Saturday, September 26, 2009

So Long Sentiment

This week I've started working on the drum tracks for 15 Miles and Melodia. I've also given some final touches to the latter guitar-wise and finally started out on the last track to be done for the concept EP. Outside the EP, I now have 5 collaborations either in the makings or planned out to be, and that's why I'm currently thinking whether it'd be a good choice or not to (at some point) put out an EP consisting of nothing but collaborations. If I decide to put one out, it may even be this year. Everything's just really messed up right now though, since I have a lot of demos and both, the concept EP and the collaborations kind of form their own projects. I guess you could say that I got my hands on more stuff than is necessarily needed at the moment...

Before we move onto other things, I feel the need to share another musical thing. Yesterday I tuned my guitar all the way down to Drop B (which is 2 steps lower than Drop D tuning) and while it definitely does not last long in tune without having particularly thick strings (which I do not own, obviously), the sound is absolutely fantastic. So, the next thing I'm saving up money for is definitely a new guitar and some thick strings. The plan, basically, is to put those thick strings on the guitar I currently have and tune it to Drop B permanently - whereas with the new guitar I would switch between the higher tunings.

Lately I have also been translating Just Another Numbered Day into Finnish for a few more readers. For those of you who haven't read it (honestly, no one really has so far) and are still interested, I've done a few fixations on the English version of the story, so check the once again corrected, (hopefully) final version here or here. Tomorrow I'm probably going to continue working on that translation as well as hopefully do something new for the book.

Opeth has certainly found its way into my heart, but after discovering the overall darkness in their lyrics (sometimes dealing with rape, murder and such) and their personalities, I'm a little hesitant to go forward with my research on them. The music simply is just too great to miss out on, nevertheless, so one day I'm bound to check more of them out. Celldweller has also been high on my playlist this week, and tonight I'm in for some Killswitch Engage.

Let's see if I got anything special to post about tomorrow. Like I've said, the following weeks are going to be tough but I'm fighting for free time and a good spirit, I swear.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Drapery Falls

If anything, this weekend has been full of surprises. Concerning today, I woke up super-early, and one of the first things I did was a new demo on guitar - a very simplistic powerchord pattern which I used Drop Db tuning for, exclusively. I have to say that most likely it won't be used for anything and thus you will never hear it though, haha. That's mainly because I started downloading Opeth's Blackwater Park just slightly after that, and after going out and coming back to check it out, I was instantly blown away. I can already swear that the last track I'm going to start and complete for the next EP will be more or less Opeth-influenced, since their mix of progressive rock and death metal is really complex, fresh (at least for me) and simply admirable. Anyhow, back to the story of today. I actually slept for an hour between 3 and 4 PM because I was so tired, and after that it was time to read for a physics test and watch the second half of a Spanish-orientated movie that was playing on TV. Then I just sat down in front of my computer again to drift into the world of Opeth. The Drapery Falls (which by far is one of the best songs I've ever heard) is pretty much the only song I've been listening to since I first heard it, but I'll definitely give the other songs a go as well and most likely, in a few days Opeth will be one of my favorite bands, if not my second favorite one. And now? Well, after making this post I'm probably going to listen to more of Opeth as well as browse some of their videos, and hopefully I'll also get some new ideas going, writing- and music-wise.

Just for extention and keeping your interest high, I'll now share a bit of info about each song I have for the next EP so far.

1. 15 Miles
This is the song I believe I have shown a midi of for you already. It's very progressive, hitting over the 5 minute mark (as it is right now that is). Played in Drop C, the guitar parts are also mainly heavy and constructed of powerchords, with the exception of a few more soft interludes. Vocally there will be clean singing and rapping, as well as some talking/whispering. The end is worth a mention since I have a very melodic and laid back, kind of sad feeling intended for it.

2. [To be written.]

3. Trepidation
Have shown this as well, haven't I? Anyhow, this one has a slightly more traditional structure. It's played in the tuning that comes out the most natural for me, Drop D, and it isn't really heavy at all - it's sort of like Lightless without the heavier parts. Has some energy in it though, that's for sure, but the main thing I've focused on here is emotion. Vocally there is no screaming, rapping or whispering, just clean singing (I hope).

