June 2018

I can’t believe we’re already halfway through the year, it feels like we just started. My sincerest gratitude to anyone who has been checking out the songs, sending messages, or commenting on the blog posts. Your encouragement means a lot…Thank You!

June was a busy month! Between work, shows, and recording for some musical projects that I am part of (including upcoming albums from Jessica Rhaye and Debbie Adshade), time was tight. As is often the case, my commitments took priority and it was the last week of the month before I got a chance to sit down and start building this month’s song.

With only five days to complete a piece before month’s end, I decided I would revisit some tracks I laid down from previous months to see if any of those scrapped ideas had potential. I found a bouncy little number that I had struggled to find a vocal melody for in February and started stripping away instruments until all that was left was a padded synth track, some finger snaps (featuring my wife Colleen Charlton), and a tympani drum. I tried singing some free-form words and syllables over this to see if a melody would present itself. After some truly embarrassing attempts, I walked away from my home studio panicked and defeated.

The next morning while working, a melody (complete with lyrics) popped into my head and persisted itself until I tried it over the synth track. Much to my delight, it fit and provided a good starting point for this month’s song. I stuck with the initial five lines that presented themselves to me and spent the next evening trying to find more lyrics to make some sort of cohesive story. After hours of forcing pen to paper, I realized that those first five lines said everything I needed to say with this piece.

With the vocal complete, I started layering other instruments (including a recently acquired mid-70’s Roland RS-202 strings synthesizer) onto the track until it started to feel like a completed song to me. Then a happy accident happened. My recorder has a looping feature and I had unintentionally engaged that feature when I recorded the initial synth track back in February. While listening back to what I thought was the completed piece, the synth track began playing again as the other instruments faded out. Perhaps a little self-indulgently, I started layering more instruments on this “B” section (complete with sampled drums from “Small Hours” by John Martyn).

By Thursday I had a clear vision of what this piece should be and I reached out to my friend Grant Heckman to help me complete it. He played a wonderful electric guitar part and some bass guitar to compliment the tympani part (thank you, Grant).

By Friday evening, Sean Boyer and I sat down and mixed it all together (while Sean was suffering from the flu…thanks, my friend).

All this leads to what I present to you now. I’m including two versions of the piece here. One in its full version, and the second with the aforementioned self-indulgent “B” section edited out (I recommend the full version).

This Heart
(to download, right click and select “save as”)

This Heart (edit)
(to download, right click and select “save as”)

My sincerest gratitude to Grant Heckman, Colleen Charlton, and Sean Boyer for sharing their time and talents.

Note: This song is also available in both .WAV and FLAC formats. If you’d like a copy in either format, please write to clintoncca@gmail.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *