August 29th, 2006


You want this, you need this...


Firstly, a slight apology for my previous emo rant. I'm feeling a lot better now, thanks to a handful of things.

Let's have an update on the new song: Well, I can't keep calling it that forever, so I shall give you it's provisional title: "City of a Thousand Lies." Tonight, we added another two tracks too it - piano and vocals. This was the first time that we'd recorded my piano playing, and it turned out rather well, if I do say so myself. (Note - when I say piano, I'm really referring to one of our keyboards, a Yamaha PSR-270, in tonight's case. Likewise, when I refer to synthesisers, I'm talking about our keyboards again, as I don't have the $3000 to buy a MiniMoog Voyager yet, or even the $1500 for a Moog Little Phatty. In the case of the latter synth, the name truly makes me cringe, but I realise that it is likely to be my best chance to get a true analogue synth any time soon, so I shall have to put up with the name. But hey, it won't be for a few years, y'know? Lengthy note stops here.) The only other time we recorded my keyboard playing was a few days ago, when we added a piccolo to Run With Me.

And while we're on the subject of my brilliance (*cough*), Mum walked in while I was composing the piano part for "Lies" and said that it sounded like something Bach had written. I think she said that this Bach piece was part of something called "The Happy Clarinet", or some similarly weird title... I was like, "Mum, they're just arpeggios!" I do wish that I'd had piano lessons as a child, though. I find it so natural and easy to compose with a keyboard/piano, yet I'm still only able to play one handed >_<. I'll never be a patch on someone like Emma (Hey! You never did send me those recordings you made! If you've still got them, I'd love to hear them! :)) This new song has a certain feeling to it, I think. There's something about the whole thing that fills me with hope about it. I just know that it's going to be one of our better songs. Things like Running were ok, y'know? But there are only a few songs that we've done that I would gladly play to my friends. Run With Me tops the list, of course, simply because it's the first one where everything really worked. The Morning Before (It's Been A Long, Long Time) is one of my favorites when it comes to guitar work. Sorry for being so vain, but my lead work PWNS on this one. And it took a darn long time to compose, no kidding! Have I sent this to anyone, though? I'm not sure~~ I should have done, though, even though it's only a demo. The vocals could use some smoothing over, sure, but the guitar tone is gorgeous :) I really don't have a clue what I'm doing when I create patches with my pedal, but sometimes these little gems just pop out. This patch is one of them ^_^. (I'm hoping to take my pedal with me to Uni this year, as I want to teach Holly about effects. Plus, I want to play with them ^_^)

Keeping on the topic of other good songs that we've done, but feeling the need for a new paragraph, I present Ascalon Song to your attention. This one must be about a year old now, which is hard to believe~ If "Ascalon" means nothing to you, then don't worry, I'll explain. Ascalon is a country in Guild Wars. During the game, the country is razed in a magical attack known as "The Searing", and the survivors make for the country of Kryta, across the dangerous Shiverpeak mountains. Now that I've cleared that up, I shall move onto the song. Ascalon song will probably be the closing song on our Guild Wars inspired Concept Album. Yes, we seriously are making one. Claire's got quite a few ideas for it, and I'm just following along ;) Now, to get technical. The recording quality sucks! We were using our naff old £1 microphones, before we got the Shure SM-58 that we use these days. (I kinda can't believe that we actually bought an SM-58! I mean, they're legendary mics! Watch any concert DVD and you can see them! Admittedly, our one was the cheapest version available, but even so ;)) The guitar is alright, but we should really re-record the entire thing.

