By Dave on Wednesday, April 11th 2007 3:53 pm
Well this project is nearly complete. Tonight I received the drum tracks for the final song and started getting the bass part into shape. I'll be tracking bass, guitars and keyboards for that over the next few days. I've spent the last week doing some additional work on Somnium so I finally have that arrangement completed (and settled on the title). In my downtime between tracking songs I have created final or near final mixes for most of the record so mixing and mastering the final tracks shouldn't take long.
Last night I picked up the paintings that will be used for the cover art, which Phil has completely redone since I last posted images of them here. I photographed them today but I think I'll have to do another shoot before I can start on the graphics. In order to preserve the quality of the colors I want to shoot in natural light but we have rain in the forecast through Friday. So that will have to wait for a few days.
While I'm working on the last track I'm having a violin track performed for Pleiades.
So with any luck the CD should be available by early May.
By Dave on Monday, April 2nd 2007 12:42 am
mp3: Pleiades (rough mix)
Well that's 8 tracks in the can. This one again features Frank from Live Studio Drums with some unbelievable work. The drums were really critical on this one as the opening beat was the original idea for the song. It came to me in the car on my way home - ran right in the house and sequenced it. Within a few days the whole song was pretty well composed. I guess that was at least a couple of years ago now. Originally I had conceived this to be a piece with vocals and had just mapped out the melodies on guitar and synths for reference. But alas I'm almost as bad at lyric writing as I am at singing.
The song is named for my favorite object in the night sky. With the naked eye you can make out the 7 main stars. But then when viewed with an ordinary pair of binoculars the rest of this star cluster is revealed...and unlike most astronomical objects it actually looks as cool as it does in the glossy color adjusted photos you see in Astronomy Magazine.
Another track done
By Dave on Saturday, March 3rd 2007 9:57 pm
mp3: Untitled (excerpt)
Well mostly done. I'm still tweaking a little but the drums, bass, guitars and keys are all tracked. This one comes in at over 15 minutes so I just put up a 5 minute excerpt from the middle of the piece(see above). The working title on this has been "Strange Alloy" which I am not fond of at all. I'm thinking I might go with "Somnium" (Latin for nonsense).
This piece takes 4 themes and then applies them to many different styles and feels as well as combining them in different ways. But often the changes are jarring and nonsensical so while this is probably the most logical and carefully constructed piece on the record my guess is that unless the listener does a complete transcription and harmonic analysis they are going to perceive it as pretty much insane. And that is ok, most of the other stuff on the album has a very structured sound to it.
Other things of note on this track: There is a kind of weird rhythmic loop in this clip that I created by making unusual sounds with the guitar and wah pedal. I flew the loop in from the original demo. Musician wise this one is all me except for the fantastic organ solo at the end of this clip which was performed by longtime friend Doug Upton. Doug (photo left) and I played in a number of bands together in High School and College. For many years now we have lived about 1000 miles apart and just keep in touch by phone. I went on a road trip to Nashville to visit him a few years back and brought my PC along so I could record this performance.
By Dave on Wednesday, February 14th 2007 10:46 pm
mp3: Hieland Road (Rough Mix)
Here is a rough mix of the latest track completed for the record. This one is my debut as a drummer. Like "The Water Discipline", I played all the instruments but Water Discipline doesn't have any live drums.
Strangely enough it was the guitar solo I had a hard time getting the feel right on. I flew the bass solos in from the original demo version I did.
This song started out as a Station ID I made for Progressive Soundscapes Radio, an internet radio station I do the website for. The melodies are based on a couple of Irish folk songs.
As far as "Strange Alloy" I have the bass and drum tracks done. I'll start tracking guitars and synths tomorrow.
By Dave on Saturday, January 27th 2007 1:15 am
Hi again folks. I got a bit distracted during the last half of last year and didn't have much time to continue working on the record much less write about it. Also I spent some time learning a new instrument.....drums.
I borrowed a friend's dormant Premier drum kit, cleaned them up, put on some new heads and replaced all the cymbals with some Paiste Signature Series cymbals from cymbalsonly.com.
So I spent all day Wednesday recording the drum track to Hieland Road, which was an absolutely exhausting experience. When I wrote this one I had no intention of being the guy playing drums... or bass for that matter. Which made things a bit tricky when it came to the bass guitar/drum solo section. Luckily I think I carried it off reasonably well. I can't play a paradiddle worth a damn but I don't seem to have any problems negotiating all the time signature and tempo changes.
Thursday I started on the longest track on the record which at the moment is called "Strange Alloy". It clocks in at about 15 minutes. There were a few arrangement changes that needed to be worked on before I could begin tracking. Today, I started recording the drum parts and got about a 3rd of the way through before my right leg simply would no longer obey commands. I've discovered playing drums is hard work.
Once I complete all the drums tracks for these two songs I'll move on to recording the other instruments. So maybe there will be some new material to sample in a week or so.
By Dave on Tuesday, March 14th 2006 12:50 am
...4 to go.
mp3: Autumn (early mix)
Frank Basile on drums, the rest is me.