The weather people had been predicting rain for all of this week, numbers
in the neighborhood of 40-80%. My big concern was
where I had all those safari tours. I have plans for
Old Man's Cave,
other nature sites and some hiking, while in
too. But I also have the cabin and my laptop and music equipment to work on
various parts of the album project.
Rain finally found me, but just as I was getting in my car to leave The
Wilds on Wednesday to head the two hours to the Hocking Hills area. And I
literally mean as I was getting in my car to leave. It was not raining on
me when I arrived at the
Acorn Trail Cabin
to spend four nights and five days, but by the time I was ready to build a
fire and cook dinner on that fire, it was raining. Pretty much all day
An opportunity to make lemonade, right? Hold up most of the day in the cabin,
I spent the day working on various things that needed my attention on my
laptop, and I worked on the album project, which was on the agenda, anyway.
Plus I took the opportunity to drive into Logan and have early dinner at
The Pizza Crossing,
which is a must for me when in Hocking Hills. I'm staying a half hour away,
but it's far more than worth the drive.
Of course, I'll go into more detail with my
accounting of it all, but I'll give a Reader's Digest version here.
At The Wilds, I went on two
a regular Wildside tour, Tuesday morning, then a Secrets of the Zoo Wildside
tour in the afternoon. For each the tourists are in the bed of a truck that
seats about a half-dozen people.
For these Wildside tours, The guide goes off road in the pastures to get up
close to the animals and in a couple cases we even got to feed then animals:
the Asian one-horned rhino and the giraffes. The second Wildside tour
featured a guide who is one of the Wilds staff who appears on the
Secrets of the Zoo,
Cody Cseplo. I must admit, I was about the only person in the truck who
didn't know him from the show, that which I've never seen. He was a pretty
nice guy and gave us a fun tour. Not that Kristin (last name unknown)
didn't give us good tour in the morning, as well.
I did an open air tour in the bugger open air bus Wednesday morning, to cap
my stay. That one doesn't take you off road but it's still a good tour. See
a sampling of my the animal encounters in the pics below.
From The Wilds, after a stop at the
Kroger in Logan, Ohio,
near my next destination, I hit
spot number two, the Acorn Trail cabin in Hocking Hills. As I wrote above,
it was raining a little when I pulled up and it rained harder later,
spoiling my plans to start a fire pit and have fire roasted chicken and veggies,
just as I had at
John Bryan State Park
two weeks back. So I made tuna salad and had a tuna sandwich, instead.
Then, yesterday, as I wrote above, I took a traditional trip into Logan for
a loaded veggie pizza from the Pizza Crossing. I got the 11 inch. Should
have got the 8 inch. Eh, what the hell. I was able to take some back to
cabin. So, I'll have some cold pizza before I leave here. After the pizza
dinner I stopped right around the corner at the
Hocking Hills Frozen Yogurt Company
and got desert. The first ice cream, of a sort, of the
but highly likely not the last.
It rained virtually all day yesterday but I was able to have a fire pit
last night, even if I didn't cook over it. It looked like the attempt might
be futile. The rain had stopped by sundown, so I built the fire. Shortly
after I got the fire pit burning the damned rain came back, but it mostly
drizzled. It drizzled off and on the rest of the night, but the fire did
not go out. Sometimes the rain picked up to a lighter rain, beyond drizzling;
still the fire stayed burning.
Working on editing the "Just One Shadow"
was the first agenda item, but, that did ot happen. However, I did
get an idea for a new song, inspired by the tenacity of the camp fire that
the rain did not extinguish. The workshop title for the beginnings of the
lyrics, and the music started in my head, is "Fire Rain Song." I
have a concept for chords that I'll tryout on the
Giannini acoustic bass,
quite possibly later today ‐‐ with the hope that I do some work on the
music video, too.
My yurt on Nomad Ridge at The Wilds.
A little bit of the landscape at The Wilds.
Cody Cseplo in with the African Southern White Rhinos
during the Secrets of the Zoo Wildside tour.
My next, and current abode, the Acorn Trail Cabin
in Hocking Hills.
My LOADED veggie pizza at Pizza Crossing in Logan.
The evening fire pit at Acorn that the rain did not
THE 20/21 SOPHOMORE PRODUCTION SEES ME BACK ON PRODUCTION STAFF:
I'll be in the second chair again for Margie Strader, as her
Women in Jeopardy,
by Wendy MacLeod. This will be
the second time I AD for her, and the third time I've been slated to do so.
"'We hold these truths to be self-evident,' they said, 'that
all men are created equal.' Strange as it may seem, that was the
first time in history that anyone had bothered to write that down.
Decisions are made by those who show up. Class dismissed."
‐‐ President Josiah Bartlet, (as written by
The West Wing,
Season 1: episode 22
"What Kind of Day Has It Been?"
IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one
people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them
with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the
separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of
Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of
mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel
them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created
equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain
unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the
pursuit of Happiness.
‐‐That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among
Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
‐‐That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of
these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish
it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such
principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them
shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established
should not be changed for light and transient causes; and
accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more
disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right
themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing
invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under
absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw
off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future
‐‐Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such
is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former
Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great
Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all
having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny
over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and
necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and
pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till
his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has
utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of
large districts of people, unless those people would
relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a
right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual,
uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public
Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into
compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for
opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to
cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers,
incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large
for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time
exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States;
for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of
Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their
migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new
Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing
his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure
of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither
swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies
without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and
superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction
foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws;
giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any
Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a
neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary
government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at
once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same
absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable
Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves
invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his
Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns,
and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign
Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and
tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy
scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally
unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the
high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the
executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall
themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has
endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the
merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an
undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress
in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been
answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus
marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the
ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren.
We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their
legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We
have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and
settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and
magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common
kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably i
nterrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been
deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must,
therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our
Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies
in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America,
in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of
the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name,
and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly
publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right
ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved
from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political
connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and
ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent
States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract
Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things
which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of
this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine
Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our
Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in
the positions indicated:
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Robert Treat Paine
During the just-finished
Get Away 2021, I didn't spend as much
time on music as I had anticipated that I would, but I did spend some
time on music. The biggest thing being that during my stay at the
Acorn Trail Cabin
I brought the edit of the music video
for "Just One Shadow" to just about a 99.9%
final cut, I just have to put
the finishing touches on the ending of the DV movie.
Editing the music video for "Just One Shadow" in
the yard at the Acorn cabin in Hocking Hills.
Got home about noon on Saturday, in the pouring down rain. I must say that
for the most part my two week's
was rain-free. It did rain some, but not much, and only once did rain come
at an inopportune time. The other times it rained in the middle of the night
or right after I got done doing something.
The "Just One Shadow" music video has reached what I am 99.99999%
sure of as the final cut. It
will not be made public until the single is released to the public, which
I hope will be by mid to late August. However, I have uploaded the
video to a private page at YouTube
to give a few folk a pre-release preview of the video, and I have sent the
info to those people, including those who contributed still photography to
the video project. I've only gotten a few responses, but all have, so far,
Now in terms of the single, itself, my next step is to
the virtual B-side of the single, i.e.: the extra song that I will
release with "Just One Shadow." The song I have chosen is one I
wrote and recorded about fourteen years ago as theme music for a
DTGpromocast. I think I'm going to
add more music to the recording beyond simply remastering the old recording.
Well, really, I'll be finally mastering it, because I can't say that the
original recording has ever been technically mastered. I started the
process last evening and it's the current thing at the front of the table.
Also on the short agenda is setting into motion the steps to get the single
marketed on iTunes, etc. Plus
I'll be looking to at least identifying a service to supply physical CDs of
the single, then, of course, the album.
I also have to finish what I've started in terms of cover art for the
single, both for the virtual and the physical formats.
Further on the immediate agenda is securing copyright registration from the
U.S. Copyright Office, for the two
songs on the single and the recordings themselves, as well as the packaging
for the single.
Beyond that, it's time for me to move onto having a dedicated webpage for
me as an artist ‐‐ all aspects of being an artist, performing, creating,
etc. This blog has served a great purpose, but I need to graduate to a
branded website, to where, most probably, the blog will be migrated.
Those who have read previous blog entries may know that I will be
remastering, and very likely remixing the five finished songs:
"Icebergs," "The Night Before the Night Before Christmas,"
"Into the Blue Dawn," "Medley: The Death of the..../Memories
of the Times Before/Memories Endbit/The Death of the (reprise)," and
"Astroterph." I'm not certain they'll all be on the album, but
what doesn't make it on the album will be fodder for more virtual B-side
material for the remaining singles off the album, of which there'll
probably be at least two more. "Identity,"(Song
#6), hasn't yet been mixed nor mastered since I haven't incorporated
the lead guitar work into the recording as of yet. That's up soon, too.
I've already noted recently that the more I've listened to the current mix
of "Chilled October Morning" the less happy I have been with the
current lead vocal. So, I will be rerecording that vocal before it gets the
new mixing and mastering. That, too, will be a high priority as this is a
song that I absolutely want on the album. It's likely next after getting a
finished master of that B-side.
Late last spring I started new music for the lyrics to "Utopia's
Dystopia," and the plans are to get this one onto the album. I made a
demo with the rewritten lyrics and the bare-bones beginnings of a melody
line. I really will push to get this one to a finished and recorded
composition. It has a spot on the album if it makes the deadline.
I've already stated that I dedicated less time to music during
Get Away 2021 than I had hoped, but I
did not ignore music. Beyond almost finishing the music video, I also
started a set of lyrics for one song and the lyrics and music for another.
I can't say for certain that either will be on the album, but since I am
hoping to record at least three or four more songs for the album, these two
are potential contenders. And there's still the rocker that I started during
2020 that's not off the table.
Fortunately, most of this post was written last night, because I
have been mostly incapacitated all day and until I awoke late
this afternoon. I had another bout of vertigo, which I am
occasionally hit with. But after I woke the vertigo was pretty
SONG #8 & #10 ‐‐ THE SINGLE:
You few returning folk may remember that in the last blog post I wrote
that the "Just One Shadow" music video had reached what I was
"99.99999% sure of as the final cut?"
Well, here's the 0.00001%: The video has closing credits that include the
names of all the people who contributed Covid pandemic-related photos to
the project. There was a slight error for one of the photo credits. I failed
to indicate that the photographer's image was procured through a
Creative Commons license. It's
a quite slight error, but I fixed it anyway.
