I’ve been listening to Composer Quest for years, spurred on by this tweet from a Mr. Whitaker Trebella, who is a friend of the podcast host, Charlie McCarron.
Besides interviews with people in the creative field, and helpful audio workshops where Charlie goes over music production on tracks he’s recently created, they also do quests, which are compositional challenges. I try to do them when I can (or am even able!), but I definitely tried my hardest to stick it through the latest one: Composer Quest Olympics. A series of events, like Weightlifting and Hurdles, each proposed a different constraint for that section’s composition, and 10 days later it was due. I dig constraints, as it gives the otherwise unlimited potential for a single piece of music some guidance.
Well, six challenges, two-ish months, and an awards ceremony later, the CQ Olympics are complete: and I won 3 medals! Two were for challenges I did with one or more people, and one was for a solo effort.
It’s exciting to win anything at anytime, even though I was surprised on the ones I won for, and the one I thought was a shoo-in got 0 votes. I guess I don’t know what the people (read: this specific audience) was really looking for. Alas!
The band I’m in, Fly Like Venus, played their first show recently! It was at the Company Pub and Kitchen, which is a pretty nice venue, with its own stage and crew. We got it on video and it can be viewed in the little box below.
As an addendum to the last post, I would be remiss to forget to talk about Fly Like Venus for a little bit.
Except for Pure Yellow Colour, I’ve never been in a “band”, per se. I’ve been playing and making music since the mid-90s, and sometimes with other people informally, but most of the time the music has been a solo project.
Enter my friend Rusty, who, back in the early 2000s, was just a friend of my boss at the time. Rusty played drums, and my boss played guitar and sang, and they would occasionally jam. I joined in with them after some time, and we started doing some rough recordings of our jams for fun. I left that job and that boss eventually moved, so that whole thing kind of died on the vine, unfortunately.
Thankfully, I kept in touch with Rusty, and we eventually got together again to jam here and there. Oftentimes it would just be us, but we occasionally brought in other musicians, too. The revolving lineup and its output has been documented at the Man Cave Jam website.
In the last year or so, we got a lead guitarist/vocalist and a bassist, and began trying to become more legit as a band. We decided on a name, started recording an album, and even just played our first gig at an open-mic (and people came to see us!). So, I guess you could say we’re kind of a big deal now.
It’s a cool thing to be in, and playing with other people, especially when you’re all on your game and everything comes together, can be a high like no other.
The last time I updated this site, which has gone from a dump of my old LiveJournal, to a fairly recurring life blog, to a mainly defunct music blog, I had just recently become a father. In the following, oh, year and a half, I’ve been a little preoccupied with doing that thing.
However, I’ve found time, carved into the recesses of the night, to finish a couple more albums of music.
The second podcast I’ve been apart of, Quibblings, finished up its inaugural (and final) season a while back, but all the music I made for it is now in a handy Bandcamp album.
My family and another family went on a Disney cruise together back in late August/early September 2015, and during the downtime I really explored the space (of the iPad version of Garageband). Of course, it wasn’t my first time using the app, but it was the most thorough. A mix of samples and synths, all themed by cities in the Alaskan/Southwest corner of Canada regions of our great country of North America.
Lullabies album cover
Lullabies, by Michael Chadwick
Sometimes, you just need some relaxing solo classical guitar to lull a young person into a state of unconsciousness. In order to facilitate this, or maybe just to offer up a collection of pleasant music to play in the background for some other task, I made a Lullabies album. The whole shebang is pay-what-you-will, or you can just stream for free.
It’s pretty raw, one-take stuff, so the tempo may meander, and the recording is nowhere near professional, but I think that just makes them more authentic.
Note: technically, these lullabies have no words, and they aren’t always in 6/8 time, so they may not have the traditional characteristics of the art form, but they can still work! I’ve used these pieces personally, and I think they will do the trick. I’ve even had the whole album approved by a real mother, so I think I know what I’m talking about. Besides, babies won’t know they’re not the real thing, man.