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Seasonalities

The Ghost of Christmas Pluperfect Subjunctive

December 29, 2009 10:55 PM

A Post-Christmas song for you, featuring autoharp, marimba, and some other things. Thanks to orthogonality for helping with the name!

Most of the time I try to mix things so that you can hear everything distinctly -- so that you can tell what each instrument is and what it's doing. Recently, though, I've been into mixing everything into a mush (not really a "wall") of sound. In this song, for instance, there are a few things that are hard to pick out if you don't know they're there.

There's two autoharp tracks, one flanged and one thrumming steady quarter-notes on the bass strings. There's marimba, of course, along with some other percussion, including a Kinder egg shell filled with rice, (briefly) sleigh bells, and a match being lit.

There's the Mopho synth, some Micron organ, and, on the chorus, my "new" Piano Mandolette, which stays in tune for minutes at a time. Oh, and a harmonica!

Enjoy.

posted by Karlos the Jackal (6 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Words:

Hello, January. It’s been almost a year since you left and I stayed here.
Oh, January. Season’s greetings, I suppose, although by now I’ve had enough of those.
Because the lights have all come down, and the trees have all turned brown, and if you were still around, we would have had a merry Christmas by now.

Last February, it seemed like yesterday that you packed your stuff and walked away.
By December I was still picking up pieces one by one; maybe this time next year I’ll be done.
The lights have all come down, and the trees have all turned brown, and if you were still around, we would have had a merry Christmas by now.

posted by Karlos the Jackal at 10:59 PM on December 29, 2009


This is cool. I was lulled into a false sense of mono that was really shocked by the super-wide "ba ba ba"s. Which was neat.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:34 AM on December 30, 2009


Great.
Is the piano mandolette the dulcimer kind of thing? Fucking awesome.
I'm so jealous of your collection.
Can I come over and play?
posted by chococat at 7:50 PM on December 30, 2009


Is the piano mandolette the dulcimer kind of thing?

Yeah, it's the trill-y thing in the chorus. The "mandolette" part of the name is because it's supposed to sound like a mandolin.

Can I come over and play?

Dude, seriously, if you're ever in the Vancouver/Seattle area, let me know. I've got plenty of zithers to go around.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 1:07 AM on January 3, 2010


No idea how I missed this. I really like this wall of sound thing you tried. I've also been trying to limit my panning. Those are some beautiful sounds. What is that sound that comes in at about 1:56? Perfect. There is something so sad and shiny about this, which is an effect hard to pull off.
posted by Corduroy at 8:07 PM on January 5, 2010


What is that sound that comes in at about 1:56?

Harmonica -- specifically, a Hohner Echo Harp. My friend Emily gave it to me after her dad passed away -- he had had several harmonicas. It was in rough shape and I cleaned it up and replaced the plates, and this is its public debut.

Thank you for the kind words -- "sad and shiny," I like that.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 4:25 AM on January 6, 2010


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