Symphonic Electropop with a focus on the future

Hi there, and welcome to my little corner of the Internet! I compose and record original electronic pop music and use this site as the primary means to freely distribute the high quality MP3s of my work. Of course, I might also share a few tidbits about myself as well. You've been warned.

Yeah, there's only a handful of songs on here right now, but I'm hoping you'll value quality over quantity! I'm constantly working on more originals and will post them on a regular basis as they're completed. Anyway, just take a look and a listen to what's here, and if there's anything you like, simply click each song's download link (right click, save as, etc.) to access the high-quality MP3 file. If there's something you really like, let me know! Turns out I respond well to encouragement. And if there's something you really, really like, I'll look into getting a 'donate' button stuck on here somewhere :)

The Voyager

This may have been the longest I've ever worked on a track. 52 past versions sit on my hard drive, with the earliest stab dating back to the fall of 2015. I can't begin to count how many hours I've put into it. Probably too many. Some tunes happen almost in an instant, and seem to practically write themselves. Halcyon was like that, going from nothing to finished track in about 4 or 5 days. This one however, went through plenty of hurdles, and lots of writer's block (producer's block?). I was ready to give up on it more than once, but thankfully, I convinced myself that at the core, there was something of value in the composition, and that if I only persevered, I should be able to unlock its true potential. I hope I succeeded.

One unexpected (and happy) side effect from experimenting with this track is that it gave birth to two other alternative "offshoot" tracks, both of which have their own personalities, but that also borrow tempo, key and a few instruments from The Voyager. I wonder if I might be able to craft a larger set of related tracks, much like the progressive rock bands used to do back in the day. Maybe these could become a trilogy? Who knows. Right now, I'm happy just to put this one out there and move on to the next track (which hopefully won't take as long).

At almost 7 1/2 minutes, The Voyager is also the longest track I've produced so far, taking the listener through a few different phases along the way. I grew up listening to lots of Rush, Yes, and Genesis, and I've always wanted to try my hand at doing a more epic, progressive-style of track - one with a few twists and turns to keep the listener interested. And although there are modern progressive rock bands out there, I've found it nearly impossible to find progressive music that uses more modern synths and production techniques as the core sound. So, in a sense, I hope that this tune helps to fill that void in some small way.

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Cryonaut - The Voyager.mp3

Electric Joy

This track began life as 24 bars of relatively simple synth and bass patterns. It lasted for all of about 45 seconds or so. Kinda groovy when I set it to loop for a bit, but it sounded nothing like anything resembling a full track. More of a musical sketch to see how certain instruments and patterns fit together. Much of my music begins this way.

I had put it on the back burner many months ago to work on other 'bigger' tracks, ones with much more instrumentation, sections, etc. Even lyrics. A number of these tracks are much closer to completion, but it's the lyrics where I get bogged down. Even though I've been working steadily on my music, I haven't put out anything new for almost a year (shameful, I know) and so I started thinking that I might want to release a 'teaser' video that has a sampling of 6 or 7 of the new tracks I'm working on. Just to let my subscribers know I'm still working away at this stuff, and to give them a peek at what's on the way.

When I started reviewing the various tracks in production, I came back to the 24 bars of groovy synth patterns and wondered what I could do to make it a bit more interesting if I was going to include it in the teaser video. So, I started adding a bit here and there, tweaking some of the sounds and patterns, and soon enough I was playing around with it for hours on end trying new variations and instruments. Lo and behold, the full track became a reality almost by surprise. Interesting how sometimes these things happen almost all at once, and with seemingly no prior planning.

Anyway, I felt this one needed a high-energy video to accompany the kinetic nature of the music. The video is a compilation of what I think are some of the very best time lapse cityscape videos on the Internet. Pretty mesmerizing, and a bit of a trip when all mashed together into a rapid fire montage.

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Cryonaut - Electric Joy.mp3   

Nanoverture

I believe that we're on the verge of a nanotechnology revolution... and I get excited just thinking about it. The accelerating progress we're making in the areas of nanoscience and material manipulation will reap incredible rewards in the coming decades, many of which we haven't even thought of yet. From microscopic supercomputers, to hyper-efficient solar farms, to fleets of medical nanobots that will help us to transcend our own physical limitations and live indefinitely – we will soon have the ability to solve most of the major problems the planet faces today. Exciting stuff, to say the least!

This track is a musical expression of my optimism towards this amazing technology. When I think of these "billions of tiny machines, all working together", I imagine an intricate tapestry of microscopic machines, each perfectly coordinating with the rest in a rapid and energetic synchronicity. I used this image as inspiration for the song – it's an energetic, more complex arrangement, with interweaving arpeggios and multiple layers of orchestral and synthetic instruments all making their small respective contributions to the greater whole. Hope you like it!

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Cryonaut - Nanoverture.mp3  

They'll Be Machines

Back in 1964, Arthur C. Clarke, the legendary science fiction writer, did a BBC Horizon special where he revealed some of his predictions for the future. One of the most provocative ideas he shared was his belief that humankind would eventually be superceded by highly intelligent thinking machines. That was 50 years ago that he spoke those words, and I believe they hold more and more truth with each passing year.

