Music Chronicles 7: Drip Drip & Fan

I wanted, at the beginning, to sound like English New Wave from the eighties, but I added some percs, and a piano, and I lost everything about this, so there.

I tried many ways to sing the words, then the “Watch it drip, wait for it”, and failed. This is why I whispered all of it.

Really, I like to destroy the usual structure of a song. This is why it doesn’t verse/chorus. This is why I changed the beat in 1’44”, mutation, towards a “walking thing”.

It’s again about “modulation in the 4th bar”, and I think the reason this song exists is in the two guitars in the end.

I used old picture of my mom’s garden in the rain.

Eventail means “fan”, it’s a very complex poem from Mallarmé, which is really funny to interpret. Again, the usual song structure is melted. I added some tunnels with rockets of sound, which lead to this synth sound I love.

I tripled my voice I had to sing very low. The end brings a sweet chaos.

Same garden, another year: rain, birds, insects.

Eventail

De frigides roses pour vivre
Toutes la même interrompront
Avec un blanc calice prompt
Votre souffle devenu givre

Mais que mon battement délivre
La touffe par un choc profond
Cette frigidité se fond
En du rire de fleurir ivre

A jeter le ciel en détail
Voilà comme bon éventail
Tu conviens mieux qu’une fiole

Nul n’enfermant à l’émeri
Sans qu’il y perde ou le viole
L’arôme émané de Méry.

Google translates:

Fan

Frigid roses to live

All the same will interrupt

With a white prompt chalice

Your breath turned to frost

But let my beat deliver

The tuft by a deep shock

This frigidity melts

In the laughter of blooming drunk

To throw the sky in detail

Here is a good fan

You are better suited than a vial

No one enclosing with emery

Without losing or violating it

The aroma emanating from Méry.

Someone tries this:

Fan
Belonging to Méry Laurent

Frigid roses to exist
all alike will interrupt
your frosted breath
with a quick white calyx
but should my fluttering liberate
the whole bunch with a profound shock
that frigidity will melt into the laughter
of a rapturous blossoming
see how like a good fan
you are better than a phial
at carving the sky into fragments
no flask could be stoppered
without losing or violating
the fragrance of Méry.

New Progressive Albums I found

Yesterday I needed complex powerful music. It’s a kind of drug for the musician’s mind!

This I went to ProgArchives to find the, well, “Best Albums 2020” :

http://www.progarchives.com/top-prog-albums.asp?syears=2020

Voilà.

From Symphonic Prog to Progressive Metal, from Rock Progressivo Italiano, Neo-Prog or “Canterbury Scene” (which I love!)…

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Wobbler (hello Norway!) has all of it, bass like Squire (Yes), fractured building, fast organs, mellotrons and all, but I don’t feel the delicious thing along my back. See by yourself:

Logos (Italian Prog music, which is a genre!) is much more colorful, sharper. Harmonies are interesting, sounds are surprising (this sax!). Here’s a track:

Scardust is constantly playing with the “too much”, navigating between broadway-like choruses to growling metal. It’s strong and exhausting! But Break The Ice catches me:

The Reticent is too much Post-Metal for me, and Pendragon (I had their first EP!) too clean.

I LOVE what Mister Robot does to me. I listen and it’s “Nope!” but I can’t help go on listening. They’re ridiculous but they’re good. Childish but tasty. Plastic but delicious.

Zopp:

Etc. Have fun!

Music Chronicles 6: Tricky Creatures & The Old London Voice

I went on using poems for music (do you have some for me I could use?). Today: Verlaine!

Léandre le sot,
Pierrot qui d’un saut
De puce
Franchit le buisson,
Cassandre sous son
Capuce,

Arlequin aussi,
Cet aigrefin si
Fantasque
Aux costumes fous,
Ses yeux luisants sous
Son masque,

— Do, mi, sol, mi, fa, —
Tout ce monde va,
Rit, chante
Et danse devant
Une belle enfant
Méchante

Dont les yeux pervers
Comme les yeux verts
Des chattes
Gardent ses appas
Et disent : « A bas
Les pattes ! »

— Eux ils vont toujours ! —
Fatidique cours
Des astres,
Oh ! dis-moi vers quels
Mornes ou cruels
Désastres

L’implacable enfant,
Preste et relevant
Ses jupes,
La rose au chapeau,
Conduit son troupeau
De dupes ?

