Velvet Symphony is the brainchild of composer/producer, Ed Melendez. A studio player and keyboardist, Ed has long been a fan of early progressive rock bands such as Yes, Genesis, Styx, Kansas, and The Moody Blues. He is also a follower of neo-progressive rock groups likes: Marillion, Saga, Dream Theater and Porcupine Tree.
Ed has always had a passion for music that colors outside the lines and that can utilize strong melodies, intricate time signatures and elaborate arrangements and still make them work in a pop, commercial radio friendly structure.
Though not classically trained, or for that matter having any formal musical training, Ed found that he had an ear for writing music early on. Creating music just seemed to come naturally to him.
Ed began his composing career in high school theater. In his teens and taught himself how to play the piano and how to multi-track record before he graduated from high school.
After high school, Ed would find himself in a number of experimental bands. In the late 80′s and early 90′s ed found many more projects to hone his skills. Providing more and more experience and giving Ed knowledge of just how music worked.
The inspiration behind the Velvet Symphony project came about through Ed’s passion for wanting to create a completely prog/instrumental album. He wanted to take all the skills he had acquired over his 20 plus years as a musician, session player, producer, engineer and composer and truly put them to work.
Much like in many earlier musical projects, Ed was gifted with the ability to come up with a pretty catchy riff. The issue for Ed as a composer was always finishing what would come after the riff. So that is where Ed began with Counter Clockwise.
Ed started with basically 10 short riffs. One being written every few days. Each riff would be about a minute and a half long and included a melody with drums, guitar, bass, and keyboards. The ideas were mostly just an intro.
Once all ten riffs were created, Ed started with the last riff written and would not move on to the next riff until the arrangement and production of the song was completed. The purpose for this was to continue the momentum from the last song completed. Ed believed it would be better to complete the last of the riffs first, rather than breaking up the songwriting flow and go back to work on the very first riff.
This seem to be a great working model for the album as each song was being plucked out rather quickly. The energy and creativity was flowing non-stop. That is until Ed reached what was the very first riff that was penned for the album. By this point things were starting to sound too familiar, stale and old. Writers block was setting in. The thought of writing another song in its place, or trashing the riff all together were contemplated. But Ed felt he had come too far. It was important to finish where he had begun. So he begrudgingly moved forward and ultimately was able to complete the song to great satisfaction. That final song would be a culmination of the entire album. The song was titled, Metal Circus.
So this album is the completion of that entire work. Ten tracks, each song a story, beginning in one place and taking the listener to a very different place. A sort of instrumental journey.
It’s our hope you will enjoy this debut album entitled, Counter Clockwise.
– Velvet Symphony.