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Longing for Orpheus

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Longing for Orpheus is a downtempo electronica project created by Derek Smootz in 2003. Drawing on influences such as Vangelis, Enigma, and Enya, the project’s sound is rooted in synthesis, but also includes instruments, voices, and musical ideas from diverse cultures. The music’s tone is generally subdued and relaxing, but its mood ranges from meloncholic to euphoric.

Longing for Orpheus began publishing early version of songs in 2004, to MP3Unsigned and the now-defunct Music section of CNET’s Download.com. In February 2006 the debut album, Skye, was released to positive reviews, including selection for RJ Lannan’s “Top 10 Recordings of 2006” at the New Age Reporter. A new release has been announced for 2009, but no details have been provided. Two remixes of prominent artists’ tracks have been released under the Longing for Orpheus moniker - Conjure One’s “Face the Music,” and State of Grace’s “Christe Redemptor.”

Derek Smootz is a classically trained pianist and vocalist, but a self-taught synthesist and audio engineer. Over the past decade, he has sung in a number of choirs, musicals and light operas in the Austin area. In the early 2000’s, he performed as a keyboardist with the formerly Texas-based Industrial band Guild. In addition to active work on Longing for Orpheus, he is involved in side projects Artificial Emotion (dance-oriented) and Ice Queen Alias (synthpop).

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