Friday, December 19, 2014

Deju Vu: Day of the Do-Over


Today is the Deja Vu Blogfest!

Organized by my good friend, DL Hammons, with Nicole Zoltack helping out this year, the purpose is simple -- to allow bloggers to revive a favorite post from the past year and give it a do-over. To offer one of their neglected, overlooked, and under-appreciated posts a new chance to shine. As DL says:

"On December 19th, anyone who decides to participate will re-post their favorite blog offering from earlier in the year, or one that you believe failed to receive the exposure it deserved." 

I considered several older posts for my Deja Vu do-over, but finally decided on this one, where I offer my first piece of music with the "Forgotten Voices" theme -- "Streak of Moonlight."  Even after two later entries ("My Name is Romance" and "The Bell Song"), I still consider this to be the 'best' one, and it remains one of my most favorite musical creations.

I hope you enjoy this (slightly edited for presentation) post from 4/8/2014:


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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 HERE, or right from this blog by clicking on the embedded player below.  I hope you like it -- you can read more about it below...


I hope you enjoyed it!

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!

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Thank you so much for stopping by during this blog-fest and re-visiting my blast from the past!

I also encourage you to visit the other bloggers taking part in today's Deja Vu blofest. There is a Linky-List at DL's blog listing all of the participants -- check it out HERE, and take a tour of all the do-overs going on around the blogosphere!


68 comments:

  1. That was very clever, Chris. Reminds me of Metallica's One with the dialogue from that movie within the song. Well done!

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  2. Dang! Really good, CHRIS. Loved the guitars. And I agree with you, this IS the best one of your recordings I've heard thus far. And that's really saying something because I genuinely liked "My Name is Romance" and "The Bell Song", too.

    Full disclosure: Personally, I could have done without the snippets of dialogue. Your music didn't need them at all. Although I did actually like the line of dialogue it opened and closed with about not letting the moonlight give you ideas. That WAS a nice touch, but I feel that the line spoken only at the beginning and the end is how I would have preferred it - without any of the dialogue snippets in-between.

    But, again, the music was so good that it really didn't need any "vocal" at all. Very cool playing, Brother!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Thanks, STEPHEN! I'm really glad you liked it, And I do get what you're saying about the voices. While I think they add to the piece, I will agree that they might not work for everyone, since they're isolated snippets of random dialog unlike sung lyrics.

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  3. Wow, beautiful guitar work! Very nicely done.

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  4. Wow! The layers are fascinating. And it was cool to read about the way you put it together--I love hearing about how all art (visual, literary, and auditory) is made. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you Connie -- I really appreciate that! Glad you enjoyed it,

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  5. This has been on my "Writing" playlist since you first posted it...and I listen to it all the time. You're an amazing artist...and a dang good writer as well. Thanks for re-sharing it today. I think you'll be picking up a lot of fans as a result! :)

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    1. Thanks, Bone! You qualify as one of my long-time fans.

      But seriously, I do really appreciate your support, and have serious plans to do more of that 'writing' thing this upcoming year. :)

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  6. I can't believe you can do this--it's amazing!!! thanks for re-posting, I loved it.

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    1. Thank you very much, Beth. I'm very happy you enjoyed it!

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  7. First time I have ever ventured onto Sound Cloud! So glad I did, thoroughly enjoyed listening to your piece of music :) x

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    1. I'm so glad you liked it, Suzanne. Thank you very much!

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  8. What an intriguing piece. I loved it. Thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. You're welcome! :) I'm very happy you liked it, Kimber. :)

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  9. Wow, that was awesome - I'm always amazed at a musician's ability to create emotion with their music - beautiful piece.

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    1. Thank you very much, Kimberly! I'm very pleased that you found it enjoyable!

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  10. That's amazing! That's a lot of talent :) I loved the voices in there too.

