by Andrew Patten

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For me, Christmas music always balences two purposes, advertisement and celebration. Meaning, it can either influence a mood, reflect a mood, or both - precursor or accompaniment. As advertisement, we hear it without our permission. It has the power to throw us into a consumeristic mood, a spiritual one, or a wild hatred of western civilization. But in the same way, we put it on for our parties, play it for church services, while baking, or on Christmas morning itself. While most Christmas music holds passports in both categories, with BLOCKHEAD SYNTHMAS I am trying to make something for a third use. Neither to spur on an emotion, or to express a feeling; this is music for Christmas afternoon. If someone's heart gets warmed in anticipation of Christmas while listening to this, or if they put it on while opening presents, I won't say they're listening wrong. But to me, this is a gift not to be opened, but to be used. This is a hypothetical (and anachronistic) "best-christmas-ever" where I get a brand new KORG 770 synthesizer, a brand new YAMAHA MR-10, and the Charlie Brown Christmas Soundtrack on Vinyl in a trifecta of Christmassy childish self-serving FUN. And being a kid with time on my hands - I get to work! I revel in all the possibilities each thing offers. I explore them to their full extent. I stay in my bedroom until epiphany, until my parents realize I haven't gone back to school with the rest of the kids. Whoops! "Weren't you supposed to be back on the 5th?" they ask. I learn half of the album before I have to go back to school, and I can't wait for summer holiday to learn the rest of the album. I dedicate. I persevere. I toil. Because for the first time, I've really appreciated what I have been given. My friend got a MOOG, my other friend got Led Zeppelin, my other other friend got a REAL drum kit! But on this mysterious Christmas, I'm not jealous. I am thankful and I honour the gift by using my gifts until they break. Then I fix them, and keep going. This is the true story of the making of this little EP and probably all good music. So my message is to use what you've been given this holiday, however humble it may be, and not to want more for yourself. And watch yourself, that in the very act of appreciation, and hard work, you may become more generous towards everyone else.


released December 17, 2014



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Andrew Patten Toronto, Ontario

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