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Wednesday
Jun182014

5 Years!!! Happy Birthday to "A Dream Between Two Fires"

It's hard to believe that it's almost been 5 years since I released "A Dream Between Two Fires." On the one hand it doesn't seem like it's been very long since June 30, 2009, but on the other hand it seems like a full lifetime or two have passed since this record was recorded and released. My life has changed so much since 2009, this album was the end of an era for me. At the time I knew that things were changing...which is why the album starts with a track titled "To Start With A Goodbye." 

A Dream Between Two Fires was the first album that I ever recorded and mixed by myself, while at the same time writing all the songs and playing all of the instruments, it was definitely a learning process. The gear that I owned at the time wasn't the best (I used only one microphone, a SM57, a Crate practice amp, a BOSS GT-6, Fruity Loops and Nuendo 2.) I've definitely upgraded my equipment situation significantly since, but I made what I had at the time work...and I think that I made it work well. For what I had to work with and for the experience I had, I still believe that this album came out very well.

For me A Dream Between Two Fires was a deeply personal story about cycles within my own life; death (change) & regrets leading to optimism & rebirth. Benoit Guerville did a wonderful job taking my ideas for the album artwork and making it a reality, the main theme of which is a depiction of my face reflecting in an eye surrounded by flames...like I'm staring down the eye of fate, tempting it to either take me someplace new, transcendence, or burn me down to nothingness, death.

There is most definitely some bitterness in the emotional context of this album, probably a large part was directed towards the record industry...I think I was feeling a lot of that back in 2009, by then Ra had pretty much fizzled out in a (mis)perception of failure. After watching the structure and content of my life crumble, I completely walked away from my previous life, left everything behind and moved to Maine. But mixed in with that bitterness is also an air of transcendence and optimism that seems to only come once you've embraced "The Darkest Corner" of your life. I knew things were about to take a turn for the better, after all, it's pretty exciting to leave everything behind and start fresh...and to keep chasing that dream between the fires, tempting fate to burn you...as is the way of the artist in this corporate world.

Originally the album ended with the same footsteps that kicks it off, coming in out of the thunderstorm...a hint at the cycles of life, and their "Eternal Recurrence," starting where you begin and ending where you start...but unfortunately that was clipped off in the mastering stage. (That is the one biggest regret that I have with this album, I wish I had gone back and had that ending fixed...but at the time, being penniless and calling in favors to get the album mastered, I took what I could get...and with gratitude.)

All this in an instrumental album...feel free to take what ever you want out of it, that is just where I was creating from at that moment in my life. 

Thank you.
-Ben Carroll - June 18, 2014

 

To celebrate this milestone of 5 years, this album is available as a download for $3 or as a CD for $7! (If you are close enough to pick up the album directly from me and avoid the shipping cost, I'll hand it off to you for $5.)

 

To order click here!


 

 "This album is a lifelong dream fulfilled. I grew up listening to guys like Vai & Satriani & I always told myself that one day I would make an instrumental record that I could be proud of...a record that not only shows off my chops & technicality, but also exhibits my strength as a songwriter & arranger. This record motivated me to keep innovating my guitar playing & overall musical style, as well as motivating me to teach myself engineering, mixing, editing, programming & all other aspects of studio work. Recorded from 2005-2009 "A Dream Between Two Fires" finally saw the light of day on June 30, 2009!" - Ben Carroll 2009

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