For this track, I wanted to share Mr. Clarke's words, as well as to create a soundscape of evolving textures and patterns. In its own way, this track is almost a spiritual successor to my earlier track, The Robot Will Save Us. It explores the same theme, and it also moves through three stages, what I like to think of as Organic, Technologic, and Transcendent.

I'm optimistic that advancing machine intelligence can and will be a force for accelerated positive change in the world. The more we can understand, appreciate and openly discuss the promise and peril of such revolutionary technology, the better chance we have of surviving (and thriving) in a landscape dominated by intelligent machines.

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Cryonaut - They'll Be Machines.mp3 

UNATCO Theme (Deus Ex Cover)

14 years ago I fell in love with a video game. And this remix is my musical love letter of sorts to Warren Spector and the team of people at Ion Storm whose effort, imagination and eerily prophetic vision created what is, to me, the best game of all time – Deus Ex.

It was the story and underlying themes of freedom, power and technology that really pulled me deep into its dark dystopia. Nanotech, Robotics and Artificial Intelligence factor largely into the storyline of Deus Ex, which hints at an incredible future for humanity with these elements playing critical roles.

For this musical tribute, I decided to recreate and remix what I consider the best and most memorable track from the Deus Ex soundtrack, the UNATCO theme. I also took the liberty to blend in a few other musical themes from the game, and I think they fit pretty well. The goal with the song and the video was to capture the mood and feel of the game in a condensed 6 minute trip through gaming nostalgia.

Original UNATCO theme by Michiel van den Bos
Incorporated Deus Ex musical themes by Alexander Brandon
Voice of JC Denton by Jay Franke
Voice of Morpheus by Tom Hall
Deus Ex video game created by Warren Spector and Ion Storm

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Cryonaut – UNATCO Theme [Deus Ex Cover].mp3 

Space Faring Species

I've always been a big fan of humankind's endeavours into space, regardless of which country or initiative is behind them. And I think that such efforts to explore the great cosmic ocean beyond these earthly shores are some of the most important to our long term survival as a species. The people, companies, and countries behind these pursuits should be commended for their courage, their hard work, and their imagination. They are some of the truest 'heroes' this planet has ever produced.

This song is a tribute to these visionaries, and my own little 'thank you' of sorts for their dedication to a field of study that rarely gets the accolades or attention (or, sadly, the funding) it truly deserves.

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Cryonaut - Space Faring Species.mp3

Halcyon

I just upgraded to the new Logic Pro X and it is fantastic - an incredible music production suite for just $200! I was playing around with the new built-in arpeggiator and soon became inspired by a particular sequence I discovered. This became the foundation for "Halcyon", which grew quickly and held my attention for many hours at a time. There's definitely a Boards of Canada influence at work here (I just love that warm fuzzy analog intro synth), but I'm also trying to capture the sun drenched "Retro Future" atmosphere as depicted by visual artists such as Syd Mead.

I don't know exactly how it happened (and maybe it's because Logic is so streamlined and easy to use now) but this whole tune came together in just three days. No sense overthinking it -- I'm very happy with it just the way it is, so here you go! Enjoy! (Oh, and that's me on acoustic guitar as well, ha ha!)

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Cryonaut - Halcyon.mp3

ROYGBIV (Boards of Canada Cover)

I absolutely love this tune by BOC. Perhaps 'love' isn't strong enough - the Boards of Canada masterpiece has by far the highest play count on my iTunes, somewhere nearing 500 plays. I think I might have a problem! It's a fantastic, beautiful, enigmatic track that has the ability to pull your brain into another dimension. The only criticism I can level at the original piece is that they made it WAY TOO SHORT! Come on - don't trip me out and then pull the plug after only two and a half minutes!!!

So I decided it would be a neat little experiment to recreate this seminal tune from scratch (adding Bocuma to the start, just to keep things authentic) and lengthen it to something a bit more 'mainstream'. Along the way, I've added my own touches as well as a recurring alternate melody and break that offer interesting counterpoints to the main theme. Hope you like it!

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Cryonaut - Bocuma Roygbiv (Boards of Canada cover).mp3

The Robot Will Save Us

Most of my compositions start out as simple melodies or chord progressions. This one was no different in that the music was well established before I even thought of a theme or a title. At one point, the ominous tone got me thinking that the tune would have fit well in some sci-fi robot action movie. However, my view on modern day robots is that they're actually a great help to humanity and not the doomsday harbingers that so much science fiction would have you believe.

Once I began associating the robot theme with this piece, it changed the way I structured the melodies. Now in its final form, it consists of three acts: Apprehension, Understanding, and Optimism. The title now holds double meaning - what could easily have been a line from some sci-fi B movie, but also a more optimistic look at how the field of robotics will affect the world as the technology evolves. Enjoy!

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Cryonaut - The Robot Will Save Us.mp3