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Paul Muzea

ambient, world and otherworld music

River People

Posted by paulmuzea_wp on April 27, 2014
Posted in Much ado...  | Tagged With: , ,

We as a species are generally dwellers. There are some who are drifters, wanderers, nomads, but basically we as a race find a place we like and stick with it. Or never move from where we were born.

I now live several miles from the Delaware river. The part that runs clear as drinking water. Bald and golden eagles live here. Wild trout live here.
We like to think a place we live in is ours. But in fact, it’s the opposite; we belong to the land. If I were to move away,something would be missing. From me. And from the land. Owning land seems such an absurd concept. Sitting Bull, when asked about selling “his people’s land” replied “selling the land is like selling your ancestors”

I know many people who do possess a strong connection to this place, though they never mention it; its not blatantly obvious they all belong to the river but it is evident. Part of this family.
We are river people.
As part of a family we feel the need to protect loved ones. And that includes the river. The only thing on it’s side is time. The river will endure. Damaged, injured,it will heal with time; will remain as it has for tens of thousands of year.
But we don’t. We as individuals are far less significant and enduring than the place we “own”. Our significance as humans only goes so far as the extent we interact with our surroundings, will become our legacy, for better or worse.
Doing nothing leaves nothing. Do something good for the place you live.

The Delaware River near Narrowsburg, NY as seen from the center.

Once given the distinction of being the cleanest River in the US, the upper Delaware River region is under pressure from big money and big energy companies for development of Hydro-fracking for natural gas.

Ambassador of Music

Posted by paulmuzea_wp on November 18, 2013
Posted in Much ado...  | Tagged With: , , , ,

The world should be thick and full of rhythms and grooves. The beat of the planet is such that music of all kinds, no matter how different or how far flung from the edges of the planet will always meld together in the human song of life. The artist that takes music from one part of the world and makes it fit seemlessly into another is the true ambassador of humanity, bypassing futile boundaries of language and reaching right into the heart.
The world just lost one of those grooves. DJ Cheb I Sabbah, an artist I greatly admired.

one of my favorites:
Esh ‘Dani, Alash Mshit The Rai of Light Club Remix]

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Where was I…

Posted by paulmuzea_wp on November 16, 2013
Posted in Progress in music. 

The last 5 months have kept this studio pretty well occupied with business as… not so usual.
I don’t usually take on artists’ projects. But when I heard Sara’s voice, her soulful lyrics, I felt like I didn’t have a choice-I needed to do this. Maybe it’s stupid to get so attached, but when I feel strongly about an artist or music, I can’t leave well enough alone.
She was just embarking on producing her debut CD. What started as an offer to play guitar on a session or two turned into a major part of production on the CD. Now Sara and I are building her a band-I feel fortunate to play guitar in it.
Producing her tracks has been a real joy- I never tire of hearing her sing. But my work on them is done-kissed off to final mix and mastering.

And now it’s time for me to get back to where I left off on at home. My music is an entire mindset, a world away from what I do live with Sara.
For me they are not tracks, they are a place unto themselves and a time unto themselves. They are a solo journey I have yet to find a partner or group to join me on. They feel like visions. They feel like worlds. When I open the door to that tiny room deep in the wee hours of the night- I don’t see a tiny room. I see a wide open expanse of aural possibilities, limitless in all directions. No matter which direction I choose, I know that I can’t possible reach the end. It is mind boggling and inspiring, like being an astral traveler.
Dimensionless, timeless, spaceless and infinite.
Where I was when I left off is irrelevant. I will pick up right…. here and I will head… there. And there will be music along the way. Always.

But here’s a little of what Sara and I have been doing for the past five months..

https://soundcloud.com/sarahulse/marigolds-premaster

Playing for a cause.

Posted by paulmuzea_wp on November 10, 2013
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So we are a village.
People who play music-or people who do anything that contributes to a better world for no other reason than it’s the right thing to do, can’t help but get together when someone’s in need.
As of late I have stepped back a little from a solitary world of softsynths, ethereal pads and electronic grooves and returned to a world of music that is live, flesh and blood, sweat and heat; where you smile at someone in the middle of a great groove and they smile back and it just gets better. Music the way it’s been since the beginning. Souls singing out using just voices and a few taught strings or skins.

