "Jade's Theme (Introduction)," I will not be sharing this publicly for a few days, so I'd appreciate it if this wasn't shared around. This is intended for Patreon patrons and blog readers only.