Objects In The Rear View Mirror…

First off, I’d like to apologise for my absence from this blog. Several things kicked off in January, among them a Sylvium gig ( which I will talk about in a different post), a roleplaying event I host yearly with several of my best friends for which I not only am a writer, but also the audio guy and working out new songs with Nur Armata.

But it is with sadness that I relate to you that Nur Armata have decided to call it a day. As much as we were extremely prolific in the past weeks writing new material and working this out during a very powerful and superb sounding rehearsal, finding time and energy to plan another rehearsal and/or recording session to work on the finished material proved impossible. Combining the band with personal life, family ( two of us have children) and work unfortunately ended the band prematurely. In hindsight, this was something that had happened before ( way before I even joined the band in January 2012) but it still came as a surprise to me.
Even though this was a decision made a while back in February, I am still disappointed in the demise of the band. The songs we had were powerful and great, the chemistry felt superb to me. I always hate saying goodbye to a band I was fond of.

I wish Andrea, Patrick and Henk nothing but the best in their next musical endeavours and perhaps, in another time and space, we will get together and work out that music we had. Because the music proved magical.

so, what does this mean for Ghost? Well, that remains to be seen. At the moment I’m very busy writing new lyrics and vocal lines for Sylvium’s second album that we plan to release this year, so I’ve decided to focus on that first and get to recording Shifting Mirrors when I’ve worked out several things. It might mean I can actually release the album in 2014 instead of 2015 ( as related in my previous post) but I don’t want to jump the gun and later recant again after finding out it didnt’work at all. I’d rather make sure everything is well written, recorded and mixed to the best of my abilities and released for your enjoyment at a time when I can also support the album on a tour. But that’s just one of my many planned schemes.

rearviewmirror

A New Year…

And that was 2013. Oddly enough, I have never counted the last day of the year along, simply because I keep thinking of all the things I want to do in the new year. I find closure and closure is required for such a heavy year as 2013.

There’s plenty set in motion for 2014, one of which being recording and writing the follow up to Sylvium’s “The Gift of Anxiety”. So far, one track is finished, and several other tracks are in the pipeline to be worked out by the band. I wish we could divulge a little bit more about the whole project, but for now I will only say this thing is becoming awesome!
Nur Armata is gearing up for recording the songs we’ve written so far, be it for an EP or a full album. We’ve also begun looking for a keyboard player and bass player to finish the line up we require to play live. For any Dutchies reading this who are musicians themselves or know people looking for an atmospheric postrock/metal band, let us know. You can find us on the interwebs at http://nurarmata.nl/ (dutch website only).

As for Ghost, I’ve had to make a bit of a sad decision: Given my lack of time ( considering I’m busy with Sylvium and Nur Armata), I’m not going to be able to release ‘Shifting Mirrors’ in 2014, as the plan was. Writing and rehearsing with both Sylvium and Nur Armata, plus the fact I have no backing band for Ghost, have pretty much made this a clear cut and indisputable decision. It will allow me to write, record and perform with both bands.
That said, I will be recording “Shifting Mirrors” in the coming year, plus some extras to make up for all the delay to this project. I want this album to be noticed, to resound and leave a mark. I don’t feel I can commit fully to that without a backing band or with my attention with my other two bands. This is not a project I intend to hastily finish and release even faster. This is a project I take very seriously.

So that’s the bad news for 2014. Here’s the good news:

– I can work out a unique marketing strategy for this album. I’m not expecting to become a multi-platinum artist, but I can make sure my music is heard far and wide 🙂
– There will be extra music. Without going too much into detail, this could mean me covering tracks I love or extra b’sides to “Shifting Mirrors”.
– I am currently looking into having several videoclips shot for songs on “Shifting Mirrors”. “Parting The Seconds” will definitely be featured should this plan work out, both financially and scriptwise.

So that’s that! I’m done with 2013, that has turned my personal life upside down several times in a row. I’m ready for a new year of new opportunities, new challenges but most importantly, new and exciting music I get to work on and perform for you all. Be well, I wish you all a great, superb and loving 2014 🙂

fireworkghost2014

… And then it hit me…

It’s quite funny that, although I’ve been writing my own songs for years now, I’m still amazed at how easy the new songs are coming together that I have been working on for Sylvium.

