Archives For Original Composition

If you are among the few readers of this blog, or perhaps among the one or two Facebook friends that are following what I create musically, you may be interested in this.

I’ve managed to pin a melody to some rhythm and bass that I put together a few weeks ago. Sometimes when I’m working on an idea, I’ll come up with multiple different avenues and if they’re good enough, I’ll record those and set them aside for another day.

This particular instrumental came out of some prayerful playing and is as it is. I used three different guitars for this piece and the free play (not pre-programmed) piano option on garage band. The title comes from a poem a wrote a few months back called Soliloquy & Symphony.

Both the poetry and music are original. I was faced with somewhat of a dilemma with the end result. My time spent mixing this split the song into separate versions. Each version is alike.The only real difference being the rhythm guitar section.

I had a hard time deciding on which tune to stick with so after much consideration I’ve decided on posting both.

I’ve also thrown in a poem for good measure, and in case you’re wondering, a bagatelle is a short piece of music written for piano.

Let me know which version you prefer. I’m partial to version 2, but also really like the more full, gritty sound the rhythm provides in version 1.

Pax Vobiscum.

Version 1: with rhythm.

Version 2: without rhythm.


(©RL2017)

Preamble To The Uprising

September 27, 2016 — 4 Comments

My new tune.

Preamble to the Uprising: “…every eye shall see.” – John, Revelation 1:7

“We shall all be beggars together if we shut ourselves up like hermits, and cry “every man for himself.”
– (Charles Spurgeon, 1882, Flowers From a Puritan’s Garden)

This week I reworked a tune I had put together a few weeks back, but didn’t post because I didn’t feel that was up to standard.

As the creative process goes, that song became this. Little resembling what I had originally started with.

Like a couple of the songs I’ve done recently, this one deliberately has no drums. Instead I worked out a progression on a synth in garage band and fine tuned that to reflect a beat.

The piano is noteworthy. I’m adding it more and more, examining where it might fit better than a lead riff on guitar does. In this song, I was unsure of keeping the lead because it seemed, to me anyway, to cloud the song, but I’ve kept it in to add colour; something it does well enough.

In mixing the tracks I decided to reduce the volume of the lead and add reverb to it in order to gain a sense of distance. The “whale sounds” are easy enough to do. On an electric guitar, just play a note with the volume turned down, hold the note, slowly increase and then decrease the volume.

If there is anything I could improve on this, it would be the rhythm and the bridge.

The end result is a multi-layered mix or notes that pull together to paint a picture worth reflecting on.

In ‘A Confession’, Leo Tolstoy, post-atheism, talks about a dream where he found himself slipping from ropes that were suspending him over an abyss. In time he began to look up & found comfort; freedom from his anxiety and the fear of falling. It was from here that he began to slowly realise that the ropes were gone and he was in fact being held firmly over the abyss. Not long after this he heard the words, “see that you remember.” Then woke up.

A nation and age apart, this is echoed by Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s words:

‘Grace is that which holds humanity over the abyss of nothingness.’ (DBW3)[i]

This song seeks to reflect that.

 


Source:

[i] Bonhoeffer, D. Creation & Fall, DBW Vol.3

Further note: Karl Barth writes: ‘yet in spite [of the desire to escape the command of God, and thus give ourselves up to destruction] we are not allowed to fall, but are upheld and carried above the yawning abyss…’ (CD. The Purpose of Divine Judgment, 2/2 p.765 Hendrickson Pub.)

Tolstoy also speaks of this in his book ‘Confessions’.

Music and image are mine.

In a letter, dated December 23, 1955, Barth sets out to (reluctantly) esteem one of his musical heroes for a newspaper. The letter speaks for itself, so there’s no real need for a deep exposition. The only thing that needs qualifying is the concluding statement by Barth, where he speaks figuratively of imagining angels worshiping with Bach, while at work, and then later Mozart, as they gathered together. Barth writes,

‘Mozart’s music is not, in contrast to that of Bach, a message, and not in contrast to that of Beethoven, a personal confession. He does not reveal in his music any doctrine and certainly not himself […]
Mozart does not wish to say anything: he just sings and sounds. Thus he does not force anything on the listener, does not demand that he make any decisions or take any positions; he simply leaves him free. Doubtless the enjoyment he gives begins with our accepting that […]
He thought of death daily, as his works plainly reveal. But he does not dwell on it unduly; he merely lets us discover it. Nor does  he will to proclaim the praise of God. he just does it – precisely in that humility in which he himself is, so to speak, only the instrument with which he allows is to hear what he hears: what surges at him from God’s creation, what rises in him, and must proceed from him […]
Mozart’s sacred music, too, is heard to originate in a region from which vantage point God and the world are certainly not to be judged identical, but which does allow the church and world (these are not to be interchanged) to be recognizable and recognized in their merely relative difference, in their ultimate togetherness: both emanating from God, both going back to God.[i]’

Out of necessity, I’ve redacted some of his letter to fit the 3:22 min instrumental. In doing so, I’ve stuck to Barth’s main theme: gratitude for Mozart. As it is, it’s neat and, I think, communicates well. Barth might not have been a musician, however, it’s clear from the melody and rhythm in his own writing, that he had the ear, heart and mind of one.

Can Karl Barth’s words to Mozart be put to music?

My tentative answer is, yes.


Source:

[i] Barth, K. 1956, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Wipf & Stock Publishers (pp.19-23) & (pp.37-40)

Music is my own.

Mist 1 RL2016River Mist header 1

Mist 2

Mist 3

Mist 4

 

Earlier this week, while doing an errand, we took a detour to check out some early morning fog lifting off the river. Spectacular doesn’t sum up the experience of watching the sun rise into this. As it’s light moved across the water, the mist shifted. Had we arrived earlier the fog would’ve been to thick to capture it.

Good inspiration for a song.

This weeks features include drums, classic organ, the POD HD400 and the Ibanez. I had layered a few other bits with a Wah rhythm, for more of a funk feel, but decided to keep it as simple as possible because of how much the layer of guitar work was doing already. I was also keen to have the bass guitar remain as clear as possible.

 

 


Music and images are my own.

 

Sagacity

November 23, 2015 — Leave a comment

SagacityI’ve spent about a week putting this together. I hadn’t intended on there being a designated theme, although I did have a sound in mind. The themed art and video sequencing came about because a static page didn’t seem to justify the instrumental. It meant creating more work for myself, but the end result seems to fit.

One good outcome is that I’ve acquired an appreciation for how much work is involved in creating and connecting a video to the music.

This said, the sequencing, I’m happy with, the artwork, though, warrants more time than I have at my disposal at the moment.

For now, it is what it is.The lead you hear is the best of about eight takes.