Hey blog-pals, long time no speak!
In celebration of the latest chapter of Atlas releasing into the wild, I wanted to write down some thoughts about each of the brand-new songs. There’s so much to tell you about this collection of songs, I don’t even know where to begin!
First, song general info:
The first thing to know is that the sequence of this EP, and the next (SPACE 2), are in order of the planets closest to the Sun.
Jordan Hill (played Drums made out of Auto parts on “Mercury”) – As a mechanic and an incredible drummer, my friend Jordan Hill came up with the idea of creating a drumset made entirely out of Automotive Parts! He made a video showing it off and thousands of folks were blown away! Not only is it an interesting idea, but it actually sounds incredible! So when I was writing Mercury, a song I was limiting myself to using only metallic instruments, asking Jordan to play his Auto-Parts kit was a perfect fit! I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out! Visit his blog here.
Jeremy Larson (played Brass on “Mercury”) – One of my favorite people on the planet, and a frequent Sleeping At Last guest, I knew right away as I wrote the brass section for this song that Jeremy would be the guy to play/record it! He’s new to playing Brass, and just like everything he does, he sounds incredible! Hear Jeremy’s music here!
Melissa Bach (played Cellos on “Earth”) – Another frequent guest of mine, Melissa came out to the studio with specific instructions – don’t listen to this song more than a couple times. As with all things on Earth, I wanted the cellos to be reactive, more than planned. So we sat down with the song and recorded ideas as we had them! I couldn’t be more delighted with the results! Melissa’s a true talent and a great sport!
EXTENDED RELEASE NOTES:
As I set out to write SPACE 1, I watched as many documentaries on Space as I could, read a bunch of sci-fi and studied up on the nuances of each of the planets in our Solar System. Basically, it was a kid-in-a-candy-store situation. I had SUCH a wonderful time writing songs inspired by these gorgeous planets!
What better way to segue from the “Light” EP, than to start with the source of all light in our world? The gentle, hopeful opening represents the Sun we know from down here on Earth – warmth, life and light. As if to follow that light closer and closer up to its source, the song picks up, becoming more and more driving and electric. I wanted to explore that spectrum of gentleness and intensity. Instrumentally I chose to use as many bright instruments as possible (mandolins, glockenspiels, synths, harpsichords, etc). Lyrically, this song revolves around the lyric “Infinity times infinity” which is of course a classic kid argument. The song is about division, arguing complex beliefs and ideas with one another – adult stuff, but realizing that we’re just little kids, all under the same Sun, trying to out-do each other in one way or another.
For a planet 70% metallic, it felt fitting to only use metallic instruments on this song (except for my voice, of course, which is made of human). I asked my close pal Jeremy Larson to play Brass and he did gorgeously. Then, I asked my friend Jordan Hill to play drums using the incredibly unique drum-kit he built himself, made entirely out of auto-parts. (What?!) Such a cool sound! To see his kit, watch his viral video here. I’ll be posting a separate blog post about these drums soon.. it was a pretty fun collaboration!
Named after the goddess of love, I had to write a love song. Sung from the perspective of an Astronomer (myself being the most novice one ever,) I wrote this as a long song for my wife. Side note: I noticed that this song goes really well with being on a train. It represents the most lighthearted part of this collection of songs.
Thankfully, I have my upcoming “Land” EP to execute further inspiration from the one planet we all know best. Made up of primarily Piano, Cello and Voice, which I have decided are the most Earthly of all of the instruments. My friend Melissa Bach played Cello gorgeously throughout this song. Melissa’s been a part of many Sleeping At Last recordings, including: Emphasis, Goes On and On, as well as the entire Storyboards album.
An instrumental! I treated this one as if I were given an opportunity to score the Apollo 11 Mission. After watching hours of footage, I wrote this piece of music imagining as best I could as to what music for an adventure like this might sound like. I had a lot of fun doing it… and if you listen closely, you can hear (in sequence from launch, Moon-landing to the return back to Earth) NASA audio from that Apollo 11 mission scattered throughout the song.
