Asher Bay and Christian Asplund, Department of the School of Music
Under the guidance of Professor Christian Asplund, I composed and produced a concept EP addressing the complexity of modern faith. The purpose of the project was to validate trials of faith that often are otherwise unspoken in our community and to encourage people to continue authentically seeking truth, despite the pain that often transpires. The EP contains seven tracks totaling twelve minutes of music. Its Internet release is scheduled for the beginning of 2017 and will be accompanied by a listening event.
After studying treatments of faith, both scholarly and personal, I began composing. I used Logic Pro, Pro Tools, and Finale. The music consists of a combination of vocals, real instruments, and virtual instruments. I hired string players and vocalists to play and sing where necessary. The style of the music is fairly eclectic, ranging from alternative to impressionist to electronic and more. The EP underwent conceptual revisions. Originally, I intended for it to trace a distinct narrative. Later on in the composition process, I discovered that the narrative I was building was less effective than I intended. I shifted my strategy from creating a narrative to a study piece, which, rather than making a point through a linear storyline, discusses different aspects of a subject in a less linear fashion.
After composing, recording, and mixing I mastered the songs, finalizing their sound and making sure they functioned cohesively. Finally, I partnered with a photographer in December to create visual art for the EP (pictured below).
The final product of my ORCA project is an original seven-track conceptual EP with artwork. The track list is as follows:
2. Spidering Pedigrees
7. Tiny Ghosts
It is, in many ways, different from the product I originally conceived when I applied for the grant, but it remains true to the original purpose in what I believe is a more effective way than what I had originally imagined.
I will release the EP for free download on bandcamp.com and soundcloud.com at the beginning of 2017. I will host a casual release event and where people can come and listen through. To promote, I will spend a small amount of money promoting the EP on social media.
I’ve learned a substantial amount in creating Tremors. Professor Asplund’s creative feedback has
been decidedly helpful in teaching me how to communicate musical ideas in a concise but powerful way. I’ve also increased my digital audio workstation skills, allowing me to compose and produce more efficiently, thereby making my work more robust. Most importantly, creating Tremors has caused me to extensively reflect on my own faith and the forces in play that influence it. I hope it will have a similar effect on anyone else who gives time to it.
Producing Tremors has been a delightful challenge that has catalyzed substantial progression for
me as a composer, producer, musician, and person of faith. I’m happy to have received a grant to
create it, and am excited to share it with my community and witness its effects.