Thanks for Playing! – released 20/12/10Posted: December 23, 2010
1. Joanna Reb and the Wee Lie Downs
2. Bingo Bango Reinhardt Django
3. The Man Who Fell Forever
4. Something Nice
I guess in some respects this could be considered my first release proper, containing as it does some material I’m a little prouder of. They represent a bit more of the kind of music I like making. The process of writing and recording it was mentally exhausting, mind. Having to compose and arrange parts for up to 8 instruments a song and then having to record and mix five songs will do that to you. It’s safe to say I won’t be listening to them again for a while.
Joanna Reb and the Wee Lie Downs has a classical feel to it, which is a throwback to my Higher composition piece at school, which was the first thing I really enjoyed composing. Maybe I’ll upload it at some point. Also, I have a thing for old American war anthems, hence the chorus. John Philip Sousa has been the background to many a night on the internet. In fact, I’m gonna go listen to Semper Fi right now.
Bingo Bango Reinhardt Django is three and a half minutes of utter bollocks which was fun to write and record. I go through these phases – phrase-phases, if you will – of jotting down nonsense phrases, such as “hey there, truth or dare”, “yes indeedy, Mike McCready”, “jazz candy” and, of course, “bingo bango, Reinhardt Django”, so rather than make a point, I decided to camp them up all over the track.
The Man Who Fell Forever is an incredibly old song that has been through a million different shapes. I like the melody, but it’s difficult to sing. I think Craig Fulton wrote the riff that comes in during after the third verse on a miniature Casio keyboard back in 2004. So, credit to him, I guess.
Something Nice is a personal favourite of mine. Are you allowed to say that about things you’ve written? I started it back in February while waiting for a shot at Call of Duty, and I’ve been waiting for a chance to let people hear it. When my brother David heard it for the first time, I commented that it reminded me of the end theme to Street Fighter II, to which he replied “Thanks for playing!”, which sent me into gales of laughter. If you’ve played a large number of video games from before 1995, you’ll get it too.
Doodah is a little acoustic ditty I wrote one night after spending too long working out the specifics of a piece I was working on. I was probably trying to figure out the exact amount of portamento to use on a synth, or how much of the bass frequencies I could roll off before it lacked oomph. Something boring like that. It was nice to go back to writing a simple song on guitar, and it contained a modulation I was pretty pleased with (note: I am shit at modulating). I remember remarking at the time that it sounded almost like gospel. I assume this was before I added the lyrics.
It was made almost entirely on my laptop, with the exception of the singing (obviously) and the acoustic guitar on Doodah, hence the electronic nature of most tracks. The fantastic cover art (inspired by the brief-but-brilliant ‘abstract pixel art’ fad) was by my brother, who completely understood that it was all a reference to old Nintendo games.
2 players A or 2 players B? Find out here.