Synesthete; An Exercise In Laziness

I’d like to introduce a new project idea of mine, Synesthete. Since I tend to write in various different genres, I feel it wouldn’t make too much sense to have my hard rock, stoner rock, thrash metal, dark ambient, industrial, and new age sounding songs all under one artist name. Each genre should have it’s own band name identifying it. I’ve never really have had one for my industrial sounding stuff, and since I’m starting to write more music in that vein, I think it’s time for a project name to encompass that music. So I created Synesthete for that purpose.

For anyone wondering what the hell Synesthete means, well a synesthete is some one who has the condition known as Synesthesia, which is when someone sees colors when they hear music. Of course there is much more to the condition than that, but that definition will do for now. I recently read about the condition in a book I’m reading, liked the name and decided to use it. I wanted to use Synesthesia for the band name, but that’s already been taken, so I settle on Synesthete instead.

So anyway this first song to be released under this new band name is ‘Four Day Wait’ which in truth be told, an exercise in laziness. You may not guess that when you hear it at first, but I took the laziest way out for almost every aspect of this song.

The drum beats are taken directly from the Taylor Swift cover I did recently. The original MIDI I had for the TS song didn’t have anything but a piano part and the vocal harmony, so I had to program the drum beats myself. When I was getting frustrated with how the cover was turning out, I decided to play with the drum beat instead, and see where it took me. I basically dropped the tempo down about 30 BPM and started goofing around with sounds on top of that beat.

All they keyboard sounds are also the same sounds I used for the TS song. I essentially just deleted all the instrumental parts for the TS song except the drums and just used the sounds that I had selected for that song. I may have changed the sounds for one part.

When it came time for lyrics I went ahead and stole the lyrics and song title from a song I wrote ten years ago for a band I was in that never went anywhere or did anything. I figured I wrote the words, and they were never used, and they fit in with this song, so why not use them. But if you pay attention you can see I didn’t feel like adding to the already existing words, so I just repeat the them half way through the song. I’ve already admitted that I’m was being lazy with this, so I don’t want to hear it.

And finally the video is just some random shots of me driving around Buffalo, NY and West Falls, NY, haphazardly edited together and thrown on top of each other with a little bit of effects added for flavor. It works in some parts, not so much in others. Obviously the music and video have nothing to do with each other besides the fact I put them both together.

And finally if your trying to figure out what the hell I’m singing about, the lyrics are based on the Hubert Selby Jr book ‘Waiting Period’. Don’t be lazy like me and go read that book if you wanna know what the song is about.

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Taylor Swift Pop-to-Metal Cover – Shake it Off.

This is the latest addition to my pop to metal series I’ve been doing for the last year or so, Taylor Swift’s latest single ‘Shake It Off’. Probably most current tune to date for one of these, I think this single just got released maybe two weeks ago if that.

The music was tons of fun to do. I had very little to work with in the original MIDI file. It was basically just the bass line and vocal melody, and I ended up having to program all the drums myself, and work out the guitar parts based on the basic horn parts in the original song. The vocals weren’t nearly as fun, mainly because I think this song is pretty lame, and I just couldn’t get into it at all. At one point I considered maybe shelving the project until I could get a female to come in and record the vocals. But I wanted to finish this song and move onto my next project, so I stuck it out and finished it.

The mixing process was probably the worst part. But thinking about it now, that was probably my fault. I loaded up my DAW with all sorts of effect plug ins, and after about an hour my computer crashed. That was were I nearly scrapped the entire project and took things in a whole new direction. (I ended up with a new original song out of this project, but I’ll talk about then I finish it and release that song.) But but in the end I decided that I put all this effort in working out the music, and doing the vocals, so I may as well just go ahead and finish the damn thing. So today I fired up Studio One, did a few minutes of house keeping and then blasted through the mix. Of course the mix is not that great. But I was more concerned with just finishing the song and moving on, than I was with making this sound amazing. So it is what it is, and that were it is going to stay.

The video I spent even less time with. I think the rendering of the video process was about twice as long as I spent on shooting and editing the video. And you can tell. But like I said, it is what it is, and I won’t apologize for that.

So here it, enjoy it for what it is.

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KGBME – Metaphysical Mutant EP

So yesterday I decided I was going to resurrect The Kenny G Black Metal Experience project and once again produce a whole EP in one sitting. Which I did pull off, but the project took a direction I really didn’t anticipate. I still have mixed feelings with the results.

Where the first two EP’s were a collection of grindcore songs, this one starts out as grindcore, then gets a little experimental, then gets extremely experimental, and the whole thing is less than four minutes long.

Basically I started out with a few ideas I wanted to work with. The day before I read a book by Thomas Ligotti called ‘The Spectral Link’ which is basically two short stories loosely connected. I liked the name of the book and a phrase that came out in the first story ‘Metaphysical Morum”. Plus I’ve been listening to this podcast lately ‘Stuff You Should Know’ and two recent episodes struck my interest, so I wanted to explore a couple of ideas from those shows.

