Friday, April 03, 2009

Dive! - This one's a keeper

Since this morning, I've been in the studio working the chords and dream-delivered melody into a framework that would say "yes" or "no" to some kind of lyrical structure. What I'm going to share with you now is pretty raw stuff, but I feel good enough about it to do so without reservation. No, I will not reveal what the song means - that would blow the fun, now wouldn't it?

First, a few notes on the creation of this demo:

1) After I had gotten the chord changes situated, I sat down and began improvising melody and phrases over the top. There was a general idea of subject matter and the intent was to be descriptive and vague all at once. A tune that would mean something to me, but could easily be claimed by anyone else emotionally. I took the route of doing a "half-chorus" between the first two verses, with the full chorus adding a second section after the second verse. The second verse introduces an element that really pulled the entire song together and gave it thematic heft.

2) Once the words were written (in the bathroom, no less - sorry, is that TMI?), I went back into the studio and made adjustments to the Band In A Box tracks and played through with dulcimer a few times. Once satisfied, I recorded the stereo backing tracks from my Roland Fantom into Garageband. These will be arranged (assigned different sounds) and mixed later, with additional tracks brought into the soundscape. What you're hearing is the very basic arrangement, including the dulcimer arpeggios and the Divine Melody, I guess I'll call it here. The dulcimer parts will all be re-recorded.

3) Finally, I made a scratch vocal run at all the parts to get an idea of how things would work altogether. Though I did some slight adjusting of volume and E.Q., these are raw first take vocals that are simply a placeholder for the actual performances later. They consist of the main vocal track, verse harmony and four tracks of the positioning refrain from the second verse. Of course, all vocal tracks will be re-recorded.

This is what we call a "first run" at it - and plenty will change between now and the time that the track is finished. (I've already changed one word of the tune - "think" became "speak".) But this sort of thumbnail sketch of the tune will get stored on my iPod and played ad infinitum until I feel that I've got a solid approach for finalizing the tune.

It's very rare that a tune blooms so quickly - it's usually an indication that something went right in the connective process between head, heart and spirit.






Icarus
Music and Lyrics by Bing Futch
Copyright © 2009 J.O.B. Entertainment Inc.

hazy eyes
colors blur and fade
who am I? who are they?

strange signals flashing "walk, don't walk
listen, don't hear
speak, don't talk"

CHORUS

how am I supposed to fly away now?
I can hardly stand without support
no-one ever said I'd get this close to dead on my own

breathe deeply
this is for your good
make the call, Icarus
take the fall, Icarus

screams and bloodshed
that was another life
before the angels, they came and put a stop to the game
what a miracle that you're alive

CHORUS

how am I supposed to fly away now?
I can hardly stand without support
no-one ever said I'd get this close to dead on my own

how am I supposed to face the future
when the past is fading in and out at will?
someone give a damn, tell me who I am today

make the call, Icarus
take the fall, Icarus
make the call, Icarus
take the fall, Icarus

7 comments:

Josh Noe said...

I really like this Bing...sounds like it is going to be a good album.

Butch Ross said...

just about the time I think I got the market cornered on oceans of dulcimeric chords, you pop up with something like this. *throws pen at screen* well done.

now let's see ya do it with "old joe clark":-)

Bing said...

Thanks, Josh! I'm feeling really good about it with five songs in the "baking" stage. The hardest thing to do is write that first track and get an idea of what's to follow. "Mia Cafe" was actually the first tune, though not written for the album. (Well, technically, "April Fools" was first, written ten years ago, but it may not end up on the record.) "Dive!" really set the tone and I'm sort of sticking with that as an edge to measure by.

Butch - I've been dipping back into 1982 something fierce for this album. : ) Thanks for the props. Though not for this record, I will be thinking about a Rockwell-esque "Old Joe Clark" with smidges of, say, Alan Parsons Project.

Momkadletz said...

May be raw to you but sounds great to me! What a treat to hear such awesome, real, original music. And I Tweeted you by mistake!!!!!!

Bing said...

You tweeted me by mistake? I gotta go back and look. : ) Glad you enjoyed the tune. What's your Twitter name?

NoreenB in Willowick OH said...

So often when I hear your tunes I am reminded why I love the sound of the dulcimer, and other times your melodies and lyrics start my imagination flowing. This sounds great and I'm looking forward to whatever comes next!

Bing said...

Thanks, Noreen! With this album, instead of preserving the sound of the dulcimer, it's getting a lot of use as an instrument to attain other textures. With this tune, I'm mainly cross-picking; probably will not be strumming at all, which is a big characteristic of the dulcimer. Still, glad you like this demo - this record is sort of a bold step outwards and I'm wondering what the dulcimer community will think of it. Have you heard "Dive!" yet? VERY different.