Posts Tagged ‘Stockhausen’

This is an updated version of an article I wrote back in 2007. This is the version of the review I would have written had I had the opportunity to go deeper into the review. However, with only about 500 words, I was restricted to the amount of words I could write to describe Mark and the album. The album of 2012 from Mark Dwane is very apropos for this year. The album has not lost any of its appeal since the time of its release and it needs to be heard. Check it out.

Much like Jim Brickman, who is known for his New Age instrumental music, Clevelander Mark Dwane is also an instrumental musician. However, Mark Dwane falls into the category of Electronic Music; a form that gives the listener a feeling of floating through the clouds while listening to the music.
To help describe Mark Dwane’s sound, I will let him describe his sound in his own words. This is an excerpt from the interview Mark had in May, 1996 with Margen Magazine, a publication from Spain:
“As a child, I was always interested in music, which was mostly classical. I began lessons on the guitar at age 10 and progressed through a formal education on the instrument. I began composing my own songs very early on, and made my first recording at age 12…..
“Classical music always remained a heavy influence, as well as film scores and experimentalists such as Stockhausen, Reich and the emerging electronic composers.”
Aside from being interviewed in Margen Magazine from Spain, Mark Dwane has also been interviewed in the U.K. magazine Sequences in August of 1996. You can read both interviews in full by clicking on the “interviews” icon on the homepage of Dwane’s website.
With the classical and film score influences running throughout Mark Dwane’s music, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that Mark also makes a salary writing music for the entertainment industry. On his website, you can find a section devoted to the production music that he has written over the years. Production Music is that type of music that is used in the back of commercials and on television shows to add atmosphere. Some of the clients that use Mark’s Production Music include: Fox Sports, Univision, Comcast Sports, the Playboy Channel, and many others.
Mark’s Production Music is for “commercial use only” and is not available to the public. However, Mark has also been writing and recording his own albums for more than 15 years. His library includes 9 albums and an album of alternate mixes and unreleased tracks. The newest album in the library is 2007’s 2012.
2012 was recorded by Mark Dwane in his own Trondant Studios, in Westlake. Each song was composed by Dwane using his MIDI guitar (a guitar that transforms vibrations into electronic sounds by way of a computer) and many other guitars to create the finished product. While some of Dwane’s other albums could be described as “background music for epic sci-fi movies”, and other as “concept albums”, 2012 has some of both styles in its sound.

The album begins with the title track of “2012”. Like the song title suggests, the music of the track begins with Mark Dwane creating a song that has a very ethereal feel, which is helped along by the inclusion of the harp and the sound of the gong that adds to the orchestral feel of the music. The title track of the release is the best way of sliding into an album full of ethereal concepts.

2012 continues with the track “Skywatchers”. “Skywatchers” features some of Mark Dwane’s best guitar work as he creates a song that has multiple layers and seamlessly blends New Age and Jazz together. To go along with the New Age and Jazz flavors that are courtesy of the keyboard programming from Dwane, the track also includes some electric guitar. The inclusion of the electric guitar to the track adds a bit of Rock and Roll flavor to the track. That electric guitar and the drums that appear on the track give the song a slight feeling of music that came from the eighties. This blending of all of the different genres of music in one track makes for one of the best moments on the 2012 album.

With the track “The End of Time,” Dwane uses the music created by his midi guitars to add a lot of atmosphere to the back ground of the track. That atmospheric feeling helps to create a song that features music that seems to suggest a very ominous occurrence. It contains some of the eeriest and most intense music on the entire album. It also comes across as music that could have been in the background of some type of Sci-fi adventure movie as the audience waits for something big to take place.

The 2012 album concludes with perhaps the most beautiful of all of the tracks, the song entitled “Ascension”. “Ascension” contains the feeling of being taken up into the clouds. This track will definitely leave you with two feelings at one time: one feeling that suggests some sadness and one feeling that suggests beauty. All of that comes from the guitar work of Mark Dwane whose music on this song is a combination of New Age and Instrumental Rock. While all of Mark Dwane’s songs are created one musical part at a time being assembled as he records, “Ascension” is one track that actually feels as if the track had been created by an entire band and not simply one man and a midi guitar. The final track of the release makes for a great way to wrap up this album that features a lot of beauty and complexity.

With the album 2012, Mark Dwane created a release that is full of imagery that will capture your imagination. If you like New Age or Soft Jazz, or if you are a fan of background music from movies, give Mark Dwane and his release 2012 a listen and find out what the rest of the world already knows: Mark Dwane is a very talented musician and composer. Visit Mark at his website.