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the volitar miner  - news from the 22nd  century  a monthly publication based on the science-fiction world of volitar ® january 2006
a monthly publication based on the science-fiction world of volitar

issue #15
in this issue:

1) volitar: alien world cd released 1/21/06!!!

2) juneau empire article:
"volitar invades again"
engstrom introduces his new rock-opera sequel, 'alien world' by korry keeker

volitar's episode 2, "alien world" released 1/21/2006!!!

alien world cd cover. image copyright2006 volitar industries. background image copyright spacelands.de

dear volitarians, i'm happy to announce volitar's brand new cd has been released and is now ready to purchase! first off, i'd like to thank korry keeker @ the juneau empire and amanda gragert @ the capital city weekly for covering the alien world story in their respective newspapers. i'd like to thank rock'n ron @ ksup rock radio for all the volitar airplay and words of support as well as public radio station ktoo for the on the air interviews of alien world. and last, but not least, i'd like to thank the cast and crew, alien world's musicians, actors, and the folks who helped support the making of this cd. thank you!!! (click on the credits button to find out who did what in alien world).

i'd like to offer the chance for you to read korry keeker's article, volitar invades again. i couldn't be more pleased; his article is accurate and well researched. thank you korry, andy engstrom.


volitar invades again 1/19/2006
engstrom introduces his new rock-opera sequel, 'alien world'

by korry keeker
juneau empire

when juneau musician andy engstrom last visited the remote mining post of volitar, on his 2002 rock-opera concept compact disc "murder, mystery, mayhem," the region was in dire straits.

revolutionary war had erupted in ganthros, the neighboring planet that supplies many of volitar's workers. the revolutionaries were searching for volitar's secret site of santanium ore - a key component of the ancient ganthronian time-based perception drug santain.

mining moon owner trevor braiden, played by engstrom and a central character on the first cd, returns on "alien world," engstrom's sequel, which will be released at a listening party saturday night at the backroom at the silverbow inn.

braiden has a lot on his mind. he knows the site of the ore, and he's pursued by the ganthronians. he's also recently married the planetary geologist dr. desiree lear (becky engstrom). "alien world" begins with their honeymoon flight to intrincia, a trip that's soon aborted when their ship is sabotaged and forced to crash land in the heart of ganthros.

engstrom, a juneau native, drummer and professional window cleaner, created and composed the two-disc, science-fiction volitar rock opera over the last seven years. he released the first volitar cd in april 2002 and began writing "alien world" immediately.

"i knew about halfway through 'murder, mystery, mayhem' that i couldn't get the whole story on one cd," engstrom said. "but i wanted to keep a similar sound and i wanted to keep a similar tone for the sequel. i envisioned everything i wrote so it could possibly be presented in different formats in the future."

"alien world" continues with the "movie without images" concept that engstrom explored on the first cd. the music, scenes, dialogue and sound effects are set into the cd, which made it particularly difficult to write.

"i'd already produced something that defined certain rules and guidelines in which to follow," engstrom said. "when i first started, i didn't have the idea that it was going to be this movie-without-images concept. it was just going to be a well-rounded songwriter's portfolio, the kind of thing you present the music industry with a bunch of songs that reach into a lot of different areas. the first cd is very eclectic. the second cd i went with the type of music that i like to write. my regular writing is art rock, symphonic progressive rock-type of material that doesn't lend itself to radio play."

still, ksup has been playing two of the songs from "alien world" - "understood" and "fire in the house," the soundtrack to the scene where the evil ganthronian general tortures trevor.

engstrom recorded most of the keyboard, electronic percussion and vocal parts at his home using the audio production program cakewalk. he took those recordings to gold street studio, where engineer george bryson did most of the mixing and engstrom laid down most of his drum tracks. once the drums were mixed, he added the other instruments: ward f. ward on guitar; andrea mogil on flute; rick trostel on flugelhorn; and sheldon winters on trumpet.

engstrom borrowed a microphone from albert mcdonnell and a minidisc player from sandro lane to record some scenes on location. for a crowd scene near the end, he recorded 30 drama students who were rehearsing for the upcoming high school presentation of "pippin." the dramatic, surprise ending was recorded from his pickup while coasting through downtown starting at fifth street.

the 1950s-style sound effects were created from a cache of vintage keyboards, including his 1972 arp odyssey analog synthesizer, an antique he acquired from bryson.

"the idea was to have this very modern-day, very progressive musical sound but incorporate older sounds to recreate this 1950s-style, science fiction blend," engstrom said.

"we wanted to combine the old science fiction of the 1950s genre, things like 'star trek,' 'the day the earth stood still,' "forbidden planet,'" he said. "those types of story lines were almost b-rated, and some of the sounds and some of the character parts are intentionally a bit cheesy. when you look back, they kind of look silly now because the technological understanding of the world is different."

scott hamilton, now at the berklee school of music in boston, played guitar on the first cd. ward created and composed the multitracked, counterpoint guitar parts on "alien world."

ward and engstrom have played together in a handful of recent projects, including groove cult, special guest and the drums-guitar-trumpet trio naughty jo. for the self-titled track, ward used a pitch shifter on a diminished solo to recreate an alien sound.

