52 Weeks…again! Week 1 – Presidential Clown
Longtime blogketeers may remember my old 52 Weeks of Music project that fizzled out after about week four or so. Well, I’m going to try to do a similar project again. This time, however, instead of doing 52 weeks of new music, every week I’m going to highlight a piece of music I’ve written (or orchestrated). I’m throwing basically everything I have on my hard drive into a playlist, and once a week I will randomly pick one and write a bit of background info about it, how I feel about it, and provide a link to listen to it. A lot of the music may already be featured on my music page, but I’ve written a lot that I haven’t uploaded there, so you will find some new stuff cropping up as well (such as other songs from Travels or what have you).
I also invite anyone reading to offer comments. I know nearly all of my past requests for comments on my music have fallen on deaf ears (no pun intended), but I hope that maybe if I do this every week I can get some feedback eventually. I don’t need detailed critiques; even simple comments from untrained people would be nice!
And, just for fun, I will also put the name of the song into flickr and whatever the first picture that comes up is, that will be the pic in the post!
So, with no further ado, let’s load up the ol’ random playlist and see what we come up with!
Today’s piece of music is. . .
The year was 1996. My brother Ben had just formed his first band, then known as Fried Green Friends of the Llama, which later changed names to Giardia. It was just him and his friend from Granite Youth, who was also a bass player, but they still needed some music to play. So Ben approached my thirteen-year-old self with a request: write us a rock song! Up to this point I had never written any sort of rock song, so it was a whole new thing for me. I started with bass, lead guitar, and vocal parts, and plunked something out, quite unaware that my guitar part didn’t in any way match how a real guitar would play, but whatever. Also, I knew nothing about how to write drum parts, so I just used the default “rock drums” setting on the Roland keyboard we had and put it in. Then Ben wrote lyrics to it that don’t make too much sense. He was just about to turn sixteen and I guess wanted to write some sort of “socially relevant” thing, but include references to two things he obsessed over in ninth grade for some reason: SPAM and the Beatles (“the kings” in the song), even though neither had to do with the subject matter.
The song never got performed by Giardia, as that band never really got past the “wouldn’t it be cool if we had a band” stage. It was a seminal work of mine, though, laying the groundwork for a lot of the work I’d later do in SaXon Geat and even into this decade. This recording was made almost twelve years later, in preparation for my junior recital, with added brass and flute parts, as well as a redone guitar part that actually sounded like a guitar. For anyone curious, the original sounded like this.
Well, that does it for week 1 of 52 weeks! Coming up next week…”Crystal”!