JJacob | LTP Learning to play

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Electronic: Ambient New Age: Progressive Electronic Moods: Type: Soundtrack
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LTP Learning to play

by JJacob

An electronic music journey from a self taught artist. JJacob's debut album “LTP learning to play” , 9 tracks and 57 minutes of “music alchemy at its best” !
Genre: Electronic: Ambient
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Traveler I - The Journey Begins
7:22 $0.90
2. Gaia
5:45 $0.90
3. Time noise
5:10 $0.90
4. One more season
7:17 $0.90
5. Playground
4:29 $0.90
6. Ocean
5:16 $0.90
7. Uriel
9:30 $0.90
8. Traveler II - Midnight traveler(meeting Veiron)
8:18 $0.90
9. Learning to Play
4:28 $0.90
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
About the “LTP Learning to play” music album (EP).
The album consists of 9 tracks with a total duration of almost 57 minutes. A rather dark album but with some glades that assert on existential, social, and ecological issues. All tracks except the homonymus to the album, are purely instrumental based on electronic sounds with some mixtures of rather classical instruments like pianos, violins, and orchestral elements. It is difficult to tag this project on a certain gender, as much versatility occurs on styles and influences. In most of the tracks, elements of rock dominate but under a rather personal filtering applying to what could be considered as electro-rock or progressive instrumental rock. Meanwhile two or three tracks are closer to the styles of electronic music, reminding sounds from Vangelis, Jean Michele Jarre and Tangerine Dream. Ultimately the one and only track with lyrics (Learning to Play) might bring up some influences from Enya and the 90s ambient scene.

About the making of “LTP Learning to play”
While all the tracks were produced on a computer based home studio using VST instruments, the project faced some sound quality issues. Meeting Kostas Mouroulis, a musician, sound engineer and co producer of the album, there was a discussion about rearrangement of the music and which conserned the replacement of some virtual instruments (VST) with natural ones. However, it was finally decided to go on as it was, without even the slightest adjustments, in order to preserve the roughness and the amateur-like feeling of the music.
Lola Yannopoulou, a Greek uprising talented musician and singer of the music band “Pallyria”, joined the project participating with her vocal performance in the only song of the project “Learning to play” (track 9) which is also the homonymus to the album track. Both Kostas and Lola and at some time later on Paul Stefanides, who did the final mastering and engineering of the album, Nikos Theodorides who assisted with his management skills, Bill Pappas who participated as an associate recording studio engineer and Georg Eyangelogiorgos who made all the album artwork, all contributed to the realization of this project with warmth and devotion, giving JJacob a final result beyond his expectations and the opportunity for him to be here today and share his work. He states in the CD album booklet:

“I am truly honored and grateful, that you are holding my first music CD in your hands. When I first started experimenting with music in 2008, I couldn't imagine that it would eventually lead me here. Not knowing too much about music, my intention back then was to create sounds and melodies that I enjoyed, and maybe share them with friends. Not too much has changed since then...and despite the fact that I managed to complete the production of my first CD, I still do not consider myself to be a professional musician. The truth is that I just keep sharing more music with even more friends.”

Album insight (by JJacob)
The name of the project, LTP (learning to play), was originally based on the simple idea that I wanted to learn how to play music. With the completion of each track, it seemed more and more apparent that this creative process was being driven by certain personal worries that were gradually emerging...
Eventually, LTP turned out to be learning to play with nature, the simple elements that have contributed to my life, and the new sense of values that are emerging out of a child's play. A child forgotten due to unfortunate choices, the distorted mindset of everyday life, an unfulfilling emotional neurosis, and the corrosion of personality caused by mindless consumerism.
So, the journey to this realization starts with the first track “Traveler I-the journey begins”, and the circle closes with the last track “Learning to play” (the only track with lyrics).
Throughout his experience the traveler confronts himself, challenges existential issues, or makes social and ecological assertions. Beyond any philosophical arguments, the metaphysical aspects of nature itself are emerging. Transcending any materialistic or scientific approach, he discovers that our true existence in the universe is founded on the grace of simple things...

Answers? No, I don't have any answers! The journey has just begun...

