Stuck on a musical idea? Here are 2 possible solutions: share it and sit on it. This is the story of how I got stuck on a song idea and how doing those two actions allowed the song to evolve into something much better than its original.
The track was born during the 2005 recording sessions for my EP “Kodomo”, I asked vocalist Yu:Mi Calderon to sing any old Filipino folk song that she knew by heart. She sang the first verse of “Sitsiritsit Alibangbang” into the microphone, acapella — with no backing track, no fixed tempo and no designated key. I figured, I may someday use it. I wasn’t quite sure what I would do with it though.
Here’s a glitchy, noisy, drum & bass remix I made for a track by artist and former University of the Philippines art professor, Fatima Lasay. The remix takes the original track and slices it into many more more chaotic pieces, adding drums and an overt rhythm section where once there was none. How I did it, follows.
Here’s a new upbeat and jazzy electronic track entitled “Lamay,” which means funeral wake in Filipino. I took the melody from a traditional folk song and put together a joyful, jazzy, energetic arrangement that focuses less on the grief of losing a loved one, and more on the hope of being reunited with the loved one in eternity.
My latest track, “Sobig F Warning” is a downtempo, doom and gloom tune with bells, ethnic percussions, huge monotone bass, and ghostly pads. I named the track after a computer virus, a worm actually, which reared its ugly head in 2003 as an email trojan horse — hence the menacing ambience and the hostile bass.
Several years back, the quirkily entertaining Philippine indie band Ciudad released an album with the affectionate title: Is That Ciudad? Yes, Son It’s Me. My favorite track was easily an acoustic ballad with Ciudad asking (former Nirvana drummer and now Foo Fighters leader) Dave Grohl to please return to drumming instead of playing guitar. The title of the track? “That Guy from Nirvana is Now With Foo Fighters.” Here’s my unofficial remix of their track.
So here finally, is my first music video. This is a track named “Midnight Monologue” which wound up becoming the title track from my 2007 E.P. entitled “Logue” (download it for free from QED RECORDS). It’s a little bit melancholic and a little bit poetic. But here, drama is king.
“Everything Will Be OK” is a gloomy little tune that spouts optimistic lyrics — but has nothing bright or sparkly supporting any of the vocals. Even the melody is in a minor key. The vocal melody line is taken straight from a dream I had back in 2007. I woke up with the tune in my head and sat down at the computer right away to get it recorded into my Reason software.
Tributary is basically a house music track done with some jazzy percussion, latin keyboard and bass parts and mixed in with some floating pads and ethnic male chants. I imagine a raindance in the middle of a busy urban area. But that’s just me. This track has been in my computer for some years but never released. I’m not exactly sure why. Maybe I’m just waiting for a good collection of songs that fit well together.
“Bahay Kubo” (Nipa Hut) is one of those Filipino folk songs that every elementary child in the Philippines used to learn early on since it was a lesson in naming your vegetables set to a catchy tune. I used the folk song as inspiration for this track.