The red planet, named after the god of war. I really didn’t think I wanted to write a song about war, but somehow the words and stories spilled out of my head. This story follows a few young soldiers, off to war, and consequently returning home only to fight an entirely different, internal war within themselves. A darker song, to be sure.
The art, which I consider to be some of Geoff Benzing’s finest work to date (maybe even my absolute fav!), is delivered exclusively in the digital booklet as usual to all Atlas subscribers! we’ve also included a jpg of the entire panoramic work for your enjoyment! Fun fact: The actual paintings, when laid out, stretch out to over 24 feet long. Amazing!
There is SO much more nerdy detail behind each of these songs, but I’ll leave the rest of that nerdy stuff to upcoming blog posts on each individual songs. Soon. Thanks for reading!
Ryan – Sleeping At Last
I hope the transition from Summer to Fall has been treating you beautifully! I can’t believe it’s basically Fall now! That was quick.
“SPACE 1″ EP NOW AVAILABLE!
Today I am so very pleased to inform you that my BRAND-NEW Atlas EP: “Space 1” is now available to download for all Atlas Passport Holders!!!
To download Space 1 right NOW, along with all previously released Atlas EPs (Darkness, Light) become an Atlas Passport Holder! Subscribe and you’ll get 28+ songs by the year’s end, early downloads, exclusive artwork and lots more! Aw yeah.
Subscribe to Atlas here!
If you’re already a subscriber, check your email!!! (don’t forget to check spam, if not write to email@example.com!)
“SPACE 1″ OFFICIAL RELEASE DATE
The official release date for “Space 1″ is September 17th! iTunes and basically everywhere digital music is sold will have it available straight away on Tuesday!
SONG DEBUT ON PASTE
Keep your eyes/ears peeled on PasteMagazine.com - they’ll be debuting my new song “Earth” very soon!
Thanks for reading guys!! Soooooo excited for you to hear Space 1!
Much love, Ryan – Sleeping At Last
P.S. here’s a list of things i love right now…
1. Breaking Bad (is it a dark show? yes. is it one of the best and well acted story arcs ever? definitely. this final season is making me yell at my TV!)
2. iPhone 5s (yes, apple, i am still a sucker and will buy your latest iphone. thanks for asking.)
speaking of apple… 3. Nutella on Apples (the result so far for things that nutella tastes good on: everything)
4. NASA’s Voyager entering into interstellar space for the 1st time ever. (amazing timing, nasa! right alongside my space ep! well done.)
made a micro music video by filming these ominous-looking clouds overhead today (8.31.13) with my iphone. (no filters used or adjustments in speed.)
“bad blood” is from my “darkness” ep, as part of my “atlas” project. (iTunes) thanks for watching!
i’m so very pleased to inform you that my cover version of the proclaimer’s song “i’m gonna be (500 miles)” was featured on tonight’s episode of “so you think you can dance” on FOX! (video below!) this is my 5th song featured on this season of the show and i couldn’t be more honored and thrilled to be a part!! thank you SYTYCD!!
oh, and the song is available via iTunes here!
love, ryan – sleeping at last
Happy Humanitarian Day!
So excited to tell you about a rad event that is happening TODAY!! At 1pm-4pm PST, the incredible Kid President, Soulpancake and the United Nations are hosting an online event, celebrating World Humanitarian Day!
Alongside Kid President, Rainn Wilson, Scott Harrsion (charity: water), Jeremy Cowart, Paulo Coelho, Amitabh Bachchan & more, I received the honor of contributing to this beautiful online event!
I get play my song “Emphasis” as well as interview one of my favorite people ever, Scott Harison (founder of charity: water) to talk about the incredible things his organiation, charity: water is doing to make our world a healthier, happier and more beautiful place!
Please tune in today (monday) at 1-4pm Pacific Time and tell your friends!