Also, one of those who saw the pre-release preview of the video suggested
that I cut a photo from early in the video. It's a photo from my personal
library, taken during
2020 at the
The Cozy Little Red Cottage,
when I was first composing "Just One Shadow." It's a pic of me
at the Legato piano,
and it isn't exactly the most flattering image of me, which is a lot of
the reason for the recommendation to nix it. My response was basically
that vanity had already made me bothered by that particular photo, too.
However, there were key visual elements that over-rode that. But, I went
into my library and found a comparable photo to swap in. Had I not been
able to find a comparable photo, the original would have stayed because the
other elements are more important than my vanity consideration. It's not
as if the new photo I've plugged in is going to suddenly make me a contender
for People's sexiest man alive.
Over the weekend I edited together a four minute version from the original
five-plus minute recording (with vocal), throwing in a couple spots for
instrumental solos, from the instrumental version (rhythm track, minus
vocals). Then I migrated that to onto my
via a migration, first, into Logic Pro X.
The original recording is only a drum track from my
Yamaha PSR-180 keyboard,
a bass line on my Giannini
acoustic bass, a lead and one back-up vocal. I no longer have a multi-track
master of the song, only the duel mono mix, which is what I migrated.
Sunday evening I worked out a simple chord progression on my
Embassy Pro bass.
I'll probably double that up, adding two rhythm chord parts. I'll also work
out a couple simple instrumental solos, likely at least one, if not both,
still on the Embassy Pro. I've considered laying another unison bass line
on my Viola bass
to enhance the original Giannini bass line. It's a simple bouncy blues-rock
bass line, that's mostly straight-forward, but it's a free-forum performance
so there are a few spots where I strayed from the repetitious line, so it
would not be a straight-forward task to recreate the line on the Viola bass;
I'd have to learn it to know here the anomalies are. I may start adding
instrumentation tonight, if I feel up to it.
Again, as I've written before, "Roll the Dice" is not something
that will appear on the album. It's a bonus track for the first single, a
"virtual B-side." It's designated as Song
#10, but that refers to its placement in the line-up of songs
recorded for the project ‐‐ or, "the album sessions," if you
will. It's a nice, fun little song, but it's not one that would fit on the
album. I suspect that's what will happen to Song #5,
aka: the rock instrumental, "Astroterph," originally recorded
thirty-eight years ago, by the band SeazonWind in the upstairs bedroom of
Rich Hisey on Harbine Avenue, on the east side of Dayton, Ohio (August, 1983)
during a rehearsal for what would be the penultimate of the band's small
handful of gigs.
FIRST FILM CONNECTIONS IN, HOW LONG?:
Tomorrow evening, for the first time in probably two years, or more, I
will attend a Film DaytonFilm Connections
presentation (via a Zoom session). The guest
will be Cincinnati-based Casting DirectorD. Lynn Meyers. The
writeup says Meyers will "share insights into how [actors] can be
considered for roles in upcoming films in the area." I think she mostly
casts extras and
day players. I would not
have much interest in the former, but certainly would be interested in the
The vertigo spell rendered Tuesday an unproductive day, all the way around.
I had even planned to work remotely at home in the afternoon for the
rent-payer. I awoke in the
afternoon from a nap, feeling pretty good, I finished writing Tuesday's blog
entry and was about to start on a work project when the vertigo started
slipping back into my skull. So I watched, or should I say, listened
to TV for the rest of the evening. And I added no tracks to "Roll the
*) As I've stated before, since I am only playing two simultaneous
notes at the same time, technically they are not chords but a
harmonic part, but I am calling them chords, anyway
But Wednesday night and last night I was on it. Wednesday night I added
three chorded-bass* rhythm tracks, all on the
Epiphone Embassy Pro.
I used the
Boss Overdrive/Distortion pedal
for two of them, each with different settings both on the pedal and on
the tone knobs on the axe.
I also learned and rehearsed a unison bass line to accompany the
Giannini on the original
recording, this time, again on the Embassy Pro. I say "learned"
because, even though there is only one, one-measure bass riff that repeats
through the whole song, there is an occasional alteration. I had to know
when each alteration occurs so I could match the bass line as whole on the
second bass. I did that, and got a few rehearsals in, but it was getting
late, and I had to be at work early the next morning, so I called it a
night. Last night I laid that track, as well as a third bass line (also
unison) on the
The plan for tonight is to start working on some solo lines. I'm close to
committed to doing at least one on the Embassy, and I may not manipulate
this one to sound like a guitar as I did with the second solo in "Just
One Shadow." It probably will be a bass taking the solo in both the two
spaces for a solo, whether it's the Embassy both times, I'm not sure about.
I'd thought about adding a piano, rhythm, solo, or both, but now I think
I'd like to have the thing
the end of the weekend.
Then the next studio work will be re-recording the vocal for "Chilled
Wednesday night, laying the three chorded-bass rhythm
parts for "Roll the Dice."
A list of the "Roll the Dice" bass riff.
Black numbers: intro & outro
Green numbers: riffs with vocals
Red numbers: riffs under solo instrumental
Bold numbers with yellow background: anomalous riffs *There's also an error; Riff 16 is 6 beats, not 3
Last night, laying the "Roll the Dice" unison
bass riff on the Embassy and the Viola basses.
Ms. Meyers did mention that she has often seen an extra get a line,
which upgrades them in status ‐‐ and paycheck ‐‐ but still overall the
experience of being background does not interest me. It's probably mostly
ego, but I also have read a few times that background work is of no relevance
on an actor's résumé, and even heard an L.A. casting director
advise the attendees at a workshop to not put extra work on our
résumés because that can prejudice some CDs against us.
There were only three of us attendees there, a total of five people when
including Ms. Meyers and Film Dayton Executive Director
So it was ultimately a really good opportunity to connect with Lynn, whom
several fellow actors (all professional) have recommended I connect with,
for a while. So, despite that it was an electronic meeting, I was able to
make a bit more of a personal connection, as were the other two participants.
A little time was spent discussing the new
Actors' Equity Association rule that
opens up membership into the union to almost everyone, and because of this,
as an Equity Membership Candidate, I
am automatically immediately eligible to join. I was already on the brink,
one more Equity show would have
likely given me the points to join if I chose to.
My take, for myself, is that I will not be seizing this opportunity. While
I still have a full time "day job," being AEA in the Dayton area
would mean even less time on stage that I get now, which is less than I'd
like as it is. The ability to be on non-union stages, such as
and several other non-professional stages in the area (especially the
stage), is something I don't want to sacrifice until I have the ability to
commit to union shows in Cincy, or Columbus, or Indianapolis, or hell, even
further away. Were I AEA, the only practical opportunity I would have would
be The Human Race Theatre
stage, which is a good stage to be on, but that makes it once every several
years, and that's just not a frequency that appeals to me.
A professional colleague has written on this issue that he wishes AEA would
"allow waivers for [semi-professional and community] theaters so that
[AEA] actors can continue staying 'in shape.'" Pretty much every
Equity actor I know who has commented has expressed the thought that
newer, greener actors would be wise to not join as of yet, or they'll find
themselves shut out of a lot of work, and a lot of needed experience to
get them to the point that they are ready for Equity work on big Equity
stages. This was one of the things that Ms. Meyers also said, at least the
A couple other take-aways:
One does not have to have an agent to work with Meyers.
It's not a bad idea to have an
actor's reel, but it's not
really necessary and is likely to become less so as time moves on.
Individual tickets prices:
Senior (60 or older): $18
Special pricing for groups of 10 or more, call the Box Office at 937-278-5993 for pricing
- http://www.daytontheatreguild.org/ click on "Tickets" link
- or call 937-278-5993
- or at the box office day of the show
* All individual tickets purchased in advance via our on-line ticket
system or by telephone will also include a $1 convenience fee.
- - -
Morning's at Seven, by Paul Osborn
Production dates: August 20-September 5, 2021
Women in Jeopardy!, by Wendy MacLeod
Production dates: October 8-24, 2021
The Road to Mecca, by Athol Fugard
Production dates: December 3-19, 2021
The Norwegians, by C. Denby Swanson
Production dates: February 4-20, 2022
The Price, by Arthur Miller
Production dates: March 25-April 10, 2022
The Old Man and the Old Moon: A Play With Music,
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Pigpen Theatre Co.
Production dates: May 27-June 12, 2022
- - -
First Weekend: Friday 8pm, Saturday 8pm, Sunday 3pm
Second & Third Weekend: Friday 8pm, Saturday 5pm, Sunday 3pm
The plan had been to lay the solo instrumental performances for "Roll
the Dice" on Friday evening. The plan had also been to play the solos
Epiphone Embassy Pro.
Lastly, I had a goal to have the song completely
end of day on Sunday. None of that happened.
As for the solos: Meh. They don't suck but they ain't amazing. I guess a
musician who's really not what can be called an accomplished soloist can
more or less move toward that status by attempting solos. The key phrase is
"more or less." It took me a while to work out and record both
solo sections, but I did finally get solos that work well enough to pass
muster. And again I had the capo on the octave fret.
There was a problem with the solos that needed to be overcome. The audio
signal, passing through the pedals, especially the overdrive/distortion
pedal, then through the bass amp, where I also had the overdrive switched
on and cranked a bit, was running pretty hot and powerful. It overwhelmed
some of the other tracks, especially the rhythm bass tracks, also utilizing
the overdrive/distortion, and it was cancelling them out to a large extent.
Once I had the tracks migrated into
Logic Pro I had to apply
several FX plug-ins to counteract this problem. I had to use the
the Limiter, the
noise gate, and
plug-ins to simmer the signal down to give the other signals passage while
the solos are going.
Oh, and I also did bump the solos up an octave in Logic Pro, which
I'd said I probably wouldn't do, i.e.: I wasn't going to "manipulate
this one to sound like a guitar." But after loading it all in and
listening to it, I decided it would sound better as faux guitar solo work.
With all of these "faux guitar solos" I've done, and may do more
of, if I ever put a band together, I'd give those solos to the actual guitar
player and give him/her some freedom to embellish. Well. maybe not with the
solos in "Just One Shadow," the guitarist would probably have to
learn and play those parts as they are.
