Monday, December 20, 2010

(Classic) Halcyon - On and On (1992)

Oh. Wow.

When I can listen to a song 18 years later and still marvel at all that went into creating it, that just means that song is so much more awesomer. :)

When I was 17, I bought a tape from Muchmusic called "R U Receiving?" Not only was it the first item ever encountered outside the internet that used futuristic ways of communication, it had some pretty kick-ass tunes on it. Notably, The Prodigy, Moby, Massive Attack. This was my first foray into tasting electronic feed my appetite at the time, so to speak. My second was the purchase of the 'Hackers' soundtrack in 1995. Oh, and the 'Trainspotting' soundtrack. I guess that's how you could say I knew what kind of music I should be making, but was trying to figure out a way to make it at this time.

At either rate, this was on the 'hackers' soundtrack, I believe. And it seemed to epitomize all I've felt about music. This song *makes* you want to throw on some pajama pants before listening, because you know you're gonna be going on a journey. And some may ridicule me for this, but I only found out LAST YEAR that the vocals snips were taken from "It's A Fine Day" by ATB (also a popoular electronic group from the late 80s - early 90s).

Please listen, and enjoy. :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Embrace (All I Know) (2010)

Hmm...what to say about this one? Well, click 'play', listen and read while you're listening:

First of all, I guess I need to explain/apologize. I was thinking I should call this the 'Fame-ish Mix' due to the last little keyboard tune at the end. If you didn't notice, it sounds a lot like the tune from the theme song for a certain fun little TV show that was popular in the 80s. Hey, it happened, I went with it, and don't know if anyone in copyright central is going to get on my ass about this or not...but anyway, this is the end result.

Other than that, I began this song about 4 months ago and almost nearly didn't post it because I was listening to it one night and it seemed to have a faint sexual undertone to it that I wasn't trying for (you'll understand when you listen to the lyrics). But it still embodies all that is ME. If I'm not working on music or listening to it, I love living/working/being in silence.

Many people I know who live alone like to turn their televisions on, or have some music for background noise. Not me. I can't stand the sound of a television going while I'm trying to concentrate on stuff. It's even more bothersome when I'm trying to visit somebody. Many a time I've been at a friend's house (or they've been to mine), just enjoying the conversation...the 'being' with that person...yet when there's a slight silence between us two, all of a sudden the other person wants to throw on some music or turn on the television to alleviate 'the silence' that just suddenly came up. Both of which I dislike immensely, because 'alleviating' the friendly silence between two human beings means introducing some noise and/or visual imagery that takes away from us just 'being' together, and talking one-on-one. You throw some music on, suddenly our conversation turns to music and then we tend to try and one-up each other in finding the best music. You turn the tv on, and eventually the both of us are going to get distracted by the noise and images and quit actually talking because we are both so focused on the television instead.

Why? Why are we as human beings so conditioned to think that if there is silence (especially shared between two people), it indicates that something is wrong? I find it they not like the idea of allowing another person to think? Are they afraid of having to think for themselves? I think the very fact that most people can't stand living and being in silence indicates that something is wrong.

Here are the lyrics:
I embrace the sound of silence.
It touches me from within.
Ever knowing, ever flowing, never changing, always growing,
It's in every place I've been.
It's all I know...

And it's all I need to know to let myself go...

Embrace the silence. We don't get it very often in this world, so enjoy it when you do, and make it when you can. You can't ever be afraid of silence.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Future of Music Business Models

Really good article from Techdirt about the outdated model of selling music online that the industry is still trying to use. Sales of digital downloads are now on the decline, and the industry can't figure out why. Obviously, it's due to the proliferation of readily available, FREE music for download. So what can artists do to continue making money? Find out.

I like this because it references one of my idols (Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails) and uses him as an example of a decent model to fashion the new industry after. Needless to say, I admire Reznor even more for embracing the technologies and changes that have led to the downfall of other bands, and using them to his advantage.

"Numerous innovative startups have suffocated under burdensome licensing terms -- and as each one fails, it just gives consumers fewer and fewer reasons to actually use these services, wondering how long each will last until it goes out of business.

However, there is another solution: stop worrying and learn to embrace the business models that are already helping musicians make plenty of money and use file sharing to their advantage, even in the absence of licensing or copyright enforcement.

