Wednesday, April 23, 2014

"The Sound of Forgetting" is Published!

"The Sound of Forgetting"*

My 50-word bit of micro-flash-fiction "The Sound of Forgetting" has been published at Fifty-Word Stories.

I invite you to check it out by clicking on the link:  "The Sound of Forgetting" By Chris J. Fries.

For anyone who may not know, a 50-word story is a bit of micro-flash fiction using exactly 50 words.  I find it a fun challenge to my normal long-winded writing style to pare a "story" down to only 50 words.  The website is run by Tim Sevenhuysen and I've been lucky enough to have had a few stories published there before. 

And as a side note -- Tim is currently seeking submissions of 50-word stories for a Spring Story Contest.  If you feel like writing some 50-word stories of your own, now is great time to give it a shot.

Thank you for reading my story -- I hope you enjoyed it!

*Image from Wikimedia Commons.

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!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Keep It Short...

Wow -- it's been a month since my last blog post update!?!?  I'm really sorry about that.  Clearly I was right in pulling back as I mentioned in my last posts...

But I also do want to keep this blog alive, so in the interest of quickly interjecting some new content, I will post a couple of short offerings.  One writing and one musical.  I will also promise to try and get a little more content on here, on a little more regular basis. 

But in the meantime, here's this:

A Short Writing Snippet:

I've recently made another submission to 50-Word Stories, and I'm optimistic that the owner of the site Tim Sevenhuysen will like it and that it'll get published on the site.  But who knows?  So rather than wait, I'm also going to go ahead and share it here, too.  To refresh your memory, a 50-word story has -- you guessed it -- 50 words.  Not one word more; not one word less.  It's fun to try and get as much emotional impact and story 'arc' as you can into only 50 words.

I hope you like this one. I call this micro-flash story, "The Sound of Forgetting:"

The Sound of Forgetting
I heard your old rocker creak and for a moment, I forgot.

It might have been a stray breeze, or maybe just the cat brushing against it -- a remnant from all the years he rubbed contentedly against your legs.

But in my heart it was you, home once again.


A Short Musical Interlude:

At Wikiloops, I continue to periodically add new tracks to all the great stuff that's there.  One recent thing I did was add a couple of quick guitars to a short, moody keyboard piece ("Through the Eyes of the Defeated") by a user named "GhostFish".  I thought the feel was very cool with an epic build, and so I added a couple of quick guitar tracks.  I started with mellower clean guitar, and then switched to a more raucous, screamin' lead as the track intensity climbs.  This is one of those short, off-the-cuff things that I ended up liking how it turned out.  I wish I could embed it here, but unless I upload it to SoundCloud, I can't.  So please click below and see what you think of this short musical piece:

Before The Storm

Also, feel free to check out the "My Tracks" tab of My Wikiloops Profile page if you're interested in hearing any of the other stuff I've uploaded there.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read and listen!  I hope you thought it it was a short time spent well...