mara's torment

mara's torment

BandEDMNew Age

mara's torment is a one man electronic act specializing in ambient and lo- to mid-tempo chill out grooves.

Biography


The trouble with writing bio pages is that one must write about oneself in the third person in such a way as to make the reader think that the person is really cool and really accomplished in whatever field they've tried to make their mark in. Even if they’re not. Unfortunately bios usually come off sounding really silly and pretentious and people often end up laughing at them and telling them that they sound silly and pretentious.

So you can sorta see where I'm at right now, right?

Anyway, regardless of potential ridicule from my peers I'm still going to do this because it has been suggested to me that a bio is a worthwhile part of an electronic press kit. To be honest, I think that you can get enough of my salty musical goodness through the random scraps of info you get in song titles and liner notes, but really, who am I to say about what you want or need?

mara's torment is the performance name of rik maclean, a Toronto based musician who has been releasing music since 1997. mara's torment's work is often described as ambient or chill and has earned maclean some small following amongst people that like that sort of thing, often characterized by wearing black turtlenecks, disliking the use of capitals in proper names and having a questionable sense of punctuation. It has been said that the music of mara's torment studies the darker side of the human psyche, creating a tapestry of feeling using the threads of emotions we all share but rarely discuss. To be honest though, that’s really just a pretentious way of saying that "rik is a guy that makes music alone in the dark in his bedroom". Yes, both are equally dramatic, but the first statement gives a sense of being enigmatic, and damnit, being enigmatic is cool, right? Right. At least it is amongst the turtleneck crowd…

The music of mara's torment came about as rik's response to the confines of group work (this means I hated working with other people because they'd never do what I wanted them to...). Heavily influenced by David Bowie's Berlin Trilogy, rik realized that through the use of electronic instruments he could create a more accurate representation of the soundtrack in his head. rik began toying with sounds and song structure, the results of which would be showcased on his debut release “Vanities”, which brought mara's torment to the attention of several 'zines, many of which responded very favourably. Following “Vanities”, rik released “The Penny Collector”, a collection of moody instrumentals which received further notice and increased an already sizeable fan base.

January 1998 saw the release of the first CD by mara's torment entitled “dreams like mine”. Through an aggressive internet marketing campaign, “dreams like mine” earned interest from all over the world, having received radio play throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, and Australia. In summer 1998 rik began performing live as mara's torment which further increased interest in his work.

The second CD release by mara's torment, “across for show...”, released in early 1999, expanded on many of the ideas that rik had addressed in his previous work serving as a testimony to his growth as a musician. Strangely, nobody has ever asked him what the title means, and it's just as well because he wouldn't tell them anyway.

Following “across for show...” rik released his third CD “the barrier of skin” in early 2000. A collection of songs inspired by the boundaries we put around ourselves both physically and mentally, “the barrier of skin” proved to be a very personal, very heartfelt work that received many positive reviews from around the world.

In the years since then, mara's torment has released a number of independent discs and has performed at such prestigious events as the AMBiENT PiNG, Convergence 8 in Montréal, and has made annual appearances at Darkrave in Toronto. There have also been a number of collaborations with such talents as Scott M2, Sara Ayers, Geoff Nostrant, Paul Angelosanto, Jamie Todd, Chris Alexander, and Nandanee Zeall, as well as the brilliant and talented MannequiN+.

2004 saw the release of a glitch based side-project, metro starman, an exercise in dadaist music creation. The first release by metro starman, "the day i discovered my dog was really a fish..." was featured as part of the Piehead Records 2004 subscription series and received airplay on a variety of university radio stations and on CBC Radio's Brave New Waves.

2006 sees maclean at work on the ambitious “calender project” where he hopes to release an hours worth of exclusive material each month for a year (at the time of this writing three months have been successfully completed). In addition, work continues on the double disc "cause and effect" with hopes of it being finished by fall of this year, along with a remastered and reworked version of the "lost" disc "the last night is the hardest".

Discography

cause and effect/forthcoming 2006
the last night is the hardest/2006
the day i discovered my dog was really a fish.../2004 (as metro starman)
reckless verbiage/2003
mara's torment live at darkrave sept 2003/2003
secrets + lies/2003
body music/2002
secret music/2002
chill/2002
secrets and lies/2001
the nomad mixes v2.02/2000
obscurata v2.02/2000
the barrier of skin/2000
across for show/1999
dreams like mine/1998

various mp3s and RM files taken from discs and live shows are available for download at http://www.marastorment.com

Set List

ranges from 45 minutes to 8 hours as required