Inspiration and thoughts behind the making of Canticles of Bliss
Legend of Zelda
At a young age I've always been fascinated with video game soundtracks as well as the sounds found on the end of maps or even the main menu. Often during the summer I find myself returning to Legend of Zelda, whether by playing one of the games in the series or by listening to a few favorite tracks. For me, there is a lot of inspiration to be found in these digital worlds. They bring back memories of playing Majora's Mask when I was little, real special places in time for me. I find it's nice to go on a nostalgia trip once and a while, especially when I'm working on a piece of music, as was the case here.
The Music of Others
I've provided a playlist of some songs that really stuck out to me when I was recording this album. A few of these artists get heavy rotation when commuting to and from work, reading, or whenever I'm relaxing at home. It's in these moments that I'm able to find ideas for songs. Picking up on a certain sound in a song that I've never heard before is always a real treat, as well as imagining the artists recording these songs in whatever space they were in at the time. In particular, the works of Hildegard Von Bingen played on electric guitar by Noël Akchoté was what really sparked the idea for making this album. Had I not listened to those recordings I probably wouldn't have made these songs.
My studio space is located out in the country, not too far from Indianapolis. For the most part it can be quiet living out here, the sunsets are nice to look at and sometimes in the morning the fog will show up like something out of a Tarkovsky film. There's lots of open space here, lots of fields, grain silos, old barns, it's a good place to daydream. Late in the evenings the cicadas and insects make a nice drone which is nice to drift off to. Plus the summers here have always been a good time for me to record, it's been that way since I've been making music under my name. A very dear musician from Chicago once told me, "The Midwest is the best."
BTM WRT Playlist
Canticles of Bliss
Wayne Robert Thomas
LP + 11" Lithograph / Digital
"Initial recordings for 'Canticles Of Bliss' started in October of 2019 at my home studio located just south of Indianapolis. At the start of 2020 I continued recording songs off and on up until late April where I then took a break and then picked up the guitar again in July. By the beginning of August of that year I had everything wrapped up. An additional guitar was added to a track, as well as a mutated brass recording was featured on another. I used an electric guitar for the recordings while utilizing very little effects and a loop station. Quite a lot of the tracks I made ended up not making the cut and a considerable amount of time was then spent listening to a small selection of songs. They were rearranged a few times before I felt they could be finalized.
Although the works of Hildegard Von Bingen were an obvious inspiration in the title of this album, these seven songs aren't necessarily canticles in a religious sense. Nor can I sing that well, but instead have found a voice in the electric guitar which I have often felt to be an extension of my body. A few of these songs here were done in one take, often with a loop station accompanying the main riff. Many of the track titles are references to a place here in the midwest, a fictional map to a video game, or a phrase that really stuck with me. I hope for the listener that these songs will at least resonate with them in some way."
Composed and recorded by Wayne Robert Thomas with an electric guitar at Stan Mikita's Donuts,
Aurora, Indiana from October 2019 to August 2020
Design, layout and assemblage and christened by Sir Frizzell (zakè)
Mastered and blessed at Schwebung Mastering (Germany) by Stephan Mathieu
Muted trombone by Ron-Robert Thompson on 'Just Be Patient With Me'
Additional guitar by Andrew Bergman on 'Envoi'
"Love abounds in everything"
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This is PITP-V036 | MMXXI