No One Lives Forever

October 31, 2009 2:07 AM

On this Day of the Dead, I bring you this festive reminder: no matter where you run, no matter where you hide, the Grim Reaper will catch you. He'll also catch your cat, he'll catch your dog, he'll catch your goldfish; he's gonna get us all.

This is the biggest project I've undertaken, to date. I've put an average of 2-4 hours per night, every night for the month of October into arranging, sequencing, recording, and mixing this monstrosity (including 6 tonight to finish it). I hope you appreciate it, I think it's some of my finest work. The original is by Oingo Boingo, from their (Halloween Weekend) 1985 album Dead Man's Party.

Recorded in the Rotatable Tremulant Studio (aka man vs sun's living/dining room)


Timbill: Arranging, Vocals, Drum Sequencing (Fruity Loops), and Piano Sequencing (Fruity Loops)
Tréteque: Baritone Sax, Tenor Sax, Assorted Miscellaneous Shouts
Pheatherwäit: Flute
Maĵor Tom: Viola

posted by askmeaboutLOOM (5 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

Wonderful! You've outdone yourself. This is most impressive, really. Excellent use of the dannyelfman tag, too!

I have but one critique: vocals (here and there) could be a bit hotter. But, again, this is very well done, and you've every right to be proud of it!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:15 AM on October 31, 2009

Beast yeti! Well done!
posted by abc123xyzinfinity at 10:44 PM on October 31, 2009

Thanks very much for the positive feedback, both of you. Flaps, I can see the argument for hotter vocals in a couple of places, and I fought with myself over it quite a bit. In the end, I decided to go with a balance between them and the "horn" section because I wanted the arrangement to really speak through. I think the panning on the instruments helped make it so I could have them all speaking clearly without one thing or another overpowering the whole mix.

This was a lot of fun to work on, and I think we all enjoyed the recording process. I'm sure I was a bit of a slave driver on some of the recording sessions, always wanting one more take, just so I would have plenty of redundancy to cherry pick each note or phrase to match what I heard in my head when I did the arrangement.

I also didn't want to use any guitars in this at all, or any synth, apart from the piano and sampled drums. In doing so, I'd like to think I created some more interesting textures, in putting the instruments all in places they wouldn't normally play (e.g. the little pyramid melodic figure in each verse, the constant dichotomy in the bari sax from the pedal notes to more moving bits, the hammered pizzicato, and of course the brilliantly executed solos).

I have more to ramble on about with this, but it's already beyond the tl;dr.
posted by askmeaboutLOOM at 11:27 PM on October 31, 2009

Quite, quite splendid LOOM - I agree with all the superlatives above! Also agree with Flapjax that the vocals need to be further forward in the mix - not a huge amount, but they're just slightly too far back for comfort. I think you've kind of hit your stride here - found your niche. You've been moving towards this for a while now, but this has really taken things to another level. It's genuinely pleasing to hear someone developing in this way.

Sounds like something from musical theatre - you should see what else you can come up with along these lines.......some kind of Brechtian existential piece in three or four parts. Pretentious? Moi??
posted by MajorDundee at 1:37 PM on November 1, 2009

you should see what else you can come up with along these lines.......some kind of Brechtian existential piece in three or four parts.

Actually, I would love to do something like that. The problem is, though, that I don't think well in notes (I can't really write songs, as it were); I think in textures (which is why arrangements, orchestrations, and production come so easily to me). Maybe if you came up with some basework, I could flesh it out, but otherwise, unless an improv just kind of turns out that way, it's not likely.
posted by askmeaboutLOOM at 11:36 PM on November 1, 2009

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