Image: Some artwork I did of the Gallies from the Diamonds Hadder world. They worship sand rabbits.. go figure.
Good morning,.. it’s Friday in the final throughs of April. I took a few weeks off from posting anything as I was enjoying the moment of completing the “Beyond the Breakers” record. So what’s new… well, although my feet have been up in the air I have been doing little hadder things. Lets chat.
Music: Well, yes, I completed the Hadder record. Amazing feeling really, doing such a thing. Lot’s of highs and lows and then suddenly “Somewhere past the end it all begins again”. The last few weeks I’ve been cleaning up some mixes and getting the whole record ready for release. Quietly I’ve been swapping out mixes on the site with the new versions that will be released with the record. For instance “Rivers End’ has finally been mixed… the version on the site for the last few months was basically a guitar and drum mix I did while I was racking the solo’s.. so I spend a day or two going back down the river. Pretty song, brought back some nice memories. Let me share a little story about the day I wrote the passage “It’s hard to believe we’re forever, it’s sad to think you know it all, it’s a gift we play this game at all… somewhere past the end it all begins again… but who’s the man, at the rivers end.” That line was written at 200 north, the studio I first found myself in after the fires. I had a room in an old paint factory that I converted into a soundproof dungeon. In that room was a midcentury dresser that was so large I decided to convert it into a vocal booth. I spent a lot of time in that dresser, ha. I wired a computer monitor into it so that I could run the main computer from inside. I had spent a day tracking those words and was getting nowhere. I had several mixes of vocal takes that all seemed to miss the point… they weren’t building properly. The front of that song is almost like a mini song in front of a heavier track. It takes a while before the song kinda takes off and I couldn’t seem to thread that needle and build the vocal slow enough, so to say, but still feel like it was building. I had spent so many hours doing this and doing that, starting from here and starting from there and it was all just a jumbled mess of attempts. After a few sessions I was burned out and was getting a little angry really, so the next morning I went into the dresser, took the track head to the start of the track, hit record and boom…. That was the take. I notice that running a song from the start is always a good practice when tracking vocals. The best threads are attached well before the vocal lines actually start.. it’s an unconscious thing. I took a ride shortly after that take, with a fresh new mix of my new vocal take… and I recall the feeling I had that day driving along the pacific. I recently heard a famous mathematician talking about solving an equation and what that feels like to him, and I can certainly relate to his words. Vocal lines are puzzle pieces.. that’s all they really are to me. Some puzzles might look like “Active Rock”, some might be “progressive” in nature or maybe just very “Personal”, but they all are just a bunch of unsolved things that I sometimes lose sleep over until I can see them for what they are. We’re all just wandering down a river… to the end… or a beginning, slaves to some degree…. Cast away at times as if we don’t matter… but it’s a long road friends, who really knows what what’s past that tree… inside those falls. We’ll all get there eventually. Anyway, so yes, Rivers End has been mixed and a few others as well have had a little polish. Have a listen if you want.
Art: It takes a little bit of prep work to release a record so I’m finalizing artwork for all the tracks, I’ve added a few new track artworks to the music player. I’m very close to release, I’m just playing around with some alternate ideas now so I have some choices when it comes time to hit the official “Release” button once and for all. The website will be getting a little split soon, I plan on separating the Diamonds Hadder “Novel” and the Diamonds Hadder “Music” in a way that makes the site a little clearer. I did some mock up’s of this process, but I’m not ready to make the switch just yet.
Music Videos: My intention, after the record is released, is to shoot two music videos. One for “Ballad of the Dead Rabbit” and one for “Long is the Road”, both videos have storyboards and really it’s just a matter of closing out work duties on mixes and artwork prep, so that I can focus on the videos. They should be pretty wild looking. I directed a few videos in my days and I have some interesting ideas for these two songs. Videos are a lot of fun. Lets hope I accomplish all this before the autumn leaves start to fall… otherwise I could get lost in the woods before we see a music video this year. Fingers crossed.
Other things: There’s a lot going on in my world. A new track called ‘Kind Winters” is almost done. I might be doing a new record with an old AAW friend. Diamonds Hadder artwork is still talking. Ezra is getting older and I’m just grateful for each day on this earth. What a creative paradise we live in. I can see me sitting in a new tower next year, with my pencil and blank paper… I can see the next 16 stories of diamonds hadder and that view I’ve longed to get back too. What a dream, good luck to you today… enjoy some new mixes in the player if you wish. It truly is the year of the rabbit. Stay the course friends.
Video: A video narration of the 5th field note, "The Wind the Prison and the Leaf".