Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Chris and I spent a night back in May laying down several different drum loops. The one I did is very weird sounding....snares off, playing on the bell of the Bronze Scim hihats, some unusual miking, and Chris' 24" kick. Then all that is compressed pretty heavily.

I made the loop (24 bars) and then wrote a series of chords on the Rhodes....after several demos I still wasn't exactly sure where to go with the basic idea...I think on the third attempt I managed to get through the chord sequence twice, and threw in a couple curveballs, so I decided to keep it, chart out what I did, and try adding bass.

Now I'm not a bass player, but with relatively simple, slow-moving stuff, if I spend a few hours learning it I can kinda-sorta fake my way through it. The new amp helped a lot....I barely had to touch the strings at all and still got an enormously loud sound.

After that, I recorded a heavily smeared, semi-improvised synth track over the top. Sort of halfway between a lead and and a pad (ambience).

The chords (nearly all of them are 13ths) keep going up and up....typically I have a tendency to write chords that go down, down, down. The bass keeps going up too....I tuned the lowest string as far down as I thought I could get away with (B-flat!)....the bass moves from that low B-flat all the way up to near the top of the neck on the highest string. Between the extended harmonies (most of the chords are voiced root/5th/9th/#11th/13th), the parallel voice leading, and the fact that the roots keep resolving up by step (C G D F# A resolves to D A E G# B, etc), hopefully the effect is like being weightless.

This is my favorite track out of all the stuff I've done in the last year that doesn't have anybody else playing anything on it (along with Antares).


nb said...

P.S. The fact that this piece is 4:33 wasn't strictly intentional, but I kinda like that it worked out that way....

Eileen said...

Neal, I am at sea with your musical thoughts. Tonight Ken put I-tunes on my computer and I immediately bought:

Lou Reed: Walk on the Wild Side

Jerry Rafferty: Baker Street

Janis Joplin: Mercedes Benz

Still looking for Beatles birthday song, but evidently one cannot purchase Beatles music yet from I-tunes. $.99 seems pretty cheap to me. How does that fit in with your philosophy?

Take care, I hope not to embarrass you with my outdated tastes, Eileen