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Sunday
Aug282011

EP Release!!!

So - Here it is.  Three years in the making..  Titled "Navigating The Fretboard Labyrinth".  This is the culmination of my guitar studies and initial attempts at composition.

There are 13 Tracks, each track title is a link to the track... right click to save as, or regular click to open in an embedded player (if you have one installed, like quicktime, etc)  Here is a track summary, explaining how they came about.  This is not an "album" in the traditional sense - more of a "Musical Diary" of my progression and ideas as I learn to play the guitar.  Some of it may bore you, but if you are a guitar player and are struggling yourself, it may show you areas where I have also struggled and how I overcame  those difficulties.  Mostly, I made this to prove to myself that I could do it.  There are some editing issues - a couple of tracks have long pauses of several seconds at the end - I had planned on cleaning them up, but have lost the source files and can't re-master them... Ohh well - lesson learned!

1) Freeform

This was a spur of the moment track - recorded in under 30 minutes - exploring a more atmospheric sound with lots of depth and reverb.  I liked the way it turned out and thought it was a good lead in to the rest of the album

2) Jet City

Recorded in just two or three takes - this was a test of a Jet City JCA20h amplifier that I was modifying - I was going for that just on the edge of clean / distorted sound, controlled yet able to be pushed with the right touch.  Another track that was a one off and turned out great.  Love the bell like tones at the end - great harmonics!

3) Two String Modal Exploration

This track has been the bane of my existence for about 2 years.  Its based on a two string pattern I came up with while practicing modes in G Major.  I made the rhythm track over two years ago and practiced to it all the time... I decided to re-record the backing track about a month ago, and then put the lead on... there is also a video of this track - literally as it was recorded... check my youtube link.  This is the audio from that recording.

4) Mr. Paul

One of the oldest tracks on the EP.  I recorded this while practicing modes way back when I first learned about them in my lessons.  I had also just learned about Les Paul, and really dug "How High the Moon" with its many many layered guitars.  So, this is my version of his layered guitar sound.  Just simple scales, but I thought it was fun and told a story, so I included it.

5) Hollow

A neat little ambient track with some deep sub bass processing that I found interesting and a lot of reverb for texture... Not finished in any way, but once again - I like the textures, so I threw it on...

6) Searching

The most recent composition on the EP.  The title says it all really - seargin for sound, for musical meaning, for coherence in song structure... those were the emotions I was feeling while recording.  The tone used on the lead is sad but hopeful... Sad because of the frustration I sometimes feel when trying to come up with new ideas - hopeful because, as always - the Lord blessed and I found the song in the end.  There is also a youtube video of the making of this track.

7) No Hosta for You

A fun little song - really just a chord progression that I was messing with.  The title came from a trip to the local greenhouse - looking for some Hosta for our back year - and they didn't have what we wanted...  I found out later that the chords are nearly identical to a silly 70's cartoon "Basketball Jones"... Subliminal music coming back from my youth?  I have no idea... definitely not planned though..

8) The Chase - Part 1

My first deliberate attempt at creating a song from start to finish with a "feel" in mind.  I had just come back from a trip up north - and we had been visiting Lighthouses (The working title for this was lighthouse I believe)... I was going for the feeling of a bird being chased by a larger bird, weaving around the lighthouse and through the trees.  Adrenaline - Excitement... Being chased...

9) Echoes

Similar to the first track - A little progression I had hanging around that I managed to find a place for... no deep story, just a bit of music I liked.

10) The Professor

This track began life as another idea completely - but isn't that always the way.  I had a nice rhythm track and I layed two lead tracks down.. My instructor, Bryan Gill, canme by for a lesson and I played the track for him.  Well, I asked if he would like to put something down on it as well... so one of the lead tracks was deleted and he put down the high rhythm track - in one take no less!!! Makes me sick I tell you!!!  The last lead is my original lead - seems to fit pretty well... 

11) Release

Ever have one of those days?  Can't win for losin'... feel like you got kicked every which way, and teh harder you try, the worse it gets..  This track was recorded at about 11:00pm after one of those days.  Definitely an aggressive frustrated feel.  Sorry if its not your cup of tea - but It was cathartic.

12) The Chase - Part 2

Subtitled - the flyover... Same bed track as "The Chase - Part 1".  I wasn't done with that foundation track and needed to do a bit more with it - found another interesting high lead pairing and this was the result... The "Flyover" is the lead at the end - I imagine the birds soaring over the top of the lighthouse after the chase has ended and they go their separate ways...

13) Ambience Found

Depth... Listen to the rhythm track - the breadth of it - and then to the lead.  Depth and an open abient feel.  Thats what this track is all about... that feel. 

**** Many many thanks to Bryan Evans Gill IV - YOU are the man my friend!!!

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