Discover more from Matthew Moran: Music & Musings
Song: Spare My Heart Again (Acoustic) & Long-Exposure Photography (not mine)
Practicing the movement of my phalanges
It’s been a few weeks since my last musical installment; four to be precise!
I started the month with an intense but short-lived cold/flu-ish thing. It wasn’t Covid and only lasted two days. And that doesn’t really explain much.
The first thing I had to do was practice my guitar playing. I explain this below.
The other thing, which we’ll expand on this coming Thursday, is that I ended my contract with MIT two weeks after starting. I received a phone call and an offer to take on a productivity app leadership role with Meta (Facebook). The opportunity was too good to pass. I’ve been closing out some projects and prepping for the new role. It starts today!
Now, let’s get to the music and some photos.
A New Song
A song emerges
A few weeks ago, August 31st, I introduced the first two stanzas of a new song - largely inspired by Deb’s mostly sanguine reaction to my intensity! [Footnote 1]
I’ve completed the song. I like it. I hope you do too.
I finished writing the song the weekend after I posted my short clip but I needed to practice my Travis Picking so I could get a solid recording of the guitar parts. Travis Picking is a finger style guitar method developed and made popular by Merle Travis.
Fingerstyle purists will tell you what I am doing is NOT truly Travis Picking. The picking pattern I’m using is more similar to what was used in Kansas’ Dust in the Wind.
Either way, the song is a good one. That is both my subjective opinion and my objective analysis. There you go!
I’ve made a purely acoustic demo lyric video - posted below. While practicing and recording guitar parts, I had posted a short clip on a Discord server I take part in. The Discord server is focused on the recording software I use - Reaper.
A member of the community, Chris, a guitar player in Stockholm, Sweden, heard my clip and liked it. He downloaded it and uploaded a version where he had added some country-style guitar on top of it.
Chris is, by his own admission, more of a rock/metal guitarist. Here is his YouTube channel! He liked the song, a lot, and wanted to try his hand at a more country-esque sound.
I sent him the entire song. He recorded some additional parts, sent them to me, and I mixed them in. We’re talking about expanding this a bit plus some other collaborations. We’ll be chatting on video in a couple days. Don’t overlook how amazing this technology is - I’ll be discussing some of my songs, and collaborating, with a guy in Stockholm, in real-time.
There are few things as validating as when a talented musician is interested/inspired by your work enough to want to take part in it. It is similar to those times when you play a song you’ve written for someone you know and they say, “That’s a great tune… who wrote it?”
Umm… me… I wrote it! ;-)
You’ll hear Chris after the first two stanzas, after the first chorus, between the 2nd and 3rd chorus, and on the outro of the song. Chord voicings and what are known as “double-stops” - ie: two notes played together rather than single note solos.
Thanks Chris! It is truly appreciated!!!
Spare My Heart Again (on YouTube)
Spare My Heart Again © 2023 - Matthew Moran Verse We’ve been down this road before It’s the way of the world or so I’m told Good people talking about the shape I’m in They’re all, prayers and curses and the wages of sin But I’m making my peace, making my bed Seeking the salve that will calm my head Of these spinning doubts and ghost of mistakes One smile from you is all it takes, baby Verse The heart can be a captive of the restlessness Tempest-tossed until it finds some rest Seeking shelter, seeking warmth Like a lighthouse you lead me home Chorus: Lay me down just like a sacrifice Cold steel pressed against my skin All or nothing, it’s in your hand Mercy mercy baby on my soul Spare my heart again Verse: Like a gambler with no cards to hold Like a captain been tossed overboard Empty-handed lonely vagabond I need a savior to make me whole You’ve been there when I cross the line Held my hand when I’ve lost my mind Taken me down, sweet and slow When the darkness falls, please baby, don’t let go
About Performing Live
I’ve been asked by a few of you when & where I will be playing live next. I’m not scheduling performances right now. If I am offered a gig, I’ll play it, but my focus is recording and producing some things. That, and my consulting schedule, is enough for now.
I will be seeking house concert opportunities in the near future - scheduling for next year.
House Concerts are a songwriter’s best friend. Just me, my guitar, you, and 1,000 of your closest friends… or 10 of your closest friends, for an intimate performance. This is a donation only affair and provides the songwriter/performer an audience that is interested in hearing music. It is a far better gig than playing a bar or playing background at a restaurant. No shame in those but songwriters (this songwriter) love a listening venue.
Other Musical Notes
Beside being more diligent practicing guitar, I’m working on vocal quality/delivery. More legato, more vibrator, more resonance. And more on this in the near future.
Photos from the beach
A few weeks ago Deb and I watched my sister’s house near the beach. We also did some long-exposure, night time photography. Below are two of Deb’s photos. Both are of the Ventura Pier. They were taken on two different nights. She’s had a couple people ask for framed copies of these photos. That’s pretty cool.
I think I like the second one best… it feels other-worldly. What do you think?
Thanks again for joining me on this journey!
September 25, 2023
Typically, I don’t see it my intensity, certainly not in the moment. But she’s not the first person to mention this and, upon reflection, I can recognize that I have a type of energy I rarely encounter in others. My mother used to comment about this.
Personally, it is something I tend to like about myself when directed at a passionate goal. However, I’m also aware that it is a bit much - particularly when coupled with anxiety.