Another issue I ran into was that when I exported the individual tracks
out of the Tascam 24-Track recorder
and imported them into Logic Pro, the separate tracks were no longer in
synch with each other, and I believe I know the cause. There is an option
on the Tascam to delete all unused space, which I utilized. But what it
appears that the function does is eliminate blank space on a track from
being a part of the linear timeline of the track. In other words, if a track
doesn't have performance until 1:11 into the song, the first 1:10 of the song
is deleted from the sound file for the track. The playing will still start
at 1:11 if the song is played on the Tascam, but when the file is migrated,
that first 1:10 is gone. In the new environment the performance starts at 0:00.
Thus, in Logic Pro, I had to synch the separate parts up, placing them where
they belong in the song.
In the future I will not be deleting unused space on the Tascam. The purpose
of that is to free up memory, but after I have finished with all recording
for a song, I migrate the tracks onto my computer and can erase the tracks
on Tascam. If I ever felt the need to add something to a song it would be
easy enough to migrate whatever tracks are needed back onto the Tascam to
play the new track(s) along with.
At the moment, "Roll the Dice" is upward of 90% mixed. I should
have it both mixed and mastered before I go to bed this evening.
The Saturday configuration of the bedroom recording
Laying the "riff enhancer" bass
Laying the solo work (the faux guitar solos)
The what's-next goal is to re-record the "Chilled October Morning"
vocal tomorrow night, and then perhaps remix and re-master that one
I'm getting together with a colleague Friday evening and am playing all the
album material that's done, plus maybe demos of other other stuff. It'd be
great to have this one in it's album-ready state to play for him.
I did get "Roll the Dice" mixed
Tuesday night, as planned. I did not, however, finish
the track, though I got that started the same evening. Well, okay, in fact
I also did not get the mixing finished Tuesday evening, I only
thought I'd finished.
As I was mastering Wednesday evening I decided I needed to do more
on the original track, the original recording, because I needed to tweak
the EQ on the vocal, which is part of that track. If you remember ‐‐ that
is if you've visited this blog before and are in a position to remember ‐‐
the song was originally written and recorded as the music for a promotional
video for a comedy play we did at The Guild,
that I produced, called The Dice House.
The original recording was a mono recording consisting of a drum machine,
the main bass line on my Giannini
acoustic bass, one lead vocal, and one back vocal. I gave what we could call
a "Free As a Bird"/Threetle
treatment to it. Some of you five regulars may know that I did some assembly
editing and recorded the addition of a lot of instrumentation on my three
I've ran into a little bit of a sonic problem while mixing and mastering.
The song was was originally recorded in 2007 on my old
Fostex Multitracker X-28 four-track cassette recorder
and there is a certain amount of
tape hiss I could not
filter out without compromising too much of the dynamics. I already had lost
a lot of vibrancy to the drum track so I've decided to live with what hiss
that I've had to leave in. I did all sorts of
low passing, etc.,
but just a certain amount had to stay in. Where's
when you need him? But, I did go to bed Wednesday evening with a mixed-master
of "Roll the Dice" that I am satisfied with.
There was also a pretty noticeable volume difference between the "A"
and "B" sides so I
the volume between the two, bumping the overall volume of "Just One
Shadow" up to meet "Roll the Dice."
So, now, for the single, the next steps are such things as finishing the
artwork for the single, both the electronic and physical formats. I've got
that artwork started but I need to complete it. I also am in the process of
investigating getting the single on iTunes
and (I hate to say it) Amazon. On
that subject, and more, I am in contact with a
company who would provide the service of digital distribution to iTunes,
Amazon,Apple Music streaming,
Spotify, etc. They will also handle
pressing CDs, though I don't think provide physical distribution service.
Also, this company will also administer composer's royalties collection.
Their commission for collecting both streaming fees and songwriter's
royalties are quite reasonable, too. I haven't signed on yet, there are few
more things I need to know, but the company looks pretty attractive at
I've also emailed a staff person at my local public radio station,
in Yellow Springs, asking
to whom I would send the releases (single and then album) for consideration
for radio play. I have not received a reply as of yet. I'll be researching
what other public radio stations are viable to send CDs to.
I will shortly be bracing myself for the tens of dollars that will
cumulatively roll in.
Also next, and, actually the very next thing, is to re-record the vocal
for "Chilled October Morning," which I wasn't able to get to
during this past week as I had hoped. Today's a little full with other
activities *(see below), but I should be able to get to it tomorrow,
unless there's a thunderstorm or something outside, as I am not recording
in a sound-proof environment. Who knows, there's some sort of chance I'll
get the thing mixed and mastered tomorrow. Probably not a big one,
but at least some measure of a chance.
And there's all that remixing and remastering in
Logic Pro X of the other
early recordings for the project to get to, too.....Sometime soon.
And let's not talk about how I'd like to record at least two more songs for
the album, either new material I've recently started or finished compositions
from my youth, or a mix.
Though there won't be a gala this year, and though there will not be any
theatre awards for productions given out this year, there is a gathering of
the DayTony organization and all
affiliated theatres to honor three inductees into the Dayton Theatre Hall
The gathering is a picnic setting happening later today at
The picnic is scheduled for later in the day. I'd planned to head out early
and get a hike in there before the festivities begin, but had to nix that
The inducties will be 2020 inductee Hans Unser, who is primarily affiliated
with Beavercreek Community Theatre
-- there was no function last summer, for the obvious reason, so Hans
couldn't be inducted last summer. The 2021 inductees will be Chuck Larkowski,
who frequents many Dayton stages, including
and Tina McPhearson, now mostly associated with
Dayton Playhouse, but was once
associated with the then Victoria Theatre Association, now known as
Well, it's real now. The release date of the single is slated for August 31,
for the digital version, at least. There will be physical CDs of the single
but marketing them is not anything more than a vague notion at the moment.
The disc should be in my possession somewhere around the release date but
how those get sold is uncertain, really pretty much unknown.
But things are in motion and here's how that has come about: In an email
conversation with a friend, who is also in the music world, I mentioned
that I needed to find a company where it would be practical to get some
reasonable inventory of physical Cds of the single, then, of course, the
album. One of the places he mentioned was Cd Baby.
I also had looked at the requirements to get things up for sale at
iTunes. For an indy musician,
pretty much anyone who's not a record company, they have to go through a
Cd Baby is one of their preferred suggestions.
I checked them out and they clearly seem like a great choice. After some
communication, a few phone calls and some emails, I created an account. Of
course, if you've read earlier entries of this blog you'll know that my
plan, which is what is happening, is to put out a single a ways before
the album releases, and that the single has a bonus, or extra, track, a
song that will not be on the album. CD baby doesn't technically release
singles, in any format, with two or more songs, only one, and only digitally,
no CD discs. Thus, the Just One Shadow release is a two-song album,
according to CD Baby. However, at least iTunes will consider it a single
because anything with three songs or fewer that is a total of fewer than
thirty minutes is designated as a single there. I am marketing the Just
One Shadow collection as a single, featuring "Just One Shadow"
with the bonus track "Roll the Dice."
CD Baby will be marketing the digital version to the digital sellers and
the music streaming services, but I did not have them market the CD, because
they can't set a wholesale price for an "album" that would be low
enough. After markup it would be too high a price for a "CD single."
Still, I want a CD single for a few reasons. I've been in contact with
the music director from the Dayton area local public radio station,
WYSO, and they would prefer a disc
rather than a music file upload; I haven't heard from the other public radio
stations, but I am betting most will want a disc. Plus there's other
promotional purposes, most of which I haven't even identified, but I want
the inventory handy when I do. And I'll probably sell some myself ‐‐ I have
some ideas about that.
Their sibling company,
Cd Baby Manufacturing,
which presses for them, will also press for any other customer. I put in an
order for a small number, probably too large a number, of CDs of the single.
I may be gifting more copies than I currently plan to. They should arrive
around the official release date and I will be sending discs to public radio
stations and whatever other places I have come to learn are good places to
send a promo copies.
Then there's the income, however meager it shall be, that might be due to
me as the writer of the songs on the single and the album.
CD Baby Pro Publishing will
admin the collection of the both the
and the mechanical royalties,
just as a traditional music publisher would, but without claiming any of
the copyrights. They'll register me with either U.S.
Performance Rights Organization (PRO),
ASCAP or BMI
as well as other PRO's in other countries. They'll also register me with
the Harry Fox Agency or
Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC),
those which collect mechanical royalties domestically and in many other
countries, as other mechanical rights companies for other places. I'm not
sure between Harry Fox or MLC, but I am goin with BMI, because they are a
little better tailored for independent songwriters. Again, I'm not counting
on buying a Lamborghini from my songwriting royalties, but, hell, let's be
a professional. And five bucks is five bucks.
The new vocal for "Chilled October Morning" was laid Monday night.
My voice was a little scratchy Sunday, when I'd planned to again attempt it,
so I waited a day. Periodically during the day, Monday, I had a hot cup of
Throat Coat tea,
while at work at the rent-payer,
as well as after I got home.
The raw tracks are on the eight-track recorder,
and rather than migrate it all onto the
which I could have done, I suppose, I just re-recorded the vocal on the
eight-track. Then, on my laptop
I migrated the WAV files
of the previously recorded tracks, save for the old vocal, and the WAV of
the new vocal into a new song project in Logic Pro.
Now "Chilled October Morning" is ready to be the first of the
previous songs to be
Remember that I had originally mixed and "mastered" (if you wanna
call it that) this one, as well as the other earlier songs, in
Final Cut Pro X, which is
really not built to be a
Digital Audio Workstation,
but rather a digital video movie editor with decent sound mixing
capabilities, but not as up to the task as an actual DAW.
The process has begun of getting individual tracks for each of the earlier
songs from Final Cut Pro X
into Logic Pro X. Of course, I'd already done it with "Chilled October
Morning," but that was really dropping the migrated WAVs from the tape
recorder into Logic Pro. All but the electric guitar solos (done by my nephew),
Dave Bernard, for "Identity" are also the recorder WAVs being
directly put into Logic Pro. What I'm talking about is rendering new WAVs
from the individual parts in Final Cut, done with the resty of the early
The reason I'm doing it this way has to do with how I got them off the
recorder and into Final Cut for those earlier songs and their original
mixes. In my ignorance, on the first few songs, I did not migrate the
WAV files from the recorder to my laptop. I ran audio cables from the recorder
to the laptop and recorded playbacks of each tracks from the recorder into
GarageBand; then I rendered
each track from GarageBand to drop them into Final Cut Pro X. The biggest
problem with that is that each individual track (part) for each song starts
at a different point, so the different tracks for each song were not in
synch and had to be synched, which was sometimes a real bitch.
