FAWM Time, Again

Well, despite having plans to keep this updated with my progress and discoveries across the past year, clearly I didn’t. Now, I’m 8 days into my second FAWM, and since I’m currently slightly ahead of schedule, thought it was high time to post something on here.

Getting started with anything is always where I struggle. In terms of music, whereas when I first started I tried to compose linearly, with the intro first, I now find it easier and more productive to begin at some mid-point. I know a lot of people have a tried and tested method; beats then bass, or work up around a hook. I don’t have a set way, and for We Lie, I began with a few lines of lyrics, sang straight into the DAW over a basic kick beat.

Probably one of my favourites so far, although I recently discovered some new effects, and the novelty has yet to expire, so there’s quite a lot of that in there.

For the record, my working titles generally have nothing to do with the song, they’re pretty much whatever words come to mind, or I can see nearby, or something, when I open a new project. But they’re marginally more useful and easier to recall than the previous method of ‘track 1’, ‘track 2’ or the date of creation.

Track two is entirely instrumental, and likely to remain that way. Sometimes I like words with my music, sometimes it’s really unnecessary, and sometimes I’m just too damn idle to think any up. And that’s all fine.

I like this one, but if I use it later I’m really gonna have to adjust that intro because it’s (unintentionally) kinda a bad ripoff of the start of a Mesh track.

By track three, I felt like I’d loosened up and dropped the self-expectation. Which is evident in the, uh, ‘lyrics’ here. This one was pretty much pure experimentation and fun. Da-na-na-na-na.

Track four, The Light of the Day, was written the same day as Astral, hence the fairly barebones structure of it at present. But alongside We Lie, my favourite so far. The inspiration for this one came originally from a single line in a book (“returning part of the light of the day”, and for the record, from Hans Fallada’s Alone in Berlin), proving that inspiration can come from anywhere. The rest of the words came relatively quickly, with a few edits later, entered a simple bassline to sing over, and I pretty much just built the track up around that.

Finally for now, this one was written pretty quickly on a day I was feeling tired and uninspired from having blood taken earlier, and no amount of jamming was producing anything I was interested enough in to develop.

My friend Mark is currently in the US visiting his girlfriend, and there was a whole thing about a locked door in the house which led to the voice message. I’ve abused samples of Mark before, and there was no way I was letting that one sit, so here we are. Bit of a cheaty beat for the first bars, since it’s a loop preset direct from the Spark, but I’ve modified and changed it later, so I don’t feel too awful about that.

Originally, it was a bit longer, but three minutes felt a bit unnecessary, so it’s shorter than I’d usually go, but there’s no sense aiming for a longer track if it just goes on and on for no reason.

Now, I’m heading to Manchester, for an electronic open mic night, which sounds fantastic. Hoping to come away with new thoughts and inspiration, and get back to FAWMING in the next couple of days.


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