In simplest terms, the model can be defined as:

Connect with Fans (CwF) + Reason to Buy (RtB) = The Business Model"

Read the full article here.

p.s. It's not too late to get a copy of my album Pretty Songs completely free!

(Classic) Robert Miles - Children (1994)

What can I say about this song? Well, for starters it was the song that epitomized everything I ever wanted to do with my music. Before I heard this song during a particularly eye-opening epiphany at my first rave (I learned how to really dance), my early experiments with electronic music were based on the only thing I really knew of at that time: Nine Inch Nails. To me, music was an expression of anger and pain, a way to get all that out of a person. I didn't even think about the fact that it could be used to express such joy and beauty.

Weird, huh? But this uplifting piece which still brings tears to my eyes 13 years after I first heard it opened up everything for me. It's been my most influential song to date.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

(Classic) Commander Tom - Are Am Eye (1995)

I've decided to start posting the electronic songs that I've grown up with and that had such an effect on my life that they have become both an Evey influence and an Evey classic. Oddly enough, the song I choose to start with is one I hadn't heard in at least 4 years now, and one I hadn't even thought about until just now. I immediately had to jump up and listen to it again.

I suddenly remembered this loud, unforgettable hard trance track from 1995 for absolutely NO reason at all, except maybe because it's 6:09am right now and I can't sleep. :) I wish I could remember where I first heard it...could have possibly even been my first rave in '97. All I know is that those crazzzy hoovers stuck with me and in my head since, because the first memory I do have of this track is hearing that breakdown somewhere else, remembering it from before, and saying, "Ohhhh....I f*cking LOVE this!" before going absolutely crazy dancing when it hit.

Hearing it now, it almost seems too sparse compared to the huge synths we have now. But it's still classic, and that's what matters.

Friday, December 3, 2010

There is nothing better than...

  • Early, early mornings on what promises to be a hot summer day
  • The smell of coffee when you first open the package
  • The sound of trees blowing around in the wind
  • Hearing a song so powerful it makes you want to cry
  • Snuggling up with the one you love every night, even if it's just your blanket and pillows
  • Fresh fruit, especially nectarines
  • Checking your bank account and realizing you have more money than you thought
  • Barbeques
  • Putting on a brand new pair of socks
  • The smell of spring
  • Drinking cold water fresh from a waterfall
  • Babies who stare at you...and then smile
  • The colour purple
  • Being surprised into laughter by something
  • Warm summer nights
  • Kittens and snuggly cats
  • The northern lights
  • Smelling a big bunch of lilacs
  • A nice cool shower when you're really hot
  • Driving in the country and singing at the top of your lungs
  • Clean sheets
  • The smell of sawdust
  • Remembering things like this

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Be Grateful.

I'm reading a book called "The Power", which is an addendum to "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne. I bought it on a whim (30% off at Walmart), and have basically been using it as a bathroom book. It's not the kind of book I can sit down and read before bed or contains a lot of stuff that requires much thinking about once I've been through a page or two.

A great deal of the book is spent on learning to love and be grateful for all in life, and then you can begin to achieve the life you want. "What are you talking about?" I thought. "I am grateful...I do love."

But then this little excerpt popped up:

"Are you grateful for your health when it's good? Or do you only notice your health when your body gets sick or hurts?

Are you grateful when you have a good night's sleep? Or do you take those nights for granted and only think of sleep when you've been deprived of it?

Are you grateful for your loved ones when everything is going well, or do you only talk about your relationships when there are problems?

Are you grateful for electricity when you use an appliance or flick a switch? Or do you only think of electricity when there's a power blackout?"

There's the rub. A lot of people (including myself) would say, "I think positively about stuff...I try not to focus on the negative." But that's the big picture. If we are faced with an issue, we focus on that issue in a an attempt to solve it, and once it gets resolved in some way, we go: whew, glad that's over with, and kind of forget about it. If we have no issues, we go about our merry way until we are faced with another one, then it's nothing but worry and focusing on that issue again.

The smaller things, we forget altogether. I am currently listening to Daft Punk and grateful that I can hear it and appreciate it. I'm grateful that I have a place to live in, a computer to type on, an internet connection to keep me here in this gigantic cyberworld. I am grateful that I have the ability to create music that I love, and I am grateful to have the opportunity to share this music with you. I am grateful to those of you that also appreciate and love my music as much as I do. I am grateful for a lot of things...hell...everything in my life. Everything, not just the big things.

