A glimpse into the musical sketchbook

Last Friday night I spent a few hours playing around with some new musical ideas. I worked on some acoustic guitar parts for some earlier songs (including a possible re-recording of my 2003 track “Tai Chi for Oafs”), and I also worked on a couple of brand new ideas.

These may never see any further attention than what they got that night, and they’re presently fairly repetitive, but that’s why they fade out mercifully quickly. Enjoy! (Or not.)

Don’t Limit Me, Steve!
The working title of this track is aimed squarely at Mr. Jobs. As much as I love all things Apple, especially GarageBand, I do find it aggravating at times that the software makes you select a time signature, tempo and key before you can create a new song project. It makes it difficult to just play around with ideas because if you want to change any of these attributes, it permanently alters the playback of any tracks you’ve already recorded. I’ve retaliated by creating this song with an unnatural 11-bar chord progression and a bass riff that strangely hits a major 6th where the listener (myself included) would normally expect to hear a minor 7th.


Just a mellow electronic thing. And of course, given the name, I had to put some Mellotron in it.


Far Out Sounds! (And Other Space Age Hyperbole)

The Apollo program is far out!I’m on a roll with the new music; after producing two new albums for the RPM Challenge, I’ve already started on another new project. Drenched in vintage ’60s and ’70s keyboard sounds (electric piano, organ, and the beloved Mellotron — no, I don’t really have a Mellotron, just this, which, come to think of it, is actually better, or at least more practical, than the original in almost every conceivable way), the album is going to be a tribute to the music of the Apollo years: 1961-1975. Heavy emphasis will be placed on 1969-1972, which also happen to be probably my favorite 4 years in music history. I’ve already got a couple of minutes of a first track (just backing tracks, with a scratch MIDI bass track, and a rough mix) laid down (which you can listen to below), and visual inspiration for the cover. Man, that old Apollo logo is sweet!

“Lunar Landing” version 0.1 • February 21, 2008 • 2:07