It is time to preview the first whole track from Nielu. This is called Tea From Decomposing Leaves. There will be added vocals and a bit of an organic rhythm pattern to the finished product. But apart from those and a final mix and mastering, this is something that’s pretty well brewed, so to speak.

Again, the focal point of the track is the same decrepit old woman’s piano introduced earlier. I wanted to play a cavernous few chords and just keep them going in an attempt of depicting solitude and a the sort of mundane loop going on in a depressed mind. When life and motion have no meaning the colors in life are faded and merge as a bland mass, like decomposing leaves. This is where I wanted to head with the piano.

But then, nothing stays the same. Time changes everything - even the nature of depression. That’s what inspired me while composing the background noise which is actually quite a varied cocktail. There are various guitar tracks recorded in different places with different equipment. There’s some warped mundane household noise. And a small piece of nature sounds recorded with my extremely poor old school cellphone mic (mainly heard in the beginning with a pad part morphed from the recording). The silent scratches and textures are the result of morphing the original piano track, routed through a few distortion and echo pedals.

I wanted to tie all the different facets with something, so during my last summer’s stay at a retreat in the incredible mountains of Southern France, I recorded two long sessions on a Korg Monotron, a sub track and a rising high pitched screech. I wanted them to reflect how often depression gathers silent momentum, little by little turning into anxiety and possibly worse, active mental outbreaks. And so in the end the composition opens up to an ill-pitched wail, also played on a Monotron, and then falls again. 

The artwork for this track is a bit off-placed and actually depicts more the inner turmoil messing my mind at the moment, than the actual vibes when composing the brew. All in all, hopefully Tea From Decomposing Leaves offers you some kind of meditative yet churning mindset.

I wish you all the most powerful change of year. Stay creative!

-Utu

Nielu is proceeding like swallowing pins. Tearing, shredding, inch by inch, scale by scale transforming fear into focus, anxiety into acceptance. As any feat of metamorphosis, it is both frustrating and rewarding. I’ve been engulfed in the process of examining the possibilities of sound as a tool for shifting awareness. I really want to compose every sound on this album dripping with intent, yet flowing with ease.


As an example of these experiments I’d like to share a study into the (he)art of Drone ambient. It’s an extremely deceptive genre in seeming to be something anybody can put together quite easily, yet when actually attempting to pull it off…well, I certainly managed to pull off something - that is, extraordinary amounts of hair. I feel immense respect for the masters of this genre. Anyway, here’s my shot at some ritual drone work. This track also serves as a testing ground for some new plug-ins and automation routes.

Headphones are, once again, essential in order to get the true “picture”. Hope you find a focused silent space to trip with me.

Thank you for all the support.

Stay creative!

Utu

One of the main themes in Nielu is transformation. Transformation of thought processes, of emotional energy and mindset. Through confronting darkness and chaos by resting in them, making them allies, we can harness the power of focus, which in turn can be directed at improving our lives in various ways. That is, in essence, what Meren nylkemä (Skinned By The Sea) is about.

I recorded the sounds in Nice, France. I was very excited about the way the waves pushed and dragged smooth pebbles on the beach with their ebb and flow. The sound was pure magic, and one of the most comforting, yet exciting, I’ve heard in my whole life. However, as I sat there with my (very lo-fi) recording gear early in the morning, immersed in the ocean’s song, I also felt a very destructive force rising with the waves. It is so mind-blowing to think about each of the pebbles geological history and how we as humans compare with it. Our fleshy sacks of water and bone will soon be gone, yet the sea will undoubtedly continue it’s slow smoothing of Nice’s shores for aeons to come.

With this in mind I decided to try some extreme sound manipulation of the recordings. All you here in this piece is derived from the sounds of the sea. There is no slicing or rearranging of sounds other than layering six different parts of the long original recording, and reversing two of them.

For the destruction and warping of the sound I used both hardware and software eq, compression, saturation, some sound exciters and a bit of reverb towards the end of the track. With these tools I painstakingly automated all six layers of sound, which I then bounced as groups for some fine tuning. There is no real mastering done so it’s not quite as massive as it will be, if I decide to take it aboard Nielu. Although the track is mixed for speakers, the depths can definitely be best experienced through a pair of good headphones.

Hope you enjoy this one, as it is a very personal track for me and quite the mirror into my soul.

Stay creative,

Utu