Thursday, December 31, 2009

The End of Something Is Always A Start of Something New...

Kind of a cliché title this time around - I did it like that because as the first full decade of my life comes to an end today, I don't want to come out as too cryptic. Though, in a way I can't help that, because later on in this blog entry I will be revealing the first two chapters of my new book to y'all, and that's cryptic to say the least, haha.

Anyhow, first, what have I been up to? Well well, I'm really getting close to finishing off with the writing process of the EP now since I only got ONE SONG that's significantly unfinished. That song being In The Art of Dreaming, all the other 4 tracks are pretty much done, even drum-wise. Melodia is the latest one to enter this league, as I finished the drums for it on Monday evening. There's a slight problem what comes to the recording process knocking on the door though - seems like I cannot get the baritone guitar I so badly wanted anytime soon, and that slows things down. I could always record Trepidation and Xie Xie (which both need Drop B tuning, B-F#-B-E-G#-C#) on my regular electric guitar, but the quality would suck that way because the strings in that guitar aren't supposed to be tuned that low. Another option would be too buy thick strings for my current guitar, but then I'd have trouble playing songs like Melodia which is in standard (E-A-D-G-B-e) tuning. Maybe I should just consider using some less variation in the tunings from now on...

As for the Xie Xie music video, I'm quite done with the first half of it. I went out to shoot it again yesterday and if we ignore a few scenes that I might have to redo, I am quite satisfied with the results so far. Next I will start concentrating on the other half of the concept, which will be constructed out of scenes with me performing in my room. For those of you who think that this whole thing is ridiculous, I know that it sounds like that, but if there's even a tiny chance that this will be very successful, I need to grab on it. Not to mention, what do I have to lose?

Today, I plan to listen to all the music I've enjoyed during the past 364 days, maybe write a bit, and eat well. I just finished making a playlist that wraps up this year quite nicely for me - you can view it yourself here. I will listen to the playlist itself in its entirety later today. Currently I'm listening to RED's sophomore album Innocence & Instinct, which sounds really great after months and months of not listening to it. It also brings many memories to mind, like the review of the album I made back in March... See now what I'm trying to do by listening to all this music? :P On a side note, I've been into all kinds of music from the past during the past few days, actually, including Papa Roach, Limp Bizkit and obviously, P.O.D.

Ah well, I guess this is goodbye to the blogging year 2009. Having completed 90 (!) posts in total, it's been fun and fruitful. Hopefully you've enjoyed this year, my readers, and my posts have been pleasant to read. I just wish I got a comment every now and then... ;) But eh, I don't want to rant about that, or anything, for that matter. Today is for relaxation and the embracing of memories.

Before I forget, here's a download link to the 2 chapters of the book. The format is .rtf, so it should work in WordPad and Microsoft Word at least. If it doesn't work for you, let me know. And, of course, let me know how you like the story itself as well. Before you read it though, I better mention that this is still quite raw, and changes might occur, especially with the names of the characters.

http://www.sendspace.com/file/v1bvta

Alright, I'm gone. Still 12 hours until midnight (GMT+2)... But what the heck, Happy New Year everyone. :)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Confrontation

Yesterday I wasn't able to deliver a post, but here I am now with a post that most likely will be the second last one of the year (and the decade). I don't have that much new to share with you actually, since I've been faced with an emotional lock recently. It may sound strange, but it's as if I'm hugely inspired and I have all the reasons in the world to be happy, yet I'm still not feeling like it. It's not the first time that I've been stuck with this type of a situation, because it seems to occur every now and then on my holidays when I put too much pressure and expectations on myself. Yesterday was already a bit better though and I even began writing the third chapter for the new book; Friday and Saturday were the days when I really struggled. Anyhow, let's make this post filled with lyrics instead of updates. Here are the full-length ones for Xie Xie that I finished last Wednesday.