4. Melodia
This as well as the closer are going to be my best tracks ever by the look of things - or, at least, my most experimental ones. Melodia (Finnish for melody) will be an instrumental consisting of nothing but soft guitar (just one to keep it simple) and bass - both in standard tuning - as well as drums, obviously. The song might be done on an acoustic even, but not sure about that yet. Again very progressive, this track personally reminds me of the few acoustic tracks Riverside frequently included on their first three albums.

5. In The Art of Dreaming

Then, last but definitely not least, the piano demo I've been hyping more than I probably should. Starting out with just the piano, I have created several build-ups here with once again very tender guitars and bass. At times this song consists of 2 piano riffs and 2 guitars as well as the bass, so expect the sound to be full and very much similar to the softer parts of The Listener. Though not finished yet, I'm pretty sure this song won't have anything heavy on it, so the last two tracks will together be my softest ones to date, ending the EP (and the concept) in a very honest, clean and gentle way.

Alright then. I'm off to the world of Opeth for another 1½ hours before going to bed for the third time today. Until next weekend;

"Spiralling to the ground below like autumn leaves left in the wake to fade away/
Waking up to your sound again and lapse into the ways of misery."

Saturday, September 19, 2009

One Day Can Change Everything

Alright. First off, I've FINALLY completed my second short story of the year, Just Another Numbered Day (yes, I did replace the name Silenced Mortal with that one on the last minute). The five chapter long story eventually became a very colorful description of a day full of changes for an American man called Christian Joshua Aart. It's almost as long as Walk plus almost as deep, but overall I consider the style of writing to be better. I won't reveal more of it though, read it yourselves. ;) Just in case you've read the previous chapters, I have to inform you that I've done some changes to all of them during my last grammar/flowability check, so if you're interested, please read the whole thing as presented below instead of just the latest chapter. Anyhow, here are two download links for the whole thing:

.doc file
.rtf file

It's been a long day (been up since 6.30 AM) but besides finishing the story, nothing big has really been going on. The only major thing I have to mention concerning the whole week is that I have been working a bit more on In The Art of Dreaming, and as it is nearly taking its final shape I'm sure that what I have planned for it will blow all of your minds, one way or another. Influence-wise, I've basically been listening to stuff I've checked out before already but have since then forgotten about (or just been loose with), including 10 Years and Cold. I am thinking about downloading something new tonight though, so maybe that'll change.

With a text as short as this one I will definitely post again tomorrow, but just so you know, next week is full of exams for me and thus you shouldn't probably expect anything big to hear from me this or next weekend. I might, however, start another short story soon since I've had an idea for one in my head for a while now - I simply didn't start writing it yet because I wanted to finish JAND and Walk first to avoid the number of active projects being too large. But now, the book is my only active writing project, so who knows - speaking of which, maybe I should pick a name for the book already as well... :p

See ya.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ghost Chamber

Here is the 11th chapter of my book. Now who can I say I don't keep my promises?



- Is it you, Adrian? Adrian heard Hannah’s voice from somewhere on the left and a soft touch on his knee. He settled to answer “yeah” and tried to stand up. Everything was dark.

The music class had lost electricity. The clock was already so much that there was no light whatsoever coming from the outside, and the blinds weren’t open anyway. Judging by the smell, Adrian foresaw that the fuse had probably burned out. As he got up, he hurt his elbow on the side of the keyboard. - Oh come on, don’t tell me it was the main fuse! Mark shouted from the other side of the room and swore loudly right after. In Adrian’s opinion, Mark swore way too much. At times Adrian could fully understand older people who were concerned of the parlance of the youth. - It probably was. At least figuring out by the smell, Adrian called out into the darkness. - Damn no! No one surely will get lost here today to fix it. - Probably not. The practice ends here then I guess, Hannah complained. Adrian finally got himself to balance and sat down on a chair which he didn’t remember seeing by the keyboard before. Soon it came out to him that it was the piano. Adrian flinched and quickly jumped up, this time hitting his leg to a big bass amplifier. - Well, what are we waiting for? I say we leave home, there’s nothing to do here anyway, Adrian said while gritting. Hannah sneered acceptingly, but Mark still had plenty of things to talk about. - No, no, no, don’t leave yet! Lets go to, say, our place. I can make us some coffee and then we can talk about some records for instance.

