Saturday, September 22, 2007
Big Blue Sun (Remix)
big blue sun (remix)
volume 4 number 6
to write at the piano is such a departure from writing on the guitar. whereas on the guitar I know what I'm doing and have developed areas I can rely on, on the piano I'm nearly lost. on guitar there are things I have to stop myself from doing; on piano I'm actually more free by not knowing what to do. when I write on piano I do so by visualization, literally saying to myself, "now if I move the middle finger down one note I get this, but if I move the bass note up two notes at the same time it's this..."
because of the logic of the keyboard's layout and my lack of formal training, I approach piano from an architectural point of view. shapes and patterns of movement. consequently if I went over to Howard the piano right now to play big blue sun it would take a few minutes to figure out the physical logic of why the notes change the way they do. then I could play the song again.
fully half of the songs for inner revolution are love songs fueled by the intensely powerful romance martha and I had in the early 90's. if we had a dollar for every time we heard "get a room" back then we could have retired. it was a wonderful time of "walking on air", that amazing sensation of finding true love, where nothing else mattered. I remember working out the phase "a strand of stars sparkle in the night" while talking on the phone with her one night. martha was in florida getting her master's degree; I was in the cottage on the lake.
as with most of my piano songs I played big blue sun a hundred times over before recording it. that's the way I teach my fingers to remember, by rote and repetition. in krimson we call it "getting it in the body". it's the same method I use for writing a guitar part in one time signature and singing in another. I get the guitar part "in the body" so it becomes almost automatic allowing me to concentrate on the singing.
for the string quartet in big blue sun I worked with my friend Al Jewer (who helped design and build the Refrigerator (see the duck funk symphony blog from february 19) to play the string parts. we brought in four local school teachers (including Al's wife Alison) to play the parts.
so how does a "self-taught non-reader" write parts for a string section?
I'll reveal my method with next week's download.
piano and vocals: adrian
violin: alison jewer
violin: jean dickinson
viola: lizbeth getman
cello: martha pickart
string arrangement: al jewer and adrian
engineer: rich denhart
assistant: dan harjung
recorded at Royal Recorders in Lake Geneva, Wis.
on September 3, 1991