Sunday, 27 October 2019

New song: A Century Flies By

I'm slowly inching closer to finishing my album and today I have tangible proof of this: a new song is finished! This one is called A Century Flies By and, as the title suggests, it's an intermezzo on my album in between two time periods. This one brings the story from the middle of the 20th century to the 21st century.



The violin in this song was played by Mijnke van der Drift and the drums were played by John Maasakkers. I already knew that instruments like violin and my own cello need to be real, but now that I've worked with real drums on one of my songs I also know that computer drums are just unacceptable in comparison. Or at least, they are when I make them: making computer instruments sound natural and good is an art in itself and it's not one I've mastered or want to put the time in to master. I'd much rather work with real musicians and instruments. Mijnke and John did a great job and I thank them for their contributions. I expect you'll hear both of them in more of my songs later on.

Sheet music for cello and violin can be found at music.joostvandongen.com. This also includes recordings of the song without the cello, without the violin and without both, to play along to. If anyone ever happens to play one of my songs, then I'd love to hear from them as that would be really awesome!

This song is the brother of my previous one: A Century Sails By. I really liked that one and wanted to extend it into a longer song. Thus today's new song started out as the second half of A Century Sails By. However, I just couldn't get the two halves to feel like one song. Around the time when I was stuck on how to make both halves gel with each other I happened to listen to Arena's awesome album Songs From The Lion's Cage. In between the longer songs on this album there are shorter ones called Crying For Help 1 to 4. I really like this idea of having intermezzos on an album that are linked to each other and figured I could do something similar here. So I split the two halves of A Century Sails By and made them separate short Songs on the album.

Since they're so strongly tied to each other, here's A Century Sails By again for comparison:



Only two more songs left to finish for the album, and then a lot of work around making it a real album instead of just a list of songs. Things that still need doing include final mixing and mastering, the cover, making a little booklet and maybe hiring a narrator for the story bits. The two final songs that I still need to finish are among the most ambitious of the album and they have nice long names, so I figured I'd end today's post with a little teaser in the form of their titles:

  • Then the Halls Were Empty... and I Turned It On!
  • Approach of the Derelict Research Station

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