Written by Tom Evans
In January 2020, I finally published my first full novel called Soulwaves : A Future History. It had taken over 15 years since I wrote the first draft, and the publication of 15 other books, before it saw the light of day. Perhaps prophetically, the action starts in Beijing and swings by Wuhan before ending up on the other side of the galaxy.
The book is my attempt to understand and explain some aspects of the cosmos that are quite frankly too wild and whacky to encapsulate in any of my non-fiction. So I used the vehicle of a novel to map out a possible future history, for both planet Earth and humanity.
It’s one thing actually writing and publishing a book but then us authors have the next, and perhaps more daunting task, of marketing it.
Now I am fortunate to have amassed a loyal following for my meditations on an app called Insight Timer. I’ve just had over 4 million listens so have kind of arrived. So it occurred to me to publish some Soulwaves-related materials to accompany and augment the book.
I have always loved Camel’s Snowgoose album which, in turn, was inspired by the book of the same name by Paul Gallico. So I set my stall out to learn musical composition theory from a teacher, who just showed up at the right time and also knew how to drive this phenomenal MIDI software called Abelton.
A plan quickly emerged to create a track a month inspired by certain elements of the book so that I’d have an album of 12 tracks by the end of the year. Each time I published one, it would promote the book.
By way of example, have a listen to this track called Siren’s Call. It tells of our Chinese hero, Shen, being called across the ocean by his wife-to-be, Frejya, who is in Iceland. At the same time, Shen is also being called by dolphins some 50,000 light years away on the other side of the galaxy.
Music and Lockdown
Well the Universe had other plans for me and by the time the year was out, I’d composed and created 22 tracks and a soundscape that played for 6 hours 20 minutes. Lockdown probably helped here. People were reading the book and playing the music in the background. Other meditation guides were also using the ambient layers as backgrounds to their meditations.
So the person who became an author by accident, and then a meditation guide by accident, had fallen into the role of ambient music composer.
In lockdown #1, I also wrote 12 short stories which are both prequels and sequels to the novel. So Soulwaves : Insertions was published in January 2021. This year, I’ve started composing an album of 12 tracks and a series of meditations, all inspired by the numbers 1 to 12 and each of the short stories. These are being serialised exclusively to subscribers on an app called Soundwise which allows me to bundle all my audio output in one place.
Music and Story
At the time of writing, I’ve created 8 of the 12 tracks, with each one getting more and more complex as I master more techniques. Have a listen to this one by way of example which the fourth track from the album. The more observant listener may spot samples of The Planets Suite by Gustav Holtz. Such sampling of materials is the backbone of the music industry these days and this example honours the composer, as did Manfred Mann with their track Joybringer.
So what’s next on this musical adventure? In Spring of 2021, I started serialising the third book in the Soulwaves Anthology called The Duadex. It is telegraphed in the 12th short story in Insertions. I am using existing background ambience in the audiobook to enhance each chapter in what I call a series of MediTales. This combines storytelling and music for an entrancing experience for the listener.
There will of course be a third album.
More From Tom Evans:
Tom is a UK-based writer who, after a 25 years as a techie in the broadcasting industry, became an author, an author’s mentor and meditation guide, all kind of by accident. He is now one of the most popular meditation guides on the free Insight Timer app. People like his British accent, his left-field approach, the practicality in his guidance and, not least, his sense of humour. His view is that meditation doesn’t have to be dull and worthy but can be fun and edutaining.
These days the revenue from his eclectic portfolio has given him freedom to devote 100% of his time to generating his creative output. He has latterly morphed into a novelist and ambient music composer. He is currently creating his 18th book called Soulwaves : The Duadex. He is serialising it in the Charles Dickens tradition but as an audiobook in interlinked set of what he calls MediTales : a synthesis of his meditations, out-of-this-world storytelling and ambient music.
He lives in Wiltshire in the UK with his life partner and a writer’s best friend, a labradoodle who takes him out for walks if he ever hits a creative block, or needs a pint.