21 Feb Interstellar Connection vs. Earthbound Tech challenge
The end of my live retro scifi futurism show features an original tune called “Our Tomorrow” which is about connecting with intelligent life on other planets. Simple concept, dramatic tune, it starts quietly emotional, lyrics describing the frustration of not yet making contact, then builds to a big gospeltinged finish about reaching for the stars, while videos display dramatic galactic zooms alternating with real people reaching towards the sky.
As with most all the tunes I write and record, everything gets properly sussed out in my home studio over a period of weeks. I have the unnerving habit of gradually building up different revs of each tune in a quest to get it to a place that’s both personal and satisfying. And unnerving, because that takes WAY longer than it should, averaging 1-200 hours of studio time. Crazy, and for me, impossible not to do — it’s my l’il process!
Two key elements on this one: tempo and back-up singers.
By the time it got good, the tune seemed a little sluggish, beat-wise. It’s easy to just hit some keystrokes and speed it up, but you lose little bits and pieces of fidelity when you do that, unless you isolate each track and process it separately with high-end tempo software. Which turns out to be a lot trickier than it looks. ‘Took three days to get it right. That was to move the needle from 116 beats per minute to 118. That was all it needed — quite subtle, very powerful. Three days = 0.67 beat per DAY. Why? Timing and algorhythm issues constantly warring, even when carefully aligned. Ugh — next time I’m going for the couple o’ keystrokes.
Now the good stuff: the singers. Was fortunate to snag two terrific voices, Amber Sawyer and Mayia Skykes, both artists in their own right, for the live session. Both helped to lay down a rich tapestry of harmony, then at the end of the session let loose with a tremendous set of high-energy step-out gospel stylings that infused the Reach for the Stars chant into an emotionally winning frenzy. Whoa, they were great. Just finished sorting through and stacking those tracks and can’t wait to share and perform the tune live. At the right damn tempo. Here’s a photo…