March 8, 2017

February Album Writing Month, 2017 — “Midsummer Night”

Category: Music — jerry @ 10:29 am

This one was fun to do. I’ve always been a huge Beatles fan, so went with a kind of Magical Mystery-vibe on this one.

As previously discussed, I went to my spreadsheet for the random songs to determine which direction to go. This time chords and structure were going to be based on the Everly Brothers’ “All I Have To Do Is Dream”, and the arrangement would be based on “Stairway To Heaven”. Hmmmm…interesting.

Math major though I was, my favorite class in college was a Shakespeare course I took so I was reminded of “Midsummer Night’s DREAM” by the Everly Brothers title, and the “Stairway” arrangement and lyrics made me decide to go in a “cryptic lyrics” direction. I had a ball! Jotting down lyrics and phrases (during the pre-production phase) that came to mind roughly a week before the actual song-writing, I came up with “Queen of fairies (still thinking in a Shakespearean mode)…insects humming…doves are calling…night is falling…is this what it’s like in heaven…smell the flowers, taste the nectar…for a while, in denial…breathe the smoke, it makes you stupid…the satyr blows a tune of dreaming…hold me lightly, I am floating…blown away…love contagious in the shadows…”, many of which ideas made it into the final song.

When the time came I put the chords and structure into Band In A Box, picked some styles and instrumentations inspired by “Stairway To Heaven”–which, you’ll note, has flutes in the intro and which inspired my whole “satyr with a flute” idea. After recording, learned that “satyr” is pronounced “SAY-ter” and not like “satire”. Oops!

I had the Everly Brothers’ words in front of me while I wrote the lyrics to get the meter right. Note that you can sing the words of their song to this one without too much difficulty–but again, it is so “mutated” that you’d never know it was used as a source.

Generated a bunch of musical tracks in BIAB and imported into Cakewalk SONAR for editing and mixing and recorded my vocals. One thing I did differently to the vocals this time is to put a “telephone effect” on the lead to make it sound more…ethereal.

This song is just a sketch–put together in about 4 hours–but, I believe, has some promise. One thing I’ll do when “fixing” it is to add a harpsichord somewhere–maybe in place of that harp at the beginning, which I’m not sure I’m wild about. Dontcha think? I do like how the lyrics came out on this one.

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