Good morning, it’s Friday in June after a nice full moon. A little update on things as I approach the final bend of this record. It was good week for tracking and for hatching plans. The record is coming together on many fronts, it’s not just the orchestrations and mixes and final touches on the music… it’s the cover and the artwork and the rest of the picture. Lets start with the music.
Record Progress: So, let me take you back a little. I first thought about this endeavor, the morning I awoke after I had the dream about Mr Evermore, shortly before the fire that burned down my life… I completed the first half of it then…. "Evermore", "Master of Illusion", "Ballad of The Dead Rabbit" and "The Crying Game" all were written in that place that is now gone. Where I once sat creating the first brush strokes of this picture… well, it’s not even ashes anymore. It’s earth and spring flowers. At some point I joined a band called TOR and a new batch of ideas and songs came from that season of my life… “Rivers End”, “City of Fire” and “Long is the Road” as well as about 5 others that lie still in my towers of papers and poems. I mention all this because I’m currently solving the riddle of the last track for the record called “Long is the Road”.
It goes way back with me… after the fires I found myself in a place called 200 north, in the city of BOK. It was there I started penning the lyrics to the track… however, the chorus melody of this track was never felt right, not sure why… even then it took months to crack the vocal code on the original TOR demo recordings. When I started tracking the final version for the official TOR record a few months before we broke apart, again I found myself in the same dilemma regarding the chorus. Fitting melodies to words and syllables is no easy task for a song writer and it can leave you with some sleepless nights. After the TOR season passed, I was left with the decision of what to do with these songs…. And so rather than let that season of my life go unheard, I continued on under the “Diamonds Hadder” banner. I re-tracked all the music that came from the TOR season. It was a daunting task and I did my best to steer away from the original music when I could. I was somewhat locked into tempo and key as most of the vocals were already tracked. It was a backwards way of doing things but I did my best. Luckily I can play a few instruments and so it all worked out. For the most part I let the song just be the song in the end… most of the music under the vocals are based on simple traditional key structures and so I had some lee way to bend and shift things around on guitar. There were some parts that just needed to be close to the way they were. There is a magic in music, a sound in its conception, it’s almost like a spell and it conjures improved words and vocal patterns and sometimes the feeling and things it first invoked is unavoidable. As a vocalist… a song was imagined, written and performed to this first idea and so I had to stay on that road the best I could. So why mention all this now…
Well, because I think I finally cracked the code for my rendition for “long is the road” earlier this week. At least that’s what my ears are telling me today. I have a session tonight to go through the last little vocal details of it, but spirits are high and an immense sense of accomplishment is swirling in my heart. This was the largest bend left on the trip to Didion bay.. that place where I end this first season of the Hadder journey. A few small hills remain, the “Dead Rabbit”, which was actually the song I started just before the fire… and which will ultimately close out that part of my life. It’s rather fitting to it all that I revisit that track last, that wolf in the clouds… that changed my life. I still see it etched in my brain. Perhaps he will make an appearance on the back of the record cover.
Anyway, things are good on the music front. In 30 days or so all the tracks, in their various mix stages, will be available for download. While I then begin the task of Album design and layout for the First official Diamonds Hadder “record”… and of course rehearsal and some of the more fun stuff associated with a record release.
Artwork: I’m doing my best to hold back on releasing some of the artwork I’ve commissioned. Artwork is a lot like songs, you might commission 10 or 15 pieces till you find the 7 that are just right. And that’s exactly what I am doing. Let’s just say I have some cool ideas for the record and some great artists are involved in it. I think some of these new relationships could linger on for years, at least I hope so.
Field Notes: I thought I would mention today that I really miss my field notes, although the Diamonds Hadder novel is close at heart… I can’t return to it until I have closure on this 1st record. I do however dream about it a lot and so many new ideas and things and characters have crossed my mind and found their way to little sticky notes around my home. I’m really looking forward to diving back into this story and the events of Hadder and evermore…. Perhaps during my pilgrimage later this year, which is looking to be a new adventure in unfamiliar lands. For now, I think it best to focus on this book, between records. If your new here, feel free to read the first few pages of the “Diamonds Hadder’ tale… all signs are pointing to this novel turning into some strange opera or play of sorts in the future. Who knows, lets just get through today today.
That’s all for now. Hope your enjoying your “Stranger Things” in June.
Video Info: The working solo for "Long is the Road" to some Furious footage from Mad Max..