The Sounds Of Nightmares 2

The Sounds Of Nightmares 2: Music Composed For Campfire Radio Theater

I am pleased to announce that volume 2 of The Sounds Of Nightmares has been released today! It took awhile to assemble everything, but in the end I compiled 38 tracks together. Tracks featured in this collection are from “Woods Ferry,” “Rites of Autumn,” “Abduction At Willow Woods,” and “Ravenous.”

My connection with Campfire Radio Theater began a few short years ago and has been one of the most enjoyable and fulfilling experiences in my musical career. While I have had good fortune to play many styles of music with a lot of different musicians over the decades, finding my home at CRT has been extremely rewarding. My love for audio drama began as early as my interest in music, so finding myself involved in being a part of creating that very type of art form is like coming home.

John Scott Ballentine, the creator of Campfire Radio Theater, was also kind enough to trust me with his audio drama “baby” and let me take on production duties for the most recent episode titled “Ravenous.” This, combined with my usual musical composition duties, was a wonderful experience (albeit a LOT of work).

It was a pleasure creating and assembling this collection of music just as much as I enjoy working on Campfire Radio Theater. I do hope you will take a moment to listen and to share it with anyone you know that may also enjoy it.

Cheers!
Kevin

18

The Origin and History of Overlook Hotel Records

The Origin and History of Overlook Hotel Records

Back in 1999, I released a collection of recordings from my archives called “Room 237 (R237-001)” which became the very first release on Overlook Hotel Records.  It is a small collection of early electronic compositions with one track featuring Todd Gerber (Dinah Shore Jr./Umlaut). Hardly any copies exist (they were made to give out to friends), but you may still be able to locate one at the main library branch in Cincinnati. I also recorded a collection of songs called La Notte – “La Notte De Cavelieri” (R237-002) with my friend Paul Ash (Unto Ashes, Night Gallery). For this release, we burned all of the CDs, printed the artwork, and also did our own cassette duplication.  Despite being a complete DIY project recorded with two microphones in a small room, the recording did well and feedback was very positive. There are probably still quite a few old copies of La Notte floating around the planet. These recordings  mark the beginning of Overlook Hotel Records.

Room 237 - s/t La Notte - "La Notte Dei Cavalieri"

Room 237 – “Rain & Shadows” (with Todd Gerber)

Shortly after these were released, I began working on the dark ambient Umbra project (R237-004). It was released on Overlook Hotel Records as well as mp3.com before they were purchased by Vivendi Universal. I recently reissued it on bandcamp along with the “Umbra: The Dusk Single” (R237-003) which features various percussion backing electronic music. Music from the Umbra release was licensed to use in a film called “Jigsaw” in 2002 and has turned up in some strange places all over the internet and elsewhere.

Kevin Hartnell - "Umbra&quot Kevin Hartnell - "Umbra - The Dusk Single"

Over the next seven years, I spent time playing a lot of gigs, working on the road, working/recording with various bands, and writing my own music sporadically. It wasn’t until 2006 that I released anything of my own. Back in 1995 I had begun playing and studying various percussion instruments, so the next release came in the form of an experiment in home-recording of the aforementioned drums. The Black Drum – “Rakshasa” (R237-005) was released on August 11, 2006. While the results of the recording were not very good, many mistakes were made which proved to be quite educational. I learned that I should focus on what I do best and what I love to do the most – and this project was about as far from that as I could get. Tracks were used for live performances by dance troupes, instructional videos, a documentary, and YouTube videos. After a couple of pressings, the project was pulled out of circulation and remains out of print.
The Black Drum - "Rakshasa&quot
During this time and over the course of the next 4-5 years, I continued working on the road while performing and recording with other bands. I needed a major change. This inadvertently came about in 2008 when I became seriously ill…at the same time that my wife was pregnant…on her birthday (drummers – it’s all in the timing, right?).  These life-changing events worked as a catalyst to kick me into overdrive in regards to working on my own music. This also included studying production, music composition, audio engineering, and working on music with like-minded musicians. From 2010-2013, a huge amount of material was written and recorded. The first project out of the gate was Cambium – “Let’s Send A Signal” (R237-006). With a blend of rock, post-punk, dark-wave, and indie rock influences, Cambium’s “Let Send A Signal” is a very diverse collection of songs.
Cambium - "Let's Send A Signal&quot

Cambium was released on April 22, 2013 through Bandcamp and marked the beginning of a new era for Overlook Hotel Records now no longer limited to solo works. Around this time, I also organized and produced an independent collection of original songs created as a tribute to Gary Numan called “The Replicon Project.” Some of the artists involved with Cambium also appeared on the tribute.