Since, for these songs, I had everything lined up and synched up in the
timelines in FCPX, I rendered each individual track from there as new WAVs,
where every sound started precisely where it should. Such as, of the bass
should start 10.9 seconds in, that is where it starts on the new WAV. Those
new WAVs are what I have put into LPX for the final mixing and mastering.
With "Identity" I only had to do that with the electric guitar
lead work, because for some reason the files I received weren't synched ‐‐
and that's odd because Dave had given me some chord work for the song a
little while ago, that work was synched. But with the lead work I had
to again render new WAVs with them placed correctly in the PCPX version of
the multitrack master, and thusly, placed correctly on the new WAVs.
I am moving toward getting the rest of what has already been recorded into
the final mix/mastered, release-ready condition. Now all I have to do is
record, mix and master two to three more songs. And the window is
getting tight. In a few weeks I'll be in rehearsal almost every week night
as the AD for
production of Women in Jeopardy.
I'm also on board as its sound designer,
and I am designing sound for another production, the
Franklin High School
So the schedule is about to get dicey. I really want the album out by
end of September, but I am guessing the sometime in October, if not November,
is more likely.
Monday evening, recording the new vocal for "Chilled
DAYTONY PICNIC & DAYTON THEATRE HALL OF FAME INDUCTIONS,
Saturday, July 31, the DayTony organization
held the 2021 version of the annual gala: a picnic at
As I wrote before, there were no theatre awards this year, since there were
barely any productions in 2020/2021, but there were three theatre folk
inducted into the Dayton Theatre Hall of Fame:
2021 inductee Chuck Larkowski, who frequents many Dayton stages,
including The Guild's
2021 inductee Tina McPhearson, now mostly associated with
Dayton Playhouse, but was
once associated with the then Victoria Theatre Association, now known as
There were about three or four dozen, or so, people there and it was a
pleasent afternoon/evening with camaraderie, commonality and karaoke. I
sang my favorite song,
but not as well as I can ‐‐ I wasn't warmed up sufficiently to successfully
carry off the McCartney scats
during the vamp ending, but, as the now-honored Chuck Larkowski pointed out,
On that note, I'd have to say the karaoke win of the event goes to Ms.
Sarah Caplan for her rendition of
"My Shot," from Hamilton.
The 2021 Art In The City event is happening tomorrow in downtown
Dayton and several of us from the board are representing
The Guild at a booth. Fellow member Scott
Madding and I have the first shift.
Unfortunately, actor Dave Nickels has had to drop out of the cast of
Morning's at Seven.
The role of Thor Swanson has been taken over by David Williamson. The full
cast is now:
MAKIN' STUFF OFFICIAL, AND OTHER ASSORTED PROGRESS:
The "Just One Shadow" single release is still on track for
August 11, at least for the digital version. The physical CDs should be in
my hands around the same date, give or take a few days. I have began a list
of public and independent radio stations that are viable choices to send a
CD copy, stations with formats which are or potentially are welcoming of
the sort of retro indy pop/rock that my music probably is categorized as.
To be honest, I am not 100% sure, what overall genre I would put my music
in, save for rock and pop. I suppose "progressive adult pop/rock,"
but I am not even sure that is exactly correct. On the
Cd Baby submission forms for the
"Just One Shadow" single ("album" to them), I
had to give them genre information and I put a few things like rock, pop,
alternative adult; I also had to put down who the songs sounded like and I
wasn't sure what to put there, either. There is a little bit of a
Beatles sound, because I am
who I am; there's also, at least for the featured cut, a bit of a
Genesis sound in there, too.
But I can't say that either tag is terribly accurate, though neither is
horribly off the mark. So, whatever.
Another music business thing I did over the weekend was join a
Performance Rights Organization,
as a songwriter. the two domestic choices are
ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers)
and BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.). I did
chose BMI, as I wrote earlier that I would; again, between the two, BMI is
more suited for an indy recording artist like myself. This morning I received
the email from BMI officially welcoming me as a member. So that's done.
And I have to admit, despite that I am trying to keep my wits about me and
not go shopping for a Gulfstream, it still was a thrill to get that email.
As of yet, I have not registered the copyrights for either song nor the
recording with the U.S. Copyright Office
leg of the Library of Congress, but I'll
be doing that shortly, at least for the songs. I may hold off on the
recordings until the CDs have arrived so I can send a physical copy to
LOC. In fact, I may be required to. Guess I should read up on that.
Of course, for those of you who don't know, legally, the copyright of all
the elements, the songs (music & lyrics), the recordings, and all
associated artwork already belong to me, and have since each creation was
put into any sort of fixed form, physical or digital. They remain mine
until I willfully sell or otherwise give up any or all rights. I also
already retain the power to grant exclusive or nonexclusive rights to
any entity or artist, in perpetuity or for a set length of time.
A songwriter, or other sort of author, does not have to have their work
registered with the Copyright Office to own and control the rights.
However, going after copyright violations, infringements is much easier
when the work is registered. It's just a more solid embracing of the
ownership. Plus, it's the only way to sue for damages, at least in the
U.S. Not that I ever think that would be an issue for me. I'm not seeing
some young rapper sampling something by me, without permission, for their
next hip-hop release, or other situations where damages would be a
practical part of the equation.
The process of rendering new WAV files
of the individual tracks form each song that was edited in
Final Cut Pro X. The new
WAVs are not all imported into Logic Pro X
projects for their
but they will be soon. There's only one song left to render into new WAVs:
Song #4, "Medley: The Death of
the..../Memories of the Times Before/Memories Endbit/The Death of the
Plus I still have those two or three more songs to record, mix and master
for the album. I still am not sure what they will be, but I need to get on
it. I have been looking backinto the songs of my youth to see if there's
at least one there that is right for this project. There just may be.
There is officially a table reading
of my play manuscript coming up. It's scheduled for Saturday, October 2.
This will be the second reading, the one that was cancelled twice because
of the pandemic ‐‐ and I am hoping won't meet the same fate, again, due to
this damn Delta variant surge.
The same actors who were on board for the last reading that was cancelled
are back on board, two of them from the first reading, one replacement, and
someone coming on as the narrator; I had to take on that last role the first
time, which was inconvenient, as the playwright should be able to just
listen to the reading. It's all about me finding out what it sounds like.
This past Saturday, as you saw in previous posts, several of us
Dayton Theatre Guild
board members operated a booth at the
Art in the City 2021 affair.
It was Carol Finley, Rick Flynn, Scott Madden, Sarah Saunders, and myself.
We were placed at Third & Main, and we did get traffic, but other
locations had more traffic. But we still had a nice amount of visitors
the associated fellowship and good will.
We brought a small wardrobe of costumes and put up our brand new selfie
backdrop, which will find a spot on our lobby wall. The idea was for folk
to have their picture taken in a costume. I was a skeptic. I didn't think
many people were going to do it, not only because of CIVID, but just because
I was being cynical. I was proven wrong. It was a hit. Early on all the
takers were little kids. But, later, the grown-up kids had their turns. We
brought an Elvis suit, the white Vegas suit, and that one was quite popular.
There must have been four or five, or more, who posed in the Elvis suit.
We also gave away free chances to win two free tickets to any one of our
2021/2022 season shows. I believe five winners are to be picked, or
possibly have been picked by now. If they have been, I don't have that
information. Anyway, it was a good day and we spread a little bit of good
word about the theatre.
The corner of Third & Main, where you could take a
selfie in a theatre costume.
Three of the booth volunteers for the day, Rick Flynn, me,
& Sarah Saunders.
Taking a pic of a friend in costume, with Carol
Findley (in white) in the background.
Sarah shows some hats to a very discerning young
A wider shot of the friends partaking in our
costuming photo op.
Sarah was not about to not join in on the fun!
DTG's resident dork at his
I'm sorry to admit there are no pics of Scott, mostly
because he and I were on the first shift and I was so
preoccupied with how we were running the booth that photos
slipped my mind until later.
Yesterday, we at
issued this announcement:
MASK REQUIREMENT STATEMENT 08-09-2021
In order to help ensure the health and safety of all our audience
members, cast & crew members, and volunteers, we are requiring
masks to be worn inside our building at all times, except when
actively consuming liquid or food.
We further are closing ticket sales at 75 per performance to better
accommodate the ability for audience members to distance themselves
from others, not part of their group, while seated in the theatre.
Please be safe,
Dayton Theatre Guild Board of Directors
WORKING ON ANOTHER SONG FOR THE ALBUM AND ON A NEW WEB PRESENCE:
Last night I worked on the rocker from last Christmas time, with the
workshop title, "Winter Vacation Rocker," that which I started
in the rented cottage in Dover, Ohio during
2020. You know, almost eight months ago. I couldn't remember all
the chords, and I failed to write them down back in December. Fortunately
I'd shot video on my iPhone of
me jamming out the chords back then. Last night, I was able to refresh my
memory about all the chords and the changes by watching that.
As you can see, from the pics below, I was on the
Embassy Pro bass,
as I had been, eight months ago. I ran it through all three of the foot
pedals, but after some experiment, I decided to only have the
engaged. That might change, later, but for the moment I'm just using that
one signal processor. I want a distorted, yet rather clean sound, and the
other two pedals, the
Boss guitar synthesizer
Super Octave pedal,
were muddying it up. I might find settings later that counter that, but last
night I didn't spend a lot of time playing around to see if I could.
After reminding myself what I'd been doing on the neck back when I started
this one, I then played with the structure, though no structure had fully
been set. I added new chords and a new chord progression section, and I
think I'll cut a section from December. We'll see. I started a set of lyrics
Get Away 2021, which might work
with this music, maybe. I didn't try out what I have written of
these lyrics last night, but, honestly, I'm a little skeptical I'm going to
find the lyrics and this music a match. But, you never know.
It's not live yet, but I have both secured the domain name
"KLStorer.com" (really, "klstorer.com"), and purchased
server space for it. I'm mentioning it here, as Music Business, but the
truth is that site will be dedicated to all my artistic endeavors: acting,
music, playwright work, any other writing I might delve into, any future
movie making, any other artistic ventures that may be on my horizon.
This blog, which currently is and has been housed under the umbrella of
The WriteGallery Creative Writing Website, will be migrating to
KLStorer.com. I can't say when, but it won't
be too far off. I definitely want KLStorer.com to be live by the
time the single drops on August 31, though, based on the amount of plates
I have in the air, it will not be a fully developed site. But a decent
presence will be on-line and that's a good start. The blog's move to there
is going to be later, but again, not into the distant future.
