In a tireless search for original musical ideas, prolific experimental rock composer Echo Root focuses on exploratory art in quantity, as opposed to invented art with a primary focus on quality. This leads to more innovation as less time is spent perfecting what has already been created and more time is spent on creating new original ideas. "We as individuals are always changing second by second and are not really anything with any permanence outside of a repetition of patterns… behaviors, traits, aspects of our appearance. Any of these elements can change over time or in an instant, so who we are is best defined by recognizable patterns of these aspects of being. Not the sum of the parts as much as the average. In some way, that is what I strive to communicate through my music." The result of this artist's self-exploration is well-produced "homemade" music filled with aleatorically and algorithmically composed themes and extended modal guitar excursions using other-worldly tones and effects. The artist often refers to his work as "music for B movies," and fans of experimental, jam band, fusion and post-rock music are sure to find something of themselves within the music of Echo Root.
Clif Johnston - Guitar, Bass, Keys and Programming
Clockwork Angels is my first concept album, and the first album for Echo Root that is not part of the Zen Junk collection. I took the first few weeks of February away from that year-long project to focus on completing this album as part of my participation in February Album Writer's Month and the RPM Challenge. The goal of the album was to build a cohesive piece of art, from the cover to the title, and of course the songs themselves. That is a departure from the Zen Junk albums which are more of a stream-of-consciousness musical diary. Clockwork Angels alludes to the idea of man-made beings that surpass the capabilities of humans. The music therefore mixes ethereal musical landscapes with mechanical and electrical sounds. I sometimes use the Bladerunner replicants or the work of HR Giger as a visual/mental reference. I think it really helps to think of my music as a soundtrack, focus on the imagery and allow the movie to form itself in your mind. Thus "music for B movies." I used many new tools and techniques for this album. A good number of the keyboard parts were composed using my homemade algorithmic composition software, which I call Geia 1.0, using my Spiral DNA Algorithm. I also made extensive use of a free sci-fi VST synth called Alieno, the free mda VST plug-ins and Guitar Rig 3. Musically, all of the songs are based on modes of the Major scale. The Spiral DNA algorithm randomly generates serial modal lines which utilize all of the notes (and the octave) of a scale so that the full shape of the mode can be experienced. The program then uses that same randomly generated sequence to create a harmonic progression through the scale. Geia 1.0 also defines the key and tempo of the piece. The angular, yet perfect lines composed by Geia symbolically represent the superior, yet artificial intellect of the "Clockwork Angels," while the improvised guitar represents the human spectator in a world that is evolving beyond his control. All of the tracks are available for free download at http://echoroot.fuzz.com , or you may purchase the album if you'd like to show your support in that way.