Sunday, January 27, 2013

2012 IN REVIEW - CD3

I am always especially fond of new songs and thus this is the batch of songs that currently receives this extra affection. Inevitably my feelings about some of them change over time, but that is for another day :) Only three out of the thirteen songs included on this CD are yet to be debuted in my shows in, SecondLife. 
I was pleased with what began to flow when this songwriting burst began in mid September so I worked hard to capture as many songs as I could before I ran out of inspiration and energy. Which I did, but not before completing a group of songs I am very fond of.

Pretty Boy
Will You Be
The Garden
Charon's Moon
The Hourglass
Many McLean
Only Yesterday

When I had almost finished writing, Innocence I knew that there was so much more that could be written about this story than would fit into one song. I decided instead to write a separate song, Jasmine to tell more of the story that came before, Innocence. At the same time Experiment and I had been discussing an unnamed song (became, Unexpected) we had begun in mid-2011 but not finished. We hadn't finished it because we felt that the imagery we had used in the lyrics was somehow incomplete and we weren't sure how to solve the problem. However in the context of, Innocence and Jasmine we came to see that it made the ideal first song of what is now a trilogy of songs telling the one love story. Love found unexpectedly in an exotic location, Mandalay!
Photographs followed quickly. A simple idea that took much trial and error to come up with the best set of images to use. When so many lyrics are considered and rejected I am always left with the feeling that maybe we didn't choose all the best ones for the final song. Nonetheless I am very happy with how this song turned out.
Pretty Boy followed with a  tongue in cheek look at where I might be in twelve months time. I haven't sung it in SL yet because it hasn't fitted into the type of shows I have mostly been doing these last few months. The Hourglass almost had the same fate until I debuted it just in the last fortnight. This is a song about, disappointment but I mostly like it because of the overall feel of the song. I will sing it more when I fit it in around complementary songs.
An interesting challenge came next through a wonderful set of lyrics called, Charon's Moon written by, Experiment. This song completed another trilogy, The  Crescent Moon and Raven Moon preceding. I think the feel of the music is right for the intensity of the lyrics. The story woven through the lyrics of these three songs by, Experiment is quite a journey.
Just as the clarity of this wave of songwriting was coming to an end, Connecticut and Mandy McLean fought their way out. I call these two my bonus songs because they could almost have escaped my attention. Connecticut about what thoughts there are when your heart dwells on someone and places from long ago, and Mandy McLean, a tribute to every boy's first girlfriend :)
Only Yesterday was a song commenced in January 2011 and finally completed in December 2012. I returned to the song because it had used some of the same harmony ideas as are used in, Unexpected. I am glad i returned to it. Lyrically it follows a path I have taken in a number of other songs - reflecting on hurtful events in the past and now seeing them in a bigger and sweeter light.
I cannot go past the tale of an unexpected encounter with love to be the name of this album. Innocence.
Thank you for reading and listening. If it were not for you so many of these songs would never have had a reason to be written. I am so glad they were.

Friday, January 25, 2013

2012 IN REVIEW - CD2

My second album of 2012 is mostly made up of scattered songs less connected in time than the songs on the first and third albums.

The Real Part
Mother Dylan
East Of Nowhere
Eucalypt Candlelight
Where Our Secrets Are
All In A Circle
Friends And Lovers
The Unicorn's Promise

The Real Part is a light look at how falling in love can sweep a simple and indecisive man along. It is in the style of a previous song, 1993, both about how few questions some ask about love when they are young and falling in love. Mother Dylan invokes and combines the maternal spirit to six  unrelated things and suggests that it is very wise to do so. While Endlessly and East Of Nowhere are different styles of song they traverse some of the same themes. A man's final unexpected experience of love, East Of Nowhere, and how love's arrival can be in a moment at the end of a long struggle, in, Endlessly.
Two collaborations with, Experiment follow. The completion of a song begun years before by, EX with the addition by me of some chorus musical and lyrical variations. Aptly titled, Falling. And Eucalypt Candlelight based on Experiments lyrics recalling the sights and sounds and feelings of his youth and how easily they are still recalled now.
Where Our Secrets Are tells how sweetly a man may still remember a girl he loved and have no intention of stopping even though they are no longer together. Interestingly, All In A Circle follows this song with a warning about failing to make choices in love when you still have choices in love! Happily we can follow this with, Friends And Lovers written about two people clearly unaffected by the two previous songs :)
And finally, but specially, a song written by Experiment and I for our sweet and courageous friend, RebelMum. The album shall bear the name of her song, The Unicorn's Promise. Hugs to her :)

And that is it for CD2, complete at ten songs. The final  album for the year features fourteen songs which were written in the same burst of songwriting from September through November. It will be reviewed soon!
Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

2012 IN REVIEW - CD1

About a year ago I blogged about the three albums worth of new songs written in 2011. I commented that at the end of the last burst of songwriting that year that I was exhausted and wasn't sure I had any songs left in me. Happily this was not the case and there were another 3 albums of songs written in 2012.
As a songwriter I have a special interest in songs written in roughly the same period because they represent, one way or another how I was feeling, my influences and what I was capable of musically at the time. One day it will be interesting to go back over them and to see what became of the songs and where they sit amongst all the songs I ever write. But onto CD1/2012.

