Sunday, March 30, 2008

Long Term Project

As I sat out in the sun digging still more Bermuda Grass from my pool landscaping, I had a crazy idea to add to the list of things I want to do in my life. This one is something that will take significant preparation, and is something I probably won't be able to start in earnest until the kids move out of the house and I get ample free time. Hmph, may have to wait until retirement. I figure I have around 40 years before I get too old to complete this.

Over the course of my rediscovery of Mike Oldfield and Pink Floyd (See March 16th blog entry), I got to thinking how much fun it can be to put together a "band" made up of me, me, me, me, me, and me. Obviously, I can only play one instrument at a time, so the magic will be done by mixing, like Oldfield did for Tubular Bells. The difference here is that today, you can legitimately do this in your home, thanks to digital technology.

The project goal will be to record my interpretation of Pink Floyd's Astronomy Domine, probably the best of Syd Barret's compositions. The lyrics aren't much more than blather (even if I like them), but the instrumental portion I think lends itself to considerable interpretation. I'm not worried about rights because this is entirely for my own enjoyment, not for any kind of profit.

There needs to be considerable prep for this project. I don't play many instruments, and that's the major handicap. I play clarinet, which I'm told lends itself to easily learning saxophone, so I'm not completely inept. I've also done some composing, so music theory isn't a big deal. I will need to learn some essential instruments to pull this off. Guitar (and by extension bass), piano (read synth), and drums.

I expect by far the most difficult of these will be guitar. I have one and while it's not all that hard an instrument to play in concept, it's not necessarily all that easy to execute well. I will probably take lessons once my life settles into something less insane.

I don't think what I have in mind for keyboard instruments will be particularly difficult, so I think I can work out what I need on the fly. Drums will be challenging, and judging on my daughter's progress, I'll need at least 6 months of lessons to pull it off. Other percussion instruments don't worry me.

The last aspect is the vocals. Not sure how well that will sound with my voice. Time will tell. If my voice sounds crappy when I'm 60, I may try to do the lyrics with a talk box.

We'll see if I ever manage to pull this off. It takes a back seat to my writing, of course, and there's no way I can do it at this stage of my life. I don't really even have time to learn guitar right now. Things change. One day the time will be there. I just wanted to document the project here and now so there are other people in the world that expect me to do this eventuallty.

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