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About M57

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    The good stuff
  1. Yeah, I can't understand the lyrics either. Great harmonic motion - voice leading - melodic writing. All top shelf. The arrangement is highly stylized, and in expert fashion.. I get Micheal McDonald/("Living on the Fault line"/SteelyDan vibes, which are great, but it's so solidly and consistently in that vein that I keep on waiting for it to break out. Looking for a nit to pick.. I find the bass line in the verses.. (e.g. @ 0:24) doesn't really bring the hip. More appropriate to my ear would be to add some snappy funk articulations OR something more interesting than that walking octave thing. You're writing instincts are fabulous, but with this one you haven't given us a lot of room to breath (harmonically and melodically speaking). So one solution I can think of is to make the rhythm section breathe a little more. Right now it just feels like a wash of the same colors instrumentation-wise. Maybe the BV's will make a difference, but I'm tempted to say it's asking for even more, like a drum beat that turns things on its head every once and a while or some horns. That quarter-note piano ostinato toward the end is on the right track, but I dunno.. I'm just blathering at this point. I'll go back in my hole..
  2. My Soul In The Breeze

    This is really nice.. I like the lyric. I had to look up "senescent." To my ear, the melodies and changes are jazz - so I kind of expect more derivation in terms of voicings and performance nuances. The drone strings on the guitar are nice and all, but I think it would be cool if you could bring in some Rhodes-like keys to break things up. Are you taking it to the studio? I'd like to hear where you go with this. What instrumentation are you considering? Drums?
  3. Home in the Stars - LOCKED

    Nice.. Can't wait to hear the music you have for this one.
  4. Home in the Stars - LOCKED

    ..I was hearing his ukulele.
  5. Home in the Stars - LOCKED

    Hah! How funny - because he just commented on my "Chasing the speed of light" song - and Justin, it's OK to use it (not that you need my permission) On the other hand, I think references to light speed are not really appropriate for the theme of this lyric, unless you are referring to the distance travelled to get to the moment. As far as the use of 'night' in the lyric is concerned. It doesn't bother me at all. In fact, I picture the ship making a desperation landing on the dark (night) side of an exoplanet. The line that makes less sense to me is "frozen satellites." I'm assuming this ship is making an emergency landing on a world that is uninhabited. I.e. , there are no satellites. So when you say they're frozen, I immediately think frozen in time.. which opens up too many alternative stories for me and detracts from the one I think you are trying to tell. Am I missing something? Good to see you here.. Hope all is well, -Mark
  6. Hey R, First, thanks for putting this project back on my radar - I all but forgot about it. Having not listened to it for a while, I'm tempted to agree with you - I feel that the piece as a whole is lacking something. I keep thinking it needs percussion/set and bass. Also, there's a room for a little more development musically. I have a tiny vacation coming up where hopefully I can squeeze some time into this one.
  7. Iron-maiden world

    Really Nice - I enjoyed listening to this. I don't hear anything "experimental" about the changes - they're all just major and minor chords and there's a lot of V-I bass motion. But the progressions change keys nicely. Great strong vocals. The voice and phrasing is impressive. For the most part I like the arrangement choices. BUT I have a few nits/suggestions.. That string/synth patch is cheesy (for my tastes) and mixed way too hot, even when it's in the foreground. It helps a little when the horns are there to help out, but it sure would be nice if you could have something more realistic. I'm guessing that you feel the lyric demands that the song needs to be 6+ minutes long, but I was done listening at about 4 minutes - not because the song isn't interesting and good, but because the form had run its course and it just felt like the song should be ending. On the mastering end. it does seem a bit too loud to me. My ears were fatiguing, especially in those long instrumental tags and choruses. But I could be wrong there - I've been mixing and mastering a lot today and my ears are a bit shot right now. Congrats on a great song. -Mark
  8. What is "Music" to you?

    I'm in with a qualified NOPE. I'm definitely in the "music is organized sound" camp. And that includes Mr. Cage's 4':33", which challenges the definition (more on that later). However, I also believe that music is a decidedly human construct. Until we can conclusively prove that birds "sing" and are not simply communicating, what's to distinguish bird song from a human conversation? Now if you want to argue that human conversation is organized sound, and therefore music, then all bets are off. But that argument exposes a slippery slope, doesn't it? For that reason, "organized sound" is much too broad a descriptor for me, and so I must argue that the definition of music needs to be quite a bit narrower. Music is sound organized for sound's sake. Let me give examples.. Consider the clickety-clack of the train as it passes by on rails. Music? No! - But discover it and record it, or transcribe its rhythms and you begin to draw it into the realm of music. Same applies to bird "song" (a misnomer if ever there was one in my opinion). Does simply recording birds making bird noises make it music? Well, the more you organize it for sound's sake, the more it becomes music. We need to ask how much conscious editing was involved? You wouldn't go out in the field with a recorder in the middle of the night to record them, would you? My point: There's a degree of intentionality involved in simply recording sound, but we're looking at the fringes of the definition to be sure. If Mr. Cage decided to deliberately record the sound of sleeping birds, or even better, anesthetized some birds and put them on the stage so we could listen to them sleeping in concert, what's to say that isn't music? He's simply editing with drugs. On the other hand, Mr. Cage is challenging our definition with something I consider to be much more in the realm of Performance Art. Of course, from there we get into drawing the much more subjective distinction between music and music-AL. Would you go to see a performance of 4'33" to see it or hear it? Mind you, you can play it on your own piano at home with as much technical proficiency as a concert pianist.
  9. Very Nice. When I first read the lyric I thought that the facetiousness of the 'smile for everyone' line seemed was somehow lacking, but as soon as I heard the music - I heard shades of Eagles (like New Kid in Town) and I knew it would work. I have one nit and two suggestions. My nit: the emphasis on the word "pretend" is backwards.. It's pretend, not pretend. I only bring it up because you are consistent with the "rules" of scansion everywhere else. My suggestions: I think this would really groove nicely if you bumped it up a good 4+ BPM. (Listen to New Kid in Town - I didn't but I bet it's faster). I found the mix a bit too thickly slathered with verb sauce but that's just my taste. In fact, if you could bump it up a few BPM, I'll bet you would find that you could pull out the reverb because you don't need to fill in the air with as much sound. All in all, well-performed and well-produced, a strong good tune, hook and write. Congrats. -Mark
  10. I'm not much of a connoisseur of the genre, but I think this is is a killer country tune. Maybe you could work in a couple of BVs with Oos and Ahhs, but really this one is ready to go. The lyric is the star here for sure. Don't know what your intention is, but if I was inclined, I'd be peddln' this one. I can imagine there are artists out there who could take this and "make it their own."
  11. So I was digging into the effects I had on the 2-buss (and piano) and one was the Slate Virtual Tape Machine. Going into the settings, I had the Hiss Automute ON, which I assumed should be adequately taking care of things, but then I noticed there's also a Noise Reduction setting, which was only at about -25db. So I dialed it back until the hiss just about disappeared, but purposely left some. Hiss is part of the tape thing, and I like it. Let me know if I got rid of enough such that it doesn't bother you. Hey GB! Thanks for listening. Glad you enjoyed.. It is a rather large snippet, isn't it? I do intend on a little more development, but not much. I'm kicking around how to tack on a piano solo and then a repeating reprise of the chasing the speed of light hook. I'd really like to keep the whole thing under 5 minutes. That said, following it up on the EP with something related (which is @HoboSage's idea) would be icing on the cake for sure.
  12. The Perfect Line

