Friday, December 1, 2017

Volume V Begins Next Month!

Ladies and Gentlemen, Mutants, Aliens, Robots of all configurations, we are one month away from kicking off yet another Silent Sci-Fi challenge! Volume V will begin on January 1, 2018, with a submission deadline of April 1, 2018.

Extended timeline aside, Volume V will function like previous challenges. The name of the film will be revealed on January 1, and participants are encouraged to watch the film without sound and write and record an instrumental track inspired by the film. Submissions can be of any length or style, but must be instrumental. Anyone is welcome to submit a track, so tell two friends, and let's make Volume V our best yet!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Volume IV Post-Release Thoughts, and Volume V News

Ladies and Gentlemen, Aliens, Mutants, Robots of all configurations, thanks again to all those who contributed to this latest effort, and to those who streamed or downloaded it.

Between Volumes III and IV, I had the opportunity to participate in Steven Beaumont's Post-Apocalyptic Nuclear Wasteland compilation, on Paraclesian Records. This was my first flirtation with making ambient music, rather than just listening to it, and it profoundly influenced my approach to my track for Volume IV, as well as the sound of the finished track. My tracks for Volumes I through III tended to be rhythmic, with driving virtual drums, and with two of them featuring dense walls of electric guitar. For the Paraclesian compilation, I eschewed drums or any kind of percussion, and tried to keep my guitars sparse, slow, and echoing. I also, for the first time, incorporated found sounds into my music, in order to create a story-telling soundscape as an intro, as well as a bed of ambient sound throughout the rest of the track. This was a deeply satisfying experiment, and I think it turned out reasonably well.

For Volume IV, I opted for sparse, brooding acoustic guitars, to try to evoke the loneliness of the desert, with the synths to represent the impending alien invasion. My hope was to bring a little spaghetti western flavor to the track with the acoustic and slide guitar, but with a hint of sci-fi in the synths. For percussion, I drew on my experience with found sounds in the Paraclesian compilation, and used the sound of cocking revolvers and jingling spurs to add some rhythm to the track.

Volume IV was an interesting challenge, which came at an interesting time for me. I learned very quickly during this challenge that trying to write and record a track during the first few weeks of marriage was probably not my brightest idea ever. It gave me a whole new appreciation for the time crunch many of our contributors have operated under. Huge thanks are due to my amazing wife Sara for her support and patience through this and all the preceding volumes.

My initial idea for Silent Sci-Fi was to require that artists to write and record their submissions within the space of a month, and for the challenge to happen on a semi-annual basis. I've realized, over the course of four volumes, that the one month limit is probably not realistic for most people. Participating in Steven Beaumont's Post-Apocalyptic Nuclear Wasteland compilation, seeing how much more time he allowed and the sheer number of submissions his project received, further convinced me that a longer timeframe would allow more people to participate. Going forward, the challenge will run for three months, and will be held on an annual basis.

Silent Sci-Fi, Volume V will kick off with the announcement of the next film on January 1, 2018, with the deadline for submissions being April 1, 2018.

 Watch the skies, Silent Sci-Fi returns on January 1, 2018!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Presenting: Volume IV

Ladies and Gentlemen, Aliens, Mutants, Robots of all configurations, we are proud to present Silent Sci-Fi, Volume IV. Thanks to all the artists who submitted tracks, and who worked long and hard to make this a great album! This album turned out shorter than previous volumes, but the quality of submissions was fantastic.

 Volume IV is free to stream or download at Bandcamp, and will be available shortly on YouTube.

Silent Sci-Fi will return in January 2018. Watch the skies...

Monday, July 10, 2017

Artist Profile: Zalys

Name/Band Name/Pseudonym: Zalys

Instruments Played: keyboards, programming

Influences, Musical or Otherwise: movie soundtracks, video game soundtracks, dark ambient music, sci-fi, black metal

Bio: Zalys is a French one-woman dark ambient project created in 2013. The idea was to mix ambient music with futuristic/sci-fi themes and dark soundscapes with the two first albums "Wandering Through Space" and "Summoning the Phoenix" (2013).
The project developed into something more symphonic, electronic and contemplative with the two sequels "Towards the Sun" and "Infinity" (2014).
Then, as the OST influences became more predominent, two concept albums were released : "The Icarus System" (2014) (a space opera experience) and "Reminiscences" (2015) (a post-apocalyptical experience). Some orchestral experimentations were made with the EP "The Haunted Moon" (2016) using symphonic black metal inspirations. This EP included some covers of the X-Files ost.
Now, Zalys can be described as a space dark ambient project with symphonic and electronic influences like in the two last albums "Sublime" (2015) and "Fragments of Life" (2016)

Thoughts on your experience participating in Silent Sci-Fi: When participating in the volume IV of Silent Sci-Fi, I already knew the movie but did not remember the soundtrack so that was a good experience. So I imagined something a bit dark (for the aliens) and also orchestral (for the movie thing and cowboys). The beginning of the movie inspired me more : the guy with no memory with this strange bracelet. I started with the violin, then the harps and then all the instruments came together naturally.

Contact info:

Friday, June 30, 2017

Volume IV Deadline Extension!

Ladies, Gentlemen, Mutants, Aliens, and Robots of all configurations, we interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to bring you this important announcement:  In order to allow more people to participate in this project, we are extending our deadline for submissions to July 8. That's right- you now have an extra week to finish (or start) and submit your tracks. The album will be released on Bandcamp and YouTube the following Saturday.

On a related note, thanks and congratulations to Tiphany and Andrew for our first two submissions!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Final Week of Volume IV!

Ladies and Gentlemen, Aliens, Mutants, Robots of all configurations, we are down to the home stretch -  only seven days from wrapping up the writing portion of Silent Sci-Fi, Volume IV! Our deadline is June 30, so whether you're in the midst of writing or recording, have a finished track, or are just about to jump in, we'd still love to have you! As always, you can use this Dropbox link to submit your track.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Volume IV Mid-Month Update

Ladies and Gentlemen, Mutants, Aliens, Robots of all configurations, we are halfway through the writing portion of Silent Sci-Fi, Volume IV! I watched the film a couple weekends ago and and have started assembling the ideas I came up with then. Hopefully all of you have watched the film by now and have some good ideas. If not, never fear! It's not too late.

For those who have a submission ready, feel free to submit it using this Dropbox link. And while you're at it, feel free to submit an Artist Profile or Bio for us to feature on the SSF blog!

Our deadline for submissions is June 30, 2017. RSVP to this Facebook Event to ensure you don't miss it.

Note: By submitting a composition, you grant permission for me to release your track as part of the compilation entitled "Silent Sci-Fi, Volume IV". You retain the rights to your composition and are free, and in fact encouraged, to release and promote it it on your own once the compilation is released.