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About epii

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    Starving Musician
  • Birthday 11/26/1956

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  1. Here's an instrumental I wrote for no particular reason other than a challenge to write a guitar song completely with a virtual guitar in the Sonar 8.5 piano roll. I didn't allow myself to utilize a real guitar just for the challenge. Therefore I don't actually know if the guitar parts are in proper form, but it sounded good to my ears so I filled it in with an arrangement; drums, strings, etc. Hope it comes across well. Here's a box.com link: https://app.box.com/s/5pohfncrhmxa732qzu1l3w6on2zxvwyr or you can listen via the YC uploaded file. Feel free to comment on any aspect of the piece.
  2. mark styles, Very cool that you got to hang out with Badfinger and drive them around back in the day. Even more cool that you saw the Beatles live!!! It's very tragic about Pete Ham's suicide and then later Tom Evans. Very sad that the world lost the beautiful talents of these two guys. It must be a cherished memory for you to have spent some time with them. Thanks for posting that Naturally 7 video. I love that dense orchestral chord at the very end. Been trying to figure out what it is. My best guess is a "minor 6 add 9" or maybe a "minor 9 add 6", but I think that one would have more dissonance so I'm going with the former, but I'm still probably wrong. I love chords! Who doesn't, right?! "Without You", in my book, is right up there with Gilbert O'Sullivan's "Alone Again (Naturally)", Eric Carmen's "All By Myself" (Yeah I know he ripped off the haunting chord progression of Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2, but man did it work!).. and add to that list "Bridge Over Troubled Water", and the grand daddy of them all, "The Long And Winding Road". What can I say?... I love melancholy melodies. Oddly, every song I just named are piano songs. I do miss the musicality of 60's and 70's ballads when interesting piano chords ruled the day.
  3. Thanks mark styles, you know how to cheer me up... I LOVE Gilbert O’Sullivan and of course The Beatles. I don’t run into many Gilbert fans these days. He was like an Irish Bob Dylan only with a piano, but not as heavy on the social commentaries and, of course, he had McCartney’s melodic sensibilities. I just love that guys music (O’Sullivan that is), and McCartney too but that goes without saying. So thanks for noticing my two biggest influences, I’m glad it shows! This song though, was actually sort of my attempt at writing a “Without You” kind of melody (the Harry Nilsson version). “Without You” was actually written by Pete Ham and Tom Evans of Badfinger but Nilsson’s version became a worldwide sensation. I just love that song... McCartney does too. I’m sure he wishes he had written it. And yeah, check out Ivor Slaney! He had that quintessential care free happy vibe for those musical scores of 50’s TV commercials in the US. You can’t listen to his music without it putting you in your happy place... and making you want to go by a new dishwasher.
  4. Here's a song I wrote on piano. I love music from the 60's and 70's. That's why it sounds kind of retro. I just like writing melodies that I want to hum. The melody is the synth (really just a vocal guide for if I ever sing it). Anyway enjoy an early 70's kind of melody if you're into that period. Here's a box.com link to it in addition to the uploaded mp3: https://app.box.com/s/tgn6sksdognxsnqscvi9iagxqay6pt49
  5. Groovy, the bridge reminds me of Chicago’s “Mississippi Delta City Blues”. Here it is on YouTube https://youtu.be/3hkv7-FaYes Terry Kath was brilliant.
  6. I accidentally made a double post for my piece "You Know It's True" and can't find a way to delete one of them. All I can do is edit and or delete an uploaded file. Does anyone know how to delete an entire posting by the one who posted it?
