Howdy. I just wanted to share some news about the latest happenings here at the Church of Hed. Our last update is here if you are interested in checking it out. Thanks for the interest as always.
Work on the new Church of Hed Album Continues
I’ve been working on hard on my new album which is probably going to be called Brandenburg Heights. One of the pieces involves a total destruction/reconstruction of the old Quarkspace electronica classic, Recaesarian, from Spacefolds 5 — more on that later. “Caesar” got me thinking Roman, which made me ponder the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. I grew up near a town in Ohio called Berlin Heights. Throw in the modern Berlin School style of the music and there you have the album title etymology.
Speaking of Berlin School, the album follows the classic 70s format used by Tangerine Dream and early Mike Oldfield, featuring two “title tracks” with the added Part 1 and Part 2 monikers. Part 1 is the aforementioned Recaesarian reconstruction. I owned the Volca Bass and Keys for about a year (as of January 2016), using them primarily as sound modules instead of their embedded sequencer functionality.
After picking up the Korg SQ-1 to serve as a MIDI sync traffic cop between the Volcas, Monotribe, Teenage Electronics PO-12, and the glorious Moog Sub 37, I started to work on this large-form Berlin School piece using the 5/4 time signature, key of D, and chord progression from the live version of Recaesarian. This Philip Glass inspired minimalism section appeared in the middle, with a soft landing serving as a coda arriving some 20 minutes after the beginning.
I was able to recreate the piece live in the studio and finally got a basic recording I liked. Over the past few months, work continued involving orchestration and physically playing new parts. Doing those Glass arpeggios on the weighted keys of my Yamaha MM8 still requires some effort and practice. I’ve always liked to combine sequenced, quantized loops, beats, and patterns with kinetic playing on both drums and keys. So there.
Part 2 began to take form when I found a studio improv I recorded last December featuring a Sub 37 arpeggiation and a live drum beat all in 7. Taking a more modular form, I gradually wrote a few other parts — all in weirdo time signatures — including some Berlin School action using the same setup as Part 1. This track also comes in at around 20 minutes.
Brandenburg Heights, Part 2 is almost finished; I just need to add some sprinkles and frosting. I plan on having the album out this fall and it will be released exclusively on Bandcamp. With two 20 minute tracks, I don’t feel this release is appropriate for streaming services like Apple Music, Spotify, et al. I’d get less than a tenth of a penny for an entire album stream. I will also have an autographed hard copy CD-R version available from the Bandcamp page with the same BOG4 deal we offer at Eternity’s Jest Records.
The Rivers of Asphalt Sequel in Progress
Concurrently with the work on Brandenburg Heights, I’ve been writing and practicing material from my next, next album which will be a sequel to Rivers of Asphalt. Instead of Route 66, we are traveling the Lincoln Highway from San Francisco to New York City. I’ve written material for San Fran along with most of the areas from Kansas to the East Coast. I haven’t recorded much yet, but continue to practice and refine the material. This one gonna be proggie.
Well, that’s all I’ve got for now. Expect an update when Brandenburg Heights is released.