by horchata

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This album is a very melodic adventure for me. I used somewhat similar sound sets and focused on an overall theme of odd and manipulated piano sounds, be they distorted or prepared (as in John Cage). All tracks were written and recorded in about 3 months and was the focus of my musical output in Winter 2011 and Spring 2012. Some sounds were recorded at a music practice space where I used an old piano. Other sounds are altered NI Absynth and Massive patches. Additional sounds were made using samples from a 44 module system and made into instruments using NI Kontakt. All composition was done using Sonar 8.5.

Additional samples are from many of my trips to field sites in Amazonia, Costa Rica, and to conferences in the US. The samples used in these songs are not field recordings of nature, but recordings of light fixtures in bathrooms, heating and air conditioning units, and odd scientific instruments at field sites. These sounds add the hum in the background to some of these songs and the buzz to some of the piano sounds. There is also a recording of a dangerous car ride in Juruena, Amazonia, in which I left the audio recorder on in my backpack.

The theme of moss tying all the songs and sounds together came about with the softness, smallness, and complexity of these small group of organisms. I have also been started to do some work in fens, bogs, and hopefully in Alaska and Sweden and mosses play an important role in some of these ecosystems.

I know that all sounds a little pretentious. Really, the way I write music is to hone in on a new process for generating a series of songs, and explore both the methods and sound design. Next, I refine the songs and pick the ones I like the best. Then, I determine which songs and sounds fit well together. Only then, do I start to come up or look for an over arching theme to the album. I normally pick environmental themes, because that is what I research and enjoy. It is also rather fun derive some symbolism on the theme chosen and relate that to the album sound, method of composition, and style of the music. So that is really how I come up with an album title and song names.


released November 12, 2012

michael palace - composition and music
photo by michael palace in juruena, brazil



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horchata Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Horchata is the name used by Michael Palace for his electronic music compositions. His music focuses on dark ambient soundscapes, programmed compositional glitch music, and field recordings. ... more

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