Sonic Cinema

Sounds, Visions and Insights by Brian Skutle

It feels like I’ve had a busy year thus far musically, but the truth of the matter is, I really haven’t had much I’ve done.

That’s not really true, of course, as I released two long-awaited albums: “Storytelling” and “Arpeggiations & Atmospheres”, both of which had been completed in 2011. The reasons for their delay? Cover art for “Storytelling” (WELL worth the wait from my dear friend, Carrie Stribling), and the fact that I always planned on releasing “Arpeggiations” after “Storytelling” by mere months, so I could keep things moving steadily on the release front. How did that work out for me?

Not too shabby. Hardly record-breaking numbers, but by aggressively promoting not just my new albums, but also my previous four releases, I was able to bump up interest, and get some sales after a long dry spell. To be fair, self promotion is still an area I need to continue to work at, but I think I’m getting the hang of it to a certain extent. (Being able to get friends and loved ones the albums, so that they can listen, and help endorse it, doesn’t hurt either. 🙂 )

Just being able to do those two releases alone would have sated me in years past. This year, however, is different. One of the things I’ve come to realize this past few years, especially as I’ve crossed the 11-year mark in my service at my current job, is that, I want more. As a creative artist, I want to be in control of my life from a financial standpoint, or at least, more in control that it feels like I am now. I want the relative “success” I had in my releases earlier this year to be more than a flash-in-the-pan, but something to build a life off of. I have so many things I wish to accomplish as an artist, and so much to say as a blogger and movie reviewer, that it feels as though just being gainfully employed isn’t really acceptable anymore. I am profoundly grateful for the job that I have, and it has brought me so much more than I ever thought possible in terms of enriching my life (including introducing me to the woman who would become my girlfriend earlier this year, another motivating factor in my current thoughts), but the closer I get to a full dozen years, the more I feel like moving on is the next step for me. I hope that all of you will join me along the way with that.

All that being said, 2013 is far from over for me, musically speaking. In April, as I was taking a week’s vacation off of work, I not only finished recording MIDI trombone parts for a piece I began in 2009, “Deus ex machina: Pressures of Life” (which is available for your listening pleasure on Sonic Cinema by clicking on the title above), but I also re-recorded a couple of electronic parts for a piece I wrote for trombone quartet and electronics back in 2002, entitled “Lost Souls, Guided by Hope”. For both pieces, along with the 2006 written work, “Sonic Contemplation”, I hope to record live trombone parts for each piece’s inclusion on what will be my next major album, “‘Five Stages’…and other pieces from the heart”. That album’s title comes from its central work, my five-movement “‘Five Stages’ Suite”, which has also been recorded live (mostly), and has never been released in full, despite its composition in 1999. I’m planning on having this album available in 2014.

That’s next year, however; this year, I do have more planned. In October, during my annual “Horror Movie Marathon,” which has inspired six pieces, I’m looking to do something even more ambitious, and create a series of musical works in the same vein that will, along with my earlier pieces, be released in a digital-only fashion (a la “Arpeggiations & Atmospheres”) for an EP entitled, “The Cold Wind of Horror”. More on that in October.

A little more recently, however, I began outlining a new composition. It is currently without a title, but it is based around a band orchestration. I’ve wanted to write something for that type of ensemble for a long time, and the retirement of my high school band director, Alfred Watkins, after this past school year was a pretty good catalyst. Like any piece of music, it began with a couple of notes jotted down on manuscript (okay, not like ANY piece of music– I’ve started others simply by noodling around on the synths), although a little inspiration from my current cinematic obsession (“Cloud Atlas”, with one of the best soundtracks I’ve ever heard) helped nudge me along, as well. It’s in its early stages as I write this, but I’m anticipated that, in sound and orchestration, it’s going to be one of my biggest musical landscapes. I’ll keep everyone posted on my Facebook artist page with how progress is going on that piece.

Anyway, that’s all I have for now. Thank you all for your support over the years, and for indulging me my various, eclectic artistic whims.

Thanks for listening,

Brian Skutle
“Creative Beginnings” at CDBaby
“Dark Experiments” at CDBaby
“Sonic Visions of a New Old West” at CDBaby
“Beyond the Infinite: A Musical Odyssey” at CDBaby
“Storytelling” at CDBaby
“Arpeggiations & Atmospheres” on BandCamp

Categories: News, News - Music

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