Colombine

English Translation here: https://www.oxfordlieder.co.uk/song/5112

Again, a walking bass. I love them! Dong dong dong dong dong. I tried to add less mechanical music. I added string chords, but interrupted them sometimes. I tried another style for the end, a long stroll of bass string going nowhere…

The pictures I took along a long walk strangely fit the song: creatures. Birds. Drawings. Things.

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For this one I found an old voice from the London docks, with a bell, announcing something.

The game is the Moby one: add drums, JP, bass, strings, saxes and whistles. Then it’s a puzzle around this loop: adding things/cutting things. I should chorus but nope. I should double the bass with somme upper pianos… maybe.

I stole some pictures to clip it.

Have a great day!

Music Chronicles 5: The Past & The Little Queens

I’m casual, I know. When I compose I don’t finish. I draft. I need a producer!

Also, I sing and I shouldn’t. But well, I’m the only singer around 🙂

Also, I build films with a few pictures and the Ken Burns effect. I don’t want to finish, it’s boring. Voilà.

These days I have fun with poems.

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“Aimez-vous le passé ?” means “Do you love the past?”. I googletranslated the poem for you:

Do you like the past And dream of stories Evocative With erased outlines?

Old rooms Widows of steps Who smell all low Iris and amber;

The pallor of the portraits, The worn-out relics That the dead have kissed, Dear, I would like

May they be dear to you, And talk to you a little Of a dusty heart And full of mystery.

“Veuve de pas” : widowed of steps, meaning “deprived of people walking in these rooms”.

I found pictures I took in Cabourg ten years ago in Normandy (yes it’s near the D-Day beaches), hop, iMovied.

The music is an exercise about obsession: there’s no change, no chorus, it “walks” all the time.

I wrote the bass after hearing “In the Army Now” by Status Quo : dong, dong, dong, dong, adding a tatatatata guitar over it.

The game was to weaveknit chords under this walk. I added little dissonnances in the piano, it’s a bit irritating for ears and all – but now so much. Here it is:

Aimez-vous le passé

Aimez-vous le passé
Et rêver d’histoires
Évocatoires
Aux contours effacés ?

Les vieilles chambres
Veuves de pas
Qui sentent tout bas
L’iris et l’ambre ;

La pâleur des portraits,
Les reliques usées
Que des morts ont baisées,
Chère, je voudrais

Qu’elles vous soient chères,
Et vous parlent un peu
D’un coeur poussiéreux
Et plein de mystère.

Paul-Jean Toulet, Chansons

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I wanted to try another one, so I googled “dance in poetry” to find this “Dansez, Petites Reines” (Dance, Little Queens). I found a possible translation (I did not use the whole poem) which changes things a bit:

THE GRANDFATHER'S SONG. 

Dance, little Queens, 

All in a ring ; 
Loves to Lasses 

Sweet kisses will bring. 

Dance, little Madcaps, 

All in a ring ; 
The crabbed old mistress 

Will grumble and fling. 

Dance, little beauties, 

All in a ring ; 
The birds will applaud you 

With clapping of wing. 

Dance, little Fairies, 

All in a ring ; 
With corn-flower garlands 

And fair as the spring. 

Dance, little women, 

All in a ring ; 
Each Beau to his Lady 

Says some pretty thing. 

The game here was to alternate a crappy vintage sound and a more luxurious one in the choruses (voices and instruments). I had fun with the bass line, and linked parts with a golden trumpet.

I found images with ducks for YouTube, because why not, right?

Here’s a remastered version: https://soundcloud.com/user-894673824/dansez-les-petites-reines-24-04-2021-14-54-mastered

Good day!

Dansez, les petites reines,
Toutes en rond.
Les amoureux sous les frênes
S’embrasseront.

Dansez, les petites folles,
Toutes en rond.
Les bouquins dans les écoles
Bougonneront.

