Haida – Dreamcatcher

Haida is:

A thematic concept album: Unlike much of modern music that is meant to be consumed as a short-term aperitif, Haida is a concept album that was crafted over three decades. It’s meant to be revisited as a voyage, a reminder that we are connected, not only to each other, but to the land, itself. It is the artist’s greatest hope that this project will make it into your personal “desert island” list of music that you can refer back to and gain repeated inspiration and enjoyment from.

The goal of this project is to portray the beauty, majesty and power of the land of the Northwest Territories that stretch from the Puget Sound of Washington State north to the Queen Charlotte Islands of British Columbia. It is not about the peoples of these territories, but about the innate spiritual power of the land itself. Designed to portray the beauty & grandeur of this focal-point of natural beauty and spiritual energy, this “epic project” is designed to transport us to the land of ocean shores, soaring eagle, snow-capped mountains and lush forests that is at the heart of the Pacific Northwest and lower western Canada.

Known also by its Haida name “Gwaii Haanas”, meaning islands of wonder, the Queen Charlotte Islands are referred to by some as “awe-inspiring”. An archipelago of more than 150 islands, the Queen Charlotte Islands are located 50 miles west of the Canadian mainland and are widely known for their outstanding natural beauty, old totems, longhouses and a thriving native culture.

A double-release set: The first disc “Haida-Raven” is set for release on July 24, 2019 is different in every way, in that it is an electronic music piece that is grand and panoramic in scale which combines high-technology with native and acoustic instruments to paint scenes that are extremely organic in nature.

The second disc “Haida-Dreamcatcher”, which is set for release on July 24, 2020 is more flowing and is almost orchestral in nature in a way that bathes the listener in a wash of nature and sonic scenery.

Over 30 years in the making: It’s hard to believe, but this project originally began in the late 1980’s, just as DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) were beginning to take hold. The strings on both discs were recorded in a studio direct to ADAT VHS tape! Most of the original tracks were recorded to the Steinberg Nuendo Version 1 DAW at 16/44 (higher samplerates didn’t exist or weren’t in common use at the time). Later, going back to the original MIDI tracks with the original instruments, the tracks were re-recorded at a 24/96 higher-resolution rate. In fact, the title track makes use of both the original vocal track (DMH was in his 30s at the time) and a later doubled track 35 years later. The tracks doubled so precisely, that they were both combined to create the final vocal take.

An immersive tour-de-force: DMH is a 4X Grammy-nominated artist. Largely, this is due to his unique style production and mixing style of recording all of the basic tracks not in mono, but in stereo. This process provides a natural and expansive width over this listening stage, that makes for a more natural and open sound. Additionally, the stereo mix makes use of the latest in Ambisonic technology, which actually places certain sounds behind this listener when listening to the stereo mix over either speakers or headphones. Combine these advanced techniques with his style of surround mixing that places the sounds all around the listener in an involving way … and you get a sound that’s extremely unique, engaging and immersive.

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