The filming aspect of “Zeus” may be finished, but my work has just begun on all the music. My plan as of this week is to write as many songs as possible over the next month and make several versions of each – a 1 minute version, 30 second version and so on. On top of those full songs, I want to screw around and make a variety of odd ball instrumentals, blippy stuff, some synths perhaps. This is, after all, a quirky film. These short segues can be used anywhere throughout the film. The ultimate decision rests with Jeremy H.
Ten songs would be great, but I’d be happy with eight. Writing them isn’t the problem. In fact, I’ve got plenty of ideas. It’s recording them that is a real hassle. Thankfully, I was able to wrangle a song/idea and get it down to tape today. Its tentative title is “Respite”. Check it out:
I hope this conjures up images of California in your mind, since I’m planning this music to accompany some of the West Coast scenes. One of my favorite movies is “The Endless Summer”, a documentary of two surfers traveling around the world, chasing the summer season and the perfect wave. The music, done by The Sandals (Fitting, right?), has that simple, timeless vibe that transports listeners to a sun-drenched beach with girls in frilly one-pieces. That’s the sound I wanted – two simple chords (A Major, G Major), a whole step between them, repeating over and over, saturated in that signature reverb while a low-end riff pops in and out.
The lyrics are just one verse: “I could walk for miles in this pipe dream California. The sea creeps in my bloodstream. My eyes are golden suns.”
I love short songs. When I write songs, I shoot for under 2:30 minutes. As a solo player, it makes playing and performing more interesting, more fluid I think. Anytime I can avoid complicated arrangements 0r the dreaded bridge, I can place more emphasis – both musically and lyrically – on the parts that matter most – the verses and chorus. I say all this, yet I’ll never play this song live because it’s so lyrically empty. Plus, stating the obvious, it’s kinda hard to play two guitars, bang on a drum and sing three-part harmonies by myself.
- Recorded using Garage Band, an Mbox2 Mini and a cheap condenser mic.
- Percussion – I tapped on my acoustic for the lighter stuff, and dragged in a kick drum sample, soaked it in reverb and EQ’d it high on the lower ends for the boomy hits.
- The high-end guitar part after the only verse is a first take from a couple of nights ago. It’s far from perfect, but I know that I could easily waste hours trying for that perfect sound. I overcook guitar and vocal parts all the time and have found that sometimes the best take is the practice run.
- I never thought I would need my old Tascam 4-track tape recorder again. I’m kicking myself today for leaving it back in Western New York. That tape sound would have been perfect for this, giving it that aged sound. Oh well.