Take the Picture

November 10, 2008 10:43 PM

I tend to take a lot of pictures. I found out early on in my photo-taking tenure that the more pictures I took, the more likely that some of them would come out nicely. Of course, I’m always the one behind the camera. As a parent, I also have wondered just how much of the time I spend with my kids they will remember (if any). My father recently asked me if I remembered how we used to watch Star Trek together. I honestly couldn’t remember. He was crushed. It occurred to me that many years down the road when my kids look at our family pictures they won’t see me in any of them because I was the one behind the camera. Something tells me that this detail will be lost on them as they repeat the cycle and tell me they don’t remember me being there. ;)

For some reason I decided that I wanted to use a string quartet in one of my songs. I’ve never composed music for a string quartet, and I’m not even sure that I’m qualified to write the little pop songs that I do write. That hasn’t stopped me yet, so string quartets watch out! Needless to say my first rendition used all the built in strings my software had to offer. And while I am no snob when it comes to electronic instruments, they just didn’t have the kind of sound I was looking for. In search of something more personal I was lucky to find to musicians who were willing to help me. Nathan, my daughter’s cello teacher supplied the cello for this song, and my pal Jenny played the violin. Between them I think they did an awesome job resembling a string quartet. If you like the song, they deserve the credit. If you don’t, blame me.

Take the Picture by Sugar Fix

posted by hillelc (5 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Every time you post a new song I get the same reaction. I can't believe how round and well done they are. It's not a style of music that I listen to, but I always feel that your songs are so well crafted that I have to compliment you on it. So perhaps you'll remind as the guy who is always coming to your posts to say the same thing, but that in turn could be used as a compliment to you, because it means your song are consistently well crafted.

I feel like this sort of songs would create an instant following. What reaction do you get elsewhere?
posted by micayetoca at 11:30 AM on November 11, 2008

Well... first let me say I really appreciate the feedback. Even when it's not as glowing, I find the comments here on mefi super enjoyable and instructive. I'm basically releasing my music out into the vacuum of the web and i don't get much reaction other than from family and friends.

As for your question, I really haven't had a huge reaction. I did a couple of songs in partnership with the marginal revolution blog and one of them got a lot of listens, but I won't say I got much stickiness there. There's not really a regular following or anything.

I abandoned my rock star dreams awhile ago (even my internet rock star dreams), but it would be nice to have a regular group of folks who appreciated my music. It would certainly help keep me disciplined about producing more of it more consistently. I have a feeling it would also push me even more than I already push myself to improve the songs. I guess the main reaction I've gotten to the music is silence. ;)

Again, thanks. And if you have suggestions on how to get the word out about my stuff, I'm all ears. :)
posted by hillelc at 2:08 PM on November 11, 2008

Wow, this is really cool. String quartet! So are Nathan and Jenny doubling parts, or are they playing on top of synth parts (which I've heard is a good way to do it)?

This subject matter is something I've never heard before in a song. That doesn't happen very often, huh? Kudos!

Oh, man, the harmonies that start around 2:15 are really neat.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 2:26 AM on November 12, 2008

Thanks... for the nice words.

Jenny is doubling parts, but I also mixed with a modicum of the artificial violins to fatten up the sound. This was my deficiency in not effectively recording as warm a sound as Jenny was playing. But, the live instruments definitely humanized the strings from my perspective relative to their all-digital sound.
posted by hillelc at 6:23 AM on November 12, 2008

Good stuff, it's got a nice fun feel
posted by BrnP84 at 1:00 PM on November 12, 2008

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