The end result is what begins as a seemingly steady pulse, but then the real rhythmic structure emerges from the dimly lit mist as the one you thought was pounding out downbeats is actually syncopated! Ha! Tricked you!
Dramatic, spare piano chords with bass and a subtle, heartbeat-like drum pattern bookended by ambient guitar loops … was the initial incarnation of this piece.
I recorded this piece about 8 years ago – long before I ever saw Twin Peaks on Netflix. But, the bass line during the full band section is definitely channeling some Laura Palmer angst. File this one under music for films not yet made.
It seems like a lifetime ago since I recorded this. 16 years to be exact. I remember after I finished mixing it down putting it on a CD for my father to listen to. He seemed to genuinely like it which meant a whole lot. Still does.
As I mixed the piece down with multiple listens, it didn’t necessarily fill me with glee and a sense of hope, but I did love the grotesqueness of it. This version is mixed 15 years after the fact with a much better processor and plugins so there’s a bit more clarity to all the gnarly bits.
This piece was the 4th part in a long exercise of stringing together stock loops along with samples I recorded. I couldn’t resist using a clip I recorded from the movie Donnie Darko because when looped, the ping-pong sound and wonderful choral soundtrack created the perfect foundation for the ensuing Jackson Pollock-style guitar overdubs.
For a number of years, a guy named Lee Harris put together a Christmas album of music he wrote along with songs from fellow musicians. It was a lot of hard work getting the songs written in time, but always fun and a great excuse to record with people you probably would never have worked with otherwise.
It didn’t happen overnight, but I eventually realized my need and desire to create music had slipped away. I still played the piano some. Maybe banged on the drums occasionally. Would brush up against the guitar and run my fingers across the strings to see if they were still in tune. But there were a number of times I’d walk by the music room, peer in and ask, “Why did I waste so much time on this?”