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the volitar miner  - news from the 22nd  century  a monthly publication based on the science-fiction world of volitar ® february 2003
a monthly publication based on the science-fiction world of volitar

issue #11
in this issue:

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"





featured artist: scott hamilton

before we begin, scott requested that i make available a song we composed and recorded together in 1998 called, "motion sickness". the song was recorded and used in a dance choreographed by becky engstrom, (volitar's dr. desiree lear), under the same title. this 6min. 55sec. song was not used in the volitar: murder mystery mayhem cd and has never been publicly released - it's a gift for those of you who subscribe to the volitar miner and help support my musical endevours. feel free to use this link (below) to download - motion sickness. perhaps, sometime in the future we'll release the modern dance video this piece accompanies.

what you're about to hear is an experimental instrumental piece that utilizes odd meters, strange musical keys and scott's uncanny ability to play alternative scales over the top of a musical passage meant for a different key. this may sound complex because it is complex. it's difficult to explain scott's guitar playing in "laymen's terms" because he is a progessive player that utilizes a vast knowledge of music theory, enabling him interesting ways to manipulate the guitar.

take a listen now, download...

motion sickness© (6.30mb) 1998 scott hamilton / andrew engstrom credits:

  composed and arranged: scott hamilton and andrew engstrom
  guitar and bass: scott hamilton
  drums and synthesizers: andrew engstrom
  sound recording and engineering: george bryson

scott is currently at the berklee school of music in boston, massachusetts where he is studying film scoring - lucky man! i'll put money on the idea that scott is going to have a big career in the music business! his mastery of the guitar and friendly personality guarantee it - just wait until he gets a handle on film scoring. imagine scott's guitar playing being arranged for full orchestra? wow! it'll be interesting to hear what he developes in the years to come!

if you know scott, you know he can be a hard guy to pin down. luckily, i was able to have him in the studio over the christmas holidays and spent time running new volitar music with him. the time we spent was mostly was comprised of me playing new pieces on piano while scott became comfortable with short musical passages of select pieces on guitar. later this year we plan to record guitar parts for the next volitar cd, "the war in ganthros". until then, i've put together some samples of scott's playing. see the links (below).

volitar: murder mystery mayhem is packed full of some exceptional guitar work. for instance: the "fire of section 17" mmm's track 12 was designed to create contrasts to represent the mixed-up emotions of trevor braiden - volitar mining's president. use this link to download a sample of scott's guitar work (899 kb). listen how he compliments the extremes and gives added emotion to the music.

in fact, most of the music in murder mystery mayhem was composed to have contrasting sections, i.e.... one part of a song might be light and gentle where the next section of the song might be angry and coarse. this is my own style of music composition and resembles movie soundtrack music more than radio tunes that you are accustomed to hearing from your favorite artists. writing in this style allows me the freedom of creating suspense, fear or even comical emotions in the music. i think scott's playing matched volitar perfectly. we are both fans of progressive-rock bands like... "rush", "yes" and of course "frank zappa"! scott is a huge fan of frank's music which, i believe, gave him a natural ability to pickup my music and play it as though he had been born knowing it.

for instance, the a section of "mourning" mmm's track 14 is in a musical mode called phrygian. phrygian is a very abstract mode which is seldom used in popular music - if ever - and it conjures-up feelings of "unrest". many guitarist would have a problem soloing over this type of mode but, scott makes it sound effortless. click here to listen to scott's mourning solo (1.27 mb).

i'll continue with the scott hamilton story at a later date but, until then, i hope you enjoy all of the talents of the fine artists that helped create volitar: murder mystery mayhem.

visit scott's website at: http://www.scotthamilton.com. you are guaranteed to see a funny picture of scott at his site, make sure to visit.

written by: andrew engstrom

p.s. "take to the wind" by justin brooks is another cd scott has recently, while in boston, performed on. for more information on scott's work with justin, head on over to:



volitar: murder mystery mayhem cd review

by joel reynolds


(ak artist) volitar - "murder, mystery, mayhem"
"a massive undertaking, impressively accomplished. kudos to all involved"

art opens you up to new vistas of what is creatively possible - be it in terms of emotion experiences, materials for manipulation, or modes of production. we all 'understand' that the computer has radically changed music creation and production. but then you encounter something, like volitar, that makes you really begin to understand.

juneau's andrew engstrom, with assistance from becky jo engstrom, has created a whole sci-fi fantasy world, the planet volitar, with all the history, mystery, intrigue, and big-letter emotions (love, greed, fear,...), you'd expect from a serial publication or movie (one naturally thinks of star trek or star wars), and turned 'em into 0's and 1's on a cd. the "concept album" is not a new idea, but i've never heard a movie on cd before. they haven't just inserted dialogue between songs, making speech secondary to music, or vice versa. rather, it's all here, made into a coherent whole. music blurs into sound effects and scene settings, which create visual backdrops (in your head) for dialogues and actions (in your head), leading to character and plot development both via speech and songs.

a massive undertaking, impressively accomplished. kudos to all involved, and to the arts councils which supported its creation. it will be interesting to see what this evolves into. and what other creations it spawns through example.

reviewed by joel reynolds. joel writes music cd reviews for ak this month.

to visit ak this month and read this and
other cd reviews, please follow the link:


buy the cd!

get your copy of our rock'n sci-fi musical production volitar: murder mystery mayhem $12 ----> click here.

...an innovative blend of audio book, comic book, concept album and movie for the ears! jedd beaudoin - ghostland.com

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