Dansez, les petites belles,
Toutes en rond.
Les oiseaux avec leurs ailes
Applaudiront.

Dansez, les petites fées,
Toutes en rond.
Dansez, de bleuets coiffées,
L’aurore au front.

Dansez, les petites femmes,
Toutes en rond.
Les messieurs diront aux dames
Ce qu’ils voudront.

Some 2020 Pearls of Avant-Garde

I explored, methodically, the Quietus Top 100 Albums of 2020 (https://thequietus.com/articles/29302-the-quietus-top-100-albums-of-2020-norman-records), and found a couple of things I could love.

( thequietus.com ) is a magazine about intelligent music, movies and some other arts like graphic novels or architecture. It’s typically the chest-like website, full of possible discoveries.

Many (most of the) musics I don’t like here, but it’s always interesting, even when it’s awful or ridiculous. My brain is playing like a kid with colorbricks, analyzing how the artists push the cork a little or much too far.

Even the texts, the critics, are cool. Vocabulary gives a hint for each musician. “an album designed to both inspire calm as well as disrupt it” makes me want to listen.

What I selected here is, I agree, the less avant-garde possible. My pearls, emeralds and nuggets come often like this, digging, finding

I’ve been amazed by Hen Ogledd (26), who begins like Robert Wyatt then develop a… splendid pleasure of making music (I’m probably influenced by his great eyes). The most adorable guy of the list?

Katie Gately (49 )surprised me with her Waltz. I loved, immediately, the way she marked the first beat of this dance. Then, it’s a crescendo, weaved with surprises, sounds, breaks. It puts her into the territory of Björk, Kate Bush, even Dead Can Dance. Lyricism! Modulation under a bridge, responding voices, changes, this climbing. Fascinating, right?

I found another clip (same musician), which frightens me a bit more, but the clip is so fantastic that I had to keep listening. She explores limits, between pleasure and chaos. This music is like… growing like she’s alive.

I listened the broken things of Malibu Liquor Store, the swarming The Homesick (try The Pawing), the floating pedal steel guitar or Susan Alcorn, the acid synth loops of Lorenzo Senni, the rotating sickness of Sex Swing, the laments of Keeley Forsyth, Nadine Shah, the strange clips of UKAEA, the silly repeats of Horse Lords.

Then Memnon Sa (76 ), an insisting music with synths. Simple and haunted.

Mary Lattimore (35)? Quiet, but neve too much (which is always hard to achieve). Try Ana Roxanne too.

Thanks for reading!

Next to this I found two names you can explore : Chapelier Fou & Olafur Arnalds. Good day!

“Intentions and Elegance”: Overthinking about Art

I read a good book about a… harpsichord player. I found ideas. Here they are.

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The easy question is “What is it?”. Another question is “What does that mean?”, therefore “What does the artist want to say to us?”. This is a totally higher question, right? Instead of the work, you ask about the artist’s mind, and their will. Does art need a meaning, after all?

Where should we, instead of focusing of things in front of us, focus on what the maker wants?

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If you are a Bach (b 1685) specialist and you want to study or play Mozart (b 1762), you have to make a jump in time and music, and Mozart will appear very modern. But if you come from 19th Century, it will feel like a loss.

From where will you come, to study this or that?

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If you’re enthusiastic, do you master your work?

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Does elegance need the existence of another person? What about the idea telling that real elegance consists in not getting noticed. And Balzac says that to reveal some economy of means is inelegant.

It’s from Latin “elegans”: who knows how to choose.

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A pretentious simplicity, does that exist?

Goethe : When an intention is too visible, it irritates

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Who plays – and how – the tango of strength/delicacy?

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Purity of the sensation, or of the landscape?

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When you touch the harpsichord‘s key, the note appears, that simple. There’s no possibilities of ppp or fff. It’s “the note”, always the same intensity, it’s a yes or no thing.

Without any possibity of nuances, of touch, the subtleties must come from elwhere: the phrases.

Where else do we have this?

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Deep understanding” and at the same time, “spontaneity” (or precision/passion). Both. Same time.

