Last week I released “Proxima Ultra”, the first track of the Alien Ear Flower Series, a project that had been shelved since 2019. “Dream Nebula” follows, Official Release November 15th 2023. Special fans release Friday 13th October 2023, resuming this modular album. Both tracks are released in the spirit of a double ‘A’ sided single.
The project allows each Ear Flower to unfurl with two tracks every season, when appropriate cosmic conditions allow.
“Dream Nebula” Available to buy on Bandcamp here Apple, Spotify, Amazon and all Stream services to follow on November 15th
Nostramus creates Alien Ear Flowers to plunge the listener into deep lush, ambient music, expanding into scifi and cosmic compositions. This rich texture of sounds, tumbling with movement, musically styled with electronic/orchestral grace and grandeur, reminds all life forms they are obligated to evolve.
In these untypical ambient encounters, Nostramus invites acknowledgment of the past where a predicted future never occurred. But Dream Nebula deals with a dream that became reality, albeit a hallucinated one.
The alchemy shaping these tracks captures engaged intellect and driving life-force, joyous in a state of liberation, propelled through Space, equipped and prepared to encounter imagined worlds and beings. Such in-depth work requires a sense of nobility and compassion. The journey is real, or in our dreams; either way, it exists.
Some central questions behind Alien Ear flowers are: Is it prudent to ever pause and contemplate past mistakes? Also, as a lived experience, what is true reality?
Remember this is an ambient vibe, look out for the hashtags before purchasing. If you are looking for ground shaking Drum and Bass this might not be your thing, these Alien Ear Flowers are profoundly ambient and immersive – sci fi noir and fantasy.
“Proxima Ultra” and “Dream Nebula” will also be available on most online streaming platforms – release dates to come!
Steve Spon October 2023
Copyright October 2023 – Mixed in immersive Binaural Sound Concept written and produced by Steve Spon for Nostramus Big thanks to Ella Jo for ideas, inspiration and typing Inspired by “To Mars by A Bomb” The Orion story.
Nostramus Discography including “Dream Nebula” here
New Nostramus Single out on Bandcamp Friday 6th Oct for “Bandcamp Friday”. Part One of a duo-track release. Part Two available Friday 13 October 2023. Departing from usual Nostramus D&B flavours, this doublet of songs takes a more surreal path, with the concept of looking back into the past where predicted futures failed to materialize in Proxima Ultima. Part Two – Dream Nebula describes a dream becoming a reality albeit an hallucinated one. Nostramus has a long tradition of embracing sci fi, blending ideas with social comment in past material, including the stunning 1997 album “Earthlights”, so this theme is set to continue with these coming releases.
Nostramus Discography including “Proxima Ultra” available at Bandcamp here
In 2019 I envisaged producing a new album I would call “Alien Ear Flowers”, but fate decreed that this album could not come to fruition at the time. However, I already began composing two tracks to open this theme and here in 2023 they have arrived, perhaps where they were meant to land, a few years into their future.
The first track, “Proxima Ultra” and the second “Dream Nebula” are now heading for release as I have decided to release both tracks together, as one would have once released a double ‘A’ sided single, a long time ago. “Proxima Ultra” will be released Friday 6th October and the second “Dream Nebula” will be one week later on Friday 13th October (Hurrah!)
Artist impression of Proxima Centauri
In general, my work indicates a fascination with the concept of Time, the great uncontrollable force. The planets, Proxima Centauri and Ultima are planets belonging to the nearest star system to our own and I can envisage a time in the future when we send probes there, if we survive the next hundred years or so! Maybe we would send people or AI proxies!
An earlier version of “Proxima Ultra” has existed as a demo on my website for some time and I used it as a soundtrack on a couple of my ‘Dronescaping Britain’ Youtube films. But these 2023 editions are a new crisp mix with added ambience and mood effects.
The music reflects a cosmic-type journey or how contact with our closest stellar neighbours might even sound. Remember this is an ambient vibe, look out for the hashtags before purchasing. These tracks do not represent ground shaking Drum and Bass – these tracks are more nuanced, like the background music aliens would listen to whilst visiting an interplanetary cafe, so these tracks are for seekers of a profound ambient and immersive sci fi type of experience!
