Halcyon Sky (Debut EP) – An Interview with Felicia Hodges

HS_Interview_Hodges

Greetings all…

Happy Labor Day to those who’ve had the pleasure of partaking in it, I hope it was enjoyable.
I’ve had the pleasure of being interviewed by Felicia Hodges, owner and CEO of Tigerlily Communications, a social media and publication relations business based out of New York.

This was an in depth, long, but very enjoyable convo. I appreciate her taking time out of her busy schedule. I hope you enjoy it as well as I have.

::: oceans of rhythm :::

Fresh

Halcyon Sky (Debut EP) –The Fans Speak (Day 19)

Halcyon Sky_final_

Greetings All,

Once again, I’m really happy at the results of the Halcyon Sky EP. It was truly created to be a musical gift to all of you, but the responses, the comments I’ve received are nothing short of great and with that said, I’m grateful. I thought I’d share with you some of the commentary:

“You have no idea how much I needed to hear this music today The music is amazing. It’s exactly what I need in my life right now….: – J.M. – Lincoln Park, MI

“Thank you for sharing it is fabulous!” – C.H. – Worcester, MA

“Your EP is fantastic Bruh. Awesome job.” – D.W. – Orlando, FL

“Love it. As cool as the other side of the pillow.” – D.M. – Argyle, Maine

“I love it! Congratulations!” – K.S. – Bradenton, FL

“…and to let you know the title track Halcyon Sky was my first choice…..simplistic beauty…” – J.J – Tulsa, OK

“Very chill. Love it. Thanks for sharing it with us.” – JC- Austin, TX

“Congrats on the release. This has a Beautiful, chill vibe” – Q.S. – Washington, DC

“Nice!” – A.R. – Upper Marlboro, MD

“I have been waiting for this and so far what I hear is worth the wait Great stuff bro Loving it. – D.P. – Clinton, MD

“Halcyon Sky is lovely nice.” – C.B. – NYC

Doug, here’s to you and your efforts with this fabulous production! Sounds great and I’m wishing you all the best of success with Halcyon Sky!” P.C. – NYC

“Anxiety attacks are not my friend. Halcyon Sky helps. Well done, Doug! Well done” – A.T. – Atlanta, GA

“Looking forward to listening to your new EP, Doug! Congrats! (P.S. Aren’t we overdue to work on some music?! LOL)” – J.H. – Greensboro, NC

I’ve had the pleasure of being interviewed twice, so far, about the EP. You can read (audio coming soon) Felicia’s interview and listen to Calandra’s interview at their respective locations:

New Music – Halcyon Sky – Felicia Hodges/Tigerlily Communications

Artist Conversation with Mr. Fresh – Halcyon Sky EP

Below is a very short promo video for the project, featuring a little studio footage.

You can stream/download the EP, here.

Once again, thanks!

::: oceans of rhythm :::

Fresh!

Welcome to The Sunday Soundtrack – 24 Aug 14

Tranquility

Greeting Listeners.

Welcome to another edition of The Sunday Soundtrack. It’s always good to be back, especially as we come to the close of another summer soulstice. I don’t know about you, but I definitely would like there to be a “restart” button, I’d be pushing it with a vengeance! LOL.

I bring to you seven tracks, many of them are marked as first time appearances on the podcast. I hope you enjoy them as well as I do. Without further adieu….the tracklist:

1. Let Go – Inside Out/Kuba
2. Aerosol (Ice Lounge Mix) – Sunrider/Jens Buchert
3. Cosmopole – Cantoma
4. Deep (f/C3) – Halcyon Sky/Mr. Fresh
5. Zauis (Ski Oakenfull Mix) – Sousode Records Compilation/Incognito
6. Chamorrita – What Love Is/AfterSix Productions
7. New Dawn – Halcyon Sky/Mr. Fresh

Special shout outs to Cross Country Collective (Trel Robinson and Todd Kelley), Calandra Branch for conducting the interview of me for my debut EP, Halcyon Sky, my newest drop deliverer and CEO of the PR firm, Tigerlily Communications, Felicia Hodges, and of course…to all the fan, both of Halcyon Sky and The Sunday Soundtrack.

Have a great day!

::: oceans of rhythm :::

Fresh!

Halcyon Sky (Debut EP) –The Release/The Thanks – Day 18

Halcyon Sky_final_

Greetings all…

Hope everyone is enjoying the day, night, evening, or whatever time it is as you read this. As some of you know, I’m happy to have released my debut EP, Halcyon Sky. In some ways, it felt like giving birth, metaphorically of course. The thought process and conception for this release started back in January of this year, but officially work on it started a month later. As mentioned in a few Facebook posts (and probably in the early days of chronologing the journey here), the inspiration for it came from my love for the genres that influenced me to conmpose these seven tracks. It doing it, at times it felt like work but all in all, I wanted to not just release the EP, but do in based on all the tasks involved and staying to schedule. This release was not manifested without some lessons learned. As a matter of fact, there are two or three lessons learned that almost caused me not to release the project at all.

I understand that I’ll be interviewed not once, but twice, so I’ll leave a lot of the background out of this blog post in anticipation of answering interview questions that will allow me to elaborate further.

