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Anchorage Alaska / Blog

Hope you all have a great Xmas holidays...

...and while most of you over indulge, some of us will be working hard and preparing for 2014. Things haven't quite gone to plan in 2013, but 2014 will be sooooooo much better for us! :)

New computer upgrades

The temporary stand in dualcore PC has at last been upgraded to a 6 core, 3.5GHz CPU, which has been overclocked to just slightly over 4GHz. A safe, stable and cool amount. Just the music software to install now and studio back up and running. :)

Theory behind Banjo in Kashmir

Big thanks to YEWBE for his analysis of Banjo in Kashmir. It made me giggle, but I'm pretty sure most who listen don't analyse our music like this when they listen to it. Here is what Yewbe had to say...

Anchorage Alska excites me, particularly the piece "Banjo in Kashmir"!. It embodies one of the basic elements of Cohn's theory ("Mapping the Triadic Universe"), for it captures the novel approach to measuring distances between major and minor triads by means of "tune-leading work." In the pan-triadic world of the Anchorage Alaska instrumental, we can quantitatively discover consonant triads based on the number of shared common tones and total amount, of tone-leading work through "idealized voice leading," an abstract concept that measures tonal leading in semitones without regard to register -- let me be clear, I am referring to the basic "Hexatonic Cycles"! Anchorage Alaska introduces a formalized system based on efficient tonalities. For example, in the 31 second mark of the "Banjo in Kashmir," both the C major and A-flat major triads are in a "minimal-work relationship" with the C minor triad, which means they share two common tones and the remaining tone moves by semitone (i.e., a single unit of tone-leading work) to produce the other triad. When this system repeats, it creates a hexatonic cycle: a set of six consonant triads--C major, C minor, A-flat major, A-flat minor, E major, E minor, C major (i.e., cyclic closure)--whose three different roots form an augmented triad. There are three other hexatonic cycles (as there are three other augmented triads) that include the remaining eighteen consonant triads, which "produces a preliminary map of the triadic universe" when combined with the initial hexatonic cycle described above. According to Cohn, this "model is sufficient to provide preliminary support for the central claim that the capacity for minimal tonalities leading between chords of a single type is a special property of consonant triads, resulting from their status as minimal perturbations of perfectly even augmented triads." Because augmented triads divide the octave into three equal parts, separated by major thirds, they accordingly create a "perfectively even" distribution of pitches in chromatic space. The work of A.A.M emphasizes the dual existence of consonant triads, as both acoustically consonant and nearly even in terms of their distribution of pitches in chromatic space! And in all this, my friends, I salute you!

New studio PC update.

The new PC is all sorted and ready to rock and problems identified. There will need to be some rerecording, due to some files not being as clean as they should be, but all in all things are back on track. We're behind schedule, so we've decided to ignore the schedule, that way we won't be behind it! :)

Yewbe  (about 1 year ago)

Good news indeed!. It has been an inspiration to hear your work -- enjoyed how the synergistic voicings between chords of a single type become entangled in "Banjo in Kashmir" -- that is to say, how they are expressed so deftly by the special properties of consonant triads (resulting, no doubt, from their status as minimal perturbations of perfectly even augmented triads)! Whatever you do, my friends, keep it up!

Delay in album release

OK, studio PC is almost in PC heaven. Got new one ordered and will be here in next couple of days. Takes a while to install operating system and all the studio software, but hope to have it up and running by the end of the wekend. Because of this annoyingly timed critical equipment failure, it looks like our debut album "The Band Not The Place" will be making an appearance in September, rather than August.

Gregory Robert Siler
Gregory Robert Siler  (about 1 year ago)

I had to replace my PC a year ago for the same reasons! Looking forward to your release!

kloudworks  (about 1 year ago)

Glad it worked and the new pc is set up and hopefully not upset now:) Good luck with preoceeding album works. ~ k.

Progress update

Lots of small things to do, but all songs, except "Fall With Grace down tempo" and "Jonah the Eskimo" are more or less done. We are on target (well a little behind, but not much) for August release! We will be starting a crowd funding campaign for those that want CD copies, instead of downloads and also help to fund our first proper video. T-shirts will be available and other goodies.

Album progress update

Things are going well so far. We have passed the halfway point and are not far away from completing the longest track in the album - "Banjo In Kashmir".

The track is made up of 3 distinct sections:-

Part 1 - at just under 2 minutes, it's a short jazzy intro, with a very ethereal jazzy piano intro and an interesting rolling bass tapping riff through most of it.

Part 2 - at just a little over 3 minutes, this is the original and main part of this musical triumverate. The main hook is played on the bouzouki part, but initially Corina's haunting rendition of the main theme is sung at the beginning of Part 2, followed by the fake banjo (the bouzouki) playing a banjoesque rolling version of the main theme, thereadter the uillean expands upon it.

Part 3 - at around 4 and a half minutes, this is the longest and easily the most "chilled" part of the trio. With little haunting vocals floating in here and there, an echoed low whistle and the return of the "riff", the 3rd part has a lot to use, but is kept remarkably empty. Also, Danny plays a great celtic outro played on both low whistle, hi whistle and uillean pipes.

At well over 9 minutes and predominantly instrumental, this is the longest track on the album, but it will transport you across valleys, mountains and even continents. You can here a rough mix of Part 1 on our profile.

Over halfway

The completion of our debut album "The Band Not The Place" is coming along nicely. We are just over the halfway mark, with the 3 part track "Banjo In Kashmir". Part 1 has been completed and has additional bass parts, while Part 2 is almost completed. Part 3 of Banjo In Kashmir has not been head by anyone outside of the band yet, but has a slightly more ambient feel. We are rarely, trully ambient, because we like so much percussion, but it is very chilled for us and makes the full track, with all 3 parts over 9 minutes long. All this and NO banjo! LOL

kloudworks  (about 1 year ago)

It's understandable that there won't be banjo since it is in Kashmir:)

Album mix and master progress

Half of the songs are done, just needing some monor adjustments. Only another 5 to go. Next song up is the 9 minute Banjo In Kashmir. Song is in 3 sections, and is primarily instrumental. As usual the musical genres and styles are varied. Bit of a challenge as this is the longest track on the album. You can hear a rough mix of part 1 on our RN page. ANother little jazz fusion orientated number.

Almost halfway!

Will be starting "Until The Sandman Comes" this weekend and that marks the halfway point for our album. Things are moving along nicely, but the more complex songs are still to be done.