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!

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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

Shifting Mirrors Teaser: The Big Fade Away Part VIII – None The Wiser

And then she runs off, inexplicably feigning innocence while proclaiming it wasn’t going to work because of you…

None The Wiser ( previously known as ‘Well Thought Through’) was a track that didn’t exist until the rewriting of ‘Shifting Mirrors began. The original piece that sat in place of this piece was an odd instrumental with some choir-like vocals on top, but the original demo was so awful I scrapped the idea entirely and originally planned to have nothing there and just kick in the next part. But the song became quite disjointed after that, as now the ending didn’t seem to fit.

I was quite frustrated and ended up having to cool this by playing some guitar in the garden, where I ended up playing the tune on my 12-string. Absolutely fell in love with it, but originally planned to play this as a separate song at first. However, after having a few listens to the quick demo I made after I had gone over ‘The Big Fade Away’ this idea seemed to work better as it fitted the song a whole lot more than anticipated. The lyric delved into the frustrations of my then ex leaving me when I least expected it, along with the fact that she made it seem as if everything was my fault, whereas I have always been taught that where two lovers argue, two are to be blamed…
———————
None The Wiser
None The Wiser ( R.d.G)

No matter how many years
You keep playing on my fears
As all the things you had to say
Have never really gone away

Was it your way of saying sorry
That things were just not meant to be
Like a lifeboat on an endless sea
You swam to shore and forgot about me

(Chorus)
Could have listened
Could have stayed at bay
Could have talked things over
Could have walked away
But I am not to blame
For the things you did to me
You left me none the wiser
When you ran off to be free

Turn and run
But I have so much left to say
A smoking gun
as I saw you turn and run away
You were the one
or so I thought just yesterday

( Instrumental)

( Chorus)

Shifting Mirrors Teaser: The Big Fade Away Part VI – Shadowplay

Time to dance around the hot coals, time to avoid the urgent phonecalls in the middle of the night, the emotional backlash feared to jump out at you at every corner where you two could meet again…

Shadowplay (previously known as ‘Shady Images’) started life as a 4/4 instrumental track, but eventually found itself being reshaped into quite a quirky track, sporting a 7/8 synth lead section with a ‘bridge’ in 9/8. Quite a proggy tune, it was shelved at the time as I felt it didn’t do much but later revisited when I recorded a track called ‘Symbols’, where the 7/8 lead synth is now used as the ending section. It proved that the piece was still good and I enjoyed recording it immensely 🙂

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Shadowplay

Shifting Mirrors Teaser: The Big Fade Away Part VII – Falter

And finally, you break. You give in to the pain. You lose even though you have already lost her before. And everything starts to make sense when you least expect it…

The bittersweet moment when you realise the whole affair was going to collapse, is also one of release in a certain way. Doesn’t make it easier though. Falter ( previously known as ‘Sentimental’) was intended as an instrumental piece, but in the end I ended up writing the lyrics and cut half of the song off as it didn’t add anything to the structure. Right now, it’s a stripped bare emotional melody of a piano accompanied by acoustic guitar, before the song ventures back into the leitmotif of The Big Fade Away.

Falter
————–

Falter ( R.d.G)

I thought I knew heartbreak
Thought I knew the deal
But now I’m wide awake
in a moment so surreal

Shaped like a crashing wave
with the intention to alter
your sudden resignation
Something I cannot counter
You’ve made me fade, fall and falter…