Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Recall From Memory

Another couple of sessions with music and its production has passed without my entering any information into the blog regarding those events. I rarely recognize what I do with music as eventful though there are times when I am able to capture the real essence of my work that personally seem as crossing some sort of milestone. I am not reporting on any milestones today though. It is also true that counter to my desire to write these essays while the event remains fresh in mind, a couple of days have passed and thus I may be unable to write fully of all that occurred during those sessions, due to the illusiveness surrounding my personal ability to write completely of what is now a fleeting memory.

I got back to the song New Years Madness on New Years day. The eventual result was a lot of practice with the Guitar. I had recorded a lead Guitar riff through a short break section all those years ago, though the recording has many errors. This is a short break, maybe 20 seconds in duration. I made a duet electric Guitar part using a wah-wah and quite a lot of distortion with heavy overdrive. These simultaneous Guitar parts use a 1 and 3 straight harmony, with the 1 track adding the wah. Quite honestly I am quite a novice with electric Guitar, having only owned one for 14 years, I seldom use it, as I retain a preference for my Guild Acoustic Guitars. Still I enjoy learning the tools and fully appreciate the American Standard model Fender Stratocaster for the quality instrument it is. I did record what I played, though it remains less than satisfactory for a finished recording. I was able to identify and correct the faltering errors in that original recording where its end is a diverging direction. This type of sound is unattainable with an acoustic Guitar, yet the electric stuff is still quite foreign within my own acquired use and my own abilities. All in all I found that session to be a success. There is a lot yet to accomplish before that song has reached the state equal to what I know it should be as recognized in my mind's eye.

From there after an hour or so of fooling around with the practice of it, I felt I had accomplished all I could in that session and I was in need of moving on to something else for a while.

There are so many songs that I have yet to move from the rough draft form to being a completed work that captures my image of what I know they will become. I have been doing the music, writing, composing, and playing for myself, my own entertainment mostly, for so long now that the numbers of songs yet to complete is immense. One at a time they all need attention, yet none hold a position of priority. That was not the case last month, when I grabbed the now failed idea of completing New Years Madness before the new year arrived.

On this particular evening, I did shift to the song I call Birdie, a song about playing Disc Golf. Disc Golf is a sport that I used to avidly participate in, before becoming physically disabled. Thus the song holds a unique place in me that goes beyond the music there in. It is a simpler song in its structure that repeats 2 core themes, the part "a" and the part "b" and eventually resolving with a variation on the a. I made this song with many layers of Guitar parts, all being played simultaneously atop Bass and rhythm Guitar track. There are three lead Guitar tracks, though one is a complement to the rhythm Guitar, the other two are quite different from one to the other. On this night I basically reviewed the old recordings, again having to sort through the old versions, though only two of them. From there I again realized (as I had when I left this song behind or otherwise quit working on it) that the lead parts had many errors that need correcting. I practiced one of them, the main "lead" part, for several repetitions of the song, regaining the theme in my mind. I didn't record anything of this song work session.

I believe that was the extent of the session, which I believe was on the evening of New Years Eve. I did similarly on New Years day, in reviewing and practicing, though the focus was more on Birdie, and yet another song. This one is called Thinking On Rhyme. This is a song I wrote in the Fall of 2010. It is a word painting on being trapped, thus taking the form of prison as metaphor. I actually believe the lyric is in reality about my own feeling of being trapped in this broken physical body, though I can but speculate on the lyrics. As Bob Dylan said, the songs are out there and we (songwriters) find them as we move through time, or something to that effect. I believe that many of the songs I write simply flow into me from some other place of consciousness, rather than coming out of my own conscious effort to create them. This particular song, Thinking On Rhyme, employs acoustic Guitar with a finger picking style atop a Bass track. It is a very simple song musically, having but three chords through the main portion of the piece. The ending leaves that pattern walking up the theme's key scale through three or four cycles, from position 3 to 6(7) (on Piano). Thus far I have yet to write any other instrumentation into the song though I believe it is deserving of something more. I have made two versions of this song also. One uses a musical halt of about one second in every line of the melody, the result of which is now not preferred. It was fun to make the other version, as the process is so enjoyable. Recently I learned this song on the Piano and may incorporate that part into the eventual final recording.

Now it is another day, with another opportunity to practice, something I have yet to do, though I believe I will. I really want to try to write these blog entries in the moments immediately after the conclusion of practice or recording rather than ignoring this potential to capture the event while fresh. I guess it is a discipline I have yet to master. It is far easier to simply let the time pass by shifting to the physical and mental comfort of watching a movie from the recliner chair with a glass of red wine, my usual evening pastime.

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