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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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 🙂

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

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