Category Archives: Metal

SURROUNDING THE EARTH Part I (2016)

SURROUNDING THE EARTH
Part I (2016).
Composed by Nick Vasallo.

Performers:
Travis Andrews – guitar, vocals
Andy Meyerson – drums
http://thelivingearthshow.com/

John McCowen – clarinets
https://johnmccowen.bandcamp.com/

Gleb Kanasevich – clarinets
http://www.glebkanasevich.com/

Studio guests:
Weston Olencki – trombone
http://www.westonolencki.com/

Mobius Trio – gang vocals
http://www.mobiustrio.org/

Nick Vasallo – guitar, vocals
http://nickvasallo.com/

Audio recorded and mixed by Zack Ohren
https://www.facebook.com/CastleUltimateStudios
Sharkbite Studios, Oakland, CA
March 10, 2016

Video filmed by Taylor Joseph Rankin, Gabriel Pena-Ramos, and Martin Azevedo

Logo by Adam Pierce

Program Notes
For The Living Earth Show’s 2016-17 season, the ensemble commissioned Nick Vasallo to create Surrounding The Earth, integrating classical experimentalism and doom metal to create a maximal music that exists in a space of euphoric or utopian excess. The project will exist in the form of a full-length recording and a staged production presented in spaces not traditionally friendly to classical music: the punk and metal clubs in which Vasallo originally spawned his musical language.

Composed from February 13th-21st 2016. Originally titled East-West Doom Test as a project involving The Living Earth Show and virtuoso clarinetists from each coast: Gleb Kanesevich from the East Coast and John McCowen from the West. Both well versed in the art of extreme metal. The clarinetists would each interpret the music in their own way on their respective coasts and come together for a studio recording. Surrounding the Earth is an homage to the beautiful simplicity of early sludge and doom metal. Simple materials and complex sonic results; deep, heavy, and permeating.

Released on No Clean Singing: http://www.nocleansinging.com/2016/05/20/an-ncs-video-premiere-surrounding-the-earth-part-i/

The Doorway (2015) for Ignition Duo

The Doorway” composed by Nick Vasallo.
Performed by IGNITION DUO:
Ramon Fermin and David Gonzales, guitars

AUDIO:
Recorded August 7th-8th and September 10th, 2015 at
the Atomic Garden, East Palo Alto, CA
Engineered by Jack Shirley
Produced by Ignition Duo

VIDEO:
Director: Prabakaran
Cinematographer: Sadha Sivam
Editing: Gopikrishnan
Sound Design: Arunkumar

PROGRAM NOTES
Composed in 2013 and 2015. “There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception.” ― Aldous Huxley

Pages from The Doorway 1

The Doorway (2015)
for two electric guitars
Full Score (Digital)
$60.00





Dark Matter II. the formation of galaxies (2014) for Mobius Trio

Dark Matter II. the formation of galaxies (2014)
Composed by Nick Vasallo
Electronic beat arranged by Michael A. Wagner

Performed by Mobius Trio:
Mason Fish, Matthew Linder, and Robert Nance
with guest Sean Hunter

Recorded at DVC Viking Studio on November 6, 2015
Engineered by Guy Lento
Audio and Video produced, mixed, and edited by Nick Vasallo

Filmed by John Archuleta and Daniella Hill

Program Notes
Composed on November 17th 2014. After the violent explosive birth of time, matter coalesced and galaxies formed; bursting with life. Beyond beautiful; beyond words. Some people feel frightened or insignificant when they learn about the universe. I feel excitement.

Sometimes to Destroy, One Must First Create Part 1 (2014) for Mobius Trio

Sometimes to Destroy, One Must First Create Part 1 (2014) 9 min.
for three electric guitars. Composed by Nick Vasallo.

Performed at Cal Poly Pomona Recital Hall, March 14, 2014.
Audio recorded by William Wright-Hooks.
Video Directed by Gabriel Zuniga.

Performed by Mobius Trio
Robert Nance, Mason Fish, and Matthew Holmes-Linder.

Program Notes
Composed from January 30th-February 2nd 2014. In this piece I wanted to dissect and destroy recent motifs that have appeared in my writing.

Dark Matter I. Time Began with an Explosion (2010) for Mobius Trio

Dark Matter
I. Time Began with an Explosion (2010)
 5 min.
for three electric guitars.

Performed at Cal Poly Pomona Recital Hall, March 14, 2014.
Audio recorded by William Wright-Hooks.
Video Directed by Gabriel Zuniga.

Performed by Mobius Trio
Robert Nance, Mason Fish, and Matthew Holmes-Linder.

Program Notes
The birth of the universe. Dark matter is undetectable, but whose presence can be inferred from gravitational effects on visible matter. I thought of writing this piece when I learned the Japanese concept of ma, which means “the silence between the sounds.”

Canon 1 in E minor (2012) for 3 electric guitars and bass

Canon 1 in E minor (2012)
for 3 electric guitars and bass

Performed by
Nick Vasallo – guitar
Ben Orum – bass
Ted O’Neill – guitar
Victor Dods – guitar

PROGRAM NOTES
Canon 1 in E minor is a conscious effort to bridge the worlds of Metal and Classical music. A canon is a compositional technique that requires strict repetition in all musical voices. This is also an example of triple counterpoint–a very old contrapuntal device that is rarely (if ever) used in modern popular music, especially anything branching from rock and roll. There are essentially three different lines: the middle guitar (Alto) begins, then the high guitar (Soprano) answers, and finally the low guitar and bass enter (Tenor and Bass). All voices play the same line in 3 different positions so that the melody exists as the top voice, middle voice, and bottom voice. The trick is getting all the voices to work melodically, harmonically, and functionally.

Oblivion (2012) for choir and metal ensemble

Oblivion (2012) 8 min.
for choir and metal ensemble

Performed by the Ariose Singers and Oblivion

PROGRAM NOTES
If there is one thing that I want to contribute to art music – it is the acknowledgement of Heavy Metal as a viable and meaningful art form. A substantial amount of my work within and outside academia encompasses the sound of a distorted electric guitar. There are several different worlds and ideas that come together in this piece. The most obvious being Choral music set against Metal music. A more subtle interplay is the rhythmic dissonance which occurs between the two worlds and within themselves. I created a long range harmonic polyrhythm that cycles every sixty bars within the metal ensemble and an independent polyphonic structure with the choir. The unifying feature between the two worlds is the scale – an ancient Byzantine mode (Tone 4 chromatic), each world uses the same scale a perfect fifth apart. To me, this creates a hypnotic and mesmerizing soundscape. It sounds endless. Limitless. Oblivion is also the name of the band I am in, for whom I intended this piece. Oblivion is a word most people misuse – it means “the condition or state of being forgotten or unknown.”