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MikeRobinson

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MikeRobinson last won the day on June 2 2016

MikeRobinson had the most liked content!

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About MikeRobinson

  • Rank
    Senior Member

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    United States of America

Music Background

  • Musical / Songwriting / Music Biz Skills
    Composer, Scoring. Computer programmer.
  • Musical Influences
    Zappa; Metheny; Enya; Ray Lynch.

Collaboration

  • Songwriting Collaboration
    Not Interested
  1. ... and it would do well for any hopeful composer of Music to study these "two-and-a-half minute wonders" m-o-s-t carefully! Listen to them ... trust me, trust me ... over and over and over again.
  2. The royalty checks come through just the same ...
  3. Identify every piece of material that anyone remotely could consider to be "their property." Now: "show utter respect to their Intellectual Property (IP) rights," to an obsequious degree. Contact the representative of every single IP-rights owner, and document(!) every step of your so-called "due diligence." Keep a thoroughly detailed record of exactly how you determined who the potential owners were. Then, exactly how and exactly when you contacted every one of them. Exactly how they responded, and exactly when. How you followed-up with anyone who failed to respond, until every single one of them did. Only then do you publish your piece ... anywhere. You have both "covered your a*s .. I mean, bases," and you have shown that you were aware of everyone whose rights you might possibly have touched-upon, and pro-actively did something about it. R-E-S-P-E-C-T.™
  4. Take this song to Nashville and start peddling it – after you copyright it. The notion of "the Italian peninsula as a cowboy boot" should be worth money. It is very, very original.
  5. Have you ever written a song that you just can't let go of? Or, that just won't let go of you? Just such a song, for me, is called Young Men, White Gloves. The song is a different sort of war-protest song. Specifically, it protests the well-oiled marketing engine that tries to make "war" a thing of honor and adventure. It appeals to young men, especially from poorer families, by promising them a sense of belonging and of pride the likes of which they may have never known, along with a military uniform that might be the nicest piece of clothing they have ever owned. But it doesn't tell the truth. Iwo Jima becomes a glorious flag placed on a hill – not a bloodbath that killed or wounded over 26,000 Marines including most of the ones who raised that flag in the picture. You can hear it here on MacJams, but I was never satisfied with that version. For one thing, when I started peeling the layers back off of it, I found that it contains a lot of musical mistakes. So, I've started over. This time, I'm writing for a full orchestra. Some of the elements will remain the same – the piccolo, the general structure (with an added Interlude) – but I'm going for a much richer musical texture. And I'm beginning my (re-)work with a dedicated open-source music scoring program, MuseScore. And here is how I'm proceeding. The first thing to go down is the melody, which is one line with lyrics. (This becomes the "lead sheet" that will be needed for US Copyright registration.) This then becomes the basis of a vocal guide track, which will be in the singer's headphones as he sings. Just before the start of each new phrase, the first note of the phrase is included (more quietly) to cue the singer of what note is coming next. In recordings, it is muted. Then, an accompaniment guide track which is the leading and most-featured note line within the accompaniment. This might be a counter-melody to the melody. In the case of YMWG, it is basically the piano part that you first hear in the overture. This guide track will be muted. Most intricate is the chord guide track, written-in by hand using some suitable keyboard-like patch. This is a block-chord arrangement of the entire chord structure that will be played by any piece of the orchestra. The chord structure begins simply and becomes more elaborate and forceful with each go-round of the verse so that the song builds to a climax. First, select and position the main chords, which I somehow refer to as "landing chords" or "thump chords." These are the chords that the accompaniment "lands on," and uses to step from one point to the next to the next, with anything in-between being more or less window-dressing. The chords are suitably decorated with 7ths, 9ths and so-on. The song should now sound very good using just the guide tracks. You really want to perfect the chord-guide track because this will dictate everything that the audience will hear any instrument play, no matter what instrument plays it. The next step is to partition those guide chords among the various instruments, once again bearing in mind, "don't give it to 'em all at once." Instruments have different flavors, tones, and power – and, weaknesses. Starting with a simple mix of instruments, later on in the song you add more instruments and tones to the arrangement. All of the tones that you select should come from the guide. The chords that are played are those in the guide. How those chords are played is up to you. Also, an ensemble of any size sounds best when there is overlap in time. Instruments might arrive at the thump-chord points at different times and by taking different paths to get there. This creates the luxurious musical textures that good ensembles are known for.
  6. Something else to think about: "might this actually be two (or more ...) songs?" In this poem, "e-v-e-r-y single verse(!)" introduces a brand-new concept, one after another after another, without a single scrap of stress-relieving continuity except, possibly, the single word, "more." But also: "what o-n-e(!!) thing" is this song actually about, and likewise, "what o-n-e(!!)(!!) thing will the Listener actually carry-away, to claim it for his/her own? Always remember that every successful song is 'about' ... "the listener." And absolutely no one else.