The next release from Overlook Hotel Records came in the form of an EP of music by Toxic Web, a mix of electronic rock, darkwave, and dark ambient influences.

Toxic Web - "I&quot

The Toxic Web – “I” EP (R237-007) was released on Bandcamp on October 4, 2013. Deanna Quijada, who I consider the undocumented love-child of Kate Bush, Yma Sumac, and Nena Hagen, is featured on some stunning vocal work. As much as I love the title track, I feel that her vocal performance on “My Hands Are Blue” is absolutely fiendish and beautiful. Jason Whitcomb is responsible for the majority of the synth wizardry heard on this 4-track EP as well as sharing vocal and songwriting duties.

The latest release from Overlook Hotel Records is the self-titled Trinity & Triage (R237-008). Released on January 1, 2014, it is a female-fronted, progressive-folk meets psychedelic indie rock while visiting the 70s sound unlike anything else you have ever heard.
Trinity & Triage - "Trinity & Triage&quot

Trinity & Triage contains a very interesting assemblage of instruments used to create the unique sound on this collection of recordings. Traditional instrumentation such as acoustic and electric guitars, bass guitar, drum kit, B3, and vocals are combined with Mellotron, clavichord, harmonium, sitar, and a colorful assortment of percussion instruments. “All At Sea” is a good example of many of the aforementioned items.

Upcoming releases on the way…

Rodin Coil is a solo project I have been working on for some time now. Songs are in various stages of development and slowly making progress in between juggling production duties for various other projects.

Rodin Coil - "Rodin Coil"
*placeholder artwork*

Sinistrad is a dark ambient/post-industrial project with Jason Whitcomb currently in the writing process. Expect music that should only be played in the dark.

Sinistrad;
*artwork has not been finalized*

Also in the works is a solo album from Vic Bonat, a new project from Mike Chambers (dreampop / indie rock), and various other releases currently in development at this time.  If you enjoy the music from Overlook Hotel Records, be sure to stop by our Facebook page as well as each band project page and hit the “like” button. I look forward to sharing our music with you.

Sincerely,
Kevin Hartnell
Overlook Hotel Records

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Fall Foliage 2013

Fall Foliage 2013

It’s that time of year in Cincinnati where we generally have a beautiful display of fall foliage. Over the last few days, the colors have been very vivid and the weather quite good. I decided to grab my camera and head out for my annual leaf shoot. I have been shooting fall leaves almost annually for years and really enjoy it.  Ohio is a great place for those who enjoy leaf peeping and photography.

On my short list of places to visit was Ault Park.  Ault Park has a great garden/arboretum worth checking out. The park is loaded with a diverse collection of trees, flowers, and a lot of room to walk around.

I also took a trip to the Cincinnati Zoo. Aside from the animals, you can see an impressive botanical garden (and beautiful leaves). Hop on the train and enjoy the ride while you are there.  Watch out for attack ducks though. They have been known to swallow tourists whole while honking out morse code for “Who Dey!” (never thought I would EVER say…er, type those words) Don’t let that stop you from enjoying the colorful season and great fall weather while it lasts…which could be around another ten minutes or so, give or take a week or two.

On to the photos…

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    Fall Foliage 2013

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    Fall Foliage 2013

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    Fall Foliage 2013

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    Fall Foliage 2013

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    Fall Foliage 2013

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    Fall Foliage 2013

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3 Reasons Why Cincinnati Is Photogenic

Downtown January 13, 2010

Aerial photo taken of Cincinnati taken on Jan. 13, 2010.

3 Reasons Why Cincinnati Is Photogenic

Cincinnati is a very photogenic city. As long as you have a camera and some time on your hands, I am sure you can find something interesting to point your lens at. It doesn’t matter if you are shooting with a Hasselblad, Holga, or your iPhone straight into your Instagram account, you won’t leave disappointed. Here are a few reasons why.

