30 Apr 2016

The fourth of UNSHINE: Part 5

Enhancing song writing by jogging:

Have a nice Beltaine everyone,

the 4th album is progressing, synth recordings are almost done soon and the first mixing sessions will finally happen in the middle of May.

In this blog text, I describe something about the progress of crafting the recording parts in studio.

A whole lot of ideas were laid down for this album. I have already before examined the sources behind the whole songs including main ideas, melodies and structures.

Three albums behind, you start to see your own progression in the development and in the course of your own music. Of course, within the band we’ve noticed that the musical communication and intuitive idea-swapping is much more easier year by year, record by record. On the other hand, you and the other guys tend to get also more critical towards the music we make, the way we play.

I think it’s not a good idea to force songs in to a certain expected form. As an example, I’ve sometimes tried to make a song thinking that ‘this will be an easily-recognizable radio-hit when it’s ready’. What eventually turns out, is that the final version of the song is flattened by ‘supposed-to-be-great’ elements, such as overfocusing on chorus melody, or an expectable hit-song structure with 2 verses + choruses, followed by part C and the final climax of chorus repetition in transponed version with song length of 3:59. Or you to try to create a new ‘Stairway to Heaven’ in a stub-born way only to come up with a massive headache and a tedious, overlong and meaningless wandering.

Sometimes that works, of course, but I think that then this has to come out in a natural and unforced way. The very first original idea is the most important one, grab that one in your pocket and never leave the most important original ideas in the bin. They are the primal creations of your unconsciousness, language from the invisible ether, spirits speaking to you.

The songs and their structures will be always tested in our rehearsals. Sometimes, somebody or several band members suggest bigger changes to the original structures. As we have tested them, sometimes they change the whole context of the songs, i.e. a folk-metalish song turns in to something that resembles more like death metal. But we’ve also seen that the most usual case is that the return to the most original demo version works the best. In this album, we tried some songs, which were then changed in to really different ones – at the same time, the band wanted to keep that change, but somehow, the original spirit of the song was also lost. Those songs are now in the reserve and I think I might release them in a way or another. And I will stick to the original ideas.

The recordings of this album were done in bits and pieces during around one year. This gave me lot of time to think about individual details of the music. I have re-started my old hobby, running, and this, quite surprisingly offered me a new way to examine the songs. Plus running is good for your health, also mentally. I run mainly in forested areas to connect better with nature. Now, in April 2016, I've  observed the seasonal change of Finnish forest from winter to spring. Every time nature wants you to pay your attention to different things. Yesterday, I felt the forest as a whole organism, one that is getting ready for the summer. During the run, I even saw a deer and a hare - my favourite animals (must mean something).

During the long running sessions I listen to my own iBrain, I think about individual parts that are under construction. These often include arrangement of melody guitars versus rhytm guitars or, for example, the progression and lifting of one melody element throughout the song. I once went over and over in my head a piece of music that was in total a 10-second instrumental part in one of the forthcoming album’s songs. I think I played the part at least 100 times in my head and then after the run, I was happy with the part and I recorded it in my home studio. 

Apart from your normal family life, this kind of working method spends time and it really effectively crafts the song. Or sometimes, in the rehearsals, we take few beers, connect musically really well and just hit some unplanned great things in an unintentional way. However, I do not believe anymore nowadays that hangovers boost your creativity. That’s just not true. They might boost your willingness to start doing useful things, but that’s the only thing. Still, a beer now and then does not hurt anyone.



No comments:

Post a Comment