Pieces of a Larger Experiment
The story of Arms Full of Sound begins sometime in late 1999 in a 1st floor apartment in North York, Ontario, Canada. Paul Needler decided to step aside from his mainstream rock nature and venture into sound synthesis. Paul came from a history of small rock groups in the late \'80s to mid \'90s such as: The NEV, DoubleTyme, Three Characters Classic, and Thok. Paul is an accomplished guitarist, and a trained pianist. Picking up his first Ambient album, \'History of Ambient Vol. 1\' Needler was absorbed into the world of Ambient music. Wanting more, Needler increased his collection to include works by Tangerine Dream, Brian Eno, and many other artists of the genre. This gave Needler the studying materials he needed to venture into writing his own Ambient music. Only one problem - Needler only had 2 synthesizers, one of which only produced some \'old-school\' sounds. He needed more gear. While studying the music, Needler acquired an FB-01 unit, a Yamaha CS-50, and a borrowed Roland E-10. He realized that there may not be much hope for the crippled Oberheim OB-x that he has stored away. Combining these synthesizers together and playing around with the sounds, Needler was able to start to understand how the synthesis of sound worked. Thriving for more, Needler started to experiment with software Synthesizers, as well, and added Absynth and Moog Modular to the arsenal, driven by a USB KeyStation controller. He also added a couple of Alesis sound processors to the mix for reverb and echo. The \'cockpit\' of synthesis was now ready to make some music. Hooking up a PowerMac G3 with SoundEdit to record whatever came out, Needler started to record everything that he did, live off the floor. Real-time and unrehearsed, he would play with the sound, discovering new ways to shape and blend the sound all the while actually making music. Songs would start to take shape in this way. The songs shaped up so well during 2002 that Needler decided to release an album of the work. During the late Autumn of 2002 and the early months of 2003, Paul waded through the hours of recorded material (each able to stand on their own, but too long to release more than one song per CD) and edited it to form \'Pieces of a Larger Experiment\'. This was a big hit with family and friends as the album \'to relax with\'. It was at this point that Paul created Arms Full of Sound. This album was so well received that it landed Arms Full of Sound a gig at the Ambient Ping in Toronto. During the summer of 2003, Arms Full of Sound started work on more projects. Taking a slightly darker approach, but never veering from the purist attitude that Needler puts into his music, the second album \'Minework in G\' was released. When asked about the title of this album, Needler explains \'Minework is a double meaning. The theme of the album is mining a resource, converting it to energy, and harnessing that energy in our hands. The album photos depict that quite literally. What is not so obvious is the play on words. This album is, in fact, a work of mine.\' When asked about the name Arms Full of Sound, Needler states \'That\'s pretty easy, really. Just watch me on stage sometime. I run several synths all by myself, with no automatic MIDI controlling involved. Every note I play is real time, and every effect is applied in the same way. I even have independent volume controllers that I use for real-time mixing of the music as I play it. I am really busy up there.\' 2004 brought about some interesting changes to the Arms Full of Sound entity. Additional gear, higher production standards, and an alliance with a new record label allowed new music and sound to come out of the new studios in Newmarket Ontario. Needler took all of 2005 off to work with his wife in raising their son, Conrad. However, even though he was a newborn, Conrad took part in Paul\'s musical creations. When he was just 2 months old, Paul held Conrad in one arm, and recorded an improv. Ambient piece with the synthesizers, creating a song entitled \'CJ\'s 1st\'. This song has not been released as of yet. 2006 was an important project year for Arms Full of Sound, as it presented Journey to Ambientia 2: Seasons. This performance revolved around spending 4 seasons on a mystical musical place called Ambientia. To market the shows, podcasts of the same name were produced and published, introducing the character, The Traveler. A large story evolved around this character, and each musical performance was designed to accompany the story throughout the year. Unfortunately, the venue closed permanently before this production could complete, leaving two seasons (Summer and Autumn) remaining. Currently, the story of The Traveler and news from Ambientia each remain hanging in the void of uncertainty; perhaps to be found one day so that the adventure can continue.