Plasmapause – A 30 Year Journey to my first EP Album

We’re in the plasmapause, a place of equilibrium, where the forces of the earth meet the forces of the sun. I imagine it as a place of stillness, where the particles of dust stop spinning and hang motionless in deep space. – Jo Ann Beard

We all have side projects, passions and hobbies, things we love to do, that succumb to the priorities and matters of life that take precedence. We take those very things and sometimes put them on the proverbial “back burner” of the metaphorical oven, waiting sometimes for an eternity to be stirred, seasoned or checked on. In my case, my thing was put on the “back burner” of a secondary oven, not even on the main floor of my house in the basement that I don’t even have for almost 30 years.

I’ve been composing, performing and recording music since I am 9 years old. Started on piano, electronic keyboards, and then by 10 years old was lucky enough to have a dad who was willing to buy me my first multi-track recorder. Thank you, dad! Guitar, drum machines, samplers and percussion instruments were also in my future that made for an eclectic array of soundscapes and songs that lingered in my head, pounding my cranium waiting to get out to be heard.

I played in different bands and with lots of talented and inspiring people who shaped the person and musician I would grow into this day. I’ve also been blessed to have the opportunity to lend my talents to musicals, instrumental background music for media and a vast compilation of musical accompaniment projects that have always challenged me to write music from the heart and for feel.

For my process, music and songs almost in their entirety, would assemble themselves in my mind’s ear before a note would ever leave my fingers. Being hearing impaired since birth, I suspect, has always given me a knack for writing and hearing all the musical parts separately and together at will, committed to memory and ready for output when time allowed. Along the way and out of the necessity and desire to simplify the process of composing, playing and recording, I eventually took on the last frontier of musicianship, singing. After finding my voice, experimenting with vocal range in my arrangements, I sought after recording (the beginning) of what would eventually become, Plasmapause. This would become the initial recordings of my first EP album, featuring all original music, performed by me over the span of what is now probably 30 total years.

Being a life long “do-it-yourselfer” I incurred about $25,000 in credit card debt to purchase all the recording equipment I would need to professionally capture the songs that waited patiently in my head to escape onto the digital perpetuity of Digital Audio Tape (DAT). I don’t recommend anyone do such a thing, as this was an act of passion during what was definitely a turbulent time in life, where art was therapy and a means to a new beginning. My close friend, who moved to Mexico for two-months one summer, left me his apartment to convert into a temporary studio. This is where the acoustic songs on Plasmapause were recorded. Bless Don’s landlord and his neighbors.

In subsequent years and thousands of more dollars later, recording equipment became even more simpler, powerful and compact, yet still able to produce a professional quality recording, which once again would leave my music ending up on either DAT, a CD or now as it would be a hard disk on an iMac or Macbook.

In 1997 I became an educator and onto the back burner much of this work would be placed to simmer for decades on low-low heat warming. Not to say that the creative process ceased, because it didn’t. My compositions were mostly instrumentals now and with Logic Pro and Garage Band easily accessible on Macs, writing, recording and archiving was a breeze.

What is always the next and final step before trying to publish and distribute music is the music mastering process, where music is formatted and optimized using an industry standard for playback across all systems and media formats. This process used to be expensive and time consuming, once upon a time, which with competing priorities and more realistic life goals, hindered me from ever pursuing.

Flash forwarding to the present, it was during the 2022 winter recess, where I decided to investigate just how advanced and technological the mastering and distribution process had become in modern times. Wow, was I blown away by the accessibility and price-point of DIY services that now existed due to major advancements with audio-optimization using AI and digital-based web tools. In short, a combination of Landr and Tunecore served to quickly take me through the mastering, publishing and distribution process with ease and at a reasonable cost as well.

What beholds below (via Spotify and YouTube) and is now available on all major music streaming platforms including: Apple Music:, Amazon: and YouTube is my first EP, Plasmapause. I consider my genre: #singersongwriter and my favorite lyric is from the song, Stage Call,

“And this is life, under the shadows of the lights, and we’re walking on its stage, with the curtains slowly closing on us.”

Enjoy the many stories, musings and soundscapes that are mine, personal, others and now for all.

Album: Plasmapause

Artist: Mark Erlenwein

Released: 1.4.23

Available on all major music platforms.



Album Artwork created by AI:

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