Thursday, 17 June 2010

Phil Lynott Superstar

I have made a good solid start at sub-section 1.3.1 - this one is about electricity. This final 1/3 of the first track is about physical forces: Electricity, Magnetism & Gravity (and yes if any physicists are reading I know that I am missing strong and weak atomic forces)

So lots of electrical instruments to be used.

Unlike sometimes I had a pretty full comprehensive plan in my head for this one. I'd got several motifs (to use a posh word), and an order.  I'd even worked out the timings, based on a speed of 128 bpm, which gave an exact fit in the three minutes.  

Unfortunately when i actually started work, 128 bpm turned out to be too slow.  It needed to be more like 144.  Oh dear.  Never mind, that gives me exactly 4 more bars over 3 minutes, and I remembered an extra idea I had.

So it goes like this - it's a sort of pulsing 8/8 rythmn on 3 electric guitars, which reminds me rather heavily of "do anything you wanna do" by Thin Lizzy. It starts inside the previous sub-section carrying on from the guitar finishing up there, with a pulse on an A with a stabby chord thing every two bars.  Once into the section proper the drums start (again similar to the Thin Lizzy song - a bit of "tribute" going on there - I really wanted the nice rolling rock feel), it goes A for 4 bars, F for 4 bars C# for 4 bars and back to A for 4 bars.  This is repeated.  Over this there will be (not done yet) an electrical sounding synth solo (buzzy sound).  

If you read this blog (and I'm not sure anyone does) you will maybe remember some posts ago I was celebrating being able to do a triangle quintet.  I have now gone beyond this in terms of strangeness - the next bit is an "unplugged wire solo".  Unplugged guitar wires make buzzing noises when you touch them, so I have a very short section of doing that.

Plugged back in, the three guitars play a trio, slight similarities to the Thin Lizzy but using a chord sequence from Jesus Christ Superstar, crossed with the theme tune for Magic Roundabout: A, D, G/A, D.  I think it's pretty good.

The next motif is back to the stabby chords over an A chug, but with a double-time bass solo.

Next just the stabs without the chug, and electrical sound effects: phone dialling and alarm ringing, electric drill, zappy sounds, one of my son's electrical-tune-playing toys (my wife said "I won't ask..." when she saw me recording it) and finally thunder.  Most sound effects free from the internet, with the one exception which I recorded.

back to the A, F, C# A sequence, this one will have an electric piano soloing over it when complete.

Now for the extra 4 bars.  There's this nice rasping sound you can get by running a plectrum edgewise along a guitar string, so I have 4 bars of that (3 guitars) and finally back into the guitar trio from earlier.

It's all very rock and it rolls along nicely (in my opinion). There are several hints at electricity along the way and also I think it feels kind of charged with a sort of musical thrill.

Although  have not been as economical as I could with recording this so far, there are several bits that have been repeated or re-used.  I have made a lot of use of a little trick - doubling the speed of small sections.  There are quite a lot of little triplet runs, and actually I could probably do most of them for real at speed, but they become better defined when recorded at half-speed and doubled up. I've got a lot of overlaying, effectively editing going on on the guitar tracks.

So there are a couple of things left to do on this section - the synth and electric piano solos which I want to take good time over to make them effective, and there is some mucking about to do with the start of this sectiona nd the end of the last to get them to feel seamless.

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