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!
All right, I uploaded this to Soundcloud last week, but I never got around to finally publishing the blog post. So, I never shared it on Facebook. So....on to what this song is.
Last week's song was a cover of the Simon and Garfunkel song "I am a Rock". Now, the original version of the song, I am a big fan of. However, being an EXTREME introvert, I always thought that the music was too subdued for the lyrics that were being sung. It is really a pretty song but lacked the emotional depth that I felt the song should have had. So I asked myself how would I have done it?
This brings me to my philosophy on covers. I think that cover songs (songs that I do that were originally done by another artist) should not be a re-rendering of the original song. I really don't think that I would add too much to a cover of Metallica's "Master of Puppets". I would approach it very similar to how they did it. In the end, it would sound like I was trying to redo what they did - and I don't think that I would out do them. So - the result would be rather pathetic.
BUT, if I take a new twist on an old song, that gives it more of a new feeling and creates something different and new. And it makes both parties just a little less embarrassed about the whole mess.
That is sort of what I am doing here. The original artists were very good singers and harmonized well. And, much better guitarists than I am - at least in a folk style. I would just be embarrassing myself (and others) by trying to repeat their performance. So, taking the observations that I made above and my natural tendency to remake things in metal, I decided to go a different route. I did a punk/metal route that is more natural for me and more authentic to the emotions underlying the lyrics. Vocally, I tried to go for a more maniacal and over-the-top style - somewhat like a madman trapped in a room within his castle.
I also did a little 70's type thing with the lead guitar. The guitar part pans left and right and generally just noodles throughout the song. I heard something like this done on a Jimi Hendrix track and I thought that it would be a nice period-era technique to throw into the song as well.
Well, I hope that you enjoy! And if you have other cover song ideas, please feel free to leave the suggestion in the comment section.
Merry Christmas Everyone!
I am not pontificating today. I hope that everyone has a most blessed Christmas. As a present from Phrygian Phish/Last Rites and Sean Bailey (really all the same dude), here is a song that I recorded for Christmas. It is a rendition of "Oh Come All Ye Faithful". It is not perfect - but none of anything that we do is - that is why we needed that little child this Christmas morning. I do not have the most sparkly of voice - kinda like Bing Crosby - but it is in short my offering to the Christ child this Christmas.
Have a Merry and Joyful Christmas and Christmas Season!
_Let me introduce you to my brand spanking new song, "1 Million". Now this song is actually somewhat of the anthem for Phrygian Phish as I jump out into these new waters. My passion for writing music and using my creative energy has slowly grown until I am at the point that I cannot simply put it on the sidelines. I realize that I need to take a chance at taking a shot at being an artist. That is why I made this song.
So why the title, "1 Million"? You know this is going to be hilarious, and maybe a bit sad, but this song is almost 9 years old. I have had it in Midi for the longest time. The title was selected because I thought, back then, that this song would make a million dollars. I know funny, right? But it is by far the most catchy and infectious songs that I have every written. The message of the song, if you catch the lyrics, is about finding purpose in life. I believe that within each and everyone of us, there are unique God-given gifts and we are called to use and develop in our lives.
I think that too often my generation is selling their dreams of a better life, a life of earnest hard work, for an economically secure life within a subdued shell. They forsake what makes them happy to do something that brings material comfort. But what life is that? And how hard will we work if we don't see the purpose? Just enough to get by! This song, although it was written for me, is a call for all of us to not forsake who we are and for us to continue to follow our dreams, our purpose.
In the end, I know that my material security will not comfort me in my last days. At the end of my life, I don't want to look back and say that I got by; I paid my bills and played it safe. I want to live a bold life or at least my own life. I want to live my life for Christ using the gifts that He has given me.
I am going to do a music video for this song which I think will speak volumes to the modern person. I am looking for folks in the metro-Atlanta area that are interested in participating, so if you are interested, please contact me!
Now check out that new song! Like now, man!
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.