Well, we made it! It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since I decided to resurrect this project. It was a tough decision as I most certainly didn’t want to repeat myself, or spend my time trying to recapture the 2011 project. However, it was the best tool I had available to me to get myself back into writing songs, putting content into the public, and making my own music a priority. I think this project did just that, and I end the year in a much different place than I started.
I have so many people to thank for their generosity, time, and encouragement. I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge some of those who helped make this year a successful one for me:
Sean Boyer – Truth be told, I would not have done this again if Sean had said no. He is my partner in this project and I share it with him in every aspect. Not only did Sean mix the songs every month, but he acted as a sounding board, collaborator, and at times, critic. Even on months when the process became a burden, I looked forward to getting together with Sean every single time. Thank you, brother.
Jordan Stewart – Not only did Jordan build this website for me, but he was able to recover the 2011 content and bring that back to life. What a treat it was to read the old blogs and have a context for the new project. Not to mention the endless e-mails asking how to do this or that (sorry, Jord!). Thank you for your efforts and for giving my music a home.
Bill Preeper – Bill played on several of the songs from this year’s project, co-wrote one, and even did a mix of another. He lent me microphones, let me record parts at his studio, and suffered through numerous phone calls asking for his advice on how to get a sound. Bill’s talents are greatly appreciated and I am grateful for his contributions to the songs. Even more so though, I am grateful for his tireless encouragement and friendship. My sincerest gratitude to you.
Adam Kierstead – For my music, Adam is an obvious choice. Not only is he one of the best musicians in the region, but we have a history that goes back almost 15 years! I’ve often referred to Adam as my best musical friend, and that holds true to this day on multiple levels. I am sincerely grateful to have him as part of many of this year’s entries. Thanks, Adam.
My sincerest gratitude to Chuck Teed, Grant Heckman, Chris Fudge, Sandy MacKay, Chris Braydon, Jessica Rhaye, Alex Thorne, Jason Vautour, and Colleen Charlton for their contributions as well. It is an honour to be amongst such talented company and I am proud to call you my friends. Thank you!
Finally, my thanks to those of who checked out the songs every month, commented on the blogs, or made a contribution. Having an audience is an essential piece of this puzzle and I am forever grateful to those who lent me their time.
so without further delay…onto The Last Song!
Just as with the 2011 project, this month’s song came with its own set of pressures. I think it’s only natural to want to end a project like this with some sort of grand statement. I’ve never been good at writing to a theme and consequently, this month’s song only came once I let go of that idea.
Before The Bruises started as a simple piano melody that offered the opportunity for long, tender vocal lines. Each time I sat down at my keyboard it was this simple idea that I kept coming back to, and consequently decided to pursue for the final entry.
I layed down a part with my Yamaha CS2X synth that I knew I would replace with a real piano when I had the chance. I then set to building a beat to support the melody and built a multi-part syncopated rhythm using a combination of my Roland R-5 drum machine, some TR-606 samples, and a new-to-me Korg Volca Beats. I followed this up with a simple synth-bass part before recording a vocal melody through a GemSound Digital Echo unit.
I was then offered the opportunity to use the freshly tuned Baldwin Baby Grand at the Sanctuary Theatre, and eagerly set to replacing the keyboard part (my gratitude to Interaction School of Performing Arts for allowing me to use such a beautiful instrument). Finally, my friend and frequent collaborator Chris Braydon came over to my home studio to lay down a beautiful ambient guitar piece and loop that brought the whole thing together (thanks Chris!). I added a little LP static and a drone to compliment Chris’ loop with a Korg Monotron.
Lyrically this song is about new beginnings while accepting the mistakes of the past…maybe a new year’s resolution of sorts.
I hope you’ll enjoy
Before the Bruises
(to download, right click and select “save as”)
My sincerest gratitude to Sean Boyer for the mix.
Note: This song is also available in both .WAV and FLAC formats. If you’d like a copy in either format, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org