Next, I present "She's A Muse." Again recorded with a mic from Poundland, but this time, it adds something to it. A certain...boxy...sound, I guess... Anyone remember that 90s song called something like "I could never be your woman", but somebody with a name like Whitetown? The vocal sound is similar. Well, it is to my ears at any rate ;) The lead guitar is alright on this one, but no more than alright. And what was I thinking with this outro? Improv. stuff is alright when I know where I'm going, but I so clearly didn't! Ouch. A good re-record over Christmas on the 16-track with the SM-58 should do this song a world of good. Oh, and working out how the guitar should go will also help ;)

Now then. Run With Me. I have to confess to being rather proud of this one. Seeing two of my friends quote it as their "Current Music" on LJ made me glow with happiness ;) Alas, we still don't really have a decent recording of this little gem. Our first real rocker, it just came out fully formed when I tried to take out my frustrations on my guitar. The lyrics were kinda co-written, which is always good. Claire writes awesome lyrics, but songs always gel better when we co-write the lyrics and music. V1 of Run With Me wasn't so good. No real lead guitar, and a switch of guitar patch at the end, due to a screw up leaving us short one verse of music >_<. I think the version everyone has is V2. Claire's "ahh"s really send a chill down my spine there. The lead guitar is quiet enough to fit in this mix without drawing too much attention to iteself. The solo is my first ever, and despite being short, just feels good. I can't say I'm too happy with my voice here, but it's better than it has been. The outro solo is seriously weak, and will require not somuch re-writing as actually writing. But this song has something there. The new version avec piccolo should be worth listening to once we've added the lead guitar and backing vocals. 4 tracks just isn't enough anymore. Which is why we're spending £400+ on a 16-track, of course ;)

Oh, Emma, I feel so sorry for you... I send you all of our early stuff, but it's terrible! It's no wonder that you never got back to me with your opinions of it all! Want me to send you a zip of our self-written, actually listenable-to stuff sometime? ;)

Now. I've talked about the music, but what about the band? (Oh gosh. Comfortably Numb. Upper 6th Form for me. "I do believe it's working, good" came out like "I do believe it's working, grrl!" >_<) So far, we have two musicians. Claire is the Jon Anderson of the band. She sings, she plays the occasional tambourine or keyboard part, she writes the lyrics. Oh, and she also handles the production and engineering to a large degree, as I have my hands full ;) Then there's me. I'm kinda the Trevor Rabin. I sing, I play rhythm and lead guitar. I play keyboards. I'd play bass and drums if we had a bass guitar (maybe this year?) or a drum kit (someday...). Oh, and then there's Mr Drum Machine, a vital function of my Zoom GFX-5 digital effects processor. We couldn't live without him ;).

For now, we're ok with just being the two of us, but someday we'll need to expand. We need a drummer, obviously. I only know three drummers. Jaimin, who drummer for me in the 6th form talent show, who I hardly know anymore, Ben Harris, who's mum works with my Mum at the hospital, and Adrian, who's on my course, but lives in London. None of these guys are really into the same kind of music as us, so they're all kinda out. The next vacant position is that of the keyboard player. I can't play guitar and keyboards, and plus, my keyboard parts are simplistic. We need somebody who can handle multiple keyboards and write their own parts. We don't want a Rick Wakeman, but somebody good would be nice ;) Rajan plays the keyboard, but I never really suceeded in getting him into prog, and plus, he's at Uni in Sheffield. So he's a no-go for the time being, at any rate. Pity, really, as he'd be perfect for the band, personality wise. Next up is Emma. She lives in Canada. Dammit, Ems, why Canada? You're into prog! You're friends with both of us! You can play the piano! Buut, you're a bit far out. >_< Those are all the keyboard players I can think of.

Moving swiftly on to the less essential musicians. Bass player. I'm not friends with any bass players. I'd love to play bass, but then again, I want to be a multi-instumentalist ;) Bass is *not* essential, so no sweat. A second guitarist is the same. That said, a second guitarist would help a lot! I can sing and play chords, sure, but when I've written a lead part as well, what am I supposed to do live? Actually, I think that a second guitarist is quite important, but there's no real hurry. Who do I know who plays guitar? Well, there's Tom from Uni. I only met him a few weeks before the end of last year, but he's into prog and plays guitar. This year, I shall have to get to know him better, and maybe jam with him a bit. See if we get on or not. He seemed really nice, the two times we chatted, so that might well be something. The only other person I can think of is Holly, who I'm teaching to play guitar. Admittedly, I haven't taught her much, but she showed real promise in the few hours that she played for, so I shall definitely hold her in mind. After all, to be a rhythm guitarist, you just need to be able to play chords. In a year or so, Holly will most certainly have mastered all the simple chords and be making progress on the somewhat uncomfortable barr chords that I occasionally use. (I confess I love of F#m. It rocks!)