Although it was dark in the room, Adrian could imagine himself and Hannah glancing at each other in the eyes across the room. Mark was acting strangely to say the least. First he invited the three of them to practice and when that went wrong, he invited Adrian and Hannah for coffee – and Mark himself didn’t even drink coffee. Did he have something in mind again? Therefore something that could worsen the situation within the band even more? While Adrian was still thinking of his reply, Hannah refused politely.
- I’m very sorry, but I at least can’t make it. It would take too much time for me to walk back home from your place, considering that tomorrow we have a Chemistry test. And after all, that’s the last Chemistry test of the whole Junior High School, Hannah pointed out. Adrian was just going to say something similar when Mark sighed and grumbled something to himself. Adrian heard steps and then a door being locked. - What are you doing now? Hannah asked confusedly. When Mark didn’t reply and his feet stamping began to scrape the air in the room, Adrian started fearing. He had never particularly liked darkness, so to speak, and Mark’s behavior began to resemble the behavior of the protagonist of a horror film just before murder more and more each moment. - Do you know why I originally invited you here? Mark asked. While receiving nothing but silence as a reply, he decided to go on: - I invited you here because I wanted to adduce you a certain thing. Before you say anything, I clarify that in question is the band’s best interest, not mine.

When was the last time Mark had spoken so officially? This had to be something serious.
- I’ve noticed some things that are related to Noah.

To Noah, Adrian repeated inside his head. He should’ve guessed.
- First of all, how many of us, including Summer, are actually aware of Noah’s life? We know his playing skills, but what about his life? Why hadn’t anybody even heard a thing about him before his occurrence at our practice?

Adrian remained silent, but Hannah sighed deeply and said:
- Maybe his life is none of our business? Such things as private life and intimate protection do exist, Mark. - True, but one way or another, Noah’s life impacts us as well. I’ve heard that he can be pretty aggressive even though he acts calm. He doesn’t go out much, and over all he enjoys being alone. He is quiet, introvert and unpredictable. - So what? We all have our bad sides. And do they make us any worse as humans? Of course not, Adrian defended. - I agree. Maybe you should just accept the fact that Noah is part of our band and group of friends, Hannah said and started approaching the door as she had recognized the right direction to it. Adrian followed the stamping of her feet and decided to leave himself. Mark, however, still had something in his cavity. - What if I told you that Noah was a criminal and under medication?

At the very moment, the lights made their return into the room. Hannah’s mouth had clicked open and Adrian had frozen to where he stood. Mark should’ve looked satisfied according to all sense, but even he himself felt cowardly.
- Maybe it’s for the best to just leave now, Hannah said while still feeling beside herself. She opened the door, but couldn’t make it further from there.

You see, behind the door there was Noah, who stared Hannah straight into the eyes for a few seconds before escaping out of the building.

- Noah, wait! Hannah shouted, but for nothing. The school’s main entrance opened and slammed shut immediately, so that the cold wind churning outdoors found enough time to drift all the way onto the door of the music class, making Hannah’s skin get goose bumps. Adrian was right on her shoulder while saying sarcastically: - Really great, Mark. Fantastic. As Mark scratched his head stuttering something that neither one, Hannah or Adrian was able to hear, the clock came quarter to nine and Adrian caught his coat from the rack ready to leave. Hannah followed. - Hey, guys, please don’t… I was really telling the truth, and I really want just what’s best for the band, Mark defended, but Adrian told him to shut up by waving his hand and went down the stairs towards the main entrance heatedly. - It’s better if you don’t say a thing anymore. We’ll see tomorrow at school, Hannah said coldly and ran after Adrian.

As the main entrance closed for the third time Mark was left standing alone on the door of the music class feeling cold and disappointed.

As I haven't been listening to anything new or writing besides that, only other news I have are music-related. In The Art of Dreaming, the closer of my next EP I've been talking about, has now been developed so that's it's instrumentally about 30 % done - and while I have began working on the lyrics, I am happy to inform you that there will be some Finnish on it. All in all it's my most experimental, most melodic and probably the most complex song to date. But more on that later, since you're probably dying to tell me what you think of the new chapter. [/sarcasm] But seriously, please do throw any comments you might have in mind, while keeping the same rule in mind than with my music - everything is fine as long as it's appropriate and to the point. I know you might have trouble reading because I post these chapters very rarely, but you can find them all by following the tag "book" and if that's causing you trouble, just ask me to post a link to the whole thing.

