Penguins On Mars

Format Digital – Martian science cinema jazz

“Penguins on Mars” is the first CD by Guitares Cinématiques. (It’s released digitally but a physical CD is expected in May.)  The music genre is called “Martian Science Cinema Jazz” for lack of a better term.  This project started as a film but became a music CD, at least for the moment… So, really the CD is meant to represent what it would feel like to watch the film… the imaginary film inside the artist’s head. 

This CD is collection of 11 original pieces of music. Each piece represents a different “scene” so the music is quite varied in style. 

Despite the fact that this CD required a special guitar, this is NOT a “guitar” CD.  The idea is that the CD fully replaces a film. Half of the tracks are instrumental and half are with voice. The CD combines classical guitar played both acoustically and electronically with voice, flugelhorn, cello, and sfx’s to create extremely detailed visual music around the themes of Mars, the migration of the Polynesians from Peru, space flight, magnetic field reversals, and solar coronal mass ejections. 

Except for the flugelhorn and cello parts everything is played by means of a guitar. All of the percusssion instruments (cymbals, high hat, kettledrums, tambourine, and xylophone) and some of the horns (trombone, french horn, and tuba) are played using the classical guitar to trigger software synthesizers via MIDI.

The tempos are sometimes 11/8, 7/8, 10/8, 5/8 or a combination of different tempos playing at the same time.

Some might might say the music is like “Pink Floyd meets Ralph Towner” but that’s just a very rough description because the music doesn’t really sound like anything else.

Available on I-Tunes,, E-music, Napster, 

Guitares Cinematiques is a solo band of the artist, Nicolas.  Nicolas studied guitar with Ralph Towner (of the world music group, Oregon), jazz guitarist Steve Cardenas, and classical guitarist David Russell.  The guitar is  a cutaway classical guitar with MIDI designed by Dr. Michael Kasha and built by Richard Schneider, Jay Hargreaves, and George Majkowski (reviewed in Acoustic Guitar Magazine Jan 2004 article “Great Acoustics”) Photos of the guitar at:  In addition to the CD Penguins On Mars, Guitares Cinematiques also released is a very unusual single “Heavenly Forces Are (Not Necessarily) So Divine” which is a jazz “lecture” on Multiple Sclerosis and Solar Storms.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply