Christmas…in December!?

A collection of music I’ve done for Christmas over the years, beginning in 1999 with “Carol of the Electro-Drum Furniture, which was done by playing live with a Quasimidi 309, a Roland Juno-106, a Roland DJ-70 sampler and a dual tape deck. Each part was dubbed using the tape deck, hence the noise and volume guesswork. Copyright infringing fun.In 2007 I tried to recreate the magic, but failed to capture the spirit with the new “Carol of the Electro-Drum.”My most ambitious holiday effort came in 2008, using the score for Mozart’s Lorettine Litany, “Litaniae de Beata Virgine, K. 109,” as edited by Dolores Ambrister (1979). Each section had several takes and I’ve included the Midi Mozart alternative version here as well, as cheese as it is.The 2009 offering never really got going. Here I’ve uploaded “Carol of the Bells (snowstorm),” which I rather enjoy, and “Carol of the Bells (dumheim yawnroller),” which was a half-hearted and unfinished attempt at getting away from the usual Christmas bell-choir-in-a-factory noise I had been doing, but quickly lost my interest.

Finally, a preview to my latest effort, the unfinished instrumental portion of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” Something like a Christmas dirge. I’m not sure it will be finished due to inconvenience.

Everything is free to download until it is removed in January.  Please share if you like it.

Merry Christmas.

Christmas Cancelled?


Two weeks until Christmas and I’ve not yet recorded vocals for this year’s offering.  Not a good recording, anyway.  I was able to get a couple dreadful vocal takes out in my bedroom (a horrid place to record) before my voice gave out.  I will still try to release a volume of my previous Christmas work (probably as individual tracks on SoundCloud), but without an appropriate time and place to record, I don’t see this one getting done.

Speaking of, the same may well go for Chapter One of Hijacking Your Fiction.  I still have to record for one song and find time to work with Scott to mix.  The planned release date will be pushed back as always.  I can not express how badly I want to move beyond this album.  This album was over two years ago in so many ways.  I feel I’ve moved on but I can not let this album go unfinished.

John MusiM has been kind enough to let me use his place for recording, but my voice is at its best late at night and both he and Suzy work early, so I have to do it in the afternoon.   The drive I had to finish has diminished.

The Production Notebook VI: Mixing “Ruin”

Saturday night mixing session.  “Ruin” is probably the song that needed the least work, yet somehow, thanks to Scott’s sonic compulsive disorder, it turned into all night mix session (not a bad thing to have a mixing engineer obsessed with auditory perfection, but at this point I’m ready to have things songs out so I can move on).

We spent an appropriate two hours before taking a break for coffee, but upon coming back we spent about five.  One of the first rules of mixing is to give your ears regular breaks.  By five in the morning, brains and ears were exhausted and, though I haven’t had time to do a side by side comparison, I’m afraid we’ve lost a few things, in particular the raw balance the song had.  The arpeggiated bass synth is giving us the most trouble at this point, trying to maintain its character and, at the same time, leave it as one of the primary musical elements in the song.  Scott brought some of the high end out in the vocals, and with a bit of work, gave it some of its missing detail.  The main kick is punchier, heavier, and though I didn’t want to make any creative decisions at this point, we ended up with three versions of it for different parts of the song.

As stated, I’ve not listened to it since Sunday morning as I need a couple days to recover my senses and listen again objectively.  I plan to do a side by side comparison of my previous mix and this weekend’s mix to see what is right or wrong still.  There was no objectivity or comprehension of the big picture mix by the end of the night.

What I can say with certainty is that, despite some areas of pronunciation I’m not completely content with, I am quite happy with the results of the vocals.  I tried a few things that I’d never done with vocal processing before, and am quite pleased with the results.  If all goes well, I will post a pre-mastered version on soundcloud before long.

Upcoming production work:  vocal recording and mixing for “Voices,” a new mix of “The Temptation of Saint Anthony,” and reviving an old fan favorite, “A New Man,” to round out Chapter One.

Scott at our mixing piano. Why, yes, the monitors are on a piano. What, that’s not acoustically sound?

Christmas Release

Some of you may know that I have released quite a few songs for Christmas over the years, but few of these have made it any further than into the hands of close friends and family.  This year I’m working on one that I quite like thus far, an interpretation of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.”  This will be available for download on my Soundcloud page.

But surely, you say, there is more?  Indeed.

I will also make the entirety of my Christmas catalogue available to all who wish to have it, beginning with “Carol of the Electrodrum Furniture,” which I made with a Juno 106, a Quasimidi 309, and a Roland DJ-70 sampler.  I layered sounds by overdubbing on a dual tape deck, so it is quite noisy, poorly mixed and leveled, and tremendous copyright-infringing fun.

Look for it soon.

Hijacking Your Fiction, Chapter One (Spaces Between)

A few months ago, I started to find myself overwhelmed by the concept of completing an entire album on my own.  It has been well over five years, and the album has been in its current conceptual state for nearly three of those years.  Because of this, I’ve decided to release Hijacking Your Fiction in three chapters (clever, I know), each consisting of four songs.  Now the big news:

If all goes according to plan, Chapter One (Spaces Between) will be released by the end of the year.  The first chapter will be given away for free on my Bandcamp page, though donations will be more than welcome and, furthermore, encourage me to get the next two chapters and future work finished sooner.  Chapter One will also be followed by video and artwork, but for now that is all the information I can give.

A Year in the Life

It may seem I finished the “Missing Dead” remix for MusiM and then dropped off the face of the planet.  Not quite true, but I did end up back on the west side of the planet, once again in the United States.  Here’s a quick recap of my disappearance, soon to be followed by album and project news.  As I do not wish this to get too dull or too personal, it will be brief.

Sometime late last year, around October, things got busy:  twelve-hour work days and a new (and more complicated than it should have been) relationship sapped any desire to do anything in what little free time I had, and such time was spent trying to find another hour of sleep or playing video games.

So much work has, at least, granted me the luxury of taking a few months off.  I moved back to the States at the end of March and achieved very little.  It seems I still had a few things that needed to be taken care of emotionally before I could get to work.

Now, all is in motion.  I have much to do, but music is not being neglected anymore.

Updates to follow.

My, my, my…

1.  My remix of MusiM’s “Missing Dead” is complete.  It should be available by the first of September, along with other fine remixes, on Bandcamp for a buck.  You’ve probably got that in an old pair of jeans you haven’t worn in a while.  Get a dollar, get the remixes.

2.  My insane work schedule has two weeks left, and then it will change to something much more reasonable, but quite contrary to my nature in that I’ll be waking up at five every morning.  However, I’ll be done by one most days.

3.  My gayageum is not getting enough use.  I found a teacher, and next month I should be able to start again.

4.  My AN1x purchase was worth it.  I’ll post my initial impressions soon.

5.  My night was a strange one, indeed.  Good, but strange.