Happy holidays and such.

My musical life is good, as always. Occasionally I’ll get some negative thoughts that threaten my progress, but I shoot them down. I learned a long time ago that pessimism is such a waste of time, especially when it’s just so easy to enjoy yourself.

Here’s my list of musical accomplishments from the last couple months that I’m super stoked about.

  • - Christmas at Belmont 2013 - The college I attend puts on a televised production every other year and I was lucky enough to be apart of it this past year because of involvement with the Belmont University Symphony Orchestra. It was an absolute blast. There were several people complaining about the time commitment and what not, but I couldn’t help myself from smiling every single day. A good majority of my family managed to make it out for the show, as well as my girlfriend and her family, and that made it all the merrier. My family even got to stay for the entire week of Thanksgiving, reminding me exactly what I’m thankful for.
  • - Various church concerts - Christmas season means Christmas concert which means Christmas money for Christmas gifts. I performed at three separate Christmas concerts at numerous churches and locales, all of which were phenomenal. My performance at the Bluegrass Baptist Church here in Nashville was especially interesting when I showed up and they immedaitely declared that not only was I to be lead fiddle, but that I would also be performing a 2-page long solo. I was stressed but it was great. I pulled it off the best a man can with 20 minutes of practice and went on my way.
  • - Band of Courage PBS Documentary - The pinnacle of my Christmas season was my involvement in the Band of Courage PBS documentary filming. The documentary (which will air sometime in March, we were told) will cover various interviews about the band that played and ultimately died with the sinking Titanic. Me and several other guys from Belmont were chosen to portray the band in the documentary, and so in between the different interviews there’ll be clips of us playing with some seriously cool visuals. I’m excited to see it and I hope you guys are too. It’ll be chilling.

For Christmas I also got a chance to visit my amazing family in Alaska, which was an experience. I lived there when I was younger for a couple years and so it was interesting to go back for a second time. Lots of snow and lots of fun; my family knows how to enjoy themselves and I always love them for that. 

My second EP is still rolling around in my brain. “Coastal” is still a key word for me but I’m also experimenting with some other ideas, mostly involving nature. I’m big into the natural world currently and would love to portray that in some seriously cool music.

Speaking of seriously cool music, I’ll be composing a piece to a clip of interpretive music directed by Candace Kaw and performed by Mandy Cox. I’ve seen some preliminary footage and it’s extremely interesting; I’m excited to see what I can churn up to match it. Interpretive dancing is one of those things that will always be foreign to me no matter how much I watch it, and that excites me in having to compose something for it. 

Hope all is well in the lives of whoever is reading this. You deserve it.

- Jake

In the search for inspiration for my next EP, I’ve run across the amazing Olafur Arnalds on numerous occasions. His music is incredible and emotional and it’s mind blowing to think that his origins were as a drummer in an Icelandic metal band. 

Solo piano, solo strings, and ambience are my pillars for my new EP, which has been churning around in my head for a week or two now. The word “coastal” keeps popping into my musical thoughts as well, and I feel like it’ll be a good word to describe a lot of the airy and wide sounds that I hope to create.

This’ll be a good one.

- Jake

 

And it’s done.

I’ve been working on the Planetary EP for a couple months now on and off. If you’ve been following it you know it was supposed to come out early last month, but school managed to sweep me off into other more (or equally) important things. But now it is completely and totally finished.

I hadn’t planned on writing a story to go along with the EP, but I heard things in the music as I was making it. There were certain themes and musical colors that I felt needed some explaining. This album is about Captain Enders and his mind. His thoughts fall on love, destiny, travel, and whatever else is necessary to him. Enders is in some way a version of myself, but also completely separate. I didn’t want him to be exactly like me because I needed him to have experienced different and more dramatic things. As much as I would love to travel through space, I haven’t.

There is more story in the music than in the text. I’m a decent writer but I can say things much better with harmonies and dynamics than letters and phrases. 

I hope you at least enjoy the EP a little. There will be more coming from Machinotic and more coming from Jake Handy. This is just the first.

Thanks guys.

- Jake

So I’m releasing this new EP tomorrow called the Planetary EP under my “Machinotic” name and it’s pretty excellent. Very classic synth, very 80s, very symphonic (in parts), it’s going to be great. The songs on the EP actually follow a short story, which can be found in the descriptions of each song on Soundcloud and in the album description on Bandcamp. It’s all very cool and exciting and I can’t wait for you to hear (and read) it.

I’d absolutely love for you to check it out. It will be up to stream for FREE on my Bandcamp and Soundcloud tomorrow.

Here’s a sample if you’re feelin’ it: 
https://soundcloud.com/machinotic/gliese-581-g

- Jake

Album Art

Here’s the second one. See my past post for details.

Played 20 times.
Album Art

In our strings seminar this Tuesday, we did an interesting exercise where two players would be chosen to go up and basically “play out” a story or movie or the like. Focusing on the particular themes from Beauty and the Beast and Count of Monte Cristo (selected randomly), the two players showed off some amazing skill. Both tunes were completely improvised and match their inspirations perfectly.

Having these opportunities to listen to the world’s best musicians play the world’s best musicvis what getting a college music degree, to me, is all about. I could never find this anywhere else.

Played 19 times.

Hey everyone! The Nashville Collegiate Orchestra is a fantastic new group I was privileged to be a part of this summer (and still currently!)

Here is the recording of our first full concert which we gave in August.

Check them out on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/NashvilleCollegiatePhil

Album Art

A brief snippet of the arrangment I’m working on for “The Gravel Road” from Shyamalamamalan’s The Village. This is the easy part, strangely.

Played 21 times.

Musical things going on in my life at the current point in time:

  • Various classes (theory, aural skills, music history, etc)
  • Learning a concerto for classical lessons
  • Learning chords and complex harmonies for commercial lessons
  • Belmont University Strings Chamber Orchestra rehearsals
  • Belmont University Symphony Orchestra rehearsals 
  • Nashville Collegiate Symphony rehearsals
  • Arranging “The Gravel Road”from The Village because it’s awesome
  • Planning and preparing a quartet for a friend of a friend’s wedding on the 20th
  • Searching desperately for a mandolin 
  • Trying (and subtly failing) to keep up with my Cubase projects
  • Trying to get an EP out from Machinotic borderline frantically
  • Writing some sort of music for Emilie ‘cause she’s lovely (Sshh)
  • Wanting a shamisen, as usualy

That’s mostly it. There’s probably more but it’s so ingrained into my life currently that I can’t tell it apart from eating and sleeping. To be honest, this doesn’t even feel like the biggest load I’ve had in terms of music. I’m curious if that’s because it actually isn’t or because I’ve gotten so used to (read: good at) doing and managing this stuff that it’s becoming second nature. Please let it be the latter.

- Jake

Some work I did last year…some tunes similar to this coming out of the wood work at some point here, classes are crazy (in a good way).