Takesian | Aqua Afternoon

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New Age: Ambient Electronic: Ambient Moods: Type: Instrumental
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Aqua Afternoon

by Takesian

In the spirit of composers like Philip Glass and Steve Reich, Aqua Afternoon offers four extended electronic cuts that weave repeating melodies within a sonic tapestry that can serve as a pleasant background or a focused classical-like experience.
Genre: New Age: Ambient
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Aqua Afternoon
18:48 album only
2. Eurasia
14:13 album only
3. Orbiting
14:52 album only
4. Morning Meditation
16:26 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Composer's Notes:

After several decades of making music, I thought it's about time I share some of my work with a larger audience. Aqua Afternoon is the result of 10+ years worth of tinkering with a new musical form that I call the Wordless Mantra. This is an instrumental form that uses repeating melodic phrases fused together to create unique musical textures. The music embodies elements from several generes including Classical, Jazz and New Age.

From a listener's standpoint the pieces can be appreciated on different levels. You can enjoy them as a pleasant background to casually set the mood. Or you can listen intently as you might with Jazz or Classical, following individual parts as your interest leads you. Finally, the music can simply be experienced, feeling the power and energy while still being mindful of its subtleties and nuances.

The four pieces on Aqua Afternoon average 15 minutes each in length, and are made up of either three or four distinct movements. In order to meet the needs of broadcast and internet radio formats Aqua Afternoon will also be available on a separate CD as edited airplay mixes that average 5 minutes in length taken from the first movement of each piece. Either way, I hope you enjoy the music!

Gary Takesian
Long Beach, CA
July, 2005


More on the Wordless Mantra Form

Take the intricacy of a fractal image, blend it with the hypnotic simplicity of repeating syllables, or in this case repeating melodic phrases, and you begin to approach the concept behind the Wordless Mantra.

The beauty of a fractal image emerges from the organic-like interplay of repeating graphic elements, each of which is made up of smaller scale replicas of similar elements, which in turn are made up of yet smaller scale replicas of the same elements, and so on. Together, these "elements within elements" unite to form an intriguing and visually satisfying whole.

In the Wordless Mantra a single repeating melodic phrase in one part is juxtaposed against several other parts consisting of iterations of the same phrase, except that in each new part the phrase is altered in its timeframe, pitch level, tonal color, or some combination thereof. When the various parts are played together a whole new musical texture develops - one that attains an individuality that extends beyond merely the sum of its parts.

Similar to the fractal image, it is the interplay between the various repeating elements that give each piece its character. And like the fractal it is the human intervention with respect to color interpretation that transforms formula into art. As with the verbal mantra, the repetitive quality of the music can easily invoke a meditative or contemplative state in the listener. Thus the Wordless Mantra can be listened to on a number of different levels; intently as one would listen to jazz or classical, or atmospherically as one would with ambient music playing quietly in the background.

Gary Takesian


"Bach taught me that."

This comment came from Gary Takesian as he pointed to a musical component of his new album Aqua Afternoon. After studying four hundred years of music, and making music for four decades, 2005 seemed like a good year to put out a debut album.

A classically trained musician, Gary studied organ, composition, and electronic music at University of Southern California. His senior organ recital included works by Bach, Messiaen, Franck, and one of his own compositions for organ and electronically prepared tape.

He also played in a rock and roll band and could handle any of the keyboard parts for any Doors song.

After college came the period of working with computers during the day and synthesizers and sequencers at night. The early Moog modular synthesizers fascinated Gary. These were the days of analog synthesis, dominated by knobs, dials, and patch cords. He spent time at Sound Arts in Los Angeles, an electronic music studio founded by synthesizer pioneer, Paul Beaver. At that time Paul had assembled the largest known Moog modular synthesizer consisting of 12 of the classic black Moog boxes.

At Sound Arts Gary studied electronic music with composer Dan Wyman who did synthesizer work for, among others, Stevie Wonder. Gary went on to perform with Dan and the Los Angeles Electronic Music Quintet, which also included Len Sasso, David Johnson and Darell Sauser. The LAEMQ performed cutting edge electronic music at colleges and other venues throughout Southern California.

All the while that Gary was performing he continued to compose his own music. His creative spirit has led him across many musical areas. As an intellectual exercise in whimsy, he wrote an organ fugue in the style of Bach based on the old Alka Seltzer "Plop-plop-fizz-fizz" TV commercial. He titled it, Fugue on a Theme by Al K. Seltzer.

On a more serious note he has scored two plays staged by director, Elaine Vaan Hogue, of Boston University. Angels in America: Part 1 debuted in February of 1997. Four years later, again with Vaan Hogue, he did the music for Infinity's House, a production at Boston's Majestic Theatre in association with Emerson College.

Beginning in the early 1990's, Gary started to work with MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) which brought together the worlds of his computer day job and his passion for music. Finally the computer and synthesizer had joined together as a compositional and performance duo.

In his "tinkering" with MIDI Gary hit on a compositional form that was unlike any he had encountered before. It was something like a fugue and something like a round but very different from either. He has dubbed the new form, the Wordless Mantra because of its use of repeating musical phrases. The melodic lines are juxtaposed against each other at different pitch levels and instrumentations to form a constantly evolving sonic texture. It is truly a case of the whole being greater than merely a sum of its parts.

The first complete work in this style became Morning Meditation. Originally created as background music for a guided meditation, Gary developed Morning into its present form to use as his own personal meditation music. He discovered that the Wordless Mantra form held enough interest for him to be able to listen over and over without it becoming stale. Encouraged by this, Eurasia and Orbiting soon followed. Then in November 1999, while gazing out at the surfers in Waikiki, Gary penned the initial sketches for Aqua Afternoon. Perhaps it was the majestic view from the 25th floor balcony, or simply the joy of being on vacation that lead to the rich, jubilant feel of Aqua Afternoon.

John Yeamans
Producer and Engineer



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