All posts by Madeleine

Gaining Momentum

About two weeks ago I listened back to all the songs and song ideas I have. I thought I was pretty much right at the beginning of the next album. Turns out, there’s quite a bit done already. So far I have 6 songs that are either missing only a few elements or are at least mostly mapped out as arrangements. Listening back has really sparked things off. Before that, I felt kind of lost, didn’t know where to begin and where things might lead. In short, I found an in and now have a plan.

Live & Learn, Together and Reverie already made appearances in my vBlogs (from *cough* 2012). Epicycle, an instrumental, as a rough draft:

And then there are two new songs, Noise Machine and Tipping Point. They’re both pretty danceable with fat synth bass lines. I’ve used the Easter holidays to record bass lines for most of these songs. With a Micromoog and a Minitaur (yes, I <3 me some Moog). Next up is recording all the instruments, refining the beats and recording vocals. I'm hoping to have the first 6 songs within the next three weeks or so. [caption id="attachment_2922" align="aligncenter" width="600"]My workplace at the nature reserve. Beautiful, isn't it? My workplace at the nature reserve. Beautiful, isn’t it?[/caption]

Last Friday, I felt very antsy trying to work in my studio. It was warm and the sun was shining. Finally I gave up, grabbed my laptop, lyrics notebook and cycled to the nearby nature reserve. I went through all my lyrical ideas there, again surprised how many I already had. I put some finishing touches on some. So now I have 8 more finished lyrics and two more half done. I’m so happy and relieved about it. Quite frankly, lyrics are the toughest part in the process and they need to be done early on or else I end up getting stuck.

Also I no longer work so much, but I’m able to have at least two days per week to work on music. Right now I’m just working off a to do list so that next week it can be all about music.

I’m considering to start up the vBlogs again, but I’m not sure if it will not eat up too much time. Maybe keep them short, sweet and simple. Let me mull this over… What do you think?

More soon one way or another.

x,
Mads

Where to Go from Here?

Last month I played an electronic live jam together with Donna Maya and Aschka. Three women, three laptops, two Ableton Pushs, one Akai APC40 and zero rehearsing. We’d never played together before or even seen each other’s gigs. We only had a quick Skype group call two nights before the gig to get an idea what each of use could prepare.

Donna Maya, Aschka & me having fun (from left to right)
Donna Maya, Aschka & me having fun (from left to right)

 

It was so refreshing and exciting. The total opposite of my usual concerts which require lots of preparation and rehearsing. Often they are only paid by what’s put into a hat. During the last five years or so, I could see how DJs started replacing live concerts while getting paid more in comparison to the hours of work that goes into it.

The live jam was not only tons of fun, our audience really loved it (including kudos from Robert Henke a.k.a. Monolake). I loved the moments of surprise when we built up something amazing soundwise, the freedom of just creating in the moment.

It made me wonder how I could combine it with my usual live set. A live remix of my songs intertwined with electronic live improvs? I’m not sure, yet, the ideas are brewing inside my head, but not quite ready to come out… One idea I recently had, was to do shorter live improv sets on my balcony or in the studio (depending on the weather) on a fairly regular basis and broadcast them via UStream. Basically, doing the trial and error live, figuring out what works well and what doesn’t and maybe get your input (if you’re so inclined). Starting first with pure jams, then slowly adding my songs after I’ve figured out a good way to include them.

What do you think?

x,
Mads

livejam2

Where I’m At

It’s been ages since I’ve been blogging or vblogging regularly. Over the course of the last year and a half I’ve started my business Sonic Bloom through which I teach music production with Ableton Live and mix and master other people’s music. Most of the time I did 70+ hours of work per week to get it off the ground. So much to do. In the winter of 2012/13 every day felt like groundhog day. The most boring and tiring version of it.

Charlie making music
Charlie making music

Now I’m at a point at which I can slow down a little. I feel pretty exhausted and empty right now. Have felt that way for about two months, but it’s gettibg better. After all this madness and such a high output I need some time to breathe, reflect, absorb and sort my head. Hermit style, mostly.

My vocal booth is finally fixed again after it had been broken by Charlie when she was still a kitten.

Currently I’m in a pre-production phase with my music. I have at least 5 song ideas roughly sketched out. Some are missing lyrics which I find crucial for moving forward in the production and arrangement. And I have plenty of musical fragments that could eventually turn into songs.

One of the synths
One of the synths

Overall, the songs so far seem to emphasise beats and bass more, so the next album might turn out more electronic and danceable. I’ve been experimenting a lot with analogue synths and I really like using them for bass lines (my boyfriend has a solid collection). That said, I reckon the new ideas still sound like me. There’ll still be lots of my vocals, field recordings and a wide array of acoustic instruments involved.

That’s it for now. I’ll be back soon, quite possibly with some soundbites.

x,
Mads

Live Jam on International Women’s Day in Berlin

Tomorrow, on International Women’s Day, I’ll be playing an electronic live jam together with Donna Maya and Aschka. It all takes place at ://aboutblank in Berlin Friedrichshain as part of the Reflecting Perspectives Festival. Plenty of other great acts are gonna play as well: DJ Marcelle/Another Nice Mess, Kat Kat Tat, Lotic, Rona Geffen, Sick Girls, Stellar OM Source and Vinilette.

I hope you’ll come if you’re in Berlin. We’re on at 10 pm and I’m already really excited about it.

All information about the Reflecting Perspectives Festival

Redesigned Website & New Instrumental “Epicycle”

It took quite a while to move the domain, but here it is… my redesigned website, now fully responsive for your viewing pleasure even on mobile devices. Try it out! Pretty good, isn’t it? I hope you like the new design I came up with as much as I do.

While the summer slump is in full force with major heatwaves washing over us, here’s a little instrumental I recently made. It’s called “Epicycle” and is probably better suited for nighttime listening than on a hot summer day. What do you think?

x,
Mads

Afterglow

i put it in a drawer
and leave it there for a little while
just to take it out later
and marvel at it
by then it’s gonna shine from within
an afterglow to warm my hands and heart with

leave me with the afterglow
it will be more beautiful
than the blazing flame it was
a million moments ago

when it finally fades
you’ll be on your way here
to shine for me
and warm my hands and heart
…till then

leave me with the afterglow
it will be more beautiful
than the blazing flame it was
that burnt us out

almost gone
but almost here
almost gone
but almost there
you’re almost here
you’re all

Too Soon

ife in the balance
out of our hands
out of control

life by a thread
claw, cling, clamber, clutch
don’t let go

(too close a call)
(too far away)
not now
not yet
too sudden
too soon

unheard of still life
connected to tubes
where never was standstill

frozen in time
we hold our breaths
read the morse code

(too close a call)
(too far away)
not now
not yet
too sudden
too soon

please wake up
open your eyes
please come back
don’t give up

(too close a call)
(too far away)
not now
not yet
too sudden
too soon

In Time

in time i thought i’d find the words
i need to tell you
in time i thought i’d find the spunk
to spill my guts to you

now days have come and gone
weeks and months have passed
and i to whom
words come so easily
otherwise
have kept quiet
have kept quiet

in time i thought you’d find out
why all this attention
in time i thought you’d find yourself
wondering at last

now days have come and gone
weeks and months have passed
and you to whom
words come so easily
otherwise
have kept quiet
have kept quiet

(open the door)
(pick up the phone)
is there still time?
is there still time?
is there still time?
is there still time?

now days have come and gone
weeks and months have passed
and we to whom
words come so easily
otherwise
have kept quiet
have kept quiet
can’t keep quiet
can’t keep quiet
anymore