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Sunday, March 4th, 2012

Time Event
Whoa. This music thing is getting out of control...

1) First thing in the morning, I finished off original song #3, "I'm Not A Singer". This meant trying to record a new bass part, deciding it sucked, going back to the original, and then re-recording part of the third verse because, as Kate so eloquently scribbled on the lyric sheet, "? What does it meaaaaaaan". Gotten a little too shorthand for my own good. Then, packaged the song up and sent it off to my inner circle, who've barely had time to recover from the last song...

2) Then Kate recorded her vocals for "Circle Sky"! Which I did back in January with a whole stack of vocals from me, but I always intended to swap in the other vocalists from the old jam sessions. I've been looking forward to this for ages -- and she laid down her part perfectly in just a couple of takes.

Of course, then I had to re-record all my vocals because they sounded crap compared to hers -- plus I'm now much more confident on the singing, thanks to "Something's Gotta Give". And then I noticed that the bass was out of time in a couple of places, and I was sure I could do better -- I re-recorded it. And then when I knew that was in perfect sync with the drum track, the *guitars* sounded out... and then...

Basically, by dinnertime today the only bit of the song that was still intact was the tambourine. Literally. Everything else had either been re-recorded or slice-and-diced a thousand ways to get it in sync.

But that basically means that I did a whole song in a day! New speed record! And it's no masterpiece, but it's definitely a lot better than when I started. (Plus I did both guitar tracks straight through -- no splicing. I can feel my skills growing back as I speak...)

3) And then, for an encore... I started laying down original song #4. This one's called "Evening Star", and it's got lyrics (and eventually vocals) by Kate -- we started work on this in the jam sessions years ago, I worked out all the guitar parts (even a solo that I hope I'll actually be able to play), but the sessions fell apart before we could do more than begin the recording. So far I've laid down the drums, the main electric guitar rhythm riff, bass, and a guide vocal with the bits Kate wrote... and man, it's already got an atmosphere. A sort of otherworldly shuffle, a bit like Pink Floyd's "One Of These Days", but with a bit more bump-n-grind to it. This is gonna be a fun one. Not least cause I'm working with Kate on it, which is a proper delight!

(And for once the not-playing-it-straight-through was deliberate -- for this song, I always planned to construct the rhythm tracks by recording two-or-four-bar-phrases and then stringing them together in a pattern. Like samples, but with enough different versions to cycle through that it doesn't feel artificial...)

Basically, I'm staggered by how much I've got done. Even a month ago, any one of those three would have taken a day in itself. Of course, it's 3 AM now...!
Astonishingly quick session on the music today -- finishing the backing track for "Evening Star", adding some acoustic rhythm guitar, a fixed bit of bass, and *six* parts worth of lead guitar. (Though to be fair, four of them are basically bits of the same solo, broken up so that it can call-and-response across the stereo picture, and the fifth one is just a couple of licks with a unique effect.) Now all that's left is for Kate to finish the lyrics and do her vocals!

Looks like I've got a week in which to do tidying up before I'm off to Canberra; then it'll all have to go on hold for a few weeks... after that, maybe I'll be able to squeeze in one more song before my 40th!

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