I wrote a song seven days ago. NOW was one of those non-stop marathons: five hours on Saturday night, seven hours from early Sunday morning, and the space in between for sleeping. Don’t get me wrong; this was no penance, no exorcism. It was a cool and exciting outpouring of ideas, each running into the other, each fighting to make it to the finishing line. What made this song special was a virtual collaboration with an Instagram artist, one of whose images inspired my lyrics. You can read more about the artist Itsinlayers here, and hopefully discover some great new art.

I started early evening on Saturday with the first notes on guitar. The hook if you will. Then, several other guitar pieces came to mind. Once all were released and recorded, I started to work on the string section, both in terms of ‘strings’ in the traditional sense, but also in terms of ‘pads’, those gentle but resonating murmurs that are like a blanket laid on the ground of the song.

The next day, with fresh eyes and excited ears I set about tightening up all the instruments before laying down three vocals and finding guide drums. Drums are always the hardest to convey, and it’s here that my ‘landscape’ helps.

You see, when I write I often see landscapes in my minds eye, akin to an artist sketching his image on a canvas before he applies paint. Sounds have different frequencies. Look at the landscape below and now try to imagine it musically: the low frequency notes are at the bottom of the canvas (grass), the middle frequency notes like strings are slightly higher up (hills), the vocals higher still (sky). Slight scatterings of percussion, or individual guitar notes, would be represented by individual strokes rather than solid blocks of color. The length of the painting equals the length of the song.

Landscape

Landscape

Essentially, a song is only finished when the painting is complete in my mind’s eye. If something is missing it’s this visual overview in my head that helps me to complete the song.

This song had so many layers to record that I had to keep going. Sure enough, I completed the demo, checked the mix, bounced the song and sent it to Steve (producer). Steve and I met briefly to tighten up the structure before sending the song to Jose Feliciano drummer Tyger MacNeal. The three of us came together yesterday. Tyger has also added his magic to Better Man, I Want To Lay Down and Lucky One, all of which are on the forthcoming album Second Life, out this summer.

The studio session was productive and fun and I was able to sign off on all three songs. Mind you, when you have a drummer as good as Tyger, the sign-off process is more like a big smile, an eager handshake and a huge thank you. It’s that wonderfully easy.

Here is an exclusive video of us laying down drums for NOW. There is a surprise to this song. You see, NOW and another song If I Can Breathe, are being released as ‘double a-side’ singles, namely an up-tempo version and an acoustic version for each song. Watch this space.

This song is sweet without drums. For me, the skeleton of a song establishes whether it is strong enough on its own. Another exclusive on kathymuir.com is an extract of the demo I brought to Steve.

 

Happy listening and watching. Let me know what you think by sharing it or, even better, dropping me a line.

 

NOW
Street light blinds her, look for shade
Exit, enter. Night or day

She walks. Stop, start, pause

Seek and you will find there is always more
Seek another kind, and a door will open
Seek and you will find there is always more
Seek another kind, a door will open

Breezes fold her paper thin walls
Veil the deaf prayer of this nightfall

Calling, shifting

Seek and you will find there is always more
Seek another kind, and a door will open
Seek and you will find there is always more
Seek another kind, a door is open NOW

One thought on “Here and ‘NOW’ – new song

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