Producing: Clare Estelle - Somehow

During the final months of 2017, Mike was contacted by his friend and colleague Steve Hope-Wynne to see if he would consider getting involved in the production of Clare Estelle's collaborative track "Somehow", and if he would contribute some musical elements of his own. 

The pair had been working together and experimenting and bouncing ideas off each other for a while; Clare had composed the music and written lyrics alongside performing piano, acoustic guitar and some percussion. Through various collaborations, Clare then sourced Irish whistle (Sam Piper), drums (Stuart Hemphill) and bass guitar (Phil Smith) with Steve adding electric guitars and a variety of his own vocal section recordings.

© 2016 Clare Estelle

© 2016 Clare Estelle

It was clear from the first couple of listens and early conversations that Clare was telling a very vivid cinematic story and through the user of layering and cleaver production techniques, the aim was to evoke a mental narrative for the audience to experience while listening. As such, during our first meeting and when first approaching the Pro Tools session at the AEP studio, Mike began to establish a workflow within the session and take in the various creative mixing techniques and philosophies which had been applied by Steve in the months leading to his involvement.

Mike's job was to build on Steve's initial mix adding balance, cleaning up the existing tracks and fades, creating room for the various sections of the track to work in the narrative context and to question the use of background and foreground. The track is very unconventional in approach which gave room to experiment and even compliment imperfections, something very refreshing in our current state of relentless digital perfection. Alongside this, Mike contributed a Duduk counter melody to work alongside the flute, extreme low sustained double bass notes to carry the darker and deeper parts of the track and some elements of percussion to backup that which was already there. 

Clare is currently looking into releasing the track, please see her website for more information and updates on the release. 

Producing: ARK.S (Cinematic Hip Hop)

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This is a really interesting project which we are crazy excited about! Hiphop artist ARK.S and Mike have been mates for years with key conversations surrounding not just music, but film too! Alongside his music, ARK.S is an avid moviegoer and lover of film scores in general which pretty much laid the foundation of a project taking off!. finally after a few "bro, are we ever gonna actually do this?" (The photo to the left was that moment to by precise) chats, we have begun producing what I can only describe as "Cinematic Hip Hop" together.

Mike has currently written two tracks for ARK.S and is in the process of composing more! This post is going to grow as time goes on but for the meantime, Its safe to announce that Aurora Eclipse Productions in association with 9E Productions will be looking to release a Single to all major digital stores during September 2017 with an EP release to follow.

So far, we have been posting production news and stories on our social media accounts only, so keep your eye on the following accounts for more news! For beat updates, search for "chefmikeonthebeat" on your chosen social media platform!

ARK.S
Twitter
Instagram

Aurora Eclipse Productions Ltd
Twitter
Instagram

Producing: Black Noire's "Tales of the Unafected" EP

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Mike was recently given the opportunity to work with Baroque Pop/Rock band Black Noire to produce, mix and master their debut EP, "Tales of the Unaffected" and we pleased to announce that that work is now complete!

Mike talks about his experiences below..

Black Noire is made up of Daniel Smith (Guitar/Bass), Emily Jackson (Keys/Piano/Orchestrator) and Darron Connett (Vocals/Lyrics) and from the very beginning I knew it was going to be an interesting project...

I agreed fairly early on that I would work on the post production for the EP, I knew Dan killed it on the bass and what with Emily being my VP over at Aurora Eclipse Productions, I was fully aware that the project would be different and merge genres to create an interesting listen; I had nothing to be worried about, if only just a just little intrigued by what they were cooking up in the writing rooms.

I loved what I heard on the initial play through and quickly began to massage the MIDI data, merge and swapping out samples libraries, add expression and dynamics and generally balance out and arrange the tracks while working with Dan to record guitars in a hope to take the music into different realms.

I'm incredibly proud of what the guys achieved musically and in terms of production, I was able to draw on production techniques both new and old enabling me to get really creative during post production, something I feel has really benefitted to the release. 

Tales of the Unaffected is now available worldwide via iTunes and all major digital stores. In addition to this, you can preview three of the six tracks via the band's Soundcloud embed below and I've even been able to publish some teaser artwork, Enjoy!

Composing: Shores of Acheron - Intro

Something a little different! US based (Baton Rouge, Louisiana to be precise) Metallers Shores Of Acheron were looking for a composer to work on an atmospheric track for them which could be used as an opener for their live performances as well as to serve as an introductory track to their upcoming release 'End of Reign'

Having grown up on a healthy diet of heavy metal, Mike composed a piece of ambient sound design and combined it with a crescendo of dark ambient and orchestral elements. These were all designed to build tension to give the band a great opportunity to begin their set with everyone's attention firmly on them. 

The Shores guys were really professional, friendly and we wish them all the best of luck in their no doubt successful careers! Check out their Facebook page here.

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