  7. You made my day knowing that I turned someone on to Ivor Slaney's music. :) Actually, I just found him a few months ago myself, oddly enough because I heard some wonderfully whimsical background music in some obscure video game. The game fortunately had a tiny picture of an album cover so I zoomed in and was able to make out the blurred name "Ivor Slaney". I went straight to YouTube and BAM! I struck gold! I think the music in that game was "Window Gazing"... It grabbed me from the first few notes and hooked me with the pizzicato! I listened to everything I could find by this little known genius and love every single thing that I found. It was like.. shame on me for never having heard of him. Anyway, I've been listening to your stuff here at YC and I must say that you are far and away the best talent I've heard on this forum! I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I don't often comment on pieces posted here at YC unless I'm really impressed at which point then I can't help but to comment. So here's a comment; I LOVE your stuff!!! Listening to your music makes me a better composer/arranger. Like Slaney, I can imagine some of your music (and this is met as a compliment) as the background music of a 1950's dishwasher commercial in that bizarre 1950's consumer oriented period of American life. I say "bizarre" because it was such a naive idealized image that the public was being sold. Your music is a little anachronistic and that's a plus in my book. I think that particular musical style you achieve, like Slaney, is somehow innate in all of us. Maybe Slaney originated it, I don't know. But it sure pushes the happy button in our brains. It says; "I'm happy, you're happy, everybody and everything is happy and there is nothing to worry about, just buy more stuff and be even happier". Of course - to buy more stuff - sounds great in theory but definitely as we now know, it is not. It's led to too much CO2 in the atmosphere among many other bad things. But that musical style is just so damn happy that it must uplift anyone who hears it. No reason to think that that musical magic can't be the "new" musical soundtrack for sequestering CO2 out of the atmosphere. Maybe you're the one that could bring it back! We need "happy" again, only this time we'll hopefully do it right. Not that absurd facade of the lily white America of the 50's of course, but a true happiness of racial diversity and ecological awareness. As for the new "green" movement, it needs a musical background that can inspire hope and happiness 'cause right now it's all looking pretty damn grim. Like they say; "What's old is new again" (in this case, as it pertains to music). We humans are helpless to fight the power of great musical composition/arranging that utilizes that whimsical pizzicato/woodwind pairing but only in the hands of a capable composer. And you're that capable composer my friend. I know I'm laying it on heavy but music is powerful medicine. And we need trained doctors on this ailing planet. We need another Ivor Slaney. Even if one finds him/herself in the darkest of moods and wants only to stew in a depressed state, all it takes is a kitten hopping playfully through the tall grass to magically melt away that mindset... if only for that moment. Yes... you are the kitten. That's the power you possess with your music. I think it was Stan Lee who said "With great power comes great responsibility". So use your power wisely young padwan. I know you will. :)
  8. Very nice!!! Very, VERY nice! Reminds me of Ivor Slaney and that's a high compliment because I LOVE Ivor Slaney. Were you inspired by Slaney? It's too short... I want more! You've got real talent! Keep 'em coming!
  9. Here's a piano tune with arrangement that I wrote with virtual instruments in Sonar's piano roll. No loops. Every note was plopped into the piano roll.. one by one. The hardest thing for me is getting levels correct. All I can say is that it sounds good on my system. The flute-y instrument is the melody. I can't help but hear Willie Nelson's voice singing it. Here's a link: https://app.box.com/s/u61d2ye95j8sxbd5sc22lbe7r6fgpb1e I also uploaded the mp3 here at YC. Enjoy.
  10. Hughes, Thanks for your nice comments. If I know "Revolver"?!!! You happen to be conversing with the worlds number one (self appointed) Beatles freak. I spent my youth learning to play every guitar, piano, and bass note on Beatle songs. I sometimes watch "How To" YouTube videos of people teaching how to play a particular Beatle song only to most often say "nope" then go on to the next video. There are only a few people on YouTube who get the parts right, most do not. I'm a stickler for accuracy. And though I've been humbled on occasion, it doesn't happen often and only then it's in "splitting hairs" territory. I could teach a class on being a McCartney impersonator I've studied that guy so much. I tried many years ago putting a Beatle tribute band together when I lived in Seattle but soon realized how hard it was to find a really good John, George, and Ringo and gave up on it. Probably just as well because I'd likely have needed therapy to find "me" again. I freaking love the Beatles! I'm glad to know that box.com worked for you. I'm also glad to have found a fellow Beatles fan!
