My latest release is a collection of rhythmic ambient pieces called “Desert Power”, directly inspired by Frank Herbert’s “Dune”.
I have lost track of how many times I have read the “Dune” series of novels over the many decades I’ve been reading science fiction. Most recently, I had gone many years without cracking one of them open, but my interest was rekindled by the release of the movie “Dune” by Denis Villeneuve. While I can see how the uninitiated might find the movie impenetrable or confusing, for those of us who have read the series many times, it was a revelatory experience, especially for many of us who had difficulty imagining how the Dune universe would look and feel.
Where the Lynch movie took the book in a distinct stylistic direction, the Villeneuve film feels to me more like a direct reflection of the book. Unfortunately, even the Villeneuve version does not touch on some of the key controversial themes in the book, particularly the objectivist and misogynist undercurrents. Probably too much to expect from a Hollywood movie, but I look forward someday to a deeper and more agnostic exploration of the story, something that explains how a feudal paternalistic society that treats women as property could possibly morph into one where women literally rule the universe. Perhaps the second movie will explore some of these issues.
In any event, after I had watched the film five times in a row, over and over again, I found Villeneuve’s distinct vision of the Dune universe to be driving my sudden renewed fascination with the novels. Finally I could imagine how the Dune empire would truly look and feel to those embedded within it. And I found myself suddenly inspired to fit music to these profound questions that Denis Villeneuve and Frank Herbert created in my mind.
This album, which practically wrote itself, was the result. I started on the first bits of it in the days immediately following the movie’s late October release and completed the album less than four months later. For me this is an unbelievably quick turnaround for a full length work. In software engineering, I have found there is a phenomenon where I can become so immersed in the work that I lose all track of time and begin thinking in the language of the computer itself. Hours pass in an eyeblink, and I have many times looked up to see a full work day had passed in a span that felt like mere minutes. I call this “the zone”, which is one of the most exhausting-but-thrilling pure productivity states I’ve ever experienced.
This album is the first time I believe I’ve ever encountered the zone in the realm of creating music. Of course, whether or not the resulting work is better music or not remains to be determined, but the process itself was so personally restorative and renewing that it is hard for me not to look at it as a gift from some abstract higher power. I hope that you enjoy the resulting album as much as the album has helped me personally.
As always, all Emergent World releases are available under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported license. For commercial use or to create derivative works, please contact me.
Synthesizers, keyboards, and programming by Darrell Burgan.
Released in January 2022.
Copyright © 2022, Darrell Burgan. Released under a Creative Commons license for free non-commercial use under certain conditions.
Please visit me on the net at palancar.net.
Palancar – Desert Power (1:17:12)
01 – The Hand of God (7:48)
02 – Blown Past Fallen Sands (5:17)
03 – Windtrap (6:56)
04 – Sandwalk (6:08)
05 – 36 Ophiuchi B (7:50)
06 – Voice From The Outer World (4:37)
07 – Preborn (6:42)
08 – Seeing The Now (6:11)
09 – The Emperor’s Blades (4:51)
10 – Traveling Without Moving (4:33)
11 – Cave Of Birds (6:07)
12 – A Net In The Sea Of Time (5:03)
13 – Climbing Mount Syubi (5:03)