About the Album
Beautifully Geeky is a celebration of being different. It is a recognition of being passionate about topics or activities in a way that doesn’t always fit in. It is an encouragement to unabashedly pursue those things, making the world more beautiful.
On several pieces, I’ve overlaid mainstream dance and dubstep-leaning beats with some of the quirkiest sounds I’ve explored so far. I’ve also experimented with some digital audio manipulation and editing techniques that are, well, pretty geeky.
Some songs are more mainstream synthpop-sounding, and one has strong rock and R&B influences. I began a few of them many years ago, and I’m excited that they are finally seeing the light of day.
Stay tuned for more fun music videos from this album. Also see my YouTube channel for videos from this album and others.
I chose “Bumpy Rumpy Bop” as the first track because I love its danceable style and quirky sounds. An infectious bass line accompanied by occasional robotic chirps, vocalic growls, and bleepy arcade sequences–it’s all there.
I enjoyed creating the “ay-ay-ay-blubbitty-boooey” build sound starting near the 40 second mark. Imagine a dancing boogie worm bobbing its head with its tongue out, making this noise as it eagerly awaits the drop.
“Mighty Unicorn” was inspired by a young person significant in my life who loves unicorns. They gifted me a unicorn. It stars on the artwork and will appear in the music video.
“Mighty Unicorn” blends a dance floor beat with tropical steel drum elements and rapid arpeggios. I haven’t yet met a unicorn face-to-face, so I had to make an educated guess when creating the unicorn “whinny.” I have heard rumors that if you crank it up and dance to it, a real unicorn will appear somewhere nearby. They tend to be shy, though, so they’re likely to join you by dancing from a distance.
“Dreaming of Your Love” is both soothing and exciting. Slow, spacious, atmospheric breaks swell into fuller passages. Delicious downtempo bass keeps the foundation beneath soft pads, with a touch of glitchiness sprinkled on top.
The recurring gentle, downward gliding 5-note electric piano phrase “hums” the title for this song.
This track, especially its chorus, has a sexy, sassy feel to it. Life can be pretty unpredictable, but sometimes you feel great gratitude for something you’re experiencing in the present moment. In those cases, you might pause and observe, “That’s how I like it. Just like that.”
This song was inspired by a playful conversation with my partner in the kitchen. One of us told the other that they were “awesome delicious,” and the phrase eventually found its way into a Scrabble magnet puzzle on the refrigerator door.
This song takes vocal stutter editing and manipulation to the extreme, while still keeping it musical. I love the two instances of “Awesome delicious, boop!” that end emphatically on a high note.
If you like plucked trance-like melody lines awash in lush delay and reverb, you’ll enjoy this track. It begins in an understated way, with a slow build leading into the chorus. It then dissolves into an ambient echoey soundscape around 1:40. From there, it gradually teases you back toward the intensity of the final chorus, providing an increasing sense of urgency. It’s now or never.
While the album’s title track utilizes some good old-fashioned melodic hooks for part of its catchiness, it’s also one of several songs using techniques made easier by recent advances in computer-based audio production.
One such technique, called hocketing, involves jumping back and forth between different instruments playing the same melodic line, chord sequence, drum pattern, or other part. While the technique has been around since at least the days of what we now call classical music, modern production software (in this case, Bitwig Studio) makes it possible to do this with much greater complexity and precision.
The title of this track, “The Infinite in Between,” is a reminder that myriad possibilities often exist between things we initially view as dichotomies or “either/or” situations.
Some of my favorite parts of this song are the pronounced kick drum and the choral bursts leading into the chorus. I also had fun with the reverb and delay effects on the melody, creating a bit of surreal spaciousness.
Also, the video features some cool animated 3D fractals.
“Sizzle and Drizzle” is an unabashed tribute to the “brostep” style that has inspired many fierce and frenzied dance floor moments. You know, the stuff that you still sometimes crank up at home while crazily jumping around in your underwear with your dog or gerbil, but then make fun of around your friends.
Joining the party are melodic bursts that take up generous chunks of the frequency spectrum, vocalic and wub-wub basses, and a final tempo build to finish things off with a bang.
“4490X” is a tribute to my hometown of Mansfield, Ohio. The city and its people have a lot of perseverance, grit, and character, having withstood a great deal of change in recent decades. Growing up there helped to shape who I am today. That includes, but is not limited to, my love of bass.
Recent learning and experience has reminded me how humans often hold belief systems without ever examining how and why we came to believe what we do. When we do so, it can lead to unexpected places.
Sometimes, the only thing that’s absolutely certain is the presence of uncertainty. One thing I’m certain about, though, is that there’s a pretty groovy organ solo just past the 2:30 mark.
“On the Cusp of Victory” was born shortly after I watched a tutorial on simple chord patterns that were new to me, leading me to experiment. I’ve also enjoyed playing with vibraphone and mallet instrument sounds recently, so that worked its way into this piece. (There’s also some mallet action in “The Infinite in Between.”)
I produced and recorded “Good Ohmin'” on a synthesizer with a built-in sequencer a number of years ago. I later transferred it to the computer so I could do additional editing.
A challenge in producing this song was getting the instruments–particularly the piano and drums–to have a somewhat “live” feel. This is different from most of the other songs on the album, which don’t attempt to emulate a live acoustic instrument performance.
The song has two distinct halves, each with its own character.
“Long After We’re Gone” is another piece I started many years ago and finalized for release on this album. The stuttering, glitchy pianos, combined with melodic flute and occasional dubstep-inspired bass growls, give it a unique character.
One day I, like most of us, will be largely forgotten following my brief time on this planet. However, I hope the music I create continues to resonate, even long after I’m gone. I hope that your music–your essence–does, too.