Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pricing and Home Recordings

It has been a couple of weeks now since I released "Never And Forever" as a digital download.  (The CD version release is still in the works and will be officially announced soon.)  You may have noticed that I decided to do things a little differently with the pricing this time around.  In the past I have "sold" my music at a "pay what you want" price.  That means that if you wanted to own it, it was yours, free of charge if you so desired.  It also meant that you had the option to pay for it if you had the means and felt it was worth something to you.

One of the main reasons I have done things this way in the past is because I've always known that my (home studio) recordings were not of a professional quality and I felt a bit weird asking someone to pay for something that was not up to normal audio quality standards.  That's not to say that I didn't believe in the songs themselves.  I have many songs that I feel are truly great tunes.  But I know the sound quality has always been an issue with the home recording process.

Things are a little different this time around.  With the recording of "Never And Forever" I feel like I have set a new high standard for myself in the quality of these recordings.  Is it perfect?  Of course not.  But I feel like it has now reached a point where I can feel comfortable asking someone to pay something for the work I've done.

I've set the album download cost at $5.  Individual tracks are $.75 each.  (But also, if someone feels so inclined they can pay more than that.)  Not really a lot to ask for something that you get to keep forever.  We all pay a lot more than that every day for things that are gone much quicker.  Will people be willing to part with a little hard earned cash for a handful of heartfelt songs written and recorded by a part-time amateur?  Maybe they will and maybe they won't.  I really don't know.  It's a good thing this is not my day job so I don't really have to worry about that.  Either way I am proud of what I have accomplished.

Thanks again for listening.  Peace and happiness to you and yours this Holiday Season.


Friday, November 30, 2012

Without Further Ado...

...I give you "Never And Forever".

After 23 months of intermittent work, it is finally finished and available for download.  This is my 4th album and has been by far the easiest to make.  (It's interesting that my 3rd album was the hardest.)  It's short...only 8 tracks.  But I think I've packed it full of enjoyable moments.  As I've said all along, with this album I've tried to keep to specific themes and a specific mood.  What that means is that there is probably not "something for everybody" on this one.  Which means that it may not be everybody's cup of tea, which is perfectly fine.  I mean really, is there anything more subjective than music?  But I think that those who DO enjoy this will do so deeply.  I've put my heart and soul into this and I hope that comes through as you listen to it.  I also hope that you will give it a few spins before passing judgement.  The best music always takes some time to sink in.

There will also be a CD version released.  It will have a 12-page booklet with artwork and lyrics.  All design work is being done by myself.  Sometimes I think I enjoy creating the artwork as much as the music.  I hope that some of you will want to go the old fashioned route and have this tangible object to hold in your hand.  I promise I am working to make it as beautiful as I can.

I'm going to ask a favor.  If you find my work to be worthy of any praise, please share it with others.  Like any musician, I'd love to reach the largest audience that I can.  Again, thanks to those who have supported me in the past.  I really hope you enjoy my latest effort.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Time Takes Time...

...but albums are quick.

Less than two years ago I began recording songs for what would become "Never And Forever".  As I type this I am on the cusp of completing it.  Even though I've pretty much taken a few months off from recording, I cannot believe how fast the whole process has gone.  This album is so much different than the last one which took five years(!!!) to complete.  By the time I finished that one I was just ready to be done.  Sure there were improvements that could have been made but I was really just over it by that point.  This time around I am going to finish AND still be excited about the music!  It's a very nice feeling.

All I really have left to do to finish is record the vocal tracks for the album closer called "Time Takes Time".  It is the shortest track on the album and the simplest song as well.  The vocal recording should be really easy.  I recorded the bass guitar tonight.  It is really so close.

Once vocals are recorded the final mixing should be easy because it's such a simple mix.  Then it will be a matter of getting the track sequence mastered so that everything sound right together on the album. Artwork for the CD booklet is coming along nicely as well.  I'm saying this will all be done and ready for download by the end of November.  Optimistically I'm hoping maybe even by Thanksgiving.

To be honest I'm pretty excited about this release.  I think it's the most solid collection of songs I've ever come up with.  You can judge for yourself before too long.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Looking to the Future

"Never And Forever" has been my easiest album to make so far.  I really could have finished it earlier this year if I hadn't taken a few months off this summer.  Part of the reason that this album came so quickly (besides the fact that it only has 8 tracks) is because most of the songs were already written before i went to record it.  In fact, with each album there are a certain number of tracks that are written well before the recording process begins.

