Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tree of Life

Yo. Week 34 is reaching its Sabbath and your favorite storyteller is here with a quick recap of what's been going on. Let's go...

If last week seemed fast to me, this one's been even quicker. From Monday to Wednesday I went with pretty much the same formula - wake up, get ready, go to school, relax for about 2 hours when back home, sleep for an hour, homework for an hour, eat dinner, another hour of homework, some relaxation, and finally bedtime. Exceptions included a brief band meeting with Shyoul on Tuesday and skipping the so-called sleep hour on Wednesday. Since yesterday all first year students had no lessons but instead a 5-hour day by the nature with some further info on high school, games and such, Thursday evening I didn't have to commit any homework - half a relief, half a shock as I had already gotten used to working my afternoons on something. Nevertheless, I already had a word exam on Thursday (English) and next Monday I have another one (Swedish), so the work never really ends when you're a high school student. Probably not worth mentioning, but I admit under-estimating what's going on now when it was still upcoming.

Outside school my mind's been split. At times I've felt a little depressed, at times more or less inspired and happy. At the moment I'm feeling more like the latter, thankfully. I've been writing some random riffs all week, with the ones I've wrote down called The Hill, Fragile, Mystical and Doors, respectively. I've also done some modifications on Tree of Life, the demo I started on a week ago. Listening-wise I've been focusing on Adema's Unstable, some Project 86 songs and albums plus a fresh new influence, industrial rock band Deadsy, and their album Commencement. I actually had a song by Deadsy before, called Sleepy Hollow, but it had been mislabeled as KoRn featuring Marilyn Manson because of Jonathan Davis' vocals in it. The reason I checked the band out now was because my online project partner linked me to their music video The Key To The Gramercry Park a few days ago, which also features Davis doing additional singing. It has since been my favorite song of the moment.

I haven't been writing any lyrics or anything for the book in a long time now, so I'm hoping to put something together tonight. What comes to my interest in the TV show Chuck, I've managed to held onto my habit of watching an episode of it each day. It's not only great entertainment and good for relaxing, but also quite inspiring lately. The traditional Finland vs. Sweden athletics competition is also taking place this weekend, with me following it closely. Lastly, I've been planning to start taking more walks and going out more in general to further motivate my studies and keep my mind open and nimble beginning next week.

That is it. Hopefully the current situation where I only post once a week and with very little to say at once doesn't become a permanent habit - otherwise I'll probably have to start making up serious topics and conversation starters like in the beginning of this blog. :P It'd be fun for sure, but a major time-taker and not necessarily worth a read, anyway.

Blessings.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Birthright

5 days at high school behind and what do you know, I'm still alive. :P I have to admit that while the amount of home assignments and work in general has been quite overwhelming, the new level of education has its upsides, too. Some courses are interesting to say the least, the atmosphere is pretty laid back all around and I've already gotten inspired thematically on something fresh. So, while certain concerns certainly haven't disappeared, including my recent lack of time, I can't say that I would be in utter hell or anything. Plus, it's my choice now to study, so enough with the whine (for the time being).

Unfortunately I don't have any further news on my new online project yet, other than the fact that it has been progressing more or less slowly this week. Among the hectic nature of everything some new songs have been continued though, as I predictably just can't dam whatever ideas I have in my head from time to time. My newest song idea is entitled Tree of Life. Music is really great therapy too at the moment, because it can easily take my mind away from most of the things I don't want to think about. Since it has been a while after the last one, below there is a listing of my most potential song ideas for the debut album I hope to release in 2012, just before my crucial third year in high school.

The demos in Drop D tuning are:
Allergy/Anemia
Blue-Fragmented Pilgrimage
Cyan Lie
Finland
Johannesburg
Scoff
Grope
The Day I Scared Myself
The Black
I Against Seven



The ones in Drop B tuning are:
Permafrost
The Aftercry
Insomnia (Faithless Cover)
Tree of Life

Before we move on, I really am serious about this. While there might be some samples, songs or even an EP released prior to it, Wicked Breath is now steadily moving towards an actual album. I am, however, taking a long-term approach on the project as you can see. For now I have no time limits and no huge pre-plans. I'm just letting the ideas flow, recording whenever I'm in the mood, and wherever that takes me, so be it.