Let's be grateful for those smaller things. Our health, our homes, our senses, our lives.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Carol of the Bells (2005)

This has always been one of my favorite Christmas songs, so I decided to do my own trancey take on it, with some wonderfully wooshing synths. It was kind of tough until I realized the time signature was not 4/4, as I was used to working with.

Every year since I've made this song, I've posted it for my listeners. In a sense, I guess it's been like a Styles holiday tradition. Hope you enjoy it!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Download 'pretty songs' for free

I am giving away a copy of my album 'pretty songs' for free to the first 100 people who 'share' me with their friends!

For more details, check it out here.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Difference (2010)

Actually, there's not much of a background story to the lyrics of this song without getting into some personal stuff.  It was made at a fairly lonely time in my life when I thought things should begin to turn around, which is something only I could make happen.

I believe I wrote this in May or June, but didn't think to listen to it very often until lately.  Although it is directly about somebody in my life at the time, changing things didn't bring about what I had wanted or thought could happen.  In fact, things went the exact opposite way.  At that time, I was upset that it didn't happen but to look back on it now, I'm so glad that it didn't.  Making the 'difference' did bring about change, but in a definitely more positive way.  I'm in a good spot right now, and happy to be here.  :)

As for the track itself...I didn't want to post this back then because I had changed a couple of the lyrics.  However, the vocals in it are the original ones I recorded to make this song.  I tried re-recording them a few times but never could quite get the softness and breathiness of the original vocals.  So rather than doing what I usually do - record over and over until I get it 'right'-sounding, and basically just wreck the entire feeling of the song for me - I left them in as is.


Wishing things were back to exactly where they used to be
Covered up my heart and tried to cling to something that I couldn't see
Maybe if I wished a little harder, it'll bring about you and me
But does it make a difference now?

Climbing up ever higher out of this sea of doubt
Opened up my heart and tried to show you exactly what it's all about
Maybe if I try a little harder I won't be left feeling without
But does it make a difference now?
It doesn't make a difference now...

Thinking about the future, and I know I'll be just fine
I didn't have the heart to tell myself that it's all just a matter of time
All I really know is deep inside, I kinda wish that you were mine
So I'll make a difference now...
And hope that you can see it now

Saturday, September 25, 2010

DJ Paul Pritchard feat Evey Styles - Without You (2010)

One night, I found this artist on Reverbnation by the name of DJ Paul Pritchard.  He produces some amazingly complex melodic, yet hi-energy, trance tracks.  His music seemed to mirror the style that I had fallen so in love with years before, and that had inspired me to begin trying to produce my own music, which is why I loved it, and really couldn't get enough.  So I wrote to him just to let him know how much I loved his music.  He wrote back saying that he liked mine too, and if I ever wanted to collaborate just to let him know.  Well, of course!  I love collaborating with like-minded he sent me a track called 'Without You', and asked if I'd write some vocals for it.

Well, I was on a little vacation at the time but told him I'd get back to it.  When I got back I listened to it a few times and could hear singing in my words, just singing.  That's always a good sign for me, but I was busy working on 'Sublime' and another track at that time and wanted to let it mix around for me before I tried tackling it.  Finally, one day after work I sat down with my pen and notepad and just wrote.  I wanted to keep the theme of the title 'Without You', but was trying not to make it into a supersad love song at the same time. As usual, the words came flowing out and it was written before I even realized it.

(People might wonder what it's about...or who.  It's not exactly about anyone in particular. I did sort of have somebody floating around in my head while I was writing it, but it's also more about a situation I found myself in...several times.  Being with somebody and discovering yourself and your potentials and growing and moving on...and noticing that person isn't really moving along with you.  So it's up to you to decide whether you want to stop moving to stay with that person, or move on without them.)

I sent Paul the 'rough draft' and waited with baited breath and fingers crossed.  I was in love with the song and lyrics, but I remember thinking, "Oh, he's going to hate it.  He's not going to want those kind of lyrics associated with his song!"  Wow, was I wrong.  He loved it and couldn't wait to hear the final cut!  And I couldn't wait to get it to him, but the first take always seems to be the best, and I could never quite match that.

