…like tears in rain (headphone mix)

This piece is actually called …like tears in rain. Although I just now realize where it came from and I did so accidentally; the title comes from the end of the movie “Blade Runner”.

It’s about memories. How I sometimes experience deep moving moments that are crystalizing events. I only realize it much later.

So this piece in particular is long and improvised in a way. It starts out with a dulcimer sound. An invitation for reflection. Anchored by a drone. Then what sounds like a waterfall is the arpeggiator playing by itself. Then there’s a “discovery of overtones” to the sound firing off, a little hint of depth, revealing soul. The drone is gone, the anchor is gone. The music becomes random, based on a chord that is rooted with a second in the bottom and the tonic in the top. (it just seemed to work this way)

So this is the jumping off point for the piece.

Slowly the drone turns into a bass line that anchors and structures the piece.
A lead synth comes in augmented by string parts that tend to swell over the mix. It builds with a bit of percussion and then the bass line changes. That’s when the ‘close to home’ theme comes in. A small synth riff is played as everything tapers down removing each part one by one. That melody is borrowed from Tony Banks. The mix thins out leaving the dulcimer sound and the feeling of being adrift. The drone comes back in and a “thanks for the reflection” melody returns that’s the same as the invitation.

The sound effect at the end is a reminder to me how fleeting memories, thoughts, experiences are; how they tend to evaporate after they’ve served their purpose.

Kinda like fireflies. Maybe I should rename it.

“…like tears in rain (headphone mix)

Thanks everyone for your patience while I finished this music and learned how this stuff worked.

Thanks for listening.

Stephen A. Thomas

7 Responses to “…like tears in rain (headphone mix)”

  1. Linda Says:

    This is my favorite piece so far. I didn’t like the beginning as much, but once the piece got going, I liked it. Sounds like background music in a movie or soap opera.

    Hope all is well.


  2. Sathomas Says:

    Thanks Linda, that means a lot.

    More updates and hopefully pictures soon.

    Been wanting to talk to you guys. Plan to talk to Larry this week.


  3. Sathomas Says:



    Thanks for taking 10 minutes out of your busy schedule to listen to it and comment. I really appreciate and need that feedback.


  4. Davak Says:

    Writing as I listen…

    The initial “blat” on the drone seems a little out of place.

    Where the drone leaves, I expected more bass sooner. When the bass comes in, it’s a little too distorted at times.

    Love the combination of the voices in the middle part of the piece. I wasn’t expecting the percussion to come in.

    (Anna just walked in and said, “I love the music.” She has no idea it is you.)

    3/4 through now.

    Chuckling at the cymbal crescendo… I knew it would be in there somewhere.

    Ah, the drone comes back as I thought the piece was going to end. I like the theme…

    Love the upward spirializing mod effect… would love more how to do it myself.

    Two thumbs up from Anna and me.

  5. Linda Says:

    Just wanted you to know that we played it yesterday as I did some of my ” housework”— changing sheets.

    I can’t comment as specifically as Davak does ( I’m not that smart!!!), but I really do like the middle ” melody” ( for lack of a better word??? ) part.

    Need to update you on Luke’s kindermusik classes- I think you would be impressed with the lessons. Peyton is also enjoying them—

    I guess your blog isn’t the place for catching up—- Oh well!


  6. sathomas Says:


    You’re intuition is right on. The middle section is the release and contains the highest point of movement in the piece.

    It’s 2 synthesiser sounds and a lot of knob turning.
    the first part of the middle section is inspired by Tony Banks.
    The Second part (where the sound changes and more percussion comes in) is inspired by Lyle Mays and closes with melody’s both musicians have used.
    I was trying different stuff out and it came together. It just happen to work.

    This piece is divided into thirds. Almost three minutes in length for each part. I’d like to say it was intentional.

    The first section is about an invitiation to reflect. Or for housework.
    It actually starts in the key of G I think.

    It takes time to move to the middle section for 2 reasons.

    1.The middle section is the key of D & It takes a minute for the ear to shift from the invitation melody to the funky arppegiator playing (the waterfall kind of sound).

    Sidebar re: arppegiator:
    I chose a chord that has an uprooted feeling to it. Since you’re a keyboard player you might dig this. its e-f#-a-d. Tim told me its a D major chord with a raised tonic.
    The reason I chose it was because what the arppegiator did with it when I set it to play randomly.

    2. The Reason it takes so long for the bass line to come back in for the middle section (to answer davaks question) is because there’s a sweet spot the arpeggiator plays and I’m waiting to play the bass line with it.

    Since that “waterfall” sound is all randomly generated it was a happy accident. i admit I wanted to use that one little sweet spot. and in order to do so I had to wait in real time. The trade off is that You are listening to how it was played in real time.

    It’s a big request to ask people to spend 9 minutes of their busy lives to listen to one piece of music.
    So maybe some pro tools editing is a good idea to get to that middle section faster.

    All that to say is. The middle section is the focal point.
    It is the reward for listening and sticking with the piece.

    And I do appreciate you doing so and commenting on it.

    That may be way more than you want to know but it’s how it worked out.

    Different mixes are in the near future.

    Larry hipped me to L & P kindermusik class. I’m amazed! I wish I had that at that age.

    He also said he had bought a copy of Edgar Winter’s Frankenstein! I wish I coulda seen their faces the first time they heard it.
    I mean rock n roll, drum solos, freaky synthesizer sounds (an Arp 2600 analog modular. I’m embarrassed that I know that.)

    The thing that is so exciting to me is that P is also into music just as much as L.

    What a great gift to have both kids absorbing all that music on a daily basis!

    So did you ever think your kids would be so interested in music?

    take care and thanks for the comments.


  7. sathomas Says:


    It thrills me A digs the piece.

    As far as the sound at the end of the piece?

    It’s in the 800’s bank in my oberheim module I bought at GC for $50.

    Isn’t that funny?

    There’s 1000 sounds in that 20 year old synth. I used that synth a lot on this piece. There’s a good chance this is the debut for such swrilie mod sound effect.

    Thanks for listening Davak. I agree about the bass blat. I was hoping listeners would dismiss it. That’s what I get for having Uber-smart friends! This includes valdectorian/ educator Linda! (apologies in advance for rolling youu under the bus like that)

    have a good weekend guys


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