I approached Cara Isadora in February 2020 about singing the vocally driven songs of Quicksilver Night’s forthcoming full-length “We Are Also the Dreamt” album, a heavily prog-tinged affair full of operatic and madrigal nuances. During this discussion we discovered that we both had widely diverse musical tastes and decided to record a licensed version of my straightforward rock arrangement of Katy Perry’s 2008 hit “I Kissed a Girl” just to test the waters of our musical compatibility and have some fun doing it. With a harder edge than the original and featuring the pyrotechnics of guitar slinger Milt Gore, you just might enjoy it. 🙂
“I Kissed a Girl” cover by Randall Lee via digital manipulation of one of Cara’s original photographs, used by permission
Arrives March 5, 2021!
Quicksilver Night’s “Hephaestus the Cuckold” features the incredible guitarist Farzad Golpayegani, an immensely talented artist in multiple media who has also provided its digital artwork. Driven by opposing elements, “Hephaestus the Cuckold” is melodic yet merciless and is somehow both ambient and extreme, punctuated by the sound of ringing anvil strikes and industrial machinery yet carried forward also by delicate piano.
“Hephaestus” digital painting by Farzad Golpayegani, copyright 2020
Watch for it!
Sometime shortly after these – I’m aiming for April 20th – will come the “Mr. Wizard” mini-EP, three songs of guitar-driven instrumental music powered by the amazing guitarist Jason Cale. Heavily laden with progressive elements, the songs of “Mr. Wizard” rock in a classic vein colored by jazz sensibilities … blue notes and modal playing abound! This is the album art, edited and licensed from an original photograph by Larry Ferdinande Photography.
The year is effectively over – as is the decade – and I find myself reflecting on the year gone by and making plans for the year ahead.
Quicksilver Night released the three-song digital-only mini EP “Presque Vu” in May and then an unplugged version of “October Skies” from that EP in November. Featuring Meagan Finning (vocals) and Jason Cale (guitar), Quicksilver Night’s “Presque Vu” is a trio of drivingly melodic songs, progressive but rooted in classic rock with Celtic overtones and Gothic undercurrents. Available at digital outlets everywhere, go to https://quicksilvernight.hearnow.com/presque-vu
Most of my musical activity in 2019 beyond “Presque Vu” centered around the forthcoming “Asymptote” album. I talk further about that project in another section below.
As I posted to my facebook page on December 6th: “Here’s a screenshot from the final slide of Spotify for Artist’s online presentation of Quicksilver Night’s activity for 2019. It’s a nice year-end validation if nothing else. Thank you all for your support!”
By far the largest part of the activity represented by those metrics from the 98K cumulative streams of the “Presque Vu” mini EP that we released in May. I tried several different avenues of Spotify promotion with various degrees of success and I believe I know which of these to pursue with the release of the “Asymptote” album in 2020.
As I posted on November 30th, Quicksilver Night’s 2018 full-length album “Symmetry” album was nominated for a Friday Night Progressive 2019 Indeprog Award in the “Vocals” category and won third place from among a great many more nominees! I was humbly but very pleasantly surprised by this accolade. I’m especially proud of the title track “Symmetry” – featuring as it does the powerful vocals of Jon Boylan and the amazing fretwork of Farzad Golpayegani – and am happy that it was played on several Internet-based radio stations in 2019 and spent some time as my most-streamed song at both Spotify and Pandora.
Check out this excerpt of an amazing photograph “Into the Valley” by my friend Bob Hembree. Taken December 4, 2018 at Monument Valley, Utah, I’ve licensed this photo for use as the album cover of Quicksilver Night’s forthcoming all-instrumental “Asymptote” album.
Work continues apace on “Asymptote”: it is currently programmed to contain 14 songs at a total runtime of 59:01. As of now I have five of those songs essentially finished: “Mister Wizard” (feat. Jason Cale); “Power Curve” (feat. Jason Cale); “Brookside Interlude” (feat. Anne Epperly); “Trompe L’Coeur” (feat. Nazim Chambi & Anne Epperly); and “Hephaestus the Cuckold” (feat. Farzad Golpayegani). I have three more that are very nearly finished and only await final polishing by my collaborators: “Quicksilberdrachenlied” (feat. Milt Gore); “Dream Sequence Gunmen” (feat. Nazim Chambi); and “The Chase” (feat. Jeremy Barnes). I have heard samples of what these guys have done with those songs so far and they are unbelievable across the board.
As to the remainder, I just finished recording my guitars for three other songs: “Emelya Durák” (feat. Andrew Negoustorov); “Essere Con Te” (a working title, collaborator TBA); and “Dorian Gray” (another working title, featuring Jason Cale) and the song “Continuity” is in the capable hands of Gormuzik’s Gordo Bennett. For the record he wrote me on December 16th “I’ll iron out what I’ve got and work out more solid ideas before I waste your time with it then I’ll send it along for your approval” so I’m greatly looking forward to that. I also have another pair of untitled works currently being spun up at the hands of my co-producer – my friend and invaluable ally – Alex that will be recorded before January is out.