What I've been listening to has been very versatile all week, with again no particular focus on a specific band or artist. I was going to get deeper with Saturday Night Wrist by the Deftones as well as Adema's Unstable (which for the record I downloaded on Wednesday) but there's just a lot of stuff going on currently in the music department as well. I seem to have a lot of stuff right now that I've at some point obtained but have yet to truly give a chance. I got no plans for this weekend though so hopefully during the remaining hours of today and tomorrow I'll offer that chance to some presumably great pieces.

I'm done here, that's all I got in a somewhat compressed form. I still do have to mention that Shyoul is having a few meetings next week which will hopefully push our first song a little further - and, just as I predicted, I haven't been able to let go of Chuck these past few days even if my viewings per day have decreased. Next week is just going to be another one stress, inspiration and hard work shall share with each other regardless of any attempt - therefore, keep your fingers crossed for my endeavors, and I'll keep mine crossed for yours. :) Peace and love.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Ten Against Seven

Here we go, last post of the summer. I know, I know - summer's not really over yet weather- and calendar-wise, but as school begins, it's really secondary what season it is. There's going to be stress and a horrible lack of time from now on present no matter if it's +30 or -30 degrees outside.

Anyhow... During this last week, I've done my best in relaxing and taking my mind away from everything too stressful. I finished reading my 4th book of the summer which, by the way, has been one of the most pleasant surprises of the past 10 weeks - I never thought I'd read more than 2 of them, but I've indeed read 4 and enjoyed all of them very much. I only skipped on one book that didn't really seem interesting after 100 pages or so. The music that I've let my ears enjoy has been varying from 36 Crazyfists to the Deftones, from P.O.D. to Major Label, and from System of a Down to God Is An Astronaut, without a deep focus on one band in particular. I did get 36 Crazyfists' new album Collisions & Castaways last Sunday. So far I've only given it half a spin and I have to say that I've heard much better from the group. Last night I also downloaded an album by post-rock fit Explosions in the Sky but didn't have much concentration on it yet either. Lastly, here's a playlist I made last weekend including some of the songs I've really had fun with during this summer as a whole.

Throughout the past few days I've been relaxing to some TV as well. I am honestly obsessed with the show Chuck right now. I've watched about 15 episodes online after watching a few from Finnish TV earlier in July and this month (I hate the delay between USA and Finland, I mean 2 and a half seasons, come on!). The plot is so interesting, there's drama and action, and for those of you who've watched the show even just once, do I even have to mention Yvonne Strahovski? :P Anyway, I'll probably tone down on the interest once school starts, but still watch an episode or two a day. I don't remember being this hooked on a series since Kyle XY... And that show seems a bit childish now, anyway. (What is it with growth and TV shows going hand in hand? Haha)

I have not forgotten about my music either. On Tuesday I finally settled a melody of some sort for my upcoming, very first serious worship song. I'm calling it Me Against Seven for now. I also came up with a very dark and Tool's The Grudge type of demo on Thursday evening, called The Black. I have a strong feeling that it'll be a great opener if it makes itself on a release some day. It's definitely got that vibe I want an intro to have. On a side note, Shyoul's been having some meetings this week, and even though we are working on our first song very hard, let me put it this way - things really could go more smoothly than they are going on that area.

Then what I consider the biggest news in a while. I have teamed up with a fellow Christian and music lover from the US to form an online project so far known as Mind Death Machine. Before you ask, yes, we got that name from The Accident Experiment song, sue us if you care. :P Anyway, we're working on to put up a site with our own thoughts, pieces and such all over the place. Basically the idea of the place is expressionism. We will have a forum up as well where everyone can discuss about, well, anything really. I can't offer you a link or any further details yet, I'm afraid, but next week I bet I will have some more information on this fresh project. God only knows how many of them I got going on by now, though, hehe.

Well well. I'm done with the enws and I don't want to keep ranting about how great this holiday has been and how awful it is that it's ending. Bottom line is that everything good comes to an end - and hey, who says high school is 100% negative? I will be inspired with a lot of things I bet and I've come to see that when under pressure, stress and not much free time, I actually work pretty well and maintain everything that I got going on together. I'd like to thank you, my readers, and God for this 10 weeks that I've spent off-duty, so to speak, but it's time to go back now, regardless of what I want. This summer has offered me some great things and perspective but now life shall go on as it's destined with me entering high school. To stay positive, there's only 42 more weeks until next summer, let's not forget. ;)

That's it. Not the greatest post ever made but good enough to be posted and for me to cross this blog off of my list of things to do before Monday. I will be back ladies and gentlemen... When you least expect it! :)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sacred Scavenger