Now, next week might just be the most laid back week I've had in a while. While hoping for that to come true, take care and I'll post again next weekend.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Ill AqME

Internationality has been the theme what comes to the music I've been listening to this past week or so. AqME, a French nu/alternative metal band conquered themselves a spot in my library with their album Sombres Efforts last Sunday, and while the lyrics and singing is in French, the album is filled with heavy and surprisingly original Drop B guitars, very well emphasized bass lines and all in all the package is too good to say no to. Besides, hearing French actually sounds refreshing in contrast to all the English and it's fascinating being one of the languages I don't study and thus can't really understand. Another band I've been hearing is Ill Niño. Despite being from the US, they incorporate a lot of latin influences and Spanish language into their music and lyrics. On top of these two, I got The Accident Experiment's Arena EP (which my friend ordered for me) just a few days ago. The tracks I had not heard from it yet made it well worth the money among with the title track, which I had heard (and loved) before already, but would've paid for anyway since it's so awesome.

Music-wise, I've been doing some musical and lyrical progress on the closer for my next EP as well as working on a few collaborations. Before I get into the news I have about my stories, here are the lyrics for 15 Miles, which I completed last weekend.

Frustrated senses I exist to be chained to
Muting bruises blocking communication
Why am I blessed with something that I love
and in favor, what I hate, has cursed my blood?

‘Look beyond’ is what I whisper
to the ears of suffocation

I shove aside the voices telling me
what to say and how to act (the same)
Keeping my mind within this frozen box
my heart burns out from this paradox

I have fallen into grace, into hell, a different human race
Bouncing on and off the bed, every moment is a struggle ahead
So I close my systems and go onto start from the point I always do
but this time, instead of energy, I seek to be changed, eternally

(Blepharons hypnotize…)

Falling onto an empty state, can’t stop what air takes within
it strips my skin, until I’m sore enough to quit bleeding
my senses, fail to re-connect
with the machine that is my head, filled with explosions and pigments of red
so the colors play, with a strange delay
as if I was on slow-motion and then, constantly on replay
I wonder, have the ghosts come haunt me, or am I ghost myself because I’m so carefree
more than before, even alone - for once, the truth is untouched

It’s clear that the water, is not pure everywhere
it’s only pure where the surface, is honest and moderate
Is there a reason why I should, go deeper onto swim
when even sensing the vicinity, is making me feel frozen

(I versus the ambience)

But here I cannot feel, the water or the fire
the grass nor the clouds, just rain of mind

(As the miles begin to grow…
I find… a new life.)

Remember that this is for a conceptual EP, as are the lyrics for Trepidation I posted earlier. Now, what comes to the short story, Silenced Mortal, I haven't finished it yet, but I have done slight progress. I am not stressing about it really, because even though I want to get it done, I also want it to be as good as it can be and that means I can't do it whenever I have the time, but whenever I have the motivation and the inspiration to do it. I have also continued on my book, and I'm almost done with the 14th chapter (I just might leave it as it is now, but not sure yet). I will translate the 11th chapter for you during tonight and tomorrow and put it in my next post. ;)

Some AqME lyrics before I let you go.

J’essaie de voir la vie en rose mais un voile la recouvre... Les pensées sombres que l’avenir m’impose me font espérer qu’après la nuit le jour se lève enfin... Je sais qu’il est temps pour moi d’apprécier la joie, d’oublier les mots, de dire les mots, pour voir maintenant la lumière

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Forever Lost

The weekend has been pretty wild. I have changed the look of my whole room to blue now (not that you necessarily care, just sharing to let you know that the next era has now officially begun and I'm very serious about it). I have developed 15 Miles, the supposed opening track for my next EP, so that all I need to write are the drums for it and then I'm ready to go forward into the recording phase with that. I have two other tracks, Trepidation and Melodia, pretty much done without the drums as well. More news about the next EP which I can already reveal are that it'll include 5 tracks in total (4 of which I've started working on) and that it'll be a concept EP, somehow related to dreaming. Now about that concept - I don't want to go too much into it, but the working titles for the whole EP are The Art of Dreaming and The Art In Dreaming (at the moment I just can't choose which one is better) and those should hint you a bit on the concept already, especially since the name Autumn Scream was chosen very early on as well.