Staring at a blue gate… So argent

OPEN

I sense a flame… Growing inside

my antioxidant, my stearine of heart

Snap from the shadows picks me up

awakes my attention and lust (to…)
see what’s embedded into the skin
of purity and dirt alike (I…)
face a new silence in exchange for my search
the ground blossoms where I turn
running and reaching and not giving in
the yearn comes to me at end

Toughened image freezes the broken

my avid limbs become one with the boundaries

Paresthesia…

Fairies made of wine alight

with the echo of an intoxicated drum beat
another snap opens the brave
opens the brave for another mindframe
the air begins to shrink to thin
the view below is majestic
but until mitigation meets my heart
the fairies dissolve my shards

CONFRONT

NATURE SHALL NEVER BURN [x2]

Wicked laughter, shiny tears

cryptic magic set to appear
A finch goes rapidly across the room
assigned to transfix my soul
I’m paralyzed, I got no chance
But I compose myself composure
luring me into a dance
instead of kill the finch lets me closer

Take my glow, take all my seeds

Throw your possession, come and see
To sow a harvest, fly in me
and you’ll be free

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.” [This part is from the Bible. Matthew 5; 3-10]

(Saying hello)

Capturing a deep blue breath

I fall into bed
filled with ashen roses
and walls made of ice
And I sense
sudden death
of a friend
as I whisper
gratefulness

REST

WITHIN
Sacrifice and glow

Another gate unfolds

This one is pure sheer gold
I see crowds of people, ignorant to feel
and I’m lacking what they own

This festival permeates my morality

with discomfort and impulsive qualm
I know my odor is too dark to belong (here)
but a touch makes me to hold on
Empty inside, I’m empty tonight
Chocolate kisses, lights in and out
Attractions form as I am tempted to live
moments out of stress and myself

But it all turns to wrinkly mist right beside my feet

As the verses I’ve learned appear in the eyes of the breed not meant for me

I remain as bore [x2]

I remain as higher than more

XIE [x14]
-------------


Next I'd like to paste some text that I basically improvised on Saturday evening. No concept or theme in particular, just thoughts laid down on the table, so to speak.

Something so distressing

Stretching my hours to days
Extracting all my efforts into failure
Happiness is locked under the snow I breathe

The erupting fog sets the mood for the sky

I’m blue only where the sun is a lie
The vibration of strings stops suddenly
As an angel is drawn into a hated body

No flow, no foes

No storming from below
No gazing, misplacing
Just sadness in a stone
Let me go

A wonderland expected

Upside down, it’s red now
Red as the view around me
Scaring the motivated

A laughable choice is wisdom where I cry

Sitting still a way to be passed by
Explosions are seen everywhere but in the sky
Including my mournful, hazy mind

No flow, no foes

No storming from below
No gazing, misplacing
Just sadness in a stone [x2]

Let me go

A wonderland expected

Upside down, it’s red now
Assumption towards the desired
wish that is emptier, shall I
Pick up the remains once more
Touch the sound I so often call for
Shall I make my appearance absence
And lay low against the truth?

NO, NO, NO, FROM, NO, MISPLACING

Let me go.


I do have some minor updates to share if you're still reading. For the sake of New Years coming, I've opened a survey at the forums of the AS site. Having said that, I am currently working on a new forum site since the system Webs offers is filled with bugs and not enough features. If you're interested in helping me out with that, let me know by leaving a comment to this entry. It's also worth noting that I've been listening to another new Pelican album recently, called The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw, and gotten familiar with an indie group called Silversun Pickups.

So, the first week of my holiday is now gone. Despite the lack of productiveness during the past few days, I can't be unhappy with the week overall by no means. After all, I did work a lot on the Xie Xie video and complete a lot of different things for the EP in general. Still, I hope that this week will be even better... ;) I'll see you on the last day of the decade.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

So Eager

First of all, a Blessed Christmas to everyone who's reading, and even to those who aren't. I've just eaten a very fulfilling Christmas meal with my family, and I have to say that it's been a great day overall. There are a lot of things I have to talk about concerning Tuesday and Wednesday as well, so if you're lazy, close the window now, haha.

On Tuesday, I continued shooting the Xie Xie music video. I took about 15 minutes of raw material which should cover about 1-1½ minutes of the video after editing. Since then, I haven't been filming at all, but I might continue on Saturday or Sunday. If I'm not on the mood or the conditions are bad on those days, I probably won't film again until week 2 of 2009. A very careful estimation is that I'm now 10% done with the video, including the time I need for editing and such. Anyhow, back to Tuesday... Another big thing I did was the completition of the last guitar solo for Xie Xie, which was also the last guitar part for the entire EP that I had to write. I dare to claim that the solo itself is my best to date. It's very versatile, combining picking and chords, and effects here and there such as bending and vibratos.

