“25” Album – Release Notes (2017)

25 is now available on Bandcamp and Musicoin! “25” (2017), is the second album I have released and contains twenty-five short ambient, electronic, improvisation, and experimental pieces. The goal of this project was to release a collection of exactly twenty-five pieces which showcased various aspects of MIDI.

For the release, I wanted to take a different approach. Twenty-five days before the official release date (August 28, 2017), I decided to release one piece every day until all of the pieces were revealed. Each piece could be played at no cost to the listener on my public profile page on Musicoin.

Artist of the Week on Musicoin

Figure 1. My Musicoin Profile Page.

During the release dates, I actually became Musicoin’s Artist of the Week (Figure 1)! This was quite encouraging as I already hyped about getting my second album out to the masses. Being on Musicoin’s front page also gave me a boost in plays and interactions between other musicians and listeners.

Technical Specs

25” is the opposite of my first album, Sentimental Soundscapes” (2015), as it involves a high degree of technicality. “25” is less a concept album and more of a public experiment in pushing my boundaries using computer-generated audio.

All the music on the album was composed and performed via MIDI. This was the only self-imposed limit that I used. This allowed me to dive deep into the world of MIDI and experience how MIDI can be a powerful music-making and music-enhancing tool.

I used a licensed version of REAPER with an AKAI Professional MPK mini laptop production keyboard. I also used a pair of Shure SRH440 headphones which conveniently broke halfway through the creation of the album!

Artistic Specs

For the album cover, I used free-to-use images from Unsplash. This allowed me the freedom to manipulate photos using the website BeFunky to fit the concept of the album while giving avid photographers some well-deserved exposure. I wanted each track on the album to have its own cover art. I then combined all these cover arts into one cover art for the whole album.

On top of the art, I had a stylized logo created by “shaungfx” whom I found on Fiverr (note that “shaungfx” is no longer selling on Fiverr). This logo was then placed on all the art and then finalized on the album’s cover.

Final Thoughts

I learned a lot about MIDI composition through this project. Before creating the album, I had very little experience using MIDI to create music. I have developed a skill that I can now use in future projects. Overall, the creation of this album was an experiment that I highly enjoyed.

You can listen to the album in its entirety for free on my Musicoin profile page.

Special thanks to “shaungfx” for designing the album logo.

Also special thanks to the following photographers on Unsplash: 

Adrien Milcent, NASA, Lucas Neasi, Octavian Rosca, SpaceX, Jeremy Bishop, Ksenia Kudelkina, Simon Matzinger, Joel Filipe, planetMitch aunger, Nicolas Picard, Aneta Ivanova, Vincent Erhart, Joshua Sortino, Scott Webb, Chris Lawton, Sculpture Qode, Cam Adams, Fabio Rose, Billy Huynh, Matt Benson, and Drew Hays.

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Johnathon Kwisses

Johnathon Kwisses is a music technologist and a Python & Java programmer. He earned a B.A. in Music with Native Studies Minor from the University of Alberta.

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