• I Told The Earth, I Told The Sky --- new Major Layerson collaboration
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  • smajor
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Hi Everyone,

A new one from Micke Layerson and myself. As always we welcome any thoughts, comments, and/or ideas.

Later,
Stan

https://soundcloud.com/smajor1/i-told-the-earth-i-told-the-sky/s-I1kcw


I Told The Earth,  I Told The Sky

Verse 1:  I remember when
the days were filled with childhood games
playin' in the puddles when it rained
those days
are far away.

Verse 2:  Years went by and then
you looked different to me
all at once you were a mystery
oh you
were someone new.

Chorus1:  AND I TOLD THE EARTH. 
I TOLD THE SKY.
I WOULD NEVER SAY GOODBYE.

Verse 3:  I remember when
we tried that tentative embrace
I read the wonder in your face
and felt
my body melt.

Repeat Chorus 1:  AND I TOLD THE EARTH.   
I TOLD THE SKY.
I WOULD NEVER SAY GOODBYE.

Bridge:  Love was the treasure
we were given to hold.
Your eyes blazed with diamonds
and filled my heart full of gold.

Verse 4:  Years went by and then
we'd talk as day was turning dark
walking in that ragged seaside park
despite
the dying light.

Chorus 2:  AND TODAY I TOLD THE EARTH. 
I TOLD THE SKY
GOODBYE, MY LOVE.
 MY LOVE, GOODBYE.
I'm a lyricist seeking music writers to work with.


  • Lane
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@smajor

what a nice sound Stan, I don`t know how you could make this any better! 
I thought every bit of it was just as solid as it could be. vocals music and the writing, terrific.


  • LePlongeur
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Ahh, Stan the Man with Ďpaintingí again.
Love the song. A bit Europe after the rain, by John Foxx.
It seems like a period in music thatís almost disappeared.
Nice collaboration guys!

Kind regards, Gus


  • Layerson
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Thanks @LePlongeur and @Lane for taking time to listen and give reviews ... As always, all types of feedback and input is welcome and helpful.

Had a hard time letting this one go, so I'm extra glad you like it.  :)

I wrote the music for it and did all the recordings in one session, a few months back and after much consideration we decided to go with this first version (which is actually the draft...). (On a sidenote: I don't know if it is noticable, but I actually had a terrible cold at the time.) And, sometimes even I get it right the first time... ;)

 ::Rachel::
/Micke

Layerson (a.k.a. Mikael Lagersson)


  • smajor
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Hi @Lane and @LePlongeur and @Layerson.

Thank you for the kind words.

I wrote the words in 2000 . It was set once in 2010, but the lyric came out so shredded it was barely recognizable.

I'm really happy with Micke's version.  Only took 18 years  :o

Later,
Stan


  • Leonard Scaper
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Sometimes good things take time. This is a good one.

There is a "bigness" to both the lyrics and the music......it's a wonderful match
"The main thing is to have a gutsy approach....but use your head." Julia Child

 "In a world of robotic conformity, the only originality left in music is the imperfections" Eric Craptone

"Special thanks to Steve Gleason for making me who I am today." Leonard Scaper

Lenny's Tunes: http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_music.cfm?bandID=540680

https://soundcloud.com/vincentgleason


A  cool collaboration ::thumb::
The chorus lyrics are a few powerful words @smajor  and ( being a fan of moody rock), the music here drew me in @Layerson . The chiming guitar sounds great and the  vocals fit the feeling of the song ( maybe that cold just added to the deep vocal sound ;). Some nice effects on the vocals too.

Robert



  • MichaelA
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This certainly has a powerful and epic feel to it. It's rooted in early 80s new wave, bands like Simple Minds, Cocteau Twins and Sisters of Mercy come to mind, but it is a good example of a skilful reinvention and reimagining of all that.

I think I would take a bit of echo off the lead vocal, if I were to add a production suggestion, esp at the intro, but I get it that it helps the Big Hall epic sound.

A memorable, slow moving melody that really hooks, and some very skilfully worded imagery in some of these lyric lines. Good collab guys!  :ok:
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!


  • Layerson
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Thanks @Leonard Scaper, I was imagining something ďbigĒ - this is my first ever power ballad attempt.  ::headphone::

@robertkc the music was entirely spawned out of @smajor lyrics - as I was home with a cold I had plenty of time on my hands to interpret and explore the words in my mind. I guess it started out grand mostly due to the layout of the lyrics where I first read them - the words and lines where in capitals and centered... so thatís what inspired me most I guess.  ::Note::

@MichaelA - much appreciated that youíve given production suggestions. When I did the mix I wasnít aware of the importance of a coherent reverb in a mix (...by this I mean using the same reverb in an auxiliary track and applying different amounts of sends from tracks using it...). As Iíve probably used separate inline echo effects on the vocal tracks youíre probably hearing this and Iíll look into that. Maybe change some of the reverbs so they arenít canceling each other out or I should use automation...?!  ::headphone::

 ::Rachel::
/Micke



The soundscape is really nice with the string pad and all, though I wonder that it would be much more interesting if they were replaced by BVs.  I like the drum sounds - I think they are well chosen -  very smooth and dark.

Layerson, when you sing the word 'goodbye' in the first two choruses you sing a melisma where the chord scale is ..at least harmonically speaking, incorrect.  It sounds pretty bad to my ears.  If I read correctly, it sounds like this is still in draft form.  I'd chalk that one up to a bad cold and go back and re-record it, making sure that all the notes in the lick sound good against the chord.  I'm not a huge fan of one or two of your phrasing choices - I.e., the way you break up Stan's lines in places - but that's highly subjective and I'm reticent to say where because they could actually grow on me - but the one place where you smash up all the words
"all at once you were a mystery" doesn't work for me.  Actually, the fact that you smash up the words doesn't bother me as much as the fact that it leaves an awkward space that follows and the next line enters uncomfortably as a result.