Watched a little bit of Rush
in concert on YouTube,
(i.e.: Geddy Lee
on bass), before I settled down to work on the song,
thus, ended up feeling both inspired and intimidated!
Not tuning a piano, not tunafish, probably that
tuna casserole, again.
Working on "Winter Vacation Rocker."
More pics from last night, working on "Winter Vacation
"What the heck were them chords I was playing,
way back in December?" Or: "The value of
a video-recording of jammin' out a new song you're
writing, for later reference." Yes, I could
have written it down, in my non-music-theory-based,
yet effective, personal system. But, I did not.
Last night I worked more on "Winter Vacation Rocker," solidifying
the chord and sections structures of the song. I don't have lyrics, yet,
and thus no final title, but it's clear that this is now
Song #11, so I'll be seeing it through to
the state of finished.
Note that the first photo in yesterday's blog post is a pic of a
Rush live video from
YouTube, on my laptop. I watched
that and a few other videos, some of other Rush performances, right before
I got down to work at refreshing myself on "Winter Vacation Rocker."
Note also that I stated that "I added new chords and a new chord
progression section." The chords and chord changes in that new
section are more than simply reminiscent of what Rush might do, it's so
obviously directly influenced by them. It's also designated as the
verse chord progression, so as I write lyrics and compose the melody, I
think I am going to consciously attempt to remove both from the Rush
sonic neighborhood. Likewise, I'll try to avoid
lyrics. The bass part, on the other hand, just might be my pale
imitation of Geddy Lee's
work; did I say "pale imitation?" I meant:
"faded-almost-to-the-point-of-white pale imitation." In other
words, it'll probably be in the spirit of his style but definitely without
his skill level.
Though I haven't done it yet, I need to sit down and create an Excel workbook
with spreadsheets to cover expenses and income from the music venture as
well as acting and any other artistic activity that might come up. And, who
knows? Some others just might come up. Though I must admit, I more than
anticipate that the expenses entries are going to far outweigh the income
entries, both in numbers of, and in values. If I clear a profit ‐‐
-- it won't be financing that Lamborghini or a summer house in the
I didn't point it out yesterday, but I've done a
slight reconfiguration of the little corner space
that becomes my "bedroom studio." It really
just amounts to a reposition of there the little
table where I place whichever multi-track recorder
I'm using, plus the correlating reposition of where
my chair is in the space.
I decided I might want to write down the chords,
the chord progressions, and the sections of the
T-MINUS THIRTEEN DAYS UNTIL THE SINGLE; AND THE WINTER
VACATION ROCKER IS ROCKIN':
"Just One Shadow" releases two weeks from yesterday, on August
31. As of yesterday, there is a promotional web page up and running, at
HearNow, powered by
Cd Baby. It plays about a thirty-second
clip of each of the two songs. So, if you've been curious as to what either
or both of these songs sound like:
It also has the following copy about the "A-side":
"Just One Shadow," the first single from K.L.Storer,
speaks to the isolation, the separateness of family and community
people all over the world have experienced because of the COVID
pandemic , and it speaks to the hope for an ending to it all.
There'll be some modifications to the page. Right now I have links to
YouTube accounts. After the
single drops, I'll add links to it from iTunes,
Pandora, etc., after I know what
those links will be. As soon as I have it up-and-running, I'll be linking
to klstorer.com, too, for general info as well as most probably as the place
to purchase a physical copy of the CD single, and later, the album.
I recorded a demo version of the "Winter Vacation Rocker" on my
eight-track recorder, a basic
rhythm track with a basic drum rhythm and the chorded bass part. I have
started the lyrics, though I'm not far along. I have the first verse and
first line of the second verse. But I have no chorus lyrics, and I have no
idea what the actual title of the song will be. In the last blog entry I
stated how I wanted to be careful not to mimic
Rush too closely in either the lyrical
style or the vocal melody, since the chord progression of the verses has a
Rush feel to it, and the chorus section isn't far off.
But, in my mind, there is similarity in style to what Rush's lyricist
Neal Peart, rest his
soul, might have written, but I'm happy with the direction they are going,
so: too bad ‐‐ plus,
my seeing a correlation with Peart's style might jus be my own delusion.
Musically, the structure is set. There's an instrumental intro that runs
almost a minute, with two separate chord progression parts, then two verses,
then the chorus. Next is verse number three, that will lead into the instrumental
solo section, a reprise of the intro music with slight variations. After
the solo section, will be one more verse and the chorus again, which will
lead to the ending with a reprise of a little rocker chord part that also
appears right before the solo section. The whole song is "rocker chord
parts," but I'm using the term simply to identify that little section.
The song runs six-and-a-half minutes.
I want to get on finishing this one and I admit I'm feeling a bit of anxiety
about it. I'll probably start the process of recording the instrumentation
before the lyrics and the vocal melody are finished and ready, since I have
strong ideas about the instrumentation. I've done it before. I may get
started on that tonight, programming the drumkit in
GarageBand, if nothing
else. The official recording will, of course, happen on the
My hand-written record of the chords and chord
progressions for Song #11,
aka: "Winter Vacation Rocker"
Listening to playback of the
Song #11 demo.
Rehearsing Song #11,
so that when it's time for the bone fide recording,
I don't have to do 195 takes before I get it right.
Right now, there are lots of things needing my attention, but one that's at
the front of the line is getting klstorer.com up and running. I'm going
to build and maintain the site using WordPress
via GoDaddy, and at this point I know
al,most nothing about using Wordpress. I want to at least get a barebones
up before the single drops, with at least the ability to sell the physical
copies of the single from there ‐‐ though I suspect I'll be selling
them with lower than cost price tag.
Of course, klstorer.com will be the hub for all my artistic ventures,
as I think I have written before. And, as I know I've said before, at some
point soon, I plan on this blog migrating there. I think there's a chance
that at sometime before the end of this year or 2022, at the latest,
The WriteGallery Creative Writing Website
may finally gasp its death-null breath, after having no new material added
for years, save for some occasional things from me.
CALLING RINGO STARR, STEWART COPELAND, OR....RICH HISEY*:
Yesterday, I made several attempts to program the drumkit part for
"Winter Vacation Rocker" in
GarageBand, but found
none of several different drum-style choices to work.
I had first sat down and figured out the exact chord structure of the song,
including and especially the number of measures for each section or part
of a section. Plus I made sure I was correctly identifying the chords; I
used my Giannini acoustic bass
to be sure I was getting the correct spelling. That was Wednesday night.
Last night, as I programmed, I also played along on my
with the volume low on the Ampeg bass amp
(to neither bother nor notify the neighbors) while I played back each GarageBand
drum part on my laptop.
I didn't like anything I came up with. Most were based on the foundation of
the drum track loop I used when first writing the song, then recording the
demo, but as I've been altering that basic drum part, what I have been
getting doesn't work. But, I don't want the reiteration of the original
loop for six-and-a-half minutes; there needs to be some variety between the
different sections; there needs to be drum fills, and some variety to those,
too. I'll start over from scratch today, or maybe tomorrow, but I hope, today.
*Rich Hisey: my musical collaborator from my late-teens into my
early 30s, and the drummer in the several different configurations
of bands we put together. He also was on keyboards and occasional
guitar, with one of several other musicians (depending on the band
lineup) filling in on drumkit during songs where he played keys or
Using the acoustic bass to reference "Winter
Vacation Rocker" chords to correctly write
My "drummer" for most songs in the album
project ‐‐ aka: GarageBand.
Listening to what ultimately became a rejected
programed drum part for "Winter Vacation Rocker."
Saturday I got the drum part for "Winter Vacation Rocker"
programmed into GarageBand.
I wanted to at least get a start on officially recording on Saturday, but
that didn't happen. I had a few hours of one of my occasional, self-diagnosed
bouts of cloaked dysthymia. After a bit of a nap I took a nice long shower,
letting the hot-as-I-can-stand-it water become the cold-as-I-can-stand-it
water, and I was ready to get down to business. But enough of the day was
gone that all I got done was the programming and a few play-alongs to adjust
the programming to end up with a complete drum part for the song, one that
works well for the song ‐‐ much better than the failed attempts earlier in
Yesterday was productive though it might have been a little more productive
had I not had to waste an hour of my day driving back to and from
which I had visited earlier to deal with some business, and where I'd left my
phone in the booth.
Still, I managed to lay a nice chunk of rhythm tracking down on the
Rather than importing the rendered GarageBand
drum part onto the Tascam, I ran a stereo sound cord from my
MacBook Pro into the
recorder and recorded playback of the drum part onto the stereo 13/14
channels on the recorder. I also recorded three separate chorded rhythm bass
tracks, all the same part. Two of them have the exact same settings on
the Boss Overdrive/Distortion pedal,
the third has less distortion and overdrive. In the
stereo pan, the
first two will each be full right or full left, respectively. The third
will sit in the middle.
Though it's not ready to be recorded yet, I have started working out the
bone fide bass line for the song. All I have down right now is the basics
of the song, the root notes for the chords and chord progressions. After
I have a strong handle on that, I'll start composing the bass line, adding
counter-melody, fills, and flourishes. I'm not sure how long this will take.
My goal is to add new tricks. As I was dropping a few fills in yesterday,
it was the same ol', same ol' from what I consider my limited bass player's
arsenal. The aim here is to do something, or some things, new, and some
things that I have to push myself to be a better musician to play. I
actually took most of the day off today to get at least some hours in
working on this bass line. My evening is spoken for as
Women in Jeopardy
at The Guild, where we have auditions tonight
and tomorrow night.
As for "Winter Vacation Rocker," I'm pretty much thinking this
will have another of those "faux lead guitar solos," where I bump
the octave of a bass solo up, maybe even two octaves this time, during the
mixing process in
There still has been no final title for the song jump out of what lyrics
are written. I have made a small amount of progress on the lyrics,
having added a couple lines to verse two in the last few days. But, a title
has not yet presented itself. My suspicion is that it'll manifest from the
lyrics in the chorus, that which I have not written, yet. I suppose I could
jump ahead and give starting the chorus lyrics a try, but, I only need two
more lines to the second verse before I get to the chorus, so I'm inclined
to wait, unless the Muse whispers in my ear.
Saturday night (or technically, early Sunday morning),
playing along with the new GarageBand drums for
"Winter Vacation Rocker."
