‘Perlivash’ is the epic new release from North Carolinian composer/producer PsychCloned. Regular readers of The Static Dive are well acquainted with the gifted and prolific artist, known to his family and friends as Gabriel Pureco. We have followed his many instrumental musical projects over the past year. His latest piece is a collaboration with UK guitarist Ryan Jones.
Since 2020, PsychCloned has told his own story over the course of four albums, three singles and an EP. It is the tale of a young artist who combined his two loves of gaming and music into a passion for cinematic instrumental compositions. His work is both musically and emotionally complex, often combining multiple genres in the same piece. He is a storyteller who uses musical notes in place of words.
“Pelivash” is the latest work from PsychCloned, released worldwide to all major streaming services on January 7, 2022. Gabriel’s most ambitious work to date, the piece is a 26 minute musical adventure that takes listeners into a mythical world of dragons and dark magic. On the track, Pureco is joined by UK guitarist Ryan Jones.
The two musicians tell their tale with equal doses of Heavy Metal power and nuanced Classical virtuosity. In true PsychCloned style the track is powerful, emotional and rocks hard. As the piece moves through its 22 chapters (detailed in the video caption below), it reads like the score to a long lost story from Middle Earth.
Pelivash’s introductory ambient synths and string arpeggios are joined by an ever expanding ensemble of piano and Classical percussion. Ryan’s acoustic guitar enters the mix around the 2:00 mark. Through the first seven minutes of the track the mood stays relatively calm. However, there is a building dramatic tension just below the surface, as in the tympanic percussion of the “Adventure” chapter of the story.
At 8:08 Ryan Jones steps on the distortion pedal and turns up some Prog Rock heat for ‘Monstrosities”. From there the two musicians travel through phases of soft melodic interludes and dramatic symphonic Rock. From the Celtic Metal vibes of “Dark Pursuit” to the mysterious and oddly exotic moods of “Forbidden Ritual” and “Surprise Attack,” the piece travels into some uncharted territory.
Staccato strings, power chords and a bit of double-kick drum power introduce the song’s climactic final minutes. Some great analog synth tones and a gothic choir add a nice 70’s Art-Rock feel as Ryan wields his six string ax in the two part ‘Battle of Destiny.’ After the dust has settled, Gabriel’s piano leads the way through the melancholy yet hopeful three part outro.
Check out “Pelivash” in its entirety below. You can also hear the track on the Deep Indie Chill playlist, or listen on your favorite streaming service. We had the chance to chat with Gabriel Pureco and Ryan Jones about the song. Read the interview below. And follow the links at the end of this article to connect with both artists. Get on their socials and stay in the loop on all of the stories to come.
Perlivash Interview with Ryan ‘Ry’ Jones and PsychCloned
Ry, tell us about yourself. Where are you from?
Ry: I am from the Wirral near Liverpool in the UK.
How long have you been making music?
Ry: Since I was 10 years old so about 22 years now.
Do you release music of your own?
Ry: Yes, I release instrumental music, mostly ambient stuff. I’ve released some acoustic instrumental stuff too.
Who are your primary influences as a player?
Ry: I love jangle pop stuff like The Smiths and Stone Roses but I love more technical stuff like Eric Johnson and Shawn Lane. It has to be melodic for me.
Are you playing all of the guitars on the record? Any other instruments?
Ry: I play bass and keyboards too.
How did you meet Gabriel?
Ry: We met through Fiverr.
Gabriel, you’ve produced a sizable volume of work over the past couple of years. You usually work alone. Why did you choose to collaborate with Ryan on ‘Perlivash’?
PsychCloned: This actually is not the first time I worked closely with Ry on music. He was actually featured in my first single release ‘Time Skip’ back in June 2021. Prior to that, Ry helped me with several songs for ‘Sakura.’ His electrifying playing can be heard on the tracks, A New Dawn, Spirit of Adventure, Final Snowfall, Coming to Terms, Confidence Found, Suddenly, and Unwavering Will.
I think Ry is extremely talented and when I first approached him on Fiverr to help me finish ‘Confidence Found,’ the way he transformed that song into such a powerfully moving piece made me think that I had found someone special who could help me turn my visions and compositions into greater works for art.
Ry has since then shown me that he can play in any style, rhythm, and genre I ask him to: Rock, Latin, Pop, EDM, Prog, Jazz, you name it! When I started composing and storyboarding Perlivash I knew I was going to need help to turn this story into reality. I am still fairly new to the digital music producing world.
