Integrals is the first album by The Laconic, released in the spring of 2022. Songs were written and recorded from July 2021 to January 2022, and roughly correspond to different months of the year.
"Anthem" is very much a July song. It evokes fireworks and (of course) the national anthem, which, when quantized to pentatonic major scales, altered to 7/4 (see what I did there), and reversed, inverted, and/or reversed and inverted, provides the basis for the melodies.
"Sietch" is an August song. Desert winds and, obviously, Dune. It makes me envision Paul and Jessica's narrow escape from the Harkonnens, and their close call with a sandworm. Markus Reuter graciously contributed the solo (actually a "duo").
"Tensor" was written and recorded last, with no particular calendar association. For reasons I cannot recall, the title references my time in grad school, where I studied general relativity. It features the Moog Subharmonicon and four interlocking touch guitars.
"Solstice" is obviously a December song. Some pieces undergo many, many iterations and take months to finish. "Solstice" just sort of came out in close to its final form. The sound of falling snow, clear skies with brilliant stars, sharp cold... later I realized I what I had written was a requiem for my father, who loved astronomy.
"DBS" (deep brain stimulation) was the first piece I wrote for touch guitar. Like "Implant", it refers to the (quite effective) brain surgery I had in October 2020 to mute the tremors from early-onset Parkinson's disease. It was inspired by "One of These Days", "Voyage 34", "Heavy Tune", and a touch of 80s Crim.
"Strider" is a November song, dedicated to my wife Diana, the consummate strider. It's in 12/8, which I associate with walking. "Strider" is based on an earlier piece, "Longwalker", which was itself inspired by South African music, which, like many people, I binged on after Graceland was released.
"Implant" is for October, and is therefore in 10/4 (really 5/4). It's fast, fun, and a bit glitchy. Duelling metal arpeggios.
Finally, "Integral" is in 9/8 for September. Originally called "Stoic", it was the most difficult birth. It began to come together when I added the horns, which evoked for me Chris Squire's "Safe (Canon Song)", which brought the Rickenbacker, which along with the U8 touch guitar, integrated past and future for me. I was fortunate enough to meet Chris a few years before he left us, and to tell him that his music was part of the background of my life.
Integrals was mixed by Markus Reuter and mastered by Erik Emil Eskildsen.