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Into the Unknown

by Robert Otto

The Open Sea 05:42
Lost 04:43
The Chase 04:56
Homecoming 04:48


Into the Unknown received 2015 Schallwelle nominations in the Best International Album and Best International Artist Categories. www.schallwelle-preis.de

This album is somewhat of a departure from my prior works as I explore incorporating arpeggios, rhythmic and melodic elements with a few nods to the Berlin School style of electronic music. This album does contain some tracks similar to my prior ambient pieces while also introducing rhythmic and other components. As always, my main goal with each track is to create a soundscape that captures a place, mood or event. Into the Unknown is also a themed album telling the story of an epic-type journey from departure, through adversities, to a triumphant return home.

A wonderful, in-depth and thoughtful review by Steve Sheppard of One World Music Radio

Narrated Review:

Written Review:

Track Commentary:

The Odyssey Begins
I wanted to create a piece that conveyed a confident voyage departure, but which also foreshadowed the twists of fate and fortune that await the travelers. While this track starts with piano, it shifts to synthesizer at points. Some Berlin School style of music influences here.

The Open Sea
In this track I tried to capture the feeling of peace and freedom experienced by the voyagers as they are crossing the ocean. This was the first track in which I have incorporated nature sounds.

The Maelstrom
The travelers have an unexpected encounter with disaster. I wanted to capture the power and swirling nature of the maelstrom, and the ensuing struggle as the members of the expedition battle against it to survive. This is one of the tracks with a good deal of Berlin School style of music influences.

Unknown Territory
Having survived the encounter with the maelstrom, the travelers are off course and have landed in an unknown country. This piece was all about trying to create an exotic feel with rhythms, backed by synthesizer.

If you picture Lord of the Rings and wandering through the Dwarf’s tunnels possibly surrounded by Orcs, you've got the picture. This the darkest piece I've done to date. I wanted to create a stark landscape conveying the feeling of being lost, wandering through dark caverns all of which appear the same, and with the uncertain feeling of perhaps being followed.

The Chase
Out of the caverns, the travelers are being pursued by whatever it was they heard following them in the caves. This track was heavily influenced by the Berlin School style of music and the arpeggios naturally lend themselves to depicting a chase.

Desert Crossing
Having eluded pursuit, the expedition is now faced with crossing a desert. Again, the rhythms play a big part in painting the picture of a slow plodding desert crossing, with the synthesizers completing the vision of the hot sun overhead, shimmering sands, and sweltering heat.

The expedition has successfully returned home. I tried to create a piece that was uplifting, triumphant with a touch of nostalgia. Again there are a lot of influences from the Berlin School style of music in this track.


released October 5, 2015


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Robert Otto Boston, Massachusetts

I create atmospheric experiences through music. My award-nominated music is best described as Ambient Electronic Soundscapes, Neoclassical or New Age.

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