During these two days I have been coming up with riffs like every 4 hours or so, but none of them is yet in a state where I feel like developing them further. Since this next EP will have less tracks and the lyrical content is limited due to the concept, I will probably be focusing a lot on the instrumentals, and due to the feedback I have been given on AS, especially the drums (even if I haven't written anything drum-related for the EP yet). Don't take that so that I won't be taking the lyrics seriously and not make them deep and important, just saying that with the music I have more room with and I want to take adventage of that. It's also rather certain that even though I will make this EP as perfect as possible, it'll come out a lot faster than AS did for example, since let us not forget, the time between the first idea for Memory and the release date was almost a whole year. I'm about 25 percent done with this one already, anyway. But we'll just have to wait and see what time brings us...

On another note, I have begun writing the last chapter for Silenced Mortal, but due to it's intended lenght and the rough 200 words I only have for it so far I am not posting it until next weekend, I assume. It'll be great though, trust me. :) Some of you have been wondering if I could post the whole story in the entirety I have written so far, and to answer those requests, here is a .rtf file contaning all of the four chapters finished to date. Enjoy.

Having downloaded Master of Puppets by Metallica, I have been listening to music pretty randomly this weekend, but mostly it has been post-rock orientated. Not much to say really, because apart from the title track, Master of Puppets really caught my ears only a few times during my first and only listen so far.

Alright, so another weekend is wrapped up and ready to be forgotten. Next week I will have to see about recording some stuff since looks like after that, I can't do so in a while. As you know, I probably will not be making a post during Monday-Thursday, but if I do anything major, I might, so check back frequently.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Above the Earth, Below the Sky

Alright, so first of all, the feedback on AS has been pretty diverse. Some people have seen it as a very promising and impressive EP while some have gone as far as laughing at the EP, and while I do acknowledge that by no means is everything perfect or even good, I will keep doing this thing, putting out material from time to time and encouraging myself to continue by taking some of your ideas and suggestions into serious consideration and ignoring some others. If you haven't given me feedback yet, let me just say that there is no need to be unfriendly or disrespectful because even if that's the way you normally lay it down, that's not how it works with me. You either drop a review that's well-based and respectful or you don't do one at all. Simple. I do appreciate a lot of the harsher feedback as well though, especially since it has made me see some things that need to be seen - one being that while I already have started working on my third EP ages ago, I will not make a release date for it until it is finished and as perfect as I can make it. With AS I rushed again - not as much as I did with GAMH, but enough to not make it as good as it could've been (particularly concerning the vocals). And well, the vocals seem to be so horrible that they're either off-putting or laughable at this time, so I will need to work a lot more on those, with or without any help. To end this paragraph, I just want to say A HUGE THANK YOU to anyone out there who has given the EP a listen and I promise that whatever you think about my stubborn and stupid way of working, I'm not done yet.

Then to other news. Yesterday I finished the 4th chapter for the short story I have been working on since May, and I've now also decided to change the name of the short story to Silenced Mortal. Besides the three chapters done before and this one, I plan on writing one more chapter, hopefully during this weekend. Oh, and just for those of you wondering, the latest part I posted was the full 3th chapter, even though I first said it'd only be a half of that.

Anyhow, here's the 4th chapter.

- Your name, sir?
- Christian Joshua Aart. And yes, that’s with two A’s. I’m partly Dutch.
- Really? My friend is partly Dutch as well! That’s so awesome!

I stand by the reception of the blood donation clinic. An older, brunette woman is asking and writing down info about me as a younger blonde - by the looks of it, the older woman’s daughter – has sneaked in next to me and is playing with her hair while clearly not doing her job. I nod to her friendly, but decide not to try to hit on her. What I’m here for is more important.
- When was the last time you had a health inspection? The receptionist continues. I think for a while and reply;
- Mmm, about 3 years ago. The receptionist now raises her eyebrows as the blonde walks away.
- I’m afraid, sir, that you cannot donate blood unless you’ve been inspected during the last year.
- Oh. Well, can I be inspected in here or…?
- Hold on, I’ll ask if the on-duty doctor in the left wing is having anyone in right now. I sigh loudly and stare at the empty, yellow walls as the receptionist finishes her short phone call.
- He seemingly isn’t having a patient in as we speak, so you can go there immediately. Do you want me to advise you to his room?
- No thank you, I think I’ll do just fine myself, I lie kindly and start walking and looking for signs of where to go after turning left from the reception.

