In January 2011, Atlanta-area composer Brian Skutle had an idea for an EP that would return to the more exploratory type of musical craft he did in his years at Georgia State University. The result is his sixth release, and first digital-only album, “Arpeggiations & Atmospheres”.
Inspired by electronica artists such as BT and Daft Punk, Skutle wanted to try his hand at something more in keeping with “popular” notions of Electronic music, rather than the more classically-influenced structures he had been composing in since his first pieces in 1998. The ideas that would become “Arpeggiations & Atmospheres” first took hold in January of 2011: that the album would utilize only electronic sounds (no live percussion or acoustic instrument simulators); and that each of the album’s seven tracks would be based around one note of the standard chromatic scale (A-G). The third “big idea” behind the album was that the entire thing would be completed over the summer of 2011, and be released shortly after “Storytelling”, his fifth album.
All of these ideas were easily accomplished, with Skutle knocking out all seven tracks in June and July of 2011, and debuting one of them-- set to a video of he and his home studio at work --on his 34th birthday that August. The big stumbling block came when it took a little longer to get “Storytelling” released than Skutle had hoped, although with that album’s release in January of this year, the time had come to planning “Arpeggiations & Atmospheres’s” debut. However, Skutle didn’t want to just make this another release like his previous albums, with CDs pressed, and sent off to CDBaby to languish on the shelves. Instead, Skutle decided to bypass CDBaby entirely for this release, opting instead to make the album a digital-only release, and the first major such release, on his newly-formed Bandcamp site, where it is available for the low price of $5, most of which will come back to him personally.
As for the music itself? Well, though it’s definitely a far-cry from acknowledged influences like BT and Daft Punk in terms of commercial potential, but it definitely has a groove and mood that, while in keeping with Skutle’s overall musical aesthetic, is unlike anything the composer has done to date. It’s a fresh musical experience that signals exciting new possibilities for Skutle in the years to come.
Thanks for listening,
"Creative Beginnings" at CDBaby
"Dark Experiments" at CDBaby
"Sonic Visions of a New Old West" at CDBaby
"Beyond the Infinite: A Musical Odyssey" at CDBaby
"Storytelling" at CDBaby
"Arpeggiations & Atmospheres" on BandCamp