#Writing #MusicMonday: canzoni per i natali del futuro by Various Artists [Cervello Meccanico]

natali-futuroAi ya, this year.

So, I do have albums selected for every week between the last Writing Music Monday post and today, I just have to write them up and post them. And I want those out of the bloody way, so the rest of this week may see two to three posts per day. Or I may be lazy (I know, what a shock, right?) and they might not. I’ll try.

But for now, it is the first Monday in December, and time for Christmas music.

And, being me, I’m opting to start off weird. (Not to fear, the next two weeks will see plenty of more traditional music for you to enjoy.)

Today’s album is brief at thirty-four minutes, but I enjoy it. It is an album with a mission statement:

All of the most popular Christmas songs were composed during the 19th century, and are still used until today, despite being extremely outdated and obsolete. With this album Cervello Meccanico proposes a collection of songs intended to be more suitable for the present century.

What this is is a collection of experimental electronic works by various artists. Imagine if, e.g., Delia Derbyshire had set out to do new holiday music in her prime. A number of the tracks remind me of her work, and I mean that in a very positive way.

There’s also at least one (very good) chiptune.

Your mileage may vary on how festive or holiday-oriented most of the pieces make you feel, but there can’t be any new classics if you never listen to new songs, right? At the very least, the first track or two should be something you won’t mind having playing in the background at a holiday party or gathering.

Download canzoni per i natali del futuro by Various Artists [Cervello Meccanico] free from Cervello Meccanico’s site, the Free Music Archive, or the Internet Archive.



canzoni per i natali del futuro by Various Artists [Cervello Meccanico] is licensed under a Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Italy License.

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#Writing #MusicMonday: Caligari: An Exquisite Corpse by The Chain Tape Collective

coverSo, yeah, I stumbled for several days. Tomorrow, we’ll return to playing Music Monday Catch-Up.

Today, we celebrate Halloween.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is a key work in the history of film. It invented German Expressionism, started its own genre, and eventually influenced the American genre of film noir. The film is silent, and has no canonical soundtrack. It’s also public domain, which doesn’t hurt anything either.

So The Chain Tape Collective decided to set eleven composers loose on the film, and they produced not one, but two Creative Commons-licensed soundtracks. Each composer was given a part of the film and got to hear a bit of what the composer who worked on an earlier part had done, in true surrealist exquisite corpse fashion.

The results are very odd, as you might expect, and a lot of it sounds like a closet project from the ’80s done by a hermit devoted to modern music and antique films. It makes for disturbing, sinister background sonic wallpaper.

Which means it should be great for that horror novel you’re writing, or your late-night Halloween party tonight!

Download Caligari: An Exquisite Corpse free from the Free Music Archive.

You can also watch or download the resulting film free from the Internet Archive.



Caligari: An Exquisite Corpse
by Various Artists [Chain Tape Collective]
is licensed under a Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

#Writing #MusicMonday: Celestia by Jaime Heras

celestiaThis album should have been posted on 18 July 2016.

“Music for watching the skies” the download page says, and if you’re of my generation, at least, that is correct. Celestia by Jaime Heras is more Vangelis-inspired, Carl Sagan’s Cosmos-type music, and very well done, as is all of Heras’s work.

The sense of wonder and discovery is palpable, and the album makes a wonderful companion for the earlier one I shared, Siderea.

Download Celestia by Jaime Heras free from the Internet Archive.


Creative Commons License
Celestia/span> by Jaime Heras is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

#Writing #MusicMonday: El Ultimo Peldano by Jaime Heras

UltimoPeldanoCoverContinuing my revisitation with the works of the now-retired Jaime Heras, I bring you El Último Peldaño.

As Heras explains, there are three original tracks, and the rest are remixes and reworkings of his early works, including pieces from the first WMM album of his I shared, Life in Bitville, which remains a personal favorite of mine.

This album, while having several pieces from Bitville, isn’t purely electronica. It wanders much farther afield than that. And while it has less thematic unity, the wandering also gives it a much wider scope.

You can read his own take on how the album came to be on the Archive page (scroll past the Spanish version to get the English), but in summary, Heras was asked to compose a few short pieces for a radio program called “El Ultimo Peldaño”, did so, then decided that they were strong enough to go longer than 20 or 30 seconds. So he extended those. In addition, the radio show used a lot of his older music, which he found gratifying but, like any artist anywhere, he began to feel they could be improved. So he did remixes and upgrades on those.

Thus, this new hour and nine minutes of quite excellent music.