This was in early July.  After many attempts at rearranging the vocals in some spots, recording and re-recording both the main vocals and backing ones (I'm thinking probably at least 30 takes on the main vocals alone), sending the track over the net back and forth, and reconciling some slight issues with mixing, the song is finally complete!  I hope you like it.

Song to listen to:

Lyrics to follow along with:

I didn't realize
How hard it was for you to perceive
This passion, this pain, this life, this love that
Was conceived...
I'm drifting alone, far from home,
Made up of my own
Words and stories, oh...

Oh, what a mess, but I must confess,
There's something about you that makes me feel alive,
And not for the first time,
It's ever after...
What would I do, without you
To remind me that no matter how often the story ends,
I can write another chapter...

I'm crossing the threshold,
Into a new way, a new mind, oh
And even though I know you don't wanna go
It's so hard for me to say goodbye
It doesn't matter anymore, anyway
I'm turning inside,
And even though I know you don't wanna go
I just gotta make this mine
I'm crossing the threshold,
But if you should ever change your mind,
I want you to know that I'll help you flow
Ever after with me on a new tide, oh...

How could I have known 
How easy it was for you to ignore
This passion, this pain, this life, this love that I've been hoping for?
We made this bed, let's lie instead
And simply fill our heads
Full of verbs and allegories,
Let's write a different story, oh...

I'm crossing the threshold,
Into a new way, a new mind, oh
And even though I know you don't wanna go
It's so hard for me to say goodbye
It doesn't matter anymore, anyway
I'm turning inside,
And even though I know you don't wanna go
I guess I just gotta make this mine
I'm crossing the threshold,
Into a new way, a new mind, oh
And even though I know you don't wanna go
It's so hard for me to say goodbye
It doesn't matter anymore, anyway
I'm turning inside,
And even though I know you don't wanna go
I just gotta make this mine

Oh, what a mess, but I must confess,
There's something about you that makes me feel alive,
But not for the first time,
What would I do without you
To remind me that no matter how often the story ends,
It doesn't always mean goodbye...

I'm crossing the threshold,
But if you should ever change your mind,
I want you to know that I'll help you flow
Ever after with me on a new tide, oh...

Friday, September 10, 2010

I'm Not Your Promoter

It started getting annoying on and it's driven me away from Myspace completely. Now I'm getting this shit on Reverbnation. (I don't like to swear often on public forums, so this shows you how pissed off I am about this.)

What is it? People (artists) sending me messages and comments. Not about me or my music...about themselves. I log on today. I see that someone was kind enough to send me a message, or leave a comment. "Oh," I think. "Someone appreciates my music enough they wanted to talk to me about it." Then I click on it:

HI my name is _______ ,
I was hoping you could come and stop by my profile to take a listen to my music. Any feedback is also appreciated and if you like what you hear, become a fan. Thanks so much,
have a great summer,
all the best,
Hi,have a great day,

AVAILABLE ON : (insert 20 links to where you can buy the EXACT SAME ALBUM)

That's a message I just got.  Obviously, very personalized and sincere...the capital HI with the space after it and the secondary Hi at the end proves it. I'm glad this person cares about me so much to include not one, but 4 closing lines. And I'm positive I'm the only person who got this message...that makes me feel special.

Ugh. You know what? This disgusts me. It's shameless at the least and downright disrespectful to me at the most. I'm NOT going to go to your page based on some anonymous message you send. Therefore, I'm NOT going to listen to your music and I'm NOT going to become a fan. And I am most definitely NOT going to allow you to put your shameless self-promotions on my page. My page is for me to promote myself, not you. What I WILL do is report your spam. I'm not even going to get to the comments I have to sift through and not-approve because I really don't like people trying to use my page just to promote themselves.

This is one of the less aggressive ones, but considering I get 3-4 of these a day it becomes aggressive to me.  Does this even work? Judging from the amount of messages I get like this, I'm sure through the wonders of statistics it does (I'm probably one of hundreds to get that message). But then again, I don't know for sure since I try not to do it.  Ok, yes..I do use what someone once called 'guerilla tactics' to promote my music now by posting songs on certain people's Facebook pages...but I post them only on the pages of people I know will enjoy those songs and I see no difference between doing that and posting some Youtube video of a song I really like and want them to hear on their page, except for the fact that it's my creation and not someone elses'.  If their friends want to check it out too, that's fine by me, but I don't ask them or tell them to.  It's up to them.

