Available now for the low price of Five Canadian Dollars, you get five new Candle tracks which were written during February Album Writing Month 2015. These are songs that did not fit into the Moonscapes concept album & reflect different recording & compositional techniques then the usual Candle Modus Operati.
I’m starting a new vein of posts whose purpose is to share the most interesting new songs & sonic experiements available. This first post in this new series will explore some remarkable avant-garde & experimental gems from this year’s February Album Writting Month challenge.
To start off, here are three great tunes that are the result of collaborations between two great FAWMers: Fuzzy & Mosley.
I’ve been spinning various ideas around my brain since late November. What to do for FAWM 2016? It’s a FAWM Leap Year so I know I have to do 14½ songs (I always enjoy making an ½ song). I’ve thought of doing a bunch of covers “in a Space Rock Style” with my own compositions to fill out the required 14½. I’ve also thought of just letting my muse lead me (like last year – which produced fabulous results). But the thought I’ve sort of centered on in the last couple of days (influenced no doubt by the passing of the late-great David Bowie) is to finally record my first Concept album – one I conceived of twenty years ago now. Bowie’s Space Oddity was one of the prime influences for the story line with a healthy helping of Pink Floyd’s Interstellar Overdrive (arguably the first Space Rock song) & Atom Heart Mother (a “back catalogue epic” that is rarely heard except by crazy Floydish Fans like me) adding musical flavour & structure.
The concept album is called Beyond The Bounds Of Time & consists of nine songs (many of which have free-form jam sections that keep changing every time I play them). I know the idea is “Feburary Album WRITING Month”, but I find that February & March is the only time I delve deep into the recording process. If I don’t record this album during FAWM, it’ll never get recorded – & it’s already waited twenty years. I plan on filling out the rest of my required songs with my usual “Live-To-Tape” Improvs as well as Collabs (I’m sure Johnny will inspire another song with his always lyrics comments).
Some of you might be familiar with Mojo the Cat. Most of you probably are not. And the whole idea of Catcore may seem absurd to many, but there is something strangely intoxicating with the music of this remarkable feline. I’ve beed a fan of Mojo the Cat since first being introduced to her unique music through FAWM. But I have to say that when Mojo decided to team up with Pop Mythology‘s founder & editor Daniel (more commonly known on the ‘Net as The Pop Mythologist) to help him with his medical treatment costs, I knew this was something special.
As I mentioned in my last blog post, I got a little sidetracked when my buddy Jim asked me about some old recordings I had. I am still working on digitizing & re-mastering my Master Tape Archive from all the bands I was a part of in the late nineties. So that is one project on the go. I still have to edit Acts II-IV of The Good Four so that I can release them. And my mind is starting to think about what I plan to do for FAWM this coming February.
It is on this last topic that I think I’m going to delve into today.
My friend, Joanne Gabriel, has inspired me to experiment with creating sounds with my guitar. As such, I sat down last weekend & recorded a bunch of songs using regular household spoons as the main method of strumming the strings on my guitar. I played around with a bunch of effects in Jeskola Buzz & was able to create some really otherworldly & spacey tones. After recording these songs, I had this sudden brainstorm to release them as an EP.
So now I’m working on post production for two projects. My Moonscapes project which is the result of my FAWM 2015 creativity & now this new EP that I’ve entitled Cuillères Intergalactiques. I’m hoping to finish up the post-production on the EP this weekend, which will leave me a lot of time to concentrate on the post-production of Moonscapes. But until I release them, you can listen to the demos on my FAWM page. Leave me a comment, either on my FAWM page if you are a fellow FAWMer, or in the form below. Let me know your thoughts on the Moonscapes demos or your thoughts on experimenting with sounds. Share your outlandish sound creation experiments, or any other crazy thought that might inspire someone else.
I am quite proud of what I accomplished this February. I was able to write & record fifteen songs (one more then the required fourteen to complete the challenge). I collaborated with two other awesome FAWMers on two of those songs: Titan Spring with @johnny and Ouroboros with @popmythology. I’m not quite satisfied with the final demo for Ouroboros, but it was recorded in the closing days of FAWM & I hope to re-record a better quality version sometime after I have a chance to rest.
Until then, I’ll be listening to songs posted on FAWM that I’ve yet to have a chance to hear. I’m hoping on catching up on my Watchlist (the list of FAWMers I am following) & maybe even find some new gems. Here are a few of my favourites from the final week of FAWM.
The Eternal Return by Sapient & Caterwauler. A mix of metal & ambience by two of FAWM’s best. Sapient is probably the most recognized Metal-Guitarist/Composer on FAWM. His heavy & dark songs are just what those head-bangers of yore (& of today) crave. And Caterwauler’s amazing soundscapes are second to none with their ability to create images in your mind (even if you don’t read the liner notes detailing the amazing stories she tells with her music). But then @popmythology (who I collaborated with) challenged them to collaborate & the result is amazing. I’m not a huge fan of the really dark & heavy metal that Sapient is known for, but every once & a while he’ll write & record something mellower that is just a gem. This is one of those songs. I really enjoyed every moment.
Hop This Train With Me by The Energy Commission. One of the fun things about FAWM is discovering new artists. This year, one of my favourites is a FAWMling (someone doing the FAWM challenge for the first time) whose band is named The Energy Commission. He completed the challenge using YouTube videos where he described his writing process – a bonus that was very insightful. I liked all of his tunes, but this last one stands out for me. The song is catchy & the lyrics are fun. I’d love to hear what he’d do with the song with his full band.
The Earth Beckons by Howling Horse. As someone who writes space-rock, it’s always great to hear other space-rock tunes by other indie artists. There are a lot of deep tones that form the bed to this track, but then you hear a piano playing an eerie melody & a guitar crying. The entire effect is amazing, haunting & sure to please those who enjoy ambient soundscapes.
Ramiel by Bodhisvaha. Another neat part of FAWM are the community challenges that get posted in the forums. There are weekly FAWM challenges posted by the guys running the site, but there are also challenges & song writing games that you can participate in during the month. This song is the result of one such challenge – The Angel Challenge posted by @donna in the forums. Basically Donna would give participants the name of an Angel & the participant would then have to write a song about that Angel (or involving the Angel). Bodhisvaha got Ramiel & I must say he did an amazing job. This acappella track layers chanting vocals repeating the name of Ramiel, building to a climax that then finishes with a single voice. The effect is surreal & mystical.
I’m sad FAWM is over for another year. But now I have some work mixing & mastering the tracks I composed. That will probably take some time – long enough for me to finish just before FAWM starts again next year. Starting the cycle all over again.