Monday, October 10, 2005

Dawn of the Slacker

Well I woke up this morning... (blues riff here)

That's it, really. Jeez, such a clever opening and... nuthin'. What a rip off!

Came upstairs to find everything tinted the color of orange sherbet. Still a bit groggy, of course - could be my eyes going wonky after years of sitting too close to the television and 8 years in the videogame industry, staring at color pallettes on a CRT monitor. Let Wiley out of his kennel and took him to the back door to let him out for his morning business. Opened the door to the most beautiful sunrise EVAR. Beautiful pink and orange clouds strewn across a light blue sky, sun just coming up, front-lighting the autumn trees. It was like a freakin' Bob Ross painting ("Here's a happy little cloud right here...").

It occurs to me I haven't posted in over a week, but it's not due to disinterest, just to a generally busy state of being. Been working on Arrowflight 2nd Edition, the Ordinary Angels screenplay, and finishing up some music.

On that front, the master for Impetus - Triskelle just went out, due to some last minute tweaking and the addition of the final track. The piece just poured out of me one afternoon as I was writing the very sparse dialogue in a scene from Ordinary Angels where a terminally ill woman is dying in her husband's arms and Cadmiel, one of the angel characters, leans in to whisper in the woman's ear, which begins the active dying process. As you can imagine, it's kind of a strong scene, and very close to home. But this beautiful acoustic guitar riff came to me and I assembled the track in about 3 hours. Called it Whispered the Angel, and knew it had to go on Triskelle. The following morning, I put it behind a 4-minute montage of photos and video clips from Sam's life. Easier to send friends in a chat window than a 30-minute DVD. And even a bit more powerful - the fact that it's Samantha's life condensed into 4 minutes.

Went to lunch again with LA, had a good time, showed her both Sam's and my dad's memorial DVDs. What a trooper. Took my folks to the airport - they're having a great time visiting old friends in England, going to Paris for a bit too.

This last Saturday I took Muriel over to Brian Chase's studio to meet him and get her comfortable in the studio setting. She's singing several of the songs that are going on the And Tears Fell tribute CD. The simple introduction turned into her actually singing some placeholder vocals on two songs, which now allows Brian and I (and other musicians) to layer in more instrumentation. All the time I was sitting there listening to Muriel's amazing voice and wondering "does Sam approve of this?", because while Muriel has a really great voice, it's so very much NOT Sam, and our sound was really defined to a great extent by Sam's voice.

But I remembered this is a tribute to Sam, not us trying to re-create her vocal style. Muriel had known Sam since she was 14 and Sam was 30. They had a big sister/little sister thing going on. This is done with the best of loving intent, and yes, Sam would approve. Besides, my guitar work is better now than it was back in the day, and we're no longer restricted to lo-fi analog recording equipment and limiting media like TAPE. Muriel's vocals sound like an unholy crossbreeding of Natalie Merchant and Johnette Napolitano - really haunting. I guess to compare, Sam's voice had more of a classical-to-pop quality, and Muriel's is more jazzy/bluesy.

It's all good.

Sunday we drove the new rig up to Bellingham for a nice afternoon visit with my grandparents. I'm very lucky to have my mom's folks still here, sharp as tacks and in possession of their own teeth. My grandfather turns 89 next month. There's a ton of family history being written down now, thank heavens.

Came home, threw together dinner, and riffed on some CD cover art for the And Tears Fell project. Settled on the idea of featuring a rose photo that Samantha took on Vancouver Island in 1986 when we drove up to the World Expo. The rest is about a dozen layers of texture to create a kind of 23 Envelope vibe. I was a big fan of their album cover design work for 4AD Records; it was a big inspiration for Samantha & I in our music.

So that's where it sits now. Tune in again later. Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel!

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