Sunday, January 9, 2011

Reflecting on Torn Between Dimensions

I figured a new post here was way overdue. First off, thanks to all of you who have purchased my CDs and supported this project - At War With Self is at this time a self-financed, independent operation and every CD sale that comes in is truly appreciated!!! It helps me continue to justify releasing physical CDs. Also, many thanks to the people who take the time to listen carefully to the disc and write a review. Without this sort of support, the pressing and distribution of physical copies of the discs would not be possible.

The end of 2010 allowed me time to think about the course of this project, and what should be next - I am extremely satisfied with the end result of A Familiar Path. For me it really brings together the ideas of merging classical guitar and metal that I had when I first trusted my instinct to combine the styles the way I like to do, and write Reflections back in '94. A Familiar Path is an appropriate title for me as a musician thinking of how I started this, and how it's come full circle for me to realize what I envisioned so long ago.

So where to go from here? I've been thinking a lot of which direction to take with At War With Self. I've been writing for the next disc, and a lot of rough ideas are down. Manfred Dikkers, who covered all the drums and percussion for A Familiar Path, has kindly offered to write drum and percussion tracks for the next set of new music. So the foundation is underway for a new release in the future.

Over the past few years, I've gotten heavily involved with listening to music in surround format - getting my hands on all the DVD audio, super audio and DTS mixes I can find. The ability to take stereo mixes to 5.1 is something I'm very intrigued by. The new King Crimson surround re-mixes of Red and In the Wake of Poseidon are currently in heavy rotation and kicking my ass! Listening to Deep Purple's Machine Head in 5.1 makes me take back the idea that I would never want to hear Smoke on the Water ever again. It's truly an incredible format.

I have a very specific idea for the next AWWS release - and it will be released with two discs - a CD with a stereo version, and a DVD containing a DTS surround mix. As I've been writing the new material with the surround format in mind, I decided to take some existing tracks to see how this could work- I re-mixed a couple of tracks from A Familiar Path to 5.1. Then I decided to dust off the tracks from Torn Between Dimensions, which have been sitting untouched since the discs's release for a number of reasons.

Going back through the tracks on Torn Between Dimensions and listening to all the drum and guitar parts that are difficult to discern in the stereo mix, due to the dense layering and nature of the compositions, I realized that the 5.1 format is a must for this music. Similar to my idea for the next new set of tracks for AWWS, the re-release of Torn Between Dimensions will have a re-mixed stereo version and a DTS format surround mix. There may also be some acoustic versions of some of the tracks added for this release, as some of these songs were originally written for two or three classical guitars (The God Interface was originally an exercise to incorporate some of Leo Brouwer's classical etude techniques into my own compositions, as his studies are still very inspiring for me to listen to).

Re-visiting Torn Between Dimensions was way, way overdue and this format is the perfect reason for me to do it now. I hope to have it released by end of this year, with a new AWWS disc to follow shortly thereafter.

I hope to have another post within the coming months to provide an update on timing for the release, as it gets closer to completion.