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2022 release. Mike Block: "During the pandemic, I no longer had a band to perform with, so I had to develop solo cello/voice arrangements of all my new original songs that were recently released on my album, The Edge of the Atmosphere, featuring a full rock band. It was an awkward feeling to listen to my own album over-and-over in order to learn my own songs, but thankfully I had plenty of time during the social distancing peak of the pandemic. At first, I had the intention of meticulously recreating the full band arrangements by combining multiple lines into a composite cello groove, even trying to hint at the remaining parts I couldn't actively play. On a technical level, it was actually one of the most difficult arrangement/coordination challenges I have ever undertaken. Over time, though, these solo arrangements took on a life of their own, and I let them transform around the strengths of the cello, and I found opportunities to embrace the intimacy possible in stripped-down solo versions. Seven out the ten songs on this album are the result of this "reverse engineering" process of solo cello versions, while the other three tracks are the debut recordings of other original songs: Going Home, The Chicken, as well as When the Birds Sing Along in the Morning, which features lyrics pulled from the memoir of the legendary cellist, Pablo Casals. The title of the album comes from a phrase that Casals (born 1876) remembered his father telling him as a young boy: "when you grow up, there will be machines that fly". I found this imaginative description of airplanes very evocative, especially since there wasn't even a word for "airplane' invented, yet, at that time. I feel the process of good songwriting is a bit like Casal's father trying to describe "machines that fly" before airplanes were invented. I'm not always sure what it will end up like when I'm writing, but I know that once it's done right, I'll be able to fly. After a year and a half of not touring/travelling much at all, I really appreciated how these little song machines helped me fly me to other emotional times and places."
2022 release. Mike Block: "During the pandemic, I no longer had a band to perform with, so I had to develop solo cello/voice arrangements of all my new original songs that were recently released on my album, The Edge of the Atmosphere, featuring a full rock band. It was an awkward feeling to listen to my own album over-and-over in order to learn my own songs, but thankfully I had plenty of time during the social distancing peak of the pandemic. At first, I had the intention of meticulously recreating the full band arrangements by combining multiple lines into a composite cello groove, even trying to hint at the remaining parts I couldn't actively play. On a technical level, it was actually one of the most difficult arrangement/coordination challenges I have ever undertaken. Over time, though, these solo arrangements took on a life of their own, and I let them transform around the strengths of the cello, and I found opportunities to embrace the intimacy possible in stripped-down solo versions. Seven out the ten songs on this album are the result of this "reverse engineering" process of solo cello versions, while the other three tracks are the debut recordings of other original songs: Going Home, The Chicken, as well as When the Birds Sing Along in the Morning, which features lyrics pulled from the memoir of the legendary cellist, Pablo Casals. The title of the album comes from a phrase that Casals (born 1876) remembered his father telling him as a young boy: "when you grow up, there will be machines that fly". I found this imaginative description of airplanes very evocative, especially since there wasn't even a word for "airplane' invented, yet, at that time. I feel the process of good songwriting is a bit like Casal's father trying to describe "machines that fly" before airplanes were invented. I'm not always sure what it will end up like when I'm writing, but I know that once it's done right, I'll be able to fly. After a year and a half of not touring/travelling much at all, I really appreciated how these little song machines helped me fly me to other emotional times and places."
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2022 release. Mike Block: "During the pandemic, I no longer had a band to perform with, so I had to develop solo cello/voice arrangements of all my new original songs that were recently released on my album, The Edge of the Atmosphere, featuring a full rock band. It was an awkward feeling to listen to my own album over-and-over in order to learn my own songs, but thankfully I had plenty of time during the social distancing peak of the pandemic. At first, I had the intention of meticulously recreating the full band arrangements by combining multiple lines into a composite cello groove, even trying to hint at the remaining parts I couldn't actively play. On a technical level, it was actually one of the most difficult arrangement/coordination challenges I have ever undertaken. Over time, though, these solo arrangements took on a life of their own, and I let them transform around the strengths of the cello, and I found opportunities to embrace the intimacy possible in stripped-down solo versions. Seven out the ten songs on this album are the result of this "reverse engineering" process of solo cello versions, while the other three tracks are the debut recordings of other original songs: Going Home, The Chicken, as well as When the Birds Sing Along in the Morning, which features lyrics pulled from the memoir of the legendary cellist, Pablo Casals. The title of the album comes from a phrase that Casals (born 1876) remembered his father telling him as a young boy: "when you grow up, there will be machines that fly". I found this imaginative description of airplanes very evocative, especially since there wasn't even a word for "airplane' invented, yet, at that time. I feel the process of good songwriting is a bit like Casal's father trying to describe "machines that fly" before airplanes were invented. I'm not always sure what it will end up like when I'm writing, but I know that once it's done right, I'll be able to fly. After a year and a half of not touring/travelling much at all, I really appreciated how these little song machines helped me fly me to other emotional times and places."
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