Finally, the inspiration hits

One of the most frustrating aspects of creative endeavors for me is that I can’t just turn it on. Sometimes you have the juice and sometimes you don’t, and boy howdy these last few months have been a lot of don’t. I’ve been stuck for months now waiting for a couple of more songs to add to Garden of Memories.

What I’ve always found, though, is that the creative spark flames up eventually. Musically, they arrived this week. No names and no lyrics yet, but I think both will make the album. That should kick things close to the 60 minute mark that I’m aiming for, and more importantly, really round out the album. Maybe I’m kidding myself, but I think this will be something special.

First wave of demos completed

I’ve completed the first wave of demos for Garden of Memories. The good news is that they’re sounding really good. I’m quite pleased with what I’ve written for the album so far. The bad news is that the demos collectively clock in at just under 47 minutes, which is less than the hour of music I’m hoping to deliver for the second album. Ever since pitching overboard 1938—a suite of about 20 minutes that I’ll probably put out as an EP—I’ve suspected that I need to do more writing. Now I’ve proof.

The song list at present: Everything, Elisha, Jillian, Open Low, Sad, Steady, A Little Bit Zen, Lovers’ Lament, Life is But a Dream, Swept, Halo (Measure of Love), and Remember.

Aria 714-DLX

I bought an Aria 714 DLX on Thursday ($459 at Weathers Music in Salem), brought it home and played for about an hour and a half. For those interested, it looks like this except that it’s see-through blue rather than red:

Here’s the sales info:

Unbelievably versatile H/S/H pickup set has more possibility when it on the 714DLX Electric Guitar.

The Duncan Designed humbuckers at the neck and bridge provide chunky rhythm and dense lead tone while the Duncan Designed single coil in the middle provides brighter, edgier highlights, plus the bridge humbucker, directly mounted on the body one side, on the pickguard the other makes its tone more identical.

The Wilkinson VS-50K tremolo, a solid alder body, a rosewood fingerboard on comfortable maple neck serve for your ultimate usage.

Out jack is recessed in exquisite angle for your easier plug in and your active, stress-free performance.

3 pickup (H-S-H)

Aria 714DLX Specifications:

  • Body : Alder Quilted maple film top
  • Neck : Maple, Bolt-on Joint
  • Fingerboard : Rosewood
  • Frets : 22F
  • Scale : 648mm(25-1/2″)
  • Pickups : Duncan Designed SC-102 Single coil x 1, HB-103 Humbucking x 2
  • Controls : Volume, Tone, 5-position PU Selector SW x 1, Coiltap SW x 1
  • Tailpiece : Wilkinson VS-50K Tremolo
  • Hardware: Chrome

Non-guitar players will be forgiven if, like me, the above effectively comes at you like a bunch of nonsense words. The essential take-away, from my perspective, is that the Aria 714-DLX is a versatile, well-made instrument, capable of producing a variety of sounds. I’ve been playing it through my old Roland KC-500 amp; I can’t wait to hear what sounds I can generate with it once I plug it into the MOTU Traveler and feed the signal through Apple’s GarageBand or Logic, both of which have a variety of amp effects.

It’s unlikely that the Aria will appear on Garden of Memories except to provide background color. I’m not enough of a player (yet) to do much more than chunk out some chords. Nonetheless, I spent 90 minutes playing on Thursday—until my fingers were too sore to continue. Having never even touched, let alone played, an electric guitar before then, I have two observations: First, playing electric guitar feels amazingly powerful. Second, it’s amazingly fun. If some of that joie de vivre found its way onto Garden of Memories, I’d hardly be one to complain.

Next album underway

I’ve begun compiling work for my next album, tentatively titled Garden of Memories. I should start recording a few of the songs next week and hope to have it released this summer.

Here’s the tentative track list (in no particular order): Everything, Elisha, Jillian, Swept, Halo (Measure of Love), Open Low, A Little Bit Zen, and 1938.

Garden will likely have about 12 songs total since 1938 is something of a multi-themed opus that, were we still living in the days of yore, would take up the whole second side of the record. As it is, the album should deliver at least 60 minutes of music.

It’ll be acoustic and keyboard-driven in nature. Having delivered a full-on rock and roll album already, I’m looking at this as a decided change of pace and something that’s actually much closer to how I actually write most of my music. I hope, when the time comes, you’ll choose to come along for the ride.

Updates on significant milestones to follow.

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