Background ideas that inspired me to write Proxima Ultra:
The dream that never materialized was a concept named the Orion Project. The (genuine) idea was to send a massive ship into space, powered by atomic bombs. This ship would be able to visit the planets of the solar system and eventually fly out to the nearby solar systems, namely Proxima Centauri, situated about 4 and a quarter light years away.
The Proxima Centauri configuration is the closest system to Earth, comprising of three stars including Alpha Centauri, a red dwarf and the closest star to the Sun. As well as possible Gas Giants orbiting the stars an Earthlike planet has been detected in the habitable zone, but it is not yet known if it could harbour life.
Many have imagined voyages to the Proxima system, a journey that could take hundreds if not thousands of years by chemical rockets. An idea that gained consideration for powering this journey involved an aircraft-carrier sized object such as a multigenerational spaceship, powered by rapidly exploding atomic bombs!
Artists impression of a Proxima Planetary body
The writer, Stephen Baxter has written a duology about a fictional journey to Proxima, to visit a habitable planet in that system which he called “Ultra”. My song toasts that idea, and why not? The James Webb telescope recently focused closely on many planets or objects orbiting the three stars of Proxima, and may return with exciting results!
The Orion mission was ultimately cancelled by President Kennedy, rightfully horrified at the prospect of creating a thousand atom Bomb blasts to propel this huge ship into orbit. Thus the dreams of Freeman Dyson, the acclaimed British Physicist in charge and his enthusiastic team, ended. Steve Spon October 2023
released October 6, 2023 – Mixed in immersive Binaural Sound Concept written and produced by Steve Spon for Nostramus Big thanks to Ella Jo for ideas, inspiration and typing Inspired by “To Mars by A Bomb” The Orion story.
Nostramus Discography including “Proxima Ultra” available at Bandcamp here
Mabinogia : A Cinematic and Musical Journey through West Wales
It’s been a challenging year, with the war in Ukraine and the cost of living crisis weighing on our minds. But despite the hardships, I’ve continued to create the things I love, including short drone-based videos and music.
It’s been too much to keep up with writing and publishing blog posts while I’m also busy creating content. But I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce my new album, Mabinogia V1, which is a soundtrack to my drone footage of West Wales.
The album was inspired by the beauty and wonder of West Wales, the rich history and culture of the region, and the stories told in the Mabinogi tales. I’ve tried to capture the essence of this magical place in my music, and I hope you’ll enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed creating it.
Every track on the album was composed directly from my drone footage. I would watch the footage over and over again, letting the images and sounds inspire me musically. I wanted to create music that would complement the visuals and help to tell the story of West Wales.
I’m still learning the ropes of filmmaking, but I’m excited to share my progress with you. I’m currently putting the finishing touches on a film about hillforts in West Wales, and I’ll be sharing more news about that soon.
In the meantime, I hope you’ll take some time to relax and enjoy Mabinogia V1. Find a comfortable chair, set up a large screen and some good speakers, and press play. And if you enjoy the experience, the soundtrack is available in a narrative form on Bandcamp and all major streaming services.
Drone Footage of Llangrannog – Cilborth Beach in the Sun featuring Carreg Bica a Cinematic Shamble.
Llangrannog – Cilborth Beach in the Sun featuring Carreg Bica.
A short movie of Cinematic 4K footage of spectacular scenery, involving fly rounds and other neat cinematic moves. Not necessarily in this case Hillforts or Cairns, Stone Circles etc but features within the landscape that exude a sense of ‘Genus Loci’ ~ the spirit of place. In other words very special locations that mean things to aeons of humanity and somehow give off a vibe to those sensitive enough to feel it.
Today we are flying down, down from high above from a cliff top path, I had to remind myself not to step backwards here. The tide was halfway which was enough to separate the conjoined beaches of Llangrannog and Cilborth which are joined at low tide. This is one of West Wales most iconic holiday locations, a secret best kept that is not known to many. A gem of a location with a village straddled from high down to the beach with gushing waterfalls. On The headland promontory behind is Lochtyn with an Island that again is joined to the mainland at low tide. The flat top of the headland belies an ancient Hillfort , in my opinion the summit looks flattened by our ancestors and they then built up massive banks and ditches to protect themselves from Sea and land based invaders. It’s some 500 feet above the waves. From here there occasionally can be seen Seals Dolphins and Porpoises and kind of exotic Sea bird life.