I'm not going to say I didn't imbibe in my own little bit of shameless self-promotion back in the day (over 10 years ago...hell, I was probably one of the pioneers of that), but I never felt good doing it and now my days of spamming message boards are far beyond me. If I really enjoy someone's music, I will let them know and hope that they decide to check mine out. I don't ask them to...I just hope they will. Maybe my passive form of self-promotion isn't the greatest, but at least it's honest and has a bit of integrity to it. I'm not in it for the money or the fans (although both make me happy to have), just the music and the hope that you will enjoy the little piece of me I gave to you to hear.  I prefer to make more friends than fans.

I'd rather know that than ask some anonymous shred-metal band to listen to my music.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot:


Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I just realized that all my music-making outbursts come once every five least since 2000.  Weeeeird.

Monday, September 6, 2010

pretty songs

Now up for fee-based grabs:

pretty songs by Evey Styles
(Hey, look!  If you click on the picture, it takes you to the place you can download this from!  Neat.)

I made up a small CD back in 2006, simply titled 'pretty songs' (simply because they are just that), to give to friends and presumably family...although it never even got that far. It contained 12 tracks ranging from oddly ambient to a couple remixes. My plan back then was to get this shipped to CDBaby and sell it online. But I was on a music making kick and with every new song I made, I wanted it on the CD instead.  So that obviously didn't happen either. 

So one day while I was googling myself (and don't tell me you've never done that!), I came across a comment from someone somewhere in tha intrawebz that simply said, "Does anyone know where I can buy pretty songs?" They were referring to my CD, of course...something I was advertising on one of my sites somewhere when I was all gung-ho about it and never did anything about. I felt kinda bad that somebody, somewhere, wanted to buy this CD that didn't even exist...even in cyberspace.

Well, that got me thinking. There are a lot of 'fans' I have that have been around since my days. And yes, I put 'fans' in quote marks.  Not because I don't think of you as fans, but the thought of me having 'fans' is a little unnerving (If anyone can think of a better term that doesn't unnerve me, let me know....we'll talk).  Anyway, when became defunct, my 'fans' sort of scattered along with me, but a couple of them stalked and managed to find me again (you know who you are!).  The only thing that kinda kept me going was the knowledge that somewhere on the net people were looking for me. And as much as I'm not a big fan of stalking in most aspects, that's kinda cool to know (again, you know who you are and THANK YOU for loving my's all that kept me going for a while). I was still making music (some of it crap, IMO), but had nowhere to showcase it until 2005, when I got a Myspace page, which could only allow a certain amount of songs at a time back then. So most of these songs appeared on Myspace, but only for brief periods at a time only. And you couldn't download them anywhere.  Until now.

So, in an effort to try and fund my latest attempt at music-making:

 COMING 10/10/10!!1!

I thought I'd put something out. It's relatively low-priced, mostly because half the music on there is no longer available in any format on my computer other than 192 kbps mp3 (without me re-recording and remastering most of them, anyway), so the sound quality probably isn't the greatest even though I did try to make it the best possible. Also, I want you to buy it.  The sales of such can go into the production of real, actual, shiny CDs that you can touch and scratch up to your hearts' content, plus advertising for sales of such others, which in turn can buy me new equipment, etc. And why the hell wouldn't you?  If you really loved  But seriously, it's a good price and you'll feel awesome knowing that there will be a little bit of you in the next little bit of Evey that drips into your ears within the next decade or so. :)

With a total of 12 tracks and 2 bonus songs, we got a good thing goin'.  Only $5.99 to download all 14 tracks.  Yeah...this is like bargain bin at Walmart kind of pricing. If you don't want the whole thing, you can download the songs you like individually for $1 each but really, why do that when you can get everything for half the price and probably less the effort?

Oh, and in a silly little twist, I removed some of the songs off the original and added some different ones. Mostly because a few were a remixes and I don't have permission to sell them, and also because 4 years later I'm not too impressed with some of the tracks I had.  The timespan of all songs is 2000-2006.

Yet are all still just...pretty songs. :)

I plan on coming out later on with another album like this of my older tracks that I keep getting requests for (1997-2001) so as always...stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Production Procrastination

I want to make music, but I'm scared that either: I'll start and won't want to stop...or I just won't be able to start. I'm not even sure which I'm more concerned about.

