Studio Log #18

August 29, 2017


New Pile Track! Current working title is ‘Mention It To Me’.

This started life as a guitar & voice improvisation, but it’s drifted around in my head for years and lives in the category of “if you finish nothing else in this life, finish THIS.” And no time like the present.

It took me a while to find the original recording. All I knew is it was a date-coded title (like most of my improvs are) and it was marked with 5 stars in iTunes. There’s about 1,500 tracks in iTunes that have date-coded titles, and nearly 600 of them are marked with 5 stars. Whee! Finally found it last night: 022510.

I had a solid idea of how it starts and how it’s supposed to end, with a sort-of fuzzy notion of what I wanted to happen in between. As of this morning, I have solidified that fuzzy notion; it still needs some editing, but the material is there. I think this one’s going to go pretty fast.

Hope I didn’t just jinx myself there.


Editing the whole thing together into a mock-up.

Decided it needed a B section and some melodic variations. Did a little of each, still have some more to work through.

Currently it’s organ and strings. But every time I deal with strings I jump down an orchestration rathole, and this time is no different. Now that I’ve started to rethink the melody, my brain is orchestrating more: HEY! NOW HOW ‘BOUT SOME OBOES! AND TRUMPETS! BIGGER! BIGGER! MAKE IT BIGGER!


Had shower thoughts this morning. A new variation of the melody started bouncing around in my head, and I played through it on guitar this morning. This thing is in danger of accordioning…

Studio Log #17

August 22, 2017

8/20/17 R&D #6 is now called “Filthy Stinkin’ Boids”.

I mixed it all down to audio stems, did some post production tweaks, and I think it’s ready for prime-time.

Listening back to it now. No idea what I’m going to tackle next.

In the meantime, organization:


#1 - Dark, melodic guitar improvisation
#2 - Melodic, looping fretless guitar improvisation
#3 - atonal looping fretless guitar improvisation
#4 - abstract guitar & electronish background
#5 - riffy, melodic guitar & electronics (I need a name)
#6 - atonal guitar noise & techno (Filthy Stinkin’ Boids)


Y CAN NOT - Guitar Instrumental; bluesy but also Frippish
Ganymede - Vocal song; guitary & technoish
Halfway - Chord progression plus resampled guitar. Needs work, not sure what this will be in the end
I Dunno - Long Metal song. Needs a lot of work
I Zebra - Pretty much a guitar instrumental. In my head it’s some kind of dark goth jam, but that’s not at all what’s been recorded
Jester - A jazzy solo guitar piece. Kinda Frisellish. Still need to work out the final form before moving on
John Doe - Guitar & electronics. Kind of a mess at the moment
Permeable - A noisy thing with black metal overtones. Fairy Complete.
The Kgnarl - Guitar instrumental; weird & disjointed
The Want Machine - Vocal song; proggy rock/metal
Unbalanced - very long guitar improv & MIDI + Electronics. Currently 20 minutes long, and I’d like to get it 6.
Wired - electronic soundscape
Substantiate - another dark guitary black metal dark gothy thing

  • (done) -
    Shacklebones - guitar techno
    Search For The One - guitar techno
    Seppuku - guitar techno/soundscape
    Cyclone - ugly soundscape with pseudo-jazz and electronics. Reminds me of Neurotica without the Adrien Belew bits.
    Clouds - ambient guitarscape

So, turning it around & grouping with like things:


I Dunno
I Zebra
The Kgnarl
The Want Machine




R&D #5
Filthy Stinkin’ Boids
Search For The One

John Doe
The Want Machine

I don’t know that these are strict delineations, like each of these is an album in progress, but it’s food for thought.

Or just for the heck of it, in order of done-nes:


Search For The One

Pretty Sure it’s Done:

Filthy Stinkin’ Boids
R&D #5

Largely done, needs words/editing/final recording:

The Want Machine

…and the rest.

None of this includes Triptych, the thing that is supposed to be the primary thing I’m working on right now!

Studio Log #16

August 19, 2017

It’s been weird watching my aesthetic drift into techno, a music I neither listen to nor like very much. But my current working method is pretty much “take guitar solo, and throw random sounds at it until it somewhat approaches HYO-MAN MYOO-ZIK” and damned if techno beats and production don’t JUST WORK.

Which is a long roundabout way to tell the story of #6 and how it’s my third recent thing that could arguably be called a techo song with guitars.

I had an R&D #6 for a long time. (I was called #5 for a long time because of poor version conntrol, but that got better and it got #6’d.) It started from a totally atonal & arrhythmic track created with a Max application called Clouds. I added a bunch of other similarly non-musical elements, then created a beat in a weird time signature, then tried to record a guitar improvisation on my 12-string electric in a strange and unfamiliar tuning. That was thrwarted by the power going out and the unexpected surprise of my UPS being dead. I made another pass some time later, intending to comp together the best bits of both improvs into something good.

But the more I worked with it, the more I felt it wasn’t going anywhere. I liked little bits of both improvs, but there was no clear way to meld them together in any reasonable forms (although I just had an idea right this very minute - ed.), and I didn’t like any of it enough to justify all the time I was putting into it.

So I threw it away and started a new #6. Found a weird guitar solo recorded to a beat last December. I have no memory of the specific tone and effect combination. Don’t remember the tuning either, but I DID at least record each open string at the beginning so I could reverse engineer it if needed. And I started throwing tracks at it. It’s basically done now, but for a little bit of cleanup and experimentation.

And the end result is yet another technoish track, and one I like enough that I may just move it over from the R&D category into the ‘hey, let’s throw this on an album’ category under the title Filthy, Stinkin’ Boids.

So I’m still out an R&D #6.