“For years I’d travel back and forth between Portland, OR and Michigan taking the train, the Empire Builder route on Amtrak. It takes over two days to do that trip in one direction. Sometimes it’s challenging, and sometimes it’s powerfully inspiring. I saw incredible things along those journeys, and would often create art works along the way.
One evening, as the sun was setting and the train was passing through North Dakota and we rolled past endless barren fields of dry yellow “grass”, I was overcome with sounds in my head... melodies, harmonies...complete structures; LARGE structures. I immediately began composing the sound work which would be titled “Yellow”.
This work is its own collection of sounds, full of big sonic spaces, as big as the country that was endlessly rolling by my train seat window. The works have their own meaning, always. But this is how I felt inspired to write it. I was moved by the sun dropping over these ghost fields of yellow, land which I imagined was full of life at one point. I could almost hear the echoes of the movement of native people and all the activity that took place there. Maybe something was speaking to me, I don’t know. But whenever it seems the universe is trying to tell me something, I listen.”
”Yellow” is a 24-minute work for electronic sounds and wind instruments. The final several minutes are intentionally silent. “It felt like a respectful thing to do, given the inspiration for the work,” Ramos said.
By the time Ramos reaches his destination in Michigan, the work was completely finished and was released on iTunes and Amazon a week later under the name “Troyston Ramos” (one of a few names the artist likes to invent for his enjoyment).
The release of the album was also filled with inspiration to give back. Half of the proceeds earned from album sales, for the first year, would be donated to the local humane society. “Those shelters are run by great people who have a tough job. And all those beautiful puppy souls deserve as much love and attention we can give them. I’m just trying to make a positive contribution in whatever way I can.”
Here is a write up on the album: https://www.newspapers.com/clip/4460398/battle_creek_enquirer/