Monday, 13 January 2014

The Game of Rise And Fall

Taken from the Resonance Project facebook page:

Rise And Fall was a 'game song', where I would attempt to write a particular sort of song with a semi-fixed set of elements. I didn't seem to write many fast riffs, so I decided that this song would have a sixteenth-note riff, possibly harmonised. I also decided to leave room in the verses and put some gaps in the music for the vocal - whatever it turned out to be - to stand alone for a moment. Thirdly, I would have the verses in a minor key, then modulate to the relative major for the chorus while not completely giving in to the cloying sweetness of the major third (this thought made perfect sense to me at the time). With this box of tricks, I set out to see what would happen.

The main pedal tone guitar riff came together in sections quite quickly once I'd jammed around a bit and established a vibe. A bit more 'Euro' than some of my stuff, and once I started tracking guitars, I heard where the harmonies needed to happen. As well as being a 'game' song, it was a 'blurt' song - the verses happened and joined themselves to the riffs seamlessly, and I happened across the chorus changes right after, so it was almost a rush to commit things to memory or disc before the next section bloomed. I got the ideas down, and it was fine just like that. Fun game!
Donna pretty much did the same thing with the lyric and vocal arrangement, was ready to go and before we knew it... had to fly out to India to do some fancy corporate show. She returned quite ill with some serious fluid on her lungs, but was determined to "get 'er done", and managed to belt out a vocal that to this day stands up, unenhanced. The recording was good enough to put on a demo EP that we released, and Donna simply had to repeat the performance when we re-recorded for the Tale Goes On EP. The new version - recorded at a slightly faster tempo - allowed us to hone our parts, and make it just right. There's a balance that needs to be achieved when recording, where the performance is known intimately, yet executed with spontaneity and passion. When you can play a piece enough times to have it known on a cellular level, yet still find joy and freshness in the music, magic happens. Or at the very least, you have a REALLY GOOD TIME.

I had borrowed the famous Ormsby Shark guitar around the time of recording, and used it to double my trusty GG6 on some of the riffing and chorus parts. I think this might have been the Shark's debut release, now that I think about it. One noticeable similarity between the lead vocal recordings is that both times, the singer was up against a health issue, but kicked it to the curb for the song. Donna had been diagnosed with MS before approaching the vocal session, and did the song - and herself - proud, even spontaneously nailing a line that we had previously agreed she wouldn't attempt. Smartass. As she sings in the song; "Don't give up, don't look back..."

Rise And Fall was written around the same time as Kings & Queens and Behind The Dreamer's Veil, so I tend to mentally group them together as the songs we wrote when we started to establish Resonance Project's musical identity. With Tale Goes On and the songs within, I feel we validate that identity.


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