I do want to take a moment to extend my thanks not only all those that encouraged me along the way, but to those who supported the project by purchasing it a price they chose to. I highly appreciate that as I released this to be a free project, a first time musical gift to the masses. It was not my intent to make any money off of it, but to instead share musical compositions that reflect my deep fondness for the genres of chillout and downtempo. I decided that all proceeds are going into the ASIA fund. What is ASIA? I’m glad you asked. Stay tuned for the upcoming interviews to find out. For all those who have and will support the project by purchase, I’m working on a bonus track exclusively for you. When completed and uploaded, please be on the look out for a download code in your email.

Once again, thanks for all the positive comments, FB likes, the whole nine yards. Special shout out to my boys, “bandmates”, C3 – Todd Kelley and Trel Robinson, for mad puttin’ down on the track “Deep”. More to come on that as well.

Have a productive and positively prosperous day.

::: oceans of rhythm :::

Fresh!

Halcyon Sky (Debut EP) – Available Aug 9, 2014 – day 17

Halcyon Sky_final_

Greetings friends and fam and an early good morning. Many of you have read blog posts I’ve done journaling the release of my debut project, Halcyon Sky. The wait is just about over. Halcyon Sky will be available for download this Saturday, August 9 (coincidentally, that date, I just realized, is another special date).

For those who are not familiar with the blog posts and background of the project, here we go. Some of you know I’m the originator of the chillout, smooth electronica, and downtempo podcast called The Sunday Soundtrack. It was about 10 years ago that I became really enamored with those genres of music – very smooth, cool, laid back, easy, and relaxing. Music is a universal language and those genrutes, reminiscent of tracks you’d here along the beaches and venues of Ibiza, became a favorite of mine.

Being a musician since I was a teenager and jumping into the foray of musical production since the 90s and watching the technology advance, I decided to one day release a project such as this.

Halcyon Sky is a collection of seven tracks of instrumental chillout, my take on it, based on the years I’ve been listening to it. I have the distinct pleasure of featuring one track entitled “Deep” by C3 (better known as Crosscountry Collective – Trel Robinson, Todd Kelley, and myself) Better yet, it’s really just a set of tracks I wanted to share with the world. Nothing needing some spectacular trumpet fanfare of introduction or anything I hope to make some tremendous profit off, just a gift share. Those who are fans of these genres will enjoy this project the most. Those who are new to these genres, well, I hope you’ll enjoy some, if not all of the tracks on this project.

I’m also happy to say that you’ll be able to read two upcoming interviews by Calandra Branch and Felixia Hodges about this project’s origin and a few other goodies I’m sure :)

Halcyon Sky – available August 9 on bandcamp.com

Thanks for the read. Enjoy the day.

Halcyon Sky (Debut EP) – Day 16

The Lab

1:47am. Yesterday was a day primarily devoted to moving the EP along. A few months ago when I started this journey, I had the EP scheduled to drop yesterday, but time flies whether you’re having fun or not. Returning to work after a 15 month layoff made me realize that, ideally, I have less time on my hands to complete this now, than before but I’m not complaining due to the reasoning why.

The website is done and four of the ten tracks are ready to be mixed down, so even though the drop date is slipped, all in all, the progress isn’t bad. The track edits are finally done for the song I was working on, a song that I actually started to compose two summers ago. while on vacation in a hotel room. Today, it was back to a track I composed about four years ago originally entitled “Third Sky”, which is being renamed for this EP. Though the arrangement, the drums, and the synth pads are fine, the bass guitar is decent, but it needs to be redone. The guitar I *maybe* can live with but wont listen to again for a day or so. Either way, those are two tracks I didn’t really plan time to redo, but upon listening again…

The other five tracks are sufficiently prioritized such that I can reschedule a more realistic drop date. That planning will have to wait until tonight. Sleep time is definitely now….hmmm..I just realized I ate almost a whole pack of Club Crackers while typing this post…

Have a great Sunday.

::: oceans of rhythm :::

Fresh!

Jazz Funk Soul – An Interview w/Jeff Lorber, Chuck Loeb, & Everette Harp

Layout 1

Greetings All.

Recently, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing three heavyweights in the genres of contemporary jazz, smooth jazz, and R&B. While each genre isn’t solely associated one to each musician, they all shine in those areas (their expansive musical careers attribute to that).

Jeff Lorber, Chuck Loeb, and Everette Harp make up the band, Jazz Funk Soul. They released their self-titled CD on 24 June 2014 and it is superb. Each track not only brings the individual talents of each musician, but collectively creates an exciting blend of contemporary and smooth jazz elements. The session musicians that join them are heavy weights in their own right and are known as powerhouses in the NYC area.

Ten tracks make up this stellar release, with the current single being “Serious Business”

Speed of Light
Swingette
Adrenaline
Silent Partner
Telephone
We Were There
Line Drive
Serious Business
D.C.
Raccoon


While I already have a few favorites on this tracklist, I encourage your take a listen for yourself, I’m sure you’ll gain a few if these genres are favorites of yours.

