• 'Ghost Story' - new song inspired by the ghost in my house!
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  • MichaelA
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« Last Edit: October 25, 2017, 22:28:40 by MichaelA »
Well fresh out of the Inspirational Input competition, I found a brand new inspirational input. Remember that song 'Ghost In My House'? Well it is quite possible that I have one of my very own...

About a year ago Mrs Michael A and myself bought an old cottage in a semi rural location - and we bought it off the 'estate' of  a lady who had recently died. And her daughters told us not to be surprised to find the ghost of their Dad in one particular room, where these days I just happen to use as my song-writing den.

We laughed it off at the time, but since then my wife keeps saying she is smelling cigar smoke in there - the guy's favourite vice, according to the daughters. Then when we came back from a few days away at the weekend, my wife asked me why I had been calling her, But I hadn't. But she shares the name of the guy's wife...

Well you might think we would feel a bit spooked. But we are actually OK about this potential presence in our house - as it seems friendly and at peace, The atmosphere in the room is very chilled, and I feel fine about sitting in the same corner of the room as the deceased former owner (according to the daughters) and writing my songs. Including this particular song, inspired by him and his wife...

Now as it is nearly Halloween, maybe this song was destined to be born. So Kitcheners, what do you think? But beware, any harsh criticism may incur the wrath of the other side...so choose your words wisely my friends, (dark cackle: ha ha ha!!!!)

https://soundcloud.com/michael-a-duffy/ghost-story

Lyrics:

Ghost Story


At the change
It can seem so cold and strange
Everything you try to see
All blurred and rearranged
But then, knew I wasn't far away
The first time I could hear your voice
Just knew I had to stay
For a little while

I left that old life with no regret
But love, it is not beyond us yet
Waiting for you
Arms open wide
On the other side


Don't be sad
Watch you talk of what we had
With our old friends in our old house
There is no more to add
Can't you feel
I'm beside you almost real
Old photographs I view with you
I hope your heart will heal
In a little while

Chorus

I'll be standing by the fireside
Then I'll sit alongside
You in our sunken chair
And it's once more like those old nights
Snuggled in the dim lights
With all our love to share
I'll keep waiting
Always there

Chorus


If you like novels with a musical theme, why not try 'Sixth Beatle - When Music Changed The World', easily found on Amazon and Google. It is amazing, although as the author I may be biased!


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Re: 'Ghost Story' - new song inspired by the ghost in my house!
Reply #1 on: October 26, 2017, 00:59:01
Hey @MichaelA , what a nice introduction and I love the context you provided! Especially to read that there seems to be no tension for you and your Mrs between on the one hand living in a house that has a 'past' and living in that house facing the 'future' and realise it's been and as always has been 'home'.
Haha halloween!! We skip Halloween in most parts of Holland, but I was already wondering where all those creepy songs ( @Christy just posted one as well ) came from. Halloween! Still recovering from the 'Bloody Mar T.'s' of the last weekend I guess..  ;D ;D

Imo you succeeded in capturing a 'happy' feel as opposed to the 'creepy' feel the 'house' contains. It sounds a bit spooky but relaxed and hopeful at the same time. I love how that works out!

As for the song itself: may I ask what gear and effects you use to record the vocals?

Cheers my friend, and thank for sharing a part of your perception of you life with us!
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I'm proud of this track, check it out! https://soundcloud.com/martimedia/dreams


Re: 'Ghost Story' - new song inspired by the ghost in my house!
Reply #2 on: October 26, 2017, 01:05:53
« Last Edit: October 26, 2017, 04:07:34 by Bill from November Sound »
Oh man @MichaelA cool story! ... or guess not really a story. Cool reality you're living out there!  ;)

I like the point of view like it's from the perspective of the ghost. Well done!
Bill
Songwriter, Keyboards, Arranger, Producer & Engineer for November Sound

November Sound is based on the Mother, Father & Son musical trio of Melissa, Bill & Will. I'm the father so anything I post will have my wife singing and/or my son playing percussion.


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Re: 'Ghost Story' - new song inspired by the ghost in my house!
Reply #3 on: October 26, 2017, 10:59:33
This song is a bit of a departure from your usual instrumentation and I like that. The bass line moves it forward musically very nicely allowing your vocals to drift over the top is a very ethereal way....perfect for this song.

I have listened a few times now and each time this song has felt more comfortable. I think it's the harmonies that really make it work for me.

....definitely a good story.

 :) :) :) :) :)

"The main thing is to have a gutsy approach....but use your head." Julia Child

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Re: 'Ghost Story' - new song inspired by the ghost in my house!
Reply #4 on: October 26, 2017, 13:52:42
Well @Mar T. , so glad you liked the context. I've noticed at mostly folk gigs singers will preamble on about a song before performing it, and sometimes having a context does draw you to the song more. Whereas rock artists tend to just go bang straight into the song. Yes you are right, at the moment all is peaceful here in this Gothic cottage on the lane deep in woodland with no streetlights! If the ghost starts getting nasty maybe your next video will feature @Dutchbeat being tied to a chair at my place at midnight while the evil spirits plague him...just trying to be helpful!  ;) I will PM you about my vocal recording, thanks.

@Bill from November Sound , thanks for joining my haunted thread. I'm sure you have lots of your own Ghost stories in New England, what with 'Capital of Witchcraft' Salem, Massachusetts in your region (if that's correct?). I'd be far more scared of going there to spend a night than living here, ha ha!

