VGM163 Artist Series Vol 17 – Mick Utley – On | In


Album Description

When constant stimulation is the norm, a quiet space to unwind and refocus is a necessity. In this artist series, simple and meditative themes are coupled with atmospheric ambience and contemporary rhythmic beds to offset the chaos of modern existence. Connect to the resonance of the universe with a modernist interpretation of introspective sonic space.

Check out the full album on YouTube!

Mick Utley VGM Artist Interview

Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) of choice

Ableton Live

Favorite Media Composers

Johann Johannsson, Max Richter, Olafur Arnalds, Philip Glass, Nils Frahm

Favorite Scores

High Noon, Fargo, Arrival, There Will Be Blood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Discuss your personal creative workflow

I generally like to start by writing a theme at the piano, away from my computer. But for this project, it just so happened that I did a lot of traveling over the course of the year. I did most of the initial writing away from any instrument. When I found an idea worth chasing, I’d make a quick voice memo on my phone so I didn’t forget. I also found a lot of inspiration from the noises in my surroundings as I traveled and I carried a Zoom handheld recorder with me. I was able to capture some samples that I used throughout the project. Then, whenever I was ready or had the time to sit down and work on the piece, I would record the melody and start building from there.

Discuss the theme of your Artist Series album

Thematically, I approached this project with a less is more attitude. I wanted to achieve minimalism with every choice I made on the album, keeping everything as simple and concise as possible. For instance, I found myself removing melody notes that were better implied. I also didn’t introduce instrumentation that didn’t continue to play a role throughout the piece.

Discuss gear that is important to your workflow

I like to approach reverb and saturation more as instruments than effects.I find that changing and automating parameters on the plugins really helps develop the piece. On a couple of the more ambient tracks on the album the reverb actually acts as the lead instrument.

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