Even with my holiday getting more and more close to its end, I've been working hard on lyrics, music and the sorts all week. That is, however, not the most essential thing that I want to write about in this entry. Before anything else, I want to tell the world (starting from the few reading this, hehe) that despite being a Christian all my life, I've spent the last few days mainly changing some of my more or less bad ways into good. I've practiced purification of my mind and body, in a way, by some deep thinking, remorse and communication. It's not like I've killed someone or anything (:P), don't worry - I've just realized that despite calling myself a believer and having chosen the path of Jesus I haven't really acted like it during the last few years. Being a teenager or being busy with other projects is no valid excuse to this. I have now started to pursue a change though as I said and I can already feel its consequence - the calm, warm and confident effect that makes it seem like I've found faith just now for the very first time. :) Even if my road will be even harsher now that I'm a "proper" Christian, I am proud of taking the right moral turn in my life.

The spiritual change mentioned above was strongly encouraged at the start of the week as I went back to P.O.D.'s albums Satellite and The Fundamental Elements of Southtown half-accidently to find inspiration and groove I had been missing. At this point I have to admit something non-spiritual that I also regret in my life as of yet - not reading lyrics to most songs. It's ironic because as a lyricist and writer myself - and as a rather good one in my opinion - I don't often look up what exactly is said in a lot of songs I really love and as English is only my second language, it is impossible to understand everything right off the bat. Anyhow, this had been the case with FEOS as well for the most part and so I really enjoyed reading Sonny's raps and vocals in further detail as I listened to the once again refreshing record (I had done this once before in my qualm/interest last December, but that was too long ago for me to remember much of the wording, after all, it isn't all that simplistic :P). After P.O.D. I moved on to some System of a Down in the middle of the week as I wanted to write strong, even slightly political and straightforward lyrics for the demo named Scoff I actually finished instrumentally on Tuesday. Once again I took time to not only listen but also read what was going on. I took a new kind of atmosphere by going to the unheated sauna to sit and write, listen and read. The outcome was quite a success. Before I show you the lyrics, though, let me finish up this story. System of a Down wasn't where my notable listening experiences ended, you see... As a big fan of the Finnish band Major Label (look up my posts from early this year if you don't know what and who I'm talking about) I got curious about the band's guitarist/vocalist Arto Tuunela's other projects on Thursday. I knew about him having a solo project called Pariisin Kevät (Spring of Paris) in which he basically composed pop songs with naive kind of lyrics. Though innovative, I wasn't ready to get more down with this project in particular. Instead, I looked up two of his older projects - one where he used the alias Samuel Tubak, and one called Helsinki Blues Driver where he supposedly collaborated with an unknown electro-ambient musician. These projects blew my mind, particularly the second one. Tuunela doesn't just seem to have the ability to produce, mix and record for other artists, play basically any instrument and juggle between several different projects in the same time (half of which are not his own), but also have stunningly versatile content in his separate works. None of it is complex, it's all quite simple really - but in the same time, so different. Without any further efforts in trying to bore you, I'll conclude by saying that I really like his style no matter where he takes it. Even the performance videos and interviews I've seen give a very humble yet artistic picture of him, and regardless of me sounding like a fan boy, this guy is my new musical idol.

To get back to what I've actually been working on this week, here are the lyrics for Scoff like I hinted there in the last paragraph. Please do tell me what you think. ;)

Golden rings, suitcases of hope, burying their faces on hands of coke
Choke, every enemy with power they don’t in reality ever even touch to hold
The revolution is crying to be set off its cage, it’s a cage ruined with money and fame
And the selfish, somewhat privileged plays of zest accepted by the worldly brain
But hey, does that advertisement truly gain any real families or children to pay
for education, food and brainwash, you seem to deny being known for no lies
The bombs you build are nothing but disguise and foolishness towards bloody goodbyes
Tell me, how come aren’t you kicking me in the chest but causing all the pregnant women to get so depressed?

