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Strings

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Come

I started composing "Come" around 2002-3. The song has many perspectives and represent many moments in my life, especially musically.
It came (pun intended) around a time when I wrote a great deal of string arrangements, mixed with electronic instruments.
This is one example where I didn't build on the first draft. ..And kind of regret it.


When you have something you think is great, its all about the feel of the song, arrangement, and mix of the right sounds. 
It was mostly recorded on portable equipment, even though we had a studio. I wanted to be spontaneous when working on it. 
With come, I recorded and arranged it in different keys and tempos. In the end I almost forgot which key it was originally. I tried several string sections and so on.

On top of it all, we had been playing it on shows,  the live-version was evolving into an electro-funk thing  (in a higher key and faster tempo), so we became quite used to that power. Parts of the live version was then added to the recording. 

The key elements for the song was something like this:
Melody should have a psalm, lamenting  kind of approach but with more closeness (and freak out in range).
The guitar should have that 60's funky, warm tone and feel to it, (chopped up to brake the realism). 
The strings should be dramatic but uplifting , (it should also have frantic elements, such as the pizzicato and crush tones). 
The electronic beats should be groovy (but in a way that didn't overshadow the simple nature of the melody). 
The synth-bass followed the beats. (before being replaced by electric bass at the end) 

I learned then, that the portable equipment at the time was not good enough for capturing the sounds we were looking for. 
I tried several guitars, amps, microphones, but ended up sampling the guitar from an earlier studio recording and pitch (slow) it down to get the sound I was after, (geeky stuff) and it worked.

The  sample libraries for the string section was too thin on their own (and we have many to choose from). Those with the right sounds for the song didn't have enough articulations and so on. 
So after transposing rearranging many times in order to get it right. It was augmented with real strings (bass, cello and violin) .
I'm never satisfied with anything! And the reason for almost regretting my decision on "Come" was that it took me crazy amounts of time to get the result I wanted. But thats part of the process.  

And that is why I wanted to give you another perspective for this song just so it doesn't seem that everything goes smooth and fast over here. It really doesn't. 

Musicians with me on the session(s):


Audun Havåg: electric bass, bowed upright bass
Bjørn Tore Kronen Taranger: Acoustic Drums

Audun Havåg, during a recording session.    Tuning his bass, trying to compensate for his poor pitch and technique..      (...just kidding!!      couldn't resist!:D ;P:)     

Audun Havåg, during a recording session. 

Tuning his bass, trying to compensate for his poor pitch and technique..

 (...just kidding!!    couldn't resist!:D ;P:) 

 

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Night

"Night" was composed around 2003 along with songs like "Steal The Day Back" 

Originally, it had several sequences and parts that were taken out of the arrangement at a later stage. 

I made four string arrangements for the song. I even recorded it with live strings, but after months (ok, years) of adjustments, I ended up abandoning the live strings for a pretty small string arrangement played on a relatively small sample library. It is only augmented by real strings, here and there. 

The arrangement has a somewhat special structure. The verses are built on a descending chromatic chord structure. At the same time, each sequence challenges this by ascending one half step through the song. 

This made the song quite good for practicing "fingering and intonation techniques" on fretless instruments like strings. (Something I painfully experienced when proofing the arrangement, and while recording the string sections)

It is also excellent at making a "string-racket" at the end of the song.

The song is a 5 minute crescendo. Building up from the first bar until the last, without accelerating in tempo (which was also experimented with extensively).

But it started out, and still is, an electronic production at heart (besides the violins, cellos, upright basses and two electric guitars, that is :0 )

 

 

 

 

Show me your best smiling cellist picture in the comment field. 

Show me your best smiling cellist picture in the comment field. 

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