October 28 2010



to write a review

Diane and the RadioIndy.com Reviewer Team

Excellent Collection of Ambient Electronic Music
Talented artist, JJacob, releases an excellent collection of ambient Electronic music on his debut album, “LTP Learning to play.” JJacob is a self taught musician and he is not afraid to make that statement. As you listen through his entire album, one would think he had some kind of training as his music is quite melodic and has a multitude of layered sounds with a nice dynamic balance. Opening up the CD, “Traveler I - The Journey Begins,” is vibrant with a steady strong rhythm and rich synth strings. Another song, “Time noise,” is bursting with rhythmic beats swirling around the lush sounds of the synths as they build up to a grand, powerful feel. “Playground,” has mysterious sound and flows with a terrific eerie sensation. Although this album is mainly instrumentals, “Learning to Play,” features hypnotic vocals that caress the well orchestrated instrumentation. If you are a fan of Electronic music with dark tonality, then the album, “LTP Learning to play,” is just what you need to listen to.


Review by Heath Andrews at Review you-CD reviews
When film director JJacob received some music production software from a friend in 2008, he used it to turn his enthusiasm for music into a full-fledged album. Though he had used a simple keyboard to score one of his own films in the past, this debut album, LTP Learning To Play, is his first serious venture into the world of music. LTP... is entirely self-performed (with the exception of the vocals on the last track) through the use of multiple layers of synthesizers and keyboards. Even though it's rather well done, especially for someone with virtually no music experience, LTP... sounds much more like a film score than a cohesive album of songs.

Of the nine songs on the album, the first eight of them are instrumental pieces. The opening track, "Traveler I - The Journey Begins," is a wonderful start with a gradual build from a simple keyboard patch to layers of synths backed by an invigorating drum track. At about seven minutes and twenty seconds long, the song certainly has time to build up, and sure enough, every time the song returns to its refrain the arrangement has more instruments added to it. The added layers of sound bring some excitement to the music, which is based heavily upon a refrain that the instrumental continually returns to like a sung chorus.

To JJacob's credit, being able to write instrumentals that don't simply meander, but are able to return to their original melody/refrain, is a great skill to have. However, most of the songs here do this too frequently, due to their excessive length. The track that does this more than any other is "Uriel", clocking in at nearly nine and a half minutes. The song builds upon itself from where it starts as merely one, pulsing, synthesizer, but eventually stops introducing new musical ideas and becomes tedious.

The middle of the album has three consecutive songs that use only multiple layers of synth. There's no synthesized strings, no added percussion; there's just a veritable cavalcade of keyboards. These songs, "One More Season," "Playground," and "Ocean" show how LTP Learning To Play sounds more like a film score than an album. Each of the songs is very atmospheric, but don't feature any compelling moments like "Traveler I..." does, nor do they build like "Uriel". Instead, the songs convey a setting of sorts. For instance, "Ocean" emits a feeling of water or even deep space. Though probably unintended, these songs feel like they could've been inspired by or used in the popular video game series Mass Effect, which has a score reminiscent of 1980's science-fiction films. Despite being a compliment to JJacob's compositional skills, LTP... is not supposed to be a film score, but an electronic album with undercurrents of rock and progressive rock.

The title track, which is also the album's closer, is the only one featuring vocals. The lyrics, written by JJacob and sung by Lola Yannopoulou, are effective, evocative, and a much-needed change of pace from the long instrumentals that precede it. JJacob's use of imagery is just as strong lyrically as it is musically where phrases like, "seasons of drought" and "whispering into tears" conjure up mental pictures just as vivid as the ones painted by the music of "Oceans" or "Gaia". Also of importance, the title track reminds the listener about the concept of the album, as we are listening to JJacob learn to play these pieces note by note.

For the work of a musical amateur, LTP Learning To Play shows a lot of promise. It's not surprising, given his time working with film, that his songs would share a stronger connection with that medium. While not amateurish, the album still has its weaknesses; namely overly long songs that repeat more than they progress into new ideas. But credit must be given for the layered and complex arrangements. What JJacob has really done is created the score to a movie that has yet to be made. LTP... doesn't completely hold up as a cohesive album, but it still has more than a few moments of greatness.