Please correct me if I am wrong but as we descend down the cliff in the earlier scenes, we can witness Sand Martins ducking in and out of their nests on the cliff side. The first beaches we visit are empty the tide is coming in and folk are urged to be mindful of the tides as they can get cut off at high tide. There are footprints that betray recent human activity. I guess the New Quay Lifeboat must occasionally get called out here to rescue folk that didn’t make the tide. As we round Cilborth beach where we witness human and canine activity, there is a rock formation called ‘Carreg Bica’ which has connotations with a local legend.
“The rock is the source of a legend that says that a giant once suffered from toothache and ripped out the offending tooth and tossed it on the ground. The rock is said to be the result of the tooth, calcified over the ages. “
The soundtrack is ‘Transversal’ by Nostramus which is an early shorter mix before the arrival of the great horned god ~ Pan, of a EP released named “Pan ~ Transversal” recently by Nostramus at Bandcamp https://nostramus.bandcamp.com/track/…
“Pan ~ Transversal” is the continuation of a originally planned trio of tracks to be released spring 2021 but as this is track number four, I guess we can now call this a series. Rather than release a promised album this summer my current plans are to continue releasing a track a month Depending on the style of each track from now on in I will be suffixing my Nostramus moniker with either #Ambient, #DarkAmbient #Drum&Bass #Glitchcore #Trapstep #OldSchoolDrumAndBass #Tribal #Cinematographic etc.
” Pan ~ Transversal ” what’s up with this? Developing from the theme from “Multiversal”, “Crystalwych” and “Optimum Singularity” “ Pan ~ Transversal” is a deep and dark trip into a primordial world reminiscent of something out of Dante’s Inferno or something out of one of Hieronymus Bosch paintings. There are two movements which I see like lines converging into a form within the piece as the journey moves through monolithic and dripping reverberations, enticed by diabolical jesters and pied pipers to an otherworld where physics and geometry as we know is turned upside down. Out of the void comes the music box that falls without the famous Spaghetti Western scene. The scene is set for the arrival of the horned god Pan as Crowley’s ode is invoked, oozing with hammer house drama. “Oh Pan” leads up to the frenzy. Here, Pan’s pipes are morphed into a dramatically intense Brass motive. Then cometh the discordant drum and bass breaks and the track proper kicks in with the D n B equivalent of the drunken stance in the Shaolin kung fu. Well I will leave it at that, make of it what you will. Personally this track deeply contrast’s the earlier trio of kinder gentle motion with an exciting wild and dazzling earthy flavour, I sure hope ‘Pan’ will think this as a worthy contribution to his mythos.
Today we present another “Drone Egg” ~ What does that mean?
A “Drone Egg” is a short movie of Cinematic 4K footage of spectacular scenery, involving fly rounds and other neat cinematic moves. Not necessarily in this case Hillforts or Cairns, Stone Circles etc but features within the landscape that exude a sense of ‘Genus Loci’ ~ the spirit of place. In other words very special locations that mean things to aeons of humanity and somehow give off a vibe to those sensitive enough to feel it.
So , no messing , this is an ambient treat. Footage contains some stunningly beautiful rural views of a peaceful Church, nestling on a tree covered craggy rock on the River Teifi in Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion border in the West Wales former territory of Dyfed St Luke’s Church is depicted as St Llonio’s Church on historic (1889-1905) Ordnance Survey mapping.
A motte, Llanllwni Mount is adjacent to the church, its western section ranging from 10-40m to the east and is partially obscured by the churchyard to the west. The Jones Family Mausoleum is sited in this area, and cists containing burials were encountered during its construction. I had the feeling that I was visiting a really ancient place here, yes there is the old Church, but that is built over a Medieval Motte and Bailey Castle. The Cists that were found would tend to suggest a much older origin, perhaps Bronze Age or possibly even Neolithic?? I would put money on there once also being a Hillfort on this location, which was obliterated when building the Medieval Castle.
