My recording studio!

The days of recording in a less than satisfying “home office”, restricted to the very few days where I’m all alone at home, is soon over. In just four days, my very own recording studio will be a reality. I’ve bought an old workmen’s barrack, to put in the garden, close to, but apart from the house.

When the barrack and the studio interior is in place, I will have to come up with a plan to finish my many on-going projects. These are:

  1. Another Failure (1989) – the follow up album to Drawing Lines (1989), this also with songs written in 1989. Vocals and mixing are left.
  2. The Indescribable L – a collection of love songs for my wife, all written in 2012, simple and perhaps sweet, yet quirky and strange. Vocals and mixing are left.
  3. Brotherhood – an album built around the “epic” title track that clocks in at 18:29, sort of apocalyptic, yet hopeful. Written in 2013, vocals and mixing are left.
  4. HELLO CAPSLOCK! – My current in-writing-project. A concept album. I’m seven songs into this beast, and it’s going to be super awesome.

In addition, I’m thinking about doing mixes and recordings for others, and I might just do some private vocal training/songwriting lessons, and hopefully earn enough extra money to be able to slowly upgrade the studio equipment-wise. I’m excited!

Hard work on “new” music, awaiting vocal recordings.

Since the last post, I’ve been working quite a lot with “Another Failure (1989)”. All songs are more or less recorded and mixed, but most of them lacks vocals and final touches. Time available to record vocals is scarce, as there are kids running around the house most of my waking time, and otherwise they are asleep, and then singing isn’t possible either.

So, what to do instead? Well, record another album, then! I have quite a few to choose from. I chose to continue work on “The Indescribable L”, which is my collection of 2012 songs. It is supposed to be an album of love songs for my wife, and I recorded the first track, All My Life, more than a year ago. Over the course of just three days I have been recording and programming instruments for the 7 next tracks. This is how that album looks for the time being:

  1. All My Life (03:29)
  2. The Indescribable L (03:45)
  3. Mystery (04:05)
  4. Mysticalude I (01:25)
  5. New Circle (03:45)
  6. Mysticalude II (01:30)
  7. Stockholm (02:40)
  8. Keneally (03:24)
  9. μ Rhythms
  10. 12345678
  11. Sandman
  12. – yet untitled track
  13. – yet untitled track
  14. Four Leafed Clovers

At the same time, I have been writing words and music for the last of my 2013 songs. All 2013 songs will become an album called “Brotherhood”. That’s approximately 41 minutes of music ready to be handled as soon as “The Indescribable L” is done. After that I was hoping to get to the “Heartless Cold (2002-2003)” album. After that album, the successing albums will be released pretty fast, as most of those songs (from 2004 until 2011) have been demoed or recorded already.

To top it off, I already have a fantastic concept for my 2014 songs, and I can’t wait to start work on that as well. I’m in quite an inspiring/creative mode at the moment.

Also, there are serious plans underway for building my own studio … more on that as it becomes a little more concrete. I’m excited!

 

 

A few thoughts on recording vocals.

This might sound like a cliché, but rings truer for me with every day I spend recording vocals: The first take is almost always the best one, and the one that I end up using.

Although I do play and program a few instruments, my voice is my prime instrument, and have always been. I think I can say, also, that I really put my heart and soul into a song. I am an emotional type of person, so I tend to use those emotions to the fullest when I sing. Those emotions are always rawest, truest, most honest and revealing during the first vocal take. So why is that?

For me, I think it has to do with the following:

i.  Before singing a song the whole way through while recording, I am usually pretty excited. Mostly I don’t exercise the songs before going onto recording. I like my vocal recordings to be unprepared, so as to leave room for some improvisation or perhaps a “mistake” that ends up being very cool. A rehearsed vocal performance, I think, would more often give me a lifeless, over perfected vocal. I don’t want that.

ii.  I record my vocals without warming up. I do this because I like the way my voice sometimes will crack singing a high pitched note, or shiver holding a middle pitched note. I also think that the aforementioned emotions do come out more naturally that way. After all, if you belch your heart out, doesn’t it sound more true if your voice cracks? If it sounds true, and it’s not hideous, why shouldn’t it stay?

