Song 16 - April 18 - 25, 2011

"Big Grey Wolf"

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"Big Grey Wolf" - song #16 - MP3 file

"Big Grey Wolf"

Length: 3:46

Track count: 16 Tracks

Instrumentation: Korg Radias, human voice, Fender Stratocaster, Digitech hardwire DL8, Rat Distortion pedal, Ableton Live.

Short version? Feels good to howl.

Long Version?

I had a dream where I was standing somewhere and there were a lot of little dogs running around. I thought to myself "Hey, I'm dreaming - I can do anything I want to! I can think anything I want, and things in the dream will change!" So I decided to make the dogs bigger. I looked down at the little grey dog at my feet and I laughed and told him "Get bigger!"

Nothing seemed to be happening, so I looked around to see if there was anything in the landscape I could influence, and when I looked back the dog was about twice it's original size! I kept telling him to get bigger, and laughing. I had an image of a big wolf dog in my mind. Some of the dogs did grow, and it was a happy feeling. I loved dogs, and on top of that, I was experimenting with lucid dreaming, which I always want to do but rarely get to.

Then, as often happens when I'm dreaming, I woke up into another dream - I was still asleep, but in the dream I didn't know that. I remember thinking "That was weird, what a funny dream!" and that I'd carried an image with me from the dream about the little grey dog. I wanted to write the image down for a song idea - the words "Big Grey Wolf." So I wrote it down on a piece of paper. (I often write down phrases like that to help me recall dreams, but in this case I remember very clearly thinking "This will be this week's song.")

Then eventually I really did wake up, and remembered it all. And when I went out to make coffee, I wrote down the words "Big Grey Wolf." And it will be this week's song.

The genesis of this musically was a beat and vocoder track I recorded on the Radias. I decided to emulate dream dogs and wolves with my own voice through vocoder and distortion. I've been listening to a lot of Thom Yorke, and the new Radiohead album showcases his ghostly wail. Its really quite lovely. I won't do anything like that, but that is the feeling I'm going for.

Laid the track into Live, and rearranged it, cleaned up the timing. Now to make it all messy again! Going to nail down a good guitar sound today.

Moving on, did some vocoder work on a song for a client. It's the first time I really dug into the vocoder sounds on the Radias, and they are freaking' cool! While on the hamster wheel this morning, I thought about how to tart up the vocoder for a live show I have coming up, and decided to see if I can use the vocoder to get the sounds I was after with the guitar parts - and also the howling. Hey, it's a cliche, but it's my song! So, vocoder, meet the Rat distortion - and play nice! Or, you know, not.

And I have to say, the howling does feel good.

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