I often sing Oliver to sleep with a rendition of Good Night Irene. The other night I carved out some time to head to the basement and play with some sounds. Not having written a song for a while, I figured this would be a good base for experimentation. Note that everything was recorded while children were sleeping not-to-far away. That alone brings up its own challenges and opportunities.
Most of the music I’ve played lately has been acoustic. If we are plugged in, it is still traditionally acoustic instruments we are amplifying. Yearning for some more spacey sounds, I got out the Keyrig and wrote a little ditty. There’s a little part at the end that reminds me of Trent Reznor stuff – that heavy industrial soundscape. On a side note, I recently watched Social Network and was intrigued when the opening credits named Trent Reznor as writing the film score. I thought his music really gave the film a seriousness where the movie could have gone goofy-south without it.
2010 consisted of a lot of recording. A lot of live gigs, a few sessions at home, and plenty of personal fuck-around.
Here’s an old timey tune – Some old day – that Johnny, Tommy, Pat and I recorded days before Johnny left town. More to come.[audio:http://michaelspaly.com/wp-content/uploads/TJPM-007-Some-Old-Day.mp3|titles=Some old Day – TJPM]
We’ve been singing Harry Belafonte’s Angelina around the house, which most likely inspired the melody/feel. For the lyrics I tried to think about what it would be like to be away from your family. Thoughts of soldiers, touring artists/salesman, aid workers, etc… Michal said it was ‘sweet’.
This song was originally recorded on my phone while walking Ghia and a sleeping Oliver. Finding some extra time one night I went through the phone recordings and picked my few favorites and wrote down some lyrics. This song was actually pretty complete on the original phone recording – straight freestyling :)
People say life’s truths are death and taxes. I’m finding that as I get older a lack of free time is also steadily increasing. I wrote this with Michal’s perspective looking back at me after realizing how often I get caught up in my own tasks, thoughts, and schedule.[audio:http://michaelspaly.com/wp-content/uploads/make-time-for-me.mp3|titles=Make Time for Me]
I have been playing on other people’s projects a lot lately. Mix that with a life and it means I’m not doing too much of my own music. Well, as luck may have it, I found some time to write and record this latest ditty. Even luckier, my friend Matt Rankin stumbled into town the day I recorded it. We set up in the basement and he added all the electronics on this one. Without Matt, this would have ended up a much slower paced folky folker.
The lyrics need some work, but they convey the general theme. When I was younger I remember reading lots of books that seemed to center around the author’s fear of death. I never understood that until the other day I had a real good meditation about it and it struck me really hard. Funny how life experience can alter your outlook on things so drastically.[audio:Way-Up.mp3|titles=Way Up]