Regarding the IHML, Vol. 2, part 100

Happiness. Lily and I are finally slipping into summertime. She whiles away the time squawking and mewling at birds on the powerlines outside the window and I knock out songs. I don't think she minds my singing to myself around the apartment, although she gets a little nervous when the tape recorder makes whirring, squeaking noises. She's abandoned striding across the keys while I'm practicing, now she just lays on the upper end of the keyboard and blinks at me. But what is this, a blog about my cat? No, friends, this is about the WORK.

Up On The Orange Moon is almost finished. It took a while, but that's how it works sometimes. Some songs take a day, others take a month. I've been very productive thanks to this blog. I'll hopefully have the lyrics finished by the weekend at which time I'll put them up. Thanks very much to the person whose post name is "moxiegrl" for pointing me toward the short story The Yellow Wallpaper. I'm indebted to her. The song ended up being about a creative, dynamic woman who is deemed insane by her overbearing husband. He sends her away to an institution to cure her. Unfortunately, like in the story, being locked up makes her actually go insane. I like that the story has a feminist slant. I suppose I'm into feminist themes (see the manequin in Long Island City Love Song, or the singing vagina in One Of Those Nights from the first IHML). Anyway, in the beginning of UotOM, the imagery of the lyric is really flowery and romantic, but by the end it gradually becomes more disturbing. So does the music.

It's difficult to describe the music portion of the song in words without getting too technical, but in the introduction of the song there's a lilting, but sad, piano melody that's played fast and soft, accompanied by little harp-like figures. It's all very tender and sweet, going back and forth between Eb and G. Halfway through, a variation of the main vocal melody appears over the same accompaniment pattern. This moves into a little interlude, and by the time the verse begins, the texture has become really romantic, with thick chords, big octaves in both hands and moving inner voices. My model for the music was Schumann's Kreisleriana (I'm not sure if that's the right spelling). I haven't filled in the middle of the song yet; that is, the chorus, where the main melody happens. It's rare that I write a song from front to back. Usually I work on sections at a time and then work on joining them together with transitional sections. In this case, since I knew I wanted the song to begin and end in a similar way, I wrote the ends of the song first, and worked toward the middle. At the end, the introduction music comes back, only it's creepier, less consonant. It still has the same melody, but the harmony is based on seconds. I'm getting a bit technical here, so I'll stop there.

In between working on this song, I've been recording demos of pop songs for our band Parks & Recreation to give to the others while we're on hiatus, so they can start thinking about ideas. Yesterday and the day before I recorded rough versions of two new songs. I played all the instruments, recording and mixing them in Garage Band. I was inspired to do this by my friend Jason, who has been working on some of his own songs on his computer in our rehearsal space. He played a song he'd done for me that sounded really good and I got a bug, I guess. What struck me most about Jason's song was his excellent and tender harmony vocals.
I've never been very good at vocal harmonies. But I tried my hand at them in my demos, and am quite pleased with the results. Luckily, I've been also playing with Dave Depper in Blanket Music, who is excellent at backing vocals.

I hope to get this song done at least by the weekend so I can spend my time reading You-Know-What like the rest of the WORLD, apparently.

As always, more later.