A collection of songs I’ve written with friends and by myself since moving to Lake Waccamaw in April of 2017. A time for change and a time for growth.
The word “Still” came to mind after moving here…The idea of being still to listen and observe what’s right in front of me. My surroundings, the people I care about, my music. A time to reflect and improve upon what is already here.
I started writing compositions for this album in October 2017 with the accompaniment of my friends. I wanted to record sounds from Lake Waccamaw and blend them with orchestrations that would create a living atmosphere for the music. The lake has always been an important place for me since I was a kid and I wanted to include a piece of it in my music. Again, this album is meant to be listened to in its entirety from start to finish. There is a story within it.
Recorded and produced by Mat Dudley
Engineering and mixing by Matt Dudley
Mastered by Daniel Purifoy
Artwork by Matt Dudley
All songs written and arranged by Matt Dudley except for “8-16-17” by Tucker Ellis
I wanted to try my take on an electronic vibe with Ultra. Ambient effects and sampled instruments accompanied by piano and drum and bass. There are a lot of rhythmic alterations that happen like, stutters, bends, etc… If you notice the clarity of the overall track has a grain to it, a texture if you will. I try to play with elements like that to add character to the overall listening process.
My friend Austin McPherson and I wrote this composition back in September 2017. We had gotten together for the first time in a little over a year to write and record new music. This track is step in the direction of previous material we had wrote for another project called Gathering Grey with an emphasis on looped guitar parts and soundscapes to build textures. This composition was built from the intro guitar loop you hear. We agreed on a certain chord structure from the piano and swells to add an emotional dynamic. The title “The pinnacle” was thrown in quickly without any thought, just because that’s how we like to give our tracks working titles and then change them to something more accordingly but this time it seemed to stick. The pinnacle means “The most successful point; the culmination.”
Trying to break away from the ordinary start for a composition I had the thought of something extreme and with hesitation. Something that would build anticipation. This track has a dark appeal to it. “From something dark we can find a form of reverence”.
Good World gets it’s title from everything that’s going on with the world at the time. So much division and petty arguments to the point that all we are given to see is the negative. The phrase you hear vaguely in the background at the end “I believe in a good world” is something I was thinking in the middle of all of the calamity. I guess it’s a hopeful thought of thinking there is still good in this world, still a good to be found in people. No race, religion, or political classification. Just human beings doing things for the greater good of mankind. The artwork was chosen from some shots I had taken at the State Park at Lake Waccamaw. It’s a picture of the words “Our Dream” carved almost perfectly centered at the beginning of the pier. A statement of someones thought of happiness maybe? I felt it fit the idea behind this one.
My friend Tucker Ellis and I got together to write this one back in August…. hence the title. We’ve played music together for the past 4 years or so through church and just getting together to jam so I thought it would be great to collaborate on a composition together. Tucker is a full-time student at Western Carolina studying Jazz guitar and recording.
For a while I had been talking ideas back and forth with one of my good friends Ryan that I’ve played music with for years. We got together to write this piece a few weeks back by starting with a guitar melody that Ryan had written and then layered different percussive elements, as well as a neat foley part. It’s a very neutral vibe that the guitar track creates allowing for the composition to flow freely and give the listener an option as to what the feeling is. I didn’t want to follow a click track for this one. The percussive parts are sometimes slightly out-of-place for specific reasons and give this so-called “programmed track” a human element. Some things are better left unpolished and the moment in time that is captured simply is the art.
This composition was intended to be much shorter but I wanted to add something to the end that would make for an interesting transition. Almost like a “to be continued”. It’s a somber beginning with dynamic builds that send you through four phases.
The title halcyon fits this piece with the meaning calm; peaceful; tranquil. It’s also
A dream that is also a reality for some. A look at a life of trials that leads to the transition to adapt and advance through adversity.
This album is very special to me. I was given a recording interface in 2006 by Dr. Don Peacock to use in my leisure. A tool to educate myself on how to record, and that I did. I learned a lot about writing and recording and ended up creating many pieces accompanied by my close friends. I consider this album a journey for myself. A look back at what I have learned not only in music, but in life. A collection of moments with friends.