NEW ADVENTURES

So, to the day three weeks ago, I packed my suitcase, took a deep breath and waved goodbye to Boston. And to be honest, I had not anticipated how hard it would be to leave.

BerkleeOn my way to the airport I realized that sound design classes in room A73, songwriting discussions during coffee breaks at Pavement and conducting while walking down Newbury Street would be memories from now on. I have to admit though, I also remember countless days I spent in the windowless recording studios producing (without any daylight whatsoever), sleepless nights, when the production needed extra attention (which was basically always the case) and falling into despair over the copying machine from time to time (ten out of ten).

I couldn’t help but smile, when the plane took off. I glanced at Boston from my little window seat a few hundred feet up in the air and my heart was filled with happiness.

On to new adventures!

IS THAT A GRAMMY?

studio with a viewToday I hung out with Jon Ingoldsby, an amazing composer and engineer, who has recorded artists such as Lana Del Rey, Madonna and Elton John.

We talked about music and life. Especially this week, which has been an emotional roller coaster, it feels so good to meet people you instantly connect with.

The view from the studio made my heart skip not one, but a few beats.

COACHELLA

The atmosphere was beyond words. I felt as if somebody had wrapped me up in cotton candy and dropped me off at dreamland, where the grass feels soft as a carpet and people are beautiful.
Music, balloons and desert sunsets –what more could a heart desire?* Thank you Arno & Walter of Booka Shade for the orange wristband and an unforgettable weekend.

Coachella

*Of course, my collage is only a poor attempt to capture the beauty of this year’s Coachella festival.

MEANWHILE…

Things I learned this month:

A substitute dominant chord resolves a half step down and takes the lydian dominant scale.

To create an “ow” sound on a synth you need an LFO, an LPF, a VCA and three EGs.

Even though they look the same– wax paper should not be used as baking paper.

Cheers.

FUN

These days I am having a great time with the crew of PureMix. They are shooting new tutorials for their website and I get to visit the set. I feel like in a candy shop, checking out some mouth-watering gear and learning from the most knowledgeable audio engineers.

audio heaven

 

Stay True

A few weeks ago, True Motion Pictures reached out to me to produce a song for them. So I sat down with my Hammond SK1, a notebook and lots of Starbucks coffee to come up with a riff, the melody and, of course, lyrics.

stay true lyrics

But writing lyrics and composing a melody is just one step of the whole production process. You have to arrange the song, which means deciding on tempo, key, style and instrumentation. You could turn a Beatles tune into a death metal song or Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” into a dance track. You don’t have to, of course, I’m just saying– that’s what ‘arranging a song’ means.
Once you know what you want the song to sound like, you wanna make sure you record with great musicians. I am lucky, because I am surrounded by quite a few badass musicians who are fun to work and hang out with. I also had my first Pop Tart ever while recording drums with James Applegate. Now, when you have recorded, edited and premixed the tracks (editing as in cut out laughters or nonsense talk about Pop Tarts) there is a slight possibility that you can’t stand to hear your own song for another time. That’s because you have been playing it for about five days in a row over and over again. Don’t worry, that feeling will pass! Maybe take a walk and meet friends who tell you things like: “Dude! You’re so pale! Do you ever see the sun?”
The final step of the production is the mix and the mastering. Besides great taste and excellent ears you also need a lot of experience for these matters so you might wanna hand your tracks over to an expert, which I did. Sal Ojeda has been mixing for film as well as for ridiculously famous artists (who we’ll not even name because we’re too cool to even bother).

All there is left to say is: I am really grateful for my wonderful team. Thank you for your passion, musicality and inspiration @ James Applegate (drums), Benjamin Krause (Hammond/bass), Mike Hernandez (guitars), Andres Fonseca Alfonso (percussions), Sal Ojeda (mix/mastering) and Alexander Papastawrou (True Motion Pictures).

High Five!

>>>> click here for the video <<<<

To Dance

From the outside, it looks so easy
To dance effortlessly,
Weightlessly through life–
Yet one doesn’t see
The inner fights.

From the dancer’s posture only,
You can tell
He has won.