Velvet Symphony is the brainchild of composer Ed Melendez. A studio player and keyboardist, Ed has long been a fan of early progressive rock bands such as Yes, Genesis, Styx, Kansas, The Moody Blues, and neo-progressive rock groups like: 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 musical training, Ed found that he had an ear for music early on. Creating music just seemed to come naturally to him.
He began composing theater projects in his teens and taught himself how to play the piano and multi-track record before he graduated high school.
After high school Ed would find himself in a number of experimental bands in the late 80′s and early 90′s, each project providing more and more experience and giving Ed knowledge of just how music worked.
The inspiration behind the Velvet Symphony project came about through his passion for wanting to create a completely instrumental prog-rock album. He wanted to take all the skills he had acquired over his 20 plus years as a musician, 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 was always finishing what would come after the riff. So that is where Ed began with Counter Clockwise.
Ed started with basically 10 riffs. One was written every few days. Each riff would be about a minute and a half long and included a melody with drums, guitar, bass, and keys. They were mostly just an intro to a rough song idea.
Once all ten riffs were finished, Ed would start with the last riff written then complete each subsequent song. The purpose for this was to continue the momentum from the last song completed. Ed believed it would be better to complete the last song written 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 he reached 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 his great satisfaction. That final song would be 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 when they’re done. A sort of instrumental journey.
It’s our hope you will enjoy this debut album entitled, Counter Clockwise.
– Velvet Symphony.