March 22, 2012
Sorry it’s been a while–I’ve been busy! However: the fated day has arrived! The I Found a Box EP is finished and up for sale on Bandcamp!
I’ve also just completed a poster which contains lyrics for each of the songs in the EP, and you can find it here.
If you’ve listened to my first album, you’ll notice a pretty massive difference in the style of each piece, but I think there are common threads, too. I’ll leave that one up to you.
Anyhow, I hope you enjoy the music!
March 5, 2012
I’ve just finished putting the album booklet for The Night Wind into a PDF, so you will now be able to read the lyrics to each of the songs here! I do hope you’ll take a look, as personally, I think the lyrics are the strongest part of the album, and they aren’t always easy to decipher just by listening. Included with the booklet are a number of small drawings I accumulated in my wallet throughout high school, so I hope you enjoy those as well.
In related news, The Night Wind itself is no longer available for free download; however, you can purchase it for only $5 via Bandcamp. Furthermore, tomorrow I will be recording final lyrics for the four tracks on my I Found a Box EP, which should be released sometime soon! More news on that later.
February 26, 2012
I’ve started a composing exercise ritual in which I write a short piece every night at 10pm. I started with the goal of completing them between 10-11pm, and I thereby dubbed the project “TenEleven”; however, I quickly found that a one-hour window of time just isn’t enough (last night I was up until 1am fiddling different elements and synthesizer voices).
I’m also hoping to build some of these off of certain pieces of inspiration–art, poetry, word, photos, etc. If you’d like to submit some inspiration for me, especially something you created, then I’d be delighted to see it! You can submit content through my Tumblr.
I’ve been posting these pieces to my personal Soundcloud account, where they are available for free download. Get them while you can, because after 20 or so, I will be taking them all down, tweaking them, and compiling them into an album. After that, they won’t be free anymore!
I have three of them up now, as well as three other keyboard improv tracks, all of which I’m a fair bit proud of.
More news in the way of I Found a Box EP and the booklet for The Night Wind to come shortly!
February 9, 2012
Well, the day I’ve been itching at for months and months and more is finally here! My first album, The Night Wind, has launched and is officially available through Bandcamp. I’m releasing it under the moniker Street Nymphs, partially in the hopes that Street Nymphs will eventually become a full-on band and consist of more than just me. Until then, I’ll settle with my ethereal forest sprite companions.
I’m releasing The Night Wind with Bandcamp’s delightful name-your-price feature, so you may download it for free if you like. I figure, when it comes down to it, I would rather have many people listening than a few people paying. If this philosophy eventually makes a poor man of me… well, at least my album will still be on Bandcamp? Ah, we’ll figure that one out later.
In other news, the coffee house games are coming along quite well. I wish I had art to share with you, but I had something of a cross-hatching mishap the other day and have yet to retrace my earlier design. Tomorrow Renee and I will venture out to a number of our coffee shops to deliver flyers and take a few photographs, and I am doing my best to have the Kickstarter project launched by then. I will post another brief update as soon as that happens.
Best wishes, and I hope you enjoy the first ever Street Nymphs album!
February 2, 2012
I just wanted to keep you all updated on a few things as we tip over into this eerily warm February (at least here in the Midwest).
First of all, I plan to launch my second Kickstarter project sometime this weekend. This is another publishing venture, though I won’t be hand-printing these books.
Over the past year-and-a-half or so, I’ve been playing a number of simple writing games of my own invention with friends in coffee shops around the city. Now, it is my goal to bring these games out into the world, and to take the great coffee shops of Kansas City along with it. I’m putting together a book of my writing games and calling it The Coffee House Games, and I’ll be using Kickstarter to raise the initial funds needed to bring the book to life.
The book itself will feature fifteen different games as well as a variety of the wonderful coffee shops Kansas City has to offer.
The other news I have for you is perhaps equally exciting: My album is roughly 80% completed. It has taken ages and has transformed from the bottom up on several occasions, but I am finally putting together these songs in a fashion that I’m not only happy with, but fairly proud of. I’m currently tinkering with song 8/10, and it may require a bit more recording before I am ready to move on, but I should be tackling the remaining two either over the weekend or during the early days of next week. After that I’ll go back through and finalize each of the tracks, and then we’ll be just about ready for release!
Expect to hear more on both of these topics fairly soon!
January 4, 2012
First, I want to say that I am deeply sorry for disappearing for nearly two months. I’ve been this weird combination of busy and lacking interesting things to blog about, but I’ve also been bustling around with friends and family for the holidays.
As I mentioned in my last post, I started over in my process of recording the album. I still have the 12 recordings from the 4-track cassette sessions I did, but I probably won’t be releasing them.
Anyway, I bought a small Behringer interface which allows me to run my mixing board out to my computer, and I have been playing with recording techniques. I have set up a little studio in my room:
Here is a little improvised, layered track I did on one of the first days after receiving my interface.
In further follow-up from my previous post, I have been practicing heavily on all of my guitar-based songs, and I have been happy to notice my playing style has been improving. It’s surprising what an impact the little nuances of playing can make on the overall sound, and I just really needed to be at a place where the rest of the performance–the lyrics, the chords, the motions–were all pretty well imbued before I could really focus on the tiny details. I hope this will show in my recordings.
I’ve also dropped two tracks from the final album lineup. They aren’t bad, but they just didn’t quite fit with what I am imagining for this album, and I’m shooting for pretty solid cohesion here.
