Jim Altieri at The Bell House

This is a collaboration!  Jim Altieri is a good friend of mine, a fantastic composer, violinist, accordionist, guitarist, and all around hilarious conversationalist (of additional note: this guy is probably the most dependable guy I know outside of my own house.)  You can hear is compositions here –

Jim can do a million different kinds of musics: silly songs, sad songs, serious songs, atonal pieces, tonal pieces…the sky is the limit with Jim, and he’s a very selfless musician, which can be hard to find nowadays.

I went to his house and found that Jim had just obtained some very nice, new mics, so I was lucky enough to get to break these in with a collaboration for the 365!  The first thing we did was do some free-improvisation.  (It’s very freeing and I would suggest it to anyone.)  After some walnuts, Jim decided we should:

1. Lay down an accordion drone

2. Stack cello and violin on top, a few tracks of each

3. Put vocals on top.

The only rules: we could only do one take of each.  I like the danger behind knowing you can’t take things back once you’ve done them.  Mistakes don’t really exist in this realm for me because everything is just a part of the music and you use those things for good, not bad!

The lyrics: Next to Jim’s bed is his dream journal (which he doesn’t write in anymore).  We opened it up and found a dream he had written about and used what he had written as our lyrics!  The words we used are almost word-for-word from this book though we cut and changed a few lines and moved things around to keep the flow.

My one observation: In improvisational mode, I’m noticing that I use a particular interval in my vocals.  I think I could go back to other songs I’ve done improvised vocals for and pick it out.  What’s that from, I wonder?

In any case, we finished up and Jim did a really quick mix and sent it my way.  He has such a great musical imagination: I hope you enjoy!


By myself at night
Remote control cars on the sidewalk
Bare feet keep me from food I want to eat
Karen left me gifts and surprises
Band-aid folded up in bed
Note on inside of my blanket
“By honey, have fun.”
Tapes a book to the ceiling
I would never find