“These twelve piano works were created in the same moment in time. They are all part of one idea. Multiple melodic lines drift calmly around each other throughout the entire album. All of these sounds were pulled from somewhere in the cosmos and simply organized by one person. In other words, this work is a cosmotic sound sculpture.
I hope you enjoy my sonic sculptures.” - Troy Ramos
I was living in Lansing, a fine, gritty midsized city in the middle of Michigan, drifting from one week to the next. I was working tirelessly during the day to pay my rent, and feverishly creating art projects at night, desperately trying to construct an escape route from the monotonous, underpaid life of the everyday American worker in the hopes of simply being able to make it as an artist. Even if I was a poor artist, barely surviving, I would take that scenario every time.
I think every artist has to develop their own process. I’m not sure if it’s possible to create interesting works without a tailor made, fantastic process. Maybe somebody can create art without it, I don’t know. But I can’t. And it was around this time that I completely embraced the process that has worked for me ever since. It’s a pattern that fits me like a glove and, somehow, through some weird stroke of fortune, it produces the most interesting works I’ve ever done, as well.
I call this process Naturalism, mostly because it comes naturally to me. It basically means that, when I create something, I trust the artistic skills I’ve been developing for nearly 25 years and allow them to work without my analytical brain getting in the way. The goal is to avoid the ‘paralysis-by-analysis’ trap and just write.
But another strong aspect of my process is time: I think (for me) it’s important to create works in as short a time span as possible, so as to create something which encapsulates a specific point in space and time. For myself, if time is passing and it’s taking longer and longer to finish work, this work ends up becoming a representation of different mindsets and different perspectives. And I don’t want that. I want it to be from a particular point in my life.
And this is exactly the process I used to create this album, “Twelve Stars”.
Sometimes I hesitate to tell people how quickly I can write something because they may dismiss it as a work that hasn’t been thought through or has been rushed, etc. But that’s not the case for me. Works that I write quickly are my best works, in every regard. And so for this work, “Twelve Stars”, I wanted to write two piano works per day, for six days straight. I wanted to have this album done within a week. The mixing and editing process always takes a few weeks after that, but I wanted the composition of the content to be done in one week. And that’s exactly what happened here. And I honestly don’t think anybody would listen to this and tell me that it sounds like it was done that quickly. It’s always the opposite reaction that I get.
The way that I layer these works gives it so much depth, I think. I always start with one line, and then I add in another line, and then I maybe add another voice (in this case, a piano voice). And I do that until it’s finished.
I think if you listen to this album from start to finish, you will quickly see that it encourages a certain type of reflective mood. But as you listen on, or listen more intensely, if you wish, I think you also hear a lot of themes that pop up throughout the album. It’s a soft, thoughtful and thematic album, full of mellow-vibes and timelessness.
This is easily one of my favorite works I’ve ever created. I hope that you enjoy it and I hope that you will consider supporting me by purchasing the album via the link below. I used to put my works on iTunes and Amazon, but they take such a large cut that I try to avoid using them. Bandcamp is great because it allows me to set a minimum price and people can pay whatever they wish beyond that. Thank you for reading this and please feel free to send me any thoughts or questions you may have about the album. I’d love to hear from you.
This album is available here on Bandcamp here: Twelve Stars LP