Guitares Cinématiques was created in 2007 with the idea of combining classical guitar, voice, and sound effects to create visual music that evokes imagery suggestive of cinema.
The collection of songs on the Penguins on Mars was conceived as music to portray different "scenes" from a film. Thus, each piece of music is unique in style. This imaginary film concerns the surprising link between Solar proton storms and the geographic distribution of the disease Multiple Sclerosis ("MS") on Earth. (see section below "ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND INFO ON THE MUSIC") As well, there's a big emphasis on Mars and it's history.
Albums: Penguins on Mars (released Feb 2009) - CD & MP3
Single: Heavenly Forces Are (Not Necessarily) So Divine - MP3 only
SONGS ON THE CD
The music on the Penguins On Mars CD has various styles. Each song is meant to represent a different scene of a film.
Genre Song Title (instrumentation)
Classical: Rain (solo classical guitar)
Jazz: Hi L'eau (classical guitar, flugelhorn, female vocals)
World: Natsukashii (classical guitar, voiceover in Japanese, female vocals)
Kontiki (classical guitar, guitar synth, cello, female vocals, synth, ocean)
Space: ALH84001 (classical guiar, guitar synth, female vocals)
Pas Encore Mars (classical guitar, guitar synth, cello)
Alt Rock: CME (classical guitar, guitar synthesizer, voiceover)
So Easy (classical guitar, guitar synthesizer, trumpet, trains)
My Semi-Annual Dream (classical guitar, guitar synth, voiceover)
Children's Story: Penguins on Mars (classical guitar, voiceovers, water sfx)
Ralph Towner, Egberto Gismonti, Weather Report, Oregon, Chet Baker, Yoko Kanno (The Seatbelts), Frederic Chopin, Baden Powell, Pink Floyd
Solar CMEs, Dynamos & Oceans of Mars, Space Weather ((See the "Links" section in website))
Guitares Cinématiques BAND
Nicolas (classical guitar, guitar synth, cello, voiceovers, sfx)
GUEST ARTISTS (on Penguins on Mars CD):
Shanna Gilfix(vocals), Steve Stanley(flugelhorn), Xavier Horcholle(synth)
ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND INFO ON THE MUSIC
What's the connection of the music to...Multiple Sclerosis and Solar storms?
Several friends have suffered from the disease multiple sclerosis, also know as "MS". MS is typically thought of as an "autoimmune" disease in medical literature. But from a physics point-of-view, it is fundamentally electrical in nature.
Solar proton induced electromagnetic storms on the Earth roughly follow the 11 year solar sun spot cycle. There is statistical data showing a geographical connection between the occurrence of MS and geographic latitude. That is, MS is roughly 6 times more prevalent in people who grew up at latitudes between 40 and 70 degrees magnetic north or magnetic south. If you compare the maps showing the occurrence of SEP (solar energetic particle) events to those of the maps showing the statistical maximum of multiple sclerosis they are very similar. The scientific literature contains several research papers regarding this surprising coincidence. (*** see below for scientific references)
Guitares Cinematiques' album Penguins On Mars is music for an imaginary film based upon this correlation . The title comes from the fact that meteorites from Mars have been found in Antarctica. Thus, if a penguin were to step on such a rock it might be said to be "a penguin on Mars" for that brief instant.
SCIENTIFIC PAPERS CONCERNING THE OCCURRENCE OF MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS WITH GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION
(1) The possible effects of solar and magnetic effects on multiple sclerosis published in the April 2016 issue of the journal Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery. Authored by Panagiotis Papathanasopoulos , Panagiota Preka-Papadema, Anastasios Gkotsinas, Nikolaos Dimisianos, Alexandros Hillaris, Christos Katsavrias b, Gregorios Antonakopoulos, Xenophon Moussas, Elisabeth Andreadoud, Vasileios Georgioua, Pinelopi Papachristoua, Odysseas Kargiotis.
(2) Geomagnetic disturbances may be environmental risk factor for multiple sclerosis: an ecological study of 111 locations in 24 countries by Seyed Aidin Sajedi and Fahimeh Abdollahi, published in the journal BMC Neurology in 2012.
(3) Correlation of the Geographic Distribution of Multiple Sclerosis With Cosmic-Ray Intensities by JS Barlow (Harvard Medical School), published in the November 1960 issue of the journal Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica
(4) Geographische Verteilung der Multiplen Sklerose und Vergleich mit geophysikalischen Grössen by Johannes Resch, published in May 1995 issue of the International Journal of Public Health
(5) Correlations of the earth's magnetic field intensity with global prevalence of multiple sclerosis published in 2013 by researchers in Canada and the USA.
IMPORTANT COMMENTS ABOUT MS:
(a) Although epilepsy may be thought of as an "electrical" disease, unlike MS, there is no statistical connection linking epilepsy to geographical latitude. Thus, there is no relationship between epilepsy and solar storms.
(b) The connection between MS and solar storms is thusfar only statistical. As yet no one has proved that the statistical link is manifested via some physical mechanism. Thus, there is yet no clear evidence to prove that the geographical concentration of MS in certain latitudes is exactly caused by solar storms impinging upon the earth in the same geographical locations. Nevertheless, the correlation is striking: MS has a global, geographic pattern of prevalence that shows high rates of the disease between 40 and 60 degrees magnetic north.
BACKGROUND ON THE KASHA DESIGN GUITAR (also see luthier Jay Hargreaves in our Links section)
Nicolas plays a custom classical guitar designed by Dr. Michael Kasha and built by the Jay Hargreaves, George Majkowski and the late Richard Schneider. Kasha-design instruments are always distinguished by the appearance of an assymetrical bridge having a profile with a wider bass and a narrower treble construction. This guitar features RMC piezoelectric pickups, redwood top and back, an extended fingerboard with a two octave range, and an assymetric bridge & internal bracing. Nicolas plays this guitar acoustically as a standard classical guitar and electronically as a guitar synthesizer using the piezo pickups hex output to an AXON AX 100 guitar-to-MIDI converter.
MY FAVORITE LISTENING SUGGESTIONS OF OTHER ARTISTS
Mikailo Kasha - jazz bassist; Missy Raines - interesting singer and bassist; Wonderful contagious energy of collaboration between virtuosos Brazilians Yamandú Costa (classical guitar) and Hamilton de Holanda (mandolin) !!! ; Joey Alexander and Beka (two astonishingly gifted young jazz pianists!!!); Carnaval Palace band from France (catchy fun stuff); Cacho Tirao (soulful Argentine singer & guitarist; Chris Thile (great mandolinist and gives wonderful interpretations of everything he touches including Bach!); Rokia Traore (unique guitarist/singer from Mali); aesthestic tasteful phrasing of the late great trumpetist Chet Baker, guitarist Pat Metheny and pianist Martha Argerich.
Guitares Cinematiques videos
"Canoeing on Glass" videos
"Bach from a Pine Cone" videos
Thanks for listening!