"i had heard the previous volitar cd and i was pretty impressed with that," ward said. "and he played some of the material for the second cd, and i knew it was going to be much better, much improved, so i wanted to be part of that."

"one characteristic of andy's style is that he really has an ear for dissonance," ward said. "normally that has negative connotations, but it sounds positive the way he does it. he's able to fit it into music in a way that sounds correct."

becky engstrom, andy's wife, costars again as desiree, the saucy scientist who marries and rescues trevor.

"she still has remnants of the old character - this sexy 1950s-type girl - but we're continuing with the merging of the concept that she's at the same time a modern, intelligent, well-educated, well-spoken woman," engstrom said. "becky really did a lot to articulate the character."

album price #
volitar: alien world $15.00
volitar:: murder mystery mayhem $12.00
choose how many, and click
orders sent by cd baby - the fastest, safest, and easiest place to buy cds online. you can also call 1-800-buy-my-cd to order by phone.
the volitar miner  - news from the 22nd  century  a monthly publication based on the science-fiction world of volitar
issue #14 june 2005

1) the making of volitar:

"sneak preview drumming video from volitar's upcoming cd, alien world!!!"

"volitar continues sci-fi rock cd with alien world, murder mystery mayhem's sequel; ending the volitar story"

issue #12 february 2003

1) 2002 alaska and yukon territory volitar marketing tour

2) the making of volitar:

"who are murder mystery mayhem's unsung heroes"?

issue #10 january 2003

1) featured artist: becky engstrom

volitar's dr.desiree lear (part 1)

2) becky engstrom's interview

april 2002 w/kfmg radio's rhonda mann

3) dr. desiree lear t-shirt:

volitar's first official t-shirt is released to public

issue #8 november 2002

1) "carl behnert: sci-fi's newest star"

featured artist - carl behnert

2) "murder mystery mayhem: a concept cd in the grandest sense"

cd review by the bellingham herald's - tony stasiek

issue #6 september 2002

1) featured artist - volitar actor, tim hulse.

"from chaos to colorado to volitar" and "budweiser kings and spandex fiends."

issue #4 july2002

1) the making of volitar (part 3) sound effects (part 1). in this article you'll not only be able to read about the special sound effects that were blended into the murder mystery mayhem cd but, you'll also be able to listen to a raw sound sample and the sound sample in context of the scene or song.

2) 72 free music downloads your direct link to free music files from 72 of today's best independent artists.

3) who's new at volitar?

issue #2 may2002

1) doing business w/ volitar musicians resources: (music marketing, places to sell your music, cd manufacturing, web hosting and design and more...) loads of time saving info!

2) featured artist volitar bassist, ford james. ford releases his progressive-jazz cd entitled "sunlight"

3) juneau novelist bobbi mccutcheon publishes" father mars, mother earth". read the entire prologue.

issue #13 february 2003

1) $5 sale @ cdbaby.com:

"murder mystery mayhem's $5 sale celebrates volitar's 2nd anniversary"

2) recording in progress:

"life long friends team up to produce music cd

issue #11 february 2003

1) featured artist: scott hamilton

"volitar guitarist - scott hamilton and volitar creator - andrew engstrom release motion sickness© 1998 to public"

2) volitar: murder mystery mayhem review by joel reynolds - ak this month

"a massive undertaking, impressively accomplished. kudos to all involved"

issue #9 december 2002

1) "the making of volitar"

an interactive e-book for (pc) featuring a "behind the scenes"look at the murder mystery mayhem cd.

2) "t-shirt design?"

will you be part of this questionaire?

issue #7 october 2002

1)business with volitar: story and collage from volitar's murder mystery mayhem cd prerelease and release parties.

"volitar: murder mystery mayhem release parties 3/08/2002 & 4/19/2002"

2) volitar: murder mystery mayhem review by barb cambell

"in the style of a radio play"

issue #5 august 2002

1) the making of volitar (part 4) sound effects (part 2). this month we'll examine the creation of the eulogist's voice in murder mystery mayhem's track 13 - "dead".

2) volitar: murder mystery mayhem review by jedd beaudoin. professional music reviewer jedd beaudion shares his views on the volitar: murder mystery mayhem cd.

issue #3 june2002

1) featured artist volitar flutist, andrea mogil.

2) the making of volitar (part 2) hollywood recording sessions of just one look w/ leslie rostron, andrew engstrom and george bryson.

issue #1 april2002

1. ask desiree dear desiree,
i plan on attending a volitar party and am not sure what i should wear. how do people dress in the year 2117?

2. juneau empire article sci-fi musical: mystery mixed with rock 'n' roll
andy engstrom releases his science-fiction rock musical on cd

3.the making of volitar i love playing my mom's baby-grand steinway & sons piano. so, whenever i visit her i make...

4. featured artist bud curtis graphic design

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