Fictional Soundtrack Material for Download in mp3 and FLAC

Regular visitors to the site may have noticed a few changes to the music page, with the notable addition of 'Fictional Soundtrack,' eight tracks freely available for download in mp3 and FLAC formats.

These were demo pieces written in 2005 for a fairly well-known Half Life 2 mod called Minerva. It's a very well crafted mod, with a definite style of its own, and a cool, mysterious (i.e. rather cryptic) plot. I originally contacted the author, Adam Foster, and offered these tunes for subsequent episodes, but alas Adam had his music-needs already met. Ah well.

If you have HL2 on your PC, then go and grab Minerva---it's a very worthy free download, and a very challenging extension to the HL2 world. And would you believe it, on the back of the attention garnered by Minerva among the mod community, Adam now works for Valve, developing HL2: Episode 3. Very well-deserved in my opinion---congrats, Adam! That has to be the ultimate fairy tale ending to every mod developer's dream. Hopefully Adam will still have time to add further episodes to Minerva.

Anyway, back to the music---this is freely available under a Creative Commons licence, for you to use in your own not-for-profit games, mods, videos etc. If you want anything reworked or tweaked for a particular project, let me know. :)

Death of an Aura EP out now

Also available on iTunes, Beatport, Juno.

I'm pleased to finally be able to say that my new download EP, Death of an Aura, is now available for preview/purchase on Bleep. FLAC versions should be following shortly; I'll be updating this post, as well as the discog page, with links to additional stores as and when store support improves.

Musically, I suppose you could say the EP features my vocal debut, albeit mainly through humming and oohing/ahhing here and there for a bit of extra texture, with additional non-lyrics for good measure. Still, I did find the process a lot of fun, adding an immediacy that's normally lacking from my usual methodical composing. Lots of home sampling too, which is certainly something I only really touched upon with Lemodie, and completely ignored with AMND.

A couple of tracks ('Napoli' and 'Raido') are the result of a collaboration between Benet Walsh and I (you may recognise Benet from his work with Plaid, as well as his own work as one half of The Collectors), which were fantastic to work on. Hopefully we'll get a few more tracks done together by the time the album arrives---thanks for the help, Ben!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it. :) Let me know what you think, and please---if you can spread the word across any forums or communities you participate in, I'd very much appreciate it.

Reception.ac3

A couple of you were asking about the surround version of Reception (see here for more info), so here it is:

Reception.ac3

Working in surround is still somewhat of a novelty for me, and I'm sure I've yet to get to grips fully with it, so let me know if you hear anything that sounds like it shouldn't be there and I'll make appropriate adjustments.

Wordpress and Download Store update frenzy

You might have noticed a few changes to the site of late, as I've just updated Wordpress to the new 2.5 version, which includes a whole host of updates on the admin side of things to make my life a little easier. Cosmetically though, there are few changes, although you'll have noticed the addition of Gravatars to the comments section.

For the uninitiated, Gravatars are 'Globally Recognised Avatars', and exist to make it easier for us to have a uniform identity across the net (the avatar equivalent of OpenID, if you will). It will become quickly apparent, by the dearth of avatars in my comments section, that this is very much A New Thing, and has yet to catch on within the online world (although I have noticed one or two commenters have caught on already).

So, if you fancy procuring a Gravatar, all you need is an email address to sign up and associate an avatar with and you're all set (you can assign multiple emails with different avatars).

Continuing the theme of updates, I've tweaked and tinkered with the download store, mainly to a) reduce the number of tracks I have to tend to, and b) by popular request, arrange the downloads into more manageable album-sized chunks, with the option of buying individual albums separately.

The previously 'orphaned' tracks are now separated into three volumes, imaginatively titled I, II and III (yes, I did take a pinch of inspiration from the recent NIN release), and are now approximately grouped chronologically (by completion date, rather than upload date). Each album is about 45 mins long, and will cost you just £2 (~$4---yep, I've switched currencies, allowing me to accept Google Checkout now too!).

Finally, I've also provided each release in 320kbps and FLAC formats, as a single purchase, to save you having to pick which format when buying. You'll get links to separate zips of each format emailed to you---just choose which you'd like to download.

Lemodie on iTunes

Following some digital broker misunderstandings, the details of which I shall not bore you, Lemodie is back on iTunes. If you've got iTunes installed on your computer, you can hop straight to Lemodie here.

While I'm on the subject of downloads, Rednetic Recordings have updated their site with a swanky new download store, so you can now, for example, grab mp3 copies of my tracks Valley Forge and Reverse Engineering from the One Point One compilation, should you so wish. ;)

Recent mastering projects you might enjoy

Just a quickie: a couple of my recent mastering projects might interest those who enjoy a bit of Boards of Canada-esque electronica (both of which are free to download, I might add).

First up is the new compilation on Twoism Records (borne out of the Twoism BoC community) called One on Twoism (Volume 2)---yes, there's a One on Twoism Volume One too! Try saying that quickly.

Second up is the Inspired by... Boards of Canada: A Few New Tunes release, on the budding Myuzyk netlabel. It's a bit more eclectic than the Twoism release, but still very much worth a listen.

Both releases are available in lossless FLAC too, as well as mp3! :cool:

Alan Wilder essay, new NIN

Here's an interesting (and at times chucklesome) essay by ex-Depeche Mode member Alan Wilder, concerning the music industry and its ongoing existential crisis. Topics covered include an increasingly fickle and attention-starved attitude towards listening, the loudness war's attempt to catch the consumer's ear for a moment---along with the ensuing ear fatigue that sets in when you try to listen intently, and musings on alternative modes of operation and distribution. Bang-on the nail and well worth a read.

Coincidentally, making use of the boutique-approach discussed by Wilder, Trent Reznor just released some new NIN, entitled Ghosts I-IV, directly available through his site (or at least, it will be available once the server-crushing traffic wanes---I ended up getting the free release through a NIN-authorised torrent). There's an almost bewildering variety of products and prices available in addition to the free version, right up to the $300 Ultra-Mega-3000 Edition.

It's interesting to see these special editions increasingly being offered alongside standard releases, to subsidise the mp3 and basic CD releases. Giving away part of the release for free also makes a lot of sense, especially when there are so many tracks on offer anyway; Ghosts I clocks in at almost half an hour of music, free for familiarisation, to become lodged in the mind of listeners, who'll then hopefully be back for more. Assuming I get enough material written, I can see myself utilising a similar method. After all, why limit a release to a single CD or 74 minutes of music if you've written the equivalent of two CDs? Package it all together as a single release, and give away 30--40% of it as mp3s to get people listening straight away before you're eclipsed by next week's news. Little use saving it for a separate release if no-one will give either release a chance.

© 2002–2021 Christopher Leary
Header image: Understory cover art, by Guy Warley.