Where? Sex? Conversation? Acting? What kind of skill is this?

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When a rule emerges, its exceptions appear at the same time.

In French: “Déroger à la règle” (The English “to contravene” and “to infringe” sound “to go against”, to fight, but the French one sounds “to take a hidden door”, to depart from, to invent my own path).

An artist who knows enough rules to depart from them: to explore/invent.

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What is a work of art with simultaneity of significations? Sorrow and courage at the same time; violence and sweetness; pride and vanity. What kind of richness is that?

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To admit” (it’s the same in French, admettre) is a curious verb: to confess, to acknowledge, to allow entry, to accept validity, to place, to permit, to conceide or recognize.

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A style emerges, how?

  1. Origin.
  2. Development.
  3. Blossoming.
  4. Refinement.
  5. Saturation.

Where? Examples?

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When can’t we prevent aggravation (or stop worsening)?

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Baudelaire: The restless crowd, whipped on by pleasure

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Do you produce differently (by other means) or something else?

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Is the existence of the past Law, or Force?

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Acknowlegment or recognition? Even gratitude, if you push?

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Which one is the most interesting? Beauty created by nature, or beauty created by men?

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Could you go that far, without the resistance of it?

Thanks for reading!

And what about Japanese Post Rock?

It is the moment to explore Japanese Post Rock because why not.

So what is “Post Rock”? Let’s Wiki:

Post-rock is a form of experimental rock characterized by a focus on exploring textures and timbre over traditional rock song structures, chords, or riffs. Post-rock artists are often instrumental, typically combining rock instrumentation with electronics.

Good! The tool here is easy:

  • Find a field you don’t know at all
  • Explore a micro-part of it

It can be Hungarian jewelry, or Italian photography, and then you choose a century, or a single artist…

The game here is to listen to things, randomly, like a kid picks up shells on a shore. Here we go:

A Picture of Her is a bit boring with their jazz-rock, technical and with a always-the-same guitar sound.

Anoice: Quiet music with piano, sometimes a little dissonant, sometimes a little “japanish”. Climates, like sad movie music. Some violin. I like it, and some colors are interesting, but… too shy.

Behind the Shadow Drops: simplistic naive melancholia is terrible, right? It is! There’s a laziness, here. Dumb ideas stretched for too long. Not a single harmonic spark. Shame!

Floating in Space has the same problem, but it’s a little better. Too much sugar, and no colors. I couldn’t find a single good track.

Gargle is mildly more interesting, because of the accordion. But, well, sigh…

Kukangendai is Math Rock (a subdivision of Post Rock, more complex). This music is pulsating, it’s like watching fabric, or machines. I find it boring but interesting. Brain, brain, brain. No body.

Lite is much, much better. They’re good, fast, intellingent, complex :

Mono seems the most prolific band on this list. Plenty of albums, between prog rock and film music. They take their time, and they like big badaboum crescendoes. It sounds sometimes like Joe Hisaishi. It’s too conventional for me, but many people love them! Here’s a best of :

Mouse on the Keys, two keyboards and a drummer! More dynamic, more jazz, I like it with a but, always. A bit too… disheveled, maybe?

Nabowa? Cool! :

Ovum seems to like loud music and electric guitars, hmmm.

Qujaku, dark, intense, too much.

Toe, math rock, it knits! :

World’s End Girlfriend, the lone young genius type. First album, 15 years old. Devilish energy in the 1st vid, and a cool waltz to finish this page.

Thanks for reading! What did you like here?

(For this last one wait until 5:20 for a cloud of fantastic harmonies)

What did I shazam recently?

What did I shazam recently?

Most of the time, I don’t listen to my Shazams afterward. I did it because of “an element”, a sound, an idea, something which made my eyebrow upping up. If I “like” the YouTube film, I’ll find them back one day. Maybe.

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S. Decoster, because it was the end credit music of a great quirky French movie called “Perdrix” (“The Bare Necessity” in English). Nothing great here but I Shazamed it though, probably because the movie was hilarious and balanced.

