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Joseph Ottinger's blog

Two new songs: Impression and Aurora!

New music at last! What’s even better, these pieces are way, way better than the others in the current release cycle, to the point where they’re likely to make the other pieces just go away.

The first is “Aurora,” an instrumental. It was interesting to record; this is actually the third version recorded. The first used four acoustic guitars, recorded outside, panned in a stereo field, with the bass and drums and electric guitar added; it sounded good but the timing was iffy.

Well, the bass sounded wierd because I was trying stuff. The bass was panned hard left and the right side of the stereo field was from reverb. It actually didn’t sound bad in headphones but on any other speaker…

Plus, since it was recorded outside, there were places where the “wind” was “blowing” and you could “hear” it in the “recording.” (In other words, the wind was blowing and it got recorded.)

The second version replaced the acoustics with a single electric guitar; it.. just didn’t work. I didn’t like it all that much.

So then this version: I returned to the track organization of the first version, added one synthesizer, and voila! You have this version, which sounds pretty good in my own opinion.

The second piece is “Impression.” This was originally a fifteen second piece of commercial music, recorded for Theresa Lombardi (because her videos had this long, uncomfortable silence at the beginning, which I offered to fix.) It was pretty simple, and she decided she wanted it to be more ethereal (done, no problem), and then she wanted… words!

I felt uncomfortable with the original “lyric” to the intro.

(“You are God,” which … no. Theresa’s a good person, but I’m not enough into New Age stuff to do that. In fact, I’m not into New Age stuff at all. Sorry, Theresa.)

So being a lyricist and all, I decided to say something. My original lyric line: “Am I my own reflection? Are you your own design?” which Theresa liked, beyond all imaginings, but she didn’t care much for the query aspect; she had me invert it to a statement. Then inspiration struck as my “Bridge Across Forever” memory came back, and I wrote the rest of it:

I am my own reflection
You are your own design
We echo in this instant
We live in the divine

The answer to the question
Is written in the mind
The map to our ascendence
Is held in the divine

My original third line was “We echo in this instance,” but .. her suggestion of a change to “instant” was logical and right.

So all that was left was using all this. The original fifteen second piece used a vocoder for the query, since I thought it sounded like a neat idea and I’d never done it before, along with a varying bass line (the figure was seven measures long, with the next figure being five or so… which didn’t work for regular verse.)

The new version was much longer. The bass lines still vary lengths except for the verses, in which it’s a simple four-measure sequence. It’s actually way more effective in the long version, but a video that started with this would drive one nuts.

Hope you enjoy them!

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