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Thursday, April 7th, 2005

Subject:Warm month NaAlReMo?
Posted by:bugfish.
Time:1:09 pm.
Mood: inspired?.
Since November was a bust, pretty much all around, I have been considering trying a different month for NaAlReMo. Anyone interested in maybe trying to do an album in May or June? I may do it anyway, just for the discipline. But solidarity and all that makes me have to see if anyone else is up to it!
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Tuesday, November 30th, 2004

Subject:Not gonna make it
Posted by:bugfish.
Time:7:59 pm.
Mood: not exactly accomplished.
Nope. There is no way I am going to be finished tonight. And I have decided I don't care. Last year, when I started this, some prety amazing events in my life (read: sudden custody of my then nine-year-old halfway through the month) made November a bad month for this stuff. I wound up finishing up in December. I figured this year, now that everybody is settled in, it would be easier. But It's not gonna happen. And I'm not gonna fret about it. I'm going to finish as soon as I can - maybe by the coming weekend - and move on. Talk around the house is that maybe November is a bit too busy around here with Dadstuff, and that maybe a different month is in order, like in the summer. I'm not sure about this, and I'll worry about addressing that issue later. But for now, I'm just here to say that I am going past the deadline, and oh well!
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Friday, November 26th, 2004

Subject:Late in the month.
Posted by:bugfish.
Time:10:59 pm.
Mood: pooped.
So, how is NaAlReMo going, anyway?

In theory, I should be finishing up this weekend, knowing that weekday recording is not all that productive. Inspiration is low. Can I do it? As I said, I'm not sure what the finial product is going to be like. Last year definitely was smoother, even with the crazy snags I ran into.

So how's YOUR NaAl going? Anyways?
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Wednesday, November 10th, 2004

Subject:Almost done, except for that "Not" part...
Posted by:bugfish.
Time:1:17 pm.
I'm a disorganized mess. Lots of pieces of songs, nothing finished, nothing recorded. I expect that I can do some major catch-up on the weekends, but those are all partially booked, too, so this could be interesting. But I SHALL prevail!!

Right?
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Wednesday, November 3rd, 2004

Subject:Day Three
Posted by:muskox.
Time:9:00 pm.
Mood:blargh.
I must say... things are off to a slow start.

I didn't get much done yesterday at all, other than writing the melody for the tune I started on Monday.

Today I had grand plans of completing an entire tune, start to finish. I wrote the bugger, but haven't gotten much of the recording done. It's got sort of a klezmir/fake chinese music/Bill Evans vibe going on, so naturally I started with tic-tac bass. The frustration started early on, as my (double) bass is in a bit of an autumn snit. There's a crack on the top that gets buzzy every year around this time, which does not make for a pretty sound on record. Once I sort the crack out, I'll record the bass again.

After the tic-tac came the tenor banjo part. It's just a simple off-beat part, and was a breeze to play. Unfortunately, it was nearly impossible to tune. At some point in the last few months, the bridge got knocked out of place and caused a total mess in the realm of intonation. Of course, I didn't notice this until I had spent around fifteen minutes trying to get those fifths just right. I adjusted the bridge, and eventually got an acceptable take down.

At this point, I took a little break to keep from getting too frustrated. When I came back to add the second off-beat part (this time on mandolin), there seemed to be an outbreak of fires, medical emergencies, or burglaries in my neighbourhood. I'm not exactly in the quietest environment to begin with, but I'd rather avoid extremely obvious audio spam from landing on this album. After the sirens faded, I was faced with the task of nailing down the rather difficult mandolin part. After a couple shots, I decided that I was doing nothing but damage to my general well-being and gave up.

Tomorrow is another day. Hopefully It'll be a productive one!
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Tuesday, November 2nd, 2004

Subject:My day 1
Posted by:bugfish.
Time:11:24 am.
I felt like my day one was a bust. In the morning, I thought I had decided to do a concept album once again, but by midday at work, I realized I wan't going to be coming up with enough lyrics on the subject I chose to fill an album. So I decided to do what I do when I have no lyrical ideas: compose and record the music for each song, and make up the lyrics as needed, in an alost stream-of-conscience manner. This is how such classics as "No Happy Bananas" formed, and it's quite fun.