Having just under two years of composing experience and no formal training or real knowledge of how to play any melodic instrument, I compose my songs almost entirely by ear, so if I wanted to create a 20+ minute song that felt consistent and thematic from start to finish, I knew I would need someone with experience by my side.
This is where Ry came to mind. He would not only be able to steer me in the right direction but I knew he had the library of instruments needed to make Perlivash sound as crisp and clean as it sounds today.
Explain the recording process. You worked remotely from one another, correct?
PyschCloned: Yeah! Ry is based in the UK so our entire collaboration was done digitally through Fiverr. I had Perlivash all storyboarded out since April/May 2021, but I did not start composing Perlivash until this past summer. Ry was not brought into the project until after I had the first half of the song at least 70-80% completed so that we could approach this song more fluidly.
Since this song was going to be a full-length epic with no stops, we decided to divide the project into two halves to make it more manageable. I handed off my compositions to Ry for the first half of the song, and immediately began composing the second half, so by the time Ry was finished polishing and making the final edits to the first half of the song, the second half was ready for him to look at and enhance with his masterful playing.
Overall, it took us about 3 months to finish this song. I never thought we would be able to finish this song so quickly, but this past summer I hit a wave of musical inspiration and having Ry by my side to give me advice on how to progress the song when I got stuck was very helpful. I am sure that without Ry I would probably still be working on the second half of the song and this song would not have been ready for release until late 2022.
Ry: When Gabriel showed me the demos for the track I could hear right away the direction he was going in. The storyboards were really helpful in choosing the correct instruments for the appropriate sections of the composition.
Where/how did you record your parts?
PsychCloned: All of my compositions were done digitally through the FL Studio tool. I don’t play any musical instruments aside from the Drums but I don’t have the space nor the software needed to record myself playing. This is where I am very thankful to have Ry as he has his own home studio where he can record some fresh, high-quality playing.
Ry: I have a small home setup with plenty of different types of guitars to suit the mood of each part.
Ry, PsychCloned’s music is always epic and cinematic. ‘Perlivash’ is probably his most ambitious song yet at 26:00. How familiar are you with long, complex pieces such as this?
Ry: I think this is the first piece of music I’ve collaborated on that was close to half an hour! At the time, when working on it, it didn’t feel like it’s a long piece until you sat back and listened.
Explain the challenges of working with such a complex piece. For example, did you approach the different sections as different songs when you were recording your parts?
PsychCloned: The entire song was scripted from start to finish. From introducing our protagonist, Perlivash, to the first taste of adventure and peril, all the way to the epic clash between Hero and Dragon to determine the fate of the world. So, each section was very particular and served a purpose to help keep the song structured and engaging.
Rather than approaching each part as a different song, we approached it as unique sections. All in all, we have 22 unique sections: 1 intro, 16 main sections, 4 bridges, and 1 outro. Had we approached each section as a separate song, I fear we would have lost the continuous feel that we were aiming to accomplish. All of these sections are part of a bigger whole and Perlivash would not feel complete without any of them.
Going into composing this song I wanted to keep my Cinematic roots but also explore new genres and styles. I remember asking Ry, `”Do you think we could produce this song as an Acoustic Orchestral Celtic Fantasy song turned Symphonic Power Metal Prog Rock n Roll?” He quickly replied with a “Let’s do it!” unafraid of the mammoth genre I had just proposed we’d create!
You might think the hardest part of this entire song creation process was staying within those genres, but I think the hardest thing for me was actually concluding the song. There were many times when I wanted to keep creating new sections and chapters to keep the story going.
The music we were creating was so captivating and fun that I did not want Perlivash’s journey to end. I was like “what if after Perlivash explores the Woods, we take him to a forgotten temple full of traps and riddles?” But, I knew that if I wanted this story to be told, I needed to cap it and let it go. This is where I figured, 26 minutes was long enough and I shouldn’t push my luck.
Ry: I think keeping the same instruments and keyboard sounds really helped to keep the fluidity of the piece going.
Gabriel, the sections of the songs are arranged like chapters in a book. Is there a story behind it? Can you tell us what it is? What does Perlivash mean?
