I just felt like putting this up tonight.
It’s a fine Summer night. Is it the end of Summer? That’s what I hear. Me and Cinco are tending to the empty home while the rest of the pack is off at FYF Fest. Slowdive is playing. Hmm. I wish I was there. It was sold out.
I’ve mostly finished up on a big buffet of music I’m going to serve up in the near future. I’m happy with the work done and mostly the feeling of the songs.
Los Angeles for me: still and ever just past my fingertips somehow. It’s there, I push at it, brush it aside like curtains. But I have yet to pass through.
It’s a good city after all, and there are just so many surfaces you could attach your mirrors to here. Everyone is beautiful and larger than life, even if just in their own minds.
There aren’t country lanes, nature revery is rare, and the general balance leans one way and then the next, undecided. It’s menacing and inviting at once.
Blah blah poetic yada yada. Meaning: I’m here, making music in my dear studio with my dear cellos and my dear thoughts and I’m not on that damn stage at this damn point in this damn city.
That’s my check in.
Hope this version of this song fits with your time and place.
Here’s the second part of the album I made for making things to. Make whatever you want! Again what we want is ambience and a lack of drama, without aspiring to New Age.
I had a friend who had a ranch out in the hidden part of Mendocino County, and one of our past-times during an amazing Summer visit there became “rock-hopping”, where you hop down a mostly dried up creek bed, ideally reaching a state where you don’t think between leaps. For some reason this song reminded me of that.
to give you a minute of cellos intertwined
I think I’ll use these as interludes on the coming album.
Came across this early version of “You Can Get Far” (video from the album REDWOOD SUMMER here).
And it reminded me of when I recorded it, at Canyonlands National Park, sitting up on a cliff’s edge. As you can hear not a lot is different in the studio version, just perhaps a nicer mic and the absence of the sounds of rocks scraping underneath my shifting weight. And the view I had was incredible.
Here’s an early version of a song I’m working on.
Last week, for Christmas I got both a new guitar and a ukelele. I was ecstatic. And immediately tried recording with them. It was nice, I was out in a little ‘casita’ a two room adobe house in the middle of some beautiful Northern California (where I’m from) vineyards. The inside was mostly tile so the sound in there was very bright and reverby.
This is what I’d call a ‘scratch’ version… The guitars are pretty good for now, though I might have to fix some issues. The vocals will be replaced. And I’d like to hear it with cello, which I’ll add soon, and maybe, just maybe some Nashville sounding drums. Good thing I know a drummer from Nashville I could call!
Lastly I may tweak the lyrics, especially the chorus, a little bit… I’m still trying to sort exactly what I’m trying to say there…
I suppose this is the first song of 2013 (kinda). Cheers to many more.
Thanks for listening…
This song is made famous by the lovely Skeeter Davis.
We made a version of it a while back, with vocals by the also lovely Katy Unger.
Here’s an update from a song I posted a couple weeks ago. I added a cello solo in there. It was imperative to shred. I also added backup vocals toward the end. And hand claps. Always more hand claps. Also as always I prefer the original, what do you think?
I’ll let music do the talking for me.
The podcast was my main delivery about five years ago. Then facebook happened. The thing about facebook for me now, is that it feels WAY less personal than it somehow used to.
Also, I don’t need to share ALL my random songs with ANYONE who likes my facebook page. You, my friend, are here because you are (amazingly) dedicated and I appreciate that.
So we’re going to try to get the podcast back on its feet.
Here’s a new old song. I wrote the lyrics/melody quite a while ago, and stumbled across it in my lyric book, which happens when I’m playing little mini-concerts of old material.
It’s a bit rough, but I like the way it turned out. I’m thinking of adding a little more bowed cello, and perhaps more vocals at the end there…
As always, for those just joining us, I like to post random tracks up here on the blog. I like them to be unique, different, old, hidden, lost, remixed… basically, I like to dip into the vast pile of tape that gets left out when I complete albums.
The point is, and this important: The music I post here is intended to be special, for you, oh faithful readers, as you most likely have already bought the album (what’s that, you haven’t? Never fear, go to iTunes and do it right now)
Or make sure you explore my main site here: LukeJanela.net
I’m thinking that I’ll eventually need to put a disclaimer on all my blog music posts. I’ve been advised by music marketing gurus that the thing to do is to demand your email address out of you in exchange for a song. I’m not really there yet. Emails are fine but I’m thinking if you become a fan on Facebook that will be more better for all involved than emails. More voluntary you could say.
So here is an early version of Wrecking Ball Heart. Putting this up for my brother, who says he likes this song a lot, so you can hear the early incarnation. What you hear is simple and rough, more raw, than the version you’ll find on the album, here.
