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Catharsis: A Sensory​-​Friendly Album

by Asperkraken



Catharsis: the process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions. Warning: this is not an album of beats or grooves, It is intended to produce deep calm and may even induce sleep.

As an autistic person, I have always found it difficult to express myself in a sincere and honest way. I also grew up in a household where I was encouraged to repress my feelings. So I have always felt that music has allowed me to express things that I won't put into words, can't put into words or nonetheless have the inability to express anyways.

I wrote this album in 2006. It was largely - well, entirely - composed on a Yamaha PSS-470 synthesizer with a guitar effects pedal. It was particularly inspired by the ambient works of Brian Eno so it aims for a minimal, atmopsheric and melodic sound. The keyboard uses many of the same chips and analog architecture that tthe Sega Genesis / Megadrive used for its sounds and hence, is in the same vein as the soundtrack to Phantasy Star IV, one of the first games to really move me emotionally.

This was a pretty dark time in my life. I was running around aimless, doing things to myself that were awful for me, amongst other things, and had just gone through some personal drama. I was frustrated, sad and without purpose. So I wrote this. Or rather, the music allowed me to write it. Around the same time, I had a penpal become depressed and shared it with them. They found some comfort in it. Hence, catharsis.

I am not particularly convinced of the new age concept of "sound healing," but I do believe in the natural comfort that music can create, both in absorbing it and in creating it. I think music can heal on an emotional level and can be a universal language. Several other autistics, including some who may have verbal challenges, have found art to be a means of expressing things they normally could not.

This album is meant to be unabrasive, unintrusive and is ultimately sensory friendly. You or another autistic person you know may find some form of healing or release in it. My autistic sister would often hum or bob or weave along to my music so I am sharing this album with others. If you may find the usual beeps, squeaks and auditory wiggles a bit much, this album may be more your suit.

I hope you find as much comfort in this as I did. For when the world and life is too loud and you just need to be swallowed by sound. This album is your heavy blanket.

I would also like to dedicate this reissue to a lost friend, the late Jason Bursey. He was one of the first people to believe in my music and even distributed hundreds of copies of a CDR around Fort Worth called John Henry: Spiritual Noise from 1981. He died of an overdose about a year or so back and I have a feeling that he may have been neurodivergent. He had an amazing mind and was vastly creative and found expression through electronic music as I do. I wish I could have shared this with him, but he vanished into darkness before I could.



released January 9, 2018

Composed, performed and produced originally by Gustuf Young, 2006. Remastered in 2017.

Tracks titled by Michael Blanton aka Metroyd Myk.

Original Artwork by Elisabetta Palisi.
(Portfolio may contain mature imagery.)


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Chiptunes4Autism Fort Worth, Texas

We are a non-profit organization looking to promote neurodiversity through the power of chiptune and help autistics express themselves thru music, art and technology! Join us!

Currently benefiting the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network and You Are Rad!
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