PsychCloned: The word Perlivash does not have any particular meaning. The name itself comes from a Dungeons and Dragons campaign I ran for some friends of mine a couple of years ago. Within the campaign itself Perlivash was nothing more than a side NPC meant to cause mischief for the Party.
But, for some reason, the Party grew very fond of Perlivash and his role quickly elevated to something much closer to a main NPC. Unfortunately, toward the end of the campaign the Party was unable to save Perlivash in his hour of need, yet he continues to live in our hearts and minds and even makes cameos in other campaigns I DM from time to time.
This is where Perlivash the song came to fruition. I wanted to recreate his story to immortalize his memory. However, some details needed to be changed in order to make the tale more epic and entertaining. Although Ry and I developed Perlivash in two halves, you can actually think of the song as having four main chapters:
- Perlivash’s birth and upbringing
- Perlivash’s early adventures and explorations
- Rise of the cultists
- Battle of destiny between Perlivash and the Dragon
The song begins by foreshadowing a tale full of tragedy and sorrow but by the end of the experience, you are left with a small glimmer of hope as the Dragon has been defeated and the world has been saved. Once the brawl concludes you are unsure if Perlivash survived the fray as the song maintains a bittersweet victorious melody, but one thing is for certain, had Perlivash not been there to fend off the Dragon, the world would have met its end.
Ry, were you aware of the story being told as you worked on your parts?
Ry: Yes I had a good idea and the story was presented well by Gabriel. I enjoy picturing the scenes and making the music fit.
This question is for both of you. If ‘Perlivash’ were a movie what would be your favorite scene?
PsychCloned: The easy answer is that I love every part of this story but if I had to pick a favorite scene, then I would pick 7:12-10:40 or 17:07-20:19. The first scene involves Perlivash and his Party exploring some unknown territory shrouded in mist and spiritual energy. Suddenly, they are ambushed by a group of angry ghosts and hungry beasts!
This section has two unique functions: it serves as our first action/combat scene within the song, and it gives the Listener the first taste of a more progressive rock n roll sound as we begin to deviate away from our previous Acoustic Celtic/Fantasy Orchestral instrumentation. The introduction of Ry’s grunge-sounding guitar in particular gave me goosebumps and made me fall in love with this section.
The second scene (17:07-20:19) depicts Perlivash and his crew fighting the evil cultists trying to put a stop to their summoning ritual going on in the background. Unfortunately, the group is unable to stop the ritual in time as we see the terrifying Ancient Red Dragon of Destruction come to fruition and begin to wreak havoc to the world. I just really love the tension and drama these sections bring together to help prepare the Listener for the epic battle of destiny that ensues. Plus, I love that mini drum solo beginning at 17:07. It makes me wish I still had my drum set so I could play along and rock out!
Ry: I really like when the distorted guitars are introduced and it takes the piece in a new direction.
It’s a beautiful piece of music. You must be proud. Are there more PsychCloned/Ryan Jones collaborations planned for the future?
PsychCloned: Absolutely! Even though we just finished this masterpiece, I already have a couple of other songs in the works that I would love to collaborate with Ry. There probably won’t be another 26 minute song for another year or so, but, as always, I want to continue experimenting with new sounds, chord progressions, scales, melodies, and stories to create more captivating musical pieces.
I am always trying to find new and creative ways to blend sounds and genres together to help paint vivid scenes and stories for people to enjoy and as I said before, Ry has a magician’s touch when it comes to music. No matter what style of music we work with, he finds a way to empower the music and to turn it into a true work of art.
Ry: I’d love to do more, for sure. I enjoy the challenge and think we can continue to push ourselves and break boundaries.
Is there anything else any of you would like to say?
PsychCloned: I want to thank all my family, friends, and fans who continue to support me throughout each and every release. I love hearing all the wonderful feedback and just how differently everyone experiences my music. No experience is identical to the other which makes producing music oh so fun!
Music continues to be an avenue for me to express myself and while I never really know where a melody will take me, I am happy to know that there are a growing number of you that are eager to hop on board with me and go on a musical journey together.
I don’t know for sure what 2022 has in store for me or my music but I can promise you that there will be many more adventures for us to embark on as there are many more stories yet to be told. Thank you again for all your love and support! Hope you enjoyed Perlivash and I can’t wait to show you what I am working on next! Stay tuned!
Ry: I’m happy that Gabriel asked me to be a part of his musical journey and I hope I can contribute more of my parts to his future projects. Watch this space.