Track By Track : Komie - Afterglow

By John A. Wilcox

I'm giving over my intro to musician/composer/producer Komie:
Afterglow was born out of the desire to create music purely for the art of it, with no boundaries whatsoever; and to create music with an uplifting, inspiring tone, contrary to all the negativity we experience today in our world. Creating music for television and film is fun and fulfilling in many ways, but you're restricted as an artist in many ways. I'd been thinking about making a post-rock inspired album for sometime, one where a person could lose themselves in the songs, feel free, inspired and nurtured from the music. However, what pushed me over the edge and inspired me to complete Afterglow was witnessing the Great American Eclipse of 2017. I was in Wyoming in the path of totality and the eclipse was like nothing I've seen before. The colors and glowing luminescence were other-wordly, like I was witnessing something holy and transcendent. Seeing that changed me as an artist, connecting my creativity with something indescribably deeper than I had access to before. Needless to say, as soon as I returned in late August 2017 I got right to work on Afterglow.

Track 1: Cirrus Flow
K: Cirrus Flow was born out of my 2017 eclipse experience more than any other track on the album. It was my musical interpretation of the joy and universal connectedness I felt when I was witnessing that wondrous sight. I wanted to write a piece that felt otherwordly, yet connected to humanity at the same time. I wanted it to sound colorful, one-of-a-kind and full of joy and heavenly inspiration. The decision to use cleaner guitar sounds rather than a lot of heavier, distorted leads was a conscious one. I felt like the clean, sustained lead sound fit the song (and the album) better. I also strived on this song (and the album in general) to avoid cliche' sounding guitar riffs. To accomplish this I spent time creating new techniques (to me at least) that allowed me to move around the fretboard in a different way, thus giving the leads a unique sound and avoiding the kinds of cliche' riffs we've all heard before.

Track 2: Driftwood
K: Driftwood was written awhile back in another unfulfilled form, but I knew it could be re-done to live up to it's potential. The idea was to create a mood that you could lose yourself in, lost but floating on clouds, not caring if you're ever found, happy to be drifting wherever. I kept lengthening the form, because it felt like the lead at the end needed more time to reveal itself in full. I used a technique on the intro and breakdown on this song (and many of the others) where you don't actually pick the notes, you just touch your fingers to the fretboard using your left hand only, creating a very fluid sound.

Track 3: Breathe You In
K: On this song I experimented quite a bit with reversed guitar sounds. I'd record a pattern or chord progression, than flip it around so it played backwards. Very trippy sound. The song originally didn't have as much melody as it ended up with, I went back later and added an additional melodic layer which really lifted it to another level. This song is one of my personal favorites, I like the dreamy, romantic feel to it and think the solo at the end is one of the best on the album.

Track 4: Rush
K: While working on the album I realized it needed more uptempo, driving songs to compliment the more moody, relaxing tracks. I came up with the intro guitar line while relaxing one night. with a guitar in my hands (I do that while watching TV sometimes). I switched up the form quite a bit on this one, the bridge (1:47) used to be part of the chorus, but I liked it a lot better as it's own section. My fiancee came up with the title Feel The Rush, and later I decided to shorten it to just Rush.

Track 5: Eyes Of Innocence
K: This song was originally a piece I did for television, but in a much simpler, shorter form. I always liked the melody and hopeful feel of the music, so I decided to re-work it for the album.

Track 6: Power Surge
K: This song was originally going to be a bonus track for the album (along with Aeon Shift), but after it was said and done I decided to include both songs as part of the main offering because they both brought something different to the album. The goal on this one was uplifting, inspiring energy. My best friend came up with this title, he and I battled over and over on this one but in the end I couldn't think of anything better, and it does fit well.

Track 7: Afterglow
K: Afterglow was another cue for television that I always liked, especially the wistful dreamy feel of the guitar. I re-worked it and brought it to another level, especially the end vamp that keeps building and building.

Track 8: Inhumanly Possible
K: I always like songs that make you guess as to what the time signature is. This is one of those songs, it could be in 6/8 or 4/4. That triplet feel is always fun. My goal on this track was to give the lead guitar an almost classical feel, over the post-industrial drums and string swells it creates an emotionally charged mood.

Track 9: Moonstruck
K: Moonstruck was written with the intention of creating an anthem of sorts. I wanted a song that gave the feeling of unity, family and love.

Track 10: Pieces Of Me
K: Every album needs a true ballad. In this case I wanted to explore the more emotional, bittersweet side of the music. One of my favorite tracks on the album because of it's emotional depth.

Track 11: Aurora Dawning
K: After witnessing a glorious sunrise one morning, I wanted to capture the feeling that a fresh new morning can bring. So many possibilities, a brand new start. That was the intention at the heart of Aurora Dawning.

Track 12: Skyburst
K: Similar to Aurora Dawning in regards to inspiration. I've always loved rain storms, and living in Southern California we're so deprived of it. I wanted to write a song that reflected how I feel when I'm experiencing the sound, smell, and rejuvenating feeling of rain; along with the excitement that thunder and lightening can bring.

Track 13: Aeon Shift
K: Aeon Shift was going to be a bonus track on the album, but as I mentioned earlier, after finishing it the song seemed like it belonged on the main offering since it brought something different to the collection. With this song, I wanted to write something a little darker, tougher and energetic to bring to the album. The solo at the end is one of my favorites on the record.


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