Setting up the 24-track for the drum part ‐‐ assigning
audio inputs to channels.
Recording the drum part from my Mac onto the
The "Winter Vacation Rocker" bass line is pretty much composed.
I havent yet worked out that fill that I haven't done before, the one that
I'll have to practice to be good enough to play ‐‐ or the multiple fills
that meet that description. Before I record the bass line, I do want to
have at least one of those. Two or three would be better, but incorporating
at least one would make me happy.
You can see by the photos below that I decided to switch from the
to the Viola bass
for the bass line. I had thought about going for a very
Chris Squire/Geddy Lee,
punchy, steel, trebly bass tone for that bass line, which would call for the
Embassy and its
because this song is pretty much a
song, albeit not with any of the usual virtuoso instrumentation going on,
even if I master that fill or two that will push my skill further.
I'd pulled the Viola out for an idea I had to run two unison bass lines for
the song, the Viola and the Embassy, probably with the more bassy Viola
favoring one side of the
stereo pan, and
the more punchy, trebly Embassy on the other side. Then I was going to use
the Embassy for a featured bass solo in the instrumental intro to the song,
that last thing which may still happen. But I used the Viola to finish
composing the song's base line, and even with the mellower
I decided that the tone I was getting works by itself for the song as the
bass line. With the tone adjustments both on the guitar and on my
Ampeg bass amp
I got a nice punchy tone ‐‐ actually a bit like the tone for
song #7, "Chilled October Night,"
also mostly prog rock, and also played on the Viola bass.
I finished working the bass line out, save for those un-composed fills
mentioned above, Monday, then rehearsed it a bit, both to practice what is
worked out, including some small sections which I can do but need to practice
for better finesse, and of course, I was rehearsing to get to those new fills,
currently beyond my skill. But I had to take yesterday off because parts
of what I'm doing was straining my left hand, my fretting hand. Either I've
been using improper technique, in a manner that might cause damage to my
hand, especially in one particular section (one of those parts I need to
rehearse to finesse), or, there are a lot of little muscles in my hand that
aren't tuned up enough to escape quick fatigued ‐‐ maybe both. I must
admit I am not practicing on a regular basis, which calls into question
my level of commitment as a "musician," doesn't it?
My fret hand suffered a good amount of fatigue and started to ache quite a
bit. My right hand did a bit, too, but not nearly as bad. It was clear that,
yesterday, I needed to give my left hand a rest, that even if my fretting
technique was not improper, I might still push myself to some real damage,
which I have no desire to do. I am going to work on the bass line tonight
and I'll be trying a new approach to fretting technique for those particular
There's barely been any progress on the lyrics for song #11.
Last night I finished off a line, the third in the second verse, but that's
the only gain since the last time I worked on the words. There's still no
official title. I'm also starting to wonder if I don't want to put the
lyrics I've started for this aside and start over with something new. That
may just be a fleeting bout of doubt that will disipate before long. With
the current lyrics, I'm trying to be vivid and poetic and whenever I do that
with lyrics I become concerned that I'm pushing into the pretension zone.
There is a lot of metaphor in what I've written thus far, in fact it's
virtually all metaphorical, which also brings to point my being in
the neighborhood of
style lyrics, which, as I've written before about this song, I'd rather
avoid since the song has at least some bit of a Rush feel to the music. I
had already recognized this Peart similarity and had decided to live with
it, but, now, in the second-thought phase, I'm questioning that. My guess
is I won't throw out the these lyrics, but, we'll see. I plan to work on
the lyrics at least a little bit today, too.
We had a decent turn out resulting in some good choices for all the roles
-- there will be actors not cast who could easily have been successfully
cast in the show. The final cast list is pending, as Margie mulls over her
choices, but should be made public sometime in the next few days.
I mixed together a rhythm section demo of "Winter Vacation Rocker"
with the tracks thus far officially finished for the song ‐‐ the drums, the
three chorded rhythm bass parts on the
and also a trail bass line on my
The composition of that bass line is mostly finished but I still have some
things to work out, such as those fills that I've written of above. But
overall, the bass line is created.
As I listened to this new demo I decided that using the Viola bass for that
bass line doesen't work, after all. There's a bit of a punch, but for this
Geddy Lee/Chris Squire
punchy, metalic sound isn't present enough using the Viola with the
regardless of how much I push the treble tones and subdue the bassy tones.
I simply didn't get the weighty steel tone and feel that the
nature of this song requires.
When I got home from the first rehearsal (the read-through)
of The Guild
show I'm AD-ing, I pulled out the Embassy
and the 24-Track,
set everything up and auditioned the bass line on the Embassy, playing along
with the finished rhythm track instrumentation. It's a go with the Embassy
and its roundwound strings.
My hope is that I can nail down the fills and garnishes on the bass line
and get it officially recorded before the weekend is over. Tonight would be
lovely, but that may not be a realistic goal.
Truthfully, I'd like to have not only the bass line, but several other parts
of the song laid down in the multi-track master before the end of weekend.
I have an idea to enhance the harmonics of the lower chords on the bass,
which, by the shear nature of their lower tones, are a little muddy. I also
plan to add piano. I doubt I'd get to the place where I would be ready to
lay down the faux guitar solo, but I can at least start working on that.
It'd be lovely to have the vocal recorded by end of the weekend, but I
don't even have the lyrics done yet. I have the chorus lyrics and two verses
left to write, as well as the last line of the second verse to finish.
And I'd like to record at least two more songs for the project. November is
looking far more realistic as album-release-date territory than is October.
My usual set-up for recording the bass (regardless of type
of part or which Epiphone is used). I plug a cord with a
35mm male input into the 35mm headphones jack on the
Ampeg BA-210 bass amplifier,
and for adequate length, patch that cord into another that,
with a quarter-inch adaptor, runs into the guitar input on
the back of the Tascam 24-track recorder. This way I have
the extra amplification and tone control from the amp. But
by using the headphones jack I circumvent sending the
signal to the amp's speakers, thus neither annoying my
neighbors in adjoining apartments, nor notifying them that
there is musical equipment in my home to be stolen.
*Until I get a working sound pick-up system for the
Giannini acoustic/electric bass,
I have to record that one using a microphone.
The beginning of tracks in
Logic Pro X
for what is, at the moment, still "Winter
The switch back to the Epiphone Embassy Pro Bass.
Running the "Winter Vacation Rocker"
bass line back on the Embassy.
THE JEOPARDY BEGINS:
Last night we had the table read
for Women in Jeopardy,
and it sounded pretty damned good. This coming Monday night we begin the
We'll be doing a few weeks of only three rehearsals per which works out
great for me, since I have album project to attend to, with the finishing
of recording and the
mixing and mastering
of the whole damned thing to deal with.
I've been in contact with
Playwright Wendy MacLeod and
she has granted us clearance to use dialogue in the promotional trailer
for the show. I have referred to our promotional DV movies for a good ten
years as the "promocasts,"
a hybrid term that merged "promotional" with "podcast,"
but I've decided to retire that term. I'm now producing much shorter DV
movies, using much less material from the plays, and there haven't been
interviews or commentary for a few seasons now, so it seems much more
appropriate, or accurate, to call them "trailers" now. And we
have permission to use dialogue from the script with our trailer for
Women in Jeopardy. Now all that is needed is to find the best
30-60 second moment from the show to use.
Anyone who will read this will probably never know that this was
posted pretty late in the day, around early evening in the U.S.
daylight savings region. You'd think, with my first single dropping
today, that I would have tried to get this post out as early as
possible. Fact is, there was a lot of other business concerning the
release to deal with that needed to be dealt with make the update
more relevant. I also had some promotional stuff I wanted to get to
first. Plus I had to work a full day at the
: "Just One Shadow" and its
music video are both released. The song is available on several different
The physical CDs arrived yesterday, too. I will have them available for sale
directly from me, shortly. In the meantime, I;ve sent off copies to six
public radio stations the have, or appear to have, programming that will
welcome the musical style of the song, one, of course, being our Dayton-area
And here is the music video:
*) Dec 1, 2022 addendum: you may note that the video says it's
"remastered"e; ‐‐ this is the remastered version
that released with the album, over a year after this post, and the
video was rereleased with the new audio
THE BASS LINE ‐‐ PROGRESS BUT DEFINITELY NOT PERFECTION;
& THE LYRICS ‐‐ PROGRESS, AND IF I KEEP THEM, I MAY HAVE A TITLE:
The bass line for "Winter Vacation Rocker" is coming along, but
I haven't yet perfected it to the point that I'm ready to record it. It
was a wise choice to move it to the
and get that
Chris Squire/Geddy Lee
progressive-rock texturing. It is too bad the skill level of this bass work
won't match that of these two great players, but, you know: I do the best
I've been frustrating myself, again getting in touch with my particular
lower skill level, by constantly flubbing what ought to be an easy little
fill to play. It's part of the hold up to laying the part in the multi-track
master. I also have one other, extended, more elaborate fill that I haven't
completely composed as of yet. Patience is a virtue, or so I'm told.
A little more wordage has been added to the lyrics. I finished the second
verse and have a couple lines of the chorus written. I may have
stumbled upon the final title for the song, too. The first line of the
chorus has a candidate, an interesting turn of phrase. But I'll hold off
on a decision until more words have been committed to the song.
Rehearsing "Winter Vacation Rocker" over the
last few days.
The CD of the "Just One Shadow" single. I have
to admit, it was pretty cool to hold one, open it and have
it look, you know, not amateur.
The "Just One Shadow" page at Amazon.
The "Just One Shadow" page at iTunes.
A NEW WEB PRESENCE:
It's quite bare bones at the moment but klstorer.com
is officially launched and on the internet.
An elder statesman of the Dayton theatre community has left us.
passed away yesterday. There have already been many outpourings of fond
tributes to Jim, and I doubt I can rival any of them. But let me give my
My first stage experience as an adult was landing the role of Johnny Pat in
The Cripple of Inishmaan.
I had actually gone to auditions with the role of Dr. McSherry in mind. It
wasn't a big role, the doc had like three or four scenes. That role was won
by some fellow named Jim.
A few different things I learned early about Jim. He was a consummate
professional when it came to his stage work, he had a delightfully corny
sense of humor ‐‐ he left no pun unspoken ‐‐ and he was a really helluva
Unless my memory is failing me, I don't believe we ever shared a production
again, in any capacities. But, you couldn't be a part of Dayton area theatre
without frequently encountering Jim, on stage, as a director, or as an
enthusiastic audience member.