I just finished recording vocals for the opening track on my next album. The track is aptly called “First”, and has some of the most personal and emotional lyrics I’ve written. It is also, I’m proud to say now, one of my very best vocal performances. And all of it is from the first take (actually it’s the only take, as this is becoming a sort of time saving habit for me). Not to say that it doesn’t have any flaws, because it has quite a few, but the groove and the nerve and the intensity of that one vocal performance is so awesome, I can’t wait to let people hear it. And the flaws? I kinda love them.

This is probably not a way to record vocals that works for everyone, but it was sort of a revelation for me today, that I just had to share.

Progress.

It’s been almost a year since my last post. Last summer didn’t find me as productive as I’d hoped, and then I changed working place, and everything suddenly became a bit more hectic.

As of today, I’ve finally finished up most of the arrangements on “Another Failure (1989)” and written the last lyrical line in English. Two songs in my artificial language éons mel are left, and then I will start doing vocal takes. I’ve done a lot of recording, programming and even mixing at the same time as rearranging the songs, so when vocals are done, I’m just a tiny step away from finishing the album.

This album has more keyboards (mellotrons!), more guitars, and more strange harmonies than its predecessor, even some polyrhythmic action going on. Truly more progressive, yet still with a hint of 80’s synth pop. The album has turned out to be a sort of concept album, both musically and lyrically. For people who enjoy reading song titles before hearing anything, here they are:

1. Say It Again
2. And To Receive
3. Ep Hoedler
4. Black Eyes
5. All That Follows
6. I Koidls Dyfn
7. Why Do You Break My Heart?
8. Hondeheád
9. Vogue For A New Kind Of Hero
10. Of The Faulty Arc

Hopefully I will be able to finish this during summer this year. I won’t guess the release date, though.

One thing I am sure of, is that on September 3, 2013, I will be releasing the Fluxusboks – “Boks 2008-2013” box set, probably digital as well, but at least on a custom made USB stick in a tin box. The USB release will be strictly limited. This release marks the five years anniversary of the first airing of the second installment of Fluxusboks shows, that aired on Radio Revolt (The student radio in Trondheim) from 2008 until 2009. A total of 17 unique shows, all 30 minute in length, were aired, containing “art amusement” inspired by the fluxus movement. These are a required taste, for sure. Most of them are pure bullshit. Stay tuned for more information on that as its release draws nearer.

That’s it for now. More soon. Sooner than as late as this, compared to the last post.

Current work.

For some time I haven’t had the time to do any recording or composing, until my wife kindly asked for a song just for her, and I made this one:

All My Life (demo)

This, in turn, sparked a motivation for reviving an old album concept that I came up with in 2004, with the title “The Indescribable L”. In short it’s a declaration of love for my wife, in album form. Might sound clichéd or trite, but really isn’t. I’m soon finished with song number two, which is also the title track, and it alternates between 7/8 and 8/8 in the verses, so it’s not your regular pop song.

At the same time I’m still working on “Another Failure (1989)”, which is in continuation of the concept behind “Drawing Lines (1989)”, on which I rearranged and rerecorded songs I wrote as a 10 year old, in 1989. The second song on that one is a 9 minutes plus rollercoaster through genres, so that’s gonna be a pretty screwed up album too. Gotta love it.

I’m not sure which one of these albums will be finished first, but I’m hoping for “Another Failure (1989)” to be finished within the coming summer, and “The Indescribable L” within the year. If time permits.

That’s all for now, more news to come soon, and perhaps more songs as well.

Already on to the next one.

Drawing Lines (1989) has been officially out for a week, and I’m already working on track number two on the follow-up, a continuation of the concept of releasing old compositions in new arrangements. This one will be called Another Failure (1989), and though it’s still eighties synthpop, this one will have less quantized beats, less programmed instruments, and more of that natural groove. I’m having fun doing it, and there’s no pressure and no deadlines. I like that.