Mike – Composer/Programmer/Keyboards/Synths/Rhythm Guitars
Aavas – Programmer/Solo Guitar/Synths
Beyond The Embers was a two-man-conceptual-progressive-ambient-project from Naantali, Finland. At the start of the year 2009 composers, Mike and Aavas decided to storage the main mood of their dreamy youth as an album. The name “Beyond The Embers” comes, firstly from the lyrics of Pink Floyd classic “High Hopes”, and secondly it represents the shift from the first stage of youth to somewhere else. It doesn’t wan’t to be understood as a burned bridge in a negative sense, just a shift from a phase to next. Mike and Aavas picked up some oldish tracks from the drawer to achieve the authentic mood from the past, and composed some new ones. Album “Clairvoyance” was released 1.1.2010.
Beyond The Embers is about the youth that was purely full of dreams, feelings and imagination. It’s about boat trips done to the uninhabited islands in southern Finnish archipelago during warm summer night, with bunch of good friends and lots of spirit on aboard. It’s about throwing dice and telling stories at the 19th century atmospheric buildings. It’s about going to the middle of the primeval forest to see the holy lake of ancient shamans. It’s about friendship and companionship, that stays as the symbol of the youth experienced by the album makers.
All tracks in album are composed by Mike, except tracks “Saturn” and “Circles”, which where done together with Aavas. Mike handles programming, rhythm guitars, keyboards and synths in the album. “U.T.T.U.” front man Aavas brings up his solo guitar, and involves in programming also. Some of the tracks in the album were collected from the demos done around 2002-2008. Some were composed just for the album. The goal was to capture the mood described earlier. The names of the tracks were chosen by various ways. For example moon Enceladus, and Kyle Reese from the movie The Terminator got their place in the album.
Just few months earlier, before album release at 1.1.2010, new collaborative contacts emerged. Album covers took new life through Finnish painter Pentti Pullinen’s painting, “Afrodite”. The painting could be seen inside the rare first release album sleeves. Talented and beautiful Linda Sonntag ended up to the spinning surface of the CD disk, and is seen also on the rare first release album cover. The album track “Hall Of The Broken Ones”, was remixed by american producer/remixer/businessman Justin Lassen. Game- and movie soundtrack specialist Lassen put his own lyrics to the track, with other interesting spices there. Lassen has earlier done remixes for artists like Apocalyptica, Robert Miles, and Linkin Park, for example. Link to his remix version and homepages can be found at the bottom of this page.
Beyond The Embers - Clairvoyance 47:37
Clairvoyance 5:13 Audio
“Clairvoyance” was one of those tracks that were composed by Mike during the process. It’s quite simplistic and neat, but has a structure that follows in many tracks during the album. That structure is so called “three-section-structure” that appears usually in the middle of track where listener is taken suddenly “somewhere else and brought back”. Clairvoyance is about mysteries and seeing, that should give a good mystified start for the album.
Air Cavoy 4:47 Audio
“Air Cavoy” was old demo track, originally composed somewhere around 2006-2007 by Mike. It is smoothly forth going by beat, and Aavas brings his guitar layers on the play to boost up that feeling. Track does not have clear climax but the end part brings up lot of stuff to listen to as Aavas makes guitar layer on another all over again. Track name was done by just hitting the pc keyboard during the original composing date. That gave the name “acrocavoy”, that was translated to the shape of “Air Cavoy” for the release. That means “lady of the air”, if you ask it from Aavas.
ZZZ 1:56 Audio
“ZZZ” is a “shift track” , that was needed at this point in the mind of Aavas. So, Mike went deep and composed “ZZZ” during the fresh recordings. It’s very ambient from atmosphere, and could be seen as an end for the first two smooth-beat-ambient tracks, and as a mood shift to a bit more articulating and straight sound of the next two tracks. “ZZZ” track name came from the live show idea. It was planned that some of the tracks in the album would be played in some kind of sandman outfits on a gig. Sandman outfits would have been perfect for these two sleepy dreamers to wear. There has not been a gig at this point, only time will tell.
Hall Of The Broken Ones 3:58 Audio
“Hall Of The Broken Ones” is one of the most interesting tracks in the album. It was composed by Mike during his warehouse working days somewhere around 2005-2006. Mike came home from work and sat down in front of his home studio. At 11 pm Mike had composed the track, and noticed that he had his storage working suit still on, but new music track was done. “Hall Of The Broken Ones” name comes straight from the original track name. It was named like that after the mood in the work place during that day Mike composed the track. The working hall in the warehouse was full of broken minded workers that day. The original track was re-arranged and many new instruments played in. Later, American producer/remixer Justin Lassen took contact by hearing the original version of the song. Collaboration was done around the new version, that was sent track by track to Lassen. Later he announced that the remix was done and released. Lassen wrote his own lyrics to the song, sang it over, and had done lot of stuff to the main structure. The track done after a normal working day at the warehouse had become something far more interesting through this collaboration.
Tide And Time 4:42 Audio
“Tide And Time”‘s start piano part is separated from the original track that Mike had composed in 2007. It was part of symphonic track in the original version, but the ear of Aavas heard something else than symphony in this track. The symphonic part was dropped off, and the album figurative “three-section-structure” was brought in again. That idea was great. Middle part acoustic drop works well and gives more ambient value to the album. “Tide And Time” was composed just for the album. The third part, and climax, is quite poppy. Mike plays piano as a professional piano player would play it. Aavas is in the mood of classy guitar solo. Later this track has been one of the most praised, beside with “Road To Lengoth”. Track ends to “special” fourth part, that ends the combination of “Hall Of The Broken Ones” and “Tide And Time”. The idea was to bring down the sound a bit at this point for a while, as this is the middle part of the album, if counted through track amount. Fourth part of “Tide And Time” marks this spot with mood of old vinyl recorder.