Once upon a time the village of Maesycrugiau had a railway station on the Aberystwyth to Pencader line but today that has long gone, but traces still remain close by in the landscape. In the fair weather we have been experiencing this spring in this part of the world we took ‘Buzby’ (It’s what I affectionately call my DJI Mini 2 Drone) for a spin in this enigmatic location to hopefully catch the peace and tranquillity, far away from the polluted, noisy, busy, crowded Towns and Cities.
The so called ‘Golden Hour’ before Sunset is a photographers dream, casting warm golden colours and spreading long shadows. I particularly like the trees shapes in winter when they have lost their leaves. Using a drone really brings into focus the magnificent distorted and twisted shapes spread across the fair meadows with Sheep relentlessly chomping like there is no tomorrow. I kept hearing ‘Moo-ing’ ~ Cows no doubt but extremely close by whilst I was piloting ‘Buzby’ It was only when watching the footage back that I spotted the field 100 metres across the other side of the Gorge from the Church where I was. You can spot the young cows running up and down the field there.
For the soundtrack I present a new Nostramus ambient track ‘Optimum Singularity’ which is now released as a single .
I will be posting up more ‘Drone Eggs’ as well as more Movies in my Ynys Prydein Hillforts and ancient Ruins channel.
Nostramus #Ambient #DarkAmbient #Drum and Bass #ChillOut
A new single from Nostramus
“Optimum Singularity” is the third of a trio of singles I am releasing between February and May 2021 There are plans for an album but for the time being that project is now on hold but I will continue releasing single tracks in the meantime, perhaps summing together for an album combination later. Depending on the style of each track from now on in I will be suffixing my Nostramus moniker with either #Ambient, #DarkAmbient #Drum&Bass #Glitchcore #Trapstep #OldSchoolDrumAndBass #Tribal #Cinematographic etc. The above should distinguish the genre’s I work with. I am not a DJ Producer I am a musician Producer but I realize that DJs and listeners will like to know what genre I am producing. I have an eclectic taste in my productions which are all broadly speaking ‘alternative’ and ‘underground’ rather than music produced purely for a commercial market. I make music that firstly I enjoy making and secondly if I feel good about a production I like others to enjoy as well. “Optimum Singularity” what is it about? Continuing the theme from “Multiversal” and “Crystalwytch” I am attempting towards lucid and dark realms of musical rotations that hopefully emulate visual manifestations orbiting around a musical and gravitational inevitability in temporal space. The music can be described as a helix ~ a spiraling circle in three dimensions as a metaphor for quantum tunneling and a theory that in some fashion Black Holes can channelize potential warp drive and create pathways to time travel and circumnavigating the Universe. The point of ‘Optimum Singularity’ being the perfect transcribe for a theoretical event that would open up a gateway to the infinite as proposed in Kubrick and Clarkes 2001 A Space Odyssey, an optimum singularity. The oratory is a reading from Kingsnorth’s ‘The Wake’ spoken in a shadow language related to old english. It refers to the time of the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, where the former inhabitants were brutally defeated and subjugated. Wives (Wifmen) and daughters raped, villages and land burned to the ground and pillaged and the ordinary peasants turned to slaves for their new masters. The Norman’s whom by the way still cling to power in many cases in form of the landed aristocracy, in Britain. Our orature wanders the wasteland after losing his family and village and eventually teams up with the resistance fighting back against the Normans.
Recording? I use Cubase and a host of plugins these days to produce my music. I have recently upgraded my set up so now I have the added possibility of working my sound to moving video, which frankly adds another layer of inspiration to my work. Working to video blimey but it does open ones eyes to landscapes and soundscapes and all betwixt. I hope you enjoy ‘Optimum Singularity’ released on the last of the pandemic lockdown Bandcamp Friday’s. However as I mentioned earlier there will be more tracks to come so please watch this space…
Thanks to everybody who has supported Nostramus. lyrics Words to poem coming soon…..
released May 7, 2021 Music conceived and written by Steve Spon for Nostramus.
