Going to sleep is just a temporary stay

Resisting the massive urge to re-sing all the out-of-tune parts, redo the awkward moments, and fill in all the gaps, I present a song I’ve finally gotten around to recording:

Stars: mp3 | lyrics

It took me most of last night and this morning to do it. I’m so sick of hearing it right now that I think it’ll be a couple of days before I can listen to it from a more objective perspective to see how it turned out. Since I desperately need to be doing work now, that’s probably a good thing.

I wrote the melody over a year ago, which is kind of indicative of the size of the mental backlog of songs I have. I need to spend a month recording these things, just to clear out my brain… (Also probably explains why the guitar part is overly ornate: I’d been playing it for too long to let go of those flourishes.)

As you might guess, the song is based partially on the view from my window, from which you can see part of Berkeley, the bay, Marin, about half of the Golden Gate Bridge, and, yes, stars. It’s actually an optimistic song, though barely. (There is one logical error in the song that I was almost anal enough to “fix”, but I restrained myself. I wonder if you can find it.)

I didn’t actually get to finish the song the way I wanted to. There were supposed to be more vocals (probably wordless) right before the chorus, among other things. I just got sick of recording. If I ever get a chance to redo this song, though, I’ve promised myself I’ll be more thorough :). Another weird thing is how different my voice sounds when I’m singing low and when I’m singing high. Sounds almost like two people. Of course, it doesn’t sound like that when I’m doing the singing, but when listening to the playback on my headphones, I find it a bit startling. It’s also kind of disappointing how coarse my voice is, especially when it’s low. Given another shot, I’d probably sing the verses in a higher register.

Also, it’s damn hard to play guitar for three and a half minutes without screwing up. I need to work on consistency a lot more.

The next song I want to record is going to be a lot heavier. In fact, the way I hear it now, there will be nary an acoustic guitar. Whether or not I get around to recording it all depends on whether I can un-laz-ify myself enough to go over to IHouse and record the drum part on the kit they have in the practice room. I guess I could use my sound card to generate the drums, but what’s the fun in that? :)

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6 Responses to Going to sleep is just a temporary stay

  1. walther says:

    wow! i know next to nothing about music, but i thought that was great! since you posted the lyrics, i even found myself singing along at some points. thank you for sharing that.

    • aj says:

      glad you liked it! and thanks for commenting — it’s kind of hard to throw this stuff out there, you know, to an uncaring world…

  2. Anonymous says:

    Good times

    That was lovely AJ – a fantastic song, and really well played. Not that I know anything about music either, but I really enjoyed listening to it, and really enjoyed the lyrics which made me sad and reminiscent of what I felt looking across the bay. I’ll be humming the chorus all day. It also made me miss coming by your room all those months and listening you play the guitar while we deconstructed the day’s gossip/events/people. Ah. And Alex still bears a grudge. :)
    P.S. I just checked your journal when I saw “All strings that have a 1” scribbed across the top of some old notes I’m using :)

    • aj says:

      Re: Good times

      Thanks Beth! Yes those were good times — back when we were young and carefree. How times have changed!

      j/k of course… “All strings that have a 1” – was that from that day in the library? Regardless, damn, those were good times, I say again.

      • Anonymous says:

        Re: Good times

        “All strings that have a 1” was memorised when a brilliant electronics professor from Cambridge audited your class to review your teaching, appraise the students (‘ looks), and giggle at the back :) Unfortunately your students were too clever and I never got to utter the words, but I did learn a little about .. that whole .. theory, and er, string.

        • aj says:

          Re: Good times

          Oh gosh how could I forget! In fact I was telling that story to some people the other day… mentioned that I had planted you with a line but I forgot which one it was!

          Hahahah yeah damn Berkeley kids… too smart for their own good.