JRock3x8's Life Musings

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Bonus Song!

Went looking for a project I thought I had lost before I cleaned off my computer last December and lucky for me, I FOUND IT.

It's a little rough, but I think it has potential.

Fascinating Concept...

Supposedly this software program will detect what key a song is written in. I've never had much luck with these things.


Inspiration Strikes Again!

This month's Muzik contest is to see who can design the best synth. I started with the "oxycontin" synth provided by the Muzik team and kept turning knobs until I came up with something I liked.

During our last meeting, I kept complaining about not being able to come with anything that was actually "musical" in nature, ya know, changing notes and such... Their advice was simple - "Keep hitting notes until you come up with something you like." And so I did.

What do you think?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Hello World.

It's been a long, long time since I finished a song.

I got the bug to start writing music back in college when my roommate, Nick Hamlin (hey Nick, if you're out there...) showed me how to use a "tracker".

This was pretty barebones - only 4 instruments/tracks in any song, which meant drums, voice, background and bass. Oh and the tracks had to be assigned completely left or completely right. Yikes. Eventually, people released more sophisticated trackers that would let you record up to 8 tracks in stereo or 16 in mono and they had all kinds of cool effects like pitch bending, volume, retrigger and others. I hammered out about 15 songs over the next two years, none of them particularily friendly to the ears (I may post a few in the months to come).

Then I gave it up for a while because I could see I wasn't really developing musically. My songs sounded more like experimentation than music. Shortly before we were to leave school for summer between junior and senior year, a friend asked me to show him how to use the program. I obliged, laying out a very simple tune that became a rebirth of my music writing passion. I felt so strongly about the song that I called it "Renaissance". I shopped it around to various sites who actively reviewed this kind of stuff and they actually gave it 3 stars out of 5, which I was extremely pleased with.

I played around again for a couple years but only managed one more song that I actually liked. I tried to take piano lessons but never really stuck with it. Then I started to work with newer more advanced professional software like Fruity Loops and again what started out as just an exercise in "Let's see what this thing can do" morphed into a song that I really got into. Feeling a new beginning, I called it "Genesis". I gave copies to my friends at work who also recorded music and they said it was the best song they'd heard yet from me.

That was roughly 2002, and I haven't been back since. I've had interesting musical ideas go in and out of my head but I never committed the time to it. God intervened on my behalf this past year when a posting in our church bulletin solicited anyone with a love for electronic music to join a new group called "Muzik". These guys and girls have inspired me and challenged me to get back on the horse and write again by holding monthly music writing contests.

This month's music contest was to assign everyone "subgenres" of electronic music to emulate. Mine was "Electro House". After a couple false starts, I finally found inspiration while watching the movie "2001". At one point during the film, the supercomputer gone crazy "HAL 9000" is forced into reset mode as the last surviving member of the crew starts ripping out his logic circuits. His initialization procedure is to sing a song called "Daisy".

They told me last week that the song won "best song" for the month. I am still humbled and amazed. And inspired.