Trust Action gets a re-release!

My 4th CD of original material will be re-released on all digital platforms on June 23, 2020. This was a fun CD to make, at a time when digital distribution online was non-existent. CDs were printed, which had a pretty extensive multimedia section (strange to find on independent CDs at the time) and sold at shows. It never had wide distribution other than at performances. When re-examining my back catalog, I thought this was a recording that should be heard by more people.

CD cover taken on the floor of my living room at the time.

Trust Action is an album of ambient music, consisting of four 15-minute or so pieces. As I recall, it was recorded as 4 improvisations, recorded straight to minidisc, of all things. There was no splicing or fixing of performances, so if there was something I played that I didn’t intend, I started over on another day. I didn’t do much of this, but I did do some, as sometimes the hands couldn’t translate what my brain was thinking fast enough.

As with all of my ambient releases, the pace is slow and evolving. This was recorded on guitar, with guitar synthesizer and looping devices at the time. The looper used was an Oberheim Digital Echoplex Pro, which still is a pretty amazing device, even by today’s standards. As I played, music was recorded on the looper, and I could make it slowly decay, or take a section out and add a rhythm all while playing live music on top of the loop.

The guitar synth used was actually a rack mounted synthesizer, a Roland M-GS64, which was a version of their Sound Canvas. I tend to like slow pads, powerful basses, and tuned percussion, all which can be heard on the recording. The guitar used was my Brian Moore C-55PM, which I still own and use regularly. This guitar has 3 outputs, one for the synth, one for the magnetic pickups, and one for the piezo pickup, giving sort of an acoustic-like sound. These signals went into a mixer, which sent them to the looper, and out to the minidisc for recording. It was a pretty simple setup, recording-wise, but probably pretty extreme for most guitar players used to a few pedals and an amp. This was all controlled on the ground in front of me, with a Ground Control midi pedal, a volume pedal & sustain pedal for the synth & a volume pedal controlling the feedback of the looper.

The original cover featured me about to eat a tulip.

Composing in real time was a way for me to learn, in the moment, how to use what seemed like a lot of equipment at one time. Solo live performances back then were in coffeeshops, bookstores, and included some TV and radio performances, too. I had to learn to manipulate all of these sounds in real time, while hopefully making it look as easy as simply playing. While there are not many solos on this album, I did put them in live performances, lest anyone thought all I could do was trigger bleeps and bloops! I did manage to bring this all over the Eastern US, which was seemed amazing being that this sort of guitar music wasn’t a popular style, and didn’t have a whole lot of people doing it. Trust Action is a favorite recording of mine, and going listening to it reminds me of the fearlessness of the day.

The Songs

Since this CD consists of 4 songs, all about 15 minutes long, it was important to me to title them properly. The title of the CD, Trust Action, is a phrase that has followed me for some time. Essentially, trust that doing something is better than doing nothing: take an active role in the outcome.

The CD’s 4 songs flowed from one to another with very long crossfades. However, for the re-release, I’ve had to re-examine that, as many songs are sold individually. It made the actual track boundaries very abrupt. So much so, that I delayed in the release of this, until I could find a solution I could live with. There are long fades on the beginnings and endings of each piece, so if you were to listen to one in isolation, the beginnings and endings wouldn’t be too jarring.

Provenance (sample)

Provenance: Place of origin; derivation. Where we come from. This is a mostly atmospheric piece, with long, evolving loops that seem to have no beginning or end.

Temperance (sample)

Temperance: Moderation and self-restraint, as in behavior or expression. Do your own thing, even if it is the opposite of those around you. This piece has some reverb-heavy electric guitar soloing, which sounds to me like it is at the long end of a tunnel.

Tenets (sample)

Tenets: An opinion, doctrine, or principle held as being true by a person or especially by an organization. Have your rules, and stick to them. This piece has some acoustic-like guitar throughout, providing a counterpoint to the orchestral background.

The Test of Balance (sample)

The Test of Balance: There is one side, and the other. How we balance these two may determine how easy we make it for ourselves. This is a very slow, evolving piece with low strings providing the bulk of the work.

Trust Action will be available on all of your favorite streaming and download services by June 23, 2020.

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