Jesse Allen found his passion towards synthesizers and music in his teenage years. Ever since that, he always explore what is possible with sound and thus, produced such amazing creations. For instance, Cassini: A Musical Tribute.
LI found a love for synthesizers and music in my teenage years, inspired by many of the pioneers of Electronic music of the 1970s & ‘80s. I basically ran with this passion for audio technology as the music industry transitioned from analog to digital technology; I was an early adopter of new methodologies.
In the ’90s I made a name for myself as alias “Kid Sonic” with a few dance music singles that made local charts. In 1996 I was part of a surprise #1 Billboard dance remix album for Joi Cardwell. That opened the doors for me to enter the professional audio industry.
From there I explored film & television post-production, then jumped into video game sound design and music for 13 years, and then jumped to media design for museums and theme parks.
Curiosity: I just loved exploring what was possible with sound even before I focused on making music. That is also why I made a career out of sound design.
Currently, I am independent, taking a bit of a professional hiatus to help my father in his elder years but still exploring music, sound design, and other media as I do so.
The other side to this project was its authenticity. It was an album based on a historical event. I spent months researching the milestones of the Cassini-Huygens mission to build a compelling story to drive the music and its companion webpage that explains the musical connection to the actual mission (cassinitribute.com). So there were research, writing, and webpage design skills needed as well.
When I truly feel what a performer or artist is trying to convey, that nearly spiritual reflection of human emotion, that is a success, that is a sign of an extraordinary artist.
I am someone strongly influenced by visuals. Thanks to a bit of synesthesia, I often started with (on this last album) just looking at the images from the Cassini-Huygens space mission and building a palette of sounds for each of the visual aspects.
Musically I often start building things off a drone sound or note, sometimes this note is chosen scientifically as many of the moons and planets have an actual pitch or frequency they vibrate at. That is kind of a fun and geeky way to go about it.
Other times, like in the case of “Enceladus,” from Cassini: A Musical Tribute, it starts by creating a mood with specific sound effects and a melody. For “Enceladus,” this was cracking ice and this building of anticipation before the geyser is heard launching water into the heavens that become a choir. This track was largely inspired by the Cassini imaging team’s description of the moon in various scientific talks about the mission.
From a musical standpoint Cassini: A Musical Tribute is the work I am most proud of, especially considering the challenges I faced at the time of its creation.
Performances that I found disappointing, normally are just not well thought out, poorly rehearsed, or produced. Some artists either get in too much of a rush to get the next thing out or don’t refine their ideas enough. The silver lining in that is they can learn from that performance and sculpt their dream into a better reality.
Well, it’s inspirational. Though I have had success with music in my life I had not previously won an award of this caliber much less two in one season. On top of that to be recognized on a solo project, that is totally not mainstream, at this point in my life, is a blessing. It’s proof to anyone that there is never a better time to pursue those artistic dreams you have no matter where you are in life.
Of course, the credibility is raised for any artist for future endeavors. Especially when people see the caliber of artists who have won in the same season.
Many: The pandemic and the collateral damage from it on the creative industry. The challenges of my father's failing health. So juggling a work-life balance with a full family on top of all that was a lot. However, despite these challenges, as an artist, it gives you a chance to connect to a more spiritual place and channel that energy and those emotions. Kind of like shouting into a vast canyon and awaiting the echo. That echo came back to me as some of the most beautiful music I have ever written and honestly, some of it, I do not understand how it came out of me so profoundly. That makes both this album and the awards it has won even more special.
The PLATINUM and GOLD winning song for The LIT Talent Awards, ‘THIS ONE’S FOR YOU”, was the first single recorded from the album. Written and composed by Denise Dimin from Los Angeles, we teamed up with producer Bob McGilpin from Nashville with me as the coproducer.
There is a 15-hour difference between L.A. and Malaysia. With Nashville, it was a 13-hour difference. The only challenge I faced was finding time to sleep!!! But then again, that didn’t deter me from my course as I spearheaded the direction of the album.
Something that a fellow composer named Rob Warren, once told me: You don’t need to replicate a popular artist to find success. The world already has that person. What they don’t have is your sound, focus on that, focus on telling your story.
This list would be quite long as it starts with my Grandfather and Father all the way down to the many mentors and industry peers I have met on a creative journey that nearly spans half a century.
I really admire the pioneers of electronic music, people like Jean-Michel Jarre, Wendy Carlos, Vangelis, Michael Stearns, and Rick Wakeman. They expanded the possibilities of music and pushed the limits of sound. I listened to their music and it took me to a different, and wondrous place in my childhood imagination. That never left me.
French composer Jean-Michel Jarre.
Penka Kouneva, Maged Khalil Ragab, Michelle Jones
Never underestimate the willpower of a space geek with a synthesizer.
I am currently composing the spiritual successor to Cassini: A Musical Tribute and like it, this new album will bring together space history, science, and sound to hopefully inspire the next generation of space explorers.
The other thing I feel strongly about and is even embedded in my last album is cultural inclusion. Music is a common language across the whole human race. It is kind of sad that it’s often over categorized by genera, language, and region. Mixing these categories can produce such unique results and bring us together more as one people.
I would like to thank the International Awards Associates for the opportunity for any artist, anywhere in the world to have a chance to show off their best work for consideration without the common restrictions that keep independents separated from well-marketed superstars. It’s inspiring that anyone has a fair chance to succeed.
Jesse Allen found his passion towards synthesizers and music in his teenage years. Ever since that, he always explore what is possible with sound and thus, produced such amazing creations. For instance, Cassini: A Musical Tribute