Tuesday , April 16 2024
A CD that blends cinematic sounds with sound-sculpting shapes.

Music Review: Shawn K. Clement & Audnoyz – Audistry

Audistry is the latest release from Clemistry Music. It features Shawn K. Clement and Audnoyz. It represents a merging of a traditional cinematic soundtrack with sound-slicing and mashing that has come to represent the Audnoyz style, giving birth to a whole new genre of music.

Clement is a songwriter, producer, performer, engineer, and award-winning film composer. During his more than 20 years in the industry he has the reputation as a go-to composer whose credits include the television shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer, American Idol, and the video game Batman: Vengeance.

Audnoyzaka Steve Thomasis a musician, producer, and marketing technologist who not only produces music for a wide variety of creatives in all forms of media, he is also the creator of the Audnoyz concept. The concept of Audistry all started with 2008’s Audnoyz Project Vol. 1 and later Audnoyz Project Volume 2, which I reviewed here in 2011.

It was through this first Audnoyz project that Mr. Clement was impressed enough to commission an Audnoyz Remix of “The Message,” one of the tracks from Clement’s original musical score for the animated feature film Quantum Quest. The track was performed by the San Francisco Philharmonic and recorded by famed recording engineer Leslie Ann Jones at George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch.

Being pleased on how “The Message” remix came out, as well as how much positive feedback it garnered from his respected industry contacts, Clement approached Thomas with the thought of a more robust collaboration. This led to the creation of Audistry.

Audistry was born by bringing together Clement’s deep otherworldly cinematic orchestral music and signature guitar sound and melding it with the Audnoyz genre-mashing aesthetic. The album went into production and took 10 months, with final slicing, dicing, mixing, and mangling finishing up at the end of December 2012.

In an email interview I conducted with Clement, he explained, “Audistry is something that happened organically. I like to think about all music like that, people just coming together to make something different. What is great about it is that you hear the phrase ‘remix’ thrown all around. Well, this is a re-invention, it turns everything on its head and has a fresh new perspective.”

Some of tracks in Audistry have already made it into the motion picture Live Forever: A Ray Bradbury Odyssey as well as being included on a future soundtrack release. At the personal request of the late Bradbury, Clement became the composer for the film and co-producer. This evolved because he had already scored the short film The Pedestrian, which is an adaptation of one of Bradbury’s short stories.

Since both the film and the CD were developed at the same time, they found that Audistry tracks were such a natural fit for the film. According to Thomas in an email interview I conducted, “One track, ‘Ray’s Dream,’ captures the complexity of the archetypical science fiction guy and provides a musical context for an icon whose book’s span decades and have impacted a number of generations of readers and moviegoers.”

In the same way that Audnoyz Project Volume 2 contained a cinematic feel to it, Audistry takes this cinematic sound to new levels and breaks new ground. According to Thomas, in my telephone interview with him, “Basically, much of the project’s song arrangements came together for lack of a better term, employing the ‘Audnoyz Aesthetic.'” Audistry was created by arranging music that is a fusion of instruments (common and exotic) and a tasteful dose of noise to create an audio picture.

Audistry was all built by each of the artists combing through gigabytes of material, comprising anything from previous projects, scores, alternative takes, and unreleased material that was thrown into a pot with new material that includes guitars, harmonica, orchestral elements, sound design, programmed synths & libraries. Then all the new material was recorded at Clemistry Ranch, north of Los Angeles, and Thomas’ personal studio outside of Boston where the final slicing, dicing, mixing, and mangling was done.

Audistry, as I said before, has that cinematic feel, but it is taken to a much higher level. The tracks range from cerebral like “Ray’s Dream” to hard-hitting as in “Short & Suite.” The range from ones that employ sublime vocals, as in “Audvoalease,” to Zappa-like discord, as in “FB in the House” and “Turk Street,” that forces you take notice and want more.

All of the songs bring their own special touch to the collection. They each, in a sense, give you the ability to interpret what you hear and create your own world view. Much like a soundtrack in a movie fills in the spaces for you, the Audistry tracks create a mood in your mind and takes you to a whole other place. In a very real sense, these are like sound-only movies.

What I found is that I could get lost in the soundscapes that are created on the Audistry CD. If you are looking for a music that blends cinematic sounds with sound-sculpting shapes, a CD with moods and environments that have a lot of depth and breadth that make it a joy to listen to, then I can highly recommend Audistry.

About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.

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