Archive for August, 2014

New Song: Prima Luce

Prima Luce is Latin for “first light,” or dawn. The melody of the song was inspired by my thinking about a cross-country trip I made with my family last summer, and driving through the Nevada desert at the sun was coming up. It was absolutely moving. To be perfectly honest though, making another instrumental was not my original intent with Prima Luce. I wrote the backing parts of the song over a month ago. Since then, I had been trying to come up with lyrics and for some reason, words just wouldn’t come. So early this morning, I woke up with the intent – yet again – to pen some lyrics. But I ended up noodling over the backing track, and came up with a melody line. I realized that this song was meant to be an instrumental.

Guitars: Rhythm: 1958 Les Paul Historic (Amber)*, Lead: 1998 American Deluxe Strat (Heather)*.

* Note that the signal chain for these included an EHX Soul Food Overdrive and Mad Professor Deep Blue Delay (handwired).

Amp: Aracom VRX22 run into an Aracom DRX attenuator. Note that all clips were recorded close-miked with the volume output no higher than loud conversation level (Gawd! I love the DRX!)

Update: September 2, 2014

Once I finish writing songs, I let them sit for a couple of days then re-listen to them to see what needs fixing. In this case, I wanted to make the end of the choruses match, and re-do the bridge to be more dramatic. In the process, I decided to do the whole song with my ’58 Les Paul. I happened to pull it out just to play around, and found that the “woman” tone that the Deacci pickups I just installed in it just took the song to a completely different place. So, I re-recorded the lead over the weekend. Give it a listen:

More on the Soul Food Overdrive

soulfoodI hate to say it, but the Soul Food has become my number one overdrive. It just works with every guitar and every amp I have. It’s purely amazing! When I was recording the lead, I set the Drive to about 3pm and the volume at about 1pm. With a Les Paul, that would’ve created over-the-top breakup, but with a Strat, the pedal brought out all sorts of harmonics and sustain with less distortion than with a Les Paul. I just closed my eyes and let my fingers do the talking.

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Yul Brynner Played Guitar?


Yes. In fact, he was apparently a very accomplished guitarist who specialized in Russian and Gypsy folk music. He even recorded a couple of records over his lifetime.

I had always known Yul Brynner from his movies; as the Pharaoh in The Ten Commandments as “Chris” in The Magnificent Seven, and who could forget him as the lead in The King and I? Yul Brynner was a special and unique talent, and I have always been a fan; I guess not big enough to know about his musical history. But there it is. Yet another reason to appreciate his talent!

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