What the hell is S.E.N.T.?
If you’ve no idea what we’re talking about you can catch up with previous weeks over on the S.E.N.T. page.
After last weeks telling off you’d think we would have ironed out all our technical difficulties. Not so. It turns out somebody has been uploading the wrong weeks audio, meaning their blog bears no reference to the music linked below. I don’t know how they’ve managed it without a time machine but it’s happened. As part of our “process” we aren’t listening to anybody else work, so this error slipped through our usually scrupulous quality control. As a result, I’ve no idea if what’s below is correct on not, you’ll have to be the judge. I’ll not name names but lets just say as punishment, somebody has been banned from witing lyrics about trees and birds for a whole week!
Ed couldn’t be arsed with a blog this week. No reason, no apology. I’ve made one up for him. The sooner this project is over the better for my sanity and all our friendships.
By the final week we’ll have got it right. Just in time to put it all in the bin.
Week 4 – Budding
IDEA #1 – FLETCH
Yeeeeaaaah! I like this.
Bit darker, enjoying the vocal line for the chorus, keyboardy thing sounds cool, ace distorted drummy thing. Good work that. My thought initially was that it just needs a bunch of Hux’s guitar pedals and Ed’s plugins and it’d be done. It’s a funny one being directly after Si in this process cause I’m always getting handed pretty fully formed songs. I did a couple of weeks of f**king them up but I just don’t feel that angry anymore so I just thought I’d add a few bits and leave space for Ed and Hux to bring it home. It needed something percussive for me before the drums come in all proper like and I thought something with a bit of a human edge might help so I did some of the beat boxes like what the kids do. Yeah, that’s right, I’m not scared to break out a bit of mouth percussion when the feeling takes me. Smashed that. Then I turned the bass up. Then I turned the bass up. THEN I TURNED THE BASS UP!!!!! and stuck some fuzz on it at the end to help it cut through…..and just cause fuzzy stuff is cool. I tidied up the end a bit. My guitar was looking all sad so I played some low crunchy, fuzzy guitar noises over the end and I printed it. There you go, that’s a pretty boring list of stuff I’ve done. Not sure I’ve got much more insight than that. Made some music innit, listen to it, make your own mind up Xx.
IDEA #2 – Ed
Plugins blah blah blah, distortion blah blah blah, keyboard part blah blah blah.
IDEA #3 – HUX
Took me a long time to get my head around this one. Is it a song? Are Fletch’s guitars and bass accidentally out of time, or is that a “feature”? Do I add a section, or is the simple repetition thing useful? What the flip do I add? So it turns out, what I do is to add too many guitar parts, a stupid WawWaw vocal part, and then futz with the audio that’s there so it sounds a bit more like a mix to my ears. Generally, it’s been grunged up and stupefied even further.
It’s difficult doing this stuff in isolation. Usually, we talk about what it is we’re trying to make, musically, in advance of making a record, immediate interpersonal feedback during the process – right there and then. This is like making music with a blindfold on. “Pin the tail on the right key”, as it were. We’re not listening to the songs once they’re passed on, so it could be that each week the songs lurch as they’re pulled in different directions, traversing the internet from person to person. Maybe it’ll work out. Maybe not.
IDEA #4 – JAMES
Tuesday 10:00am – Deadline day
I’ve got 1.5hrs to simultaneously contribute something of merit to this track and get warmed up for a recording session. It needs a load of lyrics, some drums and a few melodies. I used up my only chorus last week and my drum machine has run out of batteries so I guess I’m on melody duties.
10:15am – I load up a glockenspiel and press record. It’s out of tune but I don’t have time to deal with that now. What I play isn’t complete rubbish so it’s a keeper.
10:30am – Ablutions. When you gotta go, you gotta go.
10:45am – Next up, flugel doubling the chorus melody. By the time I get my sticky valves working I’ve only got time for one go at it and I play the last bit completely wrong. It sort of works and if I double it with muted trumpet it’ll sound like I meant it. Jazz over the outro.
11:00am – I try some wafty muted trumpet over the middle 8. The first pass is pure gold but I forget to press record. Bastard. I never get the magic back but once I smoother it in reverb, double it and reverse it it just sounds like a big blurry noise anyway.
11:25am – Export, upload, take a picture.
11:30 – Finished, what a buzz, this must be just how Anika Rice felt. Playing music is a bit like building an orphanage in 3 weeks. All you need is a few tonnes of sand, a helicopter and a jump suit.
IDEA #5 – GARY
Wow. The most colourful of the Projects so far. ‘Someone’ likes their mixes in Technicolor(™). Ed’s tune I believe this week. Sounding pretty cool. Tried to come up with a verse melody but could not escape from singing a melody that was pretty much a rip-off of The Lumineers ‘Ho Hey’. [Hux: “Choooon!”] If only we’d written THAT. Some lovely stuff in this already. I added some ‘ooh’s’ to the back end of the verses and harmonised with James on the choruses. James- i really love your voice on these choruses. It is you singing right? Also gave the song some claps and then time to pass it on (the song,not the Clap)…
IDEA #6 – SI
At last a song. An actual song. And some time! Some actual time. It’s got a lot of stuff going on already so all it really needs is another 15 channels of vocals. It immediately reminds of the stuff we wrote for FEEL – up beat, slightly poppy, quite sunshiny. Sit down at the piano for a morning and just bash a melody together. It’s easy and enjoyable and rewarding. Build on James’ whistle melody with some lyrics inspired by Oh The Places You’ll Go! Whether it’s actually good music is anybody’s guess but I’ve had a thoroughly nice time.