At long last, Empty Ensemble has some official releases lined up!
Gakusei and 「弦楽四重奏曲其の一」 were posted on this site in demo form, and now those recordings have been refined to the point for an actual release. (You can still listen to them on the Releases page.) Gakusei starts things off with a digital and physical release on May 27, 2016. 「弦楽四重奏曲其の一」 follows on October 28, 2016, also in digital and physical forms.
Gakusei means “student” in Japanese, and the works featured on the 21-minute EP are all student works. 「弦楽四重奏曲其の一」 translates to “String Quartet Songs, Vol. 1”. This nine-part work originally appeared as an album of piano pieces, which have now been arranged for string quartet. The album is rounded out by an orchestral work, Soliloquy of a Vampire, the first of its kind for Empty Ensemble.
CDs will be available exclusively at the Empty Ensemble Shop on Bandcamp. The digital release includes all the usual suspects — iTunes, Spotify, Amazon MP3 Store and Google Play Music.
So as not to confuse matters, some previously posted demo projects have been removed from the Releases page. They’ll be back as they too get refined for an eventual release.
In a brash move to take advantage of a CD Baby discount, I’m releasing 「無題へ生23六月五日」 as a single. CD Baby took 40 percent off a single track release, and I started one for Eponymous 4 a while back but never finished it. So I chose to change it to an Empty Ensemble release instead.
The track arrives on Aug. 25 and should be available at all the major outlets — iTunes, Spotify, Amazon MP3 Store, Google Play.
At some point, I’ll continuing working on 「無題」 — and maybe even give it a title — but for now, I’m content to get just one piece of music out on the paid networks.
Eponymous 4 pretty much uploads music as it’s finished, and there’s no reason Empty Ensemble shouldn’t do the same, regardless if the parts don’t complete a whole.
With that in mind, the Releases section of the site now has the various Empty Ensemble projects online, including the 宿題シリーズ (“Shukudai Series”) of recordings — sample library renditions of classical pieces. There are also some original works.
Now with the website launched, more music will make its way here.
Eponymous 4 first formed in 1999, but it didn’t really get traction till 2005. And when it did, the moniker became the catch-all for every musical thing I did. Rock songs ripping off Japanese punk bands? Sure. Pop songs ripping off Duran Duran? Absolutely. A string quartet imitating Dmitri Shostakovich and Samuel Barber? Fair game.
It’s many years later, and while the popular music work of Eponymous 4 inches closer to completion, some of the more classically-minded stuff just sat in limbo. I labeled them as Eponymous 4 projects, but were they really? I’ve been working as Eponymous 4 for a while now, and honestly, I’m kind of tired of it. Or rather, Eponymous 4 has hit a wall.
The urge to create a new identity has been creeping into my consciousness bit by bit, and now, it’s finally happened.
Welcome Empty Ensemble.
The name Empty Orchestra was already taken by a band in Michigan, who were also inspired by the term “karaoke”, which itself is an abbreviation of “kara ohkesutora” (空オーケストラ). But I’m not an orchestra, and while I won’t rule out that possibility in the future, I wouldn’t mind being an ensemble — an Empty Ensemble. It’s also a literal description — there are no members in this ensemble. Just a sample library.
And someone trying to coax some humanity out of a machine.