That said, take a listen to (stream or download) the interview below. I hope that you enjoy it – there’s a few audio issues outside of my control but…. :) . For tour dates, check out the Shanachie Records Tour Schedule on their website, and for more on Jazz Funk Soul.

::: oceans of rhythm :::

Fresh!

Productivity – The Journey Ahead

2234676011_15a62bd3be_o

5:31 AM EST. Good morning to those who are up with me. Some of you reading this know that as of last week, I was supposed to be starting my first day on the new job today – that is until the government exercised the option to pull the contract awarded to the contractor I was going to be supporting. The result – no job start for me (incidentally yesterday, through another government employee, I found out the REAL story on hewhy the contract was pulled). Nevertheless, it’s back to job hunting. One very nice thing to know is that I have more than a handful of people directing me towards resources that can help me land a new gig, and those just encouraging me to keep the faith. To them I am very thankful.

So, why up at 5:31 AM and I have no where to go? The reason ties to yesterday’s post of mine on FB: “I’m a morning person…and a night person….the two rarely mix well. About ta fix that.” That is definitely a true statement for(basically) one reason only – It’s quiet in the early morning AND late at night when no one is up – I can get things done without interruption. The ancillary reasoning is that when I get an early start on the day, it gives me more time to those things accomplished (provided I stick to the script – ha!). The key (as we are studying and discussing in church) is “maximizing and strengthening what you have”, bring every area of your life to the highest level of excellence, through loving and obeying God.

So here we are, 5:45 am. I through on some clothes, spent some time in fellowship and prayer unto God, feeling thankful and grateful for what I *DO* have, and directly after posting this, get down to the job hunt.

From a tech standpoint, there are number of iOS apps out there that assist in the desire to get things done (GTD), I have a few on my iPhone and iPad, but no app gives one the DESIRE to stay the course toward reaching any goals, however, I’ve that (personally) some assist in that better than others. One I like is Evernote, I’m a new user but I like the functionality. There are few others I may try again, but the key is not to spent a lot of time trying one versus another but to find one that helps best to GTD. I may talk about what that app is in the future.

I’ve got a few daily things I have goals for: 1) Financial freedom 2) Becoming a very good coder (specifically in the Python language first), 3) Getting back to (and exceeding) my fitness goals in running 4) Becoming a much better guitarist and studio engineer, and 5) Finding that career sweet spot when I return to work. Lofty goals, I don’t think so, but goals nonetheless. When it comes to productivity (not just being busy), there is a mantra I try to live by: “Failing to plan means planning to fail, so plan the work, then work the plan.” Having God in my iife, even through times of stumble, makes every journey, not just that of productivity, surely worth the while. I am grateful.

5:55am – I’m gone. Have a good day.

::: oceans of rhythm :::

Fresh

The Sunday Soundtrack (Special Edition) – Princestrumentals

1975076_599407186811730_936773839_n

Greetings readers….

Welcome to a special edition of The Sunday Soundtrack, in honor of the 56th birthday of the iconic musician, songwriter, producer, and performer, Prince Rogers Nelson. This podcast, staying with the concept of the Sunday Soundtrack, is comprised of only his instrumental tracks.

With all the instrumental songs he’s composed in his 30+ years of being an artist, the list was hard to narrow down to seven tracks. It’s my desire that you enjoy the flow. That said, let’s jump to the playlist.

1. From The Lotus – LOTUSFLOW3R
2. Gamillah – Chocolate Invasion
3. North – NEWS
4. Copenhagen – C-NOTE
5. 13 (Paisley Park Mix) – 16/Madhouse
6. Kamasutra (Overture #8) – Kamasutra (aka The Truth)/Crystal Ball
7. Back To The Lotus – LOTUSFLOW3R

10443385_860455543967939_2681863825526794735_n

Shout out to Shelly Ogden Nelson for sourcing the podcast artwork.
Shout out to Come Back Nikki for alerting me to the follow correction. I mispoke in the podcast! Truth and Kamasutra are actually two different cds, both came with Crystal Ball if you pre-ordered it. The Truth is mostly acoustic.

Glad to know that his longevity is ongoing. Enjoy!

::: oceans of rhythm:::

Fresh!

Halcyon Sky (Debut EP) – Day 15

lab

Greetings, Sitting in the public library in between stops, basking in a little satisfaction. Ahh yes…forward motion. Last night I wrapped up mixing one of the tracks on for the EP. It’s a track I composed about two years ago and thought it’d make an excellent song for the project. Though it’s in it’s pre-mastered state, a good thing to do for any track at this point is to play it on various systems – mp3 player, CD player, over computer speakers, studio monitors, etc. This is to try to achieve the best sound possible across the many mediums people listen to music on.

I burned it to CD and took for a ride around the city today….I like! Not too bassy coming out of the SUV’s sound system, percussion is nice and organic sounding, acoustic guitar is sweet. next is an mp3 for the iPod.

So, I can pretty much scratch this one off until I get to the part of the schedule where I master all the tracks over a few days. Forward motion. On to the next track in the priority list tonight.

In the last post, I mentioned starting design of the Bandcamp page. That actually is now completed as well. I like banner artwork and the color scheme design. Onward.

Have a good one….

::: oceans of rhythm :::

Fresh!