Thursday, September 3, 2015
I've been working since January on getting songs I've been writing since the '80's ready to release as actual SONGS, complete with lyrics and music. I've made huge strides, from basically having no idea how to arrange and record a song to just having released my first song for your listening enjoyment. I started writing songs at a period in my life when I had a lot of feelings and emotion to express and few outlets for them. I had been a music lover for most of my life, and at this same period, bought my first electric guitar. The salesman called it a "Korean copy of a Japanese imitation Les Paul." It was black with white binding, with a rosewood fretboard and one abalone hummingbird inlaid in the headstock. I played it for almost two years before the neck twisted so badly I couldn't play the first and second strings. I'm sorry I don't have a picture of it—only fond memories. Since then, my house has been completely taken over by Fenders, but that's a story for later.
I wrote many dozens of songs, most of which were dreck, but enough decent ones that I was able to use them to become a passable novice player, and a couple of them were good enough that I do plan to release them in the next year or two.
Donut Brain was a lyric I had written in 2013, when I was still recovering from taking statins for five and a half years, and was seriously lamenting how much of my short-term memory I had lost in those years. It didn't have any music until this summer, though, when Apple had released a new version of its Garageband program with (I think it said) a hundred new synthesizer patches, and a truly astonishing amount of programming controls for musicians and composers. As soon as I started exploring them I decided I had to make a song with them! Right then! I picked Donut Brain from my lyric bin, and the song came together quickly.
But I do have some serious Thank-you's to hand out. First to Patrick Baird, author of The Garageband Guide, who patiently answered my first idiot questions—the ones I was too embarrassed to ask Apple—and helped me get going in Garageband. There's definitely a learning curve with it, and it was really encouraging to find someone I could go to with the lamest of questions. Second, I owe tremendous thanks to Milt Ritter, whom some of you may know as a videographer (check out his timely documentary, The Green Blues), but who is also a lifelong and accomplished musician and composer, who mentored my first efforts at serious arranging and recording. I also want to thank his wife Chris, for putting up with the endless requests for advice and feedback. Without their help and support, Donut Brain would not be good enough to ignore, let alone put up on Soundcloud.
I would really appreciate your giving it a listen, and please leave a review if you are so inclined, and if you know someone who would get a laugh out of it, please share with them. In the next day or two I'll put up a music player on this blog, in the meantime, just follow this link and click the play button: Donut Brain .
And if you're an aspiring songwriter or musician, trust me—if I can do it, you can do it. Go for it!