Posts Tagged ‘song a week’

something old, something new

May 24, 2010

hi mom,

1.  so, i’ve been writing a lot lately for one thing or another and it caused me at some point to go back through some old stuff.  this was fun.  i havn’t listened to many of the “song a week” tracks in a while, and there were some tracks that didn’t get posted during that time.  i think i was looking for examples of orchestral writing for a client recently, and came upon something i titled “LOST” when i wrote it.  i figured out that this track was originally part of the “floyd” series i made a couple of years ago, but had been cut for one reason or another.  upon listening now, i was both pleased with the writing in many ways, and embarrassed by the samples/sounds/realism.

note:  it can be tough to make realistic orchestral sounds from synthesized instruments, and this is a good example.

2.  i just finished a track for Tour de Fat 2010, for which i’m a music director, and it’s a track i’m pretty happy with, both in its character and it’s realism.  (but YOU tell ME!).  so this made me think about my writing/recording now, as apposed to a few years ago, and i came up with this thought:

i think i still wrote interesting stuff, but stuff that was distractingly “fake” sounding.  now, this may still be true, as most of the instruments in track 2 are “fake”, but now they are better sounding (more realistic) fake sounds.

mind you, the character of the pieces are different, but it’s interesting to me to think of them as time-pieces, both in the writing and the production.

this may or may not be interesting to anyone but me, but thanks for listening, mom.



Private Eye Noir

May 22, 2010

i did a bid for something requiring “private eye noir” this week, and wanted to share it with YOU!

listen here:

stay tuned!  i’ve been writing a lot lately, and will post again soon.

thanks for listening as always, mom.


From the Archives #2

September 24, 2009

this is a birthday song i wrote last year for Benjamin Brooks, friend and hubby of our dear pal Stephanie Larson Brooks.

Knowing Ben far better than i, stephanie gave me lots of lyrical material, which i then mixed in with my own nonsense.

listen back to this track now, i’m pretty happy with the harmonic/melodic material.  it’s a fun suprise to listen back to something you wrote a year or two ago and dig it!  also, if you listen long enough you’ll hear a GUITAR SOLO!  it’s pretty.

hope you dig it too.

thanks for listening, and happy birthday (observed) ben!

p.s.  Detholz in Indianapolis tomorrow night (friday 9/25)

p.p.s.  Yard Sale at Maplewood Saturday (9/26) 10 to 4


piano etude number 7

August 8, 2009

two ideas in play here:

1. stacked 4ths.  for example, the opening chords are two separate stacks of fourths:

RH – C F# B

LH – E A D

these are not all perfect fourths, and resolve in different ways, but the color for the etude is established with these stacks.  when the blocked chords become a linear pattern a few seconds in, it’s the same stacks, broken up.  these six notes establish a rhythmic theme for the accompaniment part.

2. hand to hand play (not evident in recording) – the accompaniment part (above) is really a two handed part, with each hand getting a different stack of fourths, so the melody part that appears about 30 seconds in has to happen around this accompaniment part.  i should make a video.  basically when one hand or another is not playing the accompaniment run, it’s reaching up an octave for a melody note.  this makes for fun hand over hand work, and a bit of speed to reach some of the notes.  think of it this way, when you hear the melody come in, it’s played in this order:

right, right, left, right left

etude 7 crop


well, thanks for listening and reading.

p.s.  Hideout Soul Revue is August 15th (a week away!) and not to be missed

p.p.s.  OK!

piano etude number 6

May 22, 2009


this is a favorite of mine among the etudes so far.  until now, counterpoint was a secret love of mine.  now you know.  for a real how-to on counterpoint, start with bach’s keyboard material.  inventions, fugue’s, sinfonia’s, they all set the bar high, and they’re all created with a pretty specific set of rules.  what i tend to do with counterpoint now is approach it within these rules/guidelines and break them as my ear leads.  a recent approach i like alot is to stick more or less to rules for theme and form, but break some of the rules of harmony.

this piece get’s a wee bit out of the harmonic box, but mostly stays close to home.  things that it does do that are the most strict are.

