What is Alexandria Rising Rhythms?
>>>It is instrumental music inspired by the novel Alexandria Rising.
>>> It is a unique album as it was written, recorded and mixed in four cities spanning thousands of miles apart during a 10-month span.
>>>It has drawn comparisons to soundtrack music, ambient music and psychedelic rock and broke new ground in the creative recording process.
>>> It is available on all streaming services, iTunes, amazon and such and for purchase here.
So who are the people behind the names? Here is a quick look:
Mark Wallace Maguire – guitars, bass, synthesizers.
Clint J. Meador – drums, synthesizers, mixing and mastering.
Glen Denig – bass. Allen Bell- synthesizers.
So, let’s get back to the origins of the process. Why make a music companion to the book? How did this evolve? What was the recording process like?
Maguire dreamt up the idea of a musical companion to the book in Winter 2017 and began testing the waters to see if anyone was interested. He had released two musical projects inspired by books before, including the lauded, ‘Art from the Silent Planet’ music inspired by C.S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy with the aforementioned Meador in 2015.
Maguire & Meador had also worked produced music for the podcast, ‘200 Seconds in Hell with C.S. Lewis’ and as part of the score for the indie film, ‘Tears of Bankers.’ Maguire calls Meador, “a wizard in the studio and the true backbone of Alexandria Rising Rhythms.”
Denig and Maguire had written and performed in bands and ensembles throughout the 1990s, in particular, the mercurial power trio, Green Tea Knives that toured in the Carolinas and Georgia in 1992 and 1993 and received airplay on various college radio stations. Denig has played with every type of ensemble, band and choir imaginable and has been dubbed, “the world’s best unknown bass player” by many, including Maguire.
Bell has been a regular on the music scene throughout the Southeast in an informal role and, formally, as an arts administrator on many state and federal levels. Bell has a good ear and was able to contribute more than his opinions to this project when he played synthesizer during a session recorded in Ellijay, Georgia in June 2017.
Here are your requisite liner notes:
The Letter: This was the last piece I wrote. We needed a strong major chord piece on the album and I thought the idea of The Letter which spurs the whole adventure in Alexandria Rising would be a strong theme to play off of. I recorded the guitars and bass and then Clint added drums. At a remote recording event in north Georgia called the Ellijay Sessions in July 2017, Clint and I wrote the horns and strings you hear at the kick off of the second section.
The Cavern: This piece was extremely fun and intense to write. It also was written and recorded at the Ellijay Sessions. Clint set up an initial beat and effect, then Allen and I wrote the synthesizer parts in tandem live on the first take. Later we added more drums and additional guitar. Adding the guitar was a challenge since we did not know which key we wrote it in. I really enjoy the textures of this song and the mood it sets.
Ich Habe Die Macht: Wow. This was one of the first pieces of the album. Clint composed this piece and sent it to me. He really captured the intensity of The Slendoc Meridian and the reaction of the characters to it in the book. I love the intensity of this piece. Clint wrote it and sent it to me and I added guitars. Then, over the course of a couple of months, we sent it back and forth and did the final edit together during December 2017.
Hope: The third piece written and recorded at the Ellijay sessions, the drums and bass were written and recorded live on a third take before lunch. Later, that day as the sun set, the guitar part was added. This was probably my favorite to write since it was played live together and birthed during the course of a day. You can really hear the depth of the live recording on this one with the guitar and drums bouncing off of each other as they add echo and buoyancy in the piece.
Kent St. James: I sat down one night and wrote the nastiest, angriest, disjointed guitar parts in my soul. I didn’t know if it was too much, but Clint gave it the green light. He then added drums, bass and synthesizers. This piece is a guilty pleasure and I think captures the evil nature of the novel’s chief antagonist.
Ancient Scrolls: One of the first pieces of the project was sent to me in Fayetteville, Georgia all the way from North Muskegon Michigan courtesy of bass genius Glen Denig. Though it was the first piece, this one might have undergone the most editing. It was sent between the four of us over 10,000 miles over its nine month gestation. The final late addition was the drums which really add the gravitas to this piece. I find the mood of this piece the most intense on the album and a capitol way to end it.