The Moon Project | Ambient Music To Aid Sleeping
I’m no stranger to long, sleepless nights. I’ve always been a night owl, sometimes by choice where I’ve been having a great night gaming with friends, or being really productive getting lots of writing done. But there are times where despite all efforts my brain just refuses to switch off, no matter how hard I try. It's nights like that where sleep becomes a taunting force and it becomes a real challenge to overcome. I know so many people with similar struggles in life, whether it be because of pain, anxiety or bad dreams, however, no matter what the cause, many of us relate to each other with these similar struggles. Whilst there are countless different sleep aids out there, I think it’s fair to say that they don’t all work for everyone, but sometimes a pleasant little surprise crops up out of the blue that is just such a delight for all those who, like me, struggle to settle down at night. Enter from stage left, The Moon Project.
The Moon Project, which is funded by the Create: Inclusion Fund, via Creative Scotland and The National Lottery, is a nine track album, filled with ambient tracks aiming to help calm the mind and settle you into good quality, restful sleep. The Create: Inclusion Fund seeks to increase the diversity and visibility of people within the arts and within creative industries and successful applicants have been able to develop their skills and resources further and to support them through each step of the process. Any creative field is a daunting and very intimidating mountain to overcome, so to see support such as the Create: Inclusion Fund opening these doors and facilitating such projects really is incredible.
The Moon Project has been headed up by Scottish composer Jess from 'Arrow to the Knee Productions'. Jess has been accompanied by five other female composers from all around Scotland to bring together this incredible album that presents their own individual take on what the various stages of sleep might sound like. Joining Jess on this wonderful journey to blissful sleep we have Andrea Possee, Emily Frances Ippolito, CARAGH, Joanna Gill and Luci Holland. Each of these exceptionally talented individuals come along with their own unique approach, experiences and expertise which all combine together to create the stunning masterpiece that has become The Moon Project. The album can be found on Spotify and Soundcloud and can be enjoyed for FREE whenever you need some help drifting off or need something to calm an anxious mind. The album will also be available to buy on Bandcamp.
Jess, otherwise known as ArrowToTheJess, is a (and I quote), “Scottish music composer from Scotland". Writing music since 2008, Jess formally began her company Arrow to the Knee Productions in 2018, and creates custom commission pieces for streamers as well as writing music for games, TV and film. Jess also collaborates with Moonwalk Audio. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Jess through Twitch for the last few years and it truly has been a joy to see her grow and develop as a musician, a streamer and into the incredible human that she is. Jess brings together great banter and laughs into a safe and welcoming atmosphere where anyone can simply come, relax and be themselves and feel accepted, no matter what walk of life they have come from. Jess' community on Twitch has had the amazing opportunity to get an insider look into the creation of The Moon Project because Jess has streamed the creation of her own four tracks. Each stream brought wonderful, chilled out vibes, deep and meaningful conversations, and a welcome break from the hectic world in which we live. It really was a pleasure to see each track be crafted from the ground up and curated into the amazing, ambient pieces of music that we now know as The Moon Project. Jess has a penchant for writing ambient music as she finds it to be an incredible tool to calm her mind and help her focus when needed and equally it helps her unwind as well. She loves the freedom that comes with creating ambient music as there really is no right or wrong in the genre and experimentation is key to success. Jess has a fascination with the process of sleep, so the idea of creating an ambient album representing and turning the idea of 'sleep' into something tangible was an instant hit for her. My favourite track from Jess on the album is The Still, but she also created The Out There, Alla Deriva and Sepia Steps. I really cannot urge you enough to check out some of Jess’ streams on Twitch. Alongside the wonderful music streams she also tackles some gaming and just like with her music streams, the vibes and the atmosphere are always perfect and just a total joy to be involved in. Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud | YouTube | Twitch
The next talented composer involved in The Moon Project is Andrea Possee. Andrea is a composer, an orchestrator and a conductor, and has scored music for three feature films including The Devil's Rock, Catskin and Howl. Alongside this her music can also be heard on TV shows such as Come Dine with Me, I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! and Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Andrea has also conducted and orchestrated sessions at some iconic studios around the world including Abbey Road and Warner Bros. Andrea enjoys writing music in various different styles. One of my favourite tracks of hers off The Moon Project is Deep Sleepy Slumber. For some reason the deep bass tones really just agree with my brain and it really is a delight to listen to the track during game playthroughs, and every single time I’ve gotten goosebumps and shivers down my spine when I reach Andrea's track.
