Archive for the ‘glockenspiel’ Category

floyd goes to the open mic

June 5, 2008

episode four:

floyd’s really nervous about going to open mic night.  he’s got some songs he’s been dying to try out live, but he’s nervous that they won’t go over well, and generally has a hard time with social scenes.

listen, and see how it goes.

ABOUT:

this was another experiement for me, initially to find a way to combine a lots of instruments without maxing out my computer completely.  i ended up with a lot of instruments, all generally playing minimal parts.  i wanted lots of different color’s, and wanted to play with more instruments than i have been.  so i started a session of about 5 or 6 orchestral instruments or sections, then 5 or 6 more in another file, and so on, until i had about 4 sessions going, that all got mixed into the final live recordings.  the last step (live stuff) was the melodica, some sound effects, guitar and vocals, and mixing the end to sound cinematic, with volume and panning choices.  considering the number of things going on, and time it took, it feels very short to me now, but hopefully effective.  let me know what you think!  this was also fun, because it started without any clear idea, just sound and idea searching.  the one thing i wanted was the sneaky/creapy/pensive thing, which influenced some of the instrument and note choices.  the entire openning of the piece takes place inside floyd’s head, until he gets out of his head and into a bar at the end of the piece, and makes his decision on the “open mic” experience.

thanks for listening!

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and see detholz, baby teeth, danny black, and dj bobby conn at hideout this saturday night for a benefit for lena yohey’s trip to Nepal this Fall!  http://tmt.detholz.com/yohey-fest.jpg

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busy body

January 11, 2008

busy body (mp3)

hey kids! welcome back.

here’s a song with the “asshole” word in it. yay!!

for this song, i used a borrowed upright bass (thanks ari!), two drum kit tracks, glockenspiel (bells), accoustic guitar, and one brief fake wurly track. the main goal was to groove with that awesome bass. super fun to play.

lyrically, i decided to make the lyrics super awesome. i went with the tested and true “write them in a notepad document while thinking about them and looking at them” approach, and wrote about feeling like a real busy body lately (months). it’s true, that i don’t handle boredom very well, and learning that about myself has helped me figure out productive (and a few non-productive) ways to keep the wheels turning. this song, lyrically goes after that bit of me. specifically referencing some recent events and situations. this is something i’ve gotten excited about in listening to last years song of the week songs; that they serve in some vague sense as diary entries, even if they’re cryptic or ridiculous. my free-associations tend to have a few recent real life references. i also mention some list of things about me, as this song is a bit of a “who am i now?” sort of entry. maybe a bit weird and neurotic but i can pull it off cause i’m amazing.

and then, of course, being a busy body, i thought the quick delivery of lots of words made sense.

the real point of the tune is to get sponsorship. i’m look’n at you k-mart! and you starbucks! throw me money. i’m name dropp’n all over the place in this song. i even say the word “buzzy.”

hope you like it

happy new week.

mailing list is here

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

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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