Unintelligible Archetypal Babble from the Face - http://www.box.net/shared/static/7qjdb75zzg.mp3
Astrophonic Dreams in the Tube - http://www.box.net/shared/static/ok3vj504kx.mp3
Out - http://www.box.net/shared/static/nbststyf8e.mp3
for Ancient Shores - http://www.box.net/shared/static/1qrsmqcda6.mp3
On Mars - http://www.box.net/shared/static/s5c9v2ruz8.mp3
has managed to follow my discography, while taking note of the themes I have
emphasized as inspiration for my music, will also observe that I am almost
always fixated upon the ideas of space, science fiction, and horror
(especially the Lovecraftian sort). I’m afraid this CD is no different. These
themes continue to occupy my thoughts and heart with the same fascination and
intrigue that I experienced as a child.
As with most of my works assembled on compact disc, I tend
to freely improvise the music, let the music do the talking, and then title
the songs and tell the story accordingly. Mandolin from Mars has two stories
The first story is regarding this so-called "mandolin from
mars." I decided to play an instrument relatively new to me, namely, the
6-string mandolin. The instrument has six single strings (not doubled like the
traditional four-string mandolin), and it is tuned like a guitar. It was
therefore not difficult for me, as a guitarist of 25 years, to grasp the
fundamentals of the instrument and play it in a convincing manner almost
immediately. However, the small fret spacing on the mandolin proved
challenging and forced me to take the songs on the CD in a different direction
than from the idiosyncrasies I normally exhibit on the guitar. Consequently, I
titled the CD "Mandolin from Mars" because the instrument was alien to me
(i.e., metaphorically from Mars), which compelled me to generate a musical
feel that would seem alien to listeners relative to what they normally expect
from the mandolin.
Playing the mandolin on this CD was therefore an
experiment. I did not practice the instrument before recording, but rather I
immersed myself directly in the instrument to express myself as best as I
could without being colored by familiarity with its musical
The second story is the usual one. The titles and order of
the pieces on this CD frame a series of images and concepts. Here is the
“CliffsNotes” version: The so-called face of Mars sends a radio message to
Earth, which the title depicts as “Unintelligible Archetypal Babble from the
Face.” This concept is accentuated by the fact that it is the only song on the
CD that was recorded with only my voice, processed with the laptop computer.
After the babble from the face, Earth sends out a manned probe to investigate.
(Remind you of "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "2010: The Year We Make Contact"?
It should.) During the space trek to the red plant, and while in their life
support cold-sleep units, the astronauts are haunted and possessed by
telepathic and menacing messages from an alien being on Mars. (The being is
Cthulhu, and this is basically consistent with the Cthulhu Mythos for anyone
into that story by HP Lovecraft.) Think of this when you hear the song
“Astrophonic Dreams in the Tube,” but take note that some of the sound effects
you hear are a processed recording of an MRI machine. (I was inspired to do
this after receiving an MRI and experiencing back surgery.) I actually enjoyed
the MRI, which inspired me to produce more CDs like this!
...back to the story. Shortly before the manned space
probe lands on Mars, Earth loses contact (“Probe Out”), after which the
astronauts are driven (again by telepathic commands from Cthulhu) to cultivate
some of the "trenches" on Mars, fill them with water (“Thirst for Ancient
Shores”), and then reanimate Cthulhu, the ancient Lovecraftian beast. After
this activity, Cthulhu rises to the planet’s surface to...well, who knows?
That is for the imagination of Lovecraft fans, but one might suspect that the
creature remains on Mars to build a new alien kingdom. Either that or he makes
his way back to earth to torment us…