Not that I'm doing anything particularly productive right now...or have been for the past few days. I can't work at the moment due to some little bitch stealing my purse on the weekend with my security tags in it...I have to wait at least a week before I get new tags sent to me. So...yay. I have all the time in the world to make music if I wanted to. But do I want to? I don't even know what to make, which is also the reason why I'm afraid I won't be able to start. There's nothing more frustrating than that.

Well, let's just open up the ol' Fruity and see where it goes, I guess.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sublime (2010)

I was asking for a happy muse, and the universe did give. :) This song can only really be summed up in three words: "If only...but..."

" the quality of greatness or vast magnitude, whether physical, moral, intellectual, metaphysical, aesthetic, spiritual or artistic. The term especially refers to a greatness with which nothing else can be compared and which is beyond all possibility of calculation, measurement or imitation."

Someone in my life reminded me of what it's like to feel truly happy, loving and free at a point in time where I was about to give up on love and...well, generally everything. And that's what this song is about. He introduced me to some beautiful people who also inspired and encouraged me to write happier lyrics with happier music, and that is what I am going to try and do in the future. Seems like I only write when I'm hurting inside, and that makes for some very depressing songs. Considering I am generally a positive person, it just don't gel with what I usually like to put out there. But something opened up inside of me then, and it's a happy, happy thing.

So I carried that vibe back with me and made this: a tribute of sorts to him and the creative minds he introduced me to. I think you know who you are, and I thank you. You have always inspired me with your sounds, your soul, and your vibe, and that's what I love about you.

If only...but... Oh well, huh? :)

Life leads us to certain people and places and takes us away from them as well, but we always carry the connections we've made within ourselves.

Horribly intricate process to follow...

You've opened my eyes just a little bit more,
I finally see what I've been looking for
The truth, so distant but oh so free,
I'm thinking backwards to you and me
My eyes are all dry now because of your mind,
The truth, so distant but oh so sublime,
I'm changing, I'm moving, I'm calling,
I'm here but I can't stop from falling...

Let me reach in your mind now,
I gotta remember you somehow,
And then we'll take the time now,
Before we have to say goodbye now...

Going through these images in my head
And over and over everything that was said,
Oh, I forgot how it feels
To be with someone so sublimely real
It was everything I was wanting for,
You know I couldn't have asked for anything more
Now I'm changing I'm moving I'm calling,
I'm still here but I can't stop from falling...

Let me reach in your mind now,
I gotta remember you somehow,
And then we'll take the time now,
Before we have to say goodbye now...

Why, oh why
Does time have to pass
So quickly by?
Why, oh why
Does time have to pass
And leave us behind?


This started out as just an instrumental track (with a very basic idea of making a clubby kinda trance track of sorts), experimenting with different chords, but then words came to me once I composed that plucky little piano riff. As usual, synths, bass and such were composed in Ableton and brought into FL Studio to add the beats and laid out. Wrote it out and laid it down within a few hours using my cheapass mic for the vocals, then left it for a while. It sounded weird to me.

Came back a few days later and did an overhaul on the chords (they were off by a semi-note), added more drums, those lovely little fills and sweeps, and the synth that comes in later. Wanted to add even more to it, but someone once said less is sometimes better (although I've still got that urge for some extra pads). Rendered each track separately in FL, then brought them into Acid and added extra compression to take away that 'Fruity flavour'. One of the synths had a nasty little transient sound to it that I hated and tried getting rid of. Once I did, I found that I actually preferred it, so I kept it there, basically wasting about an hour of my life. Oh well. :)

Then I started recording the vocals on a real mic. It was a total of 23 takes, with only 6 of them actually used. The vocals are sometimes double-tracked, sometimes tripled, with slightly different FX settings (doubler, reverb, delay, and compression) on each track. The worst for me was the last part...I just never felt comfortable with it since I can never really hit those high notes without wailing (and I can't wail in my apartment, just so you know)! But I did a couple takes I liked, and threw it all together.

