Category Archives: Songs

Streetlight

One final new song. This is “Streetlight”, and features Harry and Emma on vocals.

 

The first part was recorded on an iPhone with a looper. The second part was recorded on the good old Boss BR600. The final sonic consumable was assembled in Reaper.

Cleptometry

From the upcoming smash album, “Princeton Studies”, here’s a smooth little tune of mine called “Cleptometry”.

It was performed and recorded live at a nightclub in fantastic downtown Groovesburg, NC! *

 
* – This is not true.

Drums and bass are lovingly-hand-crafted lines played by VSTis. Guitar and glockenspiel are real.

Harm

Here’s a mournful little tune I wrote:


 
This, and Something Else, are the big hit songs from an upcoming album of mine called “Princeton Studies”. In this case, it’s a study in slowness, the harmonic minor scale, and transitions via augmented chords to other keys (and back).

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Here’s the story of a band…

I remember writing a song with a friend of mine was when I was 8 or 9 years old; it was called “Red Whiskey and Wine”. I don’t remember anything about it but the title. I couldn’t play any instrument then, and I never could sing. At the time I didn’t know that should be an issue.

In college, I started to learn guitar. Shortly after that, I bought a used 4-track cassette recorder and my roommate Mike and I started making songs with it. We weren’t sitting down and crafting songs, or planning parts or anything like that. Mostly, we performed them onto tape. I had a sampler, a couple of effects pedals. I bought a drum machine. We figured out how to get sounds from my CD player into the effects pedals. I found an ancient cassette dictation microphone. And we were off! We were into very noisy music at the time (‘industrial’ stuff, plus Sonic Youth, Dino Jr, Swirlies, My Bloody Valentine, etc.) and we wanted to make songs like that. Whatever was in reach that could make a noise was likely to get used. We didn’t think our lack of training or ability should be much of a problem. We had eons of free time and a lot of beer.

One of the first songs we recorded was called “Carcass”. It’s built around the drum machine playing through a distortion pedal, with some fuzzy/flanged guitar for spice and Mike reading a passage from a book he’d been assigned to read for a literature class – it was something about a hunter shooting things in a forest. The microphone was plugged into the sampler then into a flanger. And while he was reading, I was twisting knobs and pushing buttons. The effect is a swirling mess, and you can’t really make out anything he says except for an isolated phrase here and there. But one of those phrases is “smaller animals”. We were so thrilled about the way it got captured and repeated in the song, that we decided to make it the name of the band.

Now, to the present…

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Beach

While I was at the beach, back in September, I took a little alone time and recorded this happy little song on my iPhone. It’s called “Beach”.

Garageband is a pretty awesome app, especially for free. And the recording quality of the iPhone’s mic is surprisingly good, given that this is just me playing with the iPhone sitting on the couch next to me. iPhone can’t help with musicianship or songwriting ability, sadly.

And then there’s Steve Lacy.

How The Internet's Steve Lacy Makes Hits With His Phone | WIRED

New Instrument

Behold the Akai LPK25!

It’s a MIDI controller; in response to user input, it generates MIDI signals for other devices to use. This one sends its signals down a USB cable into a computer. And that’s all it does – it makes no sounds of its own. It exists to tell other things to make sounds: things like a copy of Cakewalk Music Creator, for example.

I can’t play piano, but I’m going to learn enough to amuse myself. Here’s one of my first attempts.

All of the sounds here are from the software-based synthesizers that come with Cakewalk. Technology is amazing.

I’m still shit for coming up with chords on the fly, but I can pick my way around a scale once I map out the notes.

Amusement achieved !

Field

Artist’s Statement

By exposing the flatness and debating the topsoil, “field” removes all ambiguity from the geography and indeed sows seeds of quiescence where later flowers of combinatorial analyses will wilt in the sun. Through this fluoridation and catechism, the uniquely rotund and confloundering ministrations embolden the frisson (and at what expense!) of a single guitar talking to itself across time. And realizing this, then we look down. We have come to the stream running through the middle which is the hydration and the sewer and the catheter, the mouth, the blood, the rectal dispensation, and dipping our naive toes two by two into the muck, we discover the leeches, the manifold rotifers and the pastoral pleasure of “field”.