The music available here is split between three different projects. Please use the Discography menu at the top to explore.
The Altus project began in 2001 and has continued to blossom to this day. The majority of releases revolve around the ambient and new age genres, but has also delved into neo-classical, dark ambient, and electronica. In 2018, a decision was made for any future ambient-style works to be released through a new project, Loneward. From that point onward, music released under the Altus moniker will used to explore new ideas outside the ambient/new age genre.
The Loneward project began in 2018, and lives solely within melodic ambient territory. Its purpose is to provide a consistent listening experience across its discography. If you enjoy one Loneward release, you'll enjoy them all.
The Burlorke project began in 2016, and explores a mix of 80s / 90s synthpop, new wave, and darkwave, without being derivative. This is an outlet to explore very different moods and ideas that fall outside the scope of Altus. Out of the three, this receives the least amount of energy and could easily be considered a side project.
As with any artist who has a lot of music, it can be a little daunting for a newcomer to know where to start. And in the case here where everything is free, there's nothing holding someone back from downloading the entire discography in one sitting. There are a few drawbacks to doing this.
1. Downloading a lot of music in one sitting means there's a good chance you may not listen to all of it.
2. Even if you do, it may not be enjoyed to its full potential due to the backlog of albums downloaded. It could even feel like a chore.
My suggestion is to take the time to listen to one album, as you would a purchased CD.
If you're still reading this, I assume you've sampled my music and want to delve deeper. Here are more suggestions to get the most out of my work.
1. Download the current releases first and continue backwards chronologically.
2. I don't expect anyone to enjoy everything I produce, so make use of the music player on each album's page to preview before downloading.
3. Only download one album every week / every two weeks / every month . . . whatever works for you. The point is to take the time to enjoy and savour each release.
I truly hope you enjoy the music of Altus, Loneward, and Burlorke, and keep coming back for more.
Curious to know more? Sonic Immersion has all the details, including what came before Altus.
Who are you?
Mike Carss  ~  Located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Why aren't you offering FLAC for free anymore?
My back catalogue (up to the beginning of 2015) will remain free (FLAC and MP3). From that point onward, FLAC will be available to purchase on Bandcamp. MP3 will continue to be a free download from my site. Unfortunately I don't have the resources I once had, and every dollar makes a difference. Making music costs money, and this project has gone beyond being just a hobby.
What is FLAC?
FLAC is an audio format, similar to MP3, but with no compromise to audio quality. It is also known as a lossless format. Up to the beginning of 2015, FLAC files are identical to CD quality. Any music purchased from Bandcamp are slightly higher than CD quality. They're excellent for long-term archival purposes, and they can be transcoded to future audio formats that don't exist yet, with zero loss of quality in the conversion.
Can I play your music on my radio show/podcast?
Absolutely! I would love to know where and possibly when my music will be playing. Thank you for your support!
I'd like to use a track for commercial use (film/TV/games).
Please contact me with details to work out a license. I also have no problem in making changes, adjustments, or remixing an existing track to fit your needs.
I really enjoy your music. Will you be releasing more?
Absolutely. There are a number of ways to stay informed of future releases.
Are you planning on releasing another Winter Embrace album?
No, the series is complete, but check out The Sidereal Cycle 3. The theme is identical.
Any other creative endeavours?
I wrote a novel in 2013 titled Deeds of Their Past. A sequel was started, but remains in limbo since writing music takes up most of my free time.