Jim is a legend in Dayton theatre, and a long-respected member of this theatre
community who left an indelible legacy. And, did I mention what a nice,
lovely, kind man he was?
The blocking rehearsals
for Women in Jeopardy
are almost wrapped. There's one scene left to block, which we will get to
at the next rehearsal, which is this coming Tuesday evening.
We'll start to have at least the skeleton of our set
at Tuesday's rehearsal, with the
Morning's at Seven
set having been struck the previous
Sunday (i.e.: today).
So far, my participation as AD has been
mostly as a fly in the wall. I've thrown in a couple minor suggestions on
blocking, but not many. Since we
have a stage manager I haven't had to
record the blocking in the prompt book,
Directed by Rick Flynn
Produced by Christina Tomazinis
This 1939 comedy tells the story of four aging sisters who live in
a small mid-western town, and their long-standing sibling rivalries.
Three of them ‐‐ Ida, Cora and Arry ‐‐ have lived next door to each
other for fifty years, and Esther, the eldest, lives only a few blocks
away. We quickly learn that living so close to one another has taken
its toll. Some start to question their lives and decide to make some
changes before it's too late. In 1980, Morning's At Seven was
nominated for the Tony award for Best Revival of a Play.
Aug 20-Sep 5, 2021
The Cast of Morning's at Seven
The Promotinal Trailer for Morning's at Seven
BACK IN THE THEATRE SEAT AGAIN:
Over the weekend I finally was back in main stage spaces witnessing live
theatre again. Friday evening I saw
>Morning's at Seven,
by Paul Osborn, at
the the next evening I saw
It's Only a Play,
by Terrence McNally,
at Beavercreek Community Theatre.
Both were season openings that were the first casualties of the
pandemic shutdowns in the spring of 2020 at the two respective theatres.
The Guild show was about to enter into its
Tech Week when our board made
the difficult but inevitable decision to pull the plug, and not too long
later the state shut down all live performances, anyway.
Some readers may know that I was originally in the cast of BCT's It's
Only a Play in the role of Ira Drew, which was successfully taken over
by some new kid named
We were still in
when this one was shut down. But some of us were going to drop out, anyway.
I am a heart attack survivor with hypertension, so I am on the COVID-19
vulnerable list, which was especially germaine at that time since I was not
vaccinated as of yet, no one was.
But, both shows came back, with some cast replacements for various reasons.
I didn't revive my role because of my album project. I simply did not want
to be in rehearsals rather than in my little home studio, or otherwise
giving time and energy to the music work. It's Only a Play did not
suffer from the loss of me on the boards, and Morning's at Seven
faired quite well with its cast changes. Both were very fine productions
that were lovely ways to reintroduce myself to the theatre audience seat ‐‐
even if I did have to wear a mask to be there.
The looming question is, however, will any of our theatres make it to the
end of this current season without another shutdown?
On a related note, I and several hundred other theatre folk spent Saturday
afternoon at the Dayton Playhouse
celebrating the life of the late
one of our theatre community's beloved elder statesmen. I think everyone
who attended would agree that Jim would have approved. There was applause,
the was laughter, and, of course, there were tears. I've already had my
say about the passing of this lovely man, I'm not going to reiterate it
here. And I'm not going the recount the several wonderful perfomances of
things that were special to Jim's heart. But, I will say, that the standing
ovation Jim was given at the end of the official event was overwhelmingly
heart-warming and beautiful.
It's good that I compose parts that are a bitch for me to perform. Once I
can play the part, I've improved my musicianship, even if just a little.
It'd be better if I played every damn day instead of just when there is a
song in the works. That would take some smarter time management and a
level of discipline that I don't seem to have committed to. That last point
is mostly because of the other passions that draw me in: theatre and such.
I've spent several days rehearsing and attempting to perfect the bass line
I've composed for "Winter Vacation Rocker," and meeting up with
some decent amount of frustration. There's one particular fill, which I
believe I've made mention of, already, that I am flubbing far more than I'm
executing satisfactorily. Honestly, it's not exactly an impossible fill,
either. It ought to not be so hard for me to nail consistently. But, it is.
I think ‐‐ I know ‐‐ this is because I am not woodshedding on my
bass the way I should, going back to that not playing every damn day, and
not spending time practicing exactly the kind of fingering and hand
positioning that this particular fill requires.
However, last night I did have a recording session to lay the bass line
down in the multi-track master recording. I was not successful. I did
thirty takes; none of them worked. That particular fill wasn't always the
issue, either. in fact, in many of the takes, I didn't make it to that point
in the song.
Actually, a lot of the time I wasn't flubbing a note, but rather getting
the wrong sound from the bass. As mentioned before, this song is, for all
intents and purposes, a
and I'm going for that harsher, metalic sound to the bass, that
Geddy Lee/Chris Squire
sound. That means I'm on the
Embassy Pro bass
with its roundwound strings,
those strings giving the more punchy, steel sound to the bass notes. And in
this song I am pushing the treble tone settings, and keeping the bass tone
settings lower or off, on both the guitar and the amp. When you do that,
especially with roundwound strings, how you pluck the strings becomes a
sensitive matter. A slight difference in the pressure I use, or even the
exact part of my finger I use, or which finger I use, makes a noticeable
difference in the harshness, the tenor, and the punch of each note. The
part or finger, or finger used, quite literally has to do with the size and
density of the calluses on the fingers.
I also have an exact arrangement for this bass line, with particular fills
in particular spots, that I am adamant is performed for the song. With
most of what I've recorded already there's been a bit of a free-forum approach,
with a litte arsenal of similar fills for a song that I've pulled from,
each take being slight different in terms of what exact fill was played
at what moment. This time, for whatever reason, I am being rigid about
what is where.
So, some errors that blew a take were performance flubs, where I missed a
fret and played a note out of key or I missed the beat (or some such thing),
some were blowing the execution of a fill, especially that one fill,
but often it was because what I played, though it worked perfectly fine, was
being played in the wrong moment ‐‐ I lost my place. The last being those
errors that, where it being performed live, I'd be likely the only one
who knows or cares, and clearly I'd just move on. There was also an
execution issue at times, where I played the right thing, but I felt the
attack was either too weak or too punchy.
I suppose this points to some bit of perfectionism. Oh well. I'd argue it
more speaks to a striving for excellence, which I think is a pretty damn
Also, I changed one note of the bass line, which gave me a clearer, cleaner
moment that works perfectly for that section in the song (actually, sections)
The goal was to have significantly more of the instrumentation recorded
for this song than I have done. I still have, at least, another bit of
bass work to do ‐‐ just some filler work to enhance the high-notes on some
bass chords in part of the chorus section where, because of the lowness
of the notes, it's a little muddy and undefined ‐‐ a danger of bass chording.
And, to further help define the chords, overall, I'm going to add the
Legato III piano,
though it's possible that I use the organ voice rather than a piano voice.
This afternoon: takes number 31, plus....
There's been little gain on the lyrics, in terms of adding lines. I believe
I added one line to the chorus. But, I have tweaked all the lines in the
two verses that are already written. Essentially I trimmed words to get
more conciseness, and, quite frankly, to have less syllables in each verse
so I'll be finished with each line before the bass fills at the end of the
That last point has everything to do with thinking ahead to when and if I
ever perform this live and am playing bass and singing at the same time. I
try to not make that a consideration, because I don't want the performance
on the recording to be influenced, or compromised, by such an issue, but
this time, I did consider it. Mostly the editing was done to tighten the
lyrics up for the the sake of that, itself, however.
Honestly, if I every did get a band together to play these songs live, I'd
have to re-learn virtually every song again, anyway. I worked out these
parts on these songs close to recording them, then recorded them, then never
have played them again, thus they never got burned into me. I listen to some
of the mixes I have right now and I think, What the hell am I dong there?
How the hell did I play that?
I'm still not ready to commit to move on from the workshop title, though I
suspect that the first few words of the chorus lyrics will end up the title;
I'm still holding off to see if something else pops up that it better.
Last week I mailed out more CDs of the single to public radio stations,
two in Chicago. I mailed one to my sister, too, 'cause, you know, because.
I literally could have dropped it off since I was going to spend a couple
evenings in Dayton, relatively close to her home, but I don't know, her
getting it in the mail just seemed cool.
I'll be piecemealing the mailing of the CD to public radio stations. It takes
a little research to find likely candidates, plus I need to staggar paying
the postage. I've thus far sent them first-class; I may resort to media-class
postage in the future.
There are a lot of business admin details needing addressed. I need to
fully hook up with artist accounts on the download and streaming platforms.
I'm in the midst right now of clearing up some confusion I have about my
associations with Sound Exchange
and BMI, specifically in relationship
to my connection with CD Baby music
publishing admin. I also need to officially register the songs on, and the
phonograph recording of, the single with the
U.S. Copyright Office.
Discovering and taking advantage of other avenues of promotion is not a
bad idea, either. Klstorer.com is
up and running, though it needs more content and a more sophisticated design
at some point. And I've been doing promotion on social media. It's also
been suggested that I start an artist's page on facebook.
Although, I have to admit, that last point feels like I'd be creating a fan
page before there is a fan base. And, will there ever be numbers that could
realistically constitute "fan-base" status? I do have a big ego,
but even my ego doesn't find that scenario plausible.
Still, though I don't foresee anything close to hundreds-of-thousands of
downloads or millions of YouTube
hits, Still, I need to get better versed at the marketing/promotional stuff.
Why not make my music available and in the awareness of as many people as
Practice, practice, practice! Rehearsing "Winter
Vacation Rocker," last Wednesday evening.....
....Practice, practice, practice! Rehearsing "Winter
Vacation Rocker," last Thursday evening.... I also
rehearsed it Friday and Saturday, but no photos were snapped.
Yesterday's futile attempt to lay the bass line down in the
Today would have been my father's one-hundred-second birthday.
THE LAST WEEK OF WORK ON THE SONG THAT NOW HAS ITS REAL NAME:
The main bass line for what is now "Embracing the Palpable," that
bass part with my attempt at
Chris Squire/Geddy Lee
sounding bass work, is FINALLY
done. I laid it last Tuesday night after two separate recording sessions
that day, one before the
Women in Jeopardyrehearsal and one after. Between
the two Tuesday sessions I did forty-three more takes.