  11. Hughes, Thanks for the nice comments they mean a lot to me, really, thanks. :) Did you really think this was actual instruments?!!! That makes me even happier. It's all virtual instruments that I used in my DAW (Sonar 8.5). I thought it was a pretty good ukulele sample library and so I used it here. I wrote the tune on the ukulele my sister and her family gave me two Xmas's ago. I tediously inputted every fingering from my uke into Sonars piano roll. It's not as hard as it sounds once you get into it. You said: "and wondered what they (the chords) were" Ha, ha, ha... I couldn't tell ya 'cause I haven't got a clue myself. I play guitar and know guitar chords but the ukulele is new to me and I just found chords myself by playing around with it. I kinda like not knowing what I'm doing on it, not knowing what chords I'm playing or what key I'm in, but that's just me. You asked: "why did you choose an even strum pattern, rather than choose a strum pattern (or patterns) to bring out some of the off-beats?" I guess I'm not quite sure what you mean by "even strum pattern" but at any rate the following technique is what I did to make the strumming - I don't know if you yourself use virtual instruments and if not then this might not make any sense to you - but here's what I did: I simply cut down the volume on the upstrokes by lowering the volume bars of those notes (chords) in the piano roll. I was surprised to hear it sound like a kind of convincing strum. Then I added the rest of the stuff i.e. drums, bass, melody, etc. It started off as a simple bouncy melody and quickly grew into more complicated overlapping harmonies. That happens a lot with me. I just love working out parts. The quirky elongated ending (in case you were wondering) was actually the result of my not being happy with any of the outro ideas and so I just let them all happen one after the other... then it turned out being my favorite part. Thanks again for your nice comments.
  12. mark styles, Thanks so much for the thoughtful response. Very, very helpful information. Loading a commercial song into the DAW (in my case Sonar 8.5) as a reference is an excellent idea. And feeding all tracks into a master output and using a mastering plugin is also a great idea. I just don’t understand what I’m listening for or looking at but I guess I should try and learn these things. I always mix in my flat response studio headphones even though everything I’ve read says not to do that. The technical stuff is all very difficult to understand, especially looking at waveforms and adjusting dB levels and such... yuck! But I’ll keep trying. Thanks again for all the helpful ideas they are much appreciated. :)
  13. JBegley, Thanks! Great to get feedback about the low end. I really wish I knew someone with mixing/mastering skills 'cause I have zero ability in that area. Getting the bass and drum levels balanced is the hardest thing for me. I just like composing and arranging. Good information though, so thanks for that. :) Beatles-4-Ever!
  14. mark styles, Thanks for the feedback. Maybe I should just do both methods i.e. upload an mp3 to YC and also give a link to box.com. I don't think mp3's posted here at YC have an option to be downloaded if one should want to do that. Box.com, on the other hand, does give one the option to download... so I guess maybe doing both methods would be best. Thanks again, and it's always nice to meet a fellow Beatles guy!
  15. bryla, Thanks for the excellent comments, they are all very helpful. I will be looking into this. Bass is always very hard for me to balance in a mix. I know you're not supposed to mix using headphones, but I do (shame on me). They are studio headphones but still they tend to bring out the bass and I'm always concerned that if I lower the bass volume that it will disappear in the mix. Good to get your feedback on that. I'll bring down the bass and hope it can still be heard. As for the shaker (in this case maracas), very astute comment on your part. I was on the fence with adding them in the first place, it just seemed to need to pick up some dynamics right at the spot you mentioned. I struggled with getting a shuffle with the maracas and wondered at the time if they were even needed. They were competing with the tambourine anyway... so you have now convinced me to take out the maracas. I'm rather technically challenged with using fx and such. More to the point.. I don't have a clue how to use "shelves" and the like. Whenever I read about dB levels it makes my head spin... I just don't understand. I just love composing and arranging. Again, thanks for the helpful comments!
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