Coming soon: Chris Schlarb’s Psychic Temple II

April 9th, 2013 , by

At the intersection of ethereal jazz and intricate folk, composer Chris Schlarb leads Psychic Temple in new directions. Anchored by the interplay of drummers Andrew Pompey and Tabor Allen, Psychic Temple II features an all-star roster united by a single, maniacal vision.

Psychic Temple II arrives July 16th from Asthmatic Kitty Records and fulfills the promise of Schlarb’s four-track, 40-minute maiden voyage by expanding its atmospherics into the realm of pop songcraft. With an ear toward smart, concise songs, II finds only one track stretching over four mintues in length.

A year in the making, the album was assembled with a wide-ranging team of collaborators: singer-songwriters Sufjan Stevens and Ray Raposa (Castanets), Mars Volta keyboardist Ikey Owens, progressive metal guitarist Paul Masvidal (Cynic, Death), bassist Devin Hoff (Xiu Xiu, Nels Cline Singers), vocalist Sarah Negahdari (Happy Hollows, Silversun Pickups), and more.

In celebration of the auteur as cult leader, Psychic Temple II presents surprising reinventions of work by iconoclasts Brian Wilson, Joe Jackson, and Frank Zappa. Unsurprisingly, Schlarb not only wrote and arranged the album’s material, but he produced and engineered it as well, “I admire people who are control freaks,” he says.

Chris Schlarb-scored NightSky Out for iPhone and iPad Now

March 15th, 2013 , by

NightSky, crafted by game designer Nifflas (aka Nicklas), is out now for iPhone and iPad. Described by the Guardian as ” an unusually atmospheric and beautiful set of physics puzzles,” the side-scroller game features a unique soundtrack by our own Chris Schlarb.

Here’s what Chris says about the process of designing a video game soundtrack: “Eventually, Nicklas and I developed a simple music engine that would allow for each game world to contain 4-5 minutes worth of music, consisting of 3-5 short pieces that could be played back in a random order….As Nicklas would create new worlds and puzzles, I would play the early beta versions and write music that reacted to the different environments. I felt that the most important compliment I could provide was to help establish a sense of place.”

Most video games either feature licensed music (ala Grand Theft Auto), or generally skew electronic. Not NightSky. Chris developed an ambient avant-garde jazz soundtrack that is remarkable to listen to while playing.  IGN said that the “the fantastic ambient/jazz/electronic soundtrack is good enough to enjoy outside the game.” See more gracious press quotes on Chris’ page here.

You can buy NightSky for iOS here, with 60% off its introductory price for the weekend. It’s available on PC as well. And expect to hear more from Chris Schlarb in the future.

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CHRIS SCHLARB GAME SOUNDTRACK IN INDIE BUNDLE

November 14th, 2011 , by

There are lots of interesting ways to pay for things on the internet. Radiohead came up with the pay-what-you-want method. We iterated with the "Critic-Based Pricing Structure." 

Now video game site Indie Royale has one-upped both us and Radiohead and invented a whole new kind of collective payment structure. It includes stars and graphs and besides that, we have no idea how it works but it is an exceptional deal (right now $4.61) for a bundle of superb games.  

The bundle includes Night Sky, a platformer by video game designer Nifflas. You will of course recall that our own Chris Schlarb scored the game. And according to the site, his soundtrack is now unlocked!

Why someone hid it in a safe to begin withor how one does that with a digital object is a mystery. No matter, you can now get Schlarb's haunting soundtrack as part of this Indie Bundle. There's only about a day left in the bundle run, so buy quickly here.

CHRIS SCHLARB SCORES IPAD STORYAPP STRANGE RAIN

June 13th, 2011 , by

Chris Schlarb's music has appeared in video games before, but today marks the first time his work appears in handheld form. In a collaboration with game designer Erik Loyer, Schlarb composed an interactive soundtrack for the iPad/iPhone storyapp Strange Rain. The app itself is beautiful and thought-provoking, and Schlarb's music, as always, provides a spacious aural framework for narrative.

You can buy the app (procure an iOS device first!) for $1.99 here. Read an interview with Erik Loyer and Chris Schlarb here.

In other Schlarb news, he'll be performing Psychic Temple with a 10-person ensemble and keynote-ing New Media Art and Sound Festival in Austin, Texas June 17th-19th. If you're not around then, hear him and his crew again on July 7th at the Long Beach Museum of Art. 