“Crystalwytch” is the second of a trio of singles I am releasing over February, March and April before a brand new album is released this summer. Depending on the style of each track from now on in I will be suffixing my Nostramus moniker with either #Ambient, #DarkAmbient #Drum&Bass #Glitchcore #Trapstep #OldSchoolDrumAndBass #Tribal #Cinematographic etc. The above should distinguish the genre’s I work with. I am not a DJ Producer I am a musician Producer but I realize that DJs and listeners will like to know what genre I am producing. I don’t see why I should select one genre as has been suggested in the past. I have an eclectic taste in my productions which are all broadly speaking ‘alternative’ and ‘underground’ rather than music produced purely for a commercial market. I make music that firstly I enjoy making and secondly if I feel good about a production I like others to enjoy as well. So ‘Crystalwytch’ what is it about? Continuing the theme from “Multiversal” here the work is played out to Helen J Street’s lucid and phantasmagoric poem “The Crystalwych” which is whispered as in the breeze on a moonlit night. The ‘Crystalwych” could be described as analogous to a night time version of the ‘Green Man’ of the woods or a Druidic gathering in the Grove. Riding a chariot with seven jewel incrusted horses into the white marbled and sparkling heavens. A pagan allegory for what in realty is yet another alternative universe or simply a gentle attempt at autonomous sensory meridian response? In the poem things might not be the way they seem to be, the ‘Crystalwych’ may actually be a visitor from the other and the chariot and seven horses a craft sent from a far distant but mourned future. Who knows? Moving on from the previous single ‘Multiversal’ I now re-enter the world of ambient and jazz flavoured drum and bass. I am not sure whether or not this would make a hard core floor filler, rather than attempting a mesmerising transcendent auditory meditation, or perhaps better still both. I have sat here with this song playing back in a loop and have been absolutely tripped out on it, of course I would say that but hopefully this will work the same way for at least some of you. I am much indebted and would like to thank Ella Jo for her input here, for her whispered oratory. Also Tony “Redfish” Gee once more for his magnificent and succinct trumpet playing. Tony recorded his trumpet remotely and I felt as always, quite confident that he would deliver. As a scientist in his day time job, he has that heightened empathy and love for the great British eccentricity that makes for a true thinking-outside-of-the-box, musician. Hopefully there will be much more “Redfish” collaborations in the future. I enjoyed playing electric piano on this, which is how the idea kicked off. I laid down the chord progressions and then played a lead pattern over the top of the chords. The overall effect I was looking towards was ‘soft’ and ‘jazzy’ although I would be the first to admit that I am simply not good enough to play ‘proper jazz’. I do go for the mood that works and once I obtain something like the desired performance, I record it warts and all. I then refine and edit it into place. Quantising? I think that subtlety and nuance is vitally important in performance. I used to quantise the f*** out of everything I played and eventually I came to realize that in certain cases there is a danger of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. I was super conscious of allowing as much free style playing as possible without severely quantising the vitality out of my performance. So I left as much heart and soul as possible in the played keyboard parts. However to counteract I sequenced a triad of quantised but hypnotic moving pads that nail down to the Drums and Bass. I then plugged my guitar into my pedals and created some jagged but ephemeral washes that gently glide over the rhyme. Initially I had the guitar much louder over the song but I came to realize that ‘less is actually more’ at times when working on composition. When I turned them down in the mix , the whole song lept out of the speakers at me. So we are left with just a hint of their former glory. Who knows I may do a remix at some point with the guitars featured more. I am known for my guitar playing in post punk band UK Decay and IN Excelsis so its probably right to point the above out for those that may expect my usual guitar performance’s. Recording? I use Cubase and a host of plugins these days to produce my music. I have recently upgraded my set up so now I have the added possibility of working my sound to moving video, which frankly adds another layer of inspiration to my work. Working to video blimey but it does open ones eyes to landscapes and soundscapes and all betwixt.
So I see “Crystalwytch” as part two of a trillogy, a further invitation to journey between musical dimensions. I hope it does it for you.
UPDATE: May 2021: You know, I am just going to carry on releasing solo or single tracks, hopefully monthly but my target is ten new tracks a year.
Thanks to everybody who has supported Nostramus.
Words to poem coming soon…..
released March 5, 2021 Conceived, written and produced by Steve Spon for Nostramus. Lyrics: “The Crystalwytch” by Helen J Street Whispers: Ella Jo Trumpet: Tony “Redfish” Gee Electric Piano: Steve Spon FX guitar Steve Spon Thanks to Diamond Seeds Media Productions.