FAWM Songs Nr. 1: Soundscape I

OK, the orchestral piece I mentioned a few days ago is done.

It sounds like MIDI, because it basically is – just the Sibelius export. I couldn’t be bothered to fiddle with the mixing and balance beyond the standard settings – I wanted to get this out of the way, so I could move on to other ideas.

What I make for FAWM is not set in stone, though. It’s after the ideas, after all, not about perfectly produced things. I may revisit this later and find a way of balancing the instruments a little better.

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FAWM! My first 3 days.

Now that my 30 Practice Prompts for Musicians are completed, what comes next? Well, as usual in February, I’m doing FAWM! You can follow my songwriting adventures on my FAWM profile.

As usual, I have the feeling everyone on my watchlist is cranking out songs and I’m the only one who has a hard time coming up with anything. This time it’s incorrect… I just went with an idea that turns out to be so much work. I am composing a thing for (romantic-era) symphony orchestra. Not quite as big as a Mahler or Shostakovich orchestra, but… it’s a lot of instruments. And a lot of details to pay attention to. But now that I have been at it for two days, things are getting easier. I start having an easier time coming up with complementary motives, writing things out and alternating between detail work and the big picture.
And btw, I’m going the all traditional route with this, writing it out in Sibelius. No MIDI at work here.

It’s pretty common for me to be a really slow worker, and it’s especially true with classical composition. I want to see this idea through and do it justice. I suppose it’s going to be worth it.

I want to do a few more songwriter-y things this year, too – when this one is done 🙂

Also, I’m turning an idea in my head for the next blogpost series. I want to share my knowledge about keeping your singing voice in shape. Even when you’re not a singing teacher or vocal coach, you can’t sing for most of your life and not pick up any useful knowledge about it 🙂
So if you have any questions about that – feel free to ask!

(And if you like my blog and want to throw something in my tip jar, you can do so over on my ko-fi page.)

New Soundcloud uploads!

Nearly two months since I last posted here. I’ve been busy – moving, getting to know my new job, then getting sick for nearly 4 weeks and now picking up the guitar again. My skills have become a bit rusty.

I noted that I hadn’t uploaded all of my FAWM stuff to Soundcloud, so I have started to catch up on that. Here you can find all the stuff from this year’s FAWM. I’m already looking forward to 59/90!

Most of my work is Creative Commons licensed, which means: you can use it for your own videos, podcasts etc., and remix my music, but you have to name me as the creator and link/mention where you can find the original.

FAWM 2013: I win.

BÄM.

Just reached 14 songs. OK, 3 of these are lyrics-only as of now, but there I am. It’s the 16th and I have reached 14 songs. Now that I have achieved this, I can focus on making music and doing the things that really matter.

And here is your proof screenshot:

I win.

I’m quite satisfied with that as I may have to spend two or three days travelling next week. But then, sitting on a train for hours usually yields some time to think, dream and maybe craft some lyrics.

Blocked.

Well, sort of. I did a lot in the last few days and now I feel overwhelmed with too many ideas. Like a donkey between lots of haystacks, I can’t decide which ones to work on and I get all fuzzy and confused. On top, I had been pressurizing myself to write “useful” things, not just impros and sketches I’ll never touch again. And that has been blocking me.

I have tried to take a day off songwriting… tried, because this evening, a lyrics idea jumped out of my head, nearly fully grown – I need to check some facts in the narrative I’m referring to and I need to translate it. But the storyline is there.

And for the rest of the ideas, I bought some cheap index cards today, to help me sort out on which one I want to work right now. Sometimes, cards are better for that than a plain list, and paper can do it better than digital means. I’m also thinking over which ideas could be stuff for collaborations and if so, who I want to do them with.

Off to practice guitar now – I haven’t done a single song with guitar so far, and that’s a shame!

FAWM 2013: What a start!

In the previous FAWMs I had a hard time getting songs out at the beginning. This year, that’s a bit different. I feel spurred by some friends who are also quite productive. One constant seems to be that I dash off in directions altogether unplanned and unexpected. For example, all of a sudden writing orchestral soundtrack-y things like this one:

There’s more in that vein in my head! Continue reading

To Do list for pre-FAWM

Oh well, January went by so fast! And FAWM is nearly upon us again.

I’d need to do some things before FAWM. If they fall flat, it won’t hurt too much:

  • Make me a cheatsheet of the essential LAME options.
  • A similar cheatsheet for ogg and flac is optional. A script that automates all the export things would be great, but I can’t brush up my (rudimentary) shell scripting skills that fast.
  • Get IR files and make myself familiar with Tom Szilagyis IR LV2 convolution reverb. My starting point will be the IR files at echochamber.ch
  • .

I also fiddled a bit with string sounds on the computer and made a string quartet version of the accompaniment part of my “New Year Song”. Continue reading