Hope you like… more soon…
I’ve been putting off basically everything working on some new music, so much new music in fact that I’m needing to break it down into its respective pieces.
This one is on an album I’m putting out that is basically electronic music meets cello. I’ve done that in the past, but the key with this one is that I more or less be able to play it live. Or some semblance of it. With looping that is possible!
So without saying much more, here is a new electrocello song. I’m likely to take it down soon, as I don’t want to spoil the fun, but love rewarding you my faithful readers…
Take care, enjoy…
I’m thinking of remixing all the tracks off of JUNEAUREVOIR, my all cello instrumental album, or having other electronic musicians give it a go. This song is my first foray into it.
For any purists out there, this track is not pure anymore!
Which leads me to a quick note about what I do. Currently I am making music across a broad range of genres, here is my quick summary:
1. Garage Rock With Cello, Punk-Folk Action (ala REDWOOD SUMMER)
2. Highly orchestrated dark electronic influenced with vocals, cello, beats and lots of other sounds (ala Midnight Door).
3. Cello instrumentals, kind of classically influenced, kind of not, it depends (ala JUNEAUREVOIR)
4. Dark dance electronic beats with cello, instrumental and mainly live at parties and whatnot. (Album on its way)
OK, so that’s out of the way, below is the track, enjoy, and thank you.
PS – Click here to listent to a sample of the original on iTunes
And obviously. This one, hard to believe, was very close to making it onto REDWOOD SUMMER. I like it. I was playing around polyrhythms, where you have different rhythmic times all stacked up on top of eachother. A lot of African music gets crazy with polyrhythms.
I used weird instruments on this one, one in particular called a ukelin. It’s this very odd looking beast, which mysteriously was given to me by my physics teacher in high school. I can’t even really explain why h would just give me such a gem, and why it was given to me by my physics teacher and not my music teacher, but I’m not complaining. It has like 300 strings. Ok, it has like 60 strings. I haven’t ever figured out how one is supposed to tune it, let alone play it.
The other instrument you hear is a mandolin. And frame drums. And weird lyrics (per usual).
It didn’t make it to REDWOOD SUMMER because it didn’t fit. The album is kind of all over the map emotionally as it is, I didn’t feel like “super whimsical” was what was needed to be added.
So yes, enjoy. Thank you for stopping by. And happy holidays. Oh yes, I forgot, that is the reason I went ahead and published this now. It could, in some parallel universe, or exotic country, or in your stereo perhaps be some type of holiday song somehow. It has the timber, I suppose.
Stardust Is Stardust
B sides are always around in my boxes. I have a lot of ideas that eventually would lead to a melody, but sometimes, like in the case of this one, will never be duplicated because the performance is so unique.
So here you go, so amazingly uncut or edited:
Here Is Enlightmenent
permalink to this post: http://midnightdoor.com/word/?p=558
I was playing around with vocal range in this one, total Mariah Carey inspired (kidding), it’s pretty rambling for sure. I’ve got a “holidays” ish song coming next week, so stay tuned!
Download this action while you can!
Part of me knows I shouldn’t be too impulsive and leak out my own stuff, but my feeling is that, hey, if you are here at the site, you deserve to have it.
So here is your summer jam. I’m just so excited about this track. It’s a new kind of anthem for me to write, and it’s not even finished. Picture some sort of church choir in the middle instrumental. It’s on the upcoming “Redwood Summer” album. Lots of deep rock cello and crazy layered vocals.
Download it now, I’m gonna take it down as soon as I regain rational thought… enjoy!
So here is one of the tracks I was workin’ on this weekend.
This one doesn’t pull any punches lyrically, and I find I’m enjoying adding strange little sounds to the percussion.
Sorry it’s just a sample, it’s just that some weird sites out there are dumping my tunes all over the interwebs, which is not a bad thing. On principle though, I’m not ready for the world to hear the finished versions of songs off the upcoming Redwood Summer. But here, indeed, and without further ado, without many more words, without mincing, and as promised, is a sample of what I’ve been up to…
Enjoy, and thanks for stopping by!
Pressing away at the new album. I’ve been finishing up Aaron’s album and busy all around, but a lot of cool stuff is being added to Redwood Summer and this track will be on it. It will evolve, that I guarantee, I’ve got a couple more people I want to track for this! But here you go, oh wonderful faithful blog readers, True North. Enjoy!
True North is going to be on the album “Redwood Summer”, my return to my roots album… no beats or synths, more roots. More Summer. Check out the other track off the album: Fever Saved Me
The albums are coming along. I had the pleasure of recording some drums with Molly from Huff This!. She adds such a rock sound to the tracks. It’s perfect for the feel of the album.