The vocals still sounded muddy when I decided to sacrifice a CD just so I could hear it in my car. It needed to balance out with the rest of the music. So I added a transient processor to 2 of the vocal tracks, fiddled with the settings, and then came to the sad realization that my poor little 7 year old PC couldn't quite keep up...the song started gurgling and skipping whenever I tried playing it. Since I was fairly happy with the end result and just needed to hear the nuances, I rendered the parts of the song I wanted to hear, listen to them, go back and tweak, render again, rinse and repeat. I don't know even want to know how many times I did this...I'm just hoping the end result sounds as good to your ears and it does to my now worn-out ones. :)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Existences (2001-2010)

I wrote this in October of 2001 as a poem of sorts, but then I started making some music right after I wrote it, and they kind of managed to blend together well. The world had started its real chaos at 9/11, and it seems to be even more in chaos now, so it seemed fitting for me to finally try and bring this to fruition.

The song lyrics have been re-written and written back, edited and then re-edited, rearranged...then rearranged some more. I even posted it on Facebook as a poem back in '09 at some point. I eventually found the original song (minus 3 important samples)...beefed up some of the samples and added to it while still paying homage to my earlier days of music; since the original music was made in 2001, I used a lot of my older samples which featured in my tracks from that time period.

The voice processor I borrowed for a bit helped for me to finally put an aural sense of how I was feeling into my voice. Thank you, Steve. :)

Listening to it now, I can't believe these words and this music came out of me. It's eerie as to how much it speaks. One particular verse...the first one I wrote...seems strangely apt at this point in our Saskatchewan season. And this is now a clear reflection of how my feelings about this world and its people have culminated inside of me:

When I open my eyes I can't help but see
the grey clouds scattered over the crowds,
covering their minds,
leaving them blind
to the colors that should flutter right through their eyes, I find
that the hardest part about watching it all is standing back and waiting for everything to fall

The city's quiet and the breathing within
creates a solitary comfort that crawls beneath my skin
Well I know it's been painfully slow,
but we're ready to get up and find that faint glimmer of hope
It'll be quite a journey...

And if it weren't for the time it takes
to get it all in one place,
We would've done the same thing a long time ago
but you know,
some things can wait and now it's getting pretty late anyway I'm sorry I gotta go
And I was having so much fun here...

Well you know I try to keep it alive,
but sometimes I can't take anymore; I gotta get up and fight
But this time I've a right to survive,
please bring in all the colors
and place them right in front of my eyes,
let em float in my head awhile

This is so surreal,
'Cause it's kinda hard to pinpoint
exactly how I feel, oh well
I wanna lay down and bask in some
everlasting sunshine...

When I close my eyes I can't help but see
what may come of all the rain that has
washed away the sunshine,
leaving blue puddles
and a splash of yellow to mark the time, I find
that the hardest part about being alive is standing underneath the clouds just waiting for the end of time

My head hurts and it's hard to see
but I've a mind to unwind with humility, just
step into the sunshine...
Step into the sunshine,
and into reality

And if it weren't for the horrible ways
we live day to day
We've would've won this game a long time ago
but you know
what else can we say? Our words are getting in the way, good day I'm sorry we gotta go
Really wish we could've stayed...

This is so surreal,
'Cause it's kinda hard to pinpoint
exactly what is real, oh well
Let's just lay down and bask in this
little bit of sunshine...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Music madness!

I just counted the projects I have on the go. I currently have:

6 songs with lyrics
2 songs minus lyrics
2 cover songs
1 song I'm working on with another musician
3 edits (or remixes, if you prefer that term...although I hardly think adding a beat to an oldie counts as a remix)

These are all in varying stages of the process, and it's becoming difficult to focus on just one thing. For instance, one of my songs just needs a couple lyrics re-recorded, before going through the whole mixdown process again. Another just needs to be mixed and mastered. So why am I procrastinating so much?

1. The more lyrical side of me is a side that only a couple people in my life have seen. Some of these songs were written over a decade ago, most far more recently; either way they are symbolic of me basically pouring out my heart, my hurt, my unrequited loves, my anger, and most of all my loneliness out to the world for all to hear. Some are about specific people in my life that I know will hear them. Even though they're still fairly ambiguous to anyone who wasn't in the loop, I still have to wonder if the person it was about will hear it and wonder if it's about them. Not quite sure if I'm ready for all that, even though I also believe it's long past due.