The loopy “Je veux être à vous” means “I want to be yours”, BUT as you know, French has two “you”, the you for the persons you know well, and the you for the persons you don’t. Thus “I want to be you” with the “polite you” is charged differently, because it’s adressed to someone you don’t know from a long time.

Poltrock, Mute #2, navigates in interesting waters. Quiet piano music can easily be sugary – here it’s not because of the modulations of course :

Bon Entendeur, Basta Cosi, a sound, and a singer who does not sing but speaks.

Portugal The man, Fell it Still, the groove?

Lana Del Rey, For Free, a Joni Mitchell cover??! The song is splendid, and Del Rey has a good idea to sing un-reverbed, it whispers in ears. It modulated all along like smoke. Joni’s version stays much better of course. Here are some of the lyrics:

I slept last night in a good hotel
I went shopping today for jewels
The wind rushed around in the dirty town
And the children let out from the schools

I was standing on a noisy corner
Waiting for the walking green
Across the street he stood and he played real good
On his clarinet, for free

Nobody stopped to hear him
Though he played so sweet and high
They knew he had never been on their TV
So they passed his music by

Sting, Mad about you. Great song, right? Production is strange, it’s like… rustling, quivering:

Mahsa Vahdat & Mighty Sam McClain, Ambassador of Hearts.

Naïssam Jalal, Un sourire au cœur.

Duran Duran, Save a Prayer, and old thing I listen today with new ears, the bass line, the attemps for vocal harmonies, the chorus which climbs then falls back, modulations like stairs.

Mansfield. TYA, Ni morte ni connue, for the “old French new-wave” sound. Neither dead neither well-known.

Celeste, Love is back, because the vintage sound, the smiling desire to compose a similar base, and the broken Amy-like voice.

Colman Jones, Kiev, a dreamy walk in an unknown city under lukewarm clouds:

Ophélie Gaillard, Dos Gardenias, makes me ask someone to dance in the dark:

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(…)

Have a nice day! Je vous souhaite une très belle journée.

The Binomial Tango

This little article is about the fact that between two artists you often choose the “obvious” one, but sometimes you come back to the choice and pick up the other one, because… Let’s see.

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When I was 30 I watched Fellini‘s movies in awe, with a smile, and a question mark above my head. He looked like a clever silly artist, full of exaggerations and weird images, cf Satyricon. And I also watched Antonioni‘s movies, like Eclisse. This guy seemed much more serious, full of clever questions about incommunicability in couples and deep thoughts about the sense of life.

More than 20 years later, I still adore Antonioni and I often watch his movies, but I prefer, by far, Fellini today. I explored his worlds, read a lot about his work, analysis, and interviews, and I realized the… richness of all of it. The baroque, the myths, the fragmented aspects of reality. It’s vast, clever, sensitive…

So, I see the “obvious” choice in many things, today. Because we change and we age, of course, we go deeper. We understand deeper the idea of efforts, which lead to extensive discoveries.

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I have another example with the double-headed Beatles, Paul McCartney and John Lennon. I read a lot about them, I listened and dismantle their music. And of course, I preferred Lennon! He’s stronger, takes more risk, he’s the fool who wrote the Walrus (while McCartney wrote Yesterday). Lennon is spicy, Macca is sweet. Voilà.

But the more you dig, you realize that McCartney is stronger, is a better musician. He wrote Chaos and Creation in the Backyard, which is a splendid masterpiece, very quietly though.

So I always loved Brahms, who is strong, heavy, very Taurus, with earthian symphonies and concertos, and I didn’t like Schubert, whose music is closer to Mozart. But today Schubert’s Great is unreachable. I eventually found out the nuggets, the colors, the subtleties in this…

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The structure here is simple:

We often have choices between similar things. One seems obvious, and we choose this one. But sometimes we reconsider things and we bend over the other one, to find out that its treasures were maybe hidden, too subtle, or complex/difficult. It’s a tango!

What are your examples?

Thanks for reading!

Music Chronicles 4: Little White Behind, and a Sad Violonist

I heard some music from Brazil, but I did not want to learn about their rhythms or about their scales, thus I wrote stupid lyrics about a guy in love with a contrary of a Brazilian girl : slow, pale, with a small behind. Found a beat, a big Liverpool bass (because why not) and played with bars where the 2nd bar is dissonnant.

