Musical Therapy

Creating an album in an isolated time.

By Guy Chapman – Navarro County Gazette

At the beginning of 2020, Aaron Orsak had envisioned a vastly different year for himself.

The local musician was in the process of transitioning his Shred Shed Studio to the newly formed Veles Studio, while providing guitar lessons and music production for students and clients. Later in the summer, Orsak planned to produce podcasts for local content creators from the top floor of Outside the Lines Studios.

Though Orsak’s studio name branding completed its transition, COVID-19 placed his downtown business ideas on pause for the foreseeable future.

“When COVID hit, I lost all my income,” Orsak said. “Like, it just fell apart. So I couldn’t afford the space, and I really wanted it as my grand ambition was to have a better presentation.”

While not dismissing the idea for the future, Orsak keeps money flowing through guitar lessons for his students and producing podcasts from his home studio.

The extra time has allowed for more focus on his own personal projects, as September 1 saw the release of his newest studio album, Socionaut, under the moniker Time and the Bell.

The new album represents about a year and a half of work, its tracks curated from hundreds of creative ideas and musical hooks.

“I write probably two to three songs a week, maybe more if the creative juices are flowing,” Orsak said. “But only a couple stick. Out of maybe ten songs, only one or two have potential.”

Even if songs aren’t used for a project, the artist finds the focused process of song creation as a means to mentally escape and unwind.

“It’s relaxing,” Orask said. “It takes me out of the moment. It takes me out of the big moment, like a very specific headspace to where nothing really bothers me.”

The album explores themes covering the isolation born from the need to social distance during this current pandemic.

“I think isolation, to explore that right now, is kind of important,” Orsak said. “When I started the album, it was way before COVID, so it was about my own depression and anxiety issues, and feeling alone.”

As 2020 continued to wear on through sheltering in place, the influence of confined solitude found its own voice in the music.

Socionaut delves into other topics through its melodic twists, from relationships, personal history, and general feelings of uneasiness.

“I want to make people feel anxious when they hear some of my stuff,” Orsak said. “Like, they want to turn it off, but if they stick with it, it’s kind of like this cathartic thing.”

In addition to his own solo work, Orsak collaborates with fellow local musician Chelsea McClanahan as part of another band, The EvilEye Effect.

While Orsak produces and performs the music, McClanahan provides lyrics and vocals for the tracks.

EvilEye Effect’s newest music, a track titled “Infinitum,” has already gotten airtime from a radio station in Oklahoma, the result of a request for blind submissions.

“That was a huge moment,” he said. “That was my only goal ever to get on the radio. That was it, and now I’ve hit it.”

Orsak chuckled at the realization of attaining his goal.

“Now I’m like, ‘What the hell do I do now?’”

Socionaut’s digital release can be found on all streaming services.

The EvilEye Effect will release a new album titled Chrysalis November 11 of this year.

On the Net:

Time and the Bell on Apple Music

Time and the Bell on Amazon Music

Time and the Bell on Spotify

Courtesy photo