lllyre is Charlie Shifflett's electronic and ambient music project.
so your new ep, dog days... tell me about it.
well, it's my first attempt at composing electronic and ambient music. i've dabbled in music ever since high school, when i was in a rock band. about two years ago, i began experimenting with hardware and software synths, as well as DAWs, and eventually i found myself composing complete songs.
mercifully, there are no vocals.
haha - that's right. folks can listen away without fear of hearing my falsetto. there are no traditional vocals, but there are songs with some whistling, humming and chirping birds I recorded on a hike in rural northern virginia.
can you tell me a little about the track "the good people of zhongguancun"?
song titles, especially for tracks with no vocals, are always a little tricky. that track is sort of an ode to my first place of residence in beijing, after i moved to china in 2002. i lived in a neighborhood known as zhongguancun. it's the city's technology hub. back when i was there (am i sounding old?), i regularly interacted with university students, entrepreneurs, construction workers, farmers -- all in one place. i wrote the song almost entirely on my iPhone, as sort of a nod to the neighborhood's tech focus. in the composition, which evolves instrumentally from section to section, i tried to reflect the diversity of people i met while living there. china has a really special place in my heart and memories, and that's probably one of my favorite tracks on the ep.
two of the songs -- "dog days" and "beneath these florida pines" -- are very quiet. i'm assuming that's intentional?
definitely. i wanted to have a couple of songs that were softer and a bit moodier. at the same time, i wanted the songs to reflect a change, from beginning to end. i feel that both compositions accomplish this. "beneath these florida pines" introduces a whistle mid-way through that becomes the catalyst for a mood change. and "dog days" evolves from a boggy melancholy tune thanks to some choral-like synths that pull the listener onto more hopeful ground by the song's end.
so where do you go from here?
well, i'll be embarking on a world tour, opening for -- just kidding... i'm staying right here, though i might go downstairs and brew a cup of coffee shortly. i plan to keep writing and composing. i have some lyrics that i'd like to pair with music, so in a few months -- who knows? -- folks might get to hear my falsetto after all.
those who are still listening, that is.
true, true. there may not be very many who make it through a first listen of dog days. but hopefully my dog will still put up with my late-night songwriting, if no one else will. i did give him prime placement on the ep cover art, so hopefully that buys me a little time with him to continue growing and improving as a songwriter and composer.
dog days releases on march 27, 2018