1. Who is the band? What is their history? What motivates them?
“Syngularity started 1997 with a couple of melodic electronica tracks. Sometimes we touch the symphonic/soundtrack genre, and we also love to include elements of rock and a special sound design (using hardware devices like Roland and Korg and fine virtual solutions created by Steinberg, Spectrasonics, HG Fortune and many others). International singers and instrumentalists are always involved, and we enjoy working together with all these talented artists who help us to keep the musical output colorful and fresh.” (Syngularity My Space, 2009).
“After the album debut ("Eye Of Orion") with his partner Minouche in 2000 Pascal Gregory invited talented friends, singers and instrumentalists from Germany, USA, Australia, The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, UK and Japan. All involved artists developed a style together that also includes influences of modern rock, jazz and pop. Syngularity was honored with several award nominations and kind mentions by numerous befriended musicians and music software developers.” (Syngularity My Space, 2009).
2. Why did they make this album? What was the passion or message that forced them to produce what they have? Or, simply what was their motivation for the themes they chose for this album?
This was the latest effort from Pascal Gregory and the band to bring their electronic and synth dominated music to the world. It is a lush landscape of sound which is perfect music to relax and dream about inner or outer space and remove ourselves from the hectic daily lives we all live in the 21st Century. It is definitely a breath of fresh air in a world filled with hurry up and get it out styled music and art. Wonderful thinking music, for innovators, inventors or as a great elixir for grading papers.
3. What message are they delivering through their lyrics and music?
Easy, sit back and let your mind wander to those places it may have years ago when you had more time to thoughtfully enjoy music. Just clear the docket and relax on the couch or easy chair, close your eyes and dream or think about something other than the days worries.
This has almost been a constant morning companion since Pascal sent the finished version to me. Perfect for waking up and getting the mind flowing with ideas and innovations. Goes great with coffee or tea and whatever you enjoy for breakfast.
1. In the Distance (Part 1) – Prepare to voyage into another time and place. Great start as if you are in a ship traveling to another galaxy. This song is perfect in that the synths almost make you feel weightless. The atmosphere makes you feel like you are indeed weightless and moving deeper and deeper into space. Then the strong theme keys kick in and you feel the incredible magnitude of stars and planets around you. No there are no lyrics, but that is the feeling I get from listening to this first piece. Drift back and remember a time and place where it was ok to relax think and dream. Perfect for a lounge chair or lying in bed with headphones on. The journey has begun!
2. Lagrange Point – The transitions between pieces on this CD are wonderful. Again a slow quiet opening as if traveling further into infinity. The soft cool synths again creating that feeling of moving, with a sound of an engine running ever so subtly in the background.
3. Isaacs Apple – The first big transition between songs and it sounds fantastic. The pace picks up and there is so much sound flowing everywhere. Drums synths everywhere coming at you from all sides of the room and space. Just amazing. Has the outside effect of watching water boiling, then the harpsichord sounds kick in.
4. Mysterious Mars – The sound of mystery. Angels singing and almost Gregorian chanters in the background set to beautiful synths and lifting rhythms. Watch a video of a ship moving closer to Mars and you can imagine the sound of this one.
5. Astrobelt – Drum rhythm and synths open this one and again there is that sound of water dripping, but this time different and more pronounced. Of course there is no water in space, but that is what makes it sounds so good. You don’t expect it! Not sure how to explain all of the technical instrumentation, but I don’t think it would help anyway. This is something you need to experience without digging too deep into the mechanics. There is a video for Astrobelt on Syngularity’s home page as well as in the track list below.
6. Gateways – Almost a tribute to Tubular Bells. Bell sounds and almost birds open this one. Gives you the dreamy feeling of just waking up on a spring or summer’s day with the windows open. Except with more spacey synth sounds all around you. The depth and the fullness of the sound is something that is very hard to describe. It must be heard to truly appreciate it. Take the headphones off once and fill the room with this one and see what happens!
7. The Rings of Chronos – Wow! The true feeling of drifting. The echo effects and that slow water dripping keyboard rhythm, just incredible. If you’re not yet relaxed this one will get you. Strings in the background sooth and relax as the front synths make you drift further into deep meditation.
8. Cradle of Life (Featuring Andrea Stuewe) – The only song on the album with vocals. Starts off with those almost bird like sounds and a beautiful piano. Andrea is Pascal’s partner and she does a magnificent job of bringing back the power and memory of Pink Floyd’s The Great Gig in the Sky off Dark Side of the Moon, complete with thunder, rain and piano everywhere. You have to hear this to believe it. Similar, but very different. Best song on the album.
9. Celestial Wonders – The angels are back and you are riding off deep in space. Wow, you can feel the lifting sensation along with the slow quiet drift into the realms of imagination.
10. Moon Prospector – Cool syths and rhythm start this off along with keyboards and a pulsating rhythm that is hypnotizing.
11. The Great Attractor – Bell like sounds are surrounded by magical synths and an echo rhythm that is trancelike.
12. Triangulum – Very cool bell and synths bouncing off each other effect with keyboards highlighting a triangular effect. Very cool.
13. Schwartzchild – Slow spacey opening with cool echo effects surrounding. Almost like the hum of an interstellar voyager.
14. Dark Matter – The angles are back. It is so eerie with bells and an almost fog in the distance.
15. Moebius – Thundering drum – like sounds open this followed by keys and synths. Majestic keyboards and guitar set the theme for this incredible journey. Is it about the train that mysteriously disappears from the Buenos Aires subway system or a tribute to sci – fi artist Jean Giraud? You decide.
16. In the Distance (Part 2) – Wonderful refrain of the opening piece to remind you where you started and leave you back at the beginning. Nice effect.
4. Does this music improve, change, or add to the genre? What does the listener receive from listening to the music?
As I mentioned before it has been a constant companion in the morning. It is very similar, yet different to the Larry Fast music I used to listen to in early college. I used to love that music for the same reason it allowed me to get away from the busy life I was leading and drift off and relax. Syngularity’s album also has some underlying influences of Mike Oldfield and Alan Parsons, two of Pascal’s favorite musicians.
Yes, Syngularity’s music brings back this lost music and does elevate it to a higher level with a more full sound that surrounds the room. Excellent headphone music!
5. Does it have longevity? Is it something a fan will like to play again and again?
Absolutely! It has replaced Larry Fast’s music for me. More depth of sound and effects. Although this album does not have lyrics or many vocals, a little more earthy sounds like the beautiful piano and Andrea’s voice or more guitar on more songs would have made this even stronger.
Rating: 9/10 Very good!
Reviewed by Prof on July 29th, 2009
Pascal Gregory interview - August 3rd, 2009 by Prof