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Yin & Yang

This is two of the earliest songs I'm going to release in this project.
They were made before I started any of the bands I'm talking about in this blog.  Probably needless to say, it was at a time when I was studying classical guitar. Which I did for 7 years. 
I think I was a pain for the teacher.

I always wanted to do things my own way, instead of the traditional classical style. I invented my own techniques that I used to play the classical pieces I was given, in order to prove that it was more versatile and a better solution. 
In many ways I was wrong, as the songs were 100 times simpler to play with the tried and true traditional technique.  But I kept at it for hours and hours, years and years, the journey was the most important thing, and I still like to make things "difficult" for me  in many ways, it expands the palette, and sharpens your perception.  Which I think is the most important thing, for any artist.

My attitude also prefer to use power over logistics in a song, as some kind of rebellion. I want to conquer the song in all ways possible. Though I must admit that I use crazy amounts of time analyzing all ways to play a song. In the end expression always wins. But that's rarely the simplest way. 

With "Yin" for instance, I arranged and played it in five very different techniques. Which is quite common with "rehearsal pieces" especially those for bowed instruments. 

Legato, staccato, with or without pick, polyphonic legato. 
I originally recorded it faster, but it just sounded crazy with vocals. 
Then I recorded it slower, and it felt too slow for guitar. 

I also recorded it with classical guitar, 3 steel string acoustics with heavy medium and light strings, all in ambient and dry rooms, at 3 different tempos and with (the above) 5 different techniques. 

As the song should be free-time at around 180bpm I ended up playing to a beat (170bpm) in order to compare easily all versions with the same vocals, that way I could decide on which one I liked best. 
(I really wanted the guitar "staccato" style, but it didn't work well with vocals) 

I never planned to release any of these type of songs when I made them, as I found it far too taboo to play anything technical like this. So they were just songs that I invented out of boredom and I never took them seriously. In the end nothing is serious, it's just creativity, so why not release it?


They are heavily inspired by piano sonatas and etudes, which I loved to analyze and play at the time. I actually prefer them over most guitar pieces, as I find them more interesting and less limiting. Most guitar pieces I've found, seem to be composed in an oversimplified way, with too little thought around true polyphony, note-release expression etc. I think this is because a classical composer would easily be accused with having "too little experience" with the guitar, if his compositions for the instrument was too radical. This is not so in the piano world, and the guitar has so many ways you can approach tone, much more than notes on the actual instrument.  The same can be said for compositions for cello and violin. Much more expressive usually, and more interesting material in general. 

Obviously, where there's a "Yin" there's a "Yang" 
And both are extremes, you cannot describe one without the other. 
Make sure to listen to them both together for the whole picture. 

I can say that they're both made to be pretty extreme in most ways, lyrical, melodic, even slightly uncomfortable in their own ways. 
Which was hard to live with, as a producer, but I think I succeeded, as I know they are a bit uncomfortable to me. 

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