Music for #Halloween

Halloween Soundscape

Halloween Soundscape

As Halloween draws near and you’re reading spooky stories, decorating, and preparing to unsettle unwary trick-or-treaters, grab some eerie ambientย Halloween Soundscape tracks to set the mood. I’ve piped it outside on Halloween night (gave the trick or treaters goosebumps), played it in the background inside, curled up reading a scary book while listening toย Halloween Soundscape. It’s an evocative Halloween soundtrack for whatever your plans are.ย Track length makes Halloween Soundscapeย a bargain: the tracks are long, but album price is set based on the number of tracks, not the length of the album, so it’s a steal. ๐Ÿ™‚

Try Before You Buy:ย You can stream the full Halloween Soundscape album in the sidebar. Read the liner notes as you listen. It’s available from iTunes, Amazon mp3, and other online stores.

A few years ago I used “The Monster Lives” in a video.ย This is one of the more subdued tracks on this spooky ambient album. Though the original inspiration for “The Monster Lives” was Frankenstein’s monster, the music works well for “sea monsters”, too!

Put on the headphones, turn out the lights and enjoy! ๐Ÿ˜€

The “season” for Halloween Soundscape is short so I appreciate you sharing links for the album, and writing reviews. This album’s success is largely dependent on word-of-mouth and social network sharing. I love seeing those shares on social networks! It makes things so much easier for me ’cause I’m not as comfortable flogging my albums and books as I need to be in the plugged in world. Virtual hugs for all those shares! ๐Ÿ˜€

The Post-Katrina Epoch

The first thing I saw this morning were images of flooding in Japan: water sweeping away everything in its path, people being rescued from rooftops. Coming so soon after the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, it nudged me to write a little something here. I hadn’t planned on noting the anniversary of Katrina on any blog post because ten years on it still feels too tragic to write about and the media coverage of the anniversary felt a bit like opening an old wound. Katrina was bad. When we evacuated for Hurricane Rita not too long after Katrina, we stayed in a hotel with Katrina evacuees. I got a first-hand look at the face of Katrina. They had food, water, their dogs, a place to stay, and each other. They had no idea when they’d go home or, in some cases, if there was a home to go back to. Have you ever lived in a refugee camp and watched as a pickup truck offloaded supplies to refugees? How many people have you met who have lost everything and just barely escaped with their lives? For most people Hurricane Katrina is a historical event, something that happened on the Gulf Coast, far away from their own lives. For other people Katrina is a political event, with lots of finger pointing, fingers that are ticking off the ways the system failed. For some Katrina is a media event; the subject of documentaries and news stories, the source of dramatic footage and photos. For the people of New Orleans and surrounding areas Hurricane Katrina was a life-altering event, and for some a life-taking event. The survivors, whether they returned to New Orleans or not, are living in a Post-Katrina epoch. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who survived it whose life didn’t have an altered trajectory as a result of that hurricane. Phrases like “picking up the pieces” and “rebuilding” are weak words that cannot even begin to convey the reality of the Post-Katrina era to those people who lost everything.

I was born and raised on the Texas Gulf Coast. I’ve been aware of hurricanes my whole life. I’ve ridden out storms, I’ve evacuated ahead of storms, I’ve been hip-deep in debris cleaning up after such storms. But I do not know what it’s like to be a Katrina survivor. Not even after having met some survivors when we evacuated ahead of Rita. Katrina isn’t just a hurricane or a bit of history; it’s a community of people. Real live human beings like your neighbors, like you. Let’s never lose sight of that.

Be kind to strangers. You don’t know what they may have been through just to be standing beside you.

I have a small album of music dedicated to the survivors and rescuers of Hurricane Katrina, as well as the survivors of the Indian Ocean tsunami. Proceeds go to the Red Cross, who are so often first on the scene of tragedies of all kinds. You can read my liner notes here: A Tropical Depression. You can get the album from iTunes, Amazon and other online stores.

I’m in the Top 10! Wheee!!

My birthday was this past Sunday and I got a special present: an email from Reverbnation telling me I hit their Top 10 list! Woo-hoo! ๐Ÿ˜€ I just had to share the joy with my fans here because YOU made it possible! I am nothing without you. I really appreciate your support: buying my music and telling your friends. I haven’t seen the hard stats yet, but I figure that it’s sales of my seasonal album,ย Halloween Soundscape,ย  that’s driving the numbers. I always get a “bump” in sales in the fall because the eerie ambient music fits well with dark rainy days, reading scary books (it was largely inspired by assorted bits of fiction), and of course plans for Halloween. I’ve piped it out on the porch to add an unsettling atmosphere for trick-or-treaters. It’s not a bad fit for setting the atmosphere of a Halloween reading, or party (depending on what kind of atmosphere you’re going for). It’s not some cheesy sound effects album (though it does have a sonic landscape the will raise goosebumps). Turn out the lights and listen on headphones for the best effect. ๐Ÿ˜‰

It’s very different from my bouncier more sunny tunes and if you want some happy music to bop around to, most of my other albums are uptempo. Surprise me again and pick up some my “poppier” tracks this fall, too. After Halloween Soundscape, you’ll something to take you through to the spring! ๐Ÿ™‚

Tell your friends and let’s keep this Top 10 thing going for a while!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! (She says, bouncing, dancing, and laughing!)

