Tag Archives: making of

Going visual

I’d promised in a previous blog post that I’d be adding a new video every two weeks. The first one, ‘Making of the Song: Afterglow’, is now up. I give insights into the creative process of recording ‘Afterglow’ including some tasty previews. The fortnightly videos will be a wild mix of making ofs, vblogs, live videos and more. The next one will be up on May 11.

x,
Mads

Edit: Videos will go online every other Monday from now on. The latest is a cover of Thom Yorke’s ‘Cymbal Rush’.

Plans

I meant to write this already a couple of days ago, but we’ve had visitors almost non stop and I simply didn’t get around to it. First my boyfriend’s 4-year-old niece and parents were here, then my extremely hyper 7-year-old nephew stayed with me until yesterday. He jammed on various instruments in our place. Everything with keys was his thing. My boyfriend’s niece was also very impressed with all the musical gadgets. She liked my ukulele best and my little niece discovered snare and drumsticks and had tons of fun banging on them yesterday. Now with everyone gone it’s oddly quiet again. Time to get some work done!
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How?

Happy New Year to you! May 2012 turn out to be an amazing year all around! 🙂

New Year is the time where you look back at what you’ve achieved and when you make plans. I’ve been doing quite some thinking… about some of it now…

Today my boyfriend asked me why I do the making of the next album as a series of webcasts. I was completely stumped for an answer. I’ve been so caught up in doing it that way I didn’t think about it anymore. It was supposed to be quick and dirty. Just going online with only a little preparation. Yet the setup is not working for me. I can’t hear the music while it’s playing which makes the whole thing stiff and unspontaneous.

So why don’t I do it as youtube videos instead? I could do it whenever it suits me and have it online by Sunday at 9 pm just as the webcasts. As one take with a better setup where I can react to the music. And I could film myself in the recording process and add bits of it. I’m planning on making more videos anyway. Making it a habit to involve the camera would be a wise move, methinks.

So what do you think?

Closeup No. 1: In Time

There are always people asking what sound is what somewhere in my songs. So how about a little making of blog post for each new song here? For now written, maybe later as little video blogs. Enough, let’s dive right in:

In Time

I don’t think I have to say anything about the subject matter. We’ve all been there and even though I don’t spell it out in the lyrics I think it’s quite obvious.

The piano part of In Time has been around for quite some time. Whenever I have time for it I just sit down and play and when something nice emerges I quickly record the idea (yes, I have quite lot of those sketches and hopefully some of them will turn into fully fleshed out songs in the (near) future). I also already had a vocal melody (they usually come all by themselves), but if I don’t have matching lyrics songs tend to be tough to work out. It’s synergetic thing for me.

The dark – or as a friend called them – psycho sounds at the beginning and end (in between as well) and the cello-like bits are me playing my Epiphone Les Paul (electric guitar) with a violin bow, partly pitched down an octave (don’t have a bass which would have been better). All the small ‘electronic’ sounds are actually made from array mbira or piano. Then of course there’s the mbira. I didn’t use it much on Minutia, because by the time I had the money together and got it, most songs were already more or less finished. You can expect quite a lot more mbira on the next EP or album from me though. I just adore this instrument. The darker sounding beats are made by stomping on my wooden floorboards. The ones that sound like brushes are eggbeaters on a canvas bag filled with paper strips, very closely micced.

So apart from the piano (I don’t own one yet) everything on In Time is made with real instruments or field recordings. I’m planning to re-record the piano parts once I have enough new songs with piano passages and found a good one to record them on. An idea I’m having for the next release is using no MIDI instruments on it as the real thing always sounds warmer. If a song asks for a full orchestra though I won’t be able to make that happen. We’ll see.

I don’t know when I’ll have the next release finished. If I do it the usual way – release it as one body of work – I seriously doubt it will come out this year. A possibility I’m toying with is to do a subsciption-based release. Different packages starting from 10€. Subscribers would get a new song each month. Even then I’d have to have a few finished before the whole thing could start as it takes me about 2 weeks from start to finish for a song and there’s always so much else to do as it’s just me. What do you think (comments here are welcome as are tweets or emails)?

x,
Mads

Making of the Special Edition

Hi there,    

I meant to write this post months ago, but then so many things happened and needed to be done, I felt the urge to work on new songs etc. Alas, here it comes at last.    

(Step 0: Make a prototype and figure out what works and what doesn’t. Make changes in the design.)    

Tools of the Trade

Step 1: Make DIY screens for all motifs.    

For each of the three yo u need an embroidery hoop, a pair of tights and the motifs printed out in black. Stretch out the tights and secure them in the hoops, then trace the motifs with a pencil on the screen with the fabric facing down. Next all the negative spaces have to be covered in waterproof glue. A great tutorial can be found at Instructables.     

    

Step 2: Cut out cardboard into squares of the right size. 2 for each.    

Step 3: Cut out paper into squares a bit bigger than the cardboard squares and glue them on the latter.    

    

Step 4: Print out the CD sleeves, the inside pockets and the pages for the booklet until the printer runs hot. Then cut all out along the crop marks with a cutter knife and a ruler and fold them appropriately.    

    

Step 5: Get needle and thread and bind the booklet pages with the easiest bookbinding technique. Cut off the overlaying bits of the booklet pages with cutter knife and ruler.    

Step 6: Glue a piece of paper on the back of each of the covered cardboard squares and then carefully glue on the folded pockets.    

    

Step 7: Get out the sewing machine and do a zigzag stitch along the separate open sides on top first, then around the other sides of the CD sleeves.    

    

Step 8: Mix the acrylic colours with the screen printing solution, then print. The artwork for the cover of the special edition was designed by the talented elwoood.   


    

Step 9: After putting the sleeve including the CD and the booklet into the pockets cut the right length of self-adhesive bookbinder linen and join both halves together.    

    

Voilà! That’s it.    

Making each special edition takes at least one hour. That’s not counting the design process, making the prototype, the screens or drying time. There’s a lot of love in every detail.    

    

Want one now? You can order them at bandcamp. Until all 100 are sold, that is.    

x,    
Mads