Sorry for the lack of posts on there. I have been busily working on various things: job searching, song writing and things around here. But that does not mean that I do not have music to share. Oh, there is plenty of that.
Firstly, I have been finishing up the music for another gaming score. This is for a medieval type setting. I am almost done with it. Over the blog hiatus I have uploaded tracks in that gamescore up to SoundCloud - so be sure to check that out. I am not going to elaborate on those right now. I think that I will try to next week.
Secondly, I am working with some friends to finally get this gaming music project off the ground. I will be releasing the entire orchestral gaming score on CD for gamers everywhere. We will have some killer art for the CD as well as a new website for the gaming music. That is all I am going to share right now for that, but details will be released shortly.
OK! Now onto the REAL reason for this post: new Last Rites music. Last Rites, as you may or may not know, is my Christian metal franchise/project/band. I tend towards thrash metal of early Metallica and Megadeth. Well, the new track is not in that same vein - but I think that it is close enough for me not to make a new franchise on it. I have the song posted below if you want to listen to it as you read on.
I am going to talk on the lyrics first. The lyrics are based on what is called the "Merton Prayer". It goes as follows:
"MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone."
I live close by to a Trappist monastery (Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance O.C.S.O) where I frequently go to confession and occasionally go to mass. Thomas Merton was a Cistercian and much of His writings on the spirituality of the monastic life are a part of the culture at the monastery. In particular, the "Merton Prayer" is actually cross-stitched and framed outside the retreat office where I go to confession. So I have spent a lot of time contemplating the prayer and meaning behind the prayer. I have, as you can tell, not taken the prayer verbatim to music, but adjusted it to fit the song.
Now musically, I have not gone with a "lighter" musical style. It is what I would call rock and not really metal. The one main reason why this will sound different is the use of major tonality - metal is usually minor or more dissonant. "Lead my Feet" is major (G major for anyone keeping score). The flow of the song is more or less like a soundtrack for going down the road: the main image of the song. So things usually keep moving along and around the main guitar motive.
I am actually quite happy to also showcase my jaw-harp abilities. I have been waiting for just the right time to showcase - and that time is now. I think it adds a little more of a "rural" flavor to the song. I think of hanging out in the back of a pick-up truck driving down the road somewhere out in the country. You may or may not get the same feeling...
Well, I hope that you enjoy! Oh, and just in case you think that Last Rites is going to be going soft from here on - THINK AGAIN! I have a brutal thrash metal song just waiting to be unleashed. It will be based on the trials of Job. Not job but Job. There is a difference.
Happy rest of the March! God bless!
OK Everyone, here is another music score that I wrote for this medieval campaign game master. What I was going for with this piece of music is two general feelings: loneliness and magical uneasiness.
Now, loneliness is not the depressed feeling that lonely people feel. It is more of a, "I don't see anyone around here" type of loneliness. A peaceful quietness. I used the tremolo strings in the beginning of the piece to give a hazy feel as the party looks out into a forest world. There is no one around. Then the oboe and flutes come to simulate the birds and other little forest creatures. Throughout this section I try to keep the focus on the natural surroundings of the players.
Then, you could probably tell a sudden shift in the feel of the piece. This is where the more magical parts of the music come in. The glock(enspiel) comes in sort of like little fairy dust to tell you that things are not totally what you think that they are. As the wholetone scale feel sinks in, there develops (or at least I attempt) a level of disorientation in this land. It definitely is not what you think that it is.
I hope that you all like the piece of music. I have one more track that I have to complete for this game master before next weekend, so I have my work set out for the rest of the day!
Here is the piece of music that I have long held to be my masterwork - the best that piece of music that I had written up to that point. And as such it has a story to it.
The year is 2003 around December. I was newly married and was finishing up my studies in Music and Mathematics at Emory. About that time, my wife and I along with my in-laws went on a miniature pilgrimage to the Shrine of the most blessed Sacrament in Alabama (short drive away from Atlanta, where we had been residing). We arrived at our hotel and it was time for dinner, so we went off to dinner at one of these buffet all-you-can-eat places.
Now, from time to time, inspiration hits me to plan out for the writing of a piece of music. At that time I was not nearly as disciplined or scientific in my approach to composition as I am now. But while we were sitting down and eating, I was inspired to write out the form of a new piece of music: A - B - C - B - A. At that time, I wanted to write out a new piece of music for a performance at Oxford College. My instrument was trombone and thought that I might as well apply this new piece of music to a trombone and piano.
I did not think too much on it until we were leaving Alabama. As I was driving, my wife was sleeping and I began to think through more of this piece of music. I wanted it to be somewhat of a story piece of music. And as such, I wanted a short overture at the beginning, somewhat as an abstract for the piece of the music that was to proceed. So, while driving, I composed the beginning piano chords and such like. I set to work on writing the music. I got a good start to the music before finals hit. Over the Christmas break I finished off the music.
Stylistically, I was shooting for a mixture between a classical era and romantic era piece of music. I wanted the piece of music to be very tonal and have a somewhat catchy quality to the tunes. Some of the harmonies I used in the piece of music are more along the lines of what you would hear from Wagner than from Mozart but I did not push tonality too hard.
Also, I believe that this trombone piece is a virtuostic piece to the point that i think that other boners should give it a shot. That is why I plan on publishing the music so that folks can give it a shot. I plan on having that up on the scores section in the next couple of weeks. I have to actually rewrite some of the accidentals in order for it to make sense according to music theory and for the musicians playing the piece.
Anyway, it is a LONG piece of music (12 minutes) and is probably best left playing in the background as you go surfing the net. As far as the story that I was going for - feel free to leave your thoughts on what a story for this piece of music could be. I was kind of thinking of some sort of love story with a fight with a bad guy in the middle. Hope you enjoy!
About The Blog
This is the news blog of Phrygian Phish. Check out here for news on Phrygian Phish projects like Last Rites, Beyond the Dice, and other Sean Bailey projects.