2. Time. Time, time, time! I work a full-time job with some shifts that don't leave me much chance for working on stuff when I'm home. Plus, I need to have a life outside of music and work. Unfortunately, this life tends to take over most of my free time. In fact, I just realized I'm going to be SUPER busy for the next month, with a trip to Calgary next weekend followed by a trip to Regina the week after for a concert, then Ness Creek Music Festival, then a trip to Edmonton. Whew! That, and more basic human functions such as sleeping and eating kinda take up too much time.

3. Lack of focus. I'll start working on something, get bored with it (or just tired of listening to it over and over again), then start working on something else until I'm completely drained. Then I just end up listening to all my old music just for fun. Or I'll write another song that I really want to get in the can while the lid's still open. Or I'll just do something else all together. These song projects are in addition to various other creative endeavors I'm on. I'm also working on a screenplay, a novel, a book, and various graphic projects.

4. My computer is 7 years old. And it's slooooow. I can make an entire song in a few hours if I chose to do so, but the mixdown and mastering process I currently use takes roughly 3 hours just to begin. I was hoping to get a new computer a few months ago, but I'm worried that in doing so I might lose some of the programs I currently use due to compatibility issues. With so much on the go right now, I don't want that to be an issue.

5. I'm my own worst critic AND a perfectionist. That's the biggest problem. I could make an entire song in a few hours, but then I sometimes spend anywhere from a week to a few months tweaking it, trying to make it sound better, etc. It's worse with the vocal tracks, since my voice is essentially another instrument and there are far too many possibilities with it. Sometimes I have to keep a checklist on stuff I want to change or that needs changing. This also ties in with #4: sometimes I'll have 'finished' a track, only to find the bassline is a bit off-key on one thing, or I don't like the kick or the hat. This usually calls for me to go back to step one and change, then start the process all over again. This also usually ends up with me deciding enough's enough...and leave it for a while.

6. What I like to call internet ADD. I get sidetracked all too easily by Facebook, email, and pretty much everything on the web (like this blog, for instance).

It's like looking at a huge mess and knowing that it needs to be cleaned up and tidied and put away, but not even knowing where to begin. Where is that clone machine when you need it?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Might As Well (2009)

Originally written in January of 2009, this came to me one cold night whilst pouring my last glass of wine for the evening. First two lines, then the rest followed; basically just a song about being lonely and wavering between wishing someone was there with me, and wallowing in my lonliness. I created the music for it that night...then sat on it forever.

The problem was that I recorded the vocals with a cheap mic, and somehow added some crazy FX to it that highlighted the nuances of dirty line-noise in such a way that it sounded pretty good. But I wanted it to sound better. I re-recorded my voice, then added some verb and retro-eq to the main vocal. Backing vocals were redone, with simple verb and delay. Still doesn't quite come close to the original, but good enough I suppose. :) However, it was quite the process.

The music was made using a combination of FL (for drums and sequencing), and Ableton for synth composing and sequencing (which are barely present in this minimal little tune). I also cut up the vocals and placed them into FL to render since those crazy FX were being utilized that way. Finally, each track was rendered seperately and brought into Acid to add compression and panning and all kinds of other fun stuff, then into Wavelab to place the vocals and add more FX. The vocal tracks were then rendered seperately and brought back into Acid and mixed down along with the original song.

Although I'm still not 100% 'happy' with it, I like it enough to let you finally have a listen. Seeing as I've been listening to it for the last year and a half, I figured it's time to move it on. I hope you enjoy it.

Might as well drink the rest of this wine,
I'm here all by myself again
No other way to kill the time,
No other way to see that this night ends

Oh, you...
The way you're wrapped around my head
Oh, you...
I'd rather be here alone instead
Of wondering,
Guessing what this life will bring
Keeping a record of my dreams...

Might as well listen to the clock
The maddening tick of time unspent,
No other way to fill me up,
No other way to see that this life's meant...

Oh, you...
The way you're wrapped around my head
Oh, you...
I'd rather be here alone instead
Of wondering,
Guessing what this life will bring
Keeping a record of my dreams...

Might as well climb in bed right now
Maybe tomorrow I'll see another way
No other way to let life unfold,
A few more hours to seize another day

Oh, you...
The way you're wrapped around my head
Oh, you...
I'd rather be here alone instead
Of wondering,
Guessing what this life will bring
Keeping a record of my dreams...