The next composer involved in the project is Emily Frances Ippolito. Emily has a strong passion for music and recognises the massive importance that it has in film and the way in which music can convey emotion through a scene without using words. Emily Frances Ippolito has scored music for award winning short film Sonya and she won an award for the best original score in August 2022 at the Gothamite Film Awards. Emily was responsible for the track Nightfall on The Moon Project, which I loved because it captures the essence of night time and the peace in which it can bring. I enjoy the track, because for people who have sleep troubles, night time can become a time of torment and the peace that the evening time can bring can easily go unnoticed. To hear it captured so beautifully in a track was a real delight.
Joanna Gill, born in Scotland, is an award winning composer who has been published by Universal Editions. Joanna has three Christmas Carol singles that will release just in time for the festive season this year, ahead of the release of her first classical choral album which is titled Love Illuminates, and is due to be released in early 2023. Joanna has had her music performed by a variety of prestigious ensembles including the BBC Singer’s London Symphony Chorus and Orchestra in venues including The Royal Albert Hall. Alongside all of this, Joanna is also the Head of Classical Music at Holy Trinity Brompton Church and in 2021 she conducted carols for special Advent service with King Charles III. Joanna’s addition to The Moon Project comes with track two The Lake Isle, which feels like it sums up the transition between consciousness and sleep and serves as a great transition into the more ethereal tracks that follow.
CARAGH is a Glasgow-based singer-songwriter, and has spent her entire life immersed and surrounded by music. One of the most notable moments in her early days included singing in the world renowned Notre Dame cathedral in Paris after which, she embarked on a career as a singer-songwriter. In March 2020, Caragh released her debut single Leave a light on, and since then, has been featured on BBC Radio and local radio all across Scotland. According to Caragh’s website she excels in “fusing ambient soundscapes with poetic lyrics and memorable melodies, the end result is enchanting, engaging and enigmatic”. Caragh has also featured in the 10FROM10 series here on the blog. Caragh’s addition to The Moon Project comes with the track Hypnagogia. Hypnagogia is the transition between wakefulness and sleep, during which phase it is common to experience visual, audio or other types of hallucinations. This track is so ethereal and upon each listen has left me with shivers running down my spine. It really does encapsulate the feeling of drifting off. I often feel like I’m literally floating for a few moments as I begin to drift off and Hypnagogia captures that feeling perfectly. If you listen along and close your eyes you can almost feel yourself drifting along with the track.
Last but by no means least, we have Luci Holland, who is an award winning Scottish composer and sound artist who composes and produces music and audiovisual art for film, games and concerts. Luci composed the original soundtrack for the game Murderous Pursuits, developed by Blazing Griffin that was released in 2018. Luci also worked on the soundtrack for a live action fantasy movie called Sayo in 2020, which picked up the New Music Scotland EVM Award for New Music in Media in 2021. Luci’s addition to The Moon Project comes in the form of Reflexionstechnik, which starts with an almost psychedelic piano ostinato, accompanied by some beautiful strings and synths. I found this track to be an incredibly interesting listen.
After reading all these biographies containing an incredible array of accolades it is clear to see that The Moon Project has been created with, and delivers, an exceptionally high standard creatively. With each listen of the album I’m noticing more and more little nuances that just amaze me. Each track individually shines in its own respective ways, but it's as a collective where The Moon Project really shines. Each of the wonderful composers involved in the album brought something unique and special to the table, each with their different experiences and specialities, and each taking a different approach to their additions. The final product really flows together and creates the most wonderful experience for the ears, and an incredibly therapeutic experience for the brain. I really do urge everyone to check out the album. So far it has really assisted me with focusing and concentrating, which is a notoriously common struggle for me. The ambient tones and the flow of the music helps my brain to slow down and process the task at hand. I would also urge everyone to check out the socials and music via the links provided for each of these exceptionally talented women and support their musical journeys where possible.