Looking for the beginning?

Looking for somewhere to start? Check out Song 1 here!

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Song Number 43: Light To Darkness

Big day today!

Here's Light To Darkness, a song which has proven an absolute nightmare to record - like so many other tracks this year, I had the song ready to go for what seemed like ages but couldn't get ten minutes together to record the vocals!  And when I finally did, my computer had a hissy fit and recorded the whole lot with all sorts of digital glitches, so I had to re-do the lot today.  But it's done! 

Most songs you'll hear on the wireless can be split into three components - the verse; the chorus; and another bit.  Here I've done two different bits, and tried to create a third by sticking the two together.  Does it work? Or is it a mess? Who cares - it's another song down.  Nine to go, and there's something else as well:

WE'VE DONE IT! Yes, folks, we've passed the £1,000 mark!


I'm over the moon, particularly considering the original target was £250!  Thanks to everybody who's donated, and everybody who's helped me out by telling your friends and colleagues, Tweeting and Facebooking.  The people at Parkinson's UK are delighted, and on a personal level I can't quite belive I'm still going!

Now I know I've had a panic on lately over getting the songs finished, but you've kept your end of the bargain, so I'm now doubly determined to get the last nine done.  Song 52 will be online on New Year's Eve!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Song Number 42: When The Cameras Are Gone

Lot of background to this one.

I'd written the music, but was struggling to come up with something to write about lyric-wise.  Andrew Nicholls, marvellous guitarist and singer with Earthtide, suggested "how about a song which cryptically extols the virtues of channel four at 3.30pm every weekday......."

Well of course everybody knows what's on at 3.30 on weekdays on Channel Four - Countdown.  Great show.  Horrendously addictive.  And that got me reminiscing about sitting with my gran, watching possibly my favourite ever quiz show, Fifteen to One - it was on just after Countdown (or was it just before?) and featured William G Stewart asking question after question after question to fifteen contestants.  No messing about; no 'hilarious' anecdotes about family holidays; no Brucie Bonuses and definitely no Michael Barrymore.

Horrible man, horrible man,
horrible horrible horrible man.

So anyway, here it is: a song vaguely about quiz shows. There's also a reference to The Crystal Maze in there.  Happy days. 

One more song and I'm into single figures. 

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Song Number 41: Scene

From out of the frozen tundra it came...

Wrote and recorded this in my father's studio on Sunday afternoon while we were visiting them up North. 

Dad's studio, like mine, is what is politely termed a "project studio", which is a polite euphemism for saying no bugger else can get the thing to work, so I belted this out pretty sharpish to avoid prolonged arguments over the relative merits of Cubase and Logic. 

There are some really lovely mics and pre-amps up there, and I'm very pleased with the sound of the (one take!) drums.  If I'd had more time I could have (should have) spent longer on the bass and vocal sounds, but there you go.  BVs were done sat in front of the computer with a hand-held SM57 for speed.

As far as the writing goes, I like the "across the ocean floor" line, but the mid 8 bored me so much I chopped a bunch of bars out of the middle of it and skipped to the end of an improvised rant about being sick of the sound of my own voice.

The video's taken from Little Annie Rooney, from the wonderful Fleischer Studios.

Song 42 coming as soon as possible, I promise.  Thanks for all your donations and comments so far.  Please keep them coming  - these last few weeks are going to be really really tough!

Monday, 14 November 2011


Currently up north visiting the folks, and I've managed to record Song 41 and write most of Song 42 while I'm up here.  Hopefully I'll make a start on recording 42 tomorrow before we come back down south, and I'll get at least one of them online by Tuesday.

In 41, you'll hear me getting so sick of the sound of my own voice, I bluntly cut a good 20 odd seconds out of the song just to get to the end quicker.  Also lots of suspended seconds, which I love (I'll try and write about that next time - remind me).  42 may feature a complete waste of a beautiful Martin Dreadnought guitar, but we'll see.


Saturday, 5 November 2011

Song Number 40 - Same

Come on, come on, come on...

Only £150 needed to reach the target - we can do this!  http://www.justgiving.com/songaweek

Haven't really got time to write about this one.  Nothing much to it, structurally; bit of a rush job.  Noise in the intro isn't a turntable scratching - it's a Linn drum loop I programmed, sped up, gated, whacked through a ring modulator with a delay on it, mixed down, and pitch-shifted.  Then the higher chords in the chorus are linked to it by a vocoder - thought it'd be nice to fiddle about with.

Quite pleased with my voice in the last section - it's better than it was this time last year. 

From here on, I'm going to be doing what I can when I can, but unfortunately the work I need to do to pay the bills has caught up with me.  12 songs in 56 days?  No problem.

Friday, 4 November 2011


Song 40 is recorded, but I've not had chance to put it online yet.

Song 41 is written (pretty much) but I've not had chance to record it yet.

Time is short; stress is high; but donations are healthy and I will get these last 12 songs done, I promise!

In the meantime, thank you for your continued support, and let me once more raise the Song A Week battle cry:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...