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Leon Alvarado Releasing Persistence Single and Short Film

12/05/2015
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(Glass Onyon) Prog instrumentalist Leon Alvarado has announced the release of a new short film and accompanying soundtrack single entitled "Persistence" on December 15, 2015. We were sent the following details:

The film is being described as "a short adventure of sight and sound". The soundtrack single features King Crimson's Trey Gunn, and was mastered by Andy Jackson who co-produced the latest Pink Floyd album.

Says Leon, "The film takes its own point of view at the chaotic pace that's involved in our every-day life as a global society. The point of the film is to look at the mostly man-made chaos and contrast it with nature's own process of going through time. In order to make the point, I changed the context of events so that the viewer can appreciate them from a different perspective. The music is an evolution from my last CD which was titled '2014 Music From An Expanded Universe' and wasn't recorded to fit the film but the other way around. I have always felt that my music is very cinematic in scope and making a film out of one of the pieces would be a natural move on my part.

"The CD itself has only two pieces of music on it. Originally I intended to release the music as a download-only single and the movie on my newly created Vimeo and YouTube channels. As I got deeper into the project I decided to get some CDs made for the collectivists out there. I suppose I could have waited until I had more music finished and release a full album or an EP but the reality is that I am also working on other projects that are quite different from this one and those projects will require a great deal of my attention. When I recorded 2014 with Trey Gunn, there were some tracks from those sessions that I felt could serve as a base for more music. I often wonder about my music, what if I do this to this piece or, what if I would have taken a different approach to the beginning of this piece? Those sorts of questions often lead me to either create new pieces or re-work older pieces. In this case, it led me to create the piece titled 'Persistence. For the CD itself I decided to add one more piece of music. I decided on 'Red Like Blood' which is one of the pieces that was released with the 2014 CD. It also happens to be one of my personal favorite pieces. In this way, the CD will have close to 13 minutes of music but more importantly, it will have two of the pieces that I am most proud of. The sound still very much influenced by King Crimson but still very original in its own right."

"Persistence" was a track that derived from an idea Leon had during the 2014 sessions. It was a track where he and Trey kept going back and forth in trying resolve some issues with the percussion tracks. Says Leon, "I was aiming at a percussion track that had a heavy improvisational feel to it and yet, kept a structure from which we could build on. Even though I somehow managed to kept it all in time and with a somewhat logical sense of phrasing, the overall sound came out a bit confusing and we couldn't get the rest of the instruments to quite develop their own parts until I reworked the drums and percussion. In the end it all worked out fine and we were able to move forward. After a few months, I went back into the studio and expanded the piece. I also added more percussion tracks as well as other tracks including the sounds which can best be described as a mix between a drowning cat and something Adrian Belew would do if he played under water. Jokes aside though, the sounds were fun to work with and in my opinion, add a lot to the overall piece."

As far as the film goes: Says Leon, "Usually the difference between something looking professional or not is money. Making your own albums or making your own short films require lots of money which is something we could always use more of. I self-finance my projects so I have to be very conscious of where my money goes. Like many people I have big dreams but not enough funding to make them happen. Instead, I get creative with my approach. I have been fortunate enough to have travelled around the world. Some places leave a bigger impression than others but when I visited Japan it left a big impression on me. Tokyo is an amazing city that at night it takes a very science-fiction aura to it. It is a place where old traditions literally meet the latest in technology creating sometimes such a big contrast that can be taken as chaotic, depending on your point of view. To capture the frenetic pace of it was something that appeal to me. Like Tokyo, there are many places in the world that carry a similar sense of what I call 'controlled chaos'. Vegas for example may not seem that chaotic despite the large mass of people walking the streets but when it's viewed through time-lapse photography, it changes the way we perceive it and it starts to look more chaotic. And of course, in most of the places that I have visited I didn't have a high-end video camera to capture everything I wanted to capture. When it came to make the film I went to a firm that specializes in handling stock footage and its rights. With the help of a friend of mine who's in the video business, we looked at hours and hours of film stock before settling into what we would use for the short film. The real job came into editing all of the cuts that comprise the film. I hope that people will like it enough to share it with friends. My main goal is to reach as many people as possible to watch the short. The few people that I have shown the final cut seems to really like it which is always encouraging."

Glass Onyon submitted this story.
It may be edited - Excerpted here with permission.

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