I. 2018/19 Releases · Instrumentals
My Heart · 4:05
March 22, 2019 ··· Piano-led ballad for my son. Version 3.3 ready for mastering soon. Key: Eb major. 110 BPM.
Tumble · 5:34
March 14, 2019 · Composed Dec. 2018 ··· Contemporary jazz tune. Small nitpick-fixes planned, but acceptable demo quality. Current version 11.2 includes multiple small tweaks. Key: G major. 90 BPM.
Flow · 4:33
24 July 2018 · Composed/arranged early July. Pop-jazz tune in C Minor. 90 BPM. Key: C minor. 90 BPM. Submitted to Broadjam for placement Aug. 2018.
Riptide · 5:23
April 13, 2019 Rippingtons-style pop-jazz composed May 2018, "released" in September. Remixed April to smooth out rough edges and achieve a slightly fresher sound. Key: F major. 94 BPM. Version: 14.3.
My Beautiful Girl · 6:05
July 29 ⇢ August 19 ··· To my daughter when she was a child: "There's my beautiful girl!" Leaving for college she was the last chick to leave the nest; this was a going-away gift. Key: D major. 66 BPM. Version: 6.7 (8-Sept)
II. Seeds / In Progress
Camel Isle · 3:05
April 2019 · Music bed for a funk-jazz tune in progress; inspired by a1988 Sanborn tune. Key: G major. 96 BPM.
Updated May 14 & July 26 ··· A short proof-of-concept created in April 2018. Updates include replacing fake-sounding MIDI trumpet with guitar; improved drum track; adding multiple new guitar parts. Unfinished: needs proper arrangement, B/C sections, bridges, etc. Until then: July 26 ~ Put wah on solo guitars as a test. • Inspired by an instrumental jam played live by Bobby Caldwell's band as the singer sat on a tall stool basking in the groove*. That night the band featured saxophonist Andrew Neu. Video clip is Bobby's classic hit and includes footage of Neu (instrumental jam not in this video). Title is a reference to the James Gang's Funk #48 (1969) and Funk #49 (1970).
*Ideas captured in 2015 and 2017 via smart phone voice memo app. ;-)
updated July 16, 2018 ··· A repetitive ("lazy layering" technique) orphan chorus created on Sunday July 8. Remixed and cleaned up 1 week later. I put this on hold when I realized it was too similar in feel to the chorus in Riptide. There's still good stuff here so I'll rework it someday.
April 18, 2018 A fun headbanger. This proof-of-concept can be developed further - perhaps add a guitar solo? Toward the end a cello adds depth underneath the synth bass followed by crunch synth bass that duplicates the cello (a total of 3 bass parts). Orig. title Not Quite AK was a reference to guitarist Andrey Korolev (13-Apr. entry below). Play this LOUD!
Weds: "take #19.9" includes quarter-note drum accents suggested by a friend, plus minor tweaks to the mix. now closer to action-movie theme potential ;-)
April 11, 2018 First attempt at a longer piece, something more than a quick-learning tool (following my initial 28 Feb. jumping in as a beginner to recording / arranging / producing). ▸ 19 July: Significant arrangement fixes and tweaks: 66 BPM tempo dragged; upped to 68. Replaced synth melody with sax. Re-tracked all guitars. Dozens of other mix fixes. Lots more planned for this – re-tracking bass, adding missing melody over B section, and more. 21 July: Finally able to EQ a richer, more natural-sounding Alto tone. Improved synths. Note to self: Please fix weird dissonance in overlapping bass notes!
III. Early Investigations · March 2018
These are first-time explorations, throwaways that were composed spontaneously at the time of tracking. Some are fragments; some are a little more complete. No pre-recorded loops or snippets; part of the fun is getting to play every instrument, except drums/percussion, which I can still enjoy arranging. Pro musicians would be hired to record tunes scheduled for full production.
IV. Other things
Updated May 23, 2018. Originally recorded on 15 March as "Synths Test" while learning LPX.
Recorded April 18, 2018, added to this page the following day ··· Composed more than 20 years ago for my old friend Tim in York, UK and written in Bedford, MA on grandmother's baby grand piano. The basic idea and chord progression were captured on old-school cassette recorder on April 9, 1996. Barely 40% complete, this employed "lazy layering"* to create a rough demo for quick evaluation of a decades-old idea.
*Lazy Layering is duplicating a piano, synth, or other keyboard track to add a new keyboard part instead of playing the new part live. It's a quick-and-dirty method of building up layers so the music can be evaluated and critiqued immediately. Lazy tracks must be re-recorded later to retain a human feel.
April 13, 2018 First test live mic-ing guitar (for now guitars mostly recorded direct). My Line6 M13 was having technical issues so I used a Zenkudo (set to Dumble of course ;-) to get the tone and played a 335. Earlier in the day I had listened to Russian virtuoso Andrey Korolev playing a sweet root-to-relative-minor thing, so this simple, repetitive throwaway also began with similar chord changes. It highlights the guitar melody in a tribute to Mr. Carlton, a favorite guitarist.
June / July 2018 ··· A very simple repeating figure created as 3 tracks: piano, bass, drums. Added sax test on 16-July-18 — learning how to make MIDI sax sound more realistic.
July 17, 2018 ··· First beat test, sung into smart phone as a voice memo 16 July, 2018. Created in LPX the following day. A little too fast and frenetic at 94 BPM, it's been slowed to a nice, crisp 92 BPM.
July 18, 2018 ··· A bass line that came to me randomly after dinner on Tues. 17 July, 2018 and kind of demanded to be recorded. (This version is just a tad fast at 87 BPM; the current LPX project seems better/more relaxed at 86 BPM.)
July 24–25 ··· A simple repetitive groove in the key of G. 104 BPM. From a July 18, 2018 smart phone voice memo.
below: Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 direct input box, Beyerdynamic open-back headphones (for mixing)