Lucky enough, I’m able to find my way to the left wing through a series of reading signs and asking sick people where they’re coming from. At the left wing, I walk reluctantly to yet another reception.
- Excuse me…
- Yes?
- I was sent here from the right wing for a health inspection.
- Oh yes. Doctor Michaelson’s room is the last one on the left. He’s waiting for you.
- Thanks, I say while trying to smile a bit, only resulting in a confusing grin that by no doubt looks more scary than polite. I walk to the left and after arriving to doctor Michaelson’s room I press the white button by the door. The light turns green and I go in feeling intense.
- Good afternoon. Christian Aart? The doctor asks while looking at the computer screen insecurely. I nod silently and sit down on a brand new, brown chair that is by the wall, just a meter or two away from the doctor. The doctor himself is wearing eye glasses and judging by his face, it looks like he is having a middle age crisis a rough ten years too early.
- So, you’re here for a health inspection? Well, that won’t take long. I first got to ask some questions and then we’ll test your blood pressure and iron levels, eye sight, your ears and your breathing.
- Alright.
- First I’d like to know if you’re aware of any diseases or disorders that run in your family.

I reply as shortly as possible – the only major disease I’m aware of is my mother’s leukemia. The doctor asks another question, this time about any medically significant allergies or diseases that I have. I say that I’ve been healthy all my life, wondering whether the doctor is unaware of how to use his computer or just trying to reach a better connection with his patients by talking as much as possible. After a few more questions he takes the blood pressuring meter from the utmost corner of his table and prepares to use it – whereas I try to be as calm and relaxed as possible.
- Everything seems to be fine. Upper pressure is 134; lower pressure 86, the doctor says after the measurement and pushes the blood pressure device aside. He prepares to test my hearing as I disappear inside my head for a while. I can’t help it - I need a comfort zone to survive this type of things. I’m careful not to close my eyes or shut myself from any questions that the person bustling next to me might ask, but within a blink of an eye, I leave the room. I’m not here. I’m at home listening to post-rock records while lying on my bed, just like I was exactly 5 years before now, with my life still being full of dreams, goals and hope. My feet start moving to the rhythm of beautiful melodies and atmospheric soundscapes that sooth my ears and tempt me to almost, almost close all my other senses, but I manage to resist. For some reason, I can’t keep up this vision long enough for the whole inspection to finish, yet enough so that when I return to the room, the doctor is done with everything else except for one thing.
- Alright, so let me just take a blood test and then you’re free to go since everything seems to be looking fine so far. I nod and receive a smile from the doctor who, if it’s even possible, looks even more irritating while trying to pretend than he did before my little visit into the past. Anyway, happy of the whole inspection being over soon, I place my hand onto the table as doctor Michaelson does what he has to do. I blink more rapidly as blood slightly spills on three of my fingers. Then it’s my job to take and unwrap the bandage on the table as the doctor investigates my blood. I’m almost ready to stand up but then I see that the doctor isn’t looking good – and this time, intentionally.
- Hmm, this might just be a little thing, but you should be worried of your iron levels. They’re really high.

I look confused as doctor Michaelson turns and shows me the numbers on the tiny screen, as if I knew what they’re supposed to mean.
- You sure there aren’t any iron-related disorders in your family? Is the question I hear and a silent “no” is the only answer I am able to produce.
- Just in case, I’ll send you to another doctor. My dear friend doctor Lawrens is specialized on this area…

One more thing I'd like to mention is that I've been into some post-rock lately. Whereas before I had already checked out God Is An Astronaut and Lights Out Asia, I have now also been listening to If These Trees Could Talk, a more post-metal -orientated act. I went on a walk last Sunday and besides listening to God Is An Astronaut and enjoying it a plenty, I probably had one of the best days of the last few months.

I think that's about enough for now. I'll post later this weekend, so until then, see you, and even if the AS era is now almost over, keep the site active for me, will ya? :)