Yes @Leonard Scaper , I thought I would try something different after definitely 'overcooking' my last song. I was thinking about how I could strip things back a bit, and actually your guitar playing was one thing that came to mind. I am not usually big on pauses etc, and keep thinking I should fill every little gap. But you create dramatic tension in some of your songs with a more minimalist approach. So for example, four bars out from the chorus and to where the chorus starts, there is a definite minimalist guitar accompaniment influenced by your playing - as well as one or two other excellent minimalist accompaniment practitioners on here, such as @Zedd.  I think I am learning that less can be more, as they say, so another example of how listening to other Kitchener's best practices can definitely help us grow as writers! So thanks for the inspiration!  ;)


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Re: 'Ghost Story' - new song inspired by the ghost in my house!
Reply #5 on: October 26, 2017, 14:44:58
It's a lovely song @MichaelA, and the more minimal approach, certainly for this one, works very well.  Interesting point of view, and something about the harmony reminds me of Nightswimming by R.E.M. (which is no bad thing).  :D


Re: 'Ghost Story' - new song inspired by the ghost in my house!
Reply #6 on: October 26, 2017, 15:22:00
@Jim  I like the sparse arrangement alot, reminds me of Ryan Adams' more chilled out stuff. I like it!
Are the instruments live or synthesized? Either way, sounds good. Very haunting!


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Re: 'Ghost Story' - new song inspired by the ghost in my house!
Reply #7 on: October 26, 2017, 15:40:57
@jameshargreaves, I think you might have switched names here... :o


Re: 'Ghost Story' - new song inspired by the ghost in my house!
Reply #8 on: October 26, 2017, 16:04:33
@Jim hahaha you are correct.... apologies

@MichaelA  - my above comments were meant for you, not Jim. Woooooooooooops


Re: 'Ghost Story' - new song inspired by the ghost in my house!
Reply #9 on: October 26, 2017, 18:57:59
Hi @MichaelA ,

like it a lot especially the bass line stands out.

If you want to improve something, I would rerecord the bass. Sometimes the timing is not perfect.

Otherwise all thumbs up!

Fabian


Re: 'Ghost Story' - new song inspired by the ghost in my house!
Reply #10 on: October 26, 2017, 19:18:45
lovely tune! the only thing i think is that the strings could fill up some more in the later parts of the song and give some more bottom
there. give little sence of relief. great story! :)


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Re: 'Ghost Story' - new song inspired by the ghost in my house!
Reply #11 on: October 26, 2017, 20:06:05
...something about the harmony reminds me of Nightswimming by R.E.M. (which is no bad thing).  :D

Thanks @Jim , I really liked REM around the time of 'Nightswinning', so I will happily take that association  ;)

...Are the instruments live or synthesized? Either way, sounds good. Very haunting!

Cheers @jameshargreaves. Well this started out as a recording done on just my acoustic guitar, but it was sounding a bit too muddy, so in the end I went digital where I found I could control the frequencies more accurately. And no worries about mixing me up with @Jim, as he is a bit of a storyteller at times, so that's cool!  ;D

Hi @MichaelA ,


...If you want to improve something, I would rerecord the bass. Sometimes the timing is not perfect.

Otherwise all thumbs up!

Fabian

Thanks Fabian, @junemay , I appreciate your attention to detail re the bass. It might be the quantise thing, but it's digital so I will 'un-quantise' it and adjust it manually across the grid. Thanks.

lovely tune! the only thing i think is that the strings could fill up some more in the later parts of the song and give some more bottom
there. give little sence of relief. great story! :)

Thank you @tuff bransch - the background to this song is I have been guilty of over-producing a couple of things recently. So I definitely made a conscious effort to thin this one out and try a more minimalist (for me) approach. I took the Cello out of the last chorus and just left a harmonising Viola and Violin in there, taking over from the single Cello in the mid break bit. I was relying on the vocal harmony to fill out the latter part. But I agree with you, as my natural inclination would also have been to beef up the strings. But then I would have been getting back to my old habit of keep adding in new instruments!!!  ::)  ::)  ::) And then I would sneak in another, like an alcoholic sneaking one more drink!!! I need help. Ha Ha! But they do drive you mad these production decisions sometimes, don't they? Especially if you are in a learning phase, like me. But I will experiment with your suggestion, thank you!!!



Re: 'Ghost Story' - new song inspired by the ghost in my house!
Reply #12 on: October 26, 2017, 20:25:54
haha relate! didnt know you had already been there, sorry for tempting you! :) maby we should talk to someone... A.I.A (anonymous instrument adders)


Re: 'Ghost Story' - new song inspired by the ghost in my house!
Reply #13 on: October 26, 2017, 22:37:49
Anonymous Instrument Adders  :)
It's where you add a whole bunch of instruments but no one can tell what they are.  :D


Re: 'Ghost Story' - new song inspired by the ghost in my house!
Reply #14 on: October 27, 2017, 09:10:09
What a great story @MichaelA!! How odd!!!


I think your arrangement is lovely - harmonies really work, as do the strings. There’s a great mood to this.. I found it quite sad - it’s an interesting twist to have the story from the perspective of the ghost and between that and the melancholic mood of the music it had quite an impact on me.


Funny I used to give context before my songs but I’ve stopped almost completely and these days generally leave interpretation fully up to the listener (maybe because so many of my songs are dark in theme) but it was lovely to read the context here.


Great stuff and thanks for pulling me in - you know my minimalism is a symtom of lack of skill and time though, right 😁😁😁!?


K



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