Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Streak of Moonlight

(image from wikimedia commons)

What do you know? It's been less than a month between my posts!  :)

Today I want to share with you my most recent solo, non-wikiloops, musical piece.  I call it "Streak of Moonlight".  I've uploaded it to my SoundCloud page and you can also listen to it right from this blog by clicking on the embedded link below.  I hope you like it -- you can read more about it below the link...



This piece is all me -- I put together the drum tracks from editing and combining some MIDI drum loops that I found, then I added some simple keyboards, bass, rhythm guitar, more keys, lead guitars, a smattering of ambient background guitars.

But there's something else about this piece that was a new experiment for me -- hear the voices?  I've realized that the human voice can add a tremendous amount of emotion and focus to a piece. But I don't sing -- trust me on this.  So what to do?  Well, I don't want to sample vocals from another musician, and I don't want to deal with copyright infringement, and I'm not going to spend money on what's basically a hobby, and I'm still  a little too insecure about my own pieces to try and get any singers I might know to record something for me, so my choices are pretty slim...

Enter the wonder of recordings of old, forgotten radio programs -- I'll stay away from any of the well-known classics.  So hopefully in the case of the things I use, the artists involved are long gone and if there were copyrights, they've likely either expired or been shuffled through so many hands that they've essentially been lost.  Plus, at this point, what I'm doing is not a commercial endeavor -- I'm not making any money off of this.  I'm giving it away for free.  So if there were still a valid and tracked copyright that I've unintentionally infringed on by using short samples of radio broadcasts from 70 or more years ago, there are certainly little if any damages, and I will gladly give full and proper attribution or comply with any 'cease and desist' orders should they ever come my way.

So -- there you go.

This piece is called "Streak of Moonlight" because the vocal samples come from a episode of a 1936 radio romance which was entitled -- you guessed it --"Streak of Moonlight."  The snippet of strings is also from that recording.

I took my time putting together this piece.  Each layer assembled was done slowly, and I like how this turned out.  There's still some of that 'jam' feel to it (especially in the double guitars during the third lead break), but it has some nice structure to it, too, I think.  It also has a bit of a "chill" feel with some ambient, delay-heavy guitars in the background and my simplistic keyboard drones mixed in.

I really hope you enjoy this, and I'd love to know what you think.  Feel free to comment and let me know...

Thanks for listening!

14 comments:

  1. The section right after the three minute mark is some wicked strumming, Chris. Interesting to mix in old radio programs.
    I could sing, but would rather not...

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    1. Thank you, Alex! I'm glad you liked it!

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  2. I could also sing... Although my voice is a bit more opera than rock and roll. :-P

    Love the sound, btw. If I had a cd like that, I'd play it for hours.

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    1. Wow... Operatic singing? That's impressive! An it kind of fits -- my voice makes Neil Young sound like Pavarotti... ;)

      And thank you so much for your kind words, Misha -- they mean a lot to me!

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  3. Oh. My. Gosh. I love it! You are very talented. :)

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    1. Well thank you very. Very. Much!!! I really appreciate that, Margo!

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  4. Nifty. I know what you mean about the human voice. I'm a vocalist and that's my primary instrument. I've composed so many choral and mutli-voiced pieces, and the voice is so incredibly versatile. You can do almost anything with it. I need to expand more in to the guitar stuff you seem to have down. Nice piece.

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    1. Thanks! An maybe "you" can do almost anything with your voice -- for me, it's a challenge just to hit pitch, lol! I have a pretty good ear, but really struggle trying to make my voice produce the tone I'm "hearing" in my head - it's probably all the open space between my ears that makes it so hard... ;)

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  5. That is an inspired touch with the radio voices. What made you think of it? You did such a great job of blending it in with everything else---that ending line is fantastic.

    Unlike others here, I don't have any musical background---I only know what I like, and I like this very much. Would make great music to write by.

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    1. Thanks! Not sure exactly what made me think of old radio recordings -- I've heard lots of sampled music over the years, so it's not like it's a ground-breaking idea. I just wanted to sample something that wasn't another musician's piece work.

      I'm very glad you enjoyed it!

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  6. I am enjoying 'Streams' as I type these words. It's funny how a squeeze put on our immediate resources will lead us out onto planes of genius. (Let's put it down to moon madness.) I got a lot out of reading your process, Chris. I'd love to see this blog launch in the direction of this post. I am really, really enjoying the layering you have labored over here and can tell you that similar, subsequent posts will have me feeling a bite of anticipation and happiness when I see StratPlayer on the dash.

    Just got to the end. Two enthusiastic thumbs up. :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Suze! I'm so happy you enjoyed "Streak of Moonlight!" And since I am doing much more music-making than writing these days, you will certainly see more posts where I talk about what I've made... :)

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  7. Awesome. I don't venture out in the blogosphere much these days. I'm glad I did today. You're branching out in an experimental way. I dig it.

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    1. Hey David! Thank you very much! I'm really glad you like it!

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Don't be shy -- feel free to comment. I really appreciate your thoughts.