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HYPNOS RECORDINGS => Hypnos Label Releases => Topic started by: spore on December 12, 2007, 05:22:34 PM

Title: Viridian Sun
Post by: spore on December 12, 2007, 05:22:34 PM
Can we expect another release from this project? "Solar Noise" is, at least for me, one of the better space ambient releases available today. Really original (because of the addition of guitar work) and it sounds very spacey. I also enjoyed "Perihelion" but not as much as "Solar Noise". Still a very decent release. I still have to hear the "Live at Paris" CD.
Title: Re: Viridian Sun
Post by: mgriffin on December 12, 2007, 05:49:24 PM
Hi Spore, good question.

In fact, Viridian Sun has not been entirely inactive since Perihelion.  We (VS is me and David Tollefson, for those who don't know) got together and recorded the material for a third studio album in about 2001-2002 or so.  The material just needed some editing and mastering, but because we were both so busy, it was never quite finished.  We both think there's some good stuff on there, and we had some fun with varying the instrumentation a bit (the first two albums had been just Dave playing guitar and me playing synthesizers, while this one involved a lot more switching around between guitar, bass and synth), but the third album just sort of ended up shelved.  Recently, digging through some audio archives when I revived my solo project Fabrications I found the digital files for that third album, and gave them enough of a listen to determine there is definitely a releasable album in there, in need of some editing and polish, but too good a thing, really, to just let it sit.

Furthermore, David and I have been talking about getting together again for some more recording sessions, and we've actually scheduled a couple of sessions at my studio the 22nd and 29th of this month.  So, we have hopes for these being the foundations of a completely new album, which we would like to release in the new year some time, and depending on reaction to that new album (of which not one note has been recorded yet, I should clarify) we may go ahead and release the long-list third album, which I'll begin editing in the mean time.

We both have fond feelings about our collaboration and we remain good friends, so it's sort of a mystery why we haven't recorded together more often since the first two albums.  My expectation is that we'll see at least three more Viridian Sun albums in the next few years (the recordings we're about the start, the long-lost third album, and a collection of rare compilation tracks and unreleased outtakes from the earlier sessions), and possibly a new Tollefson solo album.

Thanks for asking, Spore!
Title: Re: Viridian Sun
Post by: mgriffin on December 21, 2007, 05:54:21 PM
Just a little update.... the first new Viridian Sun recording sessions in several years will happen tomorrow, and I'm definitely looking forward to them.  I hope to get a few things recorded, maybe the beginnings of a new album, before the holiday.

Title: Re: Viridian Sun
Post by: g.@.b. on December 21, 2007, 06:21:22 PM
Just a little update.... the first new Viridian Sun recording sessions in several years will happen tomorrow, and I'm definitely looking forward to them.  I hope to get a few things recorded, maybe the beginnings of a new album, before the holiday.

Well I, for one (owning your 2 studio albums) will be looking forward to the mp3 samples, whenever they might pop up. Best of luck with the sessions and Merry Christmas, Mike!
Title: Re: Viridian Sun
Post by: mgriffin on December 23, 2007, 07:14:47 PM
Our first sessions went very well.  We recorded 6 improvisations, about 2 hours of total music, of which I'd say a much higher percentage is album-worthy than the success rate from our sessions for earlier albums.  We'll record again next Saturday, and if those sessions are half as productive, then I'm sure we'll have a really great album worth of material, plus some extras.

Dave brought an array of pedal-based effects, two volume pedals and various delays, reverbs and modulation effects, and some new Boss delay/looper unit.  He brought a single, gold-colored electric guitar and lay it on the ground, and sat down behind it and played the guitar with mallets and drumsticks, like a percussion instrument.  Occasionally he'd play more conventionally with his fingers, as well.

I played electric guitar on three tracks and bass guitar on three tracks, mostly in an atmospheric or drone-based style, somewhere along the lines of The Pulse Meditations.

The resulting tracks ended up less electronic or synthetic sounding, and definitely had more of a "guitar ambient" sound than our previous work, though the whole "abstract improvisation" approach remains the same.  I look forward to more studio work next week, and definitely look forward to sharing this work with those who are interested.
Title: Re: Viridian Sun
Post by: mgriffin on December 26, 2007, 12:03:47 PM
Here are some quick & candid pics of the Viridian Sun sessions from Saturday.  I'll annotate these a little bit later.

