Notes from the Shore

Work, marriage, kids and music

Production Update

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.

All the same, it would be fun to finish something.

That being said, here’s where everything is at: First I’ve been playing around with cover art. The attached image is of early music notation called “neumes.” If you click on the image it will take you to a website that shows you how they really work.

While the “Neume Era” is generally earlier than the various styles of music represented on this project, I like the feeling they invoke. I’m thinking about maybe a graphic with the neumes gradually fading into contemporary manuscript. That would be pretty cool and capture the timelessness of the music therein.

This Is My Father’s World suffers from sample envy. Okay, envy’s not the right word, but it sounded clever. I’m hung up on a couple of samples – namely the recorder and the bass drum. I’m trying to make the recorder play legato by truncating the samples, but so far it sounds very unnatural.  I’m this close to just buying a nice wooden recorder and learning to play it, but right now I have much better uses for the $50. For the bass drum, I just want to find something big and ambient, kind of like those huge Taiko drums in Japanese ensembles, but haven’t found just what I’m looking for, yet.

The most time recently has been spent on Going Home. This recent post details how I am programming the MIDI saxophone. I’ve hit a snag on it, as well, dealing with my technical skill on the MIDI wind controller. Namely, I want the final two choruses to be solo choruses for the soprano sax. I’ve come close using a MIDI keyboard to play the notes while blowing into the WX-5 for breath data, but the results are unsatisfying. I’m also thinking of going back and messing with the piano solo a bit more, but haven’t made up my mind. For the sax, I’m wondering if I should go the same route I did on the Cello on My Jesus I Love Thee and hire a wind synthesist to play it for me. Then I can manipulate the MIDI once I get it back.

I’m also working on two new songs. The first is what I’m calling the Peace Medley. It will be a medley of the Prayer of St. Francis (the one that goes “Make me a channel of your peace”) and the song Let There Be Peace on Earth. It will be tin whistle with fingerstyle guitar (and some other stuff). The great news is that a good friend who plays tin whistle (and accordian, and celtic guitar) is going to track the lead line live. His agreement to play for me is what spurred my interest in working on this. I spent an evening last week reharmonizing the Prayer of St. Francis, and I think it’s going to be really cool.

The last song occupying my time is O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus. It will be a men’s chorus, having the only vocals on the project (unless I can figure out how to work in a cameo by my 4-year-old), handbell choir and panflute. The impetus for working on this one is that several people have accepted my pre-invitation to be part of the choir.

That’s all for now. Hopefully when I take two weeks off for Christmas and New Years, I won’t get so caught up in working on the house that I don’t get any music done. We’ll see.

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