Monday, January 25, 2010

Evolution of a full-length number two (possible live tracks too?)

LATEST NEWS: On the home front - (NOTE: The next few sentences relate to my 24-track at home and NOT StudioBallistico.) I am about to finish the keyboard parts for song 8 (roughly titled "Tricky Fingers" because it was a bitch to learn!) Songs 1 through 7's keyboard parts are done. Some of the drum tracks are also complete. My goal is to have 10 brand spankin' new songs (all tracks [keys, drums and all vocals/lyrics] completed by mid February (by "brand new" I'm talkin' "NOT including 'Feel No Evil' songs". The 5 from that EP will stay on that EP).

Now it get's REALLY exciting!! Ready?

I never actually planned on recording live with the guys I record with in the studio, but it is looking more and more like we will this March. The funny thing is - it will be "live" in the studio! (sorry to disappoint some. No live shows just yet). This "live" thing is in the fetal stages now. What I would like to do is record perhaps 3 or 4 older songs "live" in the studio and add them to the future full-length. I mean we're talkin' a possible grand total of 14 friggin' songs here folks! No lie! Not sure which 3 or 4 songs just yet (perhaps "Forever Today", "Trouble Free", "Sparkle and Shine" and "Burning"? That all depends if Erik [bass] and Dave [guitar] can have a spare bass/guitar on the side when the "tune-down" sections hit.) No tricks here. I want as little editing done as possible. That is how I have always been. When I record a keyboard part I make damn sure I truly can play through it in the most polished way possible (as if I were going to play it live the next day) prior to actually recording it. So "live" will be "live" in the sense of  "no bullshit - I'm talkin' like: "We can play these songs 'live' if we had to without a hitch." No manipulation (editing, correcting notes, blah, blah, blee) to the tracks. On top of that will be an HD video of the whole shebang! This will be our debut on YouTube and anywhere else for that matter. I am not messing around here!

Not sure when this full-length will be ready for the outside world (guessing September 2010? May put the live stuff out a lot sooner.)

So keep an eye, ear and sixth sense peeled because here we come! :~)


Thursday, January 7, 2010

India and its influence

It comes as no surprise that I found myself in India last month. Ever since I was a teen I was drawn to its people and its music. I won't delve into the trip itself. I'd rather write about how my 21- day adventure influenced my approach to music.

I heard a lot of Indian music while I was there. Most of the music was Indian pop, but every so often some Indian classical influence emerged.

Other than the fact that The Beatles were heavily influenced by it in the late 60's thanks to master sitar player Ravi Shankar (Amazingly, Ravi Shankar turns 90 this April 7th and he is still jammin'!), I honestly know very little about Indian music.

I took some incredible courses when studying at The American Conservatory of Music in Chicago (African Drumming with a Ethiopian tribe leader) and at Elmhurst College (World Music), yet nothing compared to watching a performance live in its native country.

I certainly know that Indian music has a profound affect on my emotions. No doubt there is something going on here on a much deeper level. Incorporating it into my songs comes naturally. I have been incorporating it into my music long before I went to India. ("Forever Today", "Trouble Free" and "Stargazer" definitely have this influence).

Currently I have a couple of new, Indian influenced songs on my future full-length release (postponed until the summer of 2010).

My Indian experience was amazing! I plan to share it with you through my music in the years to come. World music has always influenced me and the more I delve into it the more it is reflected in my music. So keep an ear out the next time you listen and let me know how my music influences you and what influences to hear! I would love to know! And, please - if you have any world music suggestions please share!