Review by Heath Andrews
Rating: 3 Stars (out of 5)


A musician's impression at Reverbnation (Exile pots, September 2010)
"You've created a consummate work of dramatic and emotional beauty, Jacob. From the tender opening and building tensions of 'Traveler I - The Journey Begins', through the vitality of 'Gaia', the meditative melancholy that is 'One More Season', 'Ocean's sense of mystery, and the scary, textured dynamics of 'Uriel' to the beautiful and perfect vocal resolution that is 'Learning to Play'... this is nothing short of being the soundtrack to an epic voyage. Lovingly realised and well worth every second spent on it's creation. Wishing you much success and continued creativity! All the Best ~ EP"
Posted at Reverbnation September 2010 http://www.reverbnation.com/page_object/page_object_press/artist_830214


Mi2N press release "JJacob's LTP Learning To Play: Music Alchemy At Its Best"
Veiron Audio and Visual Productions announced that LTP Learning To Play, the debut album from Director/Producer JJacob will be released digitally on November 6, 2010 through CD Baby. LTP Learning To Play will also be released in a CD format in December.

JJacob was born Jacob Marris in 1973 in Addis Abbeba of Ethiopia to Greek emigrant parents, where he lived until age 13. After finishing high school in Athens-Greece, he went on to a local film and television college where he earned his degree in direction and film making. In 1996, he began working freelance in the local film and television industry on season to season contracts with all domestic major production companies and broadcast networks. This would prove to be his career and source of revenue, one that allowed him to pursue other interests in his spare time.

JJacob never received any formal musical education, but as a teen, he had the opportunity to experiment on a cheap 1980�s Casio synthesizer that he was given and discovered that while he was not a musician, there was music within him. In 1992, JJacob wrote the original score for his first academic short feature movie "To Ktinosβ - The Beast 1992" and recorded it on a home cassette recorder. He also formed a high school rock band, holding jam sessions in parking lots, basements and the school stage when possible. Because he didn't play an instrument, he became the band's vocalist and lyricist.

In 2008, a friend gave him music production software as a gift. He began to use his home studio, originally set up for use with his work in film, for experimenting with making music. He learned to use the software key by key without the use of loops or forms in preset � one track after another. With the encouragement of family and friends, he began his quest to become a professional sound engineer. He gradually sharpened his skills and in December 2009, hired Kostas Mouroulis to do mixing and sound engineering work on a musical concept he had in mind. Mouroulis input was invaluable and he eventually took on the role of co-producer. Under JJacob's newly formed indie label Veiron Audio and Visual Productions, the concept turned into his debut album. This was his first serious venture into the music business, of course, having been a professional film producer and director for fifteen years.

JJacob is very clear regarding questions about his musical training, abilities and goals. He is a music enthusiast, and making music for him is both a reconnecting with nature and a hobby. Music is like love, it has the power to touch and heal. Music is like the universe in that we are all a part of it and it is a part of us as well. There's music in the soul of every man, woman and child. Just because one does not seek to pursue it as a profession does not mean that he or she should not allow it to be freely expressed. JJacob is happy with the title of amateur musician, as he freely admits that his "bread and butter" comes from a well-established career in directing and editing.

The nine track LTP Learning To Play is a combination songs based largely on the combination of the electronic genre with multiple other genres, all of which (with the exception of one) are purely instrumental. There are mixtures of rather classical instruments like pianos, violins, orchestral elements and percussions, drums and guitars. On most tracks, elements of rock dominate but under the umbrella of what one would consider electro-rock or progressive instrumental rock. Some tracks are closer to the styles of artists like Vangelis, Jean Michele Jarre and Tangerine Dream. "Learning To Play," the only track with lyrics, and performed by singer Lola Yannopoulou, is reminiscent of Enya and the 90's ambient scene.

LTP was originally based on the simple idea of learning how to play music. With the completion of each track, however, it became more apparent that the creative process was being driven by certain personal emotions which were gradually emerging. Eventually, LTP turned out to be learning to play with a sense of nature, the simple elements that have contributed to one's life, and even the new sense of values that emerge from a child's play. The ultimate understanding is that our true existence in the universe is grounded in the grace of humble things.

LTP Learning To Play will be available for purchase at all major online retailers.

Music Industry News Network, October 2010