Archive for the ‘aliens’ Category

theme one

November 27, 2007

welcome back.

i call this one “theme one” (click to listen) because i think of it as the first of a specific collection of “film music with no film.” i wrote it this weekend at my parents place in Missouri, on their piano, in a food coma.

i’ve been getting more and more focused on writing for picture, and at times when no picture is readily available, i’ve written a few things to mental pictures. this pieces mental picture isn’t as specific as some, but i think it leads the minds eye in a certain direction. while i was writing in MO, i started transitioning into entirely different music at the end of the piece, but in this case, chose and recorded and ending to it. in said film, it probably wouldn’t end the way it does in this case.  i dunno.

Form/Theme

A. the main theme is presented right at the top of the piece, heard in the high voice of the piano…playful but with a bit of a “trouble in paradise” idea.

B. transition material darkens the character a bit, then redeems/lightens (“ah” vocals) the character a bit. this section acknowledges that something mysterious/questionable is abound i think.

A1. the main theme in a new key with slight alterations – a back and forth of light and dark ideas…using a whole tone scale at the end to add escalating tension.

C. transition/truncated theme brightens things up a bit, quoting the theme and creating a nice little “V I” to the end section. a “V I” (five, one) is basically a way to set up a new resting place, or harmonic “home” for the ear. it’s like the “amen” at the end of a hymn, with two chords (five/one or four/one) that say “all-done” or “your home” to the ear.

D. new material – we arrive at this “home” and slow the pace down. the character is tired perhaps, or contemplative. this section goes back and forth between light and dark versions of itself, nodding to that conflict still existing (whatever that conflict is). then, maybe the character falls asleep.

what do you think?

YOUR MISSION, if you choose to be awesome:

come up with a short narrative for this piece and post it as a comment. i have ideas, but they’re pretty open. i’d LOVE to hear yours.

j

mikey

October 2, 2007

mikey” (click for mp3)

welcome back to the jon steinmeier song a week super blog blitzkrieg. this weeks song, “mikey”, is a fun little electro dance sci-fi cinema sound scape.

i felt like doing a little semi-programmatic thingy this week, and play a bit with sounds and atmospheres. i get into this zone sometimes, inspired in part by sounds that i find. in this case, i’m using some of the same “kraftwerkesque” drum sounds from last weeks song “berlin” but in a more instrumental way, and playing more with atmospheric samples.

i like that the piece is a bit ADD, and moves from idea to idea and back in a pretty short space. and it’s a different sort of “composition” that i’ve gotten into a lot in the past year or so, getting away from chord changes and song forms a bit.

it’s also the sort of piece that i imagine a video with, as the main focus of the piece. in that sense, consider it “unfinished” until one of you brilliant videographers wants to take a stab at it. let me know! i can pay you in hugs.

thanks for listening!

j

hot air balloon

July 28, 2007

hey kids!

hot air balloon” is a song about romance, air travel, aliens, survival, and cheeseburgers.

a friend of mine and i were talking recently about taking a hot air balloon trip, in jest. it got me thinking, and really liked the image of being on your way somewhere, but fascinated by your surroundings all the way there. being simultaneously excited about where you’re going and your immediate “place,” or “journey.”

the song ended up being mostly about discovery; some possible, some actual, some fantastic, some personal. for example, the idea of aliens and magic carpets are fantastic (to me), but the discovery of “theory’s i would make it through” are both actual and possible. in this case, all of these discoveries take place in the context of a hot air balloon trip.

explaining “what a song is about” is always a little tricky to me. this is a good example of me writing with actual meaning, about REAL things (as apposed to other recent rambles) but it’s set in a fantastic, UNREAL environment, much like the connection between dreams and personal reality.

any questions? 🙂

here are lyrics, with some original (optional) lines in parenthesis:

pack light cause we’re low on space
in this place high above my little home (the clouds of doubt)
focus hard cause we might just face
a storm or angry aliens supergnomes (when we get out)

i love you up so high in the sky
i love that you brought some apple pie
i love it when you pull the string
i hear it my scull for at least a week-ling

i had a conversation with a magic carpet
it told me everything i ever said i knew (thought i always i knew)

i saw you in a hot air balloon ah yeah

pack a lighter for a cigarette break
on the way across that ocean that we’ve heard about
pack a camera cause there might be a lake
on a clowd, out in space, near the in-and-out (when we get out)

i love you on the balcony
i’d never throw you out into the sea
i love it when you pull the string
i hear it in my scull like a telephone ring

AND I CAN SEE EVERYTHING FROM HERE

i had a conversation with an angry alien
it told me names of theory’s i would make it through

i saw you in a hot air balloon ah yeah

LOON…BALLOON…BALLOON…BALLOONY BALLOON

it’s like magic
in my hot air balloon
paper plastic
i’m glad i’m here with you

AND I CAN SEE EVERYTHING FROM HERE

i want to tell you all about my time in prison
but we’re so high up in the sky i wouldn’t dare
i want to arm-wrestle the alien invention
but i’m preoccupied with flying through the air

bohemian stove

July 21, 2007

hey kids! thanks for tuning in. “bohemian stove” is a goofy dance song. shake yer money maker!

i might do another version of this one, cause my performance is a little awkard at times, but i kinda like that about it too. so i’m not sure. i wrote a lot of words for this one, and tried to fit a fair number of them into a pretty small space in time. 🙂

i’ve been doing a lot of these tunes recently, honing my MC skillz. it’s been fun, in part because of the rhythmic game of it, but also because hearing myself do it is very funny to me. a friend of mine (micah barber!) came up with a funny rapstar alias, MC Def G…or M CDEFG. alphabetastic! so, for the time being, i think of this rapstar alias as that MC character.

so, what does MC Def G rap about? well, generally, def g get’s a little idea and then tangents on into oblivion. part of the idea with this character is to deliver lines with some level of urgency or importance, but to actually be saying little to nothing of any real substance. again, something i think is funny. there’s another one on jonsteinmeier.com called “the curl” that’s in the same vein. it somehow digresses into something about finding cheez in outerspace. NOT the original idea. 🙂 speaking of outerspace, and inspiration for a couple of the bohemian stove lines is Dr. Octagon, who i cannot recommend highly enough. i specifically recommend the Dr. Octagonecologist album.