The first idea was Morgellons Disease, which is a condition where it feels like you have bugs crawling under your skin, and you end up scratching these spots until you bleeding and covered with all sorts of sores. The crazy thing is, science will not acknowledge it as a disease. They seem to write it off as a mental condition. Look it up, it’s crazy.

The second idea was these things known as number stations, which is where there are these random broadcast on short wave radio stations that are just people reading off numbers. Nobody knows for sure what they are, though it’s believed to be for espionage purposes. Again YouTube ‘number stations’ and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

And lastly the third idea was to try and base a song off of Ligotti’s short story. You should check out his stuff, it’s really good.

I had those three ideas, and just went with it. the strongest idea, in my opinion, was the first song ‘Metaphysical Mutant’ and it’s the shortest song, clocking in at 15 seconds. Then weakest song I think is the middle one ‘Morgellons Blues’, it was a bass line I’ve had for a little while now, and I wanted to use it. And the last song ‘Spectral Link’ is basically four of those number stations samples layered on top of each other and tweaked to hell.

The entire project from beginning to end took about 8 hours to complete, but in that eight hours, I helped my brother change the fuel filter on my car. (and by helped I mean I stood and watched him), my computer crashed and had to be reset, and I cooked and ate dinner. The video renders and uploads alone took over an hour and half, in which I just read during that time.

So in reality it probably only took me about four hours to pull the whole thing off. Which was the whole point. I wanted to be able to start and finish something and release all in one day. And in that I was successful. Hopefully you’ll find it interesting.

Oh yeah, the picture I used in the video I found online when I was looking for samples of the number stations. There is a YouTube video that used that image for one of the samples. It seemed to be associated in The Conet Project, which put out a collection of these recordings. But I don’t know who gets credit for the photo itself. If anyone knows, let me know. But I thought it was cool and creepy looking so I used it.

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Mission Accomplished!

Well I managed to pull it off. A 3 song EP and video for The Kenny G Black Metal Experience has been produced and uploaded to the Youtubes.

If you wanna watch it before I do a proper write up, you’ll have to go to my Youtube channel, otherwise you’ll just have to wait until I do a proper post on here explaining what the hell i was going for with that thing.

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Today’s Goal.

To write, record, mix, produced video for, and release a three to five song EP for The kenny G Black Metal Experience.

Not nearly as ambitious as it may sound.

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I’m Thinking…

…That it might be time for another Kenny G Black Metal Experience project.

For those who don’t know what that is, (which I’m assuming is pretty much everyone reading this) is a little bit of silliness that i came up with last year. I’m thinking it’s time for more. i think the mood is right at the moment.

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Progress Report: Running The Love Out

It’s Monday, which means it time for my progress report on my current record project. Which tis one will be rather quick. I did absolutely nothing towards it’s progress. Early in the week I tried to get some guitar tracks recorded for the song ‘Advent’ the chosen song for the week, but due to a technical oversight on my part, I got nothing usable.

But that does not mean I didn’t get anything done in the studio this weekend. I actually accomplished quite a bit.

Last weekend I saw this video on YouTube by comedian Ali Spagnola where she did a live mash up Kanye West song ‘Love Lock Down’ and One Republics ‘Love Runs Out’ which I found rather amusing. Her point was that the songs were close to each other in sound, and if you aren’t familiar with either song, you would be able to tell she’s playing two different songs. Though I was somewhat familiar with the One Republic song I had to look up the Kanye West song to figure which song was which. And she’s totally right, they do sound really close, though in my opinion the One Republic sound is way better than the Kanye West song.

After seeing her video, I began to think about the One republic song and picturing it being done metal style, and started to hear it in my head. So I searched the interwebs, downloaded song MIDI files of the song and imported them into Studio One and started playing with them. Didn’t take long before I had some guitar parts that worked, and was able to find some good sounds using Studio Ones stock virtual instruments.

The hardest part of this song was the vocals. I spent quite a while on them and in the end they didn’t turn out as well as I was hoping for, mainly because I’m still Studio One and didn’t have the patience to punch in all the lines where my voice starts to give out. So I did what any producer would do in my position when dealing with a crappy vocal performance. I drowned them in distortion and auto-tune. The end result being something that sound like a Dalek singing in a heavy metal band doing a pop song.

One last comment about the song. I have heard this song quite a bit on the radio at work, but it never really made much of an impression on me either way. It wasn’t until I saw Ali’s video where I wanted to do it, but having worked on it for the last three days I’ll say this, I have absolutely no idea what the hell the lyrics are about. They seem to be just a random collection of phrases that sound kind of cool when sung. Hey what ever works.

Anyway here’s my video, like share it, share it, subscribe, and lets see if we can make this thing go viral:

For those of you who are curious, here is Ali’s video. Like and subscribe to her stuff too, I find her rather amusing, hopefully you do too.

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