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Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Musical History - Part 2: Run Around In Circles

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This blog is a brief summary of my original period of songwriting, which spans almost as much time as Part 1 of My Musical History did. The songs from this era are all fairly old, the oldest was originally written when I was still in school (around 1990ish), the newest was from about 2002-2003ish which is when they were all recorded. I've also posted a short blog about each of these songs, discussing either the history of the song, something I remember about why I wrote it, or just a general memory of something related to it in some random way. Some have more of a story than others, so some of the blogs are longer than others.

All the songs I've written are loaded onto my profile, so you can listen to them as you read.. The songs I wrote & recorded during this era are:
  • Run Around In Circles
  • Not Living
  • Live It All Again
  • Epitaph
  • Do You Want To
  • Apocalypse
  • Inside Eternity
I recorded these songs in two phases. The first stage I used pretty basic kit, and I no longer have copies of these original recordings. My first multitrack recorder was a Tascam Portastudio, a 4 track cassette based system. Very basic, but best described as 'cheap & cheerful'. The drums at this stage were recorded using a Yamaha DD10, purchased for about 5. With the drums, I got what I paid for - they were very poor and realistically it was little more than a metronome. Each song was recorded with the same four tracks - one each for drums, bass, acoustic guitar and vocals. None of them were perfect, but the recordings were enough to make me confident that the songs I'd written had potential so I decided to upgrade my equipment and try getting the songs how I really wanted them.

I sold the Tascam and upgraded to a Fostex VF-80. I also started using one of my wife's keyboards (a Yamaha PSR-640) to program the drums with. That is the kit that I recorded the current version of all these songs on, it was also used for all the songs written during my 'Monnae' era. When my wife & I separated (towards the end of this era, but before the 'Monnae' era) I made sure I kept this keyboard so I could keep working with it.

I'm constantly tempted to re-record these songs using my current kit as I don't believe they are mixed & produced very well, my usual statement regarding this is that you can probably figure out which order I recorded them in by the quality of the mixing. It may happen one day, it may not.

Once they were all finished, I decided it would be a good idea to make a CD with them all on and give it out to friends & family that Christmas instead of giving cards. Everyone seemed to appreciate it, I must have given about 50 or so out, I've got no idea how many of them still exist.
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