Make beautiful things.

Sorry, I am late this week.

Some of you may know I’ve been working on developing a residency program in Italy and just finished a really lovely wedding project with about 25+ other collaborators.  We currently have plans for another unique project in September.

I am also in the midst of a relaunch with my father’s book publishing company, A Word with You Press.  I’m doing all artistic direction for our web, print and brand identity so that’s been wonderful, if busy – hence missing Sunday – sorry!

Anyway, I’ve been so fortunate to work on these other projects and I am pretty excited to continue applying this artistic direction to some of my own work.  From my last post, you’ll know I have a few new tracks in the works and based on some nice feedback on Facebook, I’m going to put more time in to developing ‘Dream Jungle‘ – which has moved from beyond a mere stem:

…and into a much more fleshed out track.
Screenshot of Dream Jungle Ableton arrangement

I’ve also been going through and trying to ‘cluster’ some of the patterns that I’ve had inside my trusty Korg and hope to begin the selection process of:

  1. speaking with my recording engineer to coordinate mastering
  2. sequencing and arranging the various parts of each song
  3. selecting which songs to send to get mastered
  4. bouncing the parts down to longer 24bit/192kHz stems

Here’s a photo of some of that process with my Korg Electribe:
Photo of notes taken from Electribe workA few notes on tracks I have been ‘clustering’ into larger concepts.

Anyway, I always try and leave you with some beautiful music or stories for you to enjoy on your own.  We’re lucky this time because we get both!

Here is a song that was sent to me from my dear friend MR Barnadas – who I love so dearly – along with a poignant story she wrote on meeting it’s composer.

I do hope on reading it, you are inspired to continue making the things you do out in the world and do not settle for anything less than the most beautiful.

Oliver Schroer – Field Of Stars (HD)

One of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard. In May 2004, fiddler/composer Oliver Schroer set out with three companions to walk along the Camino de Santiago, an ancient pilgrim trail that meanders across France and Spain. Over the course of two months, the four companions walked 1,000 km in the footsteps of their medieval brothers and sisters.

“The first week I moved to Toronto I went alone to a random benefit concert for Oliver Schroer, a fiddler I had never heard of. He was dying of leukemia and needed money for an experimental treatment. His former students had flown in from the corners of Canada and put together an amazing impromptu show in a desperate effort to save his life. The place was packed.

Oliver was supposed to be at the hospital that night, but he snuck in toward the end of the eve, a frail sallow man in vibrant striped pjs, with a powerful frame, cheerful hands, and hulking Mongolian boots, such a striking visual contradiction. He was in the building for all of 15 minutes attended by a wild interweave of medical equipment and one very concerned-looking doctor, yet he managed to play a single song and see his friends before being rushed back. The doctor insisted that no one touch him. I remember thinking that must be hard.

This piece was played 3 feet in front of me by a man who had dedicated his whole life to music and knew it was likely he would never play another song; yet he had the fortune to play for his most desired and intimate audience. I felt so incredibly lucky to be witness to that. It was undoubtedly one of the most profoundly beautiful experiences of my life.

He died a few days later.

I bought the album, Camino and learned that the music had been composed during his 1,000 km walk along the Camino de Santiago, an ancient trail between France and Spain. With a portable recording studio, violin, and sleeping bag in his backpack he stopped in the churches to record what you hear.”

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