Michael Barrett Dixon | Aquarium

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Classical: Contemporary Classical: Film Music Moods: Type: Soundtrack
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by Michael Barrett Dixon

A soundscape of lush orchestral soundtrack, electronic and new age elements, inspired by memories of a freshwater aquarium and the life therein.
Genre: Classical: Contemporary
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Newcomer
4:59 $0.99
2. Aquarium
3:58 $0.99
3. Schools of Neons
4:21 $0.99
4. Bottom Feeder
5:15 $0.99
5. Community
6:53 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
It’s a tad ironic that this music, with it’s often uplifting nature, was written during a tough time in my life. After being employed for 25 years in higher education, I found myself facing unemployment due to a position elimination. I guess you could say this project was therapeutic, as it kept me busy while searching for jobs. As with most of my music, genre selection is always a challenge. I consider this particular EP somewhat soundtrack-like, with touches of electronic and new age. It may also be considered what music streaming services often categorize as “classical music” due to its orchestration.

This all-instrumental EP is inspired by my memories of owning and caring for a 38-gallon fresh water aquarium. The “characters” like the newcomer, the bottom feeder, and schools of neon tetras provided a calming entertainment during my younger years.

1. Newcomer:
Picture this: a large freshwater aquarium in a house, teaming with varieties of fish species. A new fish is in a plastic bag, floating on the surface, as its water temperature acclimates to the aquarium. Finally, the new fish is released into the aquarium. All fish scatter and hide. The fish, lonely, anxiously swims around learning the surroundings. Other fish finally reveal themselves, and by the end, the new fish becomes part of the community.

2. Aquarium:
Aquarium, the title track of the EP, was originally recorded back in 1995 but the original project was abandoned. Fast-forward to 2019: I rediscovered this and other recordings from the project and chose to re-record this one and create four new tracks to go with it. This track was the inspiration for the others and uses a mix of vintage and modern synthesizers.

3. Schools of Neons:
There are several things that influenced this track. Of course, the Neon Tetra freshwater fish is a schooling fish and was a favorite of mine. It's one of the more colorful freshwater fish available, with neon read and blue striping. The other influence was the music of Vangelis' Blade Runner soundtrack, of which a few musical elements find their way into this track early on before it builds to the climax. With a slight ironic twist, Blade Runner also has a lot of neon-colored signage throughout the movie’s cityscapes.

4. Bottom Feeder:
The Bristlenose Pleco freshwater catfish, pictured at the bottom of the album cover, was a favorite of mine. While these fish can be seen sucking the algae off the aquarium glass walls, they prefer to be bottom feeders, hiding away in darker areas of the tank. They are slow but graceful and even grand, thanks to their large intricately patterned fins. This piece starts off in the dark, but grows to a huge climax to musically illustrate the grand nature of this creature of the bottom.

5. Community:
A community aquarium is one where all species are carefully chosen to ensure they all get along. This is the aquarium type I owned. As a concluding gesture, the EP’s final track brings back musical elements from the four previous tracks and contains its own unique elements as it grows slowly into the biggest climax of all five tracks, celebrating the diversity and harmony of the community.



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