the oregon trail

by one horse town



"Having begun to map out a new audio travelogue through the colonization of the American West on 'westward expansion', my next project would tackle the perilous journey that, in many people's minds, define that period more than any other; The Oregon Trail.

Born partly out of purely historical reference, the larger source of inspiration for the project was quite unlikely: the primitive video game of the same name, which I played as a child in the early 1980's. Rediscovering an updated online version sometime after the completion of the first album, I was struck by the relevance to the music that was beginning to be created for a follow up release. One particular sticking point was that the music that accompanied the game was simply a disaster: too irritating to listen to, and more importantly, distracting from the game itself. I admired the game's simple graphics and complex story points, but would immediately switch off the sound and attempt to sync up my own early compositions to provide a more contextually satisfying experience. The process worked and I began operating with the proposed title 'the oregon trail - original soundtrack'...a reconstructed alternate soundtrack designed to help the listener focus on the story and mechanics of game play.

Having established the conceptual frame for the album, the story embedded in the game provided anchor points for the audio to accompany, and the albums narrative structure virtually wrote itself. In keeping with the long form experience of both the project and the game play, the album quickly filled a three hour duration and underwent many significant rewrites and abandoned musical themes along the way. What begins as an optimistic undertaking, becomes a long and ultimately fatal mission to reach the Pacific Ocean. Since I've never personally survived the game long enough to 'win', I felt compelled to paint a sonic picture of a journey that ended poorly for many who attempted it."


released May 28, 2012

all music composed, recorded and produced by tyler newman / one horse town for

piano on 'you have died of dysentery' performed by paul savio.



about San Francisco, California

artists include:
battery cage
one horse town
the valley of wolves

more to follow...

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