So, I have the piano here in the room, facing the computer. And I just got all this sheet music from the old home, including a songbook from Pippin (be prepared for bad impressions of William Katt). So of course the first thing I do is record this.
So my friend Jamie found me this. I wanted to tune my guitar and she told me to go online. So I went online, AND I FOUND THIS!!! The helpful people at JamPlay have obviously and totally branded the entire thing so you know where it came from. So, enjoy!
Because I don’t like retuning the guitar in completely wonky ways, I think all I did was drop the low E down to a D (or maybe not), and then definitely tuned the B string up to a C. And then I did two cover songs. Let’s also get it out of the way now: I’m not a lead guitarist.
So here’s one of those songs you write because some girl named Jenni (yes, with an i) is like, So how come you never wrote me a song? Fine, Jenni. But It’s entirely fictitious, but at least it’s got a girl named Jenni. You can pretend you’re her if you want.
This is the last song I recorded, about two years ago. It also has one of the few lead lines I’d managed to play that I’m happy with, though by normal guitar solo standards, this one’s pretty . . . . cool because it’s not a million notes crammed into about the same time it takes a hummingbird to procreate. And has melody.
So, many years ago I played guitar for some South Jersey girl in a South Jersey band. I got to cover this with the band. It was cool, coz it was all fast and upbeat. And I didn’t remember the original but I liked how we were doing it. I was even able to play something that vaguely passed for a guitar solo on it. And then one day the guy who started the song, on the acoustic, came up to me and said, “I never knew I was playing it too fast.” So it was played like at half speed and I hated it.
Then a week later I did this on my own. As usual, the drums were played by the computer.
I’m trying to find some old MP3s, but they’re just nowhere to be found. Music I composed years ago, because I want to share a couple with someone. Specifically, not the songs below, but I thought you might enjoy them anyway.
How I used to compose and record the music was simple. Step One,think up the music in your head, and Step Two, create it all using synthesized instruments. Like MIDI files, but then recorded as MP3s.
The songs below were part of a CD I had put up on MP3.com (back when it was cool). In random order of preference, here they are:
I always imagined this simple piano piece as a sort of hypnosis on someone who was repressing something awful, like a murder. I never did figure out what was being repressed. Also, this was the first time I actually tried creating a MIDI file based on something I actually played on a piano. I didn’t have a MIDI keyboard, so the entire piece (like almost all of my instrumental work) was created on a computer by pointing and clicking on musical staves. Very time-consuming, but worth it in the end.
The long version of how this came about it: Back at university I took a screenwriting course. The final project was to adapt a short story into a screenplay. What I ended up choosing was Answers to Soldier by Lawrence Block. It first appeared in Playboy magazine, and subsequently was collected in the book Hit Man, which chronicled the main character’s career as a hit man up until his retirement. Spoiler: he lives.
So, I chose this, wrote it, and then decided to give the screenplay a soundtrack. I was going completely for the synthesized music feel. I also just downloaded the instrument that made the Blade Runner theme and thought, “I must use this somewhere!” The melody was an instrument I had the computer make that was basically a muffled sine wave tone.
I hope you enjoy all of the songs posted. If you do or if you don’t, write below.
Funny, I found a CD of MIDI songs created before I had a good Soundfont bank, and also before I had a real grasp of good music composition. And I listened back to it on the ride home and was very happy to know I don’t compose music that poor anymore.
I recorded “Remembering Sunday” this morning, essentially right after I woke up. It features guitar, piano, and vocals, all by me. Since I didn’t have a girl to sing the girl part, I put the piano in to fill in that ending part. And the song doesn’t feel incomplete. By the way, I just learned it this morning just so I can record it.
“Learn to Fly” was the afternoon song. I put two guitars on this, and recorded the vocals in stereo (for no good reason). I was determined to not use Melodyne on this track, but I completely botched one section in a way that I couldn’t say it was a creative departure from the original. So, auto-tune on both songs. And,using Melodyne, I was able to fix a little timing issue that I wanted to fix.
Do you like music? Then go listen to Jason’s music project, Your Secret Identity. On the Bandcamp site you can listen to and download two albums, By the Way EP and The Sun Goes Down, for whatever price you want. Or for free!
Seriously. Go and listen. You won’t be disappointed.