As far as progress, I just finished base recordings for the remaining two songs, so I will be recording basslines and other additional tracks, as well as generally cleaning things up. However, the overall album should be finished before too long!
Now, for non-album news, I have several other things brewing at the moment, but I’m afraid I have to be a bit hush-hush about them for the time being. However, I promise that once I’m in a position where I can release some of the information, you’ll be the first to know!
November 14, 2011
Lately, I have been completely enthralled with the songs of The Tallest Man on Earth. His music is so overwhelmingly inspiring to me–the guitar styles, inventive, quick, intricate; the lyrics, intelligent, poetic, heart-wrenching, and folky–words and phrases that stir the sands of history; and his voice, the emotion, the controlled impurities, the raw power. These are all things that I can feel lurking behind the force my own musical calling, waiting for me to grow to a point where I will be able to release them. So when I listen to The Tallest Man on Earth, I am overcome with the desire to make music; but I am not quite ready. I am frustrated and fumbly. I mess up chords and lyrics frequently. My barring is imperfect, choky. My fingers are weak and tire easily.
I finished recording my album, but I am dissatisfied. I’m going to start anew tomorrow, keeping my old recordings as a memento, but pursuing a cleaner approach, so I will hopefully have something that I can be proud of.
But I am intimidated. I am intimidated by the sheer power of musicians like Kristian Matsson (The Tallest Man on Earth), who exceed my capacity in both my strengths and my weaknesses. Of course, I will grow; I have time. But, worse than this, I am intimidated by my own songs, and my inability to play them to my own expectations.
This, though, can be solved by practice. Relentless, unyielding practice and persistence (the only talent, as I am told) and the faith that I will grow over time. In a way, it is good that my own songs are challenging me, because that means I still have something to gain from them. Still, the process is grinding away at my willpower, but I suppose that is the greatest challenge of all. And, in a way, even though I don’t plan on publishing my newly-finished recordings, they are something of a symbol of willpower for me. These recordings were forged in a fire fueled by hundreds of takes, by anger and despair and emotions beyond both of those–the clearing past rage and frustration, when the suffering somehow vanishes, when the pressure has burned away and the music can be light and free, even comical.
These recordings are the reason I believe I can actually create this album in the way that I envision it.
October 23, 2011
Well, the funding deadline for my Kickstarter project has officially passed, as of 12:00pm yesterday. Thanks to everyone who participated! Over half of the copies have already been sent out, and the others are either awaiting shipping information or will be sent out during tomorrow’s trip to the post office.
What’s up next, then? I’m still chugging along on my album (see previous post). I haven’t quite hit the halfway point as far as recording goes, but hopefully sometime tomorrow I will record vocals for the sixth song of twelve, and that will do the trick. I’ve been dying to get another looping pedal (my previous one went haywire), but it isn’t really a necessity for this album (which is entirely acoustic guitar and vocals/harmonica). Still, I think I may resolve to purchase another one as a reward for finishing the album, though I’m not certain what kind I will try.
On the writing front, I am gathering ideas in approach of the outlining phase for my Science Fiction novel (which is, as yet, unnamed). I plan to start writing in November, to coincide with NaNoWriMo. If you haven’t heard about NaNoWriMo (National Novel-Writing Month), it is essentially a personal achievement in which one strives to write an entire 200 page/50,000 word novel during the month of November. Participants can even sign up on the official website (linked above) to help keep track of their progress.
I won’t be signing up this year, but I have decided to at least give it a try. However, I am allowing myself to possibly opt-out if I decide that the NaNoWriMo deadline is too oppressive for me/this particular project, because, simply put, I am an incredibly slow writer. But, who knows? Maybe this sort of pressure will be perfect to kick me into high gear for once! I intend to find out…
That being said, I am definitely not going into November unprepared. I intend to have a detailed outline of the entire plot, as well as a vivid notion of backstory/setting/characters/macro mechanics. And that is what I’m up to now.
Now, what is this novel going to be all about? Well, you’ll have to wait and see! I’ll offer up a little snippet in a few days after I’ve compiled my thoughts a little bit better and have a more concrete idea of names and such.
PS — This post has 425 words. Successfully completing NaNoWriMo means writing over 1,666 words every day.
October 20, 2011
Well, this is exciting! My hand-publishing project has been a whopping success so far on Kickstarter , with 458% of the funding goal raised (the excess allows me to print more books for everyone who has ordered). Remember, if you’re seeking a good ghost story or two this Halloween season, it isn’t too late to order your copy of “The Blue Wasp”! Funding ends on Saturday at noon (central US time).
That being said, thank you deeply and sincerely to everyone who has backed the project so far–I could not have imagined this level of success!
In other news, I have recently launched a new webcomic, about a brain amoeba, named Avery, who has been released into the Internet after attempting to settle in my head. It is more or less completely based on true events. Anyhow, I will hopefully be updating every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Avery also has a tumblr account which you can follow if you would like to keep up with the comics via Tumblr.
Now, as the title promises, I’ll finish with a little bit of music news. For those of you who haven’t heard, I have an album in the works. I’m still up in the air as to whether I will use it as a demo to submit to recording companies, or if I will simply self-publish it. Right now, I am recording in a very lo-fi sort of style, on a four-track cassette recorder with not-so-very-good equipment, and I sort of appreciate this feel for this particular album. However, I wanted to include this in this update just to say that: there is a good chance that I will hit the halfway mark on recording today.
Actually, that’s what I’m going to go do right now.
PS. If you want a sneak preview of the album, you can download (for free!) early recordings of several of the tracks here.