Wednesday was another big day. I worked on a few new drum parts for Xie Xie in the afternoon, and while I was bored in the evening, I decided to finish off with the lyrics for the song. As a conclusion, I'm now done writing all the guitar, bass and piano tracks for the EP as well as all the lyrics. In my next post I will show you the full lyrics for Xie Xie, since right now I'm thinking that they're a bit too long for this post.

Then to Thursday, Christmas Eve, a.k.a. today. Instead of listening to Christmas carols, I've been enjoying a lot of Grey Daze. I had almost completely forgotten about how great they sound like, and the track She Shines from the 15-year old album Wake Me - which I haven't heard in many, many months - totally blew me away to the extent where I am considering the possibility of making a cover. I have already started tabbing out the song by ear since no tabs of it are available on the net.

For this Christmas, gifts have been completely secondary for me. For those who want to know, I got A LOT of socks and chocolate, and also some other, smaller things. The stereos which I got at the start of the month were the main gift anyway. Besides listening to music and tabbing I've been spending quite a lot of time with my family in general today. It's been a very special Eve and as it's not even 9 PM yet in here, I probably will still come up with something special to do. For example, it's been a while since I've written lyrics completely spontaneously without the intention to make an instrumental for them. You never know, I might just do that tonight...

I'll try to post every 3 days now, so expect a new post by Sunday. Until then, have a wonderful time, whether it be with your family, friends, or alone. :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Drought

That headline is actually pure irony if we compare it to what I've been up to lately. I've been writing, composing, filming, exploring new music and relaxed since my last post, and if the rest of this holiday is going to be anything like these 2 days have been, I just know that it'll be very, very hard to get back to school on January 7th, haha. Anyway, without any further babble, let's go...

First, Sunday. I had a walk with the purpose to plan some scenes for the Xie Xie music video and begin the actual holiday with something I love doing - having a refreshing walk while listening to great music. That leads us to another topic, actually, since the music I was listening to during yesterday's walk was rather special. You see, I did another spontaneous act and got the self-titled EP by an instrumental post-rock band called Pelican just before going out. Even though I didn't really get into the individual songs during my walk, Pelican's music is basically the only music I've been listening to since yesterday, and I now also have a full-lengtr album by them called Australasia. Both of the releases are heavy, atmospheric, gloomy and progressive, all in pretty much the same time - and I have to say that I'm quite impressed. Last thing I have to say about Sunday is that I watched Spider-Man 2 to end the day, and it was surprisingly relaxing and inspiring. You all know me - I'm not a movie freak by any means yet I'm almost inspired by every movie I watch - so it's not a wonder though.

Then, to the Xie Xie music video shoot. Today was the first day that I went out with my camera and started shooting scenes for the video. Even though I wasn't able to shoot as much as I was hoping to due to the weather and the weak batteries in the camera, I'm pleased with the output so far. Tomorrow I will continue filming some more scenes outside. Right now, I'd say that I have enough material to cover about 40 seconds of the video - but until editing, there's a lot more material than that, obviously.

After walking at least 5.5 kilometers outside to shoot the video in different locations around the city I live in (not to mention that I had to go back home early on at one point and then leave again), I worked on some new drum cuts for Melodia. All in all, the drums for the song are now a little over half-done. On top of everything, I just finished the 2nd chapter for my newest book. Though I kind of want to keep that one just to myself at the moment, I will share the current contents of it before the end of the year, as I promised last month. Knowing that the days are running out for 2009, maybe you'll be able to read the whole thing in my next post already... Either way, it's worth the wait.

