Apfel Augen

October 10, 2008 7:37 PM

This is an instrumental, and the "biggest" song I've ever tried to record. It has some really nice vocals by Leah Wilmoth (who sang in my last upload), and a CACGBC tuned guitar. Also a banjolele. I haven't heard it on speakers, yet. I would love to hear any thoughts on this piece.

This got up to more than a dozen tracks on GarageBand, which is pretty new territory for me. Thus it has some fuzzy parts, and my general lack of rhythm makes for some funkiness, but overall I like it. It's something like 6 minutes long, but hopefully it doesn't get too boring.

Since it was at so many tracks already, I decided to not even mess with percussion. Anyone is welcome to try, if they'd like. I'd love to hear it. Or to add anything else, that's cool too.

posted by Corduroy (17 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

Holy shit, Corduroy, this is great. Really, really great. It sounds... majestic in parts. Like a foggy day in the woods. I really like the cuts in time signature. Man, I'd say it doesn't need a lot of anything else. I mean, you could go the orchestral route and have some trumpets and timpanis, but that runs the risk of killing the initial beauty of all of this.

I think the expansion of some of your ideas into a longer piece has worked out well.
posted by sleepy pete at 11:22 AM on October 11, 2008

sleepy pete urged me to listen to this right away and I'm glad he did. We've both always loved your songs but this has a level of confidence, sophistication, and richness that is new and really breathtaking. I love your playing, the quality of recording, those wandering wordless vocals (well done, Leah!), the rhythmic complexity and changes (even sans percussion), and the general atmosphere you've created. I'm so excited and happy to hear all the new things you're doing and to look forward to where you're going.

I've never done this in my entire internet life but I'm doing it now:

posted by melissa may at 12:00 PM on October 11, 2008

I completely agree with sleepy pete and melissa may. Everything in this song sounds perfect, and the way you are strumming makes up for the lack of percussion. It never feels flat or boring.

I also agree with sleepy pete that this doesn't need a lot of anything else. The whole piece is so suggestive, that I think most of the things that could be added to it, somehow are already there. It is easy to think of timpanies and cymbals. Pizzicato strings, cellos, the whole deal. That, I think, is the beauty of it. It inevitably "plays" along with the listener's head and it ends up suggesting to the listener a lot of the things that could be added, only that if they were actually there, there wouldn't be much room for the listener's head to take it in any other direction. It's highly "musical" while being subtle, and that is a great quality.
posted by micayetoca at 2:34 PM on October 11, 2008

micayetoca gets five white doves for actually explaining what I meant. Get out of my mind! Also, I have stuff to do today and I can't do it because it involves computers and I keep coming back to this wonderful song.

Thanks a lot for posting it, Corduroy. It's beautiful.
posted by sleepy pete at 3:38 PM on October 11, 2008

Woah, thanks for all the really nice words! I'm glad that you all think this is a step forward from my usual two-minutes-or-less and three-chords-or-less stuff. I'm always super thankful for all the supportive people on here.

Thanks for listening.
posted by Corduroy at 5:11 PM on October 12, 2008

Also, what does ((((***))))) mean?
posted by Corduroy at 8:44 PM on October 12, 2008

Also, what does ((((***))))) mean?

It is internet for "hugs" or "huuuuuuuuugs." The parentheses are symbolic of arms so by placing your name inside them it is as if I am hugging you. The more restrained version of that is a single set of parentheses. Many parentheses indicate extra helpings of support or so much love that you temporarily develop an aspect of Shiva until you could almost crush the very life out of someone with your many arms of love.

It is wildly popular among the mom/grandmom demographic. Also if your cat has a problem that you research on a cat forum and you are understandably upset about it, you will probably get the ((()))) treatment, which is nice when you are stressed out about your cat.

Also, for future reference, * is often used as a graphic representation of a human anus, so in internet you just hugged three buttholes. So as you see this sort of thing can surprisingly be kind of a minefield which is why I've avoided it till now, but it seemed like a special occasion.
posted by melissa may at 3:00 PM on October 13, 2008 [3 favorites]

It's been said above already, so I'm basically me-tooing here, but there's a gorgeous sort of epic organic awesome in this song and I, too, really like it.

Unabashed criticism: there's some timing elements, in the late-middle portion, where some of the strumming felt a subtle bit off at times; a hypothetical perfect version of this would clean that up, in my mind, but considering how OCD I can be about timing in recordings sometimes (and how much I wince at variations in same in my own), it's worth noting that I initially noticed this and then completely stopped caring at all about whether or not it was there. So, heh.

I have a neurophysiological disorder that prevents me from doing the parenthetical hug thing, or else I'd join in.
posted by cortex at 3:26 PM on October 13, 2008

melissa may: thanks for the physically crushing but emotionally uplifting hugs, and the internet anus warning.

cortex: it bothered me, too, when I noticed some of the off timings. But I can't rerecord it now because the girl who sang is gone. I can't understand how everyone I listen to (besides Daniel Johnston) seem to have such good rhythm and timing. A little bothering; I have to work on that. Maybe I should take some drum lessons.

I'm curious about thoughts on the ending, if anyone has any.
posted by Corduroy at 12:27 AM on October 14, 2008

This is really incredibly good; like others have said, the richness and atmosphere really suggest a lot, but the simplicity leaves those spaces to be filled in by the listener, and that's exactly as it should be (opinion, not fact, void where prohibited by law, do not take orally, and so on).
posted by VeritableSaintOfBrevity at 5:31 PM on October 14, 2008

Wow. This is me standing, applauding and wiping away a little tear. Beautiful!
posted by snsranch at 4:50 PM on October 15, 2008

I've never heard a song better capture the infinite horizons and hopeful uncertainty of realizing you've been freed from high school forever.
posted by umbĂș at 12:55 PM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]



Actually, what micayetoca said. And pretty much what everyone else said, too. This is really fine, Corduroy. You should be very proud of this musical accomplishment. It's beautiful.

Maybe I should take some drum lessons.

I think drum lessons (either drum set, or some kind of hand drum like conga or djembe) are a good idea for any musician.

I'm curious about thoughts on the ending, if anyone has any.

If I was producing this song with you, I'd suggest you cut about 10 seconds or so out of that last solo guitar bit. It strikes me as perhaps a bit overlong, in terms of its relationship to the music that preceded it.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:08 PM on October 17, 2008

On second listen, I'd say more like 20 seconds. Tighten it up into a more succinct statement for the ending there.

I know many will disagree, though.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:13 PM on October 17, 2008

How did I miss this? I miss a lot of stuff on the weekends, I think. This is a really pretty song. Plus, banjolele!

It's a bit overlong (I agree with flapjax that the coda is a bit much; the rest of the song is driving and moving and taking you someplace, and the ending doesn't so much slow down as come to a complete stop and then move and then slow down and then move and then stop again), but I really like it. I'm big on texture, and I like the texture here.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:39 AM on October 22, 2008

Okay, today I went in and split it up into two songs, so that the end bleeds into a new song called 'Chipmunk Cheeks'.
posted by Corduroy at 4:09 PM on December 4, 2008

((((the internet anus warning))))
posted by nitsuj at 9:53 PM on April 10, 2009

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