Today (Sunday) was spent working on a new song (called “Just Imagine”) that started life as “Futurist Space Car”. We actually played bit of it on TWHL #102.
I spent today cleaning up the arrangement and we just recorded Christa’s final vocals about 30 minutes ago. The song started life as a little drum loop from Matilda (our affectionately named Alesis Micron) and a somber, yet spacey, synth pad. If memory serves correctly, Christa wrote lyrics on the spot for this one and we recorded scratch vocals right away. The lyrics and whole feel of the song speaks of life(?) after we are all gone for this world. Christa’s melody is really beautiful in contrast to the cold music bed. With this in mind, I decided that Christa’s lone voice should be the only real human element to the song. I added some very mechanically played electric piano… playing only the first and fifth of each chord. I’ve always liked the way fifths leave enough space in a chord progression for the melody to really dictate the tone. Is it major or minor? There is also a certain sterility to this method of harmonizing that lends itself well to this song. For a nice lift (but not too much) on the chorus I added some very stylistic TR-808 and CR-78 cymbals. Nothing screams early electronics like these percussive sounds. There’s a 8 bar break between verse and chorus that needed a little something. So I added a very cold sounding CS-80 synth (well, a virtual version of it). The song ends (quite dramatically I think) with just Christa’s voice and the ambient synth pads, so a nice crescendo is needed to build up to this. The crescendo still needs a bit of work. I’m thinking (and Christa agrees) that some strings might fit the bill here. That will add another human element besides the voice I suppose, but what are rules other than things to break?
Sorry if I’ve been a little too music theory/tech geek in my description here. I just wanted to document what we’ve been up to today… in the only language I know. All-in-all… a good day of creative work. It’s been along time since I’ve had such a productive and rewarding day, musically. So I wanted to share.