Switched-On Yule!

Purple Moog
Creative Commons License photo credit: Mooganic

Whoa. Almost two months with nary a post here. Those who do this more, ummm, seriously/successfully would no doubt consider that a bit of a boo-boo, but… well… all I can say is, time flies when you’re having fun! The show I’ve been playing has been somewhat more all-consuming than anticipated, on both the time and energy levels, and so my whole online life has taken a bit of a back seat. So it goes.

I’ll return to that subject in a moment, but first: happy holidays! At least, for everyone that celebrates some sort of holiday around this time of the year. Not being particularly religious at this point in my journey I’m not tied to any particular celebration, but I did grow up with a strong family tradition of celebrating Christmas and, well, old habits die hard.

I definitely do feel that it’s important to take time when the days are shortest (and here in Berlin, they get pretty short, but I know there are lots of folks who have it worse!) to think about and connect with friends and family both far and near, and to mark those connections with gifts, feasts and festivities.

Oh come emmanuel by tobiastinker

And so we have done. I hope you have been able to as well, and that it has been full of peace and love – as life should really be, and not just at holiday time.

Anyway… I’m really just writing to kind of dust things off a bit and say that I’m going to be back at it here in 2011, as much as time allows – my performance schedule is a bit less gruelling, anyway – so hopefully a few of you will remember me and stop by from time to time. As always I’ll try to make it worth your while.

To that end, and in the spirit of giving that the season is known for, I’ve cooked up a little musical project, called ‘Switched-On Yule‘ – a little homage to the wonderful old ‘Switched-On Bach‘ record from 1968 that had a huge influence on me and arguably drew me into electronic music in the first place.

The idea is to do ‘12 Days of Electronic Christmas‘ – a track each day for the 12 days of the traditional holiday (starting on the 25th and going through January 6th, a.k.a. Twelfth Night). These are really just simple sketches, a kind of first pass at something that could become a more finished project at a later date.

Coventry Carol by tobiastinker

The idea is to jumpstart my studio process a bit, have a framework around which to build up some creative momentum. The repertoire is the kind of Christmas music that appeals to me: typically older, traditional carols, and not the usual fare either – I’m drawn more (as those familiar with my music will already know) to subtle, haunting melodies than to big bombastic fanfare – though I’ve done a bit of the latter when the occasion called for it…

Despite no longer being a practicing or believing Christian, I think these melodies are beautiful, timeless and precious, so I wanted to combine my affection for them with my interest in electronic music. The result is Switched-On Yule!

There are three pieces there at present (interspersed throughout this post), with more on the way as soon as I can crank them out, so I invite you to listen to them, download them if you like, and spread the word – you can either link to this page or to the Tumblr site for the project… or use the Share buttons on the players below and above – they look like this: </>

Rocking carol by tobiastinker

And before I go, a quick heads-up: I was interviewed recently by fellow musician and producer Oleg Mokhov for a new series he’s doing, I’ll be writing and linking to that when it goes live!