1. Architecture: From excellent French Art Deco like the Carew Tower to beautiful engineering like the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge, you could spend all day walking around downtown filling up memory cards (or rolls of film). If you have a moment, visit the Cincinnati Museum Center and check out the largest semi-dome in the western hemisphere. If you go inside, you should be warned. I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the hip of Orion, c-beams covered with glitter in the park, but I’ve never seen so many screaming children (one of them being my very own) rampaging around like something out of a scene in “World War Z!”

Look, even if you can’t tell the difference between Samuel Hannaford or the guy next door with his truck up on blocks in the front yard, just point the camera anywhere and shoot like a tourist! You can figure out what everything is once you get home and open up a cold can of Google!

2. Parks: If you aren’t into architecture, there are a lot of great parks with hills and excellent views of the skyline (not the restaurant, the city). When I say “a lot” it’s actually an understatement. We probably have more parks than chili parlors! Hell, we probably have more parks than every coney served at Skyline AND Death Star Chili over the course of a year! Okay…maybe not quite THAT many. That’s crazy talk!

I want you to know that a lot of these excellent parks are conveniently dropped on top of a bunch of hills we have strewn about all over the place. “Big deal!” I hear you say.  You aren’t very easy to please, are you?  Just go buy some coneys, pick out a park (with the exception of that one over by UC where the creepers like to park and wait for “friends” to show up), force those coneys down your throat, chase it with a magnesium hydroxide smoothie, and clean the grease off of your lens.  You are ready to go! Don’t forget to take off the lens cap.

3. Fireworks: Yeah, yeah…I know. You are probably thinking you could just attend your local 4th of July display and snap a few candid shots of toddlers setting dogs on fire with sparklers. Kids are dangerous! I know this for a fact (ask me about the time my daughter stabbed me in the eye with a drum stick).  But, if you haven’t witnessed the brown-trouser-inducing power of Rozzi’s fireworks display for Labor Day in Cincinnati, then you are truly missing out! They don’t just shoot off a few fireworks and call it a day…nosirreebob!  They blow up so much shit that you’ll find shrapnel dropping on your picnic a month later! It’s awesome!

If you drive into town a few days early, you can spread out your ground tarp, drop your beer cooler on top of it, and mark off a spot to photograph the fireworks down by the river. A word of caution. If you have any future plans to have children, you might want to skip the finale as the sheer volume of the explosions may render your wedding tackle effete. You’ve been warned. Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention there are plenty of places to see fireworks all over the city for the 4th of July as well. If you are scared of fireworks, you can always attend the balloon glow at Coney Island, then run home to mama before the Rozzi family starts detonating Yonshakudama shells into Lake Como! \m/ Oh…almost forget that you can see fireworks at Reds games. I hear they fire off a round every time someone argues that Pete Rose should be in the hall of fame.

Don’t judge Cincinnati on my photography alone. I shot all of these from my basement window with a broken Walgreens disposable camera that I picked up used at the Goodwill.* I’m sure you will land some impressive shots with your Hasselblad and I expect you to send me a link! Also, if you are going to shoot photos through the window of your McLaren SLR 999, the least you can do is roll the windows down. Technique matters! :D

Cincinnati is a beautiful city with a seemingly endless supply of subjects to keep a shutterbug happy. Enjoy your visit!

*not true at all
  • Aerial View

    Aerial shot of downtown Cincinnati

  • Fireworks

    Labor Day fireworks

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    Downtown as seen from Devou Park

  • Riverboats

    Tall Stacks riverboats

  • Waterfall

    Labor Day fireworks and the “waterfall” display – note people on lower...

  • Brown Stadium

    Paul Brown Stadium as seen from Carew Tower

  • Union Terminal

    Tilt-shifted Museum Center (aka The Hall of Justice)

  • Scripps Center

    Building reflections on the Scripps Center

  • Fountain

    Tyler Davidson fountain: The Genius of Water

  • Sunrise

    Ceiling inside the Cincinnati Museum Center

  • Lamp

    Lamp post in Alms Park on a foggy day

  • Fog

    Fog settling around Lunken Airport

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