(cross-posted from the "studio pics" topic started by Numina, in the "Everything and Nothing" area of the Forum)

(http://www.hypnos.com/forumpix/viridiansun1-.jpg)

(http://www.hypnos.com/forumpix/viridiansun2-.jpg)

(http://www.hypnos.com/forumpix/viridiansun3-.jpg)

(http://www.hypnos.com/forumpix/viridiansun4-.jpg)

(http://www.hypnos.com/forumpix/viridiansun5-.jpg)

(http://www.hypnos.com/forumpix/viridiansun6-.jpg)

(http://www.hypnos.com/forumpix/viridiansun7-.jpg)
Title: Re: Viridian Sun
Post by: spore on December 26, 2007, 06:14:42 PM
Nice pictures, looks like a great setup you have there. I can't wait for the new stuff to come out!  :D
Title: Re: Viridian Sun
Post by: Seren on December 27, 2007, 01:08:15 PM
Nice looking photos Mike. It's always great to see how the music gets made....
Title: Re: Viridian Sun
Post by: mgriffin on December 27, 2007, 04:50:32 PM
Thanks for your comments -- you might check the "Studio pics" topic in the "Everything and Nothing" area where I have added some notes to the pictures.  Nothing too revealing, but a few remarks about what you're seeing in the pictures.
Title: Re: Viridian Sun
Post by: Seren on December 28, 2007, 03:23:36 AM
Yep, already seen those....will add some pics of my own in the next few days if I get time.
Title: Re: Viridian Sun
Post by: mgriffin on December 30, 2007, 07:24:35 PM
Another all-day (actually, afternoon-evening) session yesterday, another 2+ hours worth of material recorded.  This material is raw and strange, and quite far from the synth-heavy sound of the first two Viridian Sun albums.  It's more visceral and organic-sounding than our earlier work, even a step beyond last week's recording.

This week Dave played an acoustic guitar (with an internal pick-up, not mic'ed) through the same batch of effects as last week.  I played guitar for only one track, and the rest of the time I was playing bass, and adding metal percussion and voice sounds (I wouldn't call them vocals) into a nearby microphone at the same time.  Again, everything was improvised and recorded live in the studio, no rehearsing and no overdubs (though some parts will be edited down before release).

We will probably do one more recording session, more brief than the first two, just to make absolutely sure we have enough material for an album and maybe a couple of extra tracks for compilations or whatever.  We're both very excited about these recordings and quite anxious to hear what people will say about them.  I may post a few photos of the second sessions soon.
Title: Re: Viridian Sun
Post by: mgriffin on January 13, 2008, 12:13:35 PM
Last night was the final (third) session for the upcoming Viridian Sun album.  This time we concentrated on more sustained, blissful drones, rather than strange, complex overlapping loops.  It was almost all two guitars.  Here are a few pictures:

(http://www.hypnos.com/forumpix/vs-4-5-02.jpg)

(http://www.hypnos.com/forumpix/vs-4-5-03.jpg)

(http://www.hypnos.com/forumpix/vs-4-5-04.jpg)

We have at least 6 hours of very good material, certainly a better success rate than any of our previous efforts, in terms of producing lots of great-sounding and interesting music fit for release.  We'll be editing this down to the best stuff, and possibly also setting aside a couple of pieces for release elsewhere, like on outside label compilations or that sort of thing.
Title: Re: Viridian Sun
Post by: Robert Logan on January 14, 2008, 04:34:11 AM
Looks great. Will you post any samples up from the sessions before it's edited into the release? My curiosity has been kindled. ;)
Title: Re: Viridian Sun
Post by: mgriffin on January 14, 2008, 12:45:55 PM
Looks great. Will you post any samples up from the sessions before it's edited into the release? My curiosity has been kindled. ;)

I'm not sure.  I've thought about it, but having previously offered up samples of tracks that weren't to be released for some time, I wonder whether it doesn't make more sense to wait before offering a taste, until it's something somebody can buy if they like it.

