Sea Changes

by Benedict Roff-Marsh

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about

I knew I wanted to write a sea themed album. I didn't know exactly how the theme would work out, what it would be about. It was really only at the end that it dawned on me what the theme really was. A lot of the core ideas for for pieces came from memories of a book I read as a kid. I am pretty sure that it was "Sea Change" the 1948 novel by Richard Armstrong.

Every journey is one of transformation, whether the traveler intends it or not. The sea is always about transformation. You can't hold water, it has to move. Travel by sea used to take a long time and entail a lot of hardship. This attracted a certain type of person. It also changed those who otherwise weren't seafarers. The sea changes the inanimate too. Seawater causes rust and rot. The boats we use to "tame" the sea are always in a state of change that we have to manage.

This is deliberately my most melodic record yet. Sound transforms us as well. Melodic sound most of all. Melody may not be fashionable among musicians these days but it is still the heart of what makes music so special to me. These pieces are fantasies; ships don't sing or tell stories about their lives, Paganini probably never took a long sea journey, and pirates most likely didn't hold grand balls where they tried to dance the night away in civilized style.

Turn off the lights and take a journey.

Cover photo courtesy of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Department of Commerce. North Pacific storm waves as seen from the NOAA M/V Noble Star, Winter 1989

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"I really dig the theme you've gone with here. I love 'water based' music. There is something about it that evokes a journey, or a feeling of being lost in the vast expanses and yet still being in a state of wonderment. The emotions that you elicit are quite varied, from a sense of subtle dread to a sort of meditative peace. The sound effects and swishing white noise are a nice touch too, as it sounds like you are actually in the middle of a setting and creates the mood nicely. I think that you stick the theme very well throughout, as a lot of scales and chords that work for spacey synth music also work just as well for sea music, and the orchestral instruments bring everything back down to the ground (or water if you must). They give it a classical bent which also makes one think of the days of huge wooden ships sailing across the oceans. Everything brought together is sublime, so I will say that this is very nice work and that you have a very wide range of ability when it comes to ideas for different albums." Lunesis

credits

released June 2, 2015

All composition, synth sounds, mixing and production by Benedict Roff-Marsh using Propellerheads Reason 8 in March-May 2015.

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about

Benedict Roff-Marsh Brisbane, Australia

I bought my first keyboard in 1988 and set about learning how it worked as I had always loved music. I was working as a sound engineer in a studio and figured that knowing how to program the synths would be a good skill. I ended up making my own music as well as the sounds.

After around 25 years and around three times that many albums this is the music that I make. It is my style.
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