Secret Notebook

Well, hello everyone! New year, new post, new album! That's right, I'm taking a break from blogging about the musical to announce that the new Reclinerland album is out now on iTunes and Amazon MP3. I'm particularly excited about this release because it marks a couple of firsts for me.

In the first place, it's the first time I recorded an entire album by myself. I wrote the songs, played all the instruments, mixed, mastered, and released the entire project under my new digital "label" George Recordings. Secondly, it marks the first time I've ever used someone else's lyrics. The songs are based on a collection of short stories by my good friend, the very talented writer Kevin Sampsell. His memoir, A Common Pornography, was written way back in 2002. In 2007 or '08, I was sitting around my apartment in Portland one day reading it, and I just thought it would be really a nice challenge to take his words and make them into songs. So I started working on the album. Coincidentally, sometime during the making of the album, Kevin got a book deal to revamp his book and release it. So it's coming out this year, very soon. You should read it, it's brilliant.

If you've been following the blog, you may have read some previous posts about me working on the songs. If not, well, I'll tell you that it was an eye-opening process. To take someone else's prose and adapt it to verse was a challenge. Some of the lyrics I had to chop up, but others I could just glean right off the page. It's a testament to Kevin's skill as a writer that most of the stories organized themselves naturally into musical structure.

In keeping with the fact that Kevin's stories were short, I kept most of the songs down to under 3 minutes. My mission throughout the collection was to boil each song down to it's most catchy, most repeatable elements and only keep the ideas that were the most melodic, the most hummable. In that sense, this is a collection of songs with only choruses and no verses. I cut out all extraneous ideas from every song. Just like a writer would do: no extra words. No fluff. Just the basic elements. I approached this album like a writer. Simple wins!

In other news, the musical is going great. Only three more songs to record and I'll have the demo finished. Then I'm going to put together a couple of staged readings. I'll be out in Portland, Oregon this summer, before I move to Germany, and I'll probably stage a reading out there. So more news about that later. Okay. Back to work! More later!

Happy New Year!