Enceladus 2:03 Audio
“Space shuttle flies in the space. Little by little, that shuttle sees the planet Saturn growing ahead. Saturn is now seen as a huge globe from the larboard window. Then shuttle approaches the white moon Enceladus. Enceladus comes closer, and closer, and finally passengers can see a huge geyser bursting from the moon’s northern pole as a poetic reminder of the mythological giant Enceladus below volcano Etna in Sicily. The moon and the myth emerge and for a while, passengers can see the tragic story of the giant in their minds. Soon, they pass the moon, and can see it from the rear window, together receding with the Saturn.” Track “Enceladus” was originally known by name “Walarable”, but for the album name was changed after Mike and Aavas saw the document about Hubble Telescope, and pictures that it had taken during the years. They thought some track should touch that part of their inspiration. Mike’s “Walarable” was changed just a bit for the release, so it holds the title for being the most original and untouched track of them all. This track changes the theme in the album to more futuristic/spatial direction. The original version was composed in 2006.
Circles 7:18 Audio
“Circles” was freshly done just for the album, and it is the most ambitious track of the album. It continues the “space theme” of “Enceladus”, by drawing pictures about UFO’s and life outside in space. The name “Circles” comes from the UFO theme known as the crop circle. Ambition in this track is seen through it’s composing process. Track can be split in two. Mike composed the first half, Aavas the second. It starts with Mike’s eccentric beat combined with “progressive feeling”. After beat change, Aavas takes the steering wheel and the track starts truly to build up. During second part track reaches the most climax point of the whole album. Later, Mike and Aavas talked about this track and they calculated that something near 100 different soundtracks were used with it, while the other tracks had max half of that, each.
Future Of The 80′s 6:35 Audio
“Future Of The 80′s” is a favorite one for Mike in this album. It was the first track Mike composed just for the project. It continues the futuristic/space theme, now with more spatial feeling and psychedelic touch. Mike took the first part atmosphere by thinking of time machine that is just discovered and then build. In the second part, that machine is ready to go, just a passenger willing to hop up is missing. At this point, Mike sees the whole thing from 70′s or 80′s perspective. Short second part starts to build up this idea, that comes alive in the third part. Third part took it’s “80%-tempo-bass-loop-sound” inspiration from “The Terminator” -movie soundtrack. After that Mike sees Kyle Reese, a good guy from “The Terminator”, in the machine that moves forward in the mist of time. So, at the second part it was Kyle Reese who involved as a passenger for the time machine. Third part takes Kyle to the misty time travel journey, that ends badly. Kyle sees little by little that the machine isn’t working properly, but psychedelic surroundings around him takes him deeper to some misty place. He starts to hallucinate stuff, and at the very end, everything collapses and he ends up to the final destination that is unknown.
Road To Lengoth 6:03 Audio
“Road To Lengoth” was originally composed by Mike somewhere around 2006. It took it’s inspiration from the fantasy books of J.R.R. Tolkien, and storytelling in all. Album had it’s ambient, progressive, spacious, and even psychedelic worlds in it so far, but true classic fantasy, together with naturalistic feeling was still without a place. “Road To Lengoth” is the original name and comes from Mike’s storytelling mind. Track didn’t have any lyrics in the original version, but one night at Cabinreef Studio, with a little bit of help from the wine, Mike and Aavas took the mic and started to speak over the track. The final whispers that can be heard at the track, done by Aavas, where the first ones that came up in the wine boosted head of Mike. Aavas played this track live at Cafe Valborg in Naantali 2008, before “Beyond The Embers” even existed. Aavas played it with his “U.T.T.U.” combination that was spiced with Robin DeWan’s didgeridoo. This remains as the first and only time any track from this album is heard live. “Road To Lengoth” is the most liked track in the whole album, probably because it has lot of stuff in it, and there is also great guitar solos in it played by Aavas. Mike’s rhythm guitars can truely be heard first time during the reach to the final climax in “Road To Lengoth”. It is also quite organic by atmosphere, taking distance to the synthetic side of the rest of the album. It has that characteristic “three-section-structure” in it also, and that fits as a great grande finale for the album.
Saturn 5:02 Audio
In the release version of the album, track “Saturn” was not in the track list that was printed in the back of the sleeves. It was a hidden track that started to play 10 minutes after “Road To Lengoth”. “Saturn” is the corner stone in the collaboration between Mike and Aavas. It was composed so early as 2002 in Turku, Finland. Mike and Aavas had visited an observatory in Turku, and telescope was pointed straight to the planet Saturn. Picture was quite blurry, but after the event, boys went to the house of Aavas and started to improvise. Theme was Saturn. Aavas took his little hand recorder and put it on rec without Mike knowing about this. Boys improvised with Mike in old organs, and Aavas with his brand new guitar. “The Saturn theme” was born through E minor. This theme was later played in few events, many years later. This track in the album is the original improvised hand recorder track, spiced with little mixing and few flat sounds. But the sound is still very authentic and holds in it the spirit of this whole album.
Hall Of The Broken Ones (Justin Lassen Remix) 3:57 Audio
As mentioned before, “Hall Of The Broken Ones” was remixed by Justin Lassen, who also wrote some lyrics for it and sang it over. It was great to do collaboration with him, and the result shows the variety Justin Lassen can reach. Check out more of his doings at www.justinlassen.com.
Clairvoyance, the album, was released in 1.1.2010, on the new years eve. It stays as the only album done under this band name. It is a trademark for the youth of Mike and Aavas. It reminds the listener about the world of imagination, dreams, stories, and friendship, hidden in the depth of one’s mind.