Saturday, October 20, 2007

Chronicles of a New Album

The time is appropriate to officially announce that I've begun work on a sophomore album. I learned so much while making When So Late Becomes So Early that I've been itching for quite some time to give it another go.

Why now? Well, first of all, I just finished graduate school this past spring and had some much needed time off this summer. I got a great head start on writing a bunch of new stuff already and I've had so much to write about -- including meeting my lovely wife, our memorable wedding, and more traveling than I'd ever done before.

Second of all, my recent trip to Paris was truly inspirational. Seeing so much art at the Pompidou, Louvre, Orsay, Rodin Gardens, and numerous cathedrals was very rejuvenating. Learning about the artists' stories, subject matters, the plethora of their work, their commentaries and observations of life, connections with audiences, the numerous challenges they faced, and their persistent desire to create an experience -- it was all quite thought-provoking and motivating for me. In addition, having the rare opportunity to write in the beautiful Luxembourg and Tuileries Gardens, in front of Sacre Coeur, and in the Rodin Garden provided the proverbial kick-in-the-behind to get moving.

As far as my time frame, I'm targeting release of the album by the fall of 2008. It may be slow going at times, but I'll do my best to provide a progress report on this blog. Will I be able to stick to this deadline or better yet, beat it? What obstacles will lurk about? Who will lend a helping hand? What shall I name it? Should I listen to the critics or ignore them? Will I be overwhelmed by the daily grind and have my artistic soul crushed by responsibility...?

Wish me luck.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Melody First for the First Time

I'm working on a new song, now, where I'm actually writing the melody, first, and then harmonizing it with chords, second. On When So Late, I always wrote either the chords or the lyrics first, but never the melody first. As a guitarist, chord progressions are the most natural parts to write as they just materialize as I'm noodling around and experimenting with different sounds. Then, once I have lyrics, it's fairly intuitive to stumble across a melody to fit with the progression and that just sounds right. As a result, I suspect that some of my melodies on the first album tended to follow the chord progressions a bit much and were therefore constrained in some ways. Will there be a noticeable difference in my songs if I write the melodies first? I happen to think so... but I guess I'll have to let you guys be the judge of that when you hear the new stuff.

Friday, October 5, 2007

"Matador" and "Dream of All Ages" Caught on Video

I've added pictures and video from the CD release party to the web site. I don't think any of you have actually seen these videos before, even though they are live recordings of Matador and Dream of All Ages taken at the release party in San Francisco a few years ago. Back then, it was not quite as easy to stream videos of these sizes on a web site. What a difference YouTube makes!

Since the original videos are somewhat dark and grainy, I had to try to lighten them up a bit. In doing so, I also decided to try to make them a tad more interesting by adding television and film effects.

Monday, October 1, 2007

New web site!

For the first time in a few years, I've made some big changes to my web site. I think the old site was perhaps a bit impersonal and looked somewhat tacky... for those of you who don't remember, it was red and black with various graphics that resembled spotlights. Updates were provided through some rather stodgy press releases. Ugh. What was I thinking?!

Nevertheless, I've now decided to give this blogging format a try. Hopefully this will help me post a bit more regularly and give all of you better updates on what I'm up to with my music. One really cool thing -- if you use an RSS reader, you can easily subscribe to this blog by clicking on the "Posts RSS" link in the left menu bar. You can also subscribe via email by clicking on "Register" below.

Finally, please do submit comments and let me know what you think every now and then!