A fusion of electronic and acoustic musical sounds with elements of jazz, rock, and world genres, this music features great instrumental work, innovative electronic sounds, high production values, and captivating compositions by David Mash. Chapters represents several chapters in David’s life, including his very first original composition, written in 1973 called MCR (Motor City Roots), several pieces from the Ictus chapter (1976-1982), a few tunes written for the live Mashine Music band in 1983 (freshly recorded here in the studio for the first time), and some brand new pieces written in 2017 and 2018!
Featuring David Mash on guitar and synthesizers, Greg Badolato on Soprano and Tenor Saxophones, Bruce Nifong on Soprano and Alto Saxophones, and Jeff Stout on Trumpet, this album was co-produced and engineered by David Mash and Peter Bell. The album artwork is a detail of the painting “Shapes” by Wendy Young.
Special thanks to Peter Bell for his friendship and musical collaboration, and for pushing me to get it right and make it better; Audrey Harrer for her artistic collaboration and creating the three music videos for this album, Mashine Music, Cyborg, and Liquid Film; Matt McArthur and the staff at The Record Company; Isak Kotecki for his help with the camerawork, and Wendy Young for her incredible paintings and friendship!
Here are my first two music videos created for the Chapters release:
Shortly after leaving the band Ictus in 1983, I decided to put together a band to play new works for a one-time concert at the Berklee Performance Center (BPC) in Boston. I invited some of my good friends to play in the band, choosing really great players that wouldn’t need too much rehearsing, and I called the band “Mashine Music.” I was already using that name for my publishing, but the concept for the band was an integration of very electronic-based musical compositions with a horn section, as I was writing a lot of three-horn charts for the Berklee Ensemble Library as part of my day-gig. When writing the tunes for the concert I was thinking about combining humans and machines, both musically and biologically so several of the tunes have titles reflecting this thought. Cyborg was the first of the batch, and refers to the ultimate human/machine combination. The music reflects this as well, with a machine-like pulse in the synths, ostinatos and arpeggiation and contrasted with the 3-horns. The horn section was recorded live at The Record Company in Boston, and the rest of the tracks were recorded at my home studio. Jeff Stout takes a terrific solo on Trumpet!
This piece was written in the earliest days of Ictus, in the fall of 1976, and was actually featured on our first demo tape. I was trying to create a floating sensation where the rhythm was so complex that you stopped trying to figure it out and just float along with the changing rhythms. Using only minor chords to create a bluesy, sad feeling, the melody also floats over the time to take you away from your blues. For this musicians that want to know, the piece is in 15/8, with the bass and keys playing a division of 3/4 + 3/8 + 3/4. The guitar is playing an arpeggio that is 5 groups of 3 (3/8 + 3/8 + 3/8 + 3/8 + 3/8), and the drums float and play over the full bar of 15. This piece features Bruce Nifong on Soprano Saxophone.
Steady Waves, Uneven Paths
Another piece from the Ictus chapter, this was written in 1978. My life at the time seemed to be one of a constant flow of bad luck, the uneven paths, and seemed to be just one wave of bad luck after another, hence the title Steady Waves, Uneven Paths. I had lost the use of my left hand (read Tom Rhea’s short bio of me for more on that) and had to stop playing guitar, and had taken up the synthesizer to remain in the band, but hadn’t quite carved out a role for the electronics in my music yet. Bruce Nifong is again featured on this tune, and Bruce was a long-term member of the band Ictus. Background horns feature Jeff Stout on trumpet and Greg Badolato on Tenor Sax.
A 2017 composition, this a cinematic electronifunky fusion piece inspired by a guitar/synth sound I built in Fishman TriplePlay using Guitar Rig and the Arturia CS80v-3. The CS-80v is arpeggiating what I play on the guitar, and I mixed the guitar and synth to create the rhythmic motive that forms the framework of the composition. That inspired the further development using Omnisphere, Trillian, Kontakt, and Hive synthesizers, with rhythm tracks built using Stylus RMX and Drumcore 4. I’m playing all the parts using my custom-built Godin Montreal Premier TriplePlay guitar and Komplete Kontrol keyboard.
Another piece originally written for the Mashine Music concert at the BPC, the title also plays on the human-machine intersection. The composition is based on a gospel kind of harmonic progression, but with a swunk groove contrasted with a quasi-reggae groove. This features Bruce Nifong on Alto with Greg Badolato on Tenor and Jeff Stout on Trumpet.
Another new tune for 2017-2018, Liquid Film represents a bit of a cinematic mood that I’ve been in of late. This one features NI Komplete 11 Instruments and Omnisphere synths, as well as my La Patrie Arena guitar (by Godin), and DrumCore 4! Audrey Harrer made a great music video of this with a dreamy cinematic feel!
Long Time Since
Another piece from the Ictus chapter, Long Time Since was written in 1977, and features a vamp for solos that turns you around a bit with the last measure of 7/8 each chorus. This one features Bruce Nifong on Alto, and me on everything else.
This piece started it all for the Mashine Music concert at the BPC. The synthesizers play a major role in establishing the groove, using electronic percussive sounds to set up the 12/8 feel. For the horn section, Bruce Nifong and Greg Badolato both play soprano saxophone with Jeff Stout on Trumpet. Jeff also takes an amazing trumpet solo on this tune. Audrey Harrer also mad a great music video for this tune, again recorded at The Record Company on January 10, 2018.
David plays Godin Guitars exclusively and uses the Fishman TriplePay system to control his synthesizers. David uses the Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol Keyboard, and Komplete Ultimate synthesizers; Spectrasonics Omnisphere, Stylus RMX, and Trillian software instruments; Arturia Collection V; the Korg Legacy Collection; and Moog synthesizers. All the drum tracks on this recording were created using Sonoma Wirework’s DrumCore 4 software. I also use a CME-Pro XKey keyboard. Thanks to all my friends in the industry for all your support!
This music was produced on an Apple MacBook Pro laptop using a Universal Audio Apollo audio interface and DSP plug-ins, and Apple Logic Pro X software.
In the three music videos you will find the following equipment:
- ARP 2600 (My very first synthesizer, and still in perfect working order thanks to Tom Rhea for preserving it for 30 years and Steve Masucci for rebuilding and calibrating it to original specs)
- Roger Linn LinnStrument
- Roli Seabord 25
- Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol 25
- Native Instruments Maschine Mikro MkII
- Moog Theremini
- Moog Sub37 Special Bob Moog Tribute Edition
- CME-Pro Xkey 37 Bluetooth
- Pittsburgh Modular (PM) Eurorack rack with:
- PM MIDI3
- PM Game Machine
- PM Mix Mult
- SynthRotek sequencer
- MakeNoise Maths
- PM Analog Replicator
- lots of mults
- Custom Mashine GigRig consisting of:
- 2 Line 6 Relay G70 wireless guitar systems (one for the magnetic pickups, one for the piezo pickup on my Godin Montreal Custom Premier TriplePlay)
- Universal Audio Apollo Twin Duo
- Belkin Thunderbolt 3 hub
- Elektron Ultrahub
- Source Audio Soleman pedal
- Roland EV-5 foot controller
- 2 Boss FS-5U foot switches
- Keith Mcmillan 12-step footboard
- Godin Montreal Premier Custom TriplePlay
- La Patrie Arena Flame Maple nylon string guitar by Godin