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PREMIERE: Adam Fligsten Releases “Diagenesis”

Keeping up with our premiere series we got the awesome Adam Fligsten who has return with the release of his new single “Diagenesis,” an odd cinematic song that toys with the haunting in a very spacey way that makes great use of the great film and game composing skills he has been developing for years.

About the song, Fligsten comments:

“One of the first songs that I wrote for Bloodier, Diagenesis was sort of an exploration of vibey guitars. I always want to push the texture of a song to just about the point that it gets close to falling apart or unraveling. This song gets pretty close to that feeling.” 

Adam Fligsten has been making electronic music for nearly 20 years. Originally coming from a world of sample based, electronic music, Adam made a transition to film and video game scoring in about 2009. Since then, he has been primarily focused on scoring video games. In 2018 he scored all of Outreach, in which he used entirely synthesizers from the Soviet Union, and part of Marvel v. Capcom: Infinite. He is currently working on other, unannounced scoring projects.

Adam’s music exists in the delicate place between synthesizers, resampled sounds, and live instruments. He focuses on finding a unique tone for every project.

In addition, we get to sit down with Adam to talk about the new single and what else is in stores!

Hi Adam, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hey, thanks! I’ve been pretty good. I’ve been working a lot and excited to finally release my new album.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Diagenesis”?

The song started with that main guitar melody. Then I decided to accompany it in some unexpected ways. I was trying to push that vibe as far as I could take it. I used a lot of varied instrumentation in it, from a GuitarViol to a Soviet Synth (Polyvoks) that makes up the foundation, to a little live percussion, which was me hitting a desk with a pencil.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

A specific event didn’t inspire the song, that I can remember. It’s a reflection of a lot of emotions that I felt at the time. Sort of balancing the pain of living with the positivity of growing and changing.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

I make simple, atmospheric animations sometimes for my songs, so I might do one of those, but I’m still figuring it out at the moment. I would love to work with a visual artist on a video for this song or one of the other ones on the album.

The single comes off your new album Bloodier – what’s the story behind the title?

Much of the album musically and the title are drawn from me thinking about society. Shit is getting dark. There is hope, we’re not done for, but we are bloodied up at the moment.

How was the recording and writing process?

This album was one of the most extensive recording processes that I’ve ever been a part of because I wrote all of the songs and played all of the instruments (except guitar on the song “Bloodier”).  I think musicians are often the most constrained by time. So I tried to permit myself to spend as much time getting it right as possible. I haven’t decided if this is the best method yet but working over every detail on the album allowed me to really find what I wanted to say.

How does your background as a film and game composer influences this other facet of yours or you see these two projects as one?

That part of my background influences this album in a lot of subtle ways, and while they’re impossible to separate, this album gave me the freedom to explore the best parts of film and game music that are often not written into my projects in those industries.  I’m obsessed with the exploration of tone over other elements. I love melody and harmony, but nailing a “vibe” or tone is the thing that keeps me up at night.

How Boards of Canada and James Blake has influence your writing?

No, I think they are great artists, but not particular influences on me. I’m influenced by a lot of sources from all over the place. I love Jose Gonzalez’ simple repeating harmonic motifs. I love how Nick Cage can get to a really deep, dark, but honest place with his music. Arvo Part is the greatest living composer, who can conjure up these shocking emotions through unexpected methods.

How much deep into your electronic background did you intend to go with this record?

That’s funny, originally this was supposed to be my “acoustic” album. I tried to do it with all live guitar, live piano, drums. But slowly I began to introduce more electronic elements until by the end it was a complete wash of synths and other electronic sound manipulations.

It’s probably my background, coming from a more electronic world, that I kept finding myself adding more analog synths and more resampling audio manipulations.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Daily existence. That balance between feeling the pressures of our society, as well as hope and positivity is something I try to capture. It can’t be saccharine sweet, but also I rarely get completely hopelessly dark.

Any plans to hit the road?

No, I have considered playing some shows locally here in LA. But as a solo artist, I still don’t know what that will look like. Many years ago, I used to perform as a “laptop” musician, but I never felt great about what that looks/feels like to the audience.

It’s really hard to be personal, and connect with the audience while using mostly electronic or modern sources of audio.

What else is happening next in Adam Fligsten’s world?

I’m currently working on some unannounced scoring projects. I’ve got a lot of unreleased music that I’m deciding what to do with. I recently moved to a new place in LA with my wife and we are settling into that at the moment.

I’m really excited about video game audio. I feel like we are just on the edge of a musical revolution in game audio, with VR and some of the new middleware techniques that are just about to hit. It’s inspiring!

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About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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