‘Coraline’ is proving the most difficult one of all and not because of the time signatures. The song has been experiencing a lot of trimming lately, as the only bit remaining is the beginning of the song, the rest has been removed ( but not deleted as they are great songs/bit in their own right).
Whereas the song wasn’t a collection wibbly wobbly timey wimey solo’s and odd time and tempo changes, it’s now been changed from a body of work spanning around 9 minutes to a much more precise song with its verses in 11/8 and the chorus in 6/8.  Although the verses are quite poppy, the chorus is where the power lies. The tuning of this song was changed from Drop D to Drop C, not because I wanted to sound all death metal like, but because it sounded amazing with clean sounds. If anything at all, it matured the song. I’m still due to write a bridge for this track, I’m pretty sure that’ll work out over the coming days!

‘Tool(s)’ is the heavy metal middle 8 section that was salvaged from ‘Coraline’ which will be worked out for something else. It’s an almost military rhythmic track in 7/8 with a harsh ending. So far, I’m liking it!

‘Bridge Burning’ is a funky rock tune in 6/8 I tried to add to ‘Coraline’ but it never really gelled for me. So right now, I’m looking as to where I would use such a piece. It’s the most Ghost-like tune I’ve got out of the bunch I wrote, so I might bag it for myself!

‘Lilypad’ is so far the quietest thing I’ve written in a while. Clean guitars with massive delays and some gentle keyboards going with it. Not sure where this track is going, to be honest, but it is sounding very good to me!

‘Wrong Side of the Reel’ is a new track which I began writing when the delay effect I had added to a specific guitarsound began to feedback. So far it’s almost like ambient space rock.

Apart from these songs, is a stack of riffs I have which I will figure out in due time once these tracks have been demo’ed. Given I’m going to follow a course on how to work with Cubase ( as I have worked in the past with a horrible DAW that shall remain unnamed) I should have demo’s soon! Exciting days are ahead! 🙂

I’ll be away for the holidays, spending it with my lovely girlfriend and our cat. For now, I wish you all a merry and happy christmas!

timeywimey

Inspiration Bug And How NOT to repel it…

It’s been quite a busy time for me, job hunting, family related issues and whatnot and, of course, songwriting. Especially the latter since a couple of days.

After finishing up on writing the songs for ‘Shifting Mirrors’, I encountered a dry season with regards to songwriting and simply just sat back and decided to wait for it to return. It always did before whenever dry season would come in sight. That was at the end of 2011.

*cricket noise*

Not counting the lyrics I wrote for Sylvium’s “The Gift of Anxiety’, that’s a lot of work I didn’t do. As for the songs that I wrote for Nur Amata when I joined them early 2012, those had already been written prior to me joining the band. So all in all, it was quite a bit of a quiet period. Truth be told, I didn’t really mind it, I just had other things to take care of back then. Besides, I find that rushing any songwriting that I do screws over the song.

Yet now, I am staring at a notebook with scribblings and scratchings not unlike a painting in the making, be it of course not a visual spectacle but one that will hopefully be enjoyable to your ears.
The first song is one I’ve been working on for Sylvium and am quite badly due to record/work out, as it’s a bit fragmented so far with regards to the pieces. A song in Drop D tuning with 4/4, 6/8, 7/8 and 11/8 time signatures. No lyrics so far, just a fairly mad piece of music that goes by the working title of ‘Coraline’. Incidently, I have never been able to finish a piece of work by Neil Gaiman due to lack of time ( and also because I still have at least thirty odd books or so to finish before I begin new ones, so no bickering! 😉 )
The second song is a piece for Nur Amata that I worked out in Drop G tuning ( after having found out I was mistakenly calling that Drop A tuning). Although the strings on the guitar were quite floppy, I did enjoy playing it. However, the tuning is now back to standard E in 6/8 as it made playing it a whole lot easier and sounded better than having a string sounding floppy ( if that is a proper term for describing strings not wound tight enough!). The lyrics I have so far are only scribbles that seemed to be about disappointment, so the working title for now  is ‘Hollow’.
The third and final song is another piece for Nur Amata revolving more around a standard E tuning ( although I could play it on Drop D as well I found out later) in 4/4. Much more poprock than anything else I’ve written, but with guitar sounds I normally don’t use for Ghost. I have no lyrics for it yet, but found myself mumbling incoherently about driving while playing the bridge part, so it’s working title for now is ‘Keep Driving’. 😛

So right now, I’m just thrilled this has worked out. I’ll work out recordings later this week or perhaps next week if time proves too elusive ( which it very well may be!). There are band rehearsals later this week, so at least I’ll be able to play them some things on guitar/synthesizer and perhaps work out these songs even better. Given that Nur Amata is in full writing mode with several songs, I’m psyched!

songwriting bug