Breaking The Silence

2014… Not exactly the best year, in hindsight.

I keep telling myself that every year will get better, because the alternative is too damn bleak. I know I can be a sour bastard at times, but a little optimism never killed anyone.

Losing my relationship at the beginning kicked it off and saw me flying blind for the first time in two years again, as I was so happy in that relationship I didn’t know how to move on at first. I felt like a rabbit in bright headlights. I sometimes still do.

The part-time job I found in march this year wasn’t the break I was looking for. It wasn’t the fact I was selling bikes, it wasn’t the fact I was stuck again in the east of Holland but the aggressively paranoid alcoholic of an employer that stood above me. I’m not going back there. I’ve done my time and I’ll take my chances elsewhere instead of having it batter my sanity even further.

Being without work for as long as I’ve been unemployed is amazingly bad, because I hate sitting still. Apart from having little to no income, it also halted my own musical project Ghost. I had told myself it would be a cold day in Hell© before I would hinder myself in recording my first album, but Hell© froze over as I have had to postpone the album due to several reasons, although one was a reason I could fully understand and put myself behind.

Apart from all this bad news, there is also good news. Although we took our sweet time, currently Sylvium is in the studio recording our second album ‘Waiting For The Noise’ ( and chronicling the event at www.sylvium.wordpress.com). And I’m glad we took the time, as the music is so much more stronger now. And that is one of the reasons why the ‘Shifting Mirrors’ intended release of march 2015 is being postponed; the March 28 release of ‘Waiting For The Noise’ at Rock Ittervoort is extremely important to us all and although it was yet another nail in the intended release of my first solo album, it also meant a new opportunity.

After recordings for ‘Waiting For The Noise’ are done, I’m going to record ‘Shifting Mirrors for as much as I can at my homestudio and hope that the intended kickstarter I am planning to set up is going to get the funding I require to do the drums at professional studio, along with the vocals if possible. There’s a lot of possibilities and opportunities to seize here and you bet I’ll be going for it.

Apart from intending to release ‘Shifting Mirrors’ ( which will be aimed at october 2015) I’ve also been writing a lot of new material for Ghost. Songs that I’m quite proud of though I’m not done yet. And I like that. I don’t feel forced about that and I know I can make this even better. The perfectionist in me isn’t worried; he’s happy. And I like it that way.

So life hasn’t been the best to me this year. But it’s the 31st of december as I am writing this post and I’m ready to move on. 2015 is going to be a busy year; just as it should be. With lots of music and other fun things to do. Sylvium will have several gigs lined up ( go to www.sylvium.com to find out where!) and I’ll be doing a lot for Ghost too. And to make amends for a silence way too long, here’s a demo of a song I wrote this year. No vocals yet, but I’m sure you’re going to love this track 🙂 I know I do.

Goodbye 2014. Go stink on someone else, I’ll be with 2015 rocking out.

15889563436_2e2164d9b3_oedit1 finished

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Signals: The start of the writing process of ‘Waiting For The Noise’

A second post to the Sylvium blog, this time documenting about how the writing process of ‘Waiting For The Noise’ began!

Writings on the Wall

Setting up for the new album has been a different experience than when we were recording ‘The Gift of Anxiety’ in the summer of 2013. When we joined in 2013, all the music had already been written, with the exception of the lyrics to ‘Surround’ and ‘Weathering’ and a couple of additions added during recording. That process was quite short and relatively painless.

That, however, would change dramatically with the new music.

‘Waiting For The Noise’ started out as a completely different thing, as most project eventually diverge from whatever was originally intended. Although Ben would still write the music, we were given a lot more freedom with what we wanted to bring in to the album and with that in mind we set about to work. After discussing several ideas for the theme of the album, I came up with a story based around one example that Ben proposed…

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Thud! The beginning of the recording of the new Sylvium album!

Here is the first update on the recording sessions of Sylvium’s upcoming album ‘Waiting For The Noise’! Enjoy!

Writings on the Wall

We’re off! The start of the new album recording has come and gone and we’ve taken a deep dive into the work that we’ve got ahead of us.

The way that we record this album is by using the demo’s that we have of the seven tracks that we’ve written and piece by piece replace the parts with the actual parts that we play now in our set. As every record needs a solid rhythm section, these recordings are always kicked off with drums.

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First one to commence work was Fred, who showed up at Artichoque studios with Ben and in no time put down an amazing recording for each song, with an amazing sound. Powerful when required, restrained and quiet at other times. Listening back to the recordings, I can’t begin to tell you all how pleased we are with this hard work he put on the record and…

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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!

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.

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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.
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Momentary Imbalance