    I likey, but I would tell the story in a more conversational tense. Oooo kay I had to find something to say that's wasn't cliche Then choose the exact right time Until then, try again and again 'Till I crafted the perfect line V 1 No way to wait until it’s too late So I gathered up all my nerve to quick-design my perfect line Not a fastball but more of a curve There like a star shining at the bar Her face glowed in the dingy light I was peaking through from every view I coulda' sat there all night V 2 Now there I went but I didn't know She coulda been way out of my league But she owned my eyes so I had to try I couldn't just sit here with only intrigue Then came time for the perfect line She looked at me as I start to shrink I couldn't speak and start to freak She whispered may I buy you a drink V 3 I told her yes I like your dress She looked at me with big blue eyes My mind went numb; who's that dumb? Please oh God just let me die! She smiled again to let me in Then she reached over to touch my hand The perfect line fell outa my mind And it turned out better than I ever planned (Outro) Ya know I had the perfect line Set up there in front of my mind Where it had gone I’ll never know But now she’s with me wherever I go
  13. I'm not sure if you understand my point, but I don't think your effort was (entirely) wasted. I too cannot cannot listen un-critically. The wasted time and effort subsequently used to construct a helpful post with the idea that the recipient will use the information is what I'm talking about. Yes, it's often the work involved in constructing the criticism that goes to the core of my learning process as well. That's one reason why I post on the music of other much more than I post my own music. Like you, I listen critically it to all music, unsolicited or not, but not on paper or in written form. That takes additional energy and time. If I'm going to add physical work and extra time into the equation, I would just assume that I not be the only person benefitting. With that thought in mind I would point out that if I am writing about music for which no improvements are likely in the offing - any constructive criticism is somewhat by definition reduced to simple criticism ..and therin not only lies the "waste," but also the potential for bad feelings on all sides - especially if the poster is just looking for a pat on the back. If the policy is that folks can post music in any state as long as they want criticism, then so be it. I am simply asking what the policy is. I don't want to rock the boat. My intention is to use the site in a way that conforms to its policies. BTW, I just found the Self Promotion forum - for some reason, I didn't see it before.
  14. Fair enough - I'm simply trying to gauge the thoughts of the community on this. Personally, I don't want to spend my time and energy critically listening and commenting on things where I feel that my constructive input will be ignored. Granted, I can elect not to listen and comment, but truth be told, I don't even like spending time parsing through posts that don't meet my admittedly personal criteria. For instance, I don't want to listen to instrumentals (which are allowed). That's an even bigger time-suck because it can take a while before you figure out there are no lyrics. My work-around - I simply don't listen if the lyrics are not posted. But gauging the intent of a poster of a song with lyrics included requires a little more scrutiny - and time. Honestly, I feel I'm being taken advantage of when I click on blatantly promotional posts. On the other hand, I can see that it is not an entirely black and white issue. Of course the poster may very well want a detailed critique which would then inform future work. i get that - but I see in that logic a very slippery slope where the site simply becomes a dumping ground for promoting works. I'm new to this site, but given my experience with other similar sites I see it as a scaling issue. I would suggest that the site simply creates a separate forum for showcasing completed works (and perhaps for reviewing instrumentals as well). Posters can ask for critical comments there as well. Seriously, if it was done well, I might participate. On a related note, I have to admit I'm not a fan of seeing a member's SC spotlight in their signature - it just muddy's up the page. A showcase link for individual members (maybe with fee for certain features) comes to mind as a possible solution to all of the above. I know I would click on it. EDIT: The other solution that comes to mind is to have a separate forum for works in progress, and where constructive advice is solicited.
  15. You know, I've never figured that out - it's all done in the box so I don't see how it could be pre-amp noise. The piano is the only thing in the intro that creates real noise. It could be a gain-staging issue. When my mixes hit the naked 2-buss they sit in the -12db range and maybe peak at -6db but it's digital damn it. I should have tons of headroom.