album chronology (1997/1998)

After years of producing barely listenable tracks, things finally began to come together. All but one of these tracks are from the days when it was just me and my computer (a Pentium II, if memory serves) - no external MIDI synths, just an SB16 and 8-bit samples. Back then, I was not short of inspiration, just skill. Inevitably, now I know how everything works, ideas (and time) elude me...

Note: all but 3 of these older tracks are
limited to 30 seconds (to save your ears).



The oldest of the online tracks, save the classical ones. I have fun, here, playing with Impulse Tracker's Cutoff filter and manage to produce a plausible early-J.M.Jarre-esque piece. At around 2:25 (0:05, in the excerpt) a nice synth sound enters and a strong, Robert-Miles-style beat, heavy on the bass.

arctic coast

This track starts very sinister with thunder, a breathy flute and even breathy rhythm. The bass of string hits at the start is actually provided by a marimba sound transposed down a number of octaves. However, it lacks structure, sound quality and the initially promising percussion fails to deliver. There's potential though.

shaken, not stirred

Not another James Bond remix? Yep. Following attempts to do a rave version of The Sound of Music and various Christmas carols, I strike success. Some well- placed sound bites and convincingly-recreated theme music make this entertaining, if nothing else...

the road

One of the favourites at the time. An otherwise reasonably-engineered piece of music, let down by the usual duff and messy drums. I'll remix it and get it right one day. Imagine yourself in the car, driving down the motorway at night with orange lights sweeping shadows across the dashboard.


the road (remix)

Did someone say "remix"? I improved the drums a little, only to find something else lacking. Some nice grooves, but the 8-bit samples let it down...

london to paris

After hearing the Propellerheads indulging in 1950's sound bites to such great effect, I had to give it a go. This track also heralds the birth of a melody that lingered around for a while... one I've tried to remix frequently (see Our Island on the third album). The drums are better than most on the album, but still somewhat lacking.

london to paris (remix)

I think this marks a big improvement over the original, and although the instruments are low quality (especially the drums and piano), with a bit of treatment, the track might be made to sound more professional...


Some decent drum programming accompanies some that's a bit muddled, which is also an appropriate description of the melodic content. Some of the synthesized sounds work quite well, though...

perchance to dream

In part inspired by the classical suite's the Child (see below), this is a more souped up, 'clubby' track. I like the definition in frequencies between the timpani and marimba and love the deep warbling synth-bass sound at about 2:35 (0:13, to you). The tacky drums, later on, let the piece down, however.

classical suite

Without a doubt, the most progress I ever made learning to compose was at the times I threw myself at classical music. The endeavour taught me many tacit skills which carried through to my contemporary works. Indeed, the progress can almost be linearly charted through the four movements here...

the explorer

Imagine, if you will an explorer's adventurous voyage across the atlantic. The movement, as does the entire suite, suffers from its synthesized instruments, but with imagination I believe this makes for an atmospheric and evocative piece of music which would not be out of place in a film.

the general

The horrors of war and the toll on its wager comprise this movement. Since this was originally meant to be a symphony (this being the second movement), themes from the The Explorer appear occasionally. This piece houses a nice choir sound (vinyl crackle, no charge) and snare drum hit.

the gentleman

The third movement in a symphony can often be a waltz, which makes me think of Strauss and ball rooms - a place for true gentlemen. This movement shows the most music proficiency of the four and the computerised nature of the instruments don't present too much for distraction.

the child

The introduction of a music box was an inevitability when posed with this subject matter, and beginning with it, the piece charts the growth from infancy to teenage terror and has a theme of progressive development, that of the child being mirrored in the music. This one got the full treatment, later on (see Album 4).

general album comments...


All content, including code and media, (c) Copyright 2001 Chris Nash.