I added “my idea” of an Elton John’s piano, sang (4 layers!) in Portuguese (like a Spanish cow), added a storm, a crowd, whistles, and voilà!

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I saw this violonist, walking, a sad Hungary figure, on a Sabine Weiss photography. I wanted to build a Tom Waits’ like waltz, a slow one. I sing very badly, so I added this sad harmonica, a crazy fly-like Chinese violin, and silly noises of a dog and cars. The waltz itself is broken, not following the 3/4 at times.

Totally drafty, but I posted it eventually. Non Finito.

Thanks for reading!

Music Chronicles 3: Silly French blursed song

I don’t know how to write a song, therefore I wrote one!

I wanted to talk about Pop Figures collectors. The title is “Faut qu’j’aille en ville” (must go to town).

I must go to town to buy my figure it’s a limited edition, etc.

I added silly voices, noises and whistles to this reggae-like “thing” based, again, on transposition.

My pleasure was to disturb the “idea of a song”, breaking the normal structure, adding random chaos in the end, putting the chorus in no matter what places.

Primitivism is an energy you can insufflate in things. It comes from prehistoricness, silliness, childhood, savageness.

One little jab (or two) of untamed elements.

Have fun. Thanks for reading!

Music Chronicles 2: “Déguisée” – the dress the night the house before the ocean

The sea, the waves in the night, Pacific. A tall woman, in an evening dress, solitary. It’s all blue-gray.

So, I wanted to write a song, but I’m not a lyricist, and I’m not a singer. I tried many things, then I made it an instrumental.

It was made to be “De Façon Déguisée”, in disguise. For Dominique A.

A slow dance, with a big pensive bass, marimbas in echo, brushed drums and a mattress of strings.

For chorus I wanted to add an… irritation. Thus I added a too-loud snare drum, an insisting piano, like an itching.

She dances alone, therefore I added flutes, and doubled the marimbas with a sound on the left.

But maybe she sleeps now. It stops. Birds in the morning patio give her the sun.

Music Chronicles 1: “Sharp Bent Dervish”, or how to weave on one note only

Hey!

I’m having fun composing music on GarageBand. I draft little things to get used to the interface and tools.

For this one, I chose a limit, the “one note only“.

I struggled a bit to find a dry sample of the Art of Noise “Moments in Love”, but… I found it.

It is my note, like a synth-voice, “AAAH”. There’s like silver in it. I like it.

I’ll just repeat it, like a broken machine, a breathe maybe… Ahh Ahh Ahh…

Four bars, strings, and a cringy modulation in the last one (of course). Then, well, I loop, I weave!

Strings (see the ##?):

The bass:

I like the idea of a loop, a non-developping “machine”, something like a little robot dancing on a spot.

Do you like it?

Have a great day!

What did I shazam recently?

What did I shazam recently? Hmm let’s see…

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For this one I know: the immediate modulation (on “from by bedside”)! I just discovered the lyrics, which are delightfully ambiguous. Why would someone say “go away from my window my door my bedside”?

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For Voyou, hmmm it’s because of the end. The guy is not afraid to wax…

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For colors, of course. YouTube Balulalow for other versions.

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I often Shazam in the Fnac store, where my colleague from the Vinyls section has fun. This one is not terrible but it gave me the “walking-dancing on it” illness.

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Because of uncertain harmonies?

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Because it searches, and climbs?

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Vectors & North Star: Chronicle 67

I love to explore Springsteen or Dylan, though I really don’t like their music!

I tried to listen to Blonde on Blonde – I’ve been completely bored. I will try again with headphones and articles about the music, but I already know I’m not really interested, because I find it harmonically lazy. I need strange chords to trigger my pleasure!

