Books and Music
Persona digital publishes a series of books on current topics in music, ecology, psychology, sociology, neuroscience and philosophy -- available from Alpha Online. These books have been written by Stephen Gislason and go beyond the practical medical applications described in the Alpha Education series. All the books are valuable as quick, inexpensive eBook downloads.
The first book in this series, Human Nature, presents essential knowledge of human nature, a 21st century description of anthropology, neuroscience, sociology and psychology - disciplines that need to be integrated as they are in this book. The topics are essential to understanding human nature, its origins and its problems. You could treat each topic as module of a larger system that develops emergent properties as the modules interact. Each reader discovers the features of human nature in himself or herself and then discovers similar features in others. After you understand more about the dynamics of close relationships, you can look at larger groups. You can continue by applying your insights into human dynamics to governments, countries and international affairs. All the Persona Digital books describe the same dynamics but emphasize different vantage points, contributions from different disciplines and the needs of different readers. Taken together, the books provide a comprehensive understanding of human nature.
All the recordings are arrangements and performances are completed in house by Stephen Gislason. Scores are developed in multitrack MIDI using Cakewalk Sonar software The main sound module, work station is the EMU Proteus 2500. The music selections and their history are explained in the book, Sound of Music.
At Persona, hardware and software sound production achieves the best sounds and continues to offer abundant opportunities to create instruments, explore psychoacoustics and develop and understanding of sound physics. All composing, editing and mixing are done with software; in two computers with multicore CPUs, 8 GB RAM and fast SATA hard drives. My studio setup varies with the project. The essential tools are the EMU Proteus 2500, Korg M3 and a computer with Sonar software. MIDI information flows from the keyboard to the computer where it is recorded and edited in Sonar. Sonar sends the revised MIDI information to the Proteus and other sound modules which play the music. The Audio out from the sound modules returns to the computer (as digital audio) where it is recorded on audio tracks in Sonar.
Our Music Catalogue includes recorded performances both original music written by Stephen Gislason and new arrangements and performances of popular tunes. We cover many different styles from different countries. Stephen says: "I treat the chosen songs as classics that exemplify an aspect of popular music that emerged in the 1950s. Many bands and musicians that were popular in the 60s and 70s have been resurrected to play concerts for "baby boomers' who feel strongly about popular songs they heard as teenagers and young adults. We all have grey hair and have more wrinkles, but musical enjoyment is ageless.
The band has followed the path of modern jazz, starting with bebop as invented by Dizzie Gillespie and Charlie Parker. The path leads to Miles Davis and the talented musicians who played with him and then proceeded on their own innovative paths. Stephen is a trumpet player as well as a keyboardist and synthesizer expert; his arrangements favor trumpet, flugelhorn and electronic keyboards.
Latin, Pan American
Stephen enjoys arranging and recording the music of Mexico, Central and South America. In Brazil, Tom Jobim, de Moraes, Mendonça, an others developed Samba and Bossa Nova styles that spread to the US and Europe. Argentina contributed the Tango. Dances, rhythms and melodic styles emerged as energetic fusion elements in jazz and popular music in the rest of the world.
Stephen has chosen some of the best popular songs created in recent times, from several countries: The musical range is great but the elements of the best songs are enduring - creative composing, good lyrics, good arrangements, excellent singers and the best recordings.
Digital Bach for the 21st Century
are recordings derived from the complete works of JS Bach, edited, transcribed and arranged for synthesizer by Stephen Gislason and recorded at Persona Digital Studio. The project began in 2006, revised recordings have been issued for 2017.
Counterpoint for Genius
series is a collection of four albums that has evolved over several years though experimentation with a number of transcriptions of Bach pieces, many from the religious Cantatas, mixed with different voicing and, different tempos and transpositions. Mozart has received the most attention as the composer of smart music. Bach excels. Stephen wrote:" I discovered that JS Bach's counterpoint, probably the most elegant expression of well considered complexity; if presented with clear definition of interacting voices, counterpoint becomes a delightful form of brain exercise.
The Art of the Fugue (Die Kunst der Fuge, BWV1080)
is a collection of Johann Sebastian Bach' last compositions. Stephen wrote: "I wanted to achieve a version of the Art of the Fugue different from other versions. I believe I have reached an understanding with Bach and Gould, that these pieces have a special quality that cannot be contained in any individual's opinion of them. "
Stephen stated:" I consider a variety of ideas for new music in the 21st century and offer some examples as new music emerges in my studio. I have experimented with sound production, algorithmic composition, and every strategy that has emerged to enable beginners and experts alike to assemble sounds in ways that seem meaningful to them. I have been interested in hypnotic sounds, cool jazz, trance dance, chill, new age soothing music, and minimalist composers such as Philip Glass. A meaningful inquiry into the possibilities for authentic new music will involve philosophy, neuroscience, acoustic science, technology, and an understanding of human nature.
Sound Quality We are concerned when people listen to good quality recordings with inferior sound reproduction equipment. Headphone and ear bud sales outpace other consumer electronics. The widespread proliferation of mobile phones, MP3 players, laptops, tablets, and other portable electronic devices created a growing demand for headphones. Cheap phones or ear buds are often included in the purchase price of portable players. These are best replaced by more expensive, better quality phones or ear buds. See Headphones