CHRIS SCHLARB IN NYC

March 11th, 2011 , by

Photo by Sott Friedlander

Chris Schlarb's Psychic Temple, like his debut album Twight & Ghost Stories, is highly collaborative. We're talking over two dozen different contributors. This sounds complicated, but you wouldn't know it from the way Psychic Temple slides into your ears so easily. On Saturday night Schlarb won't quite have the full ensemble, but you can expect just as full a sound at the Church of Advent Hope in NYC. Joshua Stamper and Aaron Roche are opening. Details are here

In other Schlarb-related news, his soundtrack for the critically acclaimed video game NightSky  is now out on iTunes. You can get it here. It's a gorgeous collection of music.

SOUNDTRACK FOR NIGHTSKY OUT TODAY

January 6th, 2011 , by

Years in the making, the PC video game NightSky is out today and is expertly scored by none other than Chris Schlarb. The game is excellent of course, but Schlarb's soundtrack stands on its own as sublime, careful, and thoughtful.

It's $5; stream and buy below or by clicking here.

PSYCHIC TEMPLE, A NEW ALBUM FROM CHRIS SCHLARB [FREE MP3]

November 2nd, 2010 , by

In 2007 we released Twilight & Ghost Stories, a 40-minute modern composition by Long Beach based Chris Schlarb. By tying together dozens of pieces of music from dozens of musicians, Schlarb not only used Twlight as a sort of personal catharsis but as also a way to show that we are all connected. You can stream Twilight for free or buy it in MP3 form here for $5.
 
Now, three years after releasing Twilight, we are so proud to announce Chris Schlarb's second record. Enter Psychic Temple, an album that draws from the methodology of Twilight & Ghost Stories to coordinate a 29-member ensemble into a fully realized and mature synthesis of live ambient, jazz, and folk. The album drops in three weeks. Read more about the release here.
 
We are releasing Psychic Temple in conjuction with sister label Sounds Are Active, who will be using Kickstarter to fund a limited edition gatefold vinyl pressing. There are only 30 days to raise $3,555. You can be a part of this project here. Rewards include a Psychic Temple poster designed by Jason Munn, hand written sheet music, and the acoustic guitar featured on the album cover.
 
In the meantime, please enjoy this excerpt from the first track.

“I Can Live Forever If I Slowly Die (Excerpt)” (Download)

NEXT TO LAST FESTIVAL

November 4th, 2009 , by

The Next to Last Festival, a charitable, independent music, film, and arts festival based in Athens, GA, is presenting a series of compilations featuring live and exclusive recordings by the likes of Daedelus, Themselves, Phosphorescent, Circulatory System, Diane Cluck, and Asthmatic Kitty’s Liz Janes, JOOKABOX and Chris Schlarb. These compilations are part of their effort to raise funds for their third fest currently slated for Halloween weekend 2010. To date, they have showcased over 30 unique musical acts from all over the country. They have also hosted independent film screenings, progressive speakers, performance art, a vendors market, a farmer’s market, and a community info center for creatures of all ages and species in the great North Georgia outdoors. You can support the festival and its promoters now by purchasing tickets for next year’s fest and compilations via kickstarter.com.

CHRIS SCHLARB TO PERFORM SOUNDTRACK FOR WII GAME

September 16th, 2009 , by

For the last couple of years since wrapping up Twilight & Ghost Stories (which you can hear in full, for free here, or buy here), Chris Schlarb has been hard at work on a soundtrack for a video game that will soon see the light of day. We’ve heard bits and pieces of the score and it’s a work of art in its own right. Seeing it matched up with Night Game (the tentative title) from legendary designer Nifflas will be a real treat.

But before that happens, Schlarb will perform the score for Night Game at Slow Sound Festival Thursday night in Long Beach at {open}, alongside footage from and inspired by Nifflas’ game. Tickets are just $5 and include admission to see Albert Ortega and Catherine Lamb as well. Details are on Facebook here

CHRIS SCHLARB: FREE STREAM TODAY, NYC TOMORROW, VIDEO GAME LATER

February 6th, 2009 , by

If you are in New York City tomorrow tonight (Saturday), then you already have plans. We made them for you, you’re welcome. Chris Schlarb and an entire crew (including members of various groups such as the Philip Glass Ensemble, Vanishing Voice, and Iron and Wine) are recreating his Twilight and Ghost Stories album live. Show up at the already legendary The Stone with $15 by 8pm or 10pm. Bring a friend, it’s all ages.

If you can’t make it, we are streaming the entire composition for free this weekend. Click here and scroll down a bit. The player is on the right. If you prefer your music streamless, you can buy the CD for $10 (+S&H) by clicking here.

Schlarb is notoriously busy, a veritable octopus with appendages in every form of musical involvement. That includes video games. In his "spare" time, Schlarb scored Night Game, an independent video game designed by Nifflas. While still unreleased, apparently someone has played it and decided it might just be the best independent video game of the year. IGN, the Pitchfork of video game websites, interviews Schlarb about the music and game here.

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