What do I do with song ideas that don’t fit into anything else that I do? I have a song that I wrote years ago—just the music, I haven’t fit words to it completely—that I rather like but I haven’t done anything with it, neither for Shadows of Immurement nor Popkin-Salvador. Mike (my band-mate in P-S) and I are planning on a new album that I’m going to start writing for soon. But this time around we’re going with a concept album and I don’t know if I can just shoehorn in an existing song. Still, this doesn’t address the fact that stylistically, the song doesn’t fit any style that I’ve worked with so far.
For a while now I considered giving the song to somebody else. But I don’t know how well this would go over. I have a musician friend whose style would likely work with the song, but I would feel awkward offering it to him. For one thing, we’re not exactly close. That’s not to say that we don’t get along well, but at best we run into each other at events and chat for a few minutes. Another problem is that I’m not exactly known for my music, even within my circle of musician friends as I don’t play live and Shadows of Immurement doesn’t fit in stylistically with anything that they do. I also don’t feel like I’m at their level, so to speak, but that could just be confidence.
Nonetheless, isn’t that a weird thing to offer to somebody? “Hey, I wrote this song, I think you’d like to play it.” Especially as they’re already doing their own thing that means something to them. I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to ask. I certainly wouldn’t hurt the friendship. I would need to make a recording of the music, though, so I could have something to offer quickly.
By the time I got to writing this point I realized that I could have recorded said song and put a snippet on here. Then you would have a better idea of what the thing sounds like. I’ll put it online later. I recently recorded a shit load of all of my old tapes onto my computer, so I wanted to put some samples of those on here as well. That should be a laugh. Perhaps I could throw it all together into one blog post.
Wow, I think this is the longest period between posts for this blog. But instead of me making excuses or beating myself up over it I’ll go straight into a report on the progress of the album so far.
I would say that I’m about three-quarters done with it, perhaps more. I have seven songs which just barely add up to the minimum of thirty-five minutes. I’m cutting it really close. I won’t know for sure once I put all the tracks one after another and I’m not going to bother doing that until I master them all at the same volume. Once I do that, though, I do intend on adding an ambient track (perhaps a keyboard done—I haven’t decided) at the end of one song which I will then continue on the song after it. That should just get me over the thirty-five minute mark. If I have to I’ll record another song. I have the time still, even if I wasn’t on vacation this week.
I am having problems with one song in particular. I know I need to record a new drum machine track as I wasn’t particularly fond of the one I programmed for it initially—although I might keep it for the bridge. Then I may have to record another take for the bass guitar. It sounds just slightly out of tune. I could make that work but I keep hearing it and it keeps annoying me. Then again, it could be the effect on the guitar makes it sound slightly out of tune and the bass might be fine. But hey, it’s an easy enough fix.
The biggest challenge for me is recording vocals. It’s not that I’m self-conscious about my singing. In fact, this time around most of the tracks with have that sort of “talk singing” as opposed to anything melodic. I can sing, it’s just the way the songs have developed. But my biggest problem is that I don’t want to agitate the neighbors. Ordinarily I wouldn’t think anything of it as I’m (usually) not screaming or performing black metal vocals or anything of the like. But I may have done something last week that could have antagonized them. I won’t go into the details and I think it blew over anyway (for that matter, I think I’ve been reading too much into the incident in the first place, as my regular readers will attest that I often do).
As I write this blog post, I believe the apartment downstairs is now empty as the adults have gone to work. Perhaps I will start on those vocals after breakfast. I would love to get them all done in one day but somehow I don’t quite see that happening. I still have lyrics to write for one more song.
…And in the process of writing the previous paragraph somebody just came back home. Oh, well. I’ll give it a try today anyway. If worse comes to worst, the gear is portable. I can always take it to my father’s place when he’s out, or even drive down to the beach and record in my car. I’ll figure it out.
I know it’s been a few days since my last blog post but I have been busy working on the new album. For a while I thought that I reached the minimum requirements for the RPM Challenge, but I think I cut it too close. It looks like I may have to come up with one more quick piece to reach the minimum thirty-five minutes. I only need a minute or two, but I would rather worry about how good it is first. If the piece needs to be longer I’ll go longer. I’m actually making pretty good time considering that we haven’t reached the midway point of the month yet.
I wanted to work on lyrics earlier. I decided to head out to a coffee shop for a change of scenery. However, I didn’t get much time to work while I was there as they decided to close early today due to the weather. (Around here it looks like we’re getting the entirety of winter during a two-week period). As I was cleaning the snow off of my car the person who parked next to me backed into car across the lot and drove off. I got the plate number and stuck around to talk to the driver of the car that was hit. I don’t intend to present this to show what a good citizen I am (if I was, I would have remembered then rather than later that we should have called the police right away). But it did take time out of working on those lyrics, not to mention the distraction took me out of the head space I needed to be in.
I did make some progress this evening, however, with keyboard tracks. I nearly didn’t record any this time around as the power adapter for my keyboard was making some humming noises, making me nervous. Two fortunate things happened this evening when I tried it—not only did the adapter work properly, I discovered that I had indeed tuned the guitar and bass used on this album correctly and the keyboard sounds perfect with them.
I got excited about some of the keyboard tracks I’ve recorded so far. I was able to process one so it sounds like a cheesy synthesizer from the eighties, and as I’m recording in a style of music that was made popular during that time frame I view this as a plus. Either that or I’m getting nerdy and it’s distracting from the dark atmosphere. Whatever—as long as I like it, who cares? What, do I think I’m going to put this album on Bandcamp afterwards and try to sell the thing?
I decided to take a break from the vampire story this week to try an experiment. I waited until ten minutes to midnight to write as much as I could before the date changed, in order to still call this a Friday Flash Fiction. I picked a random page on Wikipedia as a writer’s prompt. I got “Songwriters Association of Canada.” I wrote right up until 11:59. That’s why the story ends so abruptly. That’s probably for the better, but it was a fun little experiment, anyway.
I tried to play my guitar but my fingers were too damn cold. The best I could do was strum chords slowly. That’s fine, but I had lost my voice the previous night yelling at a hockey game. At best I looked like somebody warming up, or perhaps just some guy strumming his guitar on the sidewalk for fun. I certainly didn’t look like I was busking, even though I had an empty Tim Horton’s coffee cup sitting out in front of me. The passers-by didn’t seem to notice the cold so much. That’s probably because they were used to these cold Montreal winters. I, on the other hand, was more used to the weather of Florida this time of year.
My Canadian cousin had to get married just after New Year’s. I suppose that would have been fine if my car hadn’t been stolen two nights prior while I was in the arena watching the game. I didn’t even have the directions to the place nor did I have enough money to book into a hotel. My phone had died, so I couldn’t even call for help. I tried going to the police but aside from making a report they weren’t much help. I left and started wandering around without even remembering to see if I could borrow a phone charger. I figured I could raise enough money playing my songs on the curb in order to buy a cheap charger that I could plug in somewhere. But nobody was dropping anything in my coffee cup.