If you hadn't quite got the idea yet, we're planning on making something of this. What could be better than being a musician? Going to concerts combined with singing and performing combined with messing around and writing music. Sounds like a dream career! I think that we could go somewhere with this, and it sounds like a lot more fun that being a programmer, I'm afraid. Programming = great fun, sure, but music is something else. As a musician, I could make people happy. As a programmer, I doubt that I'd be doing that so much. If only Claire was still in Surrey.. Being seperated by a few hundred miles really makes things awkward. I could find other musicians at Uni, but Claire wouldn't be able to get involved. That wouldn't be any good at all. Well, we have until I graduate to improve our skills, then I have to get a job and a home near where Claire lives. Then, we start the ball really rolling. This dream is heading for the skys, but only the best dreamers can ride on it. Interested?


Now, onto a more earthly (and emo) topic. Friends. I hate the way friendship groups form so tightly. As someone who never had more than one or two friends, I am used to having a few close friends and large circle of vague aquantainces. Really, what I want is a best friend, who recipricates my feelings on the matter. But this time, I really screwed up. First term, I hung out with Amy. Amy has lots and lots of friends, many much closer than me. Amy is a far better person than me, and would never be so selfish as to name one person as the best. Second term. Finding my self with an unexpected girlfriend, I understandably spent most of my time with Viv. She was not only my girlfriend, but my best friend also. "What could be greater than having a best friend who is also your lover?" Perhaps I should have asked myself that question. The answer is this: If/When you break up, you suddenly find yourself alone, as I did. Of course, I was comforted by my other friends, but they all came in two or threes. Think about it. Holly and Elle. Ryan and Tak. (My tired brain refuses to give any more examples.) All inseperable. (Currently, I'm listening to our version of the intro from the Floyd's Time, which famously features Claire beating a £100 mic on the floor >_< She was kinda shocked when I told her how much it would have cost. Our old school has good equipment ;)) I'm a very shy person, so I find it nigh on impossible to wriggle my way into a friendship group. The point of all this is that I want to be inseparable from someone. A best friend who won't leave me. I think that this might where my current animosity towards Viv is coming from. She was not only my lover, but my best friend. As my lover, I knew that one day she might leave me. As my best friend, and the closest one that I'd made for years, the fact that she could do something like this to me hurt beyond believe, and I'm only just starting to realise this. The worst bit? I don't know just how much of our friendship was build on being lovers, and how much of it was built on being friends. In short, I don't know how to act towards her right now. After all, my place in her life has already been replaced, to all extents and purposes. She's found somebody new, and I've been though my own personal mental hell yet again. I finally told Mum what had been bothering me for the last couple of days earlier. Her reaction was the most comforting of all. "You deserve someone better." Thanks, Mum. Quite true ^_^. But my first year is over. Everyone I know has paired off into groups, as lovers or as best friends. I couldn't think of tearing a tight knit group or pair apart, so what can I do? I don't have a "friendship partner" anymore, so I'm pretty stuck. (emo)But hey, it's not like anyone would fall for me anyway. I'm dull. I don't go out much, I don't do much. I tend to stay at home, watch anime, listen to music and play games. I'm dull, and so would make a bad boyfriend, right?(/emo) *sighs* Ah well. There's somebody out there for me, right? Maybe I've already found them. I wonder what they think? Will my feelings be returned? Statistically, sure, I'll find someone eventually, but that's hardly comforting. I've been rejected before. But I never really knew the people I was asking out all that well, so rejection wasn't all that great a loss. If it were a close friend who I fell for, then that's where things start getting awkward, as I've already found out. And on that note, I think it's time to post this monster entry and go to bed. Or dance to some Animix. Not the whole thing, but maybe 10-15 mins or so. Exercising is good, and disco is funky ^_^.

Goodnight everyone, and sorry for hammering your friends page so :p