Click HERE to check it all out!
Can’t wait to hang!!
Much Love, Ryan – Sleeping At Last
here’s a little video I made for fun, while flying from charlotte to chicago a couple months ago. using only my iphone & tiltshift video app. “i’ll keep you safe” is from my “darkness” ep. thanks for watching and listening!
I’ve got a few things to tell you about today! Firstly…
“LIGHT” CD NOW SHIPPING!
As part of my Atlas CD Box-set/Subscription, the latest EP, “Light” is now shipping to all “Passport Plus” members! To purchase and/or learn more about this new CD box-set, visit here.
ATLAS THEMES ANNOUNCED!
Speaking of Atlas, today I am pleased to announce the remaining Atlas EP titles/themes for this year! Drum roll, please…
The next Atlas theme is SPACE.
SPACE will be a collection of songs inspired by our Solar System – a song for each planet. Through lots of incredibly fun research, I’ve been learning a lot about each planet, documenting their colors, characteristics, mythology and other details that will inspire and inform the tone and feel of each song. A couple examples of this: “Mercury“, as I’ve learned is a planet made up of roughly 70% metallic, will be a song recorded only using metallic instruments… Bells, Brass, Cymbals, etc. “Venus,” named after the roman god of love, will of course be a love song. And so on and so on. As you can see, these songs will not be a collection of Theremin Solos, but Sleeping At Last songs inspired by the incredibly beautiful information that exists about the galaxy we live in!
This theme will span over the next two Atlas EPs. The first of which, called “SPACE 1” (late Summer release) will feature 6 songs:
Followed by its 5-song sibling EP, “SPACE 2” which continues and completes the Solar System inspired track-list:
… and of course, a bonus-track entitled “Pluto.”
Later this year, I’ll pull the camera in a little closer with the release of LAND. A 4-song EP:
Concluding Atlas Year 2013, I will release OCEANS. Continuing and completing the oceanic theme that began on my previous project “Yearbook,” this 5-song EP will be a collection of all instrumental songs inspired by the 5 oceans of Earth.
As you can now see, Atlas tells an overarching story about how all things came to be: the origins, emergence and experiences of life. This Atlas year only tells a small fraction of that story, but I’m keeping next year’s Atlas schedule and themes under wraps for now! So fun to finally share with you the concept. I geek out on this stuff and I couldn’t be having a better time writing songs within these concepts and ideas!
Thanks for reading!!
Love, Ryan – Sleeping At Last
p.s. here’s a list of things i love right now… (brought to you by the letter “c”)
1. candy crush saga (i didn’t want to get sucked into this life-consuming ios game… but it happened. i see candy in my sleep)
2. celestron telescopes (my wife got me one for my bday and i LOVE it. so inspiring for my “space” songs!)
3. can i stream.it? (my go to app for finding out if that movie or tv show is on netflix, or wherever!)
I hope this email finds you enjoying your Summer thoroughly! It’s been a very busy and wonderful one here! Traveling, writing, recording… needless to say, it’s flying by so fast!
LIMITED-EDITION MESSENGER BAGS
As you may already know, alongside each Atlas EP, I am offering a limited-edition merch item. For the recently released “Light” EP I am pleased to announce a collaboration with an absolutely incredible nonprofit called Re:new.
Behold! The limited-edition “You Are Enough” Messenger Bag!
Offered in 2 sizes, these bags were beautifully hand-made and custom designed in collaboration for this project, featuring the lyric “You Are Enough,” from my latest EP, “Light.”
Aside from being amazing and fashionable, these bags also carry a beautiful and important story…
Founded by our close friend, Rebecca Sandberg, Re:new exists to transform and invest in the lives of refugee women living in America. Every year, tens of thousands of refugees from all over the world fleeing war, persecution, or natural disaster are resettled in America. Re:new comes alongside refugee women in America, enabling them to thrive, by providing employment opportunity and relational community. Re:new Artisans enjoy fair wage employment creating one-of-a-kind handcrafted products in a creative and dignified workplace.