Had enough? Well, you're lucky then since this paragraph is the end of my 164th post. The next time I post will most likely be on Christmas Eve. Until then, I promise to keep myself busy... And relax in between my chores.  =)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Words to Kill The Stress By

(Note to self: From now on, "soon enough" shall stand for 7 days. *sigh)

First of all, a gospel - Jesus lives and because of his birth about 2000 years ago, I'm not only here typing this post to you at this very moment but also, while doing it, spending away my first hours of a well-deserved Christmas holiday. That's right - I now have 19 days off school, which basically equals all kinds of rest, writing, playing, jamming, reading, watching, brainstorming, spending time with my family, shooting a music video, having walks outside and much more. With that said, even though I can't promise a completely stress-free holiday, I will aim towards relaxation - especially since my school report requires me to gain strength for the spring semester (no, the report is not bad on a general scale, just bad on mine). One of my many other aims is to post here more often, so keep an eye on this page... And this time, I really mean it.

During the last week or so (and my freedom today) I have already worked on several things worth of typing. First, I have almost completed the piano outro for Xie Xie - which can, due to its length, now be called a track on its own. I've entitled the song as "Notes to Kill a Man By", and anyone who's heard the MIDI should agree with me when I say that it's very close to being a perfect name for the calming, high-pitched and slow piano piece. I have also been writing some new drum patterns for Xie Xie and given it some final touches what comes to the solo guitar. All in all, it is very realistic that when this holiday ends, I will be done with the writing process for the whole EP - ignoring the little tweaks and new ideas that are bound to occur during the recording process.

Last Saturday, I did something very spontaneous influence-wise. I noticed that a friend of mine had quoted something interesting in her MSN status so I wanted to check what it was all about. As it turned out, it was a lyric by a hardcore band called Finch. Knowing that I would go outside for a walk in an hour or so, I decided to download an album called "What It Is To Burn" by the said band and listen to it as much as possible during my walk. In the end, the album turned out to be rather generic, but the positive vibe it had was refreshing to me among with a bunch of good riffs. Since that day, I've barely been listening to any Finch though. The nostalgia from last week has continued to a certain extent as I've been more and more into stuff like P.O.D. and the Deftones. Just yesterday I played Satellite by P.O.D. through my stereos - throughout - and I got a feeling out of it that I had never had before, which wasn't totally caused by the stereos themselves, but also by the way I let myself relax while listening. Another thing about P.O.D. that's been making me excited this week is the fact that they're currently working on a new album. Not too long ago, a video straight from the studio sessions was posted on YouTube and Facebook. Since I really want to take part on promoting the band this time around, prepare yourself for some heavy advertising in this blog. I'll begin by posting the already-mentioned video. Here you go: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtAqQVME4KM

Lastly, I'd like to ask everyone of you reading if you would like to see Breath of Darkness awards take place again this year. Some of you might remember the little project I had going on last year, where I posted 14 categories and about 5 nominees for each category, and then asked you to vote. In the end, I counted all of your votes together and revealed your favorites on the side of my own ones for the winner of each category. Basically, if you're intrigued and would like the awards to take place again, comment on. If you're not interested at all... Well, still, comment on. :P

I won't say anything about the time when I will make my next post, but just like I implied earlier, it should be faster than "soon enough", haha.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Numbers & Nostalgia

The title tells it all about my week really. Through learning maths I've basically gotten fed up with numbers and such, and I'm afraid that will show in the test I had yesterday. To stay positive though, nostalgia is another thing I've been having lately, which has been more or less caused by listening to the music I've grown with for quite many many years. As this music includes such bands as P.O.D., Linkin Park and the Deftones, I've been having albums like Payable On Death, Meteora and Saturday Night Wrist on slight rotation from time to time this week. AqME and Truby have also had more than a few plays lately. Overall, it's been a very fascinating 7 days since my last post.

During last Sunday and Tuesday I was, like I had hoped, able to continue on State 18 so that now about 90% of it has been written. I will now show you the final lyrics for the song, but remember - in order for you to hear the finalized product, you need to be a member of the promotional team when I put out the special edition of The Art In Dreaming. The doors won't open in a while, but just a reminder... If you're not a promotional team member right now but are intrigued by this text, keep an eye on this blog, since I will let everyone know when you can enter your information for joining the promotional team again. To cut off with the talk and move on to the piece itself, here we go:

Wreaths of hair, colored black
Iris green, matching glass clean
I follow your steps with insecurity
feel your instinct spit on my skin
You send waves protruding my conscience
I surrender to total absence
I know that you are cold to me
but it takes more to kill obsession

