Archive for the ‘chromaticism’ Category

floyd goes to the ball

May 21, 2008

click down there

this is the second of the “floyd” series, which is turning out to be a fun programmatic romp with a combination of sampled and real instruments. this one was written only days after the first episode, “floyd takes a walk”, posted last week, and in this episode, we find floyd at a ball or dance of sorts, again struggling in some endearing way. i imagine him trying to fit in socially, maybe even trying to dance, but generally failing at all turns. it’s the sort of party that would be great fun if you were someone else, he thinks, as he’s preoccupied with his own inabilities to function in such a social environment. but floyd strikes me, so far, as someone who keeps trying. this is part of his charm, and part of the thing that frustrates him so much.

musically, i used pizzicato strings for the basis of the waltz, and percussion that nods to a “falling down” idea; clumsy perhaps like floyd. there’s a toy a accordian in the first section of the piece that also feels very a little awkward or out of place playing single long notes at these same “crash” moments. the opening theme is in the oboes, a favorite of mine, but not as popular a solo instrument as, say, the violins or clarinets. the middle section of this piece is my favorite, where a solo violin takes the melody, and the atmosphere changes a bit. here, i think floyd starts to imagine himself as someone else, someone who’s smart and interesting and smooth and charming. he welcomes the attention. he proudly slides through the room like the sound of a single well played violin, and the underlying accompaniment changes with him. it becomes a little more hip. it moves a little better. grooves a little. it’s another, better, place. here, i used electric bass and drumkit, under organ and violin. the “back to reality” transition is me whistling over the organ, and a bit of the first theme, on the oboe again, before one final crash brings floyd back to awkward reality.

i’m hoping to overdub the solo violin part with a real violinist soon, which will help the piece a lot, some of the sounds i think are pretty believable, while that one is sort of an earsore i think.  once that happens, i’ll repost.  until then, sorry about some of the synthyness.

thanks for listening and reading! i hope to have another orchestration for this series soon. either way, tune in next week for more new material of some sort.

j

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beautiful ideas

November 22, 2007

happy thanksgiving. 🙂

this weeks “song of the week nuclear laser beam audio assault spelling-bee bomb” submission is called “beautiful ideas.” (click for mp3)

THE STORY

firstly: this is a serious song. i jot down lyrical and content ideas all the time, on a piece of paper, or as a notepad doc. most of the serious ones get stuck on the shelf for one reason or another, but this one made it out. it’s about real life relationship stuff, stuff that’s been on my mind, stuff that…bla bla bla, a girl. tricky stuff though. i really don’t want to get too far into it because the person actually exists (human), and while the lyrics are (in my mind) complimentary, it’s a weird thing to have a song (or songs) written about you and talked about in this sort of environment. that being said, they are actually more ABOUT me (or sandwiches) in the context of this relationship. THAT being said, i will post the lyrics below…

WORDS:

foreheads speak a thousand words
but whatever happened to these birds
pretty eyes would never lie
but i might if allowed the time

fingers ran along my arms
charms often become alarms

history is bleeding now
wherever circumstance allows
beautiful ideas float
but water’s leaking in the boat

dinner plates of bread and cheese
never create memories

unless the best remembrance
is hope for hostesses company
unless you want them to
it’s up to you, it’s up to you

mother takes a spill
i’ll just take another pill

fantasy is duty free
all i think about is me

THE STORY: part two AND music

what kind of weird title is that?

i recently watched “stranger than fiction” with will ferrell, dustin hoffman, etc, and loved it. i loved that fantasy met reality in such a matter of fact way; with such a disconnect from the notion of absurdity. also, it’s a writers movie, and left me with a real desire to create a character and an atmosphere in a song. in a serious light though. i started into a song about a character i created dealing with one particular issue, and reminding myself a bit (in approach, not skill) of sufjan stevens, and the way he talks about john wayne gacy, jr on the Illinois record. BIG fan of that song. the lyrics i came up with are for another song perhaps, but i also came up with these, trying to combine the inspiration to get serious and things that i’ve been thinking about lately on a personal level.

musically, i wanted it to be “pretty”, perhaps a bit melancholy, but not sad. it’s really not. i think the main problem i have with the lyrics is that i’m not sure they express the “smile” that i was trying to combine with the “frown” on this one. well, i’m not sure about that. it’s late and i’ve heard it too many times to be objective anymore. but, the song isn’t supposed to be heavy per say, but prolly is a bit.

GENERAL NOTES

i like you. happy thanksgiving’s to all, and safe travles this weekend.

tune in next week for a song about chicken, written by a ham, recorded live from inside a turkey.

thanks for listening.

j

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