Yesterday I was part of a benefit concert for a 5 month girl with a malignant tumor. Stage 3 Cancer.
The local (and not so local) talent that came out to support was humbling. And all that talent itself was humble. A lot of time and effort for no other reason than it’s the right thing to do. I will always be in awe of people who do that. It is the prime mission of any human.
“Help others when you can”. If I can remember that and stick to it, happiness is so ridiculously easy to attain and maintain.

Hats off to Papa John who worked to put this all together. A great drummer and a great human.

Donations for Elena Marie Sanchez

First listen-15 years later

Posted by paulmuzea_wp on August 30, 2013
Posted in Much ado... 

In the late 90′s I was at a session doing guitar work for a friend at Clinton Studios in New York.
When I got to the studio that evening I got to hear, for the first time, the track I was going to play on.
The track grew on me quickly, and stuck in my head long after, even though it was be the last time I would hear it for many years.
Just today, I got the email, all these years later, with the finished track attached.
I like the song even more now, so I thought it’d be cool to post it.

What I remember most about the date was working in studio A at Clinton.
Now long closed, Clinton studio, like all those old studios in New York, had a stellar history. At least 40 feet long and 30 feet high, Studio A was a sound stage that could contain an entire orchestra. They would record soundtracks for Disney movies, as well as countless commercials. I remember sitting between takes at the 9 foot Steinway, thinking to myself “this piano accompanied Sinatra…”

Here’s a shot of Studio A at Clinton.

studio

I set up my tiny 250ML amp on a chair, about 15 feet in front of the control room window, facing out into the room, with a Neumann Mic in front and a DI feed in the back. I turned up. All the way up. Most sessions you never remember. Some you never forget…

Summer Sessions

Posted by paulmuzea_wp on August 13, 2013
Posted in Progress in music. 

Living in paradise-I live where people go on vacation.  The drawback is you never go on vacation-but I love my work so it’s cool.

My own material has taken a back burner as of late for a few side projects. Some background music for a video, an experimental trio with me on guitar.

And Sara.

When I first heard Sara, (even before I got inside the building where she was performing-I heard her from outside)  my first thought was “Man she’s good! What is this singer doing in this place?”

As I got to know her and her music, I became more drawn into the sound of her voice, the lyrics and the sound she creates with just her tiny ukulele.  This lady’s talent runs deep.

So here I am, doing production on someone else music for her debut CD. Something I never planned to do.

The biggest challenge is not to let the music get in the way of her voice. Easy to do, because the songs are so strong. But it’s all about making her sound the best.

I really hope I see this lady go far. I’m here to give her a solid push in that direction.

One of her songs. Not bad production wise, but not done yet.

Tabularasa

Musical Playground

Posted by paulmuzea_wp on June 7, 2013
Posted in Progress in music.  | Tagged With: ,

Since the CD release I haven’t posted much new material; lately I’ve gotten into “experimental” mode- that means trying stuff I’ve never done: alternate tunings, attempts at using household items as percussion instruments and the like… sometimes (most times) things don’t work out the way I intend. Sometimes they work out better,  sometime they don’t work out at all. That’s ok by me.

I see the sonic realm as this vast playground where you can do whatever you want, you can explore to your heart’s content. If you fall down sometimes, so what? As long as you have fun.
And I have also been seriously considering realizing the life-long ambition of building a power/electro/jazz/fusion band for performing. This is all in the planning stage. This will be a deep commitment on my part-much deeper than pure studio-built music. I have about 3 performance-ready tracks (none are yet posted, as they will all be performed with live players, and maybe one low-profile daw/droid) , when I have seven or so I think I’m good and ready to get the plan in process.
But for now tracks move forward. Here’s a little sample.

Spring and Live Music

Posted by paulmuzea_wp on April 25, 2013
Posted in Uncategorized 

P1000025Spring and the new CD
The mountains of the Catskills in upstate New York are still brown and bare, but there are splashes of bright green everywhere and life force of spring in the mountains is poised to explode.
And the CD “The Sky Suite” is done. After the mad push finishing it up, production here has gone into slow gear as I regroup, recreate and start getting together ideas and concepts for the next CD “Indigo Project” which I’m shooting to have complete by year’s end.