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    1. Thank you a ton, Tiana! I'm glad you liked the voices, too. :)

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  11. Waiting for an appointment and stumbled in here, boy oh boy, am I glad I did. I love this piece. You know I'm pretty cyber challenged, so help me out. How can I download this piece into my computer? Is that OK? (Should have asked that first.)

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    1. Thank you very much, FAE! And of course you can download it. :)

      Go to the Soundcloud page for the song ( https://soundcloud.com/stratplayercjf/streak-of-moonlight ) and on the right under the song there's a "download" button, right next to the "share" option.

      Thanks again!

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  12. Wow! And I say again: WOW!!! That is fantastic! I'm going to play this all night!!! I do so love the voices too. What a great addition ... it's very unique. Count me in as a new fan of yours. I'll definitely be back to catch more of what you're doing. Can't wait! Thanks for sharing this for the Deja Vu post! So glad you did! You are obviously incredibly talented. Looking forward to more!
    michele at angelsbark

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    1. Thank you! And I say again: Thank you!!! :)

      I'm very happy you enjoyed it, Michele! You can check out the "My Music" tab at the top of my blog to see all the other music I've uploaded. There you'll find links to eqch post where the piece was used as well as links to it at either SoundCloud or Wikiloops.

      It's great meeting you though the Deja Vu!

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  13. I like it a lot. Nicely done. I'm sure as long as you give credit for the voices and do not sell for a profit, its like fan fiction; harmless good fun.

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    1. Thank you, Donna! I'm really happy you liked it.

      And I agree with what you say on this for the most part. But the sound snippets could still - technically and legally -- belong to someone else, and THEY have the right to decide if it's harmless or not. There has been enough legal precedent to indicate that, I think.

      But I think I'm ok. The "owners" would have to know I used their work, would have to care enough to want to pursue it, would have to show that I'm not under the "fair use" clause, and would have to initiate the legal process to do it, and if they won (which they easily could), would have to prove damages. I think by using snippets that are 70+ years old makes those first two conditions pretty safe. There's also the "fair use" clause, that is actually vague here, since I'm likely not under the "for educational use" clear exclusion. It often comes down to a case-by-case basis.

      But just like when I speed by 7 mph or jaywalk -- I know I'm technically in the wrong. I'm using someone else's material without their explicit consent. I'm just trying to hedge my bet to make it less likely that I'll get in trouble for it. ;)

      Have a wonderful holiday!

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  14. I've come here for the first time through 'Deja vu Blogfest'.
    Thank you for sharing an amazing work of yours.

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    1. Welcome, Romi! And thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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  15. That was awesome. I'm so glad you re-posted it.

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    1. Thank you, LD! I'm pleased you liked it!

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  16. This is really really nice Chris thanks so much. I could - and will - listen to it many times. Very clever mixing ...

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  17. You did an excellent job with this piece, Chris! Great work on the guitar and drums! I also liked how you added the voices from the original radio program. I'm so glad we met via The Day of the Do Over!

    Happy Holidays!

    Julie

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    1. Thank you Julie! I really appreciate your kind words. I'm glad we met, too!

      And Happy Holidays to you also!

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  18. Very cool piece. I've always been fascinated with this method of composition, and the tremendous patience it must require.

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    1. Thanks Laurel! I will admit there is some patience involved. After screwing up on several takes in a row, I often find myself needing to take a break, lol!

      Thanks for visiting!

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  19. Great piece! My brother is an electronic composer so I can appreciate the effort and care that went into composing it. Thanks so much for reposting your work in the blog hop.
    Elizabeth Hein - Scribbling in the Storage Room

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    1. Thank you very much Elizabeth! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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  20. I would have no idea how to do something like this - you are very talented

    And I am definitely getting the "chill" feel you mentioned.

    I am a day late visiting - oops - and thanks for visiting my blog

    Chippy

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    1. Thank you Chippy! I really appreciate it.

