Thursday, June 28, 2012

My 5 Year Old's First Loop Recording

Jaden wanted to sing something into the microphone so I worked the looper and he improvised. Then I mixed it into a little song for him. :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My First Microphone!

When I was about 5 years old, I loved to sing along to a the Broadway musical Annie on record. I'd bring all my stuffed animals to the living room, line them all up on the couch, and sing to my captive audience every day. One day, my dad came home with a little box. He handed it to me and I opened it to find this microphone inside. He showed me how to plug it into the stereo so I could hear my voice over the recording. I must have used it every day for years.

This was also the first mic I used when I started creating my "multi-track" recordings as a teenager. I'd sing into a tape recorder, then *using a second tape recorder* I'd record myself playing the first recording while singing another. I built up lots of interesting layers that way. Lots of white noise. Lots of love.

I'm really grateful my parents acknowledged the things that were interesting to me and it's something I'm now doing for my son. Who knows which of the things he likes now will be the thing that sticks. It's interesting to think he may already know exactly what he wants to be when he grows up. I know I did. I started plunking out the melodies I heard around me on the piano when I was 2. There was never a doubt that I would be a musician from even further back than I can remember. 35 years later, the desire burns brighter than ever.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A response to the guy who told me downloading my music for free is not a loss because it's imaginary money I never had in the first place.

I bring something to the universe that is all my own. Just because you like my talent, doesn't mean I should have to give it to you for free. My music has a set price. If you're taking it without paying, you are stealing my music.

Sure, digital files don't seem as tangible as physically stealing an item from the store, but is it lawful to download company's digital work files without their consent and/or upload them to the internet without consequence? Wouldn't you be "stealing information?" STEALING.

The future that awaits me is a very real END TO THE MUSIC if everyone takes my music for free. Even if I want to just "do it for the love of music" it won't be an option if I have to spend all my time doing some other job to survive. In my precarious case, if I can't be paid for all the work I've done, it absolutely stops any more music from happening. It's not selfish to be compensated for the thousands of dollars spent on equipment and thousands of hours I worked over the past few years to create that music.

Album sales are what I use to feed my family. I'm not a record company, I'm not rolling in money like Gaga, I'm just a real person who spends real time on my real art. If you can look me and my 5 year old son in the eye, reach into my wallet and take out $10, while at the same time telling me you really love my music, you are no fan, you are just a selfish person.

To put it simply, how would you feel if people expected you to work very hard on something FOR FREE forever? How many facebook "likes" would it take before you got resentful that none of those people actually bought the music or gave a shit about how hard you work for THEIR benefit?

Music theft is bleeding the body dry and still expecting the heart to beat.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Requests from the audience?

Over the past few weeks, I've been spending more more time contemplating live performance. I'll be starting out with a very stripped-down, MTV-Unplugged-style scenario with just voice, a piano and a looper for creating all my layered vocals (strings, drums, etc!). Live performance will consist of new arrangements of Smiths Project/original tunes and be a unique experience unto itself.

But here's the BIG question-

Out of 71 Smiths Project songs to choose from, which ones would you like to hear live?

What's on your Top Ten Smiths Project Songs List?

Comment below and there's a good chance your requests could become a reality. :)

Friday, June 8, 2012

This made my year.

Thank you Alexandra @1praiseJesus on twitter for this!

Current projects

As of the wee hours of the morning today, my version of Duran Duran's "We Need You" requested by the man himself, Simon Le Bon!! is really starting to come together. This song is EPIC, you guys.

Having the chance to record 2 hours worth of new material to work with yesterday (courtesy of my son being content to quietly draw pictures while I recorded), the missing pieces of the arrangement have fallen into place. Everything is where I want it, but now the "clean up" begins.

Clean up means I go through every layer and take out breaths, coughs, & neighbor's mariachi music, then I EQ/pan the whole song to add space and clarity. With 50 layers of voice competing for the same frequency range, EQ is a critical step. Once it's all cleaned up I can do more mixing add a little flare with drum fills, and fun little extras.

Lots of hours to go, but I'm really excited to show it to you. My god, last night I was literally jumping for joy when all the pieces came together.

Here is Duran Duran's We Need You:

One of the kickstarter rewards for Patchwork Life at the "Producer" level was a cover song of their choice. I'm thrilled to say two people took me up on it and I'm now working on Memories Fade by Tears For Fears for Rebekah Soboski, and Mary Jane's Last Dance by Tom Petty for Arielle Roberts. So far, I'm just getting the basic structure down but the style is starting to take shape. I've had months to mull them over in my head while Patchwork Life was in its final stages of manufacturing and being shipped out. I have great things planned for these songs!

I want to thank Arielle for giving me an excuse to sing "Oh my my, oh hell yes, honey put on that party dress" Super sexy.

And yes, I HAVE noticed this is my second Tears for Fears cover request off The Hurting album. I do believe people are trying to tell me something. :) Here's a wonderful live version of Memories Fade. Look how cute those boys are!


For the first time ever, I recorded vocals today-LEAD vocals- while jaden was awake. Normally he wants to stand outside the studio door and talk to me, ask for things, etc. but today, he was content to quietly play video games, draw pictures and play with toys. I nearly cried. I checked on him every so often and he just seemed to understand I needed to record. Crazy. I got a combined total of 2 hours of recording done. That is the most I've been able to record at once in probably more than a year. Trying not to get TOO excited in case this was a one time thing but... if my recording hours could be something other than midnight-3am that would be super fantastic.