Music

Music is an important hobby of mine, and this page links to some of the musical projects I have been involved with. Below is some history behind each song; if you just want to go straight to the downloads, please go to the download section.

Since I am a big fan of progressive rock in general, most of the music also follows this style. The older stuff was made before I could play an instrument, but the newer songs contain both real instruments and vocals.

Solo work

Compliant Mania

I used a tracker for this production (It was made entirely before I started playing guitar). I started with FastTracker II for DOS, and then moved to SoundTracker for Linux.

The musical style of the track is progressive rock, and is mostly inspired by Dream Theater, but also by other bands like Toto and Pink Floyd. And when I say it’s inspired by DT, it doesn’t mean it sounds like DT. A lot of my own taste and imagination went into the song. Besides, since I was working in a tracker on a PC, I had some limitations when it comes to improvising and using “natural” sounds.

Something Around The Corner

This project was made as an exam in Music Technology at my university, and was made completely in three days (I spent more than two years making Compliant Mania!). This one is not progressive rock, but instead quite calm and ambient/chillout. This one includes live guitar too!

Pendelirium

In 2008 I found myself not working solo anymore, and I started the band “Chirality” together with my sister. I still maintained all the instruments, and Katrine contributed as music writer and singer. After our first single, “Saved”, we decided to change the band name to “Pendelirium” before the release of our second single, “Windflower”.

Saved

Saved was made between Christmas 2007 and spring 2009. Most of the music is written by yours truly, with Katrine contributing a lot of the lyrics, and of course, her voice.

This song also took a different turn in the tools that I used, with me moving from the tracker based programs to sequencing software. Since I really don’t like working in Windows, I chose tools that are available in Linux. I used the Jack Audio Connection Toolkit as the basis of my “studio” (Jack is a bit like ReWire, I think), and on top of that I used FluidSynth for soundfonts and ZynAddSubFX for synthesizer sounds. For editing I used Ardour and Rosegarden in combination, by letting Rosegarden handle all MIDI related editing and letting Ardour handle audio and mastering.

Although the tools themselves are not at all bad, I found myself disliking the “sequencer” way of working, and I am likely to return to the tracker style editing in future projects, most likely using Renoise.

Windflower

This song was originally based on an idea by Katrine. The music was then worked on by both of us and has an interesting mix of ideas. People have described it as having influences from both Pink Floyd, Lou Reed and Led Zeppelin.

For this song I used Renoise exclusively, both for composing, mixing and mastering, and I also got a chance to use my Audio Technica 4050/SM condenser microphone that I wrote about in my blog in September 2009. I remember recordings being difficult at times due to construction work going on right outside my studio, but in the end I think it worked out nicely, and it’s definitely an improvement from the recordings used on “Saved”.

This song also has the most musicians involved so far, with my brother joining on the drums:

  • Kristian Amlie: Guitars, Bass, Keyboards and background vocals
  • Katrine Amlie: Lead vocals
  • Petter Amlie: Drums

I also wish to thank Finn Arild Aasheim for the excellent piano samples he provided me!

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