May 23rd! If that date seems familiar, it is, I released ‘Synaesthetic’ on May 23rd 2011. (I know, 5 years for a new album, what the hell has he been doing?) May 23rd has a couple of significant qualities, one being it is my birthday. Another being it is Bob Moog’s birthday, and that means a lot to me.
The end of May also heralds the beginning of summer, and I’m really looking forward to taking the summer off from deadlines and being cooped up inside staring at a computer screen and just having some time to NOT feel pressure.
The album should be available at at the normal places, CDBaby, Bandcamp, iTunes and Spotify but I can’t guarantee that it will be available everywhere on the release date as it takes time for things to get dispersed through the digital providers. I might do a low run of CDs, but probably not initially. No promises.
I have a preview version of ‘Forgetful Squirrels’ now posted on my Soundcloud page. This is a shortened version of an 11 1/2 minute long song. The final, final version will sound very much like this one, there is one last stage of mixing left and then the final mastering.
I like this song a lot, there are many small parts to listen to and pick apart and it is has more of a traditional song structure.
I feel like I should explain the time it is taking to finish ‘The Forest, Pt.1’. I started working on it in earnest in late 2014, when I wrote most of what is now ‘The Larch, #1 & #3’. Originally the plan was for that to be 1/2 of the album along with some other material. I was trying to focus and just get an album out as quickly as I felt comfortable with. Work proceeded nicely and I’m thrilled with the song that ‘Larch’ has become. But in late Jan 2015 I was fooling around with sounds whilst watching TV and came up with a riff that evolved into the 26 minute suite that is now ‘The Mighty Redwood’. And that piece came together pretty quickly. Now I had two 25+ minute pieces and I felt that was not the album I wanted to make, hence the decision to split the album in two. By the time I had made real progress with ‘Redwood’ it was time to start getting ready for a relatively busy summer of shows. I worked very hard at getting ‘Redwood’ ready for live work but ultimately wasn’t happy with where it was and my ability to perform it to my satisfaction. I had already been performing ‘The Larch’ live and that in itself was a new and fun way for me to perform, the introductory piece being a 98% completely live looping performance. The only playback on it was the arpeggiated bass line and simple noise/drum pattern. The rest of the performance is more live than it appears and where there is playback a lot of it is being triggered by me. I have developed a way of using Logic that is similar to Ableton Live and it was been working really well for me. Back to ‘The Forest’, around April I had to stop working on the album and focus on the upcoming gigs and rehearsing the show. So summer came, I played a couple of out of town gigs, enjoyed my summer and didn’t touch ‘The Forest’ for about 5 months. In October I played my last gig of the year and went back to work on ‘The Forest’. As can happen life sometimes get in the way of creativity and there have been some unforeseen roadblocks.
I’ve been showing remarkable discipline to not keep writing new material. I could do that all day, every day given the opportunity.
Things are moving forward, I am really happy with how things are sounding and getting closer to being finished with the music. I am eager to get the album out and maybe squeeze in some new material. The goal is to have the music finished by the end of February. I’m going on vacation and really want to not think about finishing the album while I’m away. I don’t know if I’m going to meet that goal, but at least I have a goal. I don’t expect to release it at that point, I will still need to figure out the artwork and try to have a album release gig, which means I have to learn how to play some of the songs. That is a lot of work, prepping a song to play it live. That pushes things back in to March and realistically, early April. I don’t expect it taking until May, which is good because summer is less productive time for me as I want to be outside playing. I love my tools and toys, but I spend 6 months of the year waiting for the other 6 months and I mean to enjoy as much of the warm weather as I can.
While what I really want to do is put together a quick album of Berlin School music what I plan on doing is putting more energy into trying to get some film work. I’d love to do soundtracks and think I would be good at it.
I’m still going to attempt two albums this year. I’ve certainly got enough material already and whatever I might start writing. I expect to get to work on ‘Forest Pt2’ next fall with the goal on a winter release. We’ll see.
I’m having a ton of fun working on music and am as excited about it as I have ever been, which given the 30+ years I have been working on making music is a wonder position to be in. I think I am getting better all of the time and so want to share what I’m doing with people.
That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.
Work continues on ‘The Forest Pt.1’. I’ve been adding stuff to some songs, taking stuff away from other songs, cleaning up the dense mixes and trying to get things sounding as good as they can.
I’m happy with the work I’m getting done. Part 4 of ‘The Mighty Redwood’ turned a corner this weekend and I am enjoying the way it sounds. There is still some writing left to do on that one, otherwise the writing of the album is basically done. The rest is additional production on one piece and then a lot of mixing and getting happy with how the whole thing sounds.
And the artwork
And figuring out how to play some of the songs live.
Work is continuing on the album, I’m happy with how it is going. I’ve been focusing on completing ‘The Mighty Redwood 1-4’, which will be 1/2 of the album. It is a bit of a balancing act because one of the goals for this album was to not spend toooooo much time and making the perfect be the enemy of the good. But I do have a certain minimum standard of quality and what I will release as a proper album. It’s going well, I am eager to get this out, then work on the next one and then finally write some new music, which is my favorite part of being musical.
Here is my performance of ‘The Larch #1 and #3’ at Electro-Music 2015. It was a fun event and I saw/heard some great music.
Whew, three gigs in a month combined with some computer problems and, oh yea, life have made for a very busy Shane recently. With all of the shows I’ve had over the summer I’ve basically gotten no work done on the album and I am eager to get back to it. Now with the weather turning shitty (I hate fall, hate it) I will be able to justify being inside more and spending too much time in front of a computer. I’m probably done with gigs for the year.
I am really looking forward to getting the album done and moving on to ‘The Forest, pt:2’. And then I want to try to get some collaborations done. Plus I already have ides for the next two albums after that. None that includes the ideas I have for perhaps getting back in to music with vocals.
Life is pretty good.
The recent Blood Super Moon brought back the memory of a song I wrote about the death of River Phoenix called ‘Shooting Stars’. I wrote the lyrics the night of another lunar eclipse shortly after he died. I was sampling from the movie Sneakers and was thinking a lot about him. You can hear it on my Soundcloud Page.
I’m looking forward to seeing you all at my gig on Oct 1 at The Rock Shop. I had posted I was on at 9:30, this has been changed to 9:00 so don’t be late. Hopefully I won’t be!
Funny story, last week I was performing at Warper Party and thought I was on at 9:30. Ok, cool, I’ll get to the place at 9:00. Well….I was supposed to be on at 9:00. I’ve never set my gear up faster and most of it worked!