Shameless self-promotion [audio]

©2021 Michael Raven

I’ve decided to make a migrate a few music tracks from the time period 1991 to the present on SoundCloud from “Private” to “Public”. If you want to torture yourself, head on over. Currently includes a cover of the Mission song “For Ever More”, recorded in 1991 using Cakewalk and a DAT (and sung by a friend with a far superior voice to my own), tunes from an ambient effort I put out in 2005, as well as a few other tidbits.

Also, keep in mind that, while I haven’t added anything lately, I do have some spoken word available at Anchor.

urðr galdr // sceadugenga

  1. urðr galdr //
  2. skin pop //
  3. orchid //
  4. familiar/

Podcasting lessons learned

©2021 Michael Raven

No, I’m not really podcasting in my opinion, just utilizing a free service to off-load the files from the site and maybe generate a little more traffic from that direction. I could have easily chosen Soundcloud except that their basic tier only allows for 300 minutes of storage, while Anchor (by Spotify) has unlimited storage from what I can see.

So, following the challenge from a friend and a subsequent decision to start posting a few pieces here and there as spoken word pieces, I have somewhat decided to keep up with this thing, as it has been a learning experience and I enjoy learning — for the most part.

One of the things I learned today is that the Podcast Player embed by WP wasn’t really meant to be a single-episode player, but a “recently published” podcast player. So, if you notice, I’ve replaced the podcast player on all the previous posts with spoken word to buttons with direct links to the pieces.

I’m not sure that’s the best solution, but it is a solution.

I’ve also learned that their stats at Anchor might be a bit unreliable, and don’t match up with other stats I’m following. Not that I want to get hung up on numbers, but I like to kind of know where the hits and misses are.

I’ve explored Audacity and using Reason 10 for recording. Both have their positives and negatives. In the end, I like the flexibility that Reason gives me to add background music (Anchor has the option, but without any control and most of it is quite awful — not saying my own stuff is better). In the end, Reason will give me more options, but I might bump back to Audacity for “quick and dirty” recordings — Reason works fine, but requires intermediate steps and I end up using Audacity anyway to transfer the piece to MP3, seeing as Reason doesn’t have the license to commercially redistribute the MP3 codex (Audacity is freeware, and I think that’s how they avoid the fees for redistributing the codex).

While today’s post has some more music/sound effects, I’m probably going to lean away from that in the future. It just takes too much time for even the most basic of backgrounds. Then again, I hate the dead space, so I’m not 100% how I want to solve that.

If any of my readers wants to save themselves the effort of making my mistakes and need casual advice on how to do these things yourself (I am not a professional), let me know — I’m always willing to help where I can.

Photo by Tommy Lopez on Pexels.com

urðr galdr/

©2021 Michael Raven

shadowed --
i look to mother moon
for her cold comfort to
chill this burning ache
throbbing so in my chest
i think i may have been
dreaming too hard
under her bright
autumn light

lunacy, some might say

and
perhaps...

perhaps
they are
right

spellbound:
is this aptrburdhr rebirth
cast in the cloth of
you me and these?
because this is what
i dreamt
hanging under the
gallows tree

i would shed an eye
for the eternal you
to know those mysteries
those things
merely misplaced
if my dreaming was
true

The spoken word version can be found by following this link if the podcast player does not appear in this post (as it may not, if using WordPress reader to view my posts).

Photo by Tejas Prajapati on Pexels.com

skin pop //

This is a spoken word version of a previously posted piece. Follow the link for the original poem.

This time, I played with background “music” for the recording, although it is more for mood-setting than to be listened to as music. This recording was made using Reason 10 and a few virtual instruments with some digital reverb mixed much lighter than the previous experiments — just enough to get rid of the dead-room feel.

Photo by Dominika Roseclay on Pexels.com

orchid //

©2021 Michael Raven

falling into this --
this tumble gliding on wings
snared by cinnamon-sun hair
caught in a dancing
sunlight cascade
framing those
oft-bit lips

draping
autumn-stained garlands
around naked ivory kissed
guided hands leading
to secret gardens
through those locked
wrought gates
to share a single
fragile orchid
blooming
within

Photo by Olga on Pexels.com

Experimentation, again

©2021 Michael Raven

Some of you made have had a bit of déjà vu if you had visited earlier and seen the original post for “familiar” posted this morning and then came back around again and saw the same post title with some minor differences: namely “[with audio]” appended to the title and a quick little intro added.

And, if that wasn’t enough, some joker posted it with a standard WP audio embed and, not 20 minutes later, changed it up with an Anchor (podcasting service) embed instead. Someone ought to shoot this guy, amiright?

So here’s the thing:

I had a friend earlier today challenge me to get over my “I hate the way my voice sounds” thing and do an audio post. After all, she pointed out, I used to do spoken word back in the day and apparently it wasn’t so awful as to have the hook brought out from stage left and pull me out of my performance, or an ACME anvil drop down from the sky and accordion me — what did I have to lose? Heavy sighs ensued, as I admitted she had a point. I wanted to do something on the shorter side to get the vocal cords back into practice, so I chose to add audio to “familiar” (forgetting I had one of them there foreign words in it that I had no idea at all how to pronounce correctly).

Well, I’m not one for doing things half-ways when it comes to recording and, while I didn’t pull out the big guns with Reason Studios, I did decide to not record it on my phone and repost that way. So I pulled out the old microphone I used back in my music days, did a butt-tonne of troubleshooting to get it to work on my desktop (and I really can’t tell you what finally made it work), pulled out Audacity (which usually only use for mixdowns to MP3 from less lossy formats) and started recording. I wanted some ‘verb and, in retrospect, I think it was a bit too much on the wet mix, but it’ll have to do. And then there is the normalization, which I wish I had known about with I did a few other pieces you can find here because it works much better than Reason’s tool.

Then came the sticky thing of learning how to say a foreign word without totally butchering it — we’ll see if people disagree with that assessment.

Then, I played with WPs audio player. It’s not very pretty or fancy and it eats into my storage to have files stored on the server here. And so I went with trying it out on Anchor, which I had originally considered because of the lack of limits and had signed up for when I first toyed with the idea of adding spoken word, but never got around to actually trying.

But, having already posted with the WP audio player and then seeing what Anchor looked like, I decided to repost yet again with the Anchor app — it just looks all-around neater, plus gets the audio off of my server and puts it elsewhere, freeing up space.

I’m not sure — my friend may have created a monster. I had too much fun (even if I still don’t care for the sound of my own voice) to just let it go at one post.

Yes. I like studio work that much.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the repost as much as I enjoyed farting around with it tonight. I expect there will be more unless someone get me banned from Anchor for tasteless poetry spoken by a man with a hideous voice…

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

familiar/ [with audio]

This is a revision, now with an experimental audio track with the spoken word version of the piece published earlier today. My apologies if I pronounce fylgja incorrectly, as I am primarily an English speaker who like to experiment with words from across the spectrum of languages. I was challenged by a friend to give my readers a chance to hear me do spoken words versions of at least some of my poems. I’m out of practice at such things, so understand that I’m tweaking the system and likely need some time behind me to get back into the swing of things.

Audio was recorded on an audio-technica ATM27HE microphone using Audacity software and plugins (for those people into such things). Reverb is the plugin included in the software “small room dark”. I think it might be a little too “big” still.

©2021 Michael Raven

time to break open bones
scrape out old marrow
fill those dry things
with something else
let carrion consume
that rotten filth
my fylgja riding me
revels in such stuff