So here is a more rounded out version of the song I posted a few weeks ago. This is the sample of the more rock, acoustic guitars and cello based album I’m calling ‘Redwood Summer’. Enjoy!
Remember the earlier version of this song?
Here is my sample from the electro-cello album tentatively called ‘Half Moon’. It’s the stuff I’ve been playing live lately.
Here is a sample of my all cello instrumental album, as yet un-named.
Here is where the electronic-instrumental album will be coming from.
So I have been hell of out of the loop, removed from reality in so many ways, both living out in the woods and absolutely inundated with work. I’ve been thinking of the big posting I would put here, announcing the fantastic things going on, but just haven’t had the seconds.
The house I was staying in was outside Nevada City in Northern California, totally beautiful views of stars and wooded hillsides… it was a perfect place to get to work on the album that I’ve been wanting to do for a long long time. I call it my “old Luke” album. It’s basically like, no electronics, no avant attempts. Just simple songs, like the ones I used to rock over the hills and dales of Ukiah and Santa Cruz. And the open mics of Portland.
No concept per se, but I intend to have at most on each track the same instrumentation: cello, acoustic guitar, and vocals. I have an inkling to put drums on a couple of tracks, like the one I’m posting here, but if I do, they will be straightforward rock drums, etc.
It for me is a return to my roots: a certain Northern California sound. Not hippie, not punk, not folk, not really in between. Just who we were and are in that wooded corner of the world.
The album is tentatively titled “Redwood Summer” and is set for release April 14, 2009.
This track is called ‘Fever Saved Me’
Thanks for stopping by!
From the clipping room floor… And yet… I post it here. A rough sketch for all to enjoy and cherish.
I like getting back to Mendocino County style anthems on acoustic guitar…
An old song, recorded and writ in Arches National Park….
So at long last, a second video off the album “Midnight Door”!
Created and produced by Katy Unger
Another sample of a new song coming your way soon…
Cello, beats, vocals, effects pedals, et cetera!
Work on the new album, the beats cello vox album has started. I just want to share some early drafts for you for a few days, more to come soon!
Remember the earlier versions of this song?
Just cello and vox (this could still make it on an album…)
Raw guitar version
What you hear/see in this practice session is two beatboxes, one cello, effects on the cello, and the vocals. This song was writ about two months ago… part of the new batch. This is all live, just the mic on the camcorder (not the most perfect performance but you know… honest 😉
I’ve been trying to keep a fresh supply of new material up here on the site but wow it has been a busy time!
Also I’m in a period of transition, where I’m really figuring out my new sound right now: By putting this restriction that everything that goes onto the new album must be able to be done live, it has raised the bar. I now have multiple beatboxes as part of the cello/beat sound on top of that, so it’s tricky.
And it is fun to work this stuff out, I’m really excited!
Thanks for watching/listening!
So I’ve begun work on one of my next albums, which is to be all cello, all the time. No vocals, no beats. And I shall try to resist the temptation to add piano and guitar or… whatever. Point is, a sparse album.
I usually have a motive in mind with my albums to some degree, and with this one I think that the appropriate listening experience would be something like: quietly in the summer evening. Warmly by the woodstove in the winter.
Oh yeah, I was going to post a song. So here is one approaching completion, Would Dent Sky. I cannot call this finished, but it is an encouraging beginning.
I don’t think I will be posting all the songs here as I go in this case, but keep your eye on the site, or subscribe to the podcast, I will certainly not be able to resist sharing them as they come along.
Be sure to stick around for a minute or two, as the development begins to get more layered then… Thanks for listening!>
“Be On Your Way” off Midnight Door was one of the songs that I worked on over and over again in the mixdown. I recorded it while on the road, and there was a lot that I wanted to “fix”, but there was a lot that I wanted to leave exactly as I recorded it that very first magical time.
The song was recorded in Washington DC, while we were staying in an apartment there. It was a moody place and time, and a good one, there were thunderstorms every afternoon.
Also, my guitar had just been stolen out of a campsite in Virginia Beach, which was tragic. I had that guitar for 10 years and really really loved it. So I had made the odd decision to buy a new guitar (using up my reserves for sure) because I couldn’t handle the loss, and because I couldn’t handle traveling without one.
So this song was the very first song I recorded with that guitar. In this version you hear only cello however, it was a quick mix I did, trying to ascertain whether the cello sans beats was “good” enough for the record. I like this mix, but you can hear the beats through the headphones, so it never did make it to the record.
Enjoy, and thanks for listening!
Listen to the album version here.
PS – The picture there is the boys choir in Washington DC that I recorded and is featured in the ‘bridge’ section of the song “Fireflies” off Midnight Door.