Canonical Voices

Posts tagged with 'music'


New Song

Since Jack was born my music has taken something of a back seat. Recently I got the itch to write a new song and here is my first metal tune since he was born. It is an instrumental named after his onesie with chimp feet. I wanted to enjoy writing a song that spins around a little bit without the need to make it radio-length. As such it weighs in at just under 7 1/2 minutes. Anyone want to make a music video for it. ;-)

I wrote and recorded this in my home studio and played the guitars and bass; drums are programmed this time around. Licensed as CC-BY-SA.

Download It Here

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A little break from the norm…

Can’t see the video? See it here

This is a song I wrote a while back, that is broken into three “acts” if you will. The song is composed from multiple layered acoustic music pieces as well as some bass guitar and strings (that’s right, folks, no metal here). The song is a little long, but it is intended to tell a story as opposed to being radio-friendly.

When I wrote Unite I knew it needed some kind of spoken words on top of the music to flesh out the meaning of the song and provide atmosphere. I spent hours scouring the net trying to find the right speech that told the right story and met the tenor of the music as it progresses through the acts. I wanted the song to speak to the nature of the world today.

After an extensive search I discovered that the greatest, most inspirational speech was given by Charlie Chaplin of all people; a comedic actor famous for his silent movie work. Until I saw this speech I had never actually heard Charlie Chaplin speak; I had only ever seen him waddling around with a cane doing slapstick.

His speech in this song is from The Great Dictator released in October 1940 and distributed by United Artists. It is a beautiful, perfectly written and powerfully acted speech and when I first saw it it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. My inclusion of this speech is not only intended to tell the story of the song, but it is a tribute to a truly wonderful comedy and drama actor and his contributions to cinema and culture in the form of his acting, production, composition, and writing.

I hope you enjoy it.

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Many moons ago, when computers were made out of oak and beige slacks, I recorded a heavy metal version of the Free Software Song that Richard Stallman cobbled together. When I recorded this song I didnt really have the right equipment to record a song, and consequently it sounded a bit rubbish.

Richard and I catch-up over email every so often and while he acknowledged the existence of the song, he didn’t really express whether he liked it. Maybe it wasn’t his style.

“No no, I only enjoy Death Metal and Brutal Death Metal”.

For a while now I have wanted to record a new version of the song, so one night this week I knocked together a new version and arrangement. First, some caveats:

  • I only spent about 20 minutes writing this; this is no Bohemian Rhapsody.
  • I played all instruments and recorded all the vocals myself.
  • It was recorded in an evening. This was no huge production, no huge recording, and no week-long mix.
  • This is just a bit of fun to throw a new spin on the song.

Alright, enough excuses, download it below:

Also, for the fun of it (and for you Kareoke and podcast YouTube video fans), here is the song without the vocals:

I would love to see some comedy Kareoke videos and mixes on YouTube from the instrumental cut. Could be fun. :-)

This song is licensed as Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike so feel free to share it, remix it, even sell it, just provide attribution to me and this blog entry first.

Flame away!

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Master Of The Situation

I had a crack at creating some electronic music. I know, not metal. I figured I would share this, and I have never done this before, so be gentle. :-)

Check out Master Of The Situation in MP3 and Ogg format.

Created in Cubase with Halion One, a KeyRig and Drumkit From Hell.

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Five years ago today, one of my heroes was murdered. Dimebag Darrell, guitarist from Pantera, Damageplan and Rebel Meets Rebel was shot while performing in Columbus, Ohio by Nathan Gale, a crazed fan disgruntled with the split of Pantera. The metal world and beyond was devastated by the news. In such a tight-knit and almost-tribal community, the passing of one of it’s most loved and well respected members was awful.

In my parents generation, everyone remembers where they were when Kennedy was shot: for metal fans, we remember where we were when Dimebag’s passing was announced. I was sat in a meeting room at OpenAdvantage in Birmingham, suited and booted, about to have the most important meeting of my career with a large Open Source deployment. Literally minutes before the meeting started, I got a text from my then-girlfriend with the news. I was devastated. Not only was Dimebag a huge inspiration in my own playing, but part of the reason why the news was so hard to swallow is that a significant reason why Dimebag was so loved was that he seemed like such a nice guy.

I studied every one of their audio and video releases. I would listen to their CDs, play along as I learned guitar, headbang to Pantera at my local rock club, and I used Pantera’s 3: Watch It Go video as an inspiration for living life to the full. Dimebag was not only a musical inspiration, but a role model for one such passionate metal fan and musician in his formative years. And then, just like that, my role model was taken away from me.

I used to sneer at people who became attached to musicians, actors and the like, but today I mourn Dimebag’s passing. That may make me silly and naive, but that is tiny price to pay for everything he has given me. Rest well, buddy.

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