At the end of the day, it’s good to understand your intentions for a song as you establish its form. Each type of song section can serve a different purpose. If what you’re working on isn’t sitting right and you can’t find any specific problems with harmony, lyrics, or any of the other components we’ve discussed, it may just be that you need to revisit the overall structure of the song.
Okay all this is super cool, but the thing is that Björk says, “first and foremost, Biophilia, is an album”. No matter how we view the creation and dissemination of the album and its concepts, it is true that Biophilia, like Magna Carta Holy Grail, is fundamentally available as a mass-produced musical product. The ingenuity and approach that went into these albums may end up influencing as many people as, say, Sgt. Peppers or Metal Machine Music, or Graceland, but they are all in the same family.
I’m not here to tell you to “fake it ‘til you make it.” The person that coined that divine piece of wisdom has probably never experienced the daunting 10 seconds before walking out onto a stage and singing in front of hundreds of people. I am, however, here to tell you that getting a grip on anxieties and insecurities around your vocal performance is perfectly possible.
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Erik Veach is the owner and lead audio engineer at Crazy Daisy Productions, providing mixing, mastering, and sound editing services since 2001. He is the original pioneer of automated intelligent mastering systems, introducing them for use in professional music production in 2003.
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Patrick McGuire is a writer, musician and human man. He lives nowhere in particular, creates music under the name Straight White Teeth, and has a great affinity for dogs and putting his hands in his pockets.
Modes and Key Signatures have a variety of different characteristics and are great for outside-the-box songwriting. Here’s a cheat sheet to remember them!
Lauren Hill’s “Ex-Factor” is a timeless song that will always give me goosebumps. I danced around my living room to this song — lip syncing and wishing I was in a music video, wishing I could sing like her. Today there exists another artist, and another song, that encapsulates Lauryn Hill’s soul, but more contemporary, and that’s Lianna La Havas’ song “Green & Gold.”
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When saving your projects, make sure that you label them clearly so you can recall their specificities. You can also use folders to organize different projects and versions of songs. Here’s an example of how I often label my tracking projects:
I mean, I would’ve loved to have been there, and I would’ve relished that sacred moment of being in bodily proximity to Jigga. But what did Jay Z really do here that is so unlike the typical process of recording and producing an album, and then throwing a killer party to release it?
In the live version above, he almost looks bored while he absolutely shreds — especially in comical contrast to the insane antics of his eccentric bandmates.
Although the extent of this symmetry seems strange and eccentric, this idea isn’t actually as bizarre as you might think. Thematic inversion had been used by composers as far back as Haydn. The Second Viennese School, under which Berg had been educated, considered playing melodies backwards part of the library of techniques that could replace tonality.