#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.


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

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#Writing #MusicMonday: Life by Gregoire Lourme

CoverAfter making ten long albums of Free Culture soundtrack music in a very short period of time — only a couple of years — Gregoire Lourme released this, currently his latest, an extended meditation on Life.

And it feels like it might be a masterpiece.

It’s fifty-seven minutes, and by gum I wish it was longer. It’s a symphony, a celebration, an exuberant cry of joy to the universe. The Vangelis influence is quite clear, but so is, at times, that of Hans Zimmer. And yet, taking those influences, and likely others with whom I am unfamiliar, he creates something wholly new, and wondrous.

It is inspiration, in audio form.

Heck, I’m tempted to joke that I’m giving up Writing Music Mondays, because this can’t be topped.

Or maybe not to joke.

It is Just So Damned Good!

Download Life by Grégoire Lourme from the Internet Archive.


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Life by Gregroire Lourme is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

#Writing #Music Monday: Leaving Paradise by Kammerer

Cover[Note: I am flailing with NaNoWriMo right now, so I may not have time to rant about it, but I no longer think anybody—musician or user—should have anything at all to do with Jamendo. With their new redesign — the second in three years — they have also begun a policy of lying to their users. Outright lying. They deserve to go out of business, and the artists who use the site should flee to other services, including BandCamp, the Internet Archive, and self-hosting using the free and open source CASH Music software. So while this album was originally posted on Jamendo, I won’t link there.]

More calming, relaxed “chillout” music from Swedish composer Kammerer (or however it is properly spelled; there are at least three variations on the A). This is an earlier work, and meant to be summertime, poolside background music.

Not much to say about it, except that it’s quite good, as is most of Kammerer’s work; that it’s Attribution-only licensed, meaning you can do what you like with the music, including using it in a Youtube video without asking permission from anybody so long as you give attribution, and that it makes excellent background music for writing.

Kammerer himself says:

Some simple summerchillloungegroovestuff for the sunny ppl.

Download Leaving Paradise by Kammerer from the Internet Archive.


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Leaving Paradise by Kammerer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

#Writing #Music Monday: cyberpunk by Bod

coverI am in a mood, which usually means I don’t post. But I got pissed at my depression for keeping me from having a post ready to roll, and started flailing around on Jamendo to find something, anything that I could find to fit both my prickliness and yet be a good thing to put in the background to write to.

And I stumbled across cyberpunk by German (of course!) composer Bod, who writes of it:

This 9 track album was completely written with the cyberpunk community in mind. It is intended to be played in the background when playing roleplaying games like Shadowrun or Cyberpunk 2020.

All songs are themed to the Neuromancer trilogy by William Gibson. I tried to mix several genres and keep a mixture between technic and handmade sounds. Again: This album is _not_ intended to be heard with full attention. Turn the volume down and let it sit in the background while playing.

Given my eclectic circle of friends and acquaintances, I find it quite surprising that I’ve never run into music written specifically to be played during roleplaying game sessions before.

Confession: I never liked cyberpunk, despite the fact that I knew then and know now that I should like it, at least some instances of it. Furthermore, I bloody hate William Gibson’s cyberpunk works — which is at least partly a function of how insanely overpraised they were at the time, though I have issues with the style he wrote them in as well. Also, I had a university course in SF, and Neuromancer was presented as the logical endpoint for the genre, bringing it down into the gutter among the outcasts, where the professor averred that it belonged (a frankly weird assertion from a prof who openly loved the genre, but that’s a whole other planet of wax).

Even with those two prejudices of mine working against it, given that the tracks are themed from Gibson’s Sprawl Trilogy, it’s kind of remarkable that this album won me over before the first track was over.

Yes, most of the pieces are repetitious, but that’s down both to their genres and to the fact that this is intended as background music. And the repetition almost always has layers of variation, rather than just being on a loop repeat.

In a lot of ways, this is what the ideal cyberpunk, the subgenre that I wish cyberpunk would be, instead of what it actually was, should sound like. It’s hard-edged, sometimes spiky, but also lulls you into its world — not just dirt and trash and amorality, but chrome and clean plastic and mirrorshades too. It works. It works very well.

Download cyberpunk free from the Internet Archive, or directly from Bod’s website.


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cyberpunk by Bod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

#Writing #Music Monday: L’autre endroit by Silence

[cover] Silence - L'autre endroitHere we have a one-album one-man band from someone whose main occupation appears to be as a digital animator. Yet this album argues that he should probably give more attention to creating music.

L’autre endroit is a strange, haunting mix of orchestral classical (or, as one Jamendo reviewer puts it, pseudo-classical), majestic guitar rock, and electronic music that has hard, sharp edges, yet works well as background music for writing, too.

To name one’s musical project “Silence” could be either pretentious or interesting. I would say, after listening to this album through a few times, that this case falls under “interesting”.

I’m not kidding about those hard, sharp edges, either. One track, “Stop!”, has the sounds of a woman being abused in the background. It’s not presented approvingly, not in any way, but this is definitely a work that should be handled with care.

L’autre endroit by Silence is free to download from Jamendo.


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L’autre endroit by Silence released under a Free Art License (FAL) 1.3, also known as a Libre Art License (LAL).

This license is compatible with the Creative Commons Attribution–Share-Alike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0) license.

#Writing #Music Monday: Homeland by SBUT

Homeland CoverI often post an album saying “It’s kind of this, but also a bit of that, but not really like either too much.”

Not this one. This is flat–out dance club techno. So if bass heavy thumpathumpa that’s meant to be danced to won’t get you writing, you probably want to pass this one by.

But — and regular readers know I don’t generally say this about techno — this is really good!

Seriously.

I dance in my chair to this, and look around for hot girls in tube tops. It’s pro, it’s good, and it gets you moving.

SBUT is (yet another) German composer and, not reading German, I can’t tell you too much about him other than that he was born in ’85 and his music is really damn good. He’s been releasing music through Jamendo since 2009, though I’ve only just discovered him (I am a techno-phobe only in the musical sense). He might have begun dj-ing and producing music as far back as 2000 (again, my interpretation of his German bio, so I could be wrong).

Homeland is, at the time of this writing, his most recent release. It throbs. It thumps. It loops and builds and tangents and circles back.

And it’s just really, really damn good. (Especially the “Homeland Girls” track. If you don’t like that, you don’t like ice cream.)

Download Homeland free from Jamendo.


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Homeland by SBUT is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.