On Wednesday I posted my fifth song for February Album Writing Month, “People Will Not Realize the Peril.” I started every previous FAWM (hard to believe this is my fourth!) with a song about snow. The first year was “Song For a Snowy Sunday Night,” about sitting in the bar where I now host my weekly jam, talking to the quite adorably snarky bartender about a bad breakup. In 2008 I wrote a song (which I can’t find online at the moment) about a drive to Pennsyvlania in a snowstorm, and in 2009 I wrote a song about a snowstorm in St. John’s, which remains a good song despite the circumstances that surrounded it.
This new song is, like most of my 2010 efforts, nothing like the earlier songs. It may be the weirdest one I’ve done yet. Late Wednesday night, when the snow was still falling, I turned off all the lights and sat by the window where my music setup is, started up my effects rig, and recorded some live harmonitronica. By which I mean, I started playing harmonica through the rig (starting with a low G and later switching to a G chromatic), using two different kinds of delay, and several looping pedals to capture and replay different pieces of what I was playing. I overlaid it and created the music you hear in this song, live.
Then I pulled the result into GarageBand and edited it down to about three and half minutes (the originaly was more than 15 minutes). Earlier in the day I’d recorded the National Weather Service radio station for a while, with the robot voice reading the weather advisories and warnings. I took bits and pieces of that and looped/arranged/panned/effected them, and this is the result.
mikeskliar called it a “wintertime Revolution #9,” but I hope that’s not true. If nothing else, it’s shorter, and less complex. All you’re hearing is one harmonica track, recorded live, and some edited weather robot voice.
I don’t want to jinx this, but I’m beginning to think this will be my first FAWM that actually results in an album. That’s right, I think that sometime in March I’m going to put together an album of harmonitronica. So if you think this is bad when it’s free, wait til you have to pay for it!