When does music transform from just being artistic to art? Well, one can say after listening to a track or album where the music, artist’s vocals, and/or instrumental direction is creative or inventive, and that makes the piece artistic. But for music to be considered ART, its creativity or inventiveness must be from a place so deep from inside of the artist’s core that it is as if the artist’s fingerprint is placed on the entire project – it becomes personal and unique. It should be as if you are spying through a looking glass. You can hear how the work is not only trendy or impressive, but it is special – then, it is art.
So, I’d like to introduce my readers and music aficionados to Forest Robots’ music. His music is art containing 75% character and 25% music.
Forest Robots (known as Fran Dominquez) is a music composer who resides in Los Angeles who has gifted the Indie Music community with his art. His music is passionate and visual, and it allows for you to journey through his mind and moments while deeply pondering your very own life.
His recent release is titled “SuperMoon Moonlight Part One” and is a two-part musical series that he composed to teach his beautiful daughter about the world around her – its natural beginnings, its vitality, and to gain an appreciation of our marvelous planet’s surroundings.
Ten tracks are included on “SuperMoon Moonlight Part One”:
- A Path Among the Woods
- Times When I Know You Will Watch the Sky
- Shapes Shift in The Distant Shadows
- Last Silvers of Moonlight
- Silhouettes Follow the Echoes
- Then the Spiders Turned into Clouds
- Mandelbrots In Winter
- While Birds Dream of Dawn and Wind
- By the Stillness of The Lake
- Follow the Towers to The Moon
While each track houses an amazing musical narrative, I will focus on the five tracks that held the premise so tightly that the musical narrative’s emotion and drive is felt first hand time you set your ear to this collection.
Since this EP is a “love letter” to his daughter “about the wonders of nature,” it is only fitting that Forest Robots awakens your insight and clear your ears so to speak with the opening track “A Path Among the Woods.” More Synth-Pop in feel, this track kicks off the EP by unveiling the hidden narrative with its title. When you stumble across a path made in the woods, the first thought is “who made this?” Then, you think, “where does it lead?” right? And that is exactly what Forest Robots has done with his opening track’s title – with this title, he wonderfully excites the imagination even before the music begins. But when the music filled with ambiance does begin, it is as if the light gets brighter and brighter. Forest Robots achieves this illuminating effect by layering synths at the right tempo and at the right sections on the track while leaving that muted monstrous 808 crawling at the bottom treading the entire track. The mystery and curiosity!
“Times When I Know You Will Watch the Sky” opens sublimely with a euphoric synth melody that plays like a child’s jewelry box when it opens, and it instrumentally gives off that feeling one gets when they are star gazing and pondering over the many wonders of the sky. It is thought-provoking the way Forest Robots builds the track’s Electronic R&B foundation from a small synth to the booming bass, followed by the rushing bassline like the cosmos. This is musical phenom of wonder and fantasy all wrapped in one.
One chord, and “Last Silvers of Moonlight” will captivate you! If Beethoven was composing today, I think this track would be a part of his symphony – it’s that manic piano dancing electrically with quiet synths so organized and smooth. The same way the woods captivate its visitors, this track will leave you breathless and spellbound. Meandering through the entire piece is that hypnotic piano played by Forest Robots just draws you in. Never shortchanged by the Classical harmonic vocal-effect synths, the piano is wonderfully following its lead. This track has texture, balance, illusion, and spontaneity. Seriously, it is quite impressive!
In the typical way that art translates differently from one viewer to the next, great instrumental music does the same thing when composed correctly, and Forest Robots nailed it on his eighth track “While Birds Dream of Dawn and Wind.” For me, there is only one word that describes Forest Robots’ eighth track, and that is CHILDHOOD. By using the technique of incorporating nostalgic sound FX with soft instrumentation, Forest Robots was able to pen an impressionable piece of music. It’s the distant children speaking in the background effect spliced with the pounding ethos-like distorted synth that progresses, that humble bassline, and the wonder-evoking bells that makes this track just give off an evolving vibe. And what better symbol of evolving than to grow up. Growing up is a part of life that brings pains, joys, mystery, excitement, and exploration, and it echoes that new horizon, journey, and/or path for both the child and the parent. This is what “While Birds Dream of Dawn and Wind” established musically for me. It is like maturation set to music – this imagery so clear.
“Follow the Towers to the Moon” to me is like saying “follow your dreams no matter where they lead – live your life as yourself and be free.” And in that case, what a way to close your letter to your child. And let’s talk about the synthesizers on this clip: when that one beat hits and then pauses allowing for the synths to speak, and then the beat builds into a nostalgic-like rhythmic old school Hip-Hop track, it is as if the journey will continue. The echo-effect laced onto the background rhythm synths is almost conversational. And those hand-claps showcase the artist’s ability to mesh both the classic with the modern. In addition, that bass gives off a Techno-Funk vibe that makes this track one of the most danceable in the collection. Great to end on a high-note. If you love classic Dance instrumentation that was heard in the 1980s combined with modern command to the beat, then you will LOVE “Follow the Towers to the Moon.” Synthesizers revel in this clip!
First off, I’d like to say that I think it is ah-some that a father loves his little girl so much that he composed such a collection of beautiful music. To set out and achieve a musical piece of art like this takes passion, skill, time, understanding of the world, and love. Every beat, timed-sustain, stroke, blend, pull back, climb, and finale all comes from the artist’s core making it ART, and this type of art is priceless.
The five tracks that I touched on in this review jumps out at you when you first listen and quickly sets up the imagery of Forest Robots’ narrative so that the artwork is clearly seen. These tracks allow for the narrative to be seen and understood without needing any vocals.
Please also take a listen to the remaining six tracks so you get the full picture and artist’s scope.
It is no mystery that Forest Robots is a genius when it comes to enveloping his listeners into the music and pulling them waist-deep into his music and passion, so we can see the world around us and gain a real appreciation. When listening to “SuperMoon Moonlight Part One” it is as if you can vicariously explore nature and appreciate the difference and allure.
To be frank, if one were to say that “SuperMoon Moonlight Part One” is just another instrumental album, well, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” must be just another film. Neither is “just another” anything, they are ART. In comparison to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, both are revolutionary and sublime at the same time. “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” introduced the masses to an entirely different take on cinematography and I feel like Forest Robots is going to achieve that same feat within the Instrumental Music realm – he is changing a concept and direction, and this is spearheaded with “SuperMoon Moonlight Part One.”
To push the envelope is one thing, but to make sure that envelope goes off the table and make a change is quite another – it is daring and so appreciated.
To learn more about Forest Robots, go to https://www.forestrobots.com.