Fernando James | Dreamshadows

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Brian Eno Robert Fripp "Frippertronics"

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United States - United States

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New Age: Space New Age: Relaxation Moods: Mood: Dreamy
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by Fernando James

The album Dreamshadows is hypnotic and ambient space music that takes the listener on an inner journey which stimulates relaxation, introspection, and sleep.
Genre: New Age: Space
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Christo
5:15 $0.99
2. Oceanus
3:56 $0.99
3. The Other
2:45 $0.99
4. Seeker
6:28 $0.99
5. Soaring the Cusp
3:35 $0.99
6. Pellucid Glimpse
6:44 $0.99
7. Dreamshadows
13:46 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

"The incentive was to create music that would help a loved one relax and get some sleep; to create music that would divide the listener's attention away from their troubles and allow them to rest." quotes the artist when reflecting on the design and recording of Dreamshadows... "The ideas I had for layers of healing ambiance was really beyond the capacity of my instrumentation at the time, so it called for some creative excursions and accidents that one wouldn't normally want to apply to a recording".

The album was recorded with analog and/or digital delay processing in line and in real-time with every single track, and then a mix commitment was made by bouncing these basic tracks to a single channel. Seven tracks bounced to one, six to one, five to one, and so on until nothing was available to record on, and all the tracks were packed with as thick a sound as possible. Analog delay (derived from two track and four track machines) was intermixed with that of a Lexicon PCM 42 through a simple console mix matrix, and signals cross-fed right up to the edge of going into oscillatory feedback.

"The Other" was the only track to be recorded exclusively with analog delays, and a system akin to Robert Fripp's "Frippertronics" was implemented with the exception that two unmatched decks were used to achieve the loop. The basic track is actually comprised of only two recording passes! The feedback and thickness of the track was achieved by establishing a massive bed of noise and fades, and then playing into the loop with less loop feedback. The primary instrumentation was a Gibson Les Paul standard which the artist owned only briefly; it was played through a Morley volume pedal, and plugged directly into a 1/4" jack on the front of a Dokorder 7140. The ensuing degradation and impedance mismatch added to the stress of the track in a way that suited the material. The biggest "creative accident" was when the tape was flipped, and the recording direction inverted so that the crosstalk from the mismatched machine alignments allowed some of the previous track to bleed backwards into the pass being recorded. When both passes were finished, and some synth sweetening added, the most interesting section was edited out as the "song". This track is a great example of a mystery being explored and exemplified through music; something outside of ourselves being seen but not feared. That was the essence of this track - to find beauty in something unknown.

"Seeker" was possibly the quickest production element recorded, and has a unique continuity in it's immediacy. Every track was recorded in one pass from beginning to end, and tape was rolling within minutes of its conception. It was an exhilarating moment for the artist, yet track bouncing was calmly intuitive. The recording process was a meditation and very clear. Primary instrumentation was a Fender Rhodes piano and a Sequential Pro One synthesizer. The piano was played with volume swells created directly from the front of the keyboard's volume control. The amazing thing is the way the track all fits together, if one can imagine building chords with a monophonic synthesizer the way they have been done on Seeker, and getting it all from beginning to end with only one take per track, purely, just as it was delivered from Spirit.

"Oceanus" was a construct of three primary instruments; a Fender Jazzmaster, a Takamine acoustic/electric guitar, and a Lexicon PCM 42 delay. The delay is considered an instrument here, as it was "played" to create chord changes. The waves were achieved by playing the guitars into the PCM 42 until the signal blended together in a digital hash. All of this was committed to tape on the fly, and with manipulation of volume and PCM 42 controls, these loops would be pitched and faded in and out during the performance. Waves of slowly shifting energy was the objective; to inspire the listener to release tension. The Pro One was used for creating the distant synth swells, as if one were to be looking out across a broad expanse of the ocean from a cliff top. Other sonic elements were dropped in years later when a DX7 was acquired, but most of the track was accomplished with a thousand passes of guitars performed into the PCM 42 and then bounced and bounced and bounced...

The two dreamiest tracks, "Dreamshadows" and "Pellucid Glimpse" were primarily Pro One constructs, and it required supreme patience to hold notes out and meticulously turn control knobs an eighth of one turn over the course of a few minutes, but that is how these two tracks were predominately crafted.

"Christo" is a work all unto it's own, with alto recorder and human voice playing a big part. Digital editing is responsible forassembling the final version of this piece, but the primary building block was a Takamine EF-340. So much material has been added and subtracted to Christo that it is impossible to dissect the origin of what and when, as the track is spread out across various media and machines that are no longer in the artist's possession. Stems were assembled from DAT masters made during the early 1990s. "Soaring the Cusp" is a sister piece to Christo...

Other elements have been introduced into the album via digital audio editing to splice analog dropouts that occurred in aging master tapes, including the masking of any trailing artifacts through the use of digital reverb. Headphone listening and a pillow is recommended.



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