  7. Like it – definitely – but, if I may quite-candidly say, "it sounds like a lyric that was written, before it was sung," instead of the other way around. "Which, unfortunately," at least to me, "is fatal." You see, words and phrases like "Metaphoric, aleatoric, Hypersensitive, catatonic, devastating," even though they might rhyme, are never things that any human-being on Planet Earth would actually ever say in "plausible conversation."
  8. "Play It, Sam!" ... ... ...
  9. Give me a counter-story in between each verse. Create a tension between them, such as "the voice of the opposition that this singer's point-of-view is opposing." Create a ... story. And, keep working this idea. To my estimation you are (more than) halfway there ...
  10. Blupa, I simply don't feel the girl in this. She's an object, not another player in this game. By the end of the second verse, there's no story ... no conflict ... just one pissed-off guy who's about to take his marbles and go home.
  11. I'm "in" on your side on this one, John – and therefore against the Lord – "aiiieeeee!!! zap!" ... ... nah, seriously. "The Lord" is clearly metaphorical, and the emotions being expressed by this speaker are both unique and very raw and powerful. But – if I may cautiously suggest – "your lock-step rhyming structure ... isn't!" It gives me far too much to expect. By the end of the second stanza, which is designed identically to the first and which has the same (and, soon to be, "very typical") set of forced rhymes, this song concept's very-powerful impact is frankly ... to me ... being rapidly neutered severely degraded. I therefore bluntly, cautiously, and very-respectfully suggest that there is much more to this "very intrinsically raw and very intrinsically powerful" idea than such a stereotypical treatment will do justice to. Here, as we come to realize, we are dealing with a psychopath who is about to go on a rampage, and we are hearing him tell us why he is about to do it, a-n-d(!), we are locked into his head and therefore into his point-of-view as he does so. This is a fantastic premise, I suggest, and it calls for reaching outside the boxes. Various lyrics for your consideration: Richard Marx, Hazard A-Ha, I've Been Losing You (note that the lyrics are not quite accurate) ... these are two fantastic lyrics which, on my second run-through (the first of which was "listening to a pleasant little tune, oh shit(!) what did they just say?!?!"). Your song idea could go there – even better.
  12. Agreed – the recordings are clean and clear, and the videos are imaginative for the purpose intended. Especially in the second case, I felt that I was walking through a well-curated photographic exhibit at an art museum while I listened to an interesting piece of music by an artist whose voice (and, songwriting and performance sentiments) remind me strongly of Chris DeBurgh. Most importantly, both lyrics (and their accompanying musical presentation) kept making me think. This is a series of very interesting observations about the human condition (if you will pardon that hackneyed expression), cleverly told, and accompanied by visual images that also support the message. In short, I think that you well deserve to be very proud of what you have accomplished here. - - - - - "And, as for 'gear,' don't let 'em talk you into spending too much!" The music-equipment industry is always geared towards making you feel dis-satisfied about anything that you own, and maybe to feel a little-bit guilty that "you, you poor thing, couldn't afford to" ... (never will they say, "chose not to!") ... spend more money. You spent your money wisely and you came up with an excellent, very professional result.
  13. I generally agree with all of the foregoing: "absolutely(!) creative and delightful!!" ... ... but ... "a little more variety, please?" As I "settle in" to my enjoyment of your very-enjoyable song, after a not-so little while I begin to get a little bit restless. C'mon, "the next time around, surprise me a little." (Not a lot, mind you! Just, a little!!) For instance, let one instrument "be silent for the next phrase." Or, add a little bit of pepper (or, cayenne) to the next go-round. While "the general thrust," and therefore, "the general expectation," of this particular genre is (more or less ...) "repetition," even "repetition" still very-much craves "variety."
  14. Can I set-aside your vocals – having actually never yet heard them – and offer a few suggestions about the lyric? To my way of thinking, "okay, I'll give you exactly two lyrics' grace." State your premise, then re-state it in a slightly different way. But, now, I really want to see you "take some kind of 'right-angle turn' with this thing." (At the very least, give me an interesting bridge.) "Show me some contrast, now," "Tell me a story." Find some way to effectively insert, right into the middle of your presentation, the point-of-view of the person you are singing about. Or, if you prefer: "personalize(!) 'we!'" Of course, in the English language, "we" can simply be used to make a phrase impersonal: to convey that the speaker is not specifically speaking, literally, about himself, without actually stating the identity of any other responsible party. But, on the other hand, "we" can also mean "universal!" ... and that "second possibility" would enable you to engage ... m-e ... the audience.
  15. "Hmmm... Hmmm... Hmmm..." Wanna just "stick to the genre," or do you wanna maybe "break this song out of this rather-tired old mold?" Frankly, to my way of thinking, "this genre" has one gigantic problem: that it treats "the player of 'the opposite gender,' all-important that she might be to "the final outcome of the night," as a bit-player. She is only described, throughout the entire song, by her hunter: "the Boy." And so, for the entire remainder of the song, we hear ... him. She is ... "merely the passive(!) sex-object, and apparently happy so to be." What if you hired a female singer? Blended into this "fine yet presently-predictable situation" ... her sex(!)-drive, as well? Or maybe, something a little more complex? Even within the strictures of this genre, I think that there are a boat-load of creative possibilities here which just might lift this now-fairly-predictable song into the extraordinary.