Tempula (2006) is the second AeTopus album to be released by Bryanâ€™s label, 12Ton Productions. It explores the inner workings of human spiritual activity, yet refrains from identifying specific belief systems or making judgments. Listened to in its entirety, it is a complete set of thoughts regarding why, where, how, and when humans interact - or seem to interact - with a world they cannot physically grasp. Electronics, percussion, and acoustic instrumentation are interwoven across a broad canvas of musical inspiration, resulting in a world that feels medieval, eastern, gothic, and contemporary - sometimes all in one earful.
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Bryan Tewell Hughes offers his inspiration to the world on compact discs, but he does not consider himself a proper â€œmusicianâ€. He began classical piano training at age 6 and continued for 10 years, reaching a surprising level of ability - yet virtuosity of this and other instruments were never fully realized.
A decade-long stint as a raucous, heavy-handed bass player included appearances in several Pacific Northwest bands such as the funky power trio Shaky Kane (1992-94) and wisecracking punk outfit Wiseacre (1996-98). This was all good, loud fun, to be sure - but obviously as much a social outlet as a creative one.
By the late 1990â€™s, it became apparent that relying on band members for artistic expression was a poor long-term gamble. Times were changing, and computer-based recording technology was beginning to achieve an impressive combination of capability and affordability. As he began to assemble his personal studio, Bryan became one of the first â€œmusiciansâ€ to learn audio mixing entirely with a mouse rather than a mixing console (though professional work at Binary Recording Studio in Bellingham, Washington later encouraged him to learn all aspects of the craft).
There is, however, a relevant non-musical history to be told. All rocking and rolling aside, Bryan had always been a bottomless pit of creativity. He was disciplined constantly in grade school for producing elaborate, fantastic drawings instead of participating in classroom activities. His fascination with amateur Super-8mm filmmaking as a teenager resulted in endless hours of storyboarding, set-building, location planning, and torturing hapless friend-actors through weekend shooting sessions. In college, a studio emphasis in Fine Arts provided a formal foundation from which to explore the visual arts, specifically drawing and oil painting. A three-year odyssey as a tattoo studio co-owner provided color to the mid 1990â€™s and, most recently, a second degree in Psychology has offered a valuable glimpse into human development, behavior, and culture.
Bryanâ€™s underlying preference - no, obsession - for ambient, mood-generating, wordless music has been constant since the 1980â€™s. As far back as his teenage years, Electronic pioneers such as Kitaro, Ray Lynch, and Tangerine Dream have unwittingly juxtaposed a surreal soundtrack against a life filled with variance - voices of calm, contemplation, and mystery amidst a sea of grandstanding and adventure.
The culmination of these many exposures is AeTopus - a world where music is only the tip of an iceberg composed of ideas, images, and observations. Each album is an art gallery, an essay, a statement about humanity that the listener must coax from a dynamic tapestry of sound. Proper musician or not, Bryan has found his mediumâ€¦
Check out the artist's website:
1. Era Trans
2. The Day's Toil
3. Sky From Below
5. Sin of Conscience
6. Ish Nish Nish
8. Candles and Glass
13. Nearer, Clearer