(Announcing the Debut of Synthetic Strings! Dreams DO come true! Yessss!)
Here’s the story:
I played a show at The Knitting Factory in Brooklyn a few weeks ago. I met this really cool, tall red-headed guy named Christopher Faroe (sweet name, right?!). After I played he walked up to me and handed me a note with my name on it (it kind of awesomely reminded me of passing notes at lunch). On this note read, and I wish my scanner was working so I could just show you how cool this note is:Dear Songwriting Person, If (when) you become (more) desperate for song topics, perhaps the following will prove helpful?
-the possibility of airships in the Byzantine empire -the silk road -ancient sawdust -contemporary sawdust -Lord Byron, himself! -Sea creatures in precarious situations (especially seahorses, starfish, Jellyfish & Narwalls) -falconry (a noble, ancient art) -cumulonimbus -outer reaches of outer space -moi
Good luck, if you run out/need more, email me – Christopher
This was so cool. I wish more people were this forthcoming with notes at shows about “Falconry, a noble and ancient art” (probably my favorite one)… I mean, have you ever done this? I certainly haven’t, and I really appreciated it. The other day in the car, with my new uke and a road trip a head of me, I started singing, “Sea creatures in perilous situations”. I didn’t have the list with me so I thought it was “perilous” not “precarious”, and I recorded the vocals before I got home to check the list. But I think it works well as it afforded me the opportunity to use SYNTHETIC STRINGS FROM GARAGE BAND…. YESSSSS! As a string player, nothing beats synth strings. NOTHING. So, curl up with your favorite used copy of Moby Dick and some popcorn shrimp from Popeye’s and push play. You deserve it.
Writing: Jonathan, my lovely companion, was very helpful with the writing on this song. He suggested I relate the perilous situation to something random… like love?! So, I blame that “random” perilous situation choice on him. But, I would struggle with a line and he’d shout out something super weird from the couch like “mollusks in public fornication”. Also, did you know that extroversion means the act, state, or habit of being predominantly concerned with and obtaining gratification from what is outside the self. This will come in handy later I think. I also wanted to use at least one scientific animal name in this song, so I used the name for sting rays: Dasyatidae.
There is another aspect of this song. I love the sea. I love the sea. I wanted to be a marine biologist for a really long time. When I was little, my family would road trip to the Oregon coast every summer for a week or so. We’d go see the glass blowers, fly kites, and stand in the rain. It would rain and rain. I love the rain. One cloudy day we were on the beach. I was flying a kite and running backwards. Not paying attention, I ran backwards right into a huge boulder covered with BARNACLES and slid down it. Wearing shorts, this caused, as you can imagine, some pretty nasty cuts down the back of my legs. Ever since then I’ve had this totally weird, weird, weird fear of little things clumped together. This is a real fear! It has been only in the past few years that I have run into other people with this same fear, which makes me feel a little less strange. The thing about the fear for me is that it doesn’t apply to every single little thing clumped together like raisins, peas or stuff like that… but stuff like: spores on the back of fern leaves, clumps of warts (ahh!!!), ant piles, ahhh… I can’t list them anymore… but you can google this: trypophobia. I attempted to google it for you and link it but couldn’t deal with it. Needless to say, barnacles are at the height of intensity in this song! Funny enough, though they totally freak me out, if I see barnacles in person, they are so fascinating, and I can’t look away and end up grossed out but staring at them. I tried to get you a picture but, again, wussed out… so, there you go.
Recording: I think sound effects are pretty awesome, though I wish I had actual field recordings to use, garageband will have to suffice. Everything was tracked separately. I recorded everything from Sam Stolpe’s apartment yesterday morning (see song no. 43 The Wreck of the Hesperus), got home, felt totally dizzy from sleep deprivation and totally knocked out, so this morning cleaned everything up and have added, synth strings, organ and THUNDER! And TOTALLY messed up and said “Behoveth” instead of “Behemoth” on the lower voice… sigh… oh well. You do a few songs about the bible and it infiltrates everything else…
May your Sea Creatures remain safe this morning…
Sea Creatures in Perilous Situations