I hope we can muster up a little “welcome back” for this very derelict blog of mine. Times are changing and I’ve still been making music, though not with my computer.
I got together with a new friend, Ed, over this summer to work on mostly Renaissance and Baroque lute song. He has two lutes and a theorbo, as well as a taste for the old and new concerning music. It was sort of surreal – I was going out on 2-hour commutes to Hanno in Saitama (sort of a hobbit-y place wrapped in creeks) a couple times a week, singing in his house with his cat, even during a roaring thunderstorm on one day. I think the act of music making often takes the makers out of the moment everyone else experiences, and into their own. I feel it more so while re-creating this music that’s hundreds of years old and now primarily enjoyed by academics (as the case turns out to be – until we get an early music Joanna Newsom). We whiled away hours singing in foreign languages, improvising ornaments on passages, and discussing the meanings of texts. It was as though my summer was saturated in the juice of centuries-old grapes, and I passed into autumn with a drowsy head.
My job started again though, and I became whirlingly busy, so that the early music practices became more seldom and eventually went on a short hiatus. In the interim, I’m working with someone else on creating some ebm-like tunes. We get together in an inexpensive studio once every, or every other, week to jam and push things toward completed ideas that hopefully will become songs. There are a lot of “firsts” going on for me: first time improvising completely with a collaborator – the words, rhythms, and melodies all at the same time; first time collaborating on making something brand new; first time writing my own lyrics and using them during the writing process; forming and editing a lyrical song without a real pop structure. Probably there are others I’m forgetting but the point is that I’m in a lot of unfamiliar territory which is good! And yes, I know it’s not exactly EBM the way I sing it, but it’s work in progress. Nothing like some good, healthy trial and error. My collaborator on electronic instruments, Chris, is also wading in some new territory in this genre.
We’re hoping to finish (roughly) two songs by the end of the year. I spent three hours tonight arranging sections and recording a couple new vocal ones, in the pursuit of finishing a song. When I finished, I sat back in my chair, listened, and realized it sounds too full and also too choppy. Dilemma. I wanted to avoid a pop song, but I need to smooth this out. I know I’d better give my ears a break, and start trimming away non-essentials afterward. Frustrating, but I shouldn’t expect to nail something on the first try. I’m having fun anyway!
Here’s a snippet from that work in progress.
/edit: fixed the render length of the sample and a grammatical error. Gotta be ever-vigilant.