muted tones

september 02

this entry is from september 02. click here for more information about the curator, and to hear the finished work.

sports, writing, accounting, hunting, sewing…

august 30th, 2002

now that the piece is up, i wanted to let you know i haven’t fallen off the edge of the earth. i’m still around.
i’m really looking foward to feedback/reactions so please give. any form of payment is acceptable and appreciated. and the center of what’s been floating through my head the last couple of days.

i think i’ll have more to say about this as the months pass, but i’ve confronted a little bit of it in the last couple days. just how i’ve got these songs that i put out there and have certain feelings about that are never recriprocated in the same way. on a basic level, sometimes the songs i think suck, turn out to be someone’s favorite, or especially, vice versa. or on more complex levels where somebody translates my lyrics to the t, or completely finds a new interpretation miles away from my intention. that’s all great and expected and what i think makes it exciting and interesting and inspiring to put songs out there, but in some ways it’s also confusing me a great deal.

with c’est tout bruit, i really branched out from the means of creating music that i’m most used to. therefore the end result stands in heavy contrast to the rest of the songs i’ve written and recorded in the last year. already, people have suggested that i combine the two methods and go for an end result that includes both. some have said they should remain seperated, that one has it’s place just as the other. point is, it’s hard to figure out what i think anymore because i’ve got these outside influences now that all provide valid ideas and fresh perspectives.

what happens if someone wants you to pursue a song that you think sucks. or if someone tells you to comb your hair the other way cause it really does look better, or if they tell you you’re a much better basketball player than baseball, but you really just want to hit homers? it seems like my first instinct is to say fuck it, follow my own heart, mind, whatever, but when i get the guts to step back, i realize that these external perspectives hold truths that i could never arrive at alone. even if i don’t implement them in full, even just pieces of the idea could build a stronger finish.

i hope people will comment on these pieces as they arrive each month. just click on the gray comment thing under these entries and leave something. even if it’s just a couple of words. just for the sake of witnessing how diverse everyone’s reactions will be. in the same sense, you should be able to apply it to whatever you do be it sports, writing, accounting, hunting, sewing… i’d also like to know if someone thinks i’m wrong about all this stuff, whatever, maybe i’m not making any sense at all?



mike piontek

september 06th, 2002

i guess i just want to say a couple of words regarding this whole thingermajig we've put together here. first off, i just really enjoyed reading your log. it was just fascinating to read your updates and try to piece together exactly what it was you were making. it was even more exciting to finally hear it, and discover something completely different from and still strikingly similar to what i'd imagined.

i love the song, i think it's beautiful--but regardless of my opinion, i think it was certainly successful. i think we (tense forms) managed to put an idea together that's relatively new, and a bit unusal, and i think you (andy wagner) did a remarkable job of taking advantage of what we gave you.

all it was really lacking was a heated argument about the proper way to mic fudgsicles. i do hope the comments will pick up as the project continues.


september 06th, 2002

We just had a heated argument about the proper way to mic fudgesicles, and all the fudgesicles melted and got all over the mics. Everyone agreed this is not the proper way to mic fudgesicles, and the meeting was adjourned.

joshua dumas

september 10th, 2002

reading through andy's log i think it makes surprising good sense that his piece ended up sounding like it does.... this alone is rather remarkable.... there are two other things though that make it pretty spectacular: its really listenable-- it is clearly not an average ballad, but it works like one (it has narrative arc, dramatic lulls and explosions, character development ("i'm trying on dresses. fuck." is such a quiet revealing momment), etc.)
and then, there's the engineering which is really effective-- the panning on the train, the garbled voices in the first third.... Andy's spent a bunch of this log talking about his ideas and then presented a piece that embodies them-- i'm curious about what happened in between: how was the train recorded? how much found tape was cut? how were those decisions made? etc. Andy?


september 10th, 2002

well thanks ya all for the positivity, i'm glad everyone's still gonna be friends with me. the main problem with the fudgesicles was that i ate them all. well, there's still one left over but it's going through unbelievable stages. right now it's curling in on itself and it's actually melting in the freezer!? it's about two weeks away from cold pudding with a floating stick. i guess i couldn't really get a good angle on it, i tried omnis, cardoids, stereo methods, all failed time and time again. it was a hard fought battle though, and well, the fudgesicle's still there, so i'll mail it to whoever... (i think sarah should get it cause she pretty much nailed the debate!)

the stuff that made it's a different story. there's no mystery behind the train, well there might be if you don't know how simple it is. i just used a cut from the sound library. i've tried micing things outdoors before with my mic, and i've failed everytime, sound library's have pristeen recordings. just about any college studio should have them, and are usually cool about letting you use them. so ideas shouldn't be thrown away just cause you can't get good recordings of them.

as far as what was thrown away, i'm really not sure. i'd say at least an hour of compiled recorded material that i thought would make it. flute, accordian, guitar, bass, fuzz, beats, lots more singing, and, i think that's all. i mean, the first frame of the song, when i thought i had the first stages put together, doesn't sound anything like it does now.

i had the original frame, then i started to add things to it that changed it. once i finally had both, i had to find a medium between the two that made sense and would finally be tolerable. i guess it wasn't too hard to decide because i just started hacking anything that was irratating me. i figured i couldn't get used to anything annoying cause it would eventually come back to haunt me in the end. the worst part was spending an hour or two on one thing, then just flushing it down the toilet. it just came down to what was good and what was bad.

every song i've recorded has gone through mulitiple phases in the studio. when i finally sit down to make something permanent, i notice flaws left and right, and it becomes clearer and clearer during each phase what works and what doesn't. you just have to have enough patience to start over and get it right. sometimes i just sacrafice things cause i don't want to backtrack. i hate backtracking, it feels so mundane. but i guarantee, a year later when i go back to listen to that old song, i'll be glad i did.

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