Long time readers of my blog will remember about a year ago when I recorded the kids in my church singing several kid’s praise songs for use in their Sunday morning services. I detailed some of the recording aspects of this project here. That project languished under the weight of my underpowered computer for a looooong time. Continue reading
Lots of news – unfortunately, none of it includes an up and running new music computer. That might change this weekend – stay tuned for future posts. Continue reading
I’ve moved forward on a number of fronts, without completing anything. Thus, a production update post. Continue reading
I haven’t completed anything of note, but I thought now might be a good time to list off the status of my various projects, since I managed to get a lot of progress made this past weekend. Continue reading
I am now up to no fewer than four songs in active production right now, with the starting of another last night. I can’t help it – I get jazzed about something and that’s what I want to work on. I suppose that I need to focus on one thing until it’s finished, but at the same time, the advantage of this music thing being a hobby is that I can work on whatever takes my fancy without worrying about deadlines or schedules or anything like that. Continue reading
I know I’ve been spotty at posting of late. Mostly my time spent on music is so short and scattered that I cannot complete anything of note. That being said, here is where the various pieces fall right now: Continue reading
I’ve been zeroing in on the concept for my next CD project. I stated in an earlier post that my plan was to take a series of Hymns and arrange each one with some sort of a “modern” concept. My idea has evolved a bit and become more of a “Mannheim Steamroller goes to church” sort of thing. I’ve always been a big fan of Mannheim Steamroller’s music, long before they became quite popular with their Christmas albums, although the Christmas albums are the direction I’m looking at. Continue reading
Okay, I couldn’t resist. The song has been posted:
Whoa, not another new project! No, not really. I’ve known for some time now that my next CD project will be a collection of traditional hymns in contemporary or otherwise “unique” settings. The first concept was a version of My Jesus, I Love Thee with an accompaniment based on Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. It would start with the sonata’s actual intro and then move from minor to major for the hymn.
Other ideas I would like to pursue (none of these have been fleshed out – no hymns selected, even – just concepts) are a piano with string quartet, piano trio in jazz idiom, even solo guitar – either classical or steel-string acoustic, in the style of Phil Keaggy.
Anyway, you are probably thinking that the piano mini-concerto that I have been writing about lately would be for this project. Unfortunately, no. One of the requirements of this project is that the tracks all be “quiet” and meditative. Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, while a really cool arrangement, is neither. So, why am I doing it?
I’m doing it for a few reasons. The main one is I’m using it as a tool to help learn the features and functions of Finale 2007. Also, my daughter, who has heard my progress recently, is itching to perform it in front of our church. Finally, I need to get this music out of my head so there is room in there for something else.
So why in the world am I blogging this? Because I had an idea last night that I want to share, because I think it’s pretty cool. Last night I was on a father-daughter camp-out with several families from my church. In our tent, after my daughter and her best friend had finally conked out, I was lying on my back looking up through the open top of the tent (no rain, so we didn’t put on the fly), and I’m always thinking to myself, “what would be a good hymn and treatment for the CD?”
How about this – Debussy‘s Clair de Lune in solo piano with a solo cello playing All Creatures of our God and King above. Then we segue to This Is My Father’s World using the same Debussy feel and impressionistic chords, but more fitting the new song. Then, back to a restatement of the first hymn using the ending section of the Debussy. Cool, huh?
I’m going to scan in the beginning of Clair de Lune this weekend and start playing with the melody to All Creatures.
Next post – either a status report on this, or a beginning of how I’m orchestrating Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, with a quick note about this one.
First entry for this song, so here’s the backstory:
Music and Words by Me (except Chorus – public domain)
Several years ago I was inspired to add verses to the old Chorus of Amen (you know the one – where you sing “Amen 5 times). I subsequently misplaced the sheet I wrote the lyrics on. When I finally rewrote the lyrics, adding a bridge, I saved them electronically several places.
2/22/2007 Created a first-take arrangement in Band-in-a-Box. Used the DrJohn Rock style as it’s the only one that’s even close. Wouldn’t mind adding some of those licks to my own playing. I’ll have to look at the MIDI file and try to learn them. Form of song will need to be adjusted, and the style can’t handle the half-measure chords in the chorus. It’s a start, however.
2/25/2007 Imported the BiaB arrangement into Power Tracks Pro Audio and began basic tweaking. This process is mostly practice at this point, since the arrangement will be changing as I add and subtract some measures here and there. I also started playing with AZR3 tonewheel organ synth. It has built-in percussion, vibrato, overdrive and a great leslie, and NO NAG SCREEN asking for money. This is a super organ simulator and I had fun playing with it today. Right now I’m using a 808 808 008 drawbar setting, recommended for gospel. I’ll adjust as I feel right about it. I don’t care the for organ part generated by BiaB, so I will eventually re-record it, once I learn how to play organ 😉 I also recodred a scratch vocal track, so that my critics can hear where I’m at. I don’t have a mic preamp, yet, so I have to import the track into audacity to pump up the volume and then EQ out the noise. So far, so good.
3/4/2007 Tweaked the form of the song in BiaB and re-imported to PTPA. Doubled the choruses and took a measure out here and there. (1/2 hr)
3/10/2007 Spent most of the time working on the clapfont soundfont. Then added the choir claps to the sequence. After adding the claps decided to go back and pan the claps around the stereo spectrum. Should be cool. Also got the mixer completely up and running this morning. (1/2 hr)
3/19/07 Worked out the tempo for the ending. BiaB doesn’t do ritards, so I had to wipe out the last several bars and rerecord them with the gradually varied tempo. It took quite a few tries to get something that I liked and sounded natural. I think that I’m going to get my drummer from church to give me a huge fill/swell for the ending and see if I can mix it in without making the drum track sound too horribly synthesized. Also going to re-work the clapfont as the results as still less than natural-sounding. I’m off to play with the Hammond until bedtime.