Archive for the ‘live instruments’ 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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floyd gets about some business

May 28, 2008

firstly, two shows i’m doing this weekend:

1.  friday, may 28, with sad brad smith and friends, at Heart of Gold, 10p.  i’ll be playing drums, piano here and there, and bass guitar and melodica at the same time (it’s never been done before).

2.  saturday, may 29, mucca pazza plays Do-Division Street Fest at division and damen at 7pm.  http://www.do-divisionstreetfest.com/

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now, floyd: episode three

i actually just decided that this was a floyd episode, as i didn’t approach it as orchestrally or intentionally as the first two.  but, the melodica has sort of become my instrument of choice for floyd’s character, and, having bought a new melodica last week, i’ve been using it a lot.  this one was also an opportunity for me to play more with all live instruments, except for that fake honky tonk piano and a fake keyboard sound.  here’s the layout:

2 melodica’s

bass

drums

cowbell

conga’s

tamborine

piano sample

wurly sample

this track is interesting to me, but more repetative than the last couple.  for that i appologize (especially if it bores you)  but, the goals were as follows:

live drums – decent sounds, but i’m still working at figuring out how to get better live drum sounds.  this was not a total success.

live percussion – a success in this case, as i havn’t recorded a live three instrument (or more) percussion section in my little home studio.  worked pretty well i think

MELODICA! – my new melodica is pretty satisfying.  and i’m loving how expressive it is, as a wind instrument, but easy for me to play, as a keyboard instrument.  i also just love the character of it

eastern modal melodic work – this is a little vague, but by ear, i just used a lot of lowered 2nd’s and a couple of other little minory eastern sounding notes in my main scale for this piece.  i also went for some flourishes in the part that were characteristic to my ear.  this worked pretty well.  sort of, almost phrygian.

groove – i’ve been feeling like making something a bit “funky” (as the kids say now), and this was another influence on this piece.  the piece is really the product of a short “to-do list” of musical and sound ideas.  the way that they all came together isn’t exactly what i expected from any of them individually, but that’s part of the fun of it, i think.

thanks for listening, as always.

also, my interview and performance on chicago’s WBEZ 91.5 FM aired on monday night!  thanks to all that tuned in.  i’ll be posting clips from the show shortly!  so stay tuned!

j

clik hier fer thee maling Lyst

in the cans

April 24, 2008

hello faithful readers/listeners. thanks for stopping by!

this weeks song, “in the cans” (mp3), centers loosely around my Christian faith, the commandments, death, and wanting to KNOW things that ultimately require FAITH because we they’re not provable. it’s an old dilemma for me, and an old one for humans in general i rekon. i don’t think i bring any fresh insight to this necessarily, but it’s been on my mind.

MUSIC

guitar, bass, drums, a coupla synths, and strings. the strings are new samples i’ve been working with, trying to get to sound realistic, which is tough. they’re a little fake in this one too, but i’m excited about figuring out ways to make ’em more believable. this music was written primarily from the piano, which often, for me, means that it moves around a fair amount harmonically.

LYRICS

i used a recording session as my backdrop or metaphor this time, which was fun. the main idea is that the process of learning how to live is similar to making music. the trial and error, the listening (through headphones in this case), copying others, and making mistakes on your way to a salvageable or even excellent take or idea. your guidance can be other stuff you’ve heard, friends who listen to your drafts, and rules for harmony, rhythm, line, etc. all the while though, there’s something you can’t explain about what you like. what sounds good or feels right.

laughter carries far

March 15, 2008

laughter carries far

lyrically, this started for me on a night recently where i sat for a long period of time (tipsy perhaps), wondering if i’m stupid (moreso than i thought at least). wondering how i would even know. i could be filtering my life through completely different eyes and ears than everyone else and i wouldn’t know it. it snowballed a bit from there, but the idea got me pretty emotional, as i assume (but don’t know that) it does any number of us (humans) from time to time.

so, lyrically, i wanted to tackle a bit of that feeling, that fear, and i started thinking about fourth grade at South School in Jefferson City, Mo. and the horrible feeling of being laughed at by swarm of “pretty girls” cause i had my friend’s shawn and adam ask one of them out for me while i hung out (or hid behind) the jungle-gym. funny now, but not so funny then; and i think i’m still connected to moments like that in my life. in the same way that i’m connected to fond memories and encouraging or gratifying expereiences and relationships. it’s all building you into someone. but in this song, i focus on the fear of being stupid. 🙂

lyrics:

this feels like fourth grade
monkey bars and growing pains
hang’n like the three amigos
hid’n from a wolf-gang

and when i asked them to
my boys had follow through
ran upon the girls
and asked her just what i had asked them to

and laughter carries very far
when high voices know who they are

who they are to me (big C chord)

i’m at the club again
whiskey just mixes in
hang’n like that guy from bands
you like he’s got a funny grin

a conversation has
endless potential
as it gets a little later though
everyone starts to laugh again

and laughter carries very far
and i can hear it from my car

drive it out clean it up like
old (times)

time and time again
the things you know
live in a world you cannot know
and time again
swings make amends
for reckless useful thoughtful men
boys will be boys
girls will be girls
it’ll all comes out in
the wash
in the end
friend

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music

live instruments! guitars! bass! drums! guitar wallowing in effects! fake drums in the background that served as a click and kept in! wow!! what fun!

this one, musically, was written from the geetar. zowie! alright!

mix

if anyone wants to volunteer to mix this one, i’d love to hear it. i had a hard time accounting for the space and volume once the vocals got in there. let me know. i’ll bake you dinner.

thanks for listening,

love,

j

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