Discover more from Matthew Moran: Music & Musings
Love Has Flown (more produced) plus thoughts on style and delivery
From here, there, and around the world!
Last week I posted an acoustic recording of (and the lyrics for) Love Has Flown. I got some nice feedback. I truly appreciate that. I have a more produced recording below… still a demo.
I’ve vowed to release more acoustic only recordings. I’ve failed once again. I’m pretty happy with this particular failing.
Here is what occurred after posting that last song.
A long-time musical friend/acquaintance, informed me that he wants to book me as part of a musical series next year. He also expressed an interest in recording some bass parts for my music. (Thanks Shawn).
Chris Nilsson and I worked out a basic agreement on collaborations. Chris is the guitar player from Stockholm who played some parts on Spare My Heart Again. You’ll hear him again below. (Chris’s YouTube channel)
I had a vocal lesson with a guy who was my youngest child’s first vocal coach. It was super helpful. Deb took a vocal lesson as well. More on that later. On the drive home, I concluded that I have been non-committal on improving my vocal delivery. I decided that would NOT be the case moving forward. More on this later.
I met a drummer online who wanted to record some tracks.
Geographically Untethered Recording
I’m in Los Angeles. The drummer is in New Jersey. Chris is in Stockholm, Sweden. The community of recording/engineering enthusiast I take part in our in the UK, Australia, the Mid-West of the US, Indonesia, the Middle-East, etc.
Here’s the current demo. I’ll explain some of it below and then a word about vocal coaching and delivery!
Edit: This mix as of 10-30-2023
First, Chris has sent new stems but they are not on this demo. Stems are individual tracks that contain, in this case, just his guitar parts. They are brought into a recording and mixed in. We’ll see what we have for next week.
For the above demo
Acoustic Guitar: Two tracks, panned left and right - of me strumming. One track of me playing an arpeggio guitar (finger style)
Bass Guitar: One track.
Claps: Four tracks - it’s actually me clapping… no sound samples.
Primary Vocals: One track. Tripled on the choruses.
Backing Vocals: 11 tracks. 4 mid-low, same harmony. 7 mid-high, same harmony.
Chris Nilsson played
Lead/Color Guitar: 2 tracks (on this demo)
Drums: 11 Tracks: 2 kick drum, 2 snare, 1 rack tom, 1 floor tom, 1 hi-hat, 1 ride, 2 overhead mics, 1 room mic.
I’m learning a lot about mixing from the guys in the recording community I take part in.
Our vocal coach
This vocal coach contacted me a few weeks ago as part of his own growth and recovery after having a stroke two years ago that left him blind. Whew… that’s a lot!! He is struggling with confidence and that is hard to witness. His vocal coaching is NOT, in any way, diminished by his lack of sight.
However, he called me twice after our session to tell me it was okay if I wasn’t totally happy with his coaching. He even said, “You’ve been with other vocal coaches and I’m the bottom of the barrel.”
An invocation for those insidious voices: “Fuck the forces of negativity and fear that can diminish any of us!”
Truth is, Deb and I were thrilled with our sessions with him. He was helpful, encouraging - especially important for Deb, who has a wonderful voice but also lacks confidence in that area. He made us both more aware of what were are capable of and provided a path to get there. And he is a truly nice and gentle soul.
About my vocals
I’ve never truly worked on stylizing my vocal delivery. I did on this recording. It isn’t where I want it yet but it moved in a direction I’m happy with.
A good friend and great singer, Freda, had told me years ago to take one of my songs and sing it in the style of: Otis Redding, Johnny Cash, Diana Ross, Don Henley, Michael Bublé, Michael Jackson, Robert Plant, Bob Dylan, etc.
Her point was NOT to sing your songs like those singers. I can try, but I WILL NEVER be mistaken for Diana Ross… for instance. And you could swap out those singers for any other - Willie Nelson, Frank Sinatra, Linda Ronstadt, Peggy Lee, Joe Strummer, Chance the Rapper, etc.
In attempting to emulate a sound, I will learn and develop sounds I don’t normally even attempt to pull from. It adds to the available arsenal of tones you have at your disposal.
I’m taking this to heart. The other night I was playing a song and Deb said, “How would Tom Waits sing it? Sing it like that.”
Matt, attempting to sound like, Tom Waits, is not Tom Waits. But it allowed me to break out of how I’ve ever performed that song. It introduces ideas. I may never sing that song with that style… but I bet I incorporate something similar on some song.
That’s it for now. I’m back in my office, which feels great! I’m trying to arrange it for maximum creative output.
Those acoustic recordings… we’ll get them done too.
Thanks for joining me on this journey!
If you are so inclined, leave a comment and/or share this post.
With Love and Gratitude,
October 17, 2023