Monday, June 30, 2014

The Idea

I am always surprised by the number of people who tell me, "Hey Jon, I totally listen to your music while I study...or run...or read...or write..." Or whatever. It always catches me off guard - and it always makes me smile.

But it also got me thinking - I wanted to create something that people can use specifically for those things - studying, writing, exercising, reading, sleeping... for life, I guess you could say. For whatever you, as the listener, wants.

So I created Galaxies.

Galaxies is unlike anything I have ever done before. For the past two or three years, I've been in this epic-music/in-your-face/the-world-is-totally-coming-to-an-end kind of style. It's fun music to compose - but I wanted to try break away from that for just a bit.

If Galaxies could be described in one word, it would be ambient. But to go further - it's music that is meant to enhance (not distract) you from what you are doing. It's meant to act as a musical white noise - you can just pop in your headphones or turn on your speakers, and block out the world around you and do what you need to do - without being distracted by what you are listening to.

It's a two disc album. The first disc has twelve tracks in the twelve major keys, and the second disc has twelve tracks in the twelve minor keys.

Each track is named after a galaxy. When writing the tracks, I would stare at pictures of galaxies and write what I saw. Maybe I have synesthesia. Who knows. The music is closely tied to the pictures of the galaxies.

Each track averages at around eleven minutes, bringing the album to about 4.5 hours. (4 hours, 37 minutes, and 34 seconds to be exact.) Plenty of music to choose from.

Here's a track from Disc 1:

Here's a track from Disc 2:

I just finished last week, and it's currently being processed for release. I'm expecting a late July release, fingers crossed. I'll make sure to post when it is.

Thanks for listening,

Jonathan Maiocco

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Annabel Lee

Back in February, I had my senior recital. One of the pieces on the program was Annabel Lee, a piece for bass-baritone and piano, based off the poem Annabel Lee by Edgar Allen Poe.

Here's the audio.

Here's the poem.

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love—
I and my Annabel Lee—
With a love that the wingèd seraphs of Heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsmen came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
Went envying her and me—
Yes!—that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we—
Of many far wiser than we—
And neither the angels in Heaven above
Nor the demons down under the sea
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;

And the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I see the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea—

In her tomb by the sounding sea.

It's definitely different from what I usually post here. Let me know what you think!

Also, an announcement - I am working on a new album right now called Galaxies. I'm hoping to have it released by the end of July. I'll post a preview soon.

Thanks for listening,

Jonathan Maiocco