Spoons & Production Notes…

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.

 

See You In The Shadows…

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Flog – Vol 6; Issue 4

FAWM is over.

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.

Until next time,

See You In The Shadows…

Flog – Vol 6; Issue 3

Week three has passed.  There are only five full fays left to complete the February Album Writing Month challenge.  I’m two songs away.  Song number 13 has been written – I just need to record it.  I have some ideas for song number 14 which I will begin to explore as soon as I am finished recording song number 13.  So far, I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from various people.  I have to mention that the FAWMer known as @popmythology mentioned my song Eagle Landing on his weekly FAWM Blog of his favourite FAWM songs of the week.  Thanks so much @popmythology!

For my own part, I’ve been trying to keep up with my watchlist – with varying degrees of success.  I’ve finally passed into the FAWM Century Club (making at least 100 comments on other FAWMers songs).  I’m hoping to add to my FAWMling & ZONGBust totals (FAWMlings = first time FAWMers; ZONGBusting = Commenting on a song with Zero Comments (ZONG= Zero Comment Song)) in the next few days & on into March.

So, are there some great songs written during FAWM that I would recommend?  Well, here’s a few that sparked my imagination:

Klein Gitaar by Sapient I’m not normally a Metal fan, but this one is too cute to not appreciate.  Sapient & his little friend Ina did this great song together.  It has his normal Metal styling infused with her lovely vocals.  A great combination.  I’m liking the idea of Kinder Metal!

Bow To The Boatswain by Captain Vulpine The musical & theatrical genius that is Captain Vulpine has at last returned to FAWM & his output this year does not disappoint his rabid fans.  His wonderful mix of pirate lore, sea shanties, metal & vaudville knows no equal.  Bow To Boatswain is no exception.  The use of the Bosun’s Whistle along with the banjo & mandolin is wonderful.  And the lyrics scream out to be sung by every crowd – no matter their state of sobriety.

The Gorges Of Dalardes by Caterwauler Joanne Gabriel (a.k.a. Caterwauler) never ceases to amaze me with the way she is able to build vast vistas of sound that create images in your head.  And when she attaches these Soundscapes to an amazing story (as she has done for the past couple of FAWMs), you get a potent combination.  If her story doesn’t draw you in – her music definately will!

Insomniac by prsrose One of the few FAWMers who is building experimental songs in all sorts of inspiring ways.  This odd song has a sense of being uncomfortable, yet the chill textures sort of lull you into a sedated mood.  Its an amazing juxtaposition of senses created by a large array of tones & textures.

Aftermath by Electrocelte Another great concept album that tells a story.  Electorcelte fuses synth sounds with the organic tones of a traditional Scottish Bagpipe (he’s a Piper by trade).  This is the final chapter in the album’s story (song number 15 for Electrocelte so he has won the FAWM challenge!  Congrats Electrocelte!).  This song represents this album very well – tho, it might be a bit of a spoiler for those who want to listen to the whole story from the beginning.

That’s about it for this week.  I’ll probably do one more issue of this year’s FLOG, probably once FAWM is over.  Until next time…

See You In The Shadows…

FLOG: Volume 6; Issue 2

FLOG: Volume 6; Issue 2

Definition: FLOG – FAWM Log: A log of the process undertaken by Candle during February Album Writing Month

Ten days in & I am currently working on song number 7.  So far, I’ve gotten some great feedback on my first six songs from a lot of familiar faces & some new (to me) FAWMers as well. Oh, I guess I should explain what a “FAWMer” is.  Basically a FAWMer is anyone participating in FAWM – either writing & posting songs for the challenge or those very few who simply comment on others work.  Thank you to everyone who has commented on my songs so far.  And I know I’ve fallen behind with commenting on my Watchlist (FAWMers I’m following), but I’m doing my best to keep up.

Every year I have people ask me about my setup & what exactly “Buzz” is.  Well, put simply, Jeskola Buzz (the full name of the program) is a modular compositional software based on the idea of “Machines”.  Basically, a Buzz project is an open canvas where you can insert Generator Machines (synths, instruments, &c…) & Effects Machines (choruses, flangers, reverbs, filters, &c…) & wire them up just about any way imaginable.  The workflow is based on Tracker Technology (for anyone familiar with FastTracker, ProTracker or even ImpulseTracker, you’ll know what I’m talking about).  Trackers basically take samples & allow you to key those samples in various tones to write songs.  The workflow is very different from DAW’s that most people are familiar with & takes a little getting used to for the unseasoned.  But Buzz is more then just a Tracker, it’s possibilities are endless with its modular approach to everything.  There is an entire community of developers creating new buzz machines all the time.  Buzz also supports VST & VSTi integration as well as the use of SoundFonts & other audio creation/processing plugin technologies.  I’ve been using Buzz as my main compositional software since 2005 (gods, its been ten years, doesn’t seem that long!) & have yet to find another piece of software that lets me be as creative.  Here’s a screenshot of one of my two Buzz Projects for my sixth FAWM 2015 song Jura Mountains:

Jura Mountains Ambience Project - JPEG

Hopefully this gives you an idea of how the modular machines work.  For more information about Jeskola Buzz, you can check out the Buzz community website:  www.buzzmachines.com

Anyway, I’m really happy at how far I’ve come so far this FAWM.  Six songs in eight days is pretty exciting.   As I said, I’m working on song number 7 which is going to be using some original audio from the Apollo 11 mission.  I’m really excited about it.  Anyway, stay tuned for more new songs & more ramblings in the next edition of my FLOG.  Until next time…

See You In The Shadows…

From Mensche to Übermensche…

Already the Vibrations are being felt across the universe.  In places & moments throughout existence, the ten songs that make up the new album are being Experiænced by fans & new listeners alike.  As we speak, there are souls who are listening to these new songs for the first time – reacting to the frequencies, tones & instrumentations.  Their minds & bodies are in sync & are beginning to feel a shift.  It is a chance to grow into something greater.  A chance to Experiænce a deeper level – a deeper meaning.  Something that is just below the surface – but something that we all can still sense.

Take a step, one small step in your journey through exsitence.  Experiænce the new Candle album right now. Continue reading

Acts Of Deception (The Magic Circus or Weasels Stole Our Fruit)

VIBRATIONS PULSING THROUGH EXISTENCE

What does it take for the Individual to achieve their Higher Self? This is a question asked of the listener of Candle’s latest studio album Vibrations, released today on Layaway Records. Written in February 2014 as part of the annual online song writing challenge February Album Writing Month  (www.fawm.org), Candle’s sixth studio album is the result of a new method of composing music. Continue reading