Thursday, March 1, 2012

Encoded Heart

This was hard to do but the hardest part was naming the song.
I wrote the guitar part and melody simultaneously and then had to figure out what on earth it was - rhythmically. It's in some triple meter, with strange elisions in it. It's one of those things I can play but probably no one else would be able to.
Strange as it is rhythmically the tricky bit was completing the lyrics. A love song not drawn from any specific experience...I've never done that, not that I can recall.
I was working on this one a day or two ago when I stopped and wrote "Drop" instead. Following this line of thinking I should Roll next.
It may be the only time I've recorded a tambourine, at least in the past 25 years.

As the 2012 song a day project comes to a close, I'm satisfied with the results. I gave myself a few rules this year.
- no comedy/novelty songs.
- no improvisations, instrumentals, or 'compositions'. For me at least there are other places to explore these realms
- try to write songs I would actually use in some other context - e.g. perform
- try new things
- be ridiculously fearless with words
The last one was the hardest. Whether I write music that makes any sense at all to someone else is a question I stopped worrying about from the beginning. If it was logical in my own head then it passed the test.
Lyrically it's another matter. I have no idea how anything comes across, and words are a whole lot more personal than musical notes. Nevertheless I overrode the tendency to complete embarrassment and did the fearless thing. Looking back I only wince at the technical missteps, like the forlorn "should" in this song. (Plus I once made a vow to never use the word "should". Dang.) As for content, I'll stand by it.

Virtual Reality

Disaster struck, in the form of a software crash, causing two hours of cutting and pasting and vocal tracking to vanish.
Not quite, as it turned out. The vocal tracks were still there, as they are saved as .aiff files when recorded, so all I needed to do was drag them back into their respective tracks, identify them, and put them in the proper place. Following a reconstruction of the song, of course. The midi tracks were from many days ago, and were intended to be the germ of real instrumental parts, but time was a factor and I wanted to complete this song. So midi guitars it was.
I do wonder if anyone uses the term "Virtual Reality" anymore. It seems antiquated. Oh well. As a metaphor for the way we reshape our realities and more specifically our past realities I liked it.
The end of this song, where the system breaks down and the goggles melt, made me think of Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie, visually if not musically. Musically I didn't have any particular artist in mind with this tune. Technology as a metaphor for human relationships - something that recurs this year and I'm not quite sure why.
It does remind me that in preparing for song a day this year I rapped. A lot. I learned very quickly that I can't rap, under any circumstances, but the practice of keeping word flow going and varying rhyme schemes was useful. Every now and then something good would happen, an optimistic 5% of the time I'd day. If only I had been able to remember and replicate those moments, and, say, write them down.

I consider this song unfinished. I had much bigger plans for it, even some chord variation. It will be the first song I rework now that February is over.