Week 35 - November

Someone asked me recently if I was having any fun with this whole 52 in 52 thing.  I answered, ‘No, not really’.  But as I reflected on it a little more, I added that it has been extraordinarily satisfying.  And to me, that’s just as important. 

This song was another stressful endeavor.  I had a busy week trying to finish up a very large video edit.  I had the essence of the song (chord progression and very rough lyrics) in place from a couple of writing sessions last Sunday and Monday, but then put it aside for the big edit.  That left me finalizing the lyrics with the iPhone voice recorder on the drive to yet another video edit session Friday morning.  I sat down to start recording Friday night and went to bed late (1:30am) afraid I didn’t have much to show for my efforts.  Not the first time I’ve felt that way very late in the process.

November started with the two chords that make up the prechorus, ‘It was a long walk home in late November’.  I came upon the pattern while playing around on the acoustic last Sunday and liked the way they sounded together.  The words followed in session two.  However, it wasn’t until late Thursday or early Friday that I finally fleshed out the chord and melody ideas for the rest of the song.

When I did sit down to record Friday night, I was very tempted to keep it simple.  It had been a long week and I felt like the song could work with voice and guitar.  I had had the idea of kicking in some intensity at the end of the second chorus, but I probably could have accomplished that on the acoustic guitar (maybe going to some sort of strum from the fingerpicking).  However, as I mentioned in this week’s newsletter, I really felt the need to experiment a bit and work in some additional sounds (and technology).  A tough decision, because it meant hours of trial and error.  And trial and error is no fun under deadline.  Truthfully, being creative under deadline is never fun for me.  Is it for anyone?

I followed up my uneasy Friday night session, with some Saturday morning recording.  The first thing I did was add the acoustic guitar part at the end.  That gave it something.  I then added the kick drum and bass parts.  In retrospect, those should have been laid down before the acoustic guitar but we’re under deadline people and I’m making this stuff up as I go.  I followed all of that with some additional synth parts and finally, vocals.  Stir and mix and voila.  (Sorry, same bad joke...)

I think that will have to do it for this week.  I need to get the song out and get on to some errands and commitments and life.  I hope you enjoyed November.  As much work as it was, I did feel like I was starting to ‘get’ some things.  What once seemed like just endless arrays of virtual buttons and knobs are now starting to make some sense.  And that is good.

So with that, thank you again for sticking with me throughout this process. We’re more than 2/3 of the way through the year as we move on to #36.  Have a great week!