As I approaching the end of the recording process this time around, things are a bit different.  There are no songs that are waiting in the wings to be recorded for the next project.  Looking forward to the next project I realize that I've got nothing.  Sure there's a few lyrical ideas I've had floating around, lots of brief musical outlines that could become songs, but nothing that approaches a complete song in any way.  I'd say this excites me more than worries me.  I look forward to entering a period of focusing on purely writing music again.  I feel like I've grown and changed as a songwriter and I'm curious and enthusiastic about what sort of songs I can come up with.

"Never And Forever" had a certain tone, a certain feel, and it told a certain story in a concise way.  Part of the reason it was such a short album was to keep that sense of continuity.  It stands as a great piece of work (in my opinion of course) but I don't think it represents what lies ahead.  I'd really like to do something a little more upbeat and positive.  My songs always seem to lean towards the bittersweet.  I'd like to do a little more of the sweet (without completely abandoning the bitter).  Something fun (without being cheesy).  In the end, who knows how it will actually turn out?  But these are my thoughts right now as I anticipate having a completely blank slate to work with.

Of course right now I just need to finish the task at hand.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Album Update

I've been getting a lot of work done this week.  "Never And Forever" the album, is almost a reality.  Here is a quick rundown of what is done and what is left to do.  I made some substantial progress on track #6, "Anything At All".  I fixed some issues with the mix, recorded vocals for the ending of the song and now it's pretty much finished.  I also did some EXTREMELY minor tweaks to the mix of the first 3 tracks.  These were small things that I've been meaning to do for a while.

All that remains to completely finish this album:
  • Track 4 - "You Can Never Go Home"
    • just needs some minor improvements to the mix.  This should't take long
  • Track 5 - "Save My Soul"
    • this is pretty much done but  could use one more instrument/part/sound to round it out.
  • Track 6 - "Anything At All"
    • As I mentioned, I just about am finished with this one.  All that remains is to listen to the mix a few more times and make sure it's really done.
  • Track 7 - "This Time"
    • This song needs a few more sounds, a guitar solo and some final mixing and testing.
  • Track 8 - "Time Takes Time"
    • Need to record vocals, maybe add some more sounds or instruments...maybe not, we'll see.
At a total of 8 tracks, that's all there is left to do.  That may sound like a lot of things but really this album is over 90% done.  I really can't wait to get it finished as it feels like a major step forward for me.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Change of Seasons

There is no getting around it.  Summer is over.  The leaves are shriveling.  The grass is browning.  The air is crisping.  Daylight hours are waning.  Outdoor fun is now at a premium.

There are so very many things about the summertime that do not lend themselves to recording music indoors for hours on end.  Family trips, hiking mountains, exploring caves, watching baseball games, and just general merriment are all things that kept me away from my music for the past several months.  And with this annual change in weather comes a change of priorities.  I am reenergized and excited to spend some time with music again.

Upon sitting down and taking stock of where I'm at, I've noticed that I really am QUITE close to finishing a major project.  "Never and Forever" my most recent collection of songs is sitting on the cusp of completion.  So VERY close to being done.

I'm looking forward to finishing it soon and moving on to new projects.  It may be getting cold outside, but I'll have plenty to do in the warmth of my humble recording studio.  Stay tuned.

Friday, June 29, 2012

"So...What's the Hold Up?"

Although unlikely, perhaps there is someone out there that has been following this blog and/or awaiting the release of my next album"Never And Forever"...And if there is such a person somewhere in this vast world of ours, perhaps they are asking themselves that very question.  So, indeed...what is the holdup?  I could say that it's been difficult to work now that summer is here and I'm busy with other things (which is partially true), but the truth is this:  I'm stuck.

The song "Anything At All" is just not cooperating.  I can blame it all on one thing....the verse melody. I just don't like it.  And if I don't like it, certainly you won't either.  And that just won't do.  Usually I can come up with any number of melody ideas for a given chord structure, but this one is leaving me cold.

So tonight it's time to break out the old acoustic and come up with some beautiful melodies that will be worthy of the undying devotion of that one person out there (that may or may not exist) who is waiting so patiently for me to finish this thing.


If you haven't yet, go download you free (high quality) copy of So Far Gone.  Just do's free!

Thanks for listening,