Nevertheless, when I have a huge book about these guys on my lap, I feel like a child in front of a toy chest. I love to read about what they did, how they did it, and why. Intentions. Attempts. Codes. Changes. Etc.

oOOo

I found this draft, for this blog, a sentence: “She’s organized and he’s messy, but, and other positive “buts””. Haha! I don’t remember what it was about! The “Positive Buts” (one “t”, please). So what is it about? Complementary characters? A need for balance?

oOOo

Ordered a microphone for my Macintosh. A USB one. I’ll music this year, voilà.

oOOo

Poe’s Law is “Poe’s law is an adage of Internet culture stating that, without a clear indicator of the author’s intent, it is impossible to create a parody of extreme views so obviously exaggerated that it cannot be mistaken by some readers for a sincere expression of the views being parodied.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poe%27s_law

oOOo

I also wrote (or found) this: “The world’s most faithful and unreliable friend” (oh), near to “The North Star. You can navigate by it.

I wonder if, when one is creative, if they have a North Star. I like the metaphor! The idea of Muse (someone is there for you, even an “idea” of them). The Golem (a figure you invent from clay), who is like a statue you work for, an archetype, a friendly aim.

The North Star is a landmark and a point, you draw a vector from your point to this other point. Direction. But also a light, right? Maybe a sign? Glow, Glim, Glimmer, glimmering (for a reason).

The watcher needs it, he’s thankful, he smiles, he travels, thanks to the North Star.

oOOo

I found Honorary Astronaut, a great little song with surprises each minute. Had to explore a bit before finding it’s a lateral group from The Dear Hunter, plenty of music to discover, like this one hour long “ACT IV: Rebirth in Reprise”, which is like someone says in the comments: “Indie Prog Orchestral Rock”.

Then I found Hold Salted Wind from Einar Stray Orchestra, from Norway (again). This music gets my attention immediatly: harmonies, doubled voice, organ, drama, some dissonances, surprises, broken structure.

Voilà, pour finir :

Thans for reading!

Complex Water vs Simple Delights

Found this idea while listening to many new Progressive Rock tracks. From oldies to new things, I listened to a dozen albums (it’ll be another article), until something materializes

…between four “poles”, inside a square, showing me what I seek in this music.

ONE

The first pole is Esthesis. A very clean sound, changes, interesting instruments. But there’s a weakness, a strange one: chords and harmonies are static, and they are… simple. And if they change, it’s to come back immediately into “simple”.

It’s quiet, pleasant, harmless, it’s “simple water”.

TWO

The second pole is Dream Theater. Take any track. It’s fast, powerful, always changing, fireworky (listen loud!). But they build nothing! Watch the drummer…

It’s “complicated water”. No taste, bland, nothing-music, only energy. Technicians virtuosity, “things”…

THREE

The third pole is Fish on Friday. Suddenly more… comfortable. Much more quiet, like the first group, almost bland. But, like in the last Pink Floyd albums, they know something about giving pleasure harmonically.

It’s a good little thing. Like a petit four.

FOUR

The fourth pole is Flower Kings. A 27-minutes piece where they try to build something. Forget the nincompoopy lyrics, go to 20’20”, and watch them building something. They have pleasure! The bassist knows how to wait or accelerate. The drummer is present (instead of pattering like an idiot). And at 23′, the infinite modulante Puccini-esque crescendo gives me goosebumps.

Well this is a square, a four-points machine, a structure. You can study poetry or photography, love or sex, anything with that.

  1. Simple bland?
  2. Complex boring?
  3. Simple tasty?
  4. Complex tasty?

Each one has advantages! A good glass of water is great. Dancing on big DJ music is cool. Enjoying a complex whisky in winter is perfect. Having a 6 hours conversation with someone who likes it is fantastic.

But everywhere, a little tenderness, OK?

Merry Christmas, thanks for reading!

Complex Tasty “too much too much more more I like it” example:

Risky suites of chords (and how to get them) ?

I downloaded French magazines like “Best of Music 2016“, and I dig, je creuse, through torrents or YouTube. I trash everything (rolling my eyes), but, well, I keep digging.

There’s a very lazy Radiohead album (A Moon Shaped Pool), an “I see what you’re doing, sillies” with rolled-out vowels I pfffed all along. But there’s this one: Burn the Witch, propelled by unstable harmonies, I found it… interesting (I try to forget the rolled out vowels). It floats in some uncertainties.

