there’s just something about the key of e flat.

i just put a new song up on spyspace. i’ll probably leave it up there for a week or two before i mix things up again and pull out some warped songs from 1999 or something. most of it was recorded yesterday, and today i tracked the drums and mixed it.

it’s more or less the complete opposite of everything on CHICKEN ANGEL WOMAN; no vocal multi-tracking, no stringed instruments of any kind, everything soaked in reverb. the arp omni-2 is all over this song, and this is the first time i’ve ever recorded the bass patch on that synth. it’s a pretty cool sound. kind of makes me think a bit of the synth bass in “goodnight tonight” by wings.

i need to make some more use of that arp beast. no digital synth i’ve ever played can spit out sounds like that, and the string sounds are pretty neat too. i keep neglecting it in favour of guitars and things, and then i play it and remember how cool it is. it’s not high up there on the list of synths people salivate over like the prophet-5 or the jupiters and junos, but i dig it. i’ve had the thing for more than a decade now, and it refuses to die even though it has to be well over thirty years old. the only problem i’ve had with it in recent years is a bit of a bit of a high drone that’s developed (i’m not sure offhand what note it is exactly), usually sounding at odd brief moments when i play around the high a key that doesn’t pass sound anymore. but actually, it’s kind of a cool sound when it happens, and the unexpected moments of dissonance tend to suit whatever song i’m using the synth on. it happens a few times in this new song.

how many more times am i going to type the word “cool”? the answer is three. observe: cool cool cool. there. i think it got it out of my system. i feel at least two pounds lighter now.

the song was meant to be a good deal longer — i was shooting for somewhere between seven and ten minutes — but it felt like it would get a little stale if i kept the instrumental section going for too long. so even though it’s shorter than i intended it to be and there were a lot of additional ideas i didn’t bother to develop, i think it feels right. i’m not sure if it’s a harbinger of things to come on the next cd, or just a brief detour along the way. we’ll soon find out.

i thought i’d throw some piano in the mix, because i haven’t used that sound in a while, and for some reason the clavinova doesn’t really sound digital at all to me in the context of this song; it sounds like a pretty sexy grand piano. i’ve been holding off on recording a wealth of piano songs because i wanted to wait until i had a real piano at my disposal, but maybe i should just bite the bullet and use the clavinova like i always have. running it through a nice mic pre with transformers seems to do a good job of warming up the sound and taming whatever digital bite i would normally try to EQ around.

the drums sound kind of muted, but i think it suits the song, and i did play them with mallets after all. that does tend to muffle the sound a bit, or so i’m told. i guess i’m plowing right into the next album(s) before the cd i just finished is even packaged and release-ready (it should be ready for everyone next week sometime), and before i’ve figured out what exactly to do with that imposing misfits compilation. i figure it’s best to keep the momentum going. maybe i’ll even become absurdly prolific again, kind of like i used to be before my little unintended “vacation” from productivity.

here are the handwritten lyrics, just for fun. not my neatest writing, to be sure, but i think it’s mostly legible. to my knowledge this is the first time i’ve ever used the words “hyperbole” and “myriad” in a song. i borrowed the last two lines from meryl, keeper of the smoo.

3 comments

  1. damn
    excellent use of space
    everything builds and falls perfectly
    very dark and still coloured full
    even the handwriting solo works well

  2. ha! i was wondering if my wrist was up for it. i thought the purple sharpie might be chancing it a little, but i guess it all worked out in the end. thanks a lot for the kind words. i think it’s that synth, kind of imposing its own will…i need to make up for lost time with that thing.

  3. oooh, i like it! i like the feeling of it, and the piano, and the lyrics, and etc.
    and i love the smoo you created from my words.

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