Halloween Soundscape: Dark Ambient Music for Halloween

As Halloween draws near and you’re reading spooky stories, decorating, and preparing to unsettle unwary trick-or-treaters, grab some Halloween Soundscape tracks to set the mood. This isn’t some cheesy sound effects album—this is something you can listen to! ๐Ÿ˜€ I’ve piped it outside on Halloween night (gave the trick or treaters goosebumps), played it in the background inside, curled up reading a scary book with Halloween Soundscapeon the stereo. It’s an evocative Halloween soundtrack for whatever your plans are.

Try Before You Buy
You can stream the full Halloween Soundscape album in the sidebar. Read the liner notes as you listen. It’s available from iTunes, Amazon mp3, Napster, Rhapsody and mySpace Music.

If you already have my Halloween Soundscape album don’t forget to Share the links above with your friends! Or Share this post with the buttons at the bottom of the post!

Here’s a playlist of a couple of videos I did for Halloween Soundscape. New video: “The Monster Lives”! Note: The actual track for “The Witching Time” is much longer than the music in the video.) Track length is one of the things that makes Halloween Soundscape such a bargain: the tracks are long, but album price is set based on the number of tracks, not the length of the album, so it’s a steal. ๐Ÿ™‚

New Video: The Monster Lives

I’ve done a new video for a track on my Halloween Soundscape album. This is one of the more subdued tracks on this spooky ambient album. Though the original inspiration for “The Monster Lives” was Frankenstein’s monster, the music works well for “sea monsters”, too!

Put on the headphones, turn out the lights and enjoy! ๐Ÿ˜€

The “season” for Halloween Soundscape is short and it takes time for this video to percolate through the networks so… Please, share! ๐Ÿ˜€

If you haven’t heard/bought Halloween Soundscape, you can stream the full album (hopefully as a prelude to buying it!) in the sidebar. Read the liner notes as you listen.

New ebook release

For those of you with ereaders (or who read ebooks on your laptops and tablets), the last of my older books, Joshua Mansfield and Sheri Zod, has been released as an ebook. You can read more about it on my author site, A Truant Disposition. It may be especially interesting to those of you who follow Gymshoes music because the novella (it’s shorter than my other novels) includes songs, one of which there’s a recorded version of by Undead Monkey (melody line is different from mine). It’s a contemporary fantasy, more in the magic realism school of literary fiction than Tolkien (sorry, no elves). Though this is the fourth of my older novels to be released as an ebook, it was actually the third book I wrote. It’s a good rainy afternoon sort of book. I hope you enjoy it. Might go good with some of my Gymshoes music…If there’s a track that strikes you as good to go with this ebook, drop a comment, I’d like to know what you think! ๐Ÿ™‚

Yes, It’s Supposed To Sound That Way

Some you, new to Gymshoes Music, may listen to the first track of Sand In My Shoes and think: is it supposed to sound like that? Yes, it is and I’ll tell you why. ๐Ÿ˜€ Gymshoes music is (mostly) not live, not natural; it’s a one-person artificial studio construct. I’ve done stuff that’s real and rootsy (A Tropical Depression) and incorporated natural elements into my soundscapes (“The Beach At Sunrise”, “A Piece of Fiji” for example), but mostly that’s not the idea. Gymshoes music is mostly about creating something that can only be created in the studio. It’s about manipulating sound and rhythm, about editing bits and bytes. Some of you may sneer, but I have a somewhat punk attitude about it: like early punk musicians, I don’t have to be able to play these instruments—it’s legitimate not to.

I recall a discussion about a drum part with former Undead Monkey collaborator Hockinfinger. The band has never had a drummer more than briefly (something that breaks my heart as I’m a very rhythm-oriented girl who wants a long-term drummer). I worked up a complicated overdubbed drum part and he objected (rightly in this case) that no human drummer could play it. His criteria for creating a drum track was the limitation of what a human drummer could do with two hands and two feet. I can understand that. It depends on how real you want the track to be (and what the song needs).

On the other hand, Gymshoes music is not supposed to have that level of reality. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m one person and though I might lay down a bit of percussion, I’m not a drummer. Doing strictly studio work means that I don’t have any limitations! I have overdubbed rhythm on a lot of the songs precisely because I can do something digitally that can’t be done in the real world! Artificiality is integral. So embrace the hopped-up guitar and manic polyrhythms!

Most contemporary music is a product of technology one way or another. If you’re listening to me play acoustic guitar in my living room, there’s no technology involved. If you’re listening to an mp3, you’re up to your neck in technology. ๐Ÿ™‚ I play acoustic guitar, write songs with lyrics instead of samples—like A Tropical Depression—and enjoy rootsy music. But with the exception of A Tropical Depression, Gymshoes music is mostly fun manipulating sound and rhythm. So, yeah, it’s supposed to sound that way! ๐Ÿ™‚

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