1.  harmonic and rhythmic themes

2.  theme at the relative minor (briefly)

3.  theme at the fifth (modified)

4.  two voices only

5.  canon

right around :53 seconds, listen for the “canon”, which is the theme presented exactly the same way in two different voices, but at different times.  in this case, they’re offset by one beat.  you’ll hear the theme start in the high voice and then follow in the lower voice, remaining exactly the same until the very end, where i changed the lower part to end the piece.

thanks for listening, as always.  and toon in sometime soon, as i’ll hopefully be posting some fresh tracks from a hip-hop record i’m making.

p.s.  i’ll also be updating soonly, with my first attempt at an advertizement.  if you havn’t seen this video site, please stop by!

new etude AND new site

May 5, 2009

hey friends,

thing 1: etude number 4!

this one is the “pretty” one, and the longest of the bunch.  i’m still a little on the fence about it.  i’m happy with the theme and general idea, but may try and trim it down a bit.  stay tooned.  🙂

thing 2:  i just launched as a host for stop-animation shorts i’ve been making.  hope you like them!  they’re ridiculous.



ok, here are two little ditty’s to make up for my haitus

September 19, 2008

i recently wrote a couple of pieces for a radio show called “sports spectrum.”  the spots havn’t aired yet, and were due today (friday, sept. 19).  they’re each 1min 30sec promos.  when they air or are posted somewhere, i’ll try to send along a link.  in the meantime, here’s the music!  (imagine underneath a lovely male radio voice).

Sports Spectrum 1

Sports Spectrum 2

i was told to go for upbeat, Royksopp-esque, and to include sports sounds like “hut hut hike”, a whistle, cheering crowd, etc.  i managed to find most of the samples i wanted, and included a lot of that stuff in the basic rhythm tracks for the pieces.  i really liked the Royksopp stuff i found on youtube, and modeled a bit of my groove/feel after a couple of their tunes.

thanks for listening!


p.s.  hideout block party this weekend.  sunday – mucca pazza 4p (or so).

let’s go sailing

August 28, 2008

aka “pure american water”

aka “p.a.w.”

aka “sail away”

aka “little ponies”



the main goal of this one ended up being melodic material, and i basically wrote in this order:

1. main beat

2. chorus section chords

3. chorus section melody

4. other synth parts

5. guitar parts, which gave the verse section harmonic clarity

6. verse melody and all lyrics

not an unusual or particularly interesting writing order or scenario, but it was nice to get back into focusing on “melody over chords,” and chords which are mostly inside but go “outside” just a bit.

the words speak of a dream to one day be able to sail into another magical world where freedom is free and all cares are cut off by the magical sunshine and we’re all ponies.

thanks for listening!



August 21, 2008

hey friends. sorry about last week! (obligatorily, that is). i was in Guatemala all week with some friends, but i have written this song inspired by parts of that trip.

inspiration 1: Reggaeton

inspiration 2: a restaurant we ate at in Antigua

inspiration 3: the market in Chichicastenango

inspiration 4: chicken buses and general driving culture

inspiration 5: Spider monkeys and Tikal


it was an amzing trip, and i’ll be getting drunk at various venues in chicago this week, telling stories. but for now, i leave you with two things:

thing 1: i recommend getting into the Reggaeton scene a little and seeing what it’s about. specifically, i recommend Calle 13

thing 2: lo siento, no entiendo means “i’m sorry, i don’t understand”, which is something i said often on the trip. because my spanish is terrible. 🙂

thing 3: there are only two things.

thanks for listening!


diet soda

August 1, 2008

something to wash down the gravy with! finally!

this week, i did some research into the chemical content and potential health effects of diet soft drinks. it was a worthwhile endevor, as i myself drink a fare amount of diet coke for some reason (chemical addiction?). anyway, i hope that you too find such information to be helpful, and enjoy this song!

thanks for listening!

p.s all of the “song a week” songs are posted here:

p.p.s the mailing list is here: MAILING LIST

p.p.p.s p.p.s. is funny if you say it fast.