Maybe this is part of a wider discussion about how/when to promote music.  An argument could be made that a few rough and unedited mp3 sample clips might create some "buzz" about the upcoming Viridian Sun album, which might build by the time the album is done, months from now.  An opposing argument could be made that if someone listens to the clips and likes them, their impulse to obtain the music might dissipate and it might have been better to wait.
Title: Re: Viridian Sun
Post by: mgriffin on May 05, 2008, 12:58:12 PM
I haven't updated this thread in a while, but we've been working on Viridian Sun every couple of weeks or so, and the album is nearly complete.

It's about an hour long, 7 tracks, and the album title is Infinite In All Directions.

My best guess is that it will be released some time later this summer.
Title: Re: Viridian Sun
Post by: mgriffin on May 05, 2008, 04:07:28 PM
Rough draft cover art for the new album:

(http://www.hypnos.com/catalog/hypnos-vs-iiad.jpg)


Track listing (with MP3 samples coming soon)
Light Years From Here
Magnetars Cast No Shadow
Parallax Drift
Four Times I Slept For a Year
Travel at Absolute Zero
40Hz Emergence
Infinite In All Directions
Title: Re: Viridian Sun
Post by: drone on on May 07, 2008, 12:25:44 PM
There is a John Foxx track from his "Cathedral Oceans" release called "Infinite in All Directions."  ::)
Title: Re: Viridian Sun
Post by: mgriffin on May 07, 2008, 01:09:06 PM
There is a John Foxx track from his "Cathedral Oceans" release called "Infinite in All Directions."  ::)

It's the name of a book by Freeman Dyson, which I'm sure is where John Foxx got it, and probably where Mr. Tollefson got it too.  I love "Cathedral Oceans" but I had forgotten the song titles, when Dave suggested this as the title of our album.
Title: Re: Viridian Sun
Post by: drone on on January 17, 2009, 12:51:52 AM
Any news on the new Viridian Sun disc?
Title: Re: Viridian Sun
Post by: jim02 on May 23, 2009, 07:09:12 AM
yes, i'm also getting curious for this one.
any updates on a release date for the new Viridian Sun??
Title: Re: Viridian Sun
Post by: petekelly on May 27, 2009, 07:21:00 AM
Am curious to know what is going on with Hypnos in general.

cheers
Pete
Title: Re: Viridian Sun
Post by: mgriffin on May 27, 2009, 09:43:39 AM
I appreciate everybody's interest in this.  The answer to Pete's general question about what's going on with Hypnos, and the more specific questions about the new Viridian Sun album, are the same answer.

We have a number of Hypnos releases lined up, but for the past 6 months or so we've been considering changing the way we package our CDs, so we held off on releasing anything until a good solution could be found.  While the usual plastic jewel case is durable, and easily replaced, I've often enjoyed simpler packaging with less plastic bulk, such as the thin folio sleeves of labels like Cyclic Law, Faria, and Umbra, as well as the completely plastic-free, hand-made packaging of the Somnia label, and some of the letterpress sleeves of the old A Produce albums.

We've considered variations on all of the above, and I've printed and cut out and assembled many dozens of different package mockup.  Now I think we've arrived at a new plan which will involve a different approach from all of the above, but one which does away with as many of the negatives as possible, cutting down on material waste and excessive plastic, while retaining the quality of a beautiful object that distinguishes the best CD releases from releases in CDR or download formats. 

Hypnos releases will remain professionally manufactured CDs, not CDRs (though the Hypnos Secret Sounds limited edition CDR imprint will continue), and will be released with high quality printed booklet (possibly more that one printed piece) inserted in a 5-inch square envelope of translucent vellum.  We will probably also make available a freely downloadable PDF file for each release, for those who wish to print out a "tray card" and insert the CD and booklet into a conventional jewel case.

Soon I will post a bit more information about this, as well as photos of the mocked-up packaging for the coming-soon releases, such as Viridian Sun, Jeff Pearce, and Nebulae releases.


Title: Re: Viridian Sun
Post by: petekelly on May 27, 2009, 12:26:15 PM
Interesting...

I think that one way to keep the CD alive in such a niche genre as ambient is to make the CD as 'art
object'. I've seen a number of posts on this on this here forum and I think this is a good idea.

cheers
Pete
Title: Re: Viridian Sun
Post by: 9dragons on May 29, 2009, 12:20:42 AM
I am quite excited to see what you've come up with, Mike...your ideas sound great to me.