Let me repeat that:
Between the two Tuesday sessions I did forty-three more takes.
For those keeping score, though I doubt anyone besides me is, including the
unsuccessful Monday evening recording session, that's a total of seventy-three
takes. But, like I wrote last entry, not all of the takes were full takes
where I played through the entire 6:50 song. For many, the majority, really,
I didn't get too far in before something unacceptable happened. And, again,
as a carryover from that first, unsuccessful recording session on Monday:
...some errors that blew a take were performance flubs, where I
missed a fret and played a note out of key or I missed the beat (or
some such thing), some were blowing the execution of a fill,
especially that one fill, but often it was because what I played,
though it worked perfectly fine, was being played in the wrong moment
-- I lost my place....
Am I just that much of a perfectionist, or, just that unaccomplished as a
musician? It's probably a bit of both. To be fair to myself, I don't believe
I'm a terrible musician, I'm just not as accomplished as I want to be. I
suspect that will always be the case, no matter how much better I get. I
hate to repeat myself but that doesn't bother me as a bad thing. It seems
to me a certain amount of dissatisfaction with one's own work keeps an artist
in reality about their skill level and motivates them to improve. I can both
be satisfied with what I've done, be it musically, theatrically, or literarily,
and still point out a myriad of flaws in that work. That, I think, is a good
thing. And I think one should have standards that must be met. In this case,
that standard resulted in seventy-three takes.
A few of the takes, toward the end were
punch in/out takes
where I replaced a section. What I really needed to replace was a little
mini-bass solo at the end of the solo section, but I didn't want to use the
Tascam foot switch
for the punch in, which would have facilitated the ability to punch in at
the very pont where that little solo begins. But that whole solo section is
separated on both ends by a few beats of rests, where it is easy to hit
the Record button, then the Stop button on either side. So I did that and
played the whole section which leads up to that little solo at the end of
It took me a while, but I finally got the whole bass line down to suit me.
Wednesday evening I laid a track that was much simpler: two takes. I used
the Viola bass
to enhance the high notes to the bass chords in the chorus section. Again,
as I wrote in the last blog entry, the low tones of the bass chords in the
chorus section cause the harmonics of the chords to get a little lost. The
raw chords sound a bit muddy and the high notes are not distinguished very
well. So, I played just the high notes on the Viola bass, to help bump them
up in the mix, I ran the bass through the
with just a tad of distortion, to help this addition blend in with the
bass chording on the other tracks. This helps define those chords,
Listening to the playback, after adding the bass garnish, if we can call
it that, I have to say I was so far most happy with the rhythm track as it
was shaping up.
Friday, I sat down at the Legato III piano
and worked out the piano part for the song. As per usual, nothing fancy
going on, no Elton John style
piano work happening, since I'm not anywhere close to that league. I did
what I always do, I played what I call "rhythm piano." The piano
won't be prominent in this piece, it's there to help create the base of the
song and also to help enhance the harmonics of the chords ‐‐ as
discussed above, the bass chords muddy the harmonics a bit and the piano will
help accentuate the melodic tones of the whole chord structure.
Saturday was a non-music day but Sunday I laid the piano track, and it only
took four takes. I also worked out and recorded an organ track, using the
organ voice on the Legato. That one was a few more takes, twenty total. At
least it wasn't seventy-three! The organ plays that same
shoring-up-the-harmonics purpose as the piano.
With the exception of the lead work during the solo section, I don't think
I'll add any more instrumentation to this one. I think after I've composed
and recorded the solo, which at this point I planned to do on the Viola bass,
ran through the
SY-1 guitar synthesizer pedal,
the only thing left will be the vocal. At this point I think it'll be just
a lead vocal, no back-up vocals, no harmony vocals.
I haven't done a mixdown of all this instrumentation in
Logic Pro, yet, but I have
listened to playback, crudely mixed in the
and the song is rockin'!
You can see from the title of this section that the song now has its
official title, the workshop title it has bore for nine months,
"Winter Vacation Rocker," is now retired. The chorus lyrics are
done and I have taken the title from where I expected I would, the first
few words of the first line of the chorus. As you read above, the title is
now: "Embracing the Palpable."
The title is actually derived from a tweak of that line. Originally it would
have been "Stroking the Palpable," but I changed the verb during
a revision fest where I went through everything already written and tightened,
tweaked, and otherwise altered. There is still have half of the third verse
and all of the fourth verse to be written, and I need to do that ASAP
because I'd like the vocal recorded by the end of this coming weekend.
I'm going with a very heavy metaphoric motif, which always worries me. I'm
looking for this to be quite poetic, but I'm always concerned when I do this
that if I am not actually being pretentious, that it will still come
off that way. It also doesn't help steer me away from the song being too
derivative of Rush. There already is
an element of that in the music, and adding on poetic turns of phrases that
might remind of Neil Peart's
lyrics, further takes it down that rabbit hole. But I like the lyrics, so
I'll just have to risk being accused of doing an imitation of Rush, be it a
good imitation or a mediocre one.
During the Tuesday, September 7, 2021 sessions to record
the main bass line for "Embracing the Palpable."
Wednesday evening, adding the bass garnish to underscore the
melodic high notes of the bass chords in the chorus section.
Friday night/early Saturday morning working out the
piano part for "Embracing the Palpable."
Recording the "Embracing the Palpable" piano
yesterday. The organ part was recorded next.
Keeping track of the keyboard takes.
The Williams set on Organ.
The organ, recorded on track 6.
Rehearsals are coming along. We
have a cast that is pushing themselves to be off-book
early, which is always encouraging to see. This week, Director Marjorie
Strader is out of town, so I',m running the rehearsals. Only two rehearsals
this week, last night and tomorrow night. it was good to see all the attempts
at being off-book and it was good to see the character development that is
going on across the board.
THE EMBRACED PALPABLE IS NOW A BURNING BRIDGE, BUT ONE THAT'S BEING
Yes, I changed my mind about the new title for Song #11.
It occurred to me that another phrase from the chorus section both sounded
better and was more to the point. The song name has gone from the workshop
title, "Winter Vacation Rocker," to "Embracing the Palpable,"
which wasn't a bad name, to its newest, and I think, locked title:
"Burning Bridge" ‐‐ the last two words of the chorus
Yesterday, I finished all the verses, so, at least for the moment, the
lyrics are done ‐‐ that is, until I decide to revise something or some
things. I sat down and played the interim
of the rhythm section yesterday, before the lyrics were finished. I tried
out the vocal melody ideas I'd been mulling around. At first I wasn't finding
anything that I liked, and I came close to nixing these lyrics as a match
for this music, but I eventually came upon a melody and vocal performance
that makes the words and music a fit.
I hope to record the vocal within the next few days.
For the purpose of having an instrumental demo to sing along with to compose
the melody, as well as to have something to listen to while finishing the
words (which turned out to not be necessary), and just to start the mixing
and mastering of the song, I mixed and mastered the rhythm tracks between
an engineering session Friday night and Saturday night. I had to go back to
my courses on the subject at Udemy,
where I have enrolled in several Logic Pro X
production classes. I needed the refresher, because I had forgotten how to
get to some functions and set-ups in the software.
The interim master that I have of "Burning Bridge" has some
elements that don't please me, so there will be significant tweaks for the
final master version of the song. There will be some tweaks to the mix, as
After finishing the lyrics, yesterday, I pulled out the
Epiphone Viola Bass
and began composing the faux guitar solo for the middle of the song. I'm
using my Boss SY-1 guitar synthesizer pedal.
I also put the Boss OC-3 Dual Super Octave pedal
into the daisy chain, but turned it off during the experimentation. As of
yet I haven't pulled it from the network because I am not convinced I won't
come back and find it useful before I start recording. You'll note in the
photos below that I was in the livingroom, if you want to call it that,
rather the bedroom, where the
Ampeg BA-210 bass amplifier
is. This time I elected to run directly from the pedals into the
Tascam 24-Track Digital Portastudio,
bypassing the amp, just to have a different approach, more than for any other
reason. Thusly, for another change of pace, I set up in the "livingroom."
At the end of the evening, I'd say I was maybe 80-90% done composing the
main solo, and maybe 50% done composing the solo work at the end of the
song. I'm taking off early from the rent-payer
Monday through Thursday of this week, since I have rehearsals
for Women in Jeopardy
these evenings and I want to be able to spend at least a little time each
day on the album project. So, my hope is to also have this solo work laid
down in the multi-track master in the next several days, as well as the vocal.
Refreshing myself on the mastering course from Udemy,
Yesterday, working out the faux guitar solo for "Burning
As much as I hate to admit it, I haven't done shit toward "Burning
Bridge" or anything else these last two days. I'd even taken off early
from the rent-payer both
Monday and yesterday, and ended up taking naps that ran far too long, and
when I finally carted my ass out of bed, I had to go to
Women in Jeopardyrehearsals. Actually, last night
I left to go to the rehearsal, but, not too far from my apartment,
my car conked out on me. I spent my evening dealing with that.
On a project-related note, I have a new feature page at my official artist's
website called "On-Liner Notes."
It's focused commentary on my music that will, in some ways, overlap with
what gets written here, but will be markedly different, more in the area of
analysis, though not exactly. It'll be quite like the prose of the liner
notes that one could find on LP jackets back in the day, and still on
occasion in CD booklets. Besides an introduction, the first entry is about
the album, in general:
"The Album Project: Virtually Approximate Subterfuge ‐‐ How the Thing Came Together."
IT COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE!:
Like I wrote above, last night I missed rehearsal because my car decided to
quite, not but a few minutes after I left for the theatre. I thought, when
I was stuck on the road, not really "stranded" because it was less
than a ten-minute walk to my apartment, that I was going to have to take all
or most of the day off from work today to have my car worked on.
But the AAA guy, who finally showed up two hours after I had used the app,
rather than tow my car to the local shop where I would have had it worked
on, was able to fix the problem, on the spot, in about ten minutes. I thought
it was the starter. It was a bad cable connection to the battery. And rather
than a $100-plus bill from the mechanic, it was free service from a guy who
I am kicking myself for not having asked where he worked. It was a AAA tow
truck that didn't have the garage name.
Well, my evening got screwed. And it was kind of a drag sitting in my car
for a couple hours when my home was a stone's throw away. For one thing, I
could have actually done some that work on the song "Burning Bridge"
that I didn't get done earlier ‐‐ or the day before. But, all things
considered, it could all have worked out much worse than it did.