Sanctuary

Greetings! I'm excited to announce the release of my solo album, SANCTUARY. Over 2 years in the making, this has been, by far, the most ambitious project I've ever embarked upon, but finally I have a product that I feel best represents my musical passion more than anything I've ever done. Most people know me as a sideman drummer, so this album may be a bit of a surprise, as it displays my composing, arranging, producing, and mixing skills. I've personally and meticulously crafted each stage of the process: every melody line, chord voicing, string arrangement, and bass line, to every EQ setting, compression setting, reverb setting, and volume fader. This has been no easy task, as some of the songs are epic and involve almost 100 tracks! Furthermore, I couldn't have done it without the fine musicianship of those who played on the album, of which there are more than 25 musicians. 

Sanctuary is a 10 song album of instrumental compositions. Stylistically, the closest category that it falls under is "world music - new age". The spark came from an amazing South American band that I started playing with in 2010. I set out to write some original tunes that would blend with their traditional Andean repertoire, and from there, I ventured beyond into other worldly influences from Brazil, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and even the Middle East. On one hand, I have a deep appreciation for groove and feel, which is clearly represented on Sanctuary. However, there is a prevailing tapestry of lush harmonies and soaring melodies, giving almost every song an almost cinematic quality.

The album is now available, slated for official release in March, 2017.  Feel free to give a listen to the excerpts below:

 

Purchase a physical CD from me directly:




 

For those of you who received a complimentary copy of Sanctuary:

Please understand that independent project of mine didn't happen without some significant cost.  If you've been enjoying your free copy of Sanctuary, and would like to make a donation, please click on the Paypal link to the right.  You can contribute any amount that you would like.

Album Credits:

Celebration Song:
​​Premik Russell Tubbs: flute and bansuri
John Benthal: acoustic and twangy electric guitar
Luca Tozzi: electric funk guitar
Jon Price: bass
Doug Hinrichs: percussion
Vocal ensemble: Angela Marin, Jefferson Thomas, and the Kevin Ray vocal ensemble
Patrick Carmichael: drums, shakers, electric piano, and synthesizers
 
Ode to Quena:
​Jorje Olmeida: quena (South American flute)
Ann Kim: cello
Juan Castillo: charango
Angel Marin: guitar
Eric Kuriminski: guitar
Skip Ward: Bass
Doug Hinrichs: shekere
Patrick Carmichael: Drums, string arrangement, piano, celeste
 
Soul Snakes:
​John Isley: flute
Walt Szymanski: trumpet
John Benthal: acoustic guitar
Chris Biesterfeldt: additional guitar and cavaquinho
Skip Ward: bass
Patrick Carmichael: drums, percussion, electric piano and marimba
 
The City of Z:
​Premik Russell Tubbs: flute, Bansuri, and EWI
Ann Kim: cello
Braden Palmer: acoustic guitar
Brad Whiteley: piano
Juan Castillo: charango
Jake Schwartz and Hernan Romero: additional guitars
Jon Price: Bass
Patrick Carmichael: drums, percussion, string arrangement
 
The Truth Fairy:
​Ann Kim: cello
Brad Whiteley: piano
Patrick Carmichael: string arrangement
 
The Pyramid Scheme:
​Premik Russell Tubbs: flute
Brandon Terzic: oud
Walt Szymanski: trumpet
Chris Biesterfeldt: guitar
Skip Ward: Bass
Patrick Carmichael: drums, percussion, hammered dulcimer, and string arrangement
 
Sugar Cane:
​Premik Russell Tubbs: flute
Uli Geissendoerfer: piano
Hernan Romero: acoustic guitar
Chris Biesterfeldt: cavaquinho
Skip Ward: Bass
Doug Hinrichs: percussion
Patrick Carmichael: drums, shaker, electric piano, and string arrangement
 
Pan Festival:
​​Jorje Olmeida: quena
Ted Cruz: piano
Doug Hinrichs: steel drum and congas
Eric Kuriminski: guitar
Skip Ward: Bass
Patrick Carmichael: drums, shakers, bongos, and autoharp
 
