started by improvising with the main synthesizer sound, which reminded me of the martial arts movie soundtracks from the 80s and 90s that I grew up loving, particularly "Bloodsport." Coincidentally, it's a digital emulation of the synth that powers one of my favorite scores and films of all time, "Blade Runner," the Yamaha CS-80. A lot of my music starts with improvisation, and when I land on something that feels unique and gives me a strong vibe, I start to develop that further.
The first version of the track was ambient, with just the synth, gongs, bells, chimes, and choir. Vocalist Shanti Snyder was visiting LA from Japan to work on some other songs we made (one of them is already released, called "Bad Intentions"
). We met through our mutual friend, editor Taichi Erskine. She also liked the vibe of Martial Meditations
and sang along with it a few times, improvising the sung parts that are in the final version you're hearing now. The spoken word part she emailed to me later, which translates to "Everything that we create comes from imagination and frequency. What you create is up to you." I loved the meaning and how it sounded and thought it fit beautifully in the song.
The drums came next, with the parts played beautifully by my friend Mike Tree, actually on a vintage Japanese drum kit called Whitehall that he let me keep at my studio. Then we recorded the bass with my friend Solomon Dorsey (who also plays on "Boards Break"), and guitar with my friend Orbel Babayan. Last I recorded the saxophone, and then it felt like the song was complete.