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

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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Setting Up Plans…

PlanA_PlanB finished

The coming weeks are going to be quite hectic, given several things are to be worked out. One is the Sylvium album we’ve been doing a lot of work on and will start recording on this year, the other is Shifting Mirrors.

Before I’m unveiling all of the plans I’m working out, I’m actually trying to work out all the music for the songs, which has me going through all the notes I made over the years along with me listening back to old demo’s to know just what the hell I was playing 😛 Especially that is causing several problems.

Considering I do not read music at all ( although I use an extremely basic system where I annotate the note I am in by a letter with a number above it depicting the amount of clicks that chord is played) I have to relearn the tunes by ear. I do not for instance write my own tabs, which is a bit of a bummer but eventually I should get the hang of it. I rely mostly on my own memory and although guitar wise that isn’t too difficult for me, keyboard wise it’s a whole ‘nother ball game. So the past few days have been spent figuring out chords for ‘Marooned’ and ‘Inches to Fall’ which feature major keyboard parts along with the guitars that I haven’t played for quite a while.

Apart from that, I’m also checking the demo’s for how many tracks I played on them and if I need all of those or if I am still missing parts. For ‘Marooned’ for instance, there is a part where a keyboard solo would come but I never got round to record it. This is the case also for several parts of ‘The Big Fade Away’, whereas with ‘Dodge The Debris’ I’ve stripped the song down at least 4 to 5 tracks. It’s a slow and time consuming process, but at least I’m happy it’s improving the songs before they’re set in stone, so to speak.

The thing to do after, for me at least, is to work out how I want to do the vocal tracks. For some, they’re done and I don’t need to worry about them, but for some other tracks such as ‘Driving With Open Eyes’ for instance, I have several options I can do in regards to different takes, but I’m not going to get ahead of the job yet and see what I have to do first. But all in all, it’s sounding pretty good and I’m quite chuffed about it 🙂

Shifting Mirrors: Prologue to a project of dreams

Prologue to a project of Dreams - Ghost

This is the most daunting project I have ever undertaken and one I take extremely serious, as this is the first ever professional release of my music that will be known as “Shifting Mirrors”. For this, I will require help. Help from awesome people like you. Yes, dear reader, I mean you!

Very soon, once all the details have been worked out and everything is put in place for this project, I will reveal how you can help with this to make it a success. That doesn’t mean I will leave you in the dark, so let me light a candle and show you some of the things I will definitely include on the album.

“Shifting Mirrors” will feature six songs, namely:

( in random order)

Driving With Open Eyes
Inches To Fall
The Big Fade Away
Dodge The Debris
Marooned
Parting The Seconds

This doesn’t seem like much for a full album release, but Marooned clocks in at 10 minutes and The Big Fade Away at 26 minutes!

On top of this, I am planning to record a set of 10 covers of songs that I have a great fondness for. Which songs these are, will be revealed in time.

If you’re already interested in hearing some of my tracks, head over to my bandcamp page, where you can find the instrumental demo for Marooned and the demo for Parting The Seconds.

Another thing I plan to do, is regularly update this blog and my Youtube page, to keep you informed on all the cool things I have in store, so watch this space!

Parting the Seconds

partingtheseconds
On the 25th of May 2011, I released my first digital album of selected songs that I had recorded over the years in my little home studio into the unsuspecting world. The response was positive and more heart warming than I dared to imagine, so with that in mind, I began working on new music that I intended to release just a year later.

However, several things, such as my day time job, interfered and caused significant delays until I found myself unemployed halfway through November 2012. The perfect time to begin setting out the plans I had in my head, something I can finally share with all of you.

Working in my home studio taught me several things in recording techniques, but also showed that I can’t produce professionally with the current setup that I have, nor that I know everything. So I’ve decided to record as much of the keyboards, guitars and bass in my own studio and to have the drums and vocals be recorded in a professional studio where I can also have the production done.

Very soon, I hope to have a full plan where you guys can help me make that dream come true and record ‘Shifting Mirrors’. I can’t give any details as of yet, but I can tell you it will involve a Kickstarter project.
To show you all my gratitude for all the support I’ve been given so far, I am making this free download available of ‘Parting The Seconds’, one of the tracks that will be featured on ‘Shifting Mirrors’. Head over to my bandcamp page ( link below), enjoy the music and thanks so much for the support so far!

Parting the Seconds