So there’s a lack, everywhere, I think, in the pop-rock field, of a producer saying: “No, dear, this is not good enough”.

This morning I listened to Paul McCartney’s Chaos and Creation in the Backyard, which is curiously entirely good. It was produced by Nigel Godrich (the, hmmm, Radiohead producer), who was tough enough to fight the myth, to push and jostle the singer:

According to McCartney, Godrich was at times blunt in his appraisal of McCartney’s songs-in-progress during the making of Chaos and Creation in the Backyard:

“Nigel… refused to allow me to sing songs that he didn’t like, which was very cheeky of him.”

Ah ah! I like this! Well, today (and then), the whole profession says it’s a masterpiece, an instant classic.

So I played the game of listening to the previous album and the next, entirely, and hmmmm, nope, it’s not that good, by far (but there’s one exception, a song named : “I do”).

I know exactly what Godrich did. Because what he got in “Backyard” is… harmony complexity (and surprises), which come from risky suites of chords and the subsequent modulations he has to make to follow).

Cf Friends to Go, very John Barry-esque (and oh, the lyrics!)…

This is such a good lesson. Good things appear when sometimes… we need someone we trust to say: “Hey, silly: not like that!”. Cheeky but lovely, right?

How do we find someone like that? Someone we trust enough? And more: when do we need this “coaching”? What kind of “producer” relationship is it? A superior? A lover? A Friend? A collaborator? A “push-me-out-of-my-comfort-zone” guy? What if we need this and we don’t know it?

Have a great day!

“OK, that’s good, why?” and how we look into it.

What do you listen to in a song?

  • Melodies, harmony, structure, voices, bass, guitars, keyboards, drums, originality, energy, lyrics, production?

What do you watch in a photography or a painting?

  • Colors, details, meaning, characters, originality, lines, atmosphere, size, composition?

What do you watch in a book?

  • Progression, story, characters, style, words, originality, phrases?

What do you watch in a movie?

  • Scenario, editing, characters, frames, camera work, action, sense of place, composition, music?

And in architecture, poetry, marketing?

It’s not exactly how we “watch” something, but how we stop in front of something and try to understand where the pleasure comes from. A little bit more like:

“OK that’s good, why? – let’s look into it”.

My choices upstairs are bolded. Lyrics are probably important when I discover a track, BUT I always try to understand the structure, I listen to the bass player, and harmony progressions and changes. More than melodies, or the song’s energy.

In front of a painting that stops me, I want to know “what did the painter want?”. Same from photography, or movies. I dig into (or try to imagine) how the artist dealt with the audience.

So, well, it’s a matter of empathy, or structures/skeletons, of what’s hidden. Nobody listens to the bass, nor really cares about a photo’s composition. It’s all about the singer or the lead guitar, it’s all about colors and “events”.

What I choose to look into tells a lot.

Therefore I think that it is a good exercise when we meet someone, to watch and listen and ask: “What do you like in this? Why?”.

This “says” something about the person. If they are an empath or not, if they’re a thinker or not, fast or slow, surfacing or diving, heavy or light…

Thanks for reading!

The U2 Syndrome – What do you do with a bad song?

Hi! I just found this title in my big list of more than 400 article-drafts, and I loved it. So there it is. Let’s find a tool.

I probably read an interview of Bono, telling about a big “problem” with songs : What do you do with a bad song?

  • You can trash it, or just keep the bits somewhere and wait.
  • You can try to heal the song, like a doctor, finding what is wrong or ill or boring here. Ask someone maybe?
  • You can take two or three bad songs and operate a graft, transplanting ideas on others – with the secret hope that some shocks, weirdies and surprises will come out of it.
  • You can rush and be casual and make is worser… then interesting? Hmmm…
  • You can keep it like that and hope someone will love it!

These tools applies to : “What do you do with a bad …?” (book, marriage, team, president, etc).

It’s option 3 that I often choose, like for my Chronicles these days. I pile drafts, and that’s all. If I entertain someone somewhere on the planet, I’m happy, though I’m a bit sorry for my bad English.

Thanks for reading!