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Album Spotlight: Chris Tenz - Forlorn Memories

I download far more music than I would ever have the time to write about here.  It all gets placed into a foobar2000 playlist called "Blog".  The size of this playlist is ever fluctuating, with things getting removed from it after I have either written about it or decided that I don't like it enough to write about (when I say "the best free, legally available music on the Internet", I mean it - if I don't like it, I won't post about it); currently, it contains just under 24 hours of music.  I try to listen to at least some of this music every day.  Sometimes I know what I want to write about, so I focus on that music; other times I set it to shuffle, and when I find something that really catches my interest, I begin taking notes on it in preparation for a future post.  Tonight I was listening to a few tracks from an artist that I hope to post about soon, but then the shuffle kicked in and served up something totally unexpected in the form of Chris Tenz's Forlorn Memories.
I initially downloaded this album two weeks ago after reading about it on the Internet Archive, but it wasn't until tonight that it actually made its way to my ears.  The album's page at the Internet Archive seems to have been taken down [update: it's back up - I guess I caught it at the wrong time], but I was able to locate it on the Soft Phase website, which seems to be working fine.  The description of the album by Tenz was what drew me to the album in the first place:
“Forlorn Memories is designed to be just that, the re-capturing of memories
and associated moods through wordless sound. The album is designed to tell
a story through emotion, in chronological order. Using old tastes, smells,
sounds, and sights, I would attempt to bring myself into the mindset of
various key moments that influenced me in some way, and attempt to
create those feelings again with the use of audio.”
The very idea of memories is something that has always fascinated me, so the subject matter immediately caught my interest.  I also like the fact that he doesn't attempt to explain the story at all, and with songs only titled as chapters (with the first track being a foreword), the interpretation of the album is left entirely up to the listener (for the record, interpretation of songs - let alone instrumentals - is not one of my strong points, so I will go no further along this line of discussion).  The album's nine tracks are all very mellow, beautiful, and dreamy sounding - in fact, I decided to leave it playing while I was putting my baby back to sleep tonight, and it worked very nicely as lullabye music.  The soothing sound is achieved mainly through a delicate interplay between acoustic guitar and piano, although other instruments and sounds play important roles as well.  There are no sudden changes in tempo or mood - each song evolves and unfolds gradually, taking as much time as it needs to tell its own part of the story.
The individual songs from Forlorn Memories can be downloaded as separate MP3 files, and the entire album can be downloaded either in MP3 format, as a 56 MB zip file, or FLAC format, as a 105 MB zip file.  As a debut album, it holds a lot of promise, and I am really looking forward to hearing where Tenz decides to go in the future.  Happy listening!

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