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  • Writer's picturedjSwade

Ascending Acoustic

"Descending Electric" was one of the songs on my Audiostrata album. In my blog post about the song's composition, I explored the idea of descending notes in music, as well as a number of other concepts and ideas related to the word descending.

After I released Audiostrata, I thought it would be cool to write a companion/counterpoint to "Descending Electric." I've always liked the "bookend" approach to songs. The Beatles' "I'm Only Sleeping"/"I'm Tired" combo has always been one of my favorite "bookends." I also love "Bookends" by Simon & Garfunkel, though that's a little different. The result of my efforts to bookend "Descending Electric" ended up, appropriately enough, as "Ascending Acoustic," my new single.

The word ascending is uplifting and joyful to me. I experience a rush of euphoria just hearing the word. Acoustic has a very clean and simple feel to it. The two words go well together and create a very positive vibe. "Ascending Acoustic's composition incorporates several little guitar pieces that ascend, couplets and triplets, each a bit different but sharing some notes. In the spirit of audiostrata, I used these pieces as my raw material, building layers that interact with each other, in conversation, like people at a party who come together, talk, laugh and become the life of the party. I had a wonderful time creating this song and putting it together. The freshness of the acoustic guitar made me feel light and positive. The song feels liberating and happy to me.

When I was writing the song, as I do with all my songs, I started thinking about what the phrase ascending acoustic meant and how it connects to our culture. As with descending electric, my mind connected the phrase to pop culture, literature, music, art and mythology. Here are a few that came to mind:

  • The movie Jupiter Ascending starring Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum.

  • A book called Lucifer Ascending written about the occult in folklore and pop culture.

  • The story of Phrixos, son of Amathus, king of Orchomenos in southeast Greece. It's a convoluted story, but in the end Phrixos ascends into the stars to become the constellation Aries. That's pretty cool!

  • The classical piece titled "The Lark Ascending" by Vaughn Williams.

  • The famous lithograph by Escher named "Ascending and Descending." That completed the circle for me and pulled it all together.

After pondering these connections, I daydreamed a bit, envisioning guitars in an endless stream; guitars with beautiful wood finishes; guitars with ornate carved sound holes; people playing guitars and stomping their foot to the beat; guitars bathed in unearthly light; guitars with smoke and fog rolling over them; and guitars sitting patiently, awaiting the moment they'll be called to perform in all their sonic glory. Many of these striking images ended up in my video accompanying the song's release. They are beautiful, one and all.

This song was a joy for me to craft and I feel that joy again every time I listen to it. I hope you experience some of that joy when you hear it.


You can hear "Ascending Acoustic" on Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Music, YouTube Music and other online stores. You can also check out my artist pages on Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Music and YouTube Music, where you can listen to my first album Audiostrata and my last two singles "Lemon Cello" and "Sky's the Limit."

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