I’ve been so so so inspired over the years by the work of Re:new that I couldn’t be more excited to partner up with them to offer you this custom-made bag!!
With your purchase, you come alongside refugee women in America and empower them to support their families and experience hope. All proceeds benefit the work of Re:new!
Get the “You Are Enough” Messenger Bags here!
Complimenting the “You Are Enough” Messenger bag (which is only avail on our site!), Re:new is offering a beautiful “You Are Enough” Zip Pouch, available on their site! The perfect accessory for your new messenger bag! OR a great gift for someone else!
Get the “You Are Enough” Zip Pouch here!
In addition to their incredible bags, Re:new is also a great source for handmade home linens and many other totally beautiful products, including my personal fav, iPhone/iPad cases! Please take a moment to visit the Re:new website or in person at their flagship store in IL and learn more about the incredible work they’re doing, first-hand!
Thank you SO much for reading, and a HUGE thanks to Rebecca and the Re:new team for the wonderful work they are doing to make this world a better place!!
Much Love, Ryan – Sleeping At Last
SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE – TONIGHT!
Just a super quick note to let you know that my brand-new song “In The Embers” (from my “Light” EP) will be featured on tonight’s So You Think You Can Dance!! (7/9) Choreographed by the incredibly talented, Sonya Teyah!
If you missed the last few songs of mine on this season of SYTYCD, check ‘em out here (click on the song titles to watch): “Turning Page“, “Clockwork (Piano Version)“, “Goes On and On” and be sure to tune in TONIGHT to hear “In The Embers“! 8/7c on FOX! I feel so grateful and blessed to be a part of this wonderful show!!
Thanks for reading! Many hugs your way!
Ryan – Sleeping At Last
here’s another list of things i love right now…
1. cosmicomics by italo calvino (this book is wonderful and so very visual)
2. in the shadow of the moon (beautiful and moving documentary. what an incredible moment in history to put a person on the moon.)
3. klondike vanilla icecream sandwich (i shouln’t eat these.)
Summertime is here! I hope that it’s already been an amazing one for you! So far, so good over here – I just returned home from an incredible first-time visit to Paris and had the best time! Was there doing a little research for my upcoming EPs, as well as enjoying a bit of a Summer vacation. I’m back and already digging deep into the new songs for the remaining Atlas EPs, which is how I’ll be enjoying my Summer. SO excited about these songs and can’t wait to share soon!
Speaking of Atlas, thank you all SO much for such encouraging feedback on the new “Light” EP!! Means so much to me – such a reward to hear after spending so much time on these songs. Thanks to you, “Light” was featured on iTunes, Spotify, Paste Magazine, Myspace and even made it onto the Billboard Charts as a “Heatseeker”! Thank you so much for your support! So, so very honored.
Aside from wanting to say hello, I am writing today to let you know that in honor of 4th of July, we’re having a Summer Sale!! 20% OFF everything* in the online store, now through July 9th at 11:59PM CST! Sale includes: Yearbook, All Shirts, Vinyl, CDs, Onesies and more!
Shop here, then at checkout, enter the code: OOZMAKAPA
(Orders must total $20 or more. *Atlas is not a part of this sale, sorry!)
Thanks so much for reading!! I’ll be writing soon with more news/info about the next Atlas EPs – can’t wait to tell you all about ‘em!
Ryan – Sleeping At Last
P.S. here’s a list of things i love right now…
1. Monster’s University (the orig. is an all time fav film of mine, and this prequel is so fun, clever and fitting! hooray pixar!! note the MU inspired coupon code above!)
2. Nutella (umm.. how have i not had nutella ’til now? a recent discovery i made via crepes in paris. mmm)
3. C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy (long time lewis fan, just not starting the space trilogy – in love.)
4. Instagram Video (into it.)