So as I regroup, I take time to enjoy spring and the company of fellow musicians in exchanging ideas and music.
One of the greatest inspirations in music is hearing the inspirations of other musicians, especially live. Music is, after all the ultimate social networking, reaching far deeper into our beings than words can.
When you have the opportunity to “be” with real music, that is, hearing real music, real time from real musicians, you’re reminded that recorded music: cds, streaming and mp3’s are only a reflection of the real thing. Music is a purely human phenomenon, and best served up by real humans.
So that’s my plug to support live music when you can.

But, thankfully we do have the option of having music anytime in the form recorded music, and “The Sky Suite” which I have not yet figured out how to perform live, is available online at Itunes, Amazon, and here:

http://muzea.bandcamp.com/

Give a listen.. and if you like, I would suggest getting the Physical CD. Mp3’s are great, but in order to get the real time flow of the full, uninterrupted Suite, without the silence inherent in mp3 singles, you can’t beat the smoothness of the CD.

Thanks again for being a fan.

Paul Muzea

About the new CD..

Posted by paulmuzea_wp on April 4, 2013
Posted in Progress in music.  | Tagged With: , , , , , , ,

CD_Cover3

Well, my originally goal had been to have the CD “The Sky Suite” done by end of 2012. That’s come and gone. The obstacles, the countless remixes and remasters are also now gone, and I’m happy to say the CD is now available online as a download, and soon to be released as a physical CD.
For me the whole process of mastering is tedious at best, but still there is something so magical about witnessing a bunch of tracks and sound layers getting “glued” together as a real album, and I’m pretty happy with the result.
In any event I hope you get the opportunity to get as much enjoyment out of these tracks as I do. All the tracks are on ReverbNation for a listen, and the download is available at BandCamp

muzea.bandcamp.com/

Up next:
Spring has sprung here in the Catskills (sort of) and after pretty consistent 7 day work weeks for the past 4 months, now that the CD is done and opening day (for fishing) has just passed, I think I’ll just steal a day or two for myself, take my backpack and fly rod and disappear into the wilderness of the Catskills, and hopefully come home with some new sounds and melodies in my head- it’s called re-creation for a good reason.

Then on to the next CD: “Indigo Project.”
Lots of prelimimary work done already, and all the tracks are pretty much sketched out. Who knows, maybe end of 2013 for finishing that one might be in stars
… and lots of music beyond….

Spring(and the CD) are in the air…

Posted by paulmuzea_wp on March 10, 2013
Posted in Music in progress 

That smell of spring, it’s in the air
The nights here in upstate New York are still cold. Not bitter just-colder than march normally lets them get. But the days are getting comfortably cozy- and oh, that warm spring sun! This happens every year- winter’s tenacious, nasty grip is gradually weakened to the point where it can’t hold on and the old man is dragged off, blowing and moaning, to make room for a more gentle seductive mistress, spring. Each year that spring mistress seems more welcome.
And work on the new CD continues. Slowly. With many obstacles, some foreseen, (like long scheduled paying projects) and some unforeseen. Steinberg Wavelab has turned out to be a great mastering tool, better for the task than using Sonar X2 which is the recording and tracking software I normally use and I had originally intended to master on. But the learning curve of getting comfortable with Wavelab has been one of those unforeseen obstacles that has gotten in the way of the CD release. It was still worth the effort.
All the “little” things that go into making a CD, usually handled by a small army of creative souls (artwork, copy, layout, song order, printing, duplicating…) take their own time. This small army if just an army of me-and everything always takes longer than you expect for it to. Then there’s the learning curve for the new graphics software. Heck I’m a musician, not a graphic artist.
This is the absolute un-fun part of a CD (well maybe a little fun-but making music is still way more fun…)
I still remain Psyched and on schedule for early spring, maybe late March if all goes well. The tracks sound great; nice levels and balanced. The CD cover and copy looks really cool. Now it’s all about getting it ready for printing and duplication.
Then back to creating music. Which is what it’s all about….
  CD_Cover3