My goal is to make a trip out to Nashville in April and return with a completed album mixed to the premaster stage with one caveat: at that point, after I have everything sounding as good as I can reasonably expect and it’s otherwise ready for mastering, I intend to engage a professional drummer and bassist to re-track the drums and bass for the entire album. I will probably keep the MIDI-driven synthetic tracks but will mix them well-beneath the live tracks where they can provide subtle drive and layering beneath the real drums and bass, more felt than heard.
Also in the works, Farzad and I are in talks to produce a video to accompany the song “Hephaestus the Cuckold”; Farzad is an incredible visual and graphic arts wizard as well as a musical alchemist and the song suggests imagery that naturally lends itself well to Farzad’s surrealist/expressionist stylings. I will make further announcements on this front as they become warranted but at this point I’m fairly certain I want to go ahead with it and I am debating on whether to release the video ahead of the album and exploring the possibility of embedding a copy of the video on the CD itself. We’ll see.
So, to sum up, Quicksilver Night had some small degree of success in 2019 and I’m looking forward to the possibilities 2020 has to offer. Life is good; have a great year!
Check out this excerpt of an amazing photograph “Into the Valley” by my friend Bob Hembree. An impressive vista, isn’t it? It was taken December 4, 2018 at Monument Valley, Utah. I’ve licensed this photo for use as the album cover of Quicksilver Night’s forthcoming all-instrumental “Asymptote” album, a hugely eclectic offering that I hope to release both digitally and on CD later this year (but to be honest I’m probably overly optimistic about the time frame).
An all-instrumental album might seem a little bit like an odd choice but I’ll tell you how it came about. I posted this earlier in the year and it still applies for the most part so rather than reinvent the wheel:
“My musical output in terms of instrumental parts far exceeds my ability to write meaningful lyrics and as a result I have a huge backlog of instrumental pieces, most them guitar-driven, just waiting for the right axe slinger to come along and make those songs his or her own. To this end I’d like to announce a forthcoming full-length instrumental album by Quicksilver Night . . . covering a range of rock subgenres. We will begin recording this album in early 2019 upon completion of the “Presque Vu” EP and intend to release it – in digital and on CD – before the year is over.” But wait, there’s more…
You might notice that little gap in the quote above; taken from my old website, it used to say “…featuring the incredible Jason Cale on guitar…” but that’s no longer entirely true. I realized that it was unrealistic of me to expect Jason to give me an entire album’s worth of melodic and solo material in such a relatively brief time and thusly simultaneously bottleneck both my workflow and his. He’s got numerous other musical projects going on; I’m thrilled to be a small part of it but I don’t intend to monopolize his time. At the moment the “Asymptote” album is set to include the following songs, all of which are well-into the tracking phase and in some cases already nearly finished (in alphabetical order):
1. “Dream Sequence Gunmen” – featuring Nazim Chambi, a fun but driving instrumental rock song that reminds me of a hybrid of “Tomorrow Never Knows” and “Highway Star”
2. “Hephaestus the Cuckold” – featuring Farzad Golpayegani, a powerful prog metal number replete with ringing anvil strikes
3. “Mister Wizard” – featuring Jason Cale, is odd-meter funk with elements of prog, blues, and a whiff of jazz
4. “Power Curve” – featuring Jason Cale, as the title suggests, is powerful and melodic, sort of Van Halen meets Argent in Ozzy’s living room
5. “Trompe L’Coeur” – featuring Nazim Chambi & Anne Epperly, piano-driven and classically-inspired with melodic electric guitar passages and sweet flute interludes
In addition, by way of a heads-up: I can guarantee you some neoclassical flash from my good friend Milt Gore but we haven’t titled the track yet. I also have a tentative agreement with Gordo Bennett regarding the song “Continuity” but scheduling remains problematic; we’ll see. I’ve gotten positive responses from Jeremy Barnes, Andrew Negoustorov, and Jay Rakes regarding their involvement but we haven’t yet hammered out specific details; I will do my best to keep you informed as meaningful updates become available.
As to any questions about the chosen title, you can easily look up the definition of “asymptote” but you might be wondering why I chose it as a title. It’s not arbitrary; I’ve actually long been fascinated by the idea of a line getting ever closer but never quite reaching something, always approaching but never quite getting there. It’s a mathematical term that has useful philosophical implications in my book. The story of why I actually chose “Asymptote” as the title has to do with two things: 1) My working title of the album was “Mister Wizard” after the track of the same name but once I expanded the album to include other featured artists I didn’t want to name the album after one of the tracks and perhaps thusly create the impression that I value the musical contributions of any one of my collaborators over that of another and 2) I was looking at Bob Hembree’s “Into the Valley” and thinking in terms of vast distances and the idea that the horizon might appear close or distant but we can never quite reach it because we perceptually create it ourselves. While the road might be suggestive of a line toward the horizon I was thinking of it as might allegorically pertain to our lives and our ambitions.