I did say “anything goes” for Wednesdays, so for our first edition of unstructured ramblings…
If you head over to my YouTube channel here, one of the songs you’ll find uploaded is History, as we know it, a pretty-quiet, ambient Piano piece I first put out back in February of this year!
The song itself is entirely in D♭ Major, and that whole melody throughout is just me going around on the D♭Major Pentatonic scale—I might talk about those in the future too just out of love for their sound~
Personally, even though it’s really simple, it’s always been one of my favourites—of the 60 or so tracks I’ve uploaded to that channel, it’s one of only 11 I’ve chosen to put up on my upcoming first Bandcamp release-!
But that simplicity hides quite a lot, really…
When it comes to pulling out ideas for songs, I like to sit back, envision some kind of image or scenery, and then try to capture how I think that sight would sound—it’s kinda like what I mentioned in my post about the Oblique Strategies deck (which you can look at here~): sometimes, trying to transfer the emotions of one medium to another creates something that I otherwise wouldn’t have arrived at-!
For History, as we know it, the image I had in mind was pretty simple: a scholar sits in their messy office in the early morning hours, stacks of paper all around them as they try to check text against text, source against source—for them, it’s really a constant cycle of having to ask “is history, as I know it, really what happened?”
This was one of 9 images I scribbled down for tracks from what became my first “album”, but it was also the only one of those 9 that I never composed—I recorded it as Idea #1 in my new list, and then I let it sit there… for only a week!
I was really passionate about pumping out more and more and more tracks—so I dragged the idea back out, downloaded some stock sound effects of rustling paper, and then- *poof* empty-handed again-!
My problem was I couldn’t think of a way to really transfer that imagery into sound—I used a lot of comping templates to just manufacture songs around this time, but not a single one really fit the mood I wanted, and of the one mode that I loved to practice and play, the Mixolydian didn’t really echo well with the image either.
So back to the shelf it goes… and then I let it stay there for a while.
Five months pass, it’s February of this year, and I’m now working on my fifth album, now also the only one I think is really any good but- that aside-!
I’d just finished Mischance, a Caretaker-inspired piece chronicling a civilian’s experience in a warzone, as well as Glistering Gardens, another song I tell you a lot about~, when something in my mind rang and reminded me that History, as we know it existed!
For once, I finally felt like I had some idea on what I could do, and I got to work just going up and down keys to find one that sounded right, ‘til I landed right on D♭ Major~
I practiced the Major Pentatonic scale, and then just sat down and got to work-!
That whole melody I pretty much hammered in one straight take—but with a lot of correcting and adjusting afterwards, of course… (^^;)
The rest of the song came about naturally after that—from tossing in a synth pad, then the percussionist, then the reverb, and funnily enough I screen-recorded the hour or so that I spent on February 17th just finalising what I had!
I won’t lie though—the song linked above on my YouTube channel isn’t the original—there were about 20 seconds between the opening and the start of the actual song that I cut out just to trim things really, not to mention the outro chords were a very late addition… so I now wonder: what if I steered this song closer to what I originally created?
A lot’s changed in how I approach my projects since I first finished this track, so now, I’m planning to reimagine History, as we know it for a release sometime this month~!
I kinda fear that my new visions would plow the song away from its original image to something completely different, but given how old the idea is, I think just slight changes are about necessary~
So if you’d like to be here for when that comes out, do consider subscribing down here below! Who knows, I might just keep the reimagined track exclusively on my site, just like the remix of Exodus over on this page!
Heh… look at me rambling on about these random songs—but I might make this a more routine thing-! ☆*:.｡. o(≧▽≦)o .｡.:*☆
Maybe next Wednesday you and I can have a look at what I personally think to be my worst songs… if you’ll have the patience to sit through them of course!
Till then, have a good day—and do drop my channel a subscription if you feel like it! Have a really-fun idea on what A Time for Memories is gonna be, and if you’ll be around for that, then it’ll be a much more fun experience~! (^◇^)
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