8.02.2015

The Making of Atlantis Trilogy

Art Director and album design - Jason McKean

The story behind the Atlantis Trilogy began in 1983 when I traveled to Mexico to explore the pyramids of Teotihuacán……I was always interested in the stories about the lost civilization of Atlantis as well as the history of ancient civilizations. I had read the book “Chariots of the Gods” by Erich Von Daniken in the early 70’s and was quite fascinated with his theories. The journey to Mexico was an exciting experience, exploring the pyramids of the sun and moon, and the walk of the dead. I was deeply moved by the sheer scale of these structures, being able to climb them and look out over the countryside, imagining what it might have looked like in the days of the Mayans and Aztecs or even earlier. After returning to the states, I spent the next several years researching additional sources of the Atlantis legend, and from this came the idea to create a musical journey into the ancient civilization of Atlantis.

After several years of toying with the idea, I finally began an effort to start writing the music in 1986. I originally planned to record just one album, but my research took me into so many different directions I decided to start the first one and see where all this would lead me. In addition, I wanted to approach this music from an improvisational standpoint. I had some ideas about hidden “crystal power”, déjà vu, past life memories, UFO’s etc., so it was a matter of turning those ideas into sounds that would capture the story of an ancient civilization. The way it has always worked for me was to get an image in my head and the music would follow. The first Atlantis track was recorded very quickly. The “doo dah, doo wah” melody from Crystal Chamber floated in my mind and I spent most of the time creating soundscapes and searching for the perfect blend of sounds to capture the ideas in my head. Mixing all this together was actually the “real” album; this was a new approach for me, since I had always written everything out into music charts with arrangements. I was able to break the bounds of creative consciousness and let the sound, stories and ideas flow through me. The result turned out to be my first, very successful solo album “Atlantis Crystal Chamber”, which delved into the culture of the Atlantean civilization, the powers of crystals, hidden knowledge of the past, telepathy, telekinesis and time travel. As it turned out, I was writing my story and the soundtrack at the same time.

Courtesy of Ted Duvall
Five years passed, I was working on many other projects for other artists, and I wanted to return to the Atlantis theme. The second album was focused on the advanced healing powers of the Elders, a group of healers and metaphysicians, gathering the people into the healing temples and providing mind, body, and spirit transformations. The Elders possessed extraordinary telepathic powers as well the ability to heal with touch, colors, and sound. This recording was released in 1991 as “Atlantis Healing Temple” and I reused many of the soundscapes and textures developed from the first album to provide continuity.


 Time passed again, and by the late 90’s, the new age music market had faded and I was working more and more on music for film, TV, and documentaries. So I did not start thinking about the next chapter for many years, until renewed interest in ancient aliens and the Atlantis connection started to reappear. This got me thinking about the concept of Atlantis being of alien origin, and much, much older in the timeline of our history on the planet. I had a new direction for my story and the music followed. Over the last several years, many people reached out to me looking for music titles I had created, receiving some very nice compliments. However my titles were no longer commercially available and the distribution had changed dramatically with online music. A chance discussion with some former colleagues at the beginning of 2015, gave me the idea of releasing my music on my own record label. I had no experience in self-publishing or creating E-music for downloads, but as I thought more about it, I was sure that the time was right to present my musical ideas to the world. 


Thus was born “Brave New World”, the story of the end of the Atlantean period and the beginning of our modern era. This is the final chapter of my Atlantis story. I had a musical theme in mind and I recorded multiple songs utilizing this theme, the idea was to create a trilogy of my Atlantis music, rather than releasing 3 separate albums. I had not listened to the first two albums for twenty years, I spent several weeks listening, making notes and evaluating what I had to work with. 


Surprisingly, the original album material had an ethereal quality that still sounded fresh. This resulted in editing specific selections of music from the original masters, along with the new music, remixed and remastered for the digital age. I started the process with over 150 minutes of music and was able to edit this down to 48 minutes, combining elements of over 30 years of musical exploration into this set, the Atlantis Trilogy. Welcome to my world. 

 Robert Slap July 29, 2015

Photos  courtesy of John Weiler

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