M.A.C.O Composed by ryan yard

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When I was a teenager I spent most of my time writing my own electronic albums, modeled on my heroes Jean Michel Jarre, and Mike Oldfield. I can still remember my modest setup consisting of a few synths and a small 4-track tape recorder and the fun I had experimenting and creating my music. Those early cassette albums still exist and are safely stored away, as they are my prized possessions and represent a time when I was carefree and without worry. Of course we must all grow up and with that comes the less desirable features of adulthood such as paying bills and working. The principal aim for this album was to return to my early way of working that was free from conventional notation and preparation of parts for session musicians, which has dominated my life ever since my composition degree. I also wanted to have fun and to write something just for myself and with no pressure to fit a certain requirement. I have certainly had a lot of fun writing this album but I had little idea as to how big this project would turn out. While it is electronic in nature and similar in places to my early albums, there is a symphonic grandeur and epic cinematic quality that I could not contain. As such, I feel that I have perfectly married the past with the present to create an album that tells a story and evokes many emotions. This album is part sci-fi and part love story and it is my hope that you will enjoy the experience and journey. This album was written at a time of great personal change for me and has been my medicine throughout. One thing I have learnt is that the power of music is undeniable and that it will always be there by your side.

MACO is best listened to in headphones to fully appreciate and enjoy the immersive experience. It is recommended that you listen to the whole album in one sitting much like you would if you were viewing a film.

Leaving Lydia behind was the hardest decision I have ever made...

Act One

1. Prologue 2.54

2. Goodbye Mother Earth 4.51

3. Memory Space 1.36

4. Mars Runner 6.38

5. Marrakech 8.02

6. Close Your Eyes 3.50

7. Lydia 2.55

8. Assimilate 6.53

9. Intermezzo 0.40

Act Two:

10. Heart of Mars 6.05

11. Red Mist 4.05

12. Voices 2.10

13. Ant 1.40

14. Final Breath 3.37

15. Epilogue 2.19

Ryan is a composer, pianist and teacher living in Shropshire. His music has a very distinctive flavour built around strong melodies and colourful harmony. His music has been performed and broadcast on BBC radio and his debut album Chasing Time is available at all major online retailers.
Jem Roberts is a performer and author who lives in Bath. Besides voice acting, he has written official histories of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, Blackadder, Douglas Adams and Fry & Laurie, and performs stupid tunes with his outfit The Unrelated Family.
Justin Towell is a self-employed musician and freelance journalist and lives in Bath, UK. From heavy metal to melodic rock, his guitar style is instantly recognisable whatever genre he's playing in. He has released an album, available now, entitled A Storm Called 'You'.

The entire album was written using an iPad. Below is a list of the software I used. I did not use any loops and made all of the beats and sequences from scratch. I used a variety of samples created from household appliances and manipulated in Samplr. Most of the album was played live by hand with only a small amount of MIDI editing. This was to stay faithful to the way I worked when I was 14 and to give a more 'human' element to the album.

Korg Gadget




Synthmaster Player





Korg Module


Arturia iSEM


CMP Grand Piano


Oriental Strings

Fugue Machine

Final Touch

Did you work out the true meaning of MACO?

Thanks to the following for all their help and support during the making of this album;

Justin Towell for providing epic guitar solos and much needed moral support.

Jem Roberts for bringing my story alive through the power of his voice.

Katherine Snell for allowing me to manipulate her voice.

My family for always being by my side and supporting me in any way they could.

MACO notebook
Goodbye Mother Earth main theme
Mars Runner early draft

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