Andean Serenade:
​Jorje Olmeida: quena
Ydar Borda: charango
Angel Marin: guitar
Skip Ward: bass
Patrick Carmichael: drums and string arrangement
 
Sanctuary: 
​Ann Kim: cello
John Benthal: acoustic guitar, cavaquinho, and cuatro
Braden Palmer: additional acoustic guitars
Geovanni Suquillo: charango
Brad Whiteley: piano
Skip Ward: bass
Patrick Carmichael: drums, percussion, synthesizers, duduk, and string arrangement
 
All Songs Written, arranged, produced, and mixed by Patrick Carmichael
Joe Colmenero: additional mixing for Pyramid Scheme, Sanctuary, and Pan Festival
Mastered by Mark B. Christensen at Engine Room Audio
Cover art by Veronika Carmichael

INDIVIDUAL TRACK DESCRIPTIONS:

Celebration Song:
Here, I combined many rhythmic elements and sounds.  In the verse sections, the rhythm is mainly an influence from the Andes Mountains. The Choruses shift to a Brazilian samba, with the shout section at the end being a direct reference to Carnivale.  On the other hand, there's the electronica breakdown in the middle, as well as various elements of electric guitar stylings which all combine to create somewhat of a musical hodgepodge.  
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Ode to Quena:
This is one of my favorite songs that I wrote in an effort to evoke the sounds of the Andes Mountains, featuring the indigenous instruments, the Quena, a South American bamboo flute, and the Charango, a small Andean guitar that has 5 sets of double strings and sounds a little like a mandolin.  
Soul Snakes:
This is a fun song where I tried to mix influences from Africa and the Caribbean.  I enlisted the help of John Benthal, the Broadway guitarist from the Lion King to help me out, as well as Walt Szymanski on Trumpet, who assembled a fine horn section from Ecuador.  John Isley, an amazing New York session player played the flute parts.
The City of Z:
This song is a musical journey that starts somber, builds to a climax, then resolves back into a meditative state.  There is a lot going on in this composition - Cello, Flute, Piano Charango (a South American guitar), Bansuri, not to mention a full string orchestra and a tapestry of acoustic guitars.  This was by far the most difficult song to complete on the entire album.
The Truth Fairy:
This is a nice Chopin-like ballad featuring piano and cello, and on this track, I break away from the "world music" format that permeates throughout the rest of the album.  In many ways, this is my favorite song I've ever written, which is ironic because it's the only song on the album where I don't play any instrument at all.  
The Pyramid Scheme:
This song is full of cinematic drama, and evokes sounds from the Middle East, with the sound of Mariachi horns thrown in for spice.  This is the only song on the album that has what remotely resembles a drum solo.
 
Sugar Cane:
This is a lilting Bossa Nova, one of my favorite "world music" style, and I love to play this beat on the drums.  The melody and chord structure is extremely simple, so I throw in a few textural changes to keep the song from sounding too monotonous.
 
Pan Festival:
This is a happy, danceable tune I wrote to evoke the festive quality of South American music, though this song is in major, where most of the songs from the Andes are minor.  Special mention goes to Ted Cruz (not the Senator) on the fine piano solo.
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Andean Serenade:
This is a song that fits right in with the South American repertoire.  Arrangement wise, I let my appreciation of Ennio Morricone's writing influence me a bit on this one.  
 
Sanctuary:
This song is by far the most ambitious song on the album, with tons of guitars, orchestral strings, synths, horns, cello, deduce, drums, and percussion.  At first, it may sound like the soundtrack to an epic adventure movie, but then the first guitar melody grabs hold, and takes you on a journey.  After a soaring cello interlude during a breakdown in the middle, the whirl of Philip Glass arpeggios from the guitars, bells, and piano escalates to a frenzy.  Finally, the release at the end closes out the album with an "amen" cadence by the cello and strings. This song is definitely worth a focused, uninterrupted listen.