Reject of everything but art

I’m surprised you let this desire to grow
You are a spark, you’re the wildfire glow
that can burn my insides if I get too close
Our vision is the same, we cope without charade
but is anything the same, if we both enter the game
I yearn for, lust for, fight for this, that my mind denies
and yet I hope that your reply is smile

[Chorus]:

I know I might, cross the line, but I need you for a while
think of me, as parasite, and let this silence between abide
Just so I can see, your evil beauty, until it makes me bleed

I want, to torture, myself

with your appearance, as illusion in my head
Imagine, your soul, entwined
In the dark, together into mine

[Chorus]


Now look at you and look at me

I must confess curiosity
towards your views, towards your taste
towards that heart blessed with grace

New style recognizable, eh? :P

Anyhow, then to my other projects. Even though I haven't done any progress at all on the book(s) or the songs for the EP, I have been working more on the A.06 collaboration, which is now set for a Christmas release - that is if everything goes smoothly, of course. I've also began working on the little (promotional team exclusive) DVD by filming some short clips. With only one week to go until my Christmas holiday, I've also been planning the Xie Xie music video furthermore among with possible recording sessions to be held at the beginning of my 19-days-long break.

There you go, for now. I promise to make another post soon enough, hopefully tomorrow. Until then, please, allow me to have the pleasure of reading your feedback towards the lyrics and everything else I've typed about as well, of course. :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Epilogue of the Sun

Just yesterday I got my swine flu shot, and as expected, it has made me sick. Having taken the shot to calm down my parents, all it has resulted in so far is an aching left arm and fever. Despite this and the little break in writing I intended to have, I've done A LOT during the past 24 hours or so.

Let's kick off with some plans I now have for the release of The Art In Dreaming. As usual, I will put a free download of it up on several places, however, I'm also thinking about putting out another edition. As some of you might recall, I already released a special edition of Autumn Scream just for the rare and selected on the official website, but this time around we are talking about a physical copy that would shipped to your home address with exclusive artwork and an additional disc with the Xie Xie music video, some filmed studio material and a b-side on it. This special edition will only be available for the members of the promotional team, however, there's no need to worry if you're not a member right now - I will give those who aren't currently members of the promotional team the possibility to join before the EP itself gets out. Before that, it's worth noting that I have another exclusive planned for the current team, which is actually not music-related. More on that later.

Next, let's discuss a little about that b-side I will include on the special edition of TAID. The song is currently titled State 18 and I just started working on it yesterday afternoon. It's a love song and very personal. So far I have finished about a half of the song's drums and about six eighths of the lyrics, the bass, and the guitar. It's not going to be a short song at all - even if it is more formulated than most of my efforts have been recently - and thus it's quite of an achievement that it's almost fully done already. Maybe I will finish it already tonight, who knows - the main thing is that I have major inspiration for it at the moment. Knowing me, I just might change my mind about the whole thing if I don't finish it as soon as possible anyway, haha.

For In The Art of Dreaming, I have been working on the drums a little bit this week, whereas Melodia hasn't gained anything new, against my expectations last weekend. I'm glad that I finally got around to gather some patterns for ITAoD though, since I had been equivocating some of the patterns in my head for a long time already, and now I've officially began working on all the drum tracks for the EP. Overall, I'd say that the EP is now about 80% done writing-wise.

Concerning the remix/collaboration of A.06, I have been doing some minor progress during the week. My goal is to get my own parts for the song done by Christmas, and at the moment it's likely since about a half of the actual instrumental is remixed now and there's a few days just before Christmas when I can record as much as I want concerning the vocals. Obviously, as it is a collaboration, finishing my parts doesn't necessarily mean a thing if others fail to complete theirs, but soon I will at least be done with my share of the deal, so to speak.

Then, the influences. On Wednesday, I finally got Truby's debut album Entropy thanks to a friend. Despite the album being a slight disappointment overall, I'm loving the soft and creative soundscapes that the record is filled with, and I'm sure the album will grow on me for good eventually. Another big influence this week has been 10 Years. I got their debut album Into The Half Moon a few days ago and even if it can easily be labelled as nu metal with nothing special to offer, I think it was worth getting since there are some melodic bits here and there that hint you towards the sound the band is known for today.

There you go, my first post of December. Hoping to post more soon...