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Paul Muzea

ambient, world and otherworld music

The year of the CD

Posted by paulmuzea_wp on January 1, 2017
Posted in Music in progressProgress in music. 

The last sunset of 2016, Fremont Center,NY

I have been threatening the release of the CD “Ambient Energy” for several  years now. Unsuccessfully.

This year that will change.

First, a reason/excuse why it’s not done after all this time:

Short answer-it just doesn’t feel right yet.

Longer answer-It’s an ambient album, and creating an ambiance is creating a feeling. If the feeling is not evoked, the album’s a failure. By definition ambiance is a feeling, not just a sound.

The CD has become a bit of a mental/musical block. With at least three other CD’s of material lined up in my queue, none of which are ambient, focus can get diluted. So focus needs to be placed back on the CD at hand. And it has.

I’m really beginning to enjoy ambient energy, and enjoying working on something makes it much easier to persevere. It’s beginning to take on the 4 dimensions I envision and define as ambiance:

  1. Width: of sound, or stereo space
  2. Height: of sound, or frequency spectrum
  3. Depth: some items deep and far away in the mix, others front and center.
  4. Time cohesion: this is the concept that time-space must be gently transitioned through, as Steve Reich once stated “Like the shifting sand of a beach slowly and subtly being sculpted by the waves (not his exact words, but close to the point)

There is one more track that need be added to the CD. It is a piece I created in the early eighties, titled “Arctic Winds”, conceived at the foot of a glacier in a remote area of Alaska a good ways off the the Valdez highway (Chitina, for you map lovers-some places you never forget).

As a side note, that evening I camped within 20 feet of a roaring waterfall. There is an audio-related reason I mention this. Of the thousands of nights I have slept in a tent, only about 2 dozen really stand out a truly memorable and that was one of them. Though the sound of the falls was deafening i had a great rest that night. The power of organic white noise I guess.

The original composition, though still powerful at evoking the space I envisioned, lacked the feel, due to limits of technology (4-track reel-to-reel, DX-7 and sequencer) and the lacking of my production abilities at the time. I feel it is in need of a modern make-over.

For historical purposes, I posted the original “Eighties rendition” on soundcloud.

That is the one major task that need be tackled before the final CD compilation work. But it will get done. And I make the vow that “Ambient Energy” will be completed in 2017.

And in this opening to another year. I beg your indulgence and leave you with this wish/toast/quote I found on a back road deep in the snow covered mountains of upstate New York:

In this new year:
May you choose paths that take you to the destination of your desires by the start of the next.
May you never be swayed from the path of your dreams
May you never beckon someone from their own.
May you have the good fortune to have a companion that shares your path
And may you have the wisdom and courage to bid a warm farewell when paths must part
May you always choose the right path over the familiar and comfortable one.


Rendition of Arctic Winds from 1984

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….

The Sky Suite

Posted by paulmuzea_wp on May 22, 2012
Posted in Music in progress 

The concept originated one late fall afternoon while I was out along the upper Delaware River. I heard a hawk shriek high in the wind and started thinking of the trip of that hawk. And thinking beyond.

“Cry in the Sky” is the first part of the complete Sky Suite, the complete work to be release on the forthcoming CD “Indigo Project”. To date the entire suite runs about 40 minutes. It is meant to be listened to in sequence, as in a way it is telling a narrative.

The concept starts with the lone shriek high in the sky of a hawk. The perspective shifts to that of a hawk, looking down on the expanse of wilderness below. The hawk rises in the sky, higher and higher, and the perspective broadens, taking in more and more of the expanse below. Perspective and consciousness expand and the hawk continues to rise, not unlike Icarus ascending, but there are no waxed wings to fail. In the sequel track “Beyond the Sky”  the perspective moves higher and higher, away from the comforts of earth into the unknown and the hawk is no longer limited by physical constraints as consciousness expands. Into space, on and on, ever expanding perspective and consciousness. Into and beyond the stars, into the infinite. The suite returns home and closes with the track “Kiss the Sky”.

Beyond the sky.

Posted by paulmuzea_wp on February 24, 2012
Posted in Music in progress 

Beyond the Sky,

This is an extended ambient version.  I intend on trimming it down for a radio ready version. This one is available for a free download. I hope it’s enjoyed.

Best listened to on a dark and starry night.

Cry in the Sky, Parts I and II

Posted by paulmuzea_wp on January 5, 2012
Posted in Music in progress 

It’s funny how a cut can take on a life of it’s own. This track took a lot longer than I had ever expected.  What started as a small cozy ambient track has developed into a multitrack conceptual monster. The name came as I was out running one day. I heard the shriek of one of the distant hawks that populate the skies over the upper Delaware valley of New York State where I live.

The name “Cry in the Sky” lead me to start thinking about a concept piece leading up and beyond.  This is just the opening track of that extended concept. Parts I and II are combined here, although I have online versions separated The next track in the series “Beyond the Sky” is pretty well along , but I have no idea when it will be done. As I mentioned, the tracks take on lives of their own..

Cry in the Sky, Parts I and II

And a happy and healthy New Year to you.