PHOTO COURTESY GEOFF SCOTT SYNTH WIZARD — Musician and DeLand resident Geoff Scott is pictured here with a synthesizer, like the one he used to record albums like They Live in the Trees and The Sacred Trial of the Orb.

DeLand musician Geoff Scott tells stories with his music. After producing two albums in a year, he started his own record label to ensure he had the freedom to tell those tales.

“I’ve always been huge into movie scores,” Scott told The Beacon. “Probably a fifth of my record collection is movie scores.”

That’s how Scott approached his two latest projects: They Live in the Trees, which he produced as Elder Spell, and The Sacred Trial of the Orb, produced as Beholder Cult Leader. The albums, while both solo projects of Scott’s, are very different.

They Live in the Trees is “80s horror-inspired synth music,” Scott said. The 2020 album brings to mind the creeping synthesizer scores of John Carpenter’s horror films, like Halloween and The Thing, and the sweeping scores from other atmospheric works, like the TV show Twin Peaks.

And then there’s The Sacred Trial of the Orb, “a Dungeons and Dragons quest set to music,” Scott said.

The Sacred Trial sounds like the soundtrack to the coolest fantasy video game you’ve never played.

Music has always been a part of Scott’s life. He’s been in several bands, from punk to jazz groups, and plays many instruments — from keyboards to bass guitar to banjo — and his interests run the gamut, too.

“Most musicians have a thing they do. Like, ‘I like punk music, so I make punk music,’” he said. “That’s not me. I’ve always had 10-15 ideas in my head for some giant project having to do with music.”

The Sacred Trial of the Orb, for example, is an intersection of multiple artistic ventures.

“It’s all instrumental, so the story’s told through the song titles,” he said. “Each song title is two sentences, and sort of shows you the story of this cult leader.”

The cassette release of the album even includes a map of the fantasy realm where the story takes place.

While working on The Sacred Trial, Scott went ahead and started his own record label, Burarum Records. The record label, its name a Lord of the Rings reference, has so far only released Scott’s own projects and all on cassette tapes.

Why cassettes? Aren’t tapes a worse-sounding forerunner to CDs? I asked Scott.

“It absolutely is, but there’s something magical about cassette tapes. It adds this s—-y layer of sound that provides this sort of warmth,” he said. “No one’s going to argue that tape sounds better than anything, but there’s something nice about it. Having it, holding it, putting it in your pocket. It provides a ritual for listening to music you don’t even get from vinyl.”

Scott’s hard at work on his next few records, one of which he hopes to have available for listeners in the coming months.

“The working title is Vampire Ritual for Unholy Sextet and Vampire Organ,” he said. “I got this … synthesizer, and I found this sound on it that sounded like a vampire organ. I’ve always loved organ.”

Scott said listeners can expect a 30-minute album of organ compositions themed around, well, the name says it all — vampires.

You can listen to They Live in the Trees, The Sacred Trial of the Orb and all of Scott’s future projects as they release on Apple Music, on Spotify and on the Bandcamp page for Burarum Records, www.burarumrecords.bandcamp. com, where Scott also sells merchandise, including shirts, stickers and cassette tapes.

Recommended if you like: Stranger Things, the grand feeling of adventure, synthesizers.

Genre: Synthwave, electronic, dungeon synth.

— Are you a West Volusia musician or band working on an earworm? Making dance music in Deltona? Punk music in Pierson? Send it to noah@beacononlinenews.com and you may be featured in a future West Volusia Playlist.

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