Symphonies for sweet dreams.
After dropping out of college, joining a band, moving in with the band, watching the band fall apart, and then subsequently finding myself with an increasing amount of pent-up musically creative energy, I decided I wanted to make something of my own.
I was also about five years deep into a stint of severe insomnia — from my first year of high school onward I generally only slept about an hour or two each night. After my friends would fall asleep and there was nobody left awake to play games with or text or talk to on the phone, I'd spend the quietest hours of my evenings teaching myself how to produce music.
The blend of these two issues manifested itself into a love of producing and listening to ambient music, and I set out with the goal of creating an album that would help me fall asleep each night. It was freeing to break away from the verse-chorus song structure I'd become so acclimated to, allowing myself to let long droning synths reverberate for hours into the night or searching for field recordings of windy plains or rainy farmhouses to see how I could incorporate the sounds of nature into my compositions. I'd write a song, load it onto my iPod, hop into my car, and cruise around empty New Jersey streets to hear how it worked as a soundtrack for the drive. In the span of about three weeks, I'd finished and released my first solo album under the artist name Boqeh: Halcyon.
Halcyon saw the beginning of a new habit: Almost every single day I'd open up my laptop and throw some nice sounding synths and chords together and let them loop endlessly while I worked on other tasks. Usually these project files would get deleted at the end of the day, but every once in a while they'd be saved and fleshed out into a full track for a hypothetical future album release. My next few ambient albums as Boqeh all followed that same songwriting process, but I eventually got more into the habit of deleting files than saving them. Slowly but surely, I stopped releasing music altogether as my career and other creative endeavors took center stage in my life.
Although I grew into the habit of deleting my daily project files, I never kicked the habit of starting a new one almost every morning. In 2018 while discussing the rise of ten-hour relaxation YouTube videos and 24/7 lofi hip-hop beats streams with a friend, I wondered aloud why I wasn't using the huge volume of music I was creating and disposing of daily to do something similar.
It's taken ten years since the release of Halcyon for me to feel confident enough to make it happen, but I'm finally done erasing the work I create.
Enter Sleep Buddy.
Sleep Buddy is both a new project and revitalization of the intention behind Halcyon — albums of carefully crafted and original ambient music with the goal of helping listeners fall asleep or relax while working on other tasks. Today marks the release of the first album: Intro.
Intro is a thesis statement. Available as a ten hour YouTube video (of course), on Bandcamp, or through your favorite streaming service like Apple Music or Spotify, it contains just under two hours of original ambient music covering a wide variety of ideas I plan on drilling further into for future releases. Almost the entirety of the album was written and produced over three weeks in January of this year, and in the time it has taken to distribute Intro to music platforms, I have already finished a followup for release sometime next month. If all goes well, expect a new Sleep Buddy release monthly in 2023.
In the meantime I hope you'll give this first album a listen, and if you do I hope it helps you relax.
You deserve it.
Head to sleepbuddy.online for more. <3