Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Mars Underground Metropolis Project

This seedy-looking woman is not who she appears to be. She is, in fact an identity thieving robot sent by wealthy industrialists to infiltrate a gang of union thugs by impersonating their leader.

This is Maria from the silent film, Metropolis.

I have taken on what is by all accounts an insane, and daunting project. The Mars Underground (my electronic side project with Bryan) is going to re-score this most iconic, inexplicably beautiful (and the more I watch it, the more I realize -- also prophetic in many ways) science fiction film from 1927.

This is our score for the title sequence and opening scene:

Yes, this has been done before. No, I'm not trying to jock Georgio Morodor's style. I just really, really like this movie. It's creepy in that old timey way, and basically this film visually articulates my relationship to computers perfectly.

This is going to be awesome. Music for the next scene is already half written. It's like the project has a will of it's own.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Apathy (or 'the seven lies'): video shenannigans

This is a song I'm writing called "Apathy" ... or possibly "the seven lies" (though I haven't worked out what exactly the seven lies actually are or their significance -- the turn of phase just sounds cool).

I did this whole thing last night at like 1 in the morning. Normally when I'm writing, I'll pull up Logic, set up some instruments, etc. I've found that approach to really be kind of a bottleneck for creativity. So what I did here was really simple ... I pulled up the mainstage rig I use for live gigs, and I plugged the output back into the line in. Then I pulled up quicktime player and just started recording. Then I'd play one back and record another on top of it. No edits possible. A little like overdubbing yourself on cassette back in the day. It was incredibly freeing, and the lyrics just started to come out of the ether.

Last night was a very good writing night :-)

Also about halfway in, I discovered it could record video from the built-in camera. Also I discovered you could do screen recordings. The rest is ... well ... there it is. Once I've got the whole thing written, I think I'll do the whole thing out like this (though I might use soundflower to capture multi-tracks in logic so I can go back and mix it, lay down effects, etc).

I love the immediacy of working this way though.
It's a very cool technique.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Boombox Snowday Remix

Boombox Snowday Remix

This week, its a Ma-Yo joint, creamy and tasty.

I'd hoped to have some more recent work to post this week, but alas life gets in the way of art, and you gotta do what you gotta do.

I've got a few tracks I'm really proud of in the works. One is a production for a vocalist friend from work, that is very dark and emotionally potent (and has an insane number of tracks, making it a real learning experience to mix). The other is a new Mars Underground track ... a project that is really starting to find it's feet (in my mind anyhow). Having a clear vision of what you're trying to accomplish is always a good sign. This is probably the most complete idea for a musical project I've ever had, and what's more, it's right in my wheelhouse stylistically. But in the mean time, I bring you this ... whatever it is.

The story behind this track is essentially this equation: + snow day + tequila + rebirth = funk
The year was something like ... jeez I dunno ... 2005/2006, maybe? It snowed, a lot that year in the Northern Virginia D.C. suburbs. We were snowed-in, in fact. There was no going to work (and this was before the days of round-the-clock telecommuting ... good old days, really). There was however lots of liquor in the house (aah I miss the days when my body could deal with alcohol too), and rebirth was now a free download from propellerheads. Also I had recently discovered that GarageBand was installed by default on our new mac-mini.

Beats, and syncing of Japanese hip-hop vocals ensued.

Even though it's not my best work, and it's really old and dated, I've always had a soft spot for this track. It's very sparse, and I think really managed to capture a certain playful enthusiasm I had at the time ("you mean this computer can record audio??!!").

Personal nostalgia I suppose.
I got no idea what these guys are rappin' about.