Sunday, September 14, 2008

Proud Chaos

In the entertainment medium, musicians and writers are a dime a dozen (and most people have a dollar). So when you put yourself out there, you better bring something special to the table.

I remember roughly ten, maybe twelve years ago now, back when I thought I could just pull a triple-A game out of my ass, I put out an ad for a musician on one site and the offers flooded my inbox. I was only checking my email once a day or so and remember sifting through nearly fifty applicants, some of whom were very skilled, others….not so much.

I get an email from a fifteen-year-old kid from "across the pond" and attached is his work sample, a simple, atmospheric MP3 called "Airless" (which he was kind enough to let me rename to "Shades of Blue".

I listened to this piece roughly ten consecutive times before I decided not to open any more emails. The music was reminiscent of Enigma and Jan Hammer, and I was sold. I fired off an email to the kid, telling him I wanted him for my project. His name was (is) Adam Fielding.

Adam remains one of the most talented and undiscovered musicians I've ever come across (and I still deal with a lot). He recently released his first album "Distant Activity" on Magnatune and I recommend it to anyone who likes game soundtracks, Enya, Enigma, or something you can throw on and chill to.

Adam's range is pretty wide, taking the cold, lonely "You're On Your Own" to the controlled chaos of "Wildfire", both of which are on the Distant Activity. But with Adam's music, it's the background that draws you in. Every song tells a story (I love that about his work) and while the notes at the forefront of each title are prominent, it's the ambient, steady tones present throughout each title that sets and layers the experience, leading you into entire worlds rivaling anything that Square-Enix has produced.

Personally, Adam is the consummate professional, and perfectionist. I think he agonizes over notes the way I agonize over words, because just one out of place would ruin the entire thing. Adam turned over roughly seventy tracks for the original version of Universal Warrior. I'm happy that other people have found out how talented he is—on the other, I dread wondering what I'll have to pay out when I need him to help me bring the franchise to life.

But straight out, this kid is good. There are way worse ways you could blow eight dollars than on this album. Check it out here.

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