Friday, April 10, 2009

It's been a while.

I haven't really written too much of anything, I've just been musically frusterated, stressed out, and just haven't had enough time in general to really record anything.

This is an original one, my first time experimenting with Reason. That's a cool program. The mallets that play at the very beginning was the inspiration for this song. I was messing around on piano and came up with the first two measures of this song. I had just installed this Reason program and thought it was an excellent time to put it to the test. This is what turned out. Once the main progression comes in on B Major, that was when the chords kind of took a direction of their own because that wasn't what I intended this song to be like at all. I tried to bring that first concept back with the bridge and ending, but it still didn't sound right until I ended it on a B Major scale.

This song is actually a rough draft of a song that will be incorporated into a flash video game that me and a team of about 15 other people are trying to make. The idea behind this what I was told to write, which was literally "an epic choir hell song." I hate the choir sample in this and I'm still trying to find a more realistic one, I also don't like how it constantly pans. Currently I'm trying to make a jazzy lounge theme using the melody from these choir vocals. This is proving to be really difficult, but I think I can manage.

It doesn't really make much sense to call this an accidental blues idea, but that's kind of exactly what happened. The three little synth notes that come in after the bass guitar were my inspiration for this one. It was meant to be a work song, something to listen to in the background while you were doing something. After I made it though, I thought that this would be the perfect song to have a bunch of people improvise over it because it's so simple. It ends really abruptly because I was just too lazy to make an ending. To be honest though, I don't really want to make an ending until I actually play this song with someone, which probably won't happen anytime soon, but at least this song gave me some blues composition experience, as well as experience with the effects modules in Reason.

One night I was in a particularly bad mood, so I decided to just get the practice room key from the front desk, haul all my recording equipment to the practice room, and just record whatever I happen to play on piano. Viola. I can't take full credit for this; however, because I took the chords from Together We Shall Live Forever by Clint Mansell and just added a dominant chord on the end and repeated all of those chords over and over again for twelve minutes and just kind of rocked out. I don't want to make this an actual song, but I was surprised that it wasn't as boring to listen back to as I thought it would be. I am sloppy as hell in this though, I'm no piano player.

That's about it. I have a lot of stuff to do and I probably won't get around to all the musical things that I want to, but we'll see.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Manhã de Carnaval by Luiz Bonfa

I've been obsessing over this song today so I decided to practice singing and barbershopped it. There are some times that I'm definitely flat, which is kind of disappointing, but I think it'd be a really cool cover if it was done as a barbershop, and if I knew the words.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Untitled idea in Ebm - lacking lyrics

It's always kind of a let down when you write some music that you like but just can't seem to put any sort of literal lyrical meaning behind it. The emotion is unmistakably there, but it's kind of a primal, simplistic emotion. I came up with a couple lyrical ideas for this one, but the one that I actually thought was good poetry with strong imagery and a consistent theme sounded horrible when I recorded it. It wasn't even self-judgment in my voice, the timbre of the melody just completely blended in with the background vocals because it was me singing everything. This problem could probably be fixed by someone who actually understands the science of recording, but as such, I do not. Also, for some reason, when I recorded the drums there was no noise in the audio file at all, but when I recorded everything else in the exact same manner, there was. Kind of a pain in the ass, but it's not like this is even a complete song, so I didn't bother to try and figure out what the problem was.

I've wanted to do something with these chords for a while but couldn't decide on what until I came up with the drum beat in this idea. After that, everything else kind of fell into place, with vocals coming in last.

To me, this song is about following your dream even if that dream isn't the most successful thing to do financially speaking. However, because there's nothing in this idea that directly states that, as the composer I openly encourage interpretation and I would prefer that the listener finds their own meaning within these chords, the vocal harmonies, and the rhythm.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Fruit Stand (unfinished)

My counterpart and I decided to compose a song that was happy, but not cliché and certainly not about love. This is when we came across the concept of food. And as we all know, or should know, fruit just happens to be delicious. We first tried to write about a particular fruit, but couldn't decide on what, so my counterpart came up with the brilliant idea of a fruit stand. We agreed upon a time signature, a tempo, and a key, and decided to compose separate parts within these boundaries. I have yet to hear his version, it could still be under development for all I know. I might add drums to this, I might not. I have yet to decide on a drum beat that sits well in my stomach.

My friend was kind enough to strum the guitar chords I wrote and everything else was performed by me, including the awful vocals. I really only sound good singing harmonies right now and suck at singing the main melodies, but maybe someday with some formal or informal training I can change that.

I really enjoyed making this, even though I'm not too impressed with the end result. First, I came up with the vocal melody and the lyrics simultaneously. Then I added in the chords based off of the written melody. The orchestra bells were just a fun little thing to add on to help visualize little droplets of fruit juice. Ideally, I would've liked to sample the sounds of fruits being mashed or ripped open, and I might still do that. We'll see, along with that drum track.