This little tune of just a few seconds goes to show:
a) Children can also play music (my son is on electronic organ and analog delay) with great wit and understanding
b) Having passed the dark tune “Verfallenes Licht”, we find ourselves in a spacecraft in the middle of nowhere. None of the instruments aboard is working any more, and we have to admit there is nothing we can do now except wait for help. And curse the interference that keeps us from knowing where we are…
red faces devoured by the night
shattered laughs in the vine
and glowing melancholy
spirit torture! a stone falls silent
blue voice of an angel in the sleeper’s ear
This an abridged translation of a poem without title from Georg Trakl, an Austrian poet of the Expressionism Era. At a certain point in working with the music of this tune, the need for some spoken lyrics appeared, and by intuition I took out this book of poems. In my younger days I would read Georg Trakl every year in the season of fall, but this time it was neither fall nor did I feel the need for some more melancholic or dark and dreary feelings. This time the overall surreal atmosphere of the music required such a poem…
The instrumentation is different in this tune, with the first obvious appearance of violin along with mandolin, xylophone and dark vocals without words. Then suddenly you know something will happen, and there is this spoken poem above, embedded in shivering sounds to make your blood run cold. Strangely enough, the meter is 4/4 this time!
Somehow this sounds like a fiddle tune minus a fiddle. It’s my Les Paul Special. Added jaw harp, triangle and some more guitars contribute to a funny feeling of exuberance, growing towards the end. A sudden break lets you fall into a repetition loop, and then fade out.
Although less than perfect, I like this tune in particular for its ending, where we are getting lost.
Do we still reside on top of a mountain? Have we found the way down in daylight?
“Who rides there so late through the night dark and drear?”
That’s from Goethe’s famous poem, which came to my mind when listening to this. Now that we’ve reached the mountain top, it has become dark and windy, and there’s no way to climb down now. So what shall we do?
This is one of the songs in 6/4 measure. I always do riffs in 6/4 unintentionally – it seems to be my natural measure… The wind sound is created by a pink noise generator through a wah wah pedal. I recorded the basic track with my ’80s Tobias four string bass. Solo guitar is a Les Paul Special, and my wife added three layers of recorder at the end. (Originally this was called “Afro Bass” when there was only a rhythm track with lots of percussion.)
Sleep well, and don’t let the strange sounds of the night disturb you…
Steve from England has sent me yet another keyboard track with cymbals, named “dark”. This was one I felt challenged by. In order to surprise him (or maybe myself or you), I added things with no apparent connection to the original track. I wanted it to sound even darker than it was before. This is the first time I tried to record a wall of power chords plus bass in a unison. Although there have been level problems due to so many different instruments, I think the track conveys the original idea.
Thanks again to Steve, who’s track I found inspiring. So inspiring I apparently couldn’t stop playing, and had to add a coda. Stay with the track after the keyboard has ceased – it reminds me of my experimental teenage days, when me and some friends recorded music improvised on self-made instruments. In some respect, it was pure noise, but it had a dense atmosphere… Sadly, I lost the tapes, so I take this ending for a substitute.
All in all, “Darker” may not be everyone’s favorite, but it even contains traces of melodies…
guitar & gear: Epiphone Les Paul Custom (while putting on new strings…), Vox AC 15 Heritage, Tube Reverb
illustration by my son
guitar & gear: Epiphone Les Paul Custom, Vox AC 50, Cry Baby Classic Wah, Tube Reverb
So this is the last installment of a trilogy my son illustrated so wonderfully.
This time he even accepted to give it a second try, and it was worth it, as you see. Of course I wouldn’t part with an illustrator like him, and there is more to come. For example I will have a hard time soon, trying to compose some dragon’s music.
Thank you for your kind comments on our collaboration!
guitar & gear: Fender Jaguar, Fender Tweed Champ, Roland Space Echo
Don’t be afraid, this time robot had a unpleasant dream (you can tell by the dark cloud in his thought bulb), but he is rescued and there is a happy ending!
He was sleeping in his iron bed, being recharged through several wires, when it happened. His friend who obviously heard noises from robot’s bedroom, opened the door to ask what was going on there – and so robot learned it had only been a bad dream. After hugging each other with some heart-felt robot hugs (bang!) they went to bed with relief, sleeping tight until the next morning.
Last post of this trilogy will be: “Robot’s Love Song”, coming soon.
guitar & gear: Fender Jaguar, Fender Tweed Champ, Roland Space Echo, Cry Baby Classic Wah (fixed)
While listening, stick to it after 1:20! The real mystery only begins there. Guess what it is you’re looking at?
guitar & gear: Fender Jaguar, Fender Tweed Champ, Cry Baby Classic Wah (fixed), Roland Space Echo
mikes: Electro Voice RE-20, Neumann KMS 105