Download El Último Peldaño free from the Internet Archive.


Creative Commons License
El Último Peldaño by Jaime Heras is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

#Writing #MusicMonday: Envers et contre toi by Maya de Luna

Cover[Yep, two days late. That’ll teach me to put off scheduling posts at least a month ahead of time.]

It’s been more than three years since I shared anything by Maya de Luna, which is a bit of a crime. She’s a French singer who, alas, seems to have stopped recording original work in recent years, though she has posted much of her past work to Youtube, and occasionally leaves comments (in French, alas, which I do not speak or read, alack). And she has somewhat recently done covers of pop songs, like Katy Perry’s “E.T.

She sings almost always in French, and her voice is quite haunting, at least to me.

The previous album, Bar Stim.Art, was her jazziest work (and my favorite), but today’s album, while less overtly jazz-influenced, still carries it in less obvious ways. It is her second (and only other) collaboration with Bruno Stimart, whose work apart from his teaming with de Luna I don’t know, but he brings out the very best in her.

If you listen to this for no other reason, you probably want to hear Maya de Luna meow at you. At least, I enjoy it. (It’s the next-to-last track, “La griffe arrogante”.)

The final track, “Reflet”, somehow does not feel like an end track to an album. It stops, and you expect more. And listening to my Music Monday choices in advance, I have found that it’s a very nice segue into next week’s album, so you’ll only be left waiting a few days. Or, you can download everything Maya de Luna has released and enjoy her quite lovely voice some more. Either way works.

Download Envers et contre toi free from the Internet Archive


Creative Commons License
Envers et contre toi by Maya de Luna is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

#Writing #MusicMonday: Siderea by Jaime Heras

SidereaCoverSqTaking a break from jazz, we get a second album from Jaime Heras (the first was the excellent Life in Bitville in 2013), and I confess to feeling a bit of regret.

Siderea is a wonderful piece of Vangelis– and Tangerine Dream–influenced synth work, the kind of music that used to denote The Future and Life In Space.

Though only three tracks, the album clocks in at just over forty-eight minutes, so it’s more like an electronic symphony than anything else. And a very satisfying one, at that.

As to the regret, I had not realized until just recently that Jaime Heras has stopped making music. He’s still alive and kicking, but apparently got too little return on his investment of time in making his usually-excellent works. And I feel a bit bad for not pushing his work more. Not that my promotion would have made much difference to his livelihood (or any difference at all, really), but since I only featured the one album while he was still producing new work, it feels like I might have done more.

(My only excuses are that he didn’t release under Free Culture licenses, which I focused on those exclusively last year, and that one of his albums didn’t click with me, for reasons mostly unrelated to the music. Well, those two plus I try to cast as wide a net as possible and share as many different artists as possible. But I still could have shared more.)

But back to Siderea. It’s a wonderful piece of work, and I might say it was perfect, but I don’t, for the sole reason that Life In Bitville was just that tiny little bit better. But it is a totally satisfying listening experience, top to bottom. The kind that you might be glad to have the FLAC files, so that you can make an actual CD of it.

Download Siderea free from the Internet Archive.


Creative Commons License
Siderea by Jaime Heras is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

#Writing #Music Monday: Christmas by Dee Yan-Key

CoverDee Yan-Key is a German composer and musician who is incredibly prolific. He began posting albums to Jamendo at the tail end of 2012, and from then to now has released ninety-six separate EPs and full-length albums. He’s a one-man show, working purely through synthesizers as far as I can tell. And while the synths at times sound less than professional grade, his music is never boring.

I chose this album for a few reasons, despite it breaking my year-long streak of Free Culture music right before the finish line for 2015.

First, Christmas music isn’t Christmas music without some jazz in the mix, and there is vanishingly little Christmas jazz in the Creative Commons, at least that I have found so far. This album has moments that are undoubtedly jazzy, though it’s never going to make anybody’s all-time greatest list.

Second, it’s nearly an hour, and perfect for putting on in the background for gatherings or get-togethers. One shouldn’t have to be shuffling playlists every few minutes during the holidays.

Third, having listened to it several times, I think that Dee Yan-Key has a lot of potential, so getting his work out a little more can hurt nothing in helping him to reach it.

If last week’s share had a bit of the coldness of snowy winter to it, this week’s has some of the warmth of the fireside and an over-eager puppy excited at all the new things and new people happening around it.

Download Christmas free from the Internet Archive.


Creative Commons License
Christmas by Dee Yan-Key is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.