A Chronicle of Midnights
Released: January 20, 2021
Label: Wild Iris Records
David Thompson – Bass on Track 1
Jimi Fiano – Lead Guitar Solo on Track 5
Daphna Rose – Vocals on Track 7
Nick Chin – Saxophone on Track 9
Noah Kaplan – Saxophone on Track 9
Cameron Zhen – Trumpet on Tracks 9 & 10
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Finding hope in the midst of tragedy is humanity’s daily challenge. It is never easy in a world that can, at times, seem so cruel. That is the difficult journey I placed myself on artistically when I started writing the songs that would comprise “A Chronicle of Midnights” – my fourth studio album.
Sonic ambition has never been my failing, truth be told. On this record, I wanted to create rich textures, a blend of acoustic, electric and synthetic instruments. Beats, loops, deep soundscapes, some vocoders and field recordings. I knew it would be dark, intense and tackle the usual concepts of love, death and the form of one’s spirituality. I had no idea where this would lead me, but a real life tragedy provided some direction.
My cousin had to bury her teenage daughter.
We always say how this is an unimaginable tragedy. And while that is indeed true, I did my best to imagine it through the balance of this record. The loss, the questioning of God’s intent, how the world around keeps rolling on, judging us, forgetting us. Ultimately, if you go through the tracks, you’ll find it reaches a conclusion that isn’t necessarily happy, but accepting.
Needless to say, this was one of the more difficult albums I’ve worked on. I would shoot up out of bed in the middle of the night and find myself in the studio writing, channeling emotions as best I could. At times, the songs seemed to write themselves. Take the song “Red” for instance. I couldn’t sleep , so I slipped into the studio at 11:30 PM on a Tuesday. Fired up my gear and hit record. I put my fingers on the piano and played exactly what you hear in the recording – composed on the spot. I then hooked up a mic and sang the melody line over it, with about 75% of the lyrics done right there. Went to bed. Tidied up the balance of it the next day.
Tracking this album went mostly like that. It came easy. The challenge was realizing my sonic ambition for the record. And that’s where Philip Bithell comes in.
Phil is a phenomenal musician, keyboardist and engineer. With most of this project being recorded in Logic at my home studio, it was easy to migrate the projects over to Phil’s studio for mixing. I wanted someone else’s ears on it this time, and Phil delivered. It was by no means easy. I certainly presented him with a plethora of engineering and mixing challenges. But in the end, I can’t thank him enough for his kind assistance on this record. It would have never happened without him and for that I am eternally grateful.
Also find enclosed massive thank yous to contributing musicians David Thompson, Jimi Fiano, Daphna Rose, Nick Chin, Noah Kaplan, and Cameron Zhen. Without them, this album would be incomplete.
Special thanks to Neiz.vesten (hipolink.me/neizvesten) who designed the symbol used on the cover.
Each one of these records I have made has its own story and vibe. This one was a difficult creative process, to be sure. But in the end, it may very well be the most rewarding.