Cockatiel

©2022 Michael Raven

Still grooving on the whole take a short bit of time out of my day to improv a composition. We’ll see how long that lasts before I burn out, but I am liking the stretch I’m giving to my creative muscles that’s a bit different than the writing (poetry/short story) muscles.

Here we have something more along the lines of historic music by myself (non-electronica). Muddy, phased, shoegaze rhythm guitars, overchorus’d bass, plodding drums, C-minor key and phrases melody that echoes itself with minor variation. It’s been a very long time since I wrote something along these lines and, while I was tinkering, I came up with plenty of more melody phrases to play off of if I want to pursue it further. This is more like what you’d hear in the interlude between verses. The verses themselves would be simpler on the melody elements to leave the vocals room to breathe. Not sure if I would have a chorus structure (thinking Joy Division influence, there).

I might come back to this one, as I feel it has potential.

It has a little more post-processing on it than Chinese Take-Out, but it’s still “demo” level of production; i.e., see if it sticks in my head and I want to come back to it. Some ‘verb and compression, a hint of echo, a touch of stereo.

Lemme know your thoughts. As good or better than yesterday? Or “shitcan that shit”?

About 90-105 minutes of experimentation on this one before you have what you have below. I started with nothing in mind, just grabbed a drum phrase and started dinking around.

You’ll only waste about a minute of your time listening to this one.

The Point: Ep 5 (finale)

©2022 Michael Raven

Oh my garsh. This is it. Golly. We’ve reached the stage where we are at the end of a long journey.

The final episode of The Point, as written and performed by Cherie Lynae Cabrera Suski (who also had a hand in putting the multimedia part together using some kind of magic). Art was by O’Wisp. I added some sound and stuff.

Warning: if you are the type who requires there to be trigger warnings before you consume content, you probably shouldn’t watch the following video. We accept no responsibility for any trauma you might experience by ignoring this warning and choosing to watch or listen. This is a work of mature fiction and is not intended for minors.

A couple of short notes about the parts I added. I promise — short.

I’m actually pretty proud of the music on this one, as minimalist as it sounds, it is also more complex in a number of ways. Without delving deep into the details, it is in an atypical key for me (B minor) and uses a time signature that I don’t typically use (6/8). I’ll admit, I trend towards 4/4 in 99% of the music I write, although I’ve tried to explore really atypical time signatures like 5/4 and 7/4; I did a bit of 3/4 during my Irish folk music phase, but mostly I stick to ye ol’ 4/4.

And while those things make me happy to have gotten a chance to explore and (I think) make work for me, I think I hit the background music elements best on this episode (although recorded and composed 4th in the series). I start off very minimalist and build up towards the end with subtlety (again, personal opinion, you may disagree). I ended up layering 3 pianos along with the keys, bass, guitar, and a choir voice on a synth, avoided drums almost entirely, while playing some of silence to my advantage.

Influences on this were pulled from late Joy Division, along with listening to several soundtracks from era movies, typically from the end where things are unsatisfactory resolved (instead of the Disney “everyone ends up happy” tunes).

See? Short.

I hope you enjoyed this series of collaborations. I’m probably needing a break with respect to multi-episodic multimedia BGM for a spell but, if you like what you heard, I am always interested in exploring collaborations with other writers and other types of artists. Hit me up at my about/contact page if you have an idea you’d like to explore.

The Point: Eps 1 & 2

©2022 Michael Raven

Back in late April I was doom-scrolling my Twitter feed, bored out of my noggin, when I saw a Twitter post from Cherie looking for someone to do some collaborative work. She expressed some interest and I wasn’t sure what she had in mind, so I threw out a few skill set examples to see what might appeal to her. I had considered something along the lines of what I had done with Tara Caribou last year (poetry/music) and mentioned something along those lines, as well as other methods of collaboration. Cherie tossed a couple of poems and a few short stories in my direction. When I first read The Point, it evoked memories of Blade Runner mixed with a bit of Fallout and a taste of Mad Max. I thought, well, I can try to do something post-futuristic and a bit on the ambient side of background music and maybe add in some special effects, do a bit of tweaking to clean up the background noise and boost the signal, and even out the…

Continue reading “The Point: Eps 1 & 2”

“The Point” advance release announcement

©2022 Michael Raven

Cherie has told me that the episodes will be posted via a YouTube page and I’ll get the links for these first two episodes posted sometime on Friday. There are things, listening to the first episode even now, that I am resisting the urge to go back and tweak for the music/sound production. But I have to remind myself, I was actively learning some new techniques with that and the second episode, and learning where that fine line was between promoting music and promoting the story. Still… I wish I could dial the ‘verb back a bit on Cherie’s voice.

Anyway, these first two are my least favorite. I started getting comfortable with everything around episode 3, which has a scheduled release alongside episode 4 on Friday the 19th. Episode 5 (and finale) is scheduled for release on the 26th.

Song song song

I did a bit of dabbing with songwriting today. Lost all track of time, as usually the case when I’m songwriting. I haven’t done it for a while because, as I think I’ve posted in the past, it isn’t nearly as fulfilling when there’s not someone else to bounce ideas off of, or someone with a decent voice to sing for me. I’ve gotten better with my singing skills over the years, but I’m not someone who really belongs behind a microphone and it shows when I try to ignore this fact of life and add my own vocals to my songs.

That said, it was still a nice distraction from being exhausted and grumpy because of chronic pain of one type or another. I forgot I was hurting, so intent was I at trying to get the right sound out of the software. Or, rather, out of my head and into the software.

Continue reading “Song song song”