2017, the prodigious Real Music label released Breathe,
the second CD on the label by synthesist Carl Borden. The
nine track, 58 minute Breathe is very monolithic in parts and,
with its waves of sound approach, its also quite relaxing and
even haunting in places. The CD combines slowly unfolding New Age
meditation music with a soundtrack type of sonic experience, yet its
Bordens equally mysterious nature of composition that makes
Breathe such a special sounding experience. When questioned
aboust his unique wall of sound approach to music writing and recording,
Carl offers, "Indeed,
I find that slow moving soundscapes can help you slow your mind down
after a hectic day. After going through the morning and afternoon
commute, meetings and deadlines, unexpected circumstances that may
come up during the day, there is nothing better than coming home and
relaxing to soothing music that allows you to unwind and ease you
into the evening."
Breathe, the music is accompanied by a variety of intriguing
nature sounds, including ocean waves, which gives the music an even
more mercurial sound. From the liner notes Borden concludes, This
album is called Breathe because we all have gone through situations
that can rock you to your core. It is at those moments in life that
we must collect ourselves and try to grasp the situation, take a step
back, and breathe. A masterpiece of 21st century instrumental
electronica, Breathe follows the Real Music release of Bordens
2015 award-winning Echoes of Bliss. www.facebook.com
presents an interview with
Can you tell us where you live now and where youre from originally?
Where do you live in Florida and what other states and countries do
you like to visit?
Carl Borden: Im originally from Dayton, Ohio but I lived
the majority of my school-age years in Winter Haven, Florida. After
my father passed away in 1991, we moved to Twinsburg Heights, Ohio,
about fifteen miles southeast of Cleveland. But now I call Orlando
home. Over the years, I have been blessed to travel to many beautiful
places inside of the country and out. One of my favorite places in
the states is Monterey, California. It is hard to find a place more
peaceful and beautiful than that. Also one of my favorite cities outside
of the country is Toronto. The people there are always so welcoming
and the city itself is just beautiful.
mwe3: How long have you been a writer and composer of music
and who were some of your big influences that got you interested in
music and how did you gravitate towards electronic music? Were you
influenced by rock music and jazz or mainly electronica and classical
Carl Borden: Ive been writing and composing professionally
since I was about 19 years old. Im a big fan of many different
genres of music but I always studied songwriters and producers like
Babyface, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Quincy Jones, and David Foster.
However I am a huge movie fan so I would always pay close attention
to how music would affect the different scenes. The soundtrack for
Men of Honor composed by Mark Isham really moved me to get
into composing and I never looked back.
mwe3: What can you tell us about your new CD on Real Music
called Breathe, for example why you call it Breathe and
also can you compare Breathe with your other album on Real
Music called Echoes of Bliss? You mention in the liner notes
that Breathe is a remedy to being rocked by the world. Also,
we are given the breath of life but we often forget about
that fact. People forget to breathe...
Borden: Exactly, I wrote Breathe for the person that is
at a point in their life where they may be dealing with issues of
grief and depression. I try to take the listener from a place of confusion
to a place of peace and acceptance. I suffered for a long time from
grief and depression so I know what they are going through. Taking
a step back and breathing can give situations a different perspective.
Music was the outlet that helped me then and still helps me to cope
today. My hope is that Breathe will help someone in that same
way. With my first album Echoes of Bliss, I concentrated more
so on composing for the purposes of relaxation and meditation. I tried
to take the listener on a relaxing musical journey.
mwe3: Breathe has a kind of monolithic sonic effect
in that its very glacial sounding with slow depicted sonic motion.
Is that the best approach for your kind of music, to have very slow
motion soundscapes? Its a good way to get grounded, especially
as so much of life is frantic and rushed. No wonder people are so
burned out these days, just from the sheer speed of life.
Carl Borden: Indeed, I find that slow moving soundscapes can
help you slow your mind down after a hectic day. After going through
the morning and afternoon commute, meetings and deadlines, unexpected
circumstances that may come up during the day, there is nothing better
than coming home and relaxing to soothing music that allows you to
unwind and ease you into the evening.
mwe3: Tell us about gear, synths, devices, amps that you used
in recording the Breathe CD. How difficult was it to get the
recording to sound exactly as you wanted it? What are your favorite
synths and keyboards?
Borden: I use a lot of different synths when I compose. A few
of my favorites are Omnisphere, Pads by Umlaut Audio, anything by
Heavyocity, and a few others. Im also a big Native Instruments
user and fan as well.
Whats been the reaction to your music in the US and overseas?
Some American progressive music artists are saying that Europe is
more open to electronic and other progressive music yet there are
some excellent electronic musicians recording in the US. Whats
your opinion on the worldwide electronic music scene?
Carl Borden: I feel so blessed for the reaction that Ive
received from my music. People are really moved by it. I get emails
sometimes from people whose lives have been touched by my music. Im
mwe3: Do you play other instruments in addition to keyboards
and how do you strive to become a better composer, musician and recording
artist? Do you practice or spend most of your time writing and recording?
Carl Borden: I do! I play a little guitar, bass, and drums
on occasion. However, I spend most of my time composing and recording.
It takes quite a while because I want to make sure the feeling is
right for each piece.
mwe3: How did you become a Real Music recording artist and
what appeals to you about the label? With so many excellent composers
and musicians on the label, who are a couple of your favorite Real
Carl Borden: Im so honored to be on such an amazing label.
Real Music is so supportive of their artists. Everyone feels like
family. I submitted my album Echoes of Bliss to the label in
2016 never in my wildest dreams expecting all that has followed. I
m definitely a big fan of Sacred Earth, Bernward Koch, Ashaneen,
and Eamonn Karran.
What other plans do you have for 2017 as far as getting the word out
there about Breathe in addition to writing, recording and performing
new music? What can we expect next from you Carl?
Carl Borden: Im planning on doing a CD signing tour this
summer for the album and Ive been doing quite a few speaking
engagements this year at festivals and conferences so Im also
looking forward to doing more of those. Im also looking forward
to scoring a few more films as well.