Academic makes music on the move

August 20, 2015

Dr Simon Order has released his album under the Liminal Drifter moniker

Dr Simon Order has released his album under the Liminal Drifter moniker

A music production lecturer from Murdoch University has made an ambient electronica album as part of his academic research.

Dr Simon Order from the School of Arts, used a number of different apps and technologies on phones and tablet devices to record sounds, compose music and edit together samples, as well as the more traditional studio work, to make his Troubled Mystic album over the course of four years.

Dr Order, who released the album under the Liminal Drifter moniker on August 19 on the Hidden Shoal label, has also had two academic papers on the process of producing the album published with a third journal article forthcoming.

He said apps and new technologies had enabled him to make music wherever he was, and that had a huge creative impact on the album.

“It all started because my mother-in-law and my partner like to gamble at Jupiter’s casino on the Gold Coast. I’m not much of a gambler but I Iove the sound of the gambling machines. I would sit outside, drink coffee and enjoy the gambling soundscape. One day I started recording the gambling noises on my phone and mixing them with other sounds.  It just went from there,” explained Dr Order.

“Hand-held music technology has improved a lot since those early casino days. Almost the whole Troubled Mystic album emerged from travelling and writing on phones and tablet devices.  Studios will always have a place, as will more mobile technologies. Making music is where you choose it to be.”

Dr Order has been making, producing and touring music from an early age but he took a 15 year sonic hiatus to study for a Masters and then a PhD.

Producing music then became a creative therapy for him to balance the sometimes overly empirical nature of his doctoral research.

“Of course, I remembered immediately why I had been music-obsessed and it was a natural step to produce the whole album,” he said. “I also realised that I now had some skills to write about music production in a useful academic way.

“The music on this album is different from what I’ve previously produced because it reflects my experiences during those specific three to four years of production. The song titles refer to specific things that have happened.

“In academic terms, the album is known as an NTRO, or a Non Traditional Research Output, like a film or a radio show, book or theatre production.

“It’s an emerging field and in the School of Arts, we are working closely with PhD and post grad students across a number of different fields including sound, radio, games, film and music, who want to do this sort of practice-led research.

The title track from Dr Order’s album was release as a single last month. Troubled Mystic is a collaboration with English singer Chloe March and is influenced by trip hop innovators Massive Attack. Dr Order said the track serves as the perfect introduction to the music on the rest of the album.

Troubled Mystic the album is available to download from iTunes and BandCamp.

To listen to the single, click here:

To find out more about the Troubled Mystic single, click here:

To follow Liminal Drifter on Facebook, click here:

To follow Liminal Drifter on Twitter, click here:

To buy the Troubled Mystic album, click here: or here:

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