Full track list:
01 Haunter Of The Dark
02 The Call Of Cthulhu
03 New England Childhood
04 The Hound
05 Weird Tales
06 In The Walls Of Eryx
07 The Outsider
08 Dreams At The Witchhouse
09 Through The Gates Of The Silver Key
10 The Nameless City
11 The Music Of Erich Zann
12 It Is Not Dead
13 Greyhound Travels
14 Manhatten Rag
16 Kaddath In The Great Void
17 I Am Providence
18 Shadow Out Of Time
19 The Doom That Came To Sarnath
20 Lurking Fear
21 The Craft Of Love
Please note that all the tracks form one continous mix...
"The Outsider" is my 41st album, finished in August 2002 (incidentally around Lovecraft's 112 birthday) and basically "available" since then; (more "officially") released as part of my large self-distributed box set "No Single Single" in summer of 2007.
For Your interest, here are some chunks of information about the background of this album:
1. About my diploma project (...which this album was part of):
From summer 1995 to early 2003, I was studying communication design ( = good old graphical design under a new fashionable name) with an emphasis on illustration and book design at the University of Applied Science.
Due to the fact that I already married and started a family in 1998, who I had to support, it took me rather long to complete my studies, working already (almost) full time along with going to university.
In addition to this, from the early 90ies on my dabbling in music had grown more and more intense - and time consuming - so when it was time for me to choose a topic for my diploma project, I had hardly any time to take care for it, and decided to take refuge in the only matter I had enough experience in and knowledge about to save me the effort to start the project from scratch: the illustration of science fiction and horror stories, something I had done for about a decade during my late teens (but at the point of time of my diploma had neclected for almost another decade already...).
There were still more considerations (I will spare You all the details) but in the end my self-chosen subject was to "explore the possibilities of digital illustration techniques on the example of an illustrated book with both stories of and biographical essays on the influential American horror writer Howard P. Lovecraft" - including also a CD (with music!) that came with the book in one package. Of course this inclusion was just a devilish ploy to have a reason for spending even more time with creating music...
I actually struggled a lot with this project, being under stress with my daytime job and family issues, and the book never advanced much beyond the concept stage.
The album, however, was finished.
2. About my appreciation for H.P. Lovecraft:
It is strange that although I had been an avid reader of horror, fantasy and science fiction quite early in my life, that I discovered Lovecraft's unique universe of short stories and novellas rather late. I actually had stumbled upon his name, upon musical adaptions of some of his stories, upon pastiches of lesser authors and even one or two of his oiginal stories before, but at this early encounters, it didn't click - instead, for some reason, it hit me with the power of a crashing meteor from the depths of outer space when I was 19 or 20 years old, and in a state of utter fasciantion I had to devour any book by him that I could find (fortunately, most of his work was still in print then in excellent German editions back then). After being obsessed with his work for some time, I also started to take interest in Lovecraft's unique - and quite strange - personality, studying any biographical information on the man I could find, and discovering that weird as he may have been, I could find many parallels in his life to my own troubles, problems and feelings. Which doesn't mean that I agree to all (or any) of the believes or views on life he had - certainly not to his racist paranoia - but I felt (and still feel) strangely close to that lonely writer who never would have anticipated his posthumous fame...
So, when I finally created some music dedicated to him - years after the fire of that first intoxication had calmed down to a steady appreciation and finally into the (probably illusive) feeling of long familiarity - it really meant a lot to me personally.
3. About the album in particular:
One thing was important for me: whether I would succeed in that or not, I was determined not to try to produce music that just feeds the "gothic" cliché; the music should be scary, if I could achieve that, but in the most otherworldly, alien way I could come up with. Therefore, the album has a rather experimental, in parts maybe even "avant garde"-like character most of the time - at least if it comes to the adaption of his stories. But I did not only adapt those, but also included tracks inspired by HPL's live, and those are (usually) more musical in a traditional way (there are exceptions to both "rules" though, as I usually only make up rules to break them again).
With hindsight and from the distance of more than ten years, I think the more experimental parts work better than the rather melodic efforts; then again, I know from a couple of listeners that they are of the opposite opinion...
4. About the "bonus items":
I have added a couple of texts which come with the download of this album; in the first place, these are some biographical essays on Lovecraft and also some of his stories (to initiate the uninitiatied). Of course I don't own any copyright in these; however they are just PDF copies of publically available internet pages (HPL's work in particular is public domain by now) and I could just as well have given You the links; I just provide these files for Your convenience and as a "background" for the album in case some listener is still unfamiliar with Lovecraft's person and work. Most of these text are in English, some in German...
There is also a video wich presents a "slide show" of many of the sketches and illustrations I did for my diploma project, plus a Lovecraft inspired short stories which originially was written at a school examn during my apprenticeship as an offset printer, ca. 1991, and later revised and edited for inclusion in my diploma project.
As some of You might now, before I dabbled in music, I was not only into illustration, but also writing (science fiction in the first place). This story is - obviously - in German, my mother tongue (...my poor school English would hardly suffice for a proper English translation - sorry, all of You who can't read it :-) ).
If You like the Lovecraft inspiration of "The Outsider", You also might take interest in it's "remix" compagnion "It Is Not Dead - The Outsider Remakes" or my later album "Breakfast on Yuggoth"...
Finally, some excellent web pages dedicated to H.P. Lovecraft:
The H.P. Lovecraft Archive
The H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society
Collected Public Domain Works of H. P. Lovecraft