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"Cielos Del Agua" 
2000 to 2018

It’s a bit hard to comprehend just what this piece represents. I would imagine anyone coming across it for the first time would hear it as a computerized orchestral score and well, that’s exactly what it is. Although for me, it’s an evolution of technology, composition and capability that has spanned nearly 18 years. Although I've released allot of music over the years there is just as much that has never seen the light of day. I feel it was time to let this one out of the bag.

It started simple enough with a new software application called Gigasampler by Nemesys software released in 2000 or 2001. It had a one gigabyte sampled grand piano, which was unheard of in that day. The piano was the first midi track I created for Cielos and it was the most realistic sampled piano of it’s day. Nemesys was then purchased by Tascam and Gigastudio was soon released which allowed for layers of multiple instruments. Standard by todays measures but at the time, it was the first. Once I upgraded to Gigastudio, the clarinets, oboes and basic brass instruments came next. A few more years went by and by then I had upgraded the computer system and audio interface, allowing for more instruments to be added. Hard drive space was suddenly becoming affordable and abundant and I began collecting and harvesting as many sampled orchestral instruments as I could find. Timpani, bells, wood blocks, literally anything I could get  a decent digital recording of.

I had to migrate the project from Gigastudio to Cakewalk Software and then ultimately to Cubase where it has resided ever since. Maintaining the original MIDI files has allowed me, from time to time, to pipe them through the latest and greatest in sampling technology. Every time this happened, the score expanded, the articulations increased, and the details began to layer. The composition also continued to grow until it the final section was composed and added about five years ago. The piano track has long since been replaced by Garitan software pianos which I believe hoover around 3.5 gigabytes of sampled data now. In no way have I worked continuously on this piece over the years but for some reason it keeps coming back and I'll work on it a bit more here and there. It's always been a good way for me to try out a new sample library that I've added to my system.

Most recently, I just added the rocking electric guitars thanks to a new Gibson SG that has the sound that the rocked up section has needed. I've also fleshed out and layered much of the strings, brass and woodwinds to sound more lush and up to todays sample library standards. For me, it's simply a dream come true to be able to sit in my studio and compose a piece such as this. I can only imagine if Mozart or Zappa had todays tools, what might have been?

We now have the technology to realize a sonic landscape that is anything and everything we could possibly imagine. The most difficult part is finding your our own voice and deciding what it is that you want to say. A feat that in today's world is the hardest thing ever. To tune out what everyone else is doing and truly find something you want to say in a way that is unique to you, well, at least to myself, this is my goal.

In the end, all of this is  not necessary to enjoy listening to the piece, but I figured it was time to share it in the state and form that it now has and give you some insight into the background of how this composition came to be. For now, enjoy it as it is. Maybe I will consider it done at some point soon and add it to the download store. Thanks for listening!

- JOF