I'm an old rocker at heart, and this is the proof! Kind of a tool meets Black Sabbath meets Steve and a young teen basher on the drums!
Ryder has been with me for three years now every week, and we have had forays into remixing electronica and playing a few Nirvana covers.
This one is a basher. Fun that I get to do overdubs in my "off hours" and play bass too. I love it all.
We wrote the music together and recorded it live off the floor with guitar and drums, and then I added other bits afterwards. If memory serves, the lyrics are inspired by the Egyptian book of the dead.
A song sung by a Russian gangster, and it should be noted - dressed in legit black adidas outfit with accompanying dragon necklace bling. Chris is committed to his characters and music!
Young Lance came to me with scribbled lyrics on folded lined paper in hand and a passion to rap. The next week he showed up and sung me a verse of a melody he had written, and I was super impressed. I came up with a chorus on the spot and Lance goes "Oh, so you're really good at this hey?!" We wrote the lyrics together, and I produced him singing. He "doubled" his vocals which is a tough thing singing into the mic for the first time! Super catchy song with powerful lyrics, way to go Lance!
Oscar has been with me for 2 years, playing the drums as a beginner. He's now 13 years old. Here's a track to demonstrate how far you can come when you stick with it, practice and enjoy playing music.
We worked on this one over about 4 sessions, refining the parts and getting tight. As usual, I made up the lyrics on the spot, and in this case went back and wrote some new ones that I felt fit better with the vibe.
A song about believing in yourself, no matter what circumstances come your way, or others opinions about you.
Rock on, Oskar!
Four 5 second songs
This could well be a whole new genre of music!
That's right, it's Five second songs!
We have been working together and collaborating for many years now and Larkin always has his creative mind going and here's the result this time.
The beauty of these is it's literally one idea and the parameters are they have to be no longer than five seconds each!
This is Max. We usually like to rock out, improvise songs, and play the odd cover from time to time. Max is really interested in the process of music and always game to try whatever I throw at him, whether it be a time signature, or a musical idea.
On this occasion he wanted to try playing the drums with the brushes, so I gave him a few tips, and off we went. We came up with this in a 30 minute session, and both agreed it was dark sounding and needed some dark lyrics to match. I took a few notes from the original improv lyrics, fashioned these up and a song is born.
I love the space in this one, not to mention the great kick drum sound we got!
SPāDE is my longest running student here at the Sound, and we are currently working hard on a BIG rock record to release this year, so I'll only post a few bits here.
This one was a one off jam we did and like the rest of our songs, it's SO fun to play!
We write a song per session these days, unless it's complicated and we spend a bit more time on it.
We write all the music together as well as the lyrics.
Utopia (mix 1)
An alternate faster take of Utopia from "title the document" by SPāDE and one - admittedly - I couldn't figure out at first. When student becomes teacher!
SPāDE came up with this crazy drum pattern and I couldn't figure out what the beat was or where the "downbeat" was. After much teasing and coaxing, I finally got it, and then I shredded!
I defy anyone to get it on first listen! The demo video is below the picture to the left, and you can hear the pattern in the song above!
As with most of our songs, we collaborate on the lyrics as we did this one.
An exploration through music using only computer sounds. Oh and a synthesizer. Larkin played everything and co-produced. When we came up with the stuttered alphabet sounds I wondered aloud if anyone had done this before. A good lesson that there's always new sounds to discover.
In the Middle
One of my favourite lyrics I've written over the last few years. This tune is from a short lived band thrown together to give students the experience of playing together in a group situation. Chris was on the guitar, and August on the bass. I played drums, and directed them from there. We came up with this song, structured it a bit more, added a synth after and I wrote these lyrics and sang it. If you know anything about law of attraction and manifestation, then this should resonate with you.
Chris and I have done everything from Metal songs about Egyptian God's, to House music with a Russian accent and all points in between. Chris was inspired by me making up lyrics and melodies on the spot and began to to the same. Here's a great one, done live off the floor.
Done with former student Sam McGarry on the drums.
Save your soul, it’s forever, not a waste of time You’ll be glad, you’ll be better Set your state of mind Set it to full
Full of the joy
Listen to your blood and what it whispers Oh boy, you’re in control. Your intentions dictate where you really want to go On the map, off the grid or somewhere in between. Understand how your feelings make you make mistakes That you can’t erase, and that’s ok
Shoot your rockets skywards and watch them Watch them fly, So far away
You’ll have names for all of them if you name them all today
So, this is your soul Holding up a mirror to your goals
Oh this is your soul Reaching out with rockets leading where you want to go
Rocket Desire Rockets of love
The rockets are yours in the sky above
Rocket of faith Rocket of hope Rockets of fear swinging on a rope
Save your soul, it’s forever Rockets away
All the way
It's rare when a student wants to help write lyrics, but Ryder had some verses for a song, so I helped him make it fit a bit more, and we wrote another verse and here it is!
Another basher! We love melodic hard rock at the sound!
Often we like to experiment at the sound and record the results. The great thing about trying things out with no expectations, is you always happen into new territory which is exciting, and then ideas start to flow. Our human pattern seeking brains like to organize things, and that's exactly what we did here. Weston messed about, and I lined things up a bit to make it have some kind of flow. So fun to play with sound.
The 2018 Emerging Sounds event was a smash success, and the Keys to the City opened the event with the song "Homegrown." Featuring Solomon and Gretchen Hergesheimer, Hadley Laviolette and myself on the drums, we knocked it out of the park live, and decided we should record a studio version a week later. Enjoy the Homegrown vibes!
Happy accidents are lovely. The previous recording session had microphones set up on the drums, and when Shamus and I started doing a beats based improv with Ableton Live and turntable, we could hear the drum sticks left on the floor Tom were rattling. We immediately needed to record! So we kept the mics up and went for it.
This is a song featuring a vinyl record we use a lot at the Sound. SKargo band and i put together this track, recording it live off the floor with drums, bass, guitar, vocals, turntable, sampler and ipad! Nothing like capturing a performance live! Well done, lads.
We are Kanye West fans here, at least in following the sometimes interesting things he does and says. For his recent release for "The Life of Pablo" he held a fashion show at Madison Square Gardens in New York, and a copy of the "rules" for models was leaked to the internet. We took the list of these very demanding and contradictory rules and made a song out of it. As we do. The mighty Sjkate! Enjoy.
In B Flat
An improvised track with myself on guitar and voice and Shamus on the website "In B Flat," a great community sourced website where individuals uploaded videos of themselves playing random sounds in B Flat. You can do your own by clicking HERE! Try it out!
This is an amped up cover of a Radiohead song from OK Computer that Kai (on drums) and myself worked up in one session and recorded it in the next. I went back and added some bits. A great live off the floor recording with lots of energy!