      And no problem being a day late -- there were 75 blogs involved, lol! I'm just pleased you stopped by. :)

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  21. I did like how the voices were quotes from a movie with the same title as your piece. My husband was jamming to it while making his lunch and I was sitting here at the kitchen table listening to it. Sexy and jazzy and mysterious. Like moonlight.

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    1. Thank you Kim -- I like your description! I'm glad you and your husband enjoyed it!

      But I actually named my piece "Streak of Moonlight" because that was the name of the radio program episode I borrowed the sound samples from. It wasn't really that much of a coincidence. ;)

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  22. Thanks for sharing your music! This is certainly the time of year when sometimes all we get is a streak of moonlight.

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  23. Very cool! Thanks for (re)sharing this excellent post.

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    1. Thanks! And you're more than welcome! :)

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  24. What a creative project. I'll be sure to show it to my husband, the old-time radio fan :-)

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    1. Thank you Samantha! I hope he gets a kick out of it. :)

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  25. The voice is a very powerful instrument. A lot of my favorite music is sung in languages I don't speak, so for me, the voice is just an instrument like the guitar or keyboards.

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    1. Very interesting points, Kate -- I like that perspective!

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  26. Music is so powerful, isn't it? Thanks for sharing (or re-sharing in this case).

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    1. It certainly can be, I think. And you're welcome, LG -- thanks for stopping by!

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  27. "...then I added some simple keyboards, bass, rhythm guitar, more keys, lead guitars, a smattering of ambient background guitars..." - You make that sound like it's easy! I LOVE IT! This is so in line with my taste, something I'd find on Pandora's Indie Classical Music station. You'd be surprised how much electrical jazzy mixes are on that station.

    Happy Deja Vu weekend!

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    1. Thank you so very much, Tanya! I'm very pleased you enjoyed it!

      And Happy Deja Vu to you, too!

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  28. This is outstanding, incredible, and so many other superlatives that would fit appropriately here. The voices are a very cool touch, but the music is beautiful.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Thank you very much, Lee -- I really appreciate that!

      I hope you have a fabulous Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

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  29. Nicely done! A gift I shall carry through the season.

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    1. Thank you Geo! I'm happy you liked it!

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  30. Wow. Seriously awesome. I have no idea how you were able to compose that piece of music, but I really liked it! Thanks so much for re-posting one of your musical geniuses! :)

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    1. Thank you very much, Kristin! I really appreciate that!

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  31. Sorry I'm late to the party but I had a family Christmas in KC, and I promised myself I'd go computer free all weekend. I made it, but maybe not with my sanity in tact. Thanks for sharing. I loved this piece. I'm not musical at all, but I love to listen.

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    1. Hi Dawn,

      Sorry I missed your comment, but thank you very much for the kind words! I hope your Christmas was wonderful!

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  32. Hi Chris - I'm finally getting around to catching up on the Deja Vu blog posts, now that the holiday whirlwind is over! I think this is so incredibly creative of you, and very innovative to use old radio programs as part of your music. There is something that the human voice provides that can't be found in an instrument, and it gives your piece just the right touch. I will have to come back and listen to your other recordings! Happy New Year!

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    1. Hi Julie!

      Wow -- Seems like I just answered comments on this post, and now I'm back here again... I have this weird sense of Deja Vu... ;)

      No problem being late -- I'm pleased when someone visits and comments, even if it's months later. And thank you so much for your kind words!

      Happy New Year to you too, and you're more than welcome to visit as often as you'd like!

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  33. Me too Chris! Just now catching up, and I have to say, this song of yours is smashing! I like how you put it together and the way you used the voices. What a clever idea. My son is a musician also and you are quite inspiring to me to have come up with this. Happy New Year and thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting!

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    1. Hi Lisa! And Happy New Year to you, too!

      Thank you very, very much for your words of support -- they mean a lot to me! I'm very pleased you enjoyed this. Don's Deja Vu blogfest has been a blast and a rousing success, I think!

      Thanks so much for visiting!

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