January to March 2012
Horses In The Rain
The Angel
The Proposal
Ship Of Dreams
The Sting In The Tail Of Love
Raven Moon
Just When I Had It All
The Mountains Where We Live
From A Whisper
The Rattlesnake And Wolf
Fingertips And Tears
Pick Up The Pieces

Mesmerised and The Angel begin the album with sweet thankfulness for having love in a life. It was no reflection upon any change in my mood that two of the next songs are more emotionally challenging - The Proposal, about a rejected proposal, and, The Sting In The Tail Of Love about a woman who realises deep into a relationship, that she has everything she needs, apart from the right kind of man.
In between there were three songs based on Experiment's lyrics. I hesitantly suggest a theme for each of these until we hear what Experiment has to say :) A reflective look at love in, Horses In The Rain; a deep look into destructive love in, Raven Moon; and Ship Of Dreams a tribute to, the Titanic in the year of the 100th anniversary of her sinking. This song was played during the remembrance service held on SecondLife's very own, Titanic sim. 
Raven Moon is the second song in a trilogy of related songs based on lyrics from, Experiment, including, The Crescent Moon, and Charon's Moon (completed later in 2012). The Sun And The Clock is the/an answer to the feelings expressed in, The Proposal. I am yet to debut it in my SecondLife shows.
Just When I Had It All is a song about that moment, as love is falling apart when suddenly it becomes too difficult to know what to do, or to know whether to stay or to just let go. Perhaps Fingertips And Tears is about the path away from, Just When I Had It All, and the discovery of new love.
Apart from my usual songwriting collaborations with, Experiment on this CD there are two songs co-written with new collaborators! I wrote the music to accompany Whisper Ampan's beautiful lyrics in, From A Whisper, and then MichaelJames Magic, Experiment and I joined forces to write, Pick Up The Pieces from a desire of MJ's to honour the folks of a town in the USA flattened by a tornado not long before.
The Rattlesnake And Wolf is a simple song about the perils of following certain dreams.
The Mountains Where We Live was begun in early 2011 but was not completed until early 2012. I have blogged about this song separately. Welcome to the mountains and to the wonderful joys of life and love :) I so love to sing this song and am so happy it finished out like I hoped it would a year previous. It is my choice for the name of this CD.
CD2/2012 review coming soon.
Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Shedding some confusion in early 2013

Hi Gang :)
As many of you who go to my shows know I am very happy to have year long goals that I work diligently towards every single day of the year. I also have no fear of failure evidenced by my 2011 year long goal to get a celebrity girlfriend :) The beginning of 2013 requires a few lesser goals to make my life as a SecondLife musician a bit easier.
I use social media to have fun and catch up with friends and help promote my music but I don't want to become LIKE driven. So I'm hoping to keep it simple, friendly and personal for all of us. I'll list all my 2013 social media links at the bottom of this post and I would love for you to keep in contact with me through any that you choose.
SOAR, the band I play in in SecondLife with my mates, Experiment and Charles only played two gigs in 2012 and as a result my performances as a kind of de-facto, SOAR is beginning to create some confusion especially amongst my new friends and fans. To help shed this confusion I am creating a brand new BRIGHT group in SecondLife and creating a new BRIGHT band page in FaceBook. The SOAR group will be there ready for any future SOAR gigs.
It is my hope that SOAR continues to do gigs so that all the friends of SOAR get to enjoy the three of us playing together. In the meantime though I want an unconfused musical focus. Please help me along with this if you can find another group slot for me in SecondLife.
FaceBook LIKES. I did a gig recently where after generously promoting the musician who was to follow me up on stage (as I always do) he got up on stage and referred to me as, "the previous guy" and critiqued some aspects of my performance that were none of his business. I heard what he said but I don't know him or what he was actually trying to say. It could just be another example of the lack of respect for fellow musicians that occurs from time to time in SecondLife. I stand against it. No exceptions. We all have a stake in making our homes, workplaces, lives and worlds respectful places.
So I got thinking. Firstly I am going to change my name (for a bit) to, "The Previous Guy". It is a stunningly good muso/band name :) Secondly, when it comes to my band/musicians page on FB it is going to be on a strict quid pro quo basis. If there isn't mutual respect in the asking for LIKES with fellow musicians/venues/pages, I won't be playing the game.
Thanks for reading :)
Hugs as always to each of you!
Bright/The Previous Guy

FB Band Page:  The Bright Oh Fevah