Archive for the ‘vocal harmonies’ Category

freaks of nurture

July 9, 2008

hi friends! thanks for tuning in!

Freaks of Nurture

“freaks of nurture” is a poppy little romp through my last few weeks, and simultaneously through years of field work in the area of relationships and human interaction.

MUSIC

this was another song written from the “guitar.” this is often a good bet for me, if i give it time and enjoy playing the instrument. as a keyboard player and drummer, the guitar is both a nice break and an environment with welcome limits. the verse section of this song is a testament to that: very simple and melody driven. the “chorus” has a “strange change” that i think helps get its’ point across, even though the “nothing new under the sun” theory still applies.

for the geeks: i go to the the four chord for the chorus, but make it it IV, IV/I, #IV. what the hell?.

also for the geeks, or anyone who feels like singing along, the melodies in the verse and chorus start exactly the same way…with the same four notes, but in different keys! yay!! this is one of those “continuity” issues that i was really happy with.

after writing the core of the song on my back porch with guitar and voice and verse one lyrics (and coffee), i went to Ableton Live and laid down the fake drums and keyboard parts. i was going for simple, synthy, and a bit funny. i then added guitar, bass, and background vocals that were vaguely in my head from early on, but as usual, came together during the recording process.

WORDS (also known as “lyrics”)

whew…ok…well. this is another song in the “serious” category, which i’m getting increasingly comfortable with for some reason. while it’s understandably vague (i think), it stems from a short list of things:

1. the maplympics (july 4th weekend of events here)

2. girls

3. human nature, social verses innate

4. a funny compound plural noun coined years ago by my friend, steve williamson: “freaks of nurture”

5. a couple of recent dates i’ve had.

woah. dates? i won’t get into it here. but let’s say that i know some lovely people. this song isn’t “about” anyone but me ultimately, but touches on some of my “romantic” relationships, and the conflict and joy therein. in this song, it’s something that reminds me of how wonderfully humans are made (creationist theory), and how interesting and tricky it can be to operate as one (inherently).

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thanks for listening! if you’d you find me interesting enough to send you updates about “song of the week” postings, please click HERE for the mailing list.

if you don’t, thanks for your patience.

j

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grace

January 24, 2008

Grace (mp3)

hey team,

okee. this song is titled in honor of my niece, the Amazing Grace Steinmeier. gracie called me a couple of times in the past week cause her mother let her, and just wanted to say hi and thank me for the songs i’ve been writing and encourage me to write another song and to come and visit. so sweet. made my week. she’s increasingly coherent and impressively polite in conversation, and these recent interactions inspired the content for this weeks song. well, these interactions along with her God given charm and sweetieness.

WORDS

i’m honored that you’d call
big smile from baby doll
i see it through the telephone

i’m glad you like my songs
that you would sing along
this one’s for you per your petition (peticiown)

you’ll have a lovely lifetime
no color greys on gracies dime

if i could visit you
we’d dance around the room
and cook a meal and talk on telephones

you’d call me by my name
listen to “aeroplane”
i’d tell you all about chicago

we’d have a lovely playtime
no cloudy days on gracies dime

lovely

precious babies bring
life to things

fragile life

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this is an unusually sappy and sincere song, coming from me. some explanation of said lyrics: Gracie loves to talk on the phone (real or pretend), and her favorite steiny song is “airplane”, which is up at http://www.jonsteinmeier.com somewhere down the list, halfway or more. so that’s the phone bit. cooking a meal goes back to one of the amazing christmas gifts she got from her mom and dad, an expansive plastic play kitchen.

the end of this song is the real sap…”precious babies bring life to things, fragile life.” this part is a bit about the life cycle. this is the point in the recording process where i had to wipe tears down and do a few takes…i had a hard time making it past the word “fragile.” and this song was pretty satisfying to record in that way. it’s a pretty personal one to me, in honor of a couple of very dear people in my life. Gracie and her dad, Dave. (holla!)

MUSIC

i started this track with drums and little beep boops and keyboards and harp, and added guitar lines that weave around each other. setting up a groove and some harmonic changes. i added bass in a weavy way too, and found it to be too complicated and scrapped it, opting for the now simple “anchor” bass part. i treated the little keyboard and harp parts differently after each verse. three times, a “chorus” of some sort happens, and each time, i opted for different chord changes under the same beepy boopy material, which i was pretty happy with. my attempt at not being so repetative. 🙂 that was half of the fun of this tune. the other half, was getting it to build at the end, or evolve from point A to point B. i feel as though i accomplished this in the writing, but not in the performance. i feel as though doing it with a live band would fix it…that dynamic evolution. this one is a bit static for me, compaired to how i hear it in my face.

thanks for listening.

j