Dear Robin…

Dear Robin Williams,

The first time that I saw you, you played Adrian Cronauer in ‘Good Morning, Vietnam’. I couldn’t have been older than eight years old and recall vividly how your manic, upbeat and powerful comedy put a big smile on my face, eventhough I didn’t understand half of what the movie was about. And that wasn’t the point at the age of eight. The point was to laugh and to keep that smile there.

The second time I saw you, I didn’t recognise you. You were Mork for the first time, in an episode of ‘Happy Days’ on TV. When one of my brothers pointed you out, I was so happy to know you did even more amazing characters. I was sold, no matter what you did. ( Although we can both safely agree that Bicentennial Man was a bit shite…)

Time went by and as I grew up, I also became aware of other movies that didn’t star you, until I found out you were playing in amazing ones such as ‘Ms. Doubtfire’, ‘Jumanji’, ‘Awakenings’ ( which is still one of my favorites to date), ‘Hook’ ( where you played with so many of my personal heroes that you couldn’t do wrong at all!’), ‘What Dreams May Come’, ‘The Adventures of Baron Munchhausen’ ( although it was difficult recognising you) and many more gems that coloured and brightened my childhood and along that my writing and comedy styles.

Your comedy went beyond movies and your stand-up shows are my favorite to watch of any foreign comedian by far. You took us on a magic carpet ride and didn’t let go until we safely got to the end. I have lost track as to how many times I broke up in laughter because of you and every time I faced a dark period in my life, I would turn on your shows to lighten th eday and be inspired again to make jokes, to laugh and just be myself again.

Your laughter is one I can still not imitate to this date, despite me knowing a lot of your jokes and voices by heart. I is a unique laugh that displayed a sense of joy and love. And this is where I am sad. Because I recognise your sadness too, the darkness that you fought and struggled with, and not just yourself.

The last time I saw you, I was watching ‘Awakenings’ again. It had been a while since I saw your face and wanted to see you in a different light than just your comedy side. You had a talent I have not seen in anyone else. Maybe some come close, but your star went up farther and shone brighter.

I can only hope that you are now in a better place, Robin. Thank you for making me laugh when I needed it the most and know that, although we have never met, you are a big part of my childhood and you inspired me in so many ways than you could possibly imagine.

Rest well, oh captain my captain.

Good Morning, Vietnam!

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Gears of War #4: unintentional rhymes and frustration lullabies…

gt-100 gp-10 finished
While writing the teasers for Shifting Mirrors and making sure the art work was done, I’ve been busy writing new lyrics and vocal lines for the upcoming Sylvium album that we’re going to record this coming september. I’ll be talking more about that elsewhere, so watch this space for updates on that 😉

Also, I’ve been working out a new live rig out of necessity. As much as I love my GT-10, it’s dying a bit on me and I’m forced to look for an upgrade. So far, the plan that’s etched into my brain is getting my GT-10 replaced with a GT-100 while adding extra switches so I can quickly call up more effects on top of existing settings, while wanting to add a GP-10 to the rig as well. Being able to have synth sounds along my electric guitar effects is going to be mad. I’ll also throw in an extra delay that I have lying around to stack on top of existing ones and a chromatic tuner to effectively silence my rig whenever I need to.

There is a problem however: both the GP-10 and the GT-100 are multi-effects units and thus will most likely clash with one another, which either results in both devices simultaneously wanting to give sound to me or one dominating the other. So right now I’m in the process of looking how to hook these up with my amplifier along with one or two stompboxes to add specific effects, as well as awaiting an email from Roland to see if they know how to fix this. It took up most of my day trying to contact Roland whose website seems to be quite well at deflecting ( read: causing errors) incoming messages from users who want to know specific product related things.

This should’ve been fixed ages though though by retiring the GT-10, as its effectsloop is busted away. I’ve been running it through the front of my amplifier which isn’t ideal to be honest. I should just invest in a stackload of Boss pedals, Strymon effects and several other obscure brands I’ve been introduced with by friends and internet and get those all to run through a Gigrig system. However, I’d need a lot more money then. Anyone fancy sponsoring me? 😉 😛

In all seriousness though, if this thing should work out, it would mean I could add amazing sounds to my rig and still have a manageable and thoroughly enjoyable pedalboard. And in the end, it should be just that: manageable and enjoyable. Apart from that all, I’m looking into having a separate vocal effects unit I can use to spice up my vocals a bit, but that’s something for another time!

Shifting Mirrors Teaser: The Big Fade Away Part X – Poles Apart

And suddenly, you open your eyes… finding out what it was really like. And realising that it was never going to work… 

It hurts…

Originally this wasn’t even about a real person, but some figment of my imagination I had conjured up sometime during highschool. The doodles I still have in my lyric archive are dating back to when I was 17, just prior to me challenging myself to writing proper music.

‘Poles Apart’ ( previously known as ‘Different Levels’) was a difficult song to write, probably the hardest after ‘Parting The Seconds’. The original ending of the epic ‘The Big Fade Away’ was titled ‘Running Out Of Time’ and apart from shoddy lyrics, featured nothing really new that added to the song. Although several parts of ‘The Big Fade Away’ were great in their own right, together the piece didn’t work and thus remained in a directory hidden away on my computer for several years.

When rewriting this tune, the lyric was scrapped with much delight. By now, ten years had passed and enabled me to silence a particular ghost of my past that haunted me for several years. Whereas the original track was all about fast guitars, washes of keyboards and thundering bass, the track now is much more laid back, featuring acoustic twelve string guitar and mandolin. The track meanders through in a steady 3/4 rhythm, while the lyrics slowly but steadily deal with the past permanently.

——–

Poles Apart

Poles Apart ( R.d.G)

In sad contemplation
of a heart that broke
I reviewed all the pieces
as you silently went rogue

Now back to the day
when you worked out the rhyme
You said all your farewells
but admitted no crime

( Chorus)
I’m caught punching holes here
into the sky
And I’m fading out slowly
to all questions why
I thought I was sane now
but I’m missing my heart
I should’ve known better
we were poles apart

so sad that you left me
did the air make you choke
your ways unexplainable
your trust was a joke

just like a fleeting image
like a missile astray
too easy to blame me
as you slowly walked away

( Chorus)

( Solo)

And now here in hindsight
the heart that you broke
lies mended before you
then goes up in smoke

To think you once loved me                                        to think that you did
To think we once kissed                                                 just doesn’t make sense
Just goes to prove                                                           I’ve shut all the doors
happy endings don’t exist                                            now live in past tense

( Chorus to fade)

Shifting Mirrors Teaser: The Big Fade Away Part IX – Momentary Imbalance

She’s gone far away from you, but she’s always close to you, no matter where you’re at. You just can’t get her out of your head and it’s showing every place you go…

After having finished writing ‘None The Wiser’, I felt I needed a bridge before bringing the whole thing to a close. Originally, ‘Momentary Imbalance’ ( previously known as ‘Stay The Course’) was this extremely heavy piece that went on for at least four minutes, but that didn’t do anything, plus it didn’t fit the song that would come after. However, the aggressive start was kept and instead the song became an ambient track with a wailing guitar in the back not unlike David Gilmour. The track itself is more akin to Porcupine Tree in style though. Also originally intended to have lyrics on it, those were scrapped when realising the track didn’t need them.
——————
Momentary Imbalance