This past week was exciting. I got to have an old college friend, Joe Paule, record some upright/double bass for me. I hadn’t recorded a bass before, so I was guessing a little on mic placement, but it was easy enough.
I didn’t get a picture. I’m so sorry. Making everything I do marketable isn’t something I think of often.
But here’s a picture of an upright bass.
Yes, I recorded that thing.
It all turned out good. I’ve got one song I’m not quite sure what to do with. The bass in the song is all bowed except for the final instrumental outro. I wrote pizzicato (plucked) parts just to change it up a little. The plucked bass part certainly sounds more casual and folky, but it might break the context a little too much. So I copy/pasted a similar part from a different interlude to hear how it would sound bowed.
I’ll let you listen. Comment with which one you like better, and I’ll give it some consideration.
Hear’s the original plucked bass (you won’t hear bass on a phone or laptop, so use headphones or something):
And here is the same part with the bowed bass copy/pasted:
And something about this seems fundamentally bad, but there’s always the indecisive Neapolitan option:
Hmmm, this is one of those creative things I’ll just have to ponder, let settle, and see how it feels later.
Anyway, this week I’ll be finishing up my euphonium and bass trombone parts. I’m hoping to get all of my brass recording finished soon because I’m tired of practicing brass almost every day. It’s time-consuming. Like going for an hour-long jog every day. Except without the weight loss.
The other thing I’m hoping to get started on this week is the most experimental piece of the album. The working title is “Unnatural”, but maybe “Processed” or “Manmade” could be a better title. Either way, it’s all sound effects and ambiance. I’m using different nature ambiances, like wind in the leaves, thunder, rain, and other things. The song will start off listening to a few seconds of each one, and then you’ll hear the process of me taking the audio and changing it into rhythmic patterns. It gets gradually more busy and noisy, until it’s near chaos at the end.
The symbolism here is that all that man creates is originally from nature. We’ve created inventions and systems from a basis of what was provided in nature for the sake of making our own lives easier. Those things started out simple, and we were still very entwined in nature through most of human existence. Now, we have extremely complex inventions and systems (governments, corporations) that usually do their job of protecting us from the elements, yet they’re overwhelmingly complex and can themselves make life difficult to navigate. There’s a lot more to unpack on that train of thought, but I’ll leave the details to your own interpretations.
I do find it odd that the complexities we’ve invited upon ourselves have driven us to so much stress. So much so that many of us feel the need to get out of the city and go camping, or fishing, or whatever your outdoor hobby is. Other times, these stressful things drive us to being alone, seeking things that calm us down, closing our doors to keep people and any extra stress out, consequently breaking community in our neighborhoods. It’s this stressful pressure in this piece that drives the story into the search for peace.
Anyway, here’s to hoping that my experiment ends up making sense.