The bass needs to come up in the mix.  There are a few places where the choice of bass note (especially in the early verses) is surprising. I only listened once and I think I like but I'm not hearing a lot of definition.  It's almost as if you are burying it in the mix because you're not sure if you like it.

As for the lyric, and I don't know why this bothers me because I am a huge fan of including sight, sound, taste, etc in the  lyric, but the very last two lines come out of nowhere.  I think it's because I've been listening to a list of emotions and feelings with very little to place me in a 'world.'  On the other hand, looking back to the first verse I see the rain and the games, and I can only imagine that they happened in the park - so the bookends are there and that I like that.  Maybe that's good enough.   You know me, Stan. Prone to overthink and worry about these things.  I think if this was my lyric, I might throw the listener a bone and add one or two more or less 'concrete' clues in the body of the lyric.

All in all, this one has a lot going for it.


  • Layerson
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Now weíre talking, thatís an in depth review @M57  :thumbsup:

Iím  not saying I agree with everything but you pointed out the base which I mastered out pretty much to achieve tonal balance (...I try to use Voxengo Span to view and contrast with other music...maybe I over did it...). Iím definitely leaning on increasing it a couple of notches to make it more audible.

Do not know what BVs is short for, is it Base Violins?

As for the vocals, I donít want to mess this song up even more. Reasons are mostly that Iíve switched room in my house for my studio and this other one is much denser sounding and has better overall acoustics and I still struggle a lot with my vocals so itís probably not something I could repeat singing wise. I hear what you hear, certain parts are not in tune at all, in the future I might do something with it and Iíll get it right, but thatís when Iíve  learned how to sing properly. So, in the interest of keeping things simple, Iíve decided not to do retakes on the vocals for this song. :blackgrin:

Iím going to have to take the song for a remix and remaster.

The things youíve told me about this production is helping me a great deal, not only with this particular song.  Itís always good to hear that other people share the same experiences when it comes to attention for detail.  This is the kind of stuff Iíve been trying hard to learn for the last few months. But, working the details out has also in a way helped me to decide when I cannot improve on a song anymore because of my lack of skills and experience in mixing/arranging.

I canít thank you enough for taking your time in giving me and Stan this feedback :)

 ::Rachel::
/Micke


@Layerson  & @smajor  - interesting background story. Fine song.
Mixwise I could offer some hints, some also have been given below : reduce reverb on the vocal, possibly lower the phaser effect on the guitar. Strngs could be panned a bit more to leave some space for the vocals.
BV = backing violins.
If you would decide to redo the vocals, or as a general tip for future tracks: you higher register sounds better than the lower vocal. In a choir you would sing tenor, I guess. But on the other hand I am digging the Johnny Cash sounding parts where they enhance the lyrical atmosphere.
recommending https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_Music_Works "How music works", book by David Byrne.


By "BV's" I meant background vocals.  Sorry, I should have spelled it out.  Just got lazy.  And I'm not saying do it everywhere.  Just in a few places.  With things like string pads - I have to admit that I'm pretty persnickety. Either you make them sound like strings - or you explicitly make sure they don't sound like strings.  The former is REALLY hard unless you have access to a decent string library.  What are you using for a DAW?


  • Layerson
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Thanks @oorlab for your loving brutal honesty  ;)

Seriously, I listen to what youíre saying, but itís not possible for me to do all of that. I like the phaser effect on the guitars, itís very intentional. I did however shift the phase of one of the tracks (L or R, donít remember). You made me realize there was some phase issues, and now the correlation is much better.

Youíre right, I shouldnít go to deep in voice then again I donít think I have much of an upper register either.

Yup, maybe I do have a kind of tenor voice but the vocals in this song have a frailty that I couldnít ever repeat with my current voice, that is the result of that cold I was suffering from plus a high fever, so retakes arenít really possible.  :makeitup:

Iíve done a re-mix, tweaked the voice a little where it was out of tune, dialed back the reverb and echo in the intro and first verse, and I removed some annoying noises from grinding strings on the guitars and base guitar which no one has pointed out.

This time I also brought the mids up plus the highs but not as much and reintroduced some more lower end, so the base would sound more defined.

@M57 Iím using Logic Pro, I also own Garritan Personal Orchestra - think that what itís called. I have an extensive collection of free SoundFonts I downloaded a long time ago when that was still possible (the website isnít there anymore) that have a variety of strings in it plus I have some third party plugins from Toontrack - EZkeys StringMachine among them - but thatís more of a retro kind of sounding plug-in. Think I used one of the stock DAW string Alchemy pads for this one.

Iím gonna keep this as it is right now, donít think I could or want to fiddle around with it or reiterate anymore.
Iíve taken some of the advice and made good of it at least.  :yes:

But, as I said earlier - I will take all advice with me into my next song.  :thumbsup:

 ::Rachel::
/Micke


Excellent.  Logic's strings are getting better and better. It's only got a bare-bones set of articulations, but they are of good quality IMO.  Bottom line, when working with any VI's you need to dive deep into the various parameters to get those instruments to "emote" to get them to sound anywhere near real - especially at the ends of phrases.  It can be worth the work.  On the other hand, if you have any money burning a hole in your pocket, libraries like East-West Hollywood strings or really any high end product out there makes it a lot easier.  They all have their strengths, weaknesses and characteristic sounds, so it pays to check them all out.  Youtube  is of course a great place to start.



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