So last night, I sat with the guitar, which is my primary writing instrument, and came up with bits and pieces of a couple of things, but didn't actually record anything. Though two of the ideas could very easilly lead themselves into being full songs, one of them quite nice, if I revisit them today. They felt terrible last night, because I had a migraine.

So I decided to switch over to keyboards, and pretty much the same thing happened. I hated everything that came out, but I probabaly actually got the starts for a couple more songs.

The trick is this: Any other time of the year, I would probabaly discard all of these ideas that didn't seem to lead me anywhere last night. I can be quite impatient that way. But instead, since I am going to revisit these themes, I could get 2 or three nice things to work with. I will probabaly worry about lyrics and vocals last this time, but unlike last year, I really want to work on some good vocal harmonies.

So after work and voting, it's back to the "drawing board".
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Monday, November 1st, 2004

Subject:Day One
Posted by:muskox.
Time:10:15 pm.
Mood:creative.
I'm approaching this project with the concept of composing as I record. I'm putting raw ideas to tape, and will replace tracks, move stuff around, make loops, reharmonize, etc as the composition gradually forms itself. I'm doing it this way because I tend to get hung up the minute I try to recreate something I've painstakingly crafted on paper. I mean, I can usually rip through the bass parts, but the amount of practice needed to nail complex guitar stuff just won't cut it for NaAlReMo. If I record as I go, I'm guaranteed an end result that accurately reflects my original intention. Dig?

Anyway... This evening I started out things by putting down some basic tracks for the first section of a tune. It's a very long blues form, with a little fingerstyle guitar figure in 10/4. I recorded the guitar and a little tic-tac bass to add a little punch. Now I am just listening to the the thing looping in order to come up with a melodic line that will go on top. The form of this sucker may end up as follows: 1 chorus w/melodic line, 1 chorus w/ guitar or melodica solo, interlude in different meter, final chorus with developed melodic line. Considering that one chorus clocks in at around 96 seconds, this should make for a solid tune. We'll see how this develops...
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Friday, October 29th, 2004

Subject:Monday Approacheth
Posted by:bugfish.
Time:1:40 pm.
So are you doing a concept album or what this year?

I ask because last year, I decided my project "had" to be a concept album. At first this panicked me, because I was counting on being able to just crank out songs about any old thing until I had an album's worth.

But while this put a limitation on what I could write about, once I decided on a concept (a guy plodding his way through a day of working for a corporate entity), song ideas came flowing in like mad. Not just ideas for the lyrical content, but also ideas about how they would sound musically or in terms of production. By the time November 1st hit, I had a pretty good outline in my head of what song topics to hit and musical sounds to try to capture.

But this year I can't think of a concept to do a whole album on, and now I find myself panicking over the idea of just randomly writing songs- the idea I liked so much last year. I guess I don't like not having some tangible goal in my head. I found last year, as I was taught years ago in creative writing, that imposing limitations on yourself can actually make you more creative.

I've thought about imposing a different kind of concept on myself this year. Instead of a concept for the songs' subject matter, perhaps it will be a musical concept. From something as simple as only using my recently acquired Garage Band software to produce it, to things as complex as never using 4/4, 3/4, or 6/8 time signatures.

I'm still not sure.

Anyway- any thoughts? How's your "pre-NaAl"s going?
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Thursday, October 28th, 2004

Subject:Welcome to the National Album Recording Month Community
Posted by:bugfish.
Time:8:24 pm.
Mood: excited.
This is the first entry in the National Album Recording Month community. For details on what this is all about, please feel free to peruse our info page
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LiveJournal for National Album Recording Month.

View:User Info.
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You're looking at the latest 9 entries.