Today on International Women’s Day, the compilation ‘Music, Awareness & Solidarity w/ Rojava Revolution’ is out on Bandcamp. It contains 12 fantastic tracks by various female:pressure members including my song Noise Machine that I remixed myself for the occasion.
The proceeds will go directly to the women of Rojava to build a women’s village on location called The Village Project.
Have a listen and please consider buying it for the good cause.
The hibernation period is now finally over with the late onset of spring here in Berlin. The same goes for my musical endeavours. The beginning is made by a free download of ‘Afterglow’, the last song on my Patchwork EP. It is included on the latest issue of Ramen Music, an online zine with new DIY compilations every two months or so.
Here comes the making of the song ‘Patchwork’ of my new EP with the same name. I talk about the meaning of the song and how I got from the original idea to the finished recording with footage of the process including sound bits. I hope you like it!
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.
Today I finished the first song, ‘Afterglow’. Just in time to shoot the ‘Making of the Song’ video tomorrow and edit it together with the recording footage. The video will be up on YouTube and possibly also Vimeo already this Friday. I can’t wait for you all to hear bits of it. Especially since I hadn’t even previewed anything in my webcasts.
I had the idea last Christmas when I recorded the little message with the SoundCloud app. I love using field recordings, so I thought why not let others take part? SoundCloud makes it possible and very easy. Let me introduce you to…
For each song of the new album I will collect sound contributions from anyone who wants to join in. I like translating the lyrics into the music so I usually use sounds associated with the theme or the words of the song. So for each song I will ask for a specific sound or a sound to a motif. Who knows, maybe even a melody to create an internet choir?
I will play a bit of the song live at tomorrow’s first livestream ‘Notes from the Ivory Tower’. For this song I would like you to record one word. I’m gonna give you a few lines of the lyrics to set the mood:
Your words all mangled and broken
You don’t really make sense
Stop motion sentences that hang in the air
Be creative, continue to story in your mind and think of one word that would fit the mood. Anything goes as long as it’s just one word. You can choose whatever language you want. I will take the sounds of those words and make the beats for ‘Patchwork’ out of them. I’ll be updating you in the upcoming livestreams.
It’s done. ‘Webs’ is finished apart from the vocals and the final mix – as usual. It took longer than I had hoped, but I think it’d be stupid to start doing things half-heartedly now. I worked out all the little details, made refinements for the beats, checked if anything was missing or too much. Did the rough mix so everything’s sitting well in the mix just as intended. I really love it. The refrain is so uplifting and the clocks, coffee brewing and all the other sounds are just perfect. It took quite a while but it was so worth it. And tomorrow I will move on to the next song. Not sure which one. I’ve got about five rough ideas that are only waiting to be fleshed out. I’ll listen to all of them and then my mood will decide which one is next.
Last night I met with Mr. Bobby Starrr after rescheduling because of the ridiculous strike of the BVG (most of Berlin’s public transport), because there was just no way to get to his place under one and a half hours since there were – and still are – no U-Bahn or trams or buses running. Luckily he had a DJ gig in walking distance from my place. We talked about our gig at Die Villa on the 4th of April. What equipment we’d both use and how to go about all of it. He gave me a CD with the basic tracks he wants to play. We’re gonna do an hour. I do think it’s really gonna be fun and I’m curious what kind of music it’ll be in the end – with both our musical ideas mashed together. We’ll prepare a skeleton for the tracks, but there will be lots of improvising on stage. There will be drum machines, laptop, groovebox, keyboard, effects, fourtrack looper and mics. Between the two of us. And if things go well we’ll hopefully get a gig at the Tape Club and do this thing on a regular basis.
Okay then… I guess I’m just gonna pretend I’ve been doing this blogging all along. I will throw in bits of flashback info of what I’ve already recorded and so on when it seems appropriate. Otherwise I’d be sitting here till morning and my typing skills are already in pieces.
In the last couple of days I’ve been working on this song called ‘Unspoken’ which is sort of this epic fairytale where the heroine tries to save the world from silence, because all these important things are left, er, unspoken until the world becomes mute. So she’s the only one attempting to rescue sound.
I’ve been bickering with this song for ages. It’s been a real stubborn one. I finally came up with the musical sketch last April. It turned out quite different from what I imagined, but it’s the way it seemingly wants to be.
It started out with this sound of glass harmonica I recorded a while ago that is used for the main chords and this bouncing bassline. Most of the sounds you can hear in my songs I’ve recorded myself. And all of the sounds for the beats. For this one I used for example the creaking of my office chair and other noises that seem a bit scary. Today and on friday I’ve been working on the refinement and tweaking of the beats. They’re somehow tribal-style now… I really love them. My favourite part right now is the last verse (I’ll put up an intrumental bit of it tomorrow). ‘Unspoken’ builds up just like a story climaxes which means quite some heavy editing since every verse and chorus needs to be different from the others. In the last couple of days I also wrote and arranged parts for a string quartet for this song that nicely add to the mood of the theme.
I’ve decided to give ‘Unspoken’ a break now. I like to let my songs sit for a while and then come back to them to listen with fresh ears. After a while I always kind of become deaf and can’t say if any changes help the song or just make it worse.
Tonight I’ve listened to another song again called ‘Paperheart’, enhanced the overall sound somewhat and made a rough mix. The vocals are still missing, but I’ll do them sometime later (then I can also talk more about this song). At the moment I’m just itching to finally make sense of ‘Chaos and Order’ (demo version on myspace). A friend suggested that it sounds R’n’B- or HipHop-style which gave me the idea to actually really try this stylistic approach. We’ll see.
Enough written, I’m absolutely knackered. Gotta go to bed now so I’m fit tomorrow.