Love, you tear it off
The seed, of what we are
SCOFF

Stream of fall is everywhere, pain in the moonlight uncarved
Filling air with smoke and skies with lust martyrs die, liars remain alive
And pools of purity, dwell in unstoppable poverty
Without harmony, this corrupted corrosion floods our sources for life and how we want to DIE

So rip off your shirts to destroy the market
(Love, whoever’s around you)
In the name of this Earth, kindness shall overcome hate in the end
Struggles are short and painful, but our creations will last

The plea of candle wisps and enlightened houses
deserve more than pity and scoff

Now, we don’t call each other beautiful, beauty escapes us, we’re material too
Wearing grins we never smile, unless it’s to get us some more wine

THE STREAM OF FALL IS EVERYWHERE, SELLING HUMAN LOGIC,
ARTIFICIAL TRUST TO CHILDREN!

SCOFF [x4]

(Tear it off.)

What I'm really interested in is whether or not it's too aggressive or out of my usual style. I have also finished the lyrics for Blue-Fragmented Pilgrimage as well as its instrumental for the most part. With several riffs hanging over my head concerning a possible worship song, you could say that I'm doing progress in a good pace.

On the side of all this, I've been reading a new book and trying to complete some things that I still want to complete before school begins again. These include such things as barbecue, going to (a heated) sauna, playing floorball, watching movies, eating chocolate, going to the beach and so on. I also watched the fifth and sixth Harry Potter films this week caused by a sudden caprice. Shh, don't tell anyone. :D

I'll catch up with you once or twice more before high school starts to torture me.

PS: Shyoul is back with a fresh new member, making us a quartet. Tell all your friends.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Pain of August

August first is here, and before I go on with the good news I have, I'll tell you that I'm terrified right now. Just 15 days and I begin high school... And that'll be after a holiday that's been a total mess, in both, the good and the bad. There's still two weeks for me to embrace free time, though, so even if the thought of entering the great and stressing unknown is going through my head more and more rapidly, I'm hoping to still spend some relaxation-filled and great moments before it actually begins.

Then the good news. During this week I've been extremely productive, but still haven't been working on something all the time. A lot of new musical and lyrical ideas have been followed by spectator sports, and cleaning the house (=earning money) has been followed by moments of falling into music and rest. I haven't been reading or going out as much as I would've wanted to, but meh, you can't have everything. The Insomnia cover I started on last weekend is almost complete now, as is Blue-Fragmented Pilgrimage which I decided to continue working on after a while just yesterday evening. The Aftercry has earned itself some bass and a possible verse, and I've been thinking about the overall structure of all my new songs and their themes a lot in general. You can read more about the songs themselves, their current lengths and so forth on the updated forums of the Autumn Scream site, here. The whole site has been updated, really, so I'd appreciate it if everyone could take a brief look and maybe post around some.

Week #30 has also marked my return in writing stories. On Friday night I wrote about a thousand new words for a new chapter to be on the book so far known as Traveler, which I surprisingly started on over a year ago already. The chapter I've been working on now is not a direct continuation to the latest one I finished around winter, so I have skipped on the story a little and am planning on writing the chapter(s) between a little later on. All in all I am enjoying the process of writing a lot again and it's wonderful after such a long period of staying away from stories. Perhaps next week I will give you a little taste of what exactly I've been writing. :)

As the European Athletics Championships 2010 in Barcelona are ending later today, I feel like this is my one & only chance to rant about them. Finland hasn't obviously done all that great but it's been fun to watch the few women and men succeed and reach for their best out there. Not even near to the watching experience of the Winter Olympics, the Ice-Hockey World Championships or the World Cup in soccer, but nevertheless, nice for pastime and relaxation. So far we have achieved 1 medal and 2 point places, and today we are most likely going to score our second medal or at least a point place as long jump for men takes place in the evening with Tommi Evilä and Petteri Lax competing. On a more objective view, the amount of surprises has been a little overwhelming particularly in track events for women. The lucky Spaniards haven't been as successful as in soccer earlier during the summer, for which I feel a bit epicaricacy for. The organizers seemed so unprepared for the rain on Thursday that God should've let it rain here instead, haha. (Seriously, the heat record of all time got beaten here in Finland on the 29th, so it's been officially the hottest summer ever, which I obviously haven't fully enjoyed.)

Listening to music has been playing a smaller role in my plans this week than during the previous one but nevertheless I have been headbanging and jumping around to some Tool, Faithless, Killswitch Engage and Linkin Park (believe it or not). I also received Tool's Lateralus and Killswitch Engage's debut during the week, as I ordered them through a friend in the same way I did with White Pony by the Deftones the week before. Working on my own music for hours each day has taken its toll, anyway.

Now, enough with the letter torture. I'll talk to all of you later next week. ;)