Chasing Fire (hopefully catching some sparks)

 

Hello there!

As another summer draws to its close, I'm still working away at new material, but getting closer to a finished album. One big hurdle I've gotten over is completing that 12-minute bear of a conceptual rock piece, the first of its kind that I've attempted in over twenty years. It ended up having three "movements," so to speak, each with its own themes, before finally revisiting parts from the first section at the end to tie it all together. Tons of guitar tracks, keyboard tracks, all sorts of percussion had to be stitched together. And then there was the frustration of tracking the entire bass part on a fretless bass I hadn't done much recording with previously - only to find, when I went to do the mix, that the recorded bass sound was not working at all (requiring me to re-track the entire 12-minute piece with a different bass - argh!). The first 1/3 of the new piece, "Chasing Fire," is now loaded in the audio player for you to preview.

With that one all wrapped up at last, I'm in the early stages of putting the next piece together. I enjoyed breaking away from shorter, more traditional song form on "Chasing Fire" and think I may go a bit that way with this new one as well (though I don't expect to get quite as long-winded on this next one!).

I'm being called to dinner, so I'll keep it short this time. Hope you've all been doing well and we'll talk again soon!

DV

 

Time Flies

 

Hello out there!

 

It's been over a year since I checked in.  Time flies. That being the case, as Steven Wilson noted, "The best thing that you can do is take whatever comes to you." A few things have come to me in the interim. One of the best is that last summer, my now 17-year partner and I were finally formally married. 17 years - wow. Where does the time go?

During the autumn and winter, I worked on several more electronic tracks, the erratic weather vane of my musical interests having swung that way again. A funny thing happened back in March. I was working on what I thought would be another new electronic track, but some of the parts I came up with ended up feeling like they would work better with distorted guitar. I tried it, it worked great, and then I ended up replacing the synth bass with bass guitar and the electronic drums with a drum kit and it morphed into a rock track with some electronic elements. The resulting song was "Drive the Earth," a sample of which is now in the music player above. Also playing is a sample from another new song, "Casino Prestidigitato," which again, started its life as a more electronic song before I chose to put in real bass, acoustic drums and a bit of guitar to make it into more of a hybrid track.

And then what came to me is that I found myself inspired with doing progressive/conceptual rock music again and this time it felt like my interest would stick. Next I dived into a more long-form piece, which I'm still working on now. I'm about 9 minutes into it and, based on how I've mentally mapped it out, I figure it will end up clocking in at least 12 minutes when done. It's proving to be a great way to explore different musical ideas and textures and branch out in ways not as readily done in the context of a 4 or 5-minute verse/chorus/verse/chorus type song.

The nice thing about such a broad and flexible "genre" as conceptual rock is that I can still incorporate a lot of electronic elements where I choose to, interspersing them with more rock-oriented components. I can throw in a long piano intro or a 3-minute ambient/atmospheric interlude if I want to. Prog fans welcome that kind of diversity.

So, that's where I'm at. Once I have this long-form piece done, I'll have 6 tracks that fit the "conceptual rock" bill (which is like 7 or 8 traditional songs, given the length of this new one). After this, I expect I'll do one or two more and call it an album. Listening to some classic Rush albums from the beginning of the '80s, it occurred to me that there was something to be said for an album consisting of 40 to 45 minutes worth of music...keeping it lean and mean and a tad more concise. The modern tendency for albums to be 12+ tracks and 60-70 minutes worth of music, IMO, can get a little excessive and sometimes lead to tracks that feel just a bit like filler being thrown in just to pad the album out to that length. I think I'd rather focus on recording 40 to 50 minutes of music for each album, create albums you can listen to all in one go without starting to lose interest, and be able to release a new album more often. It might sound like a somewhat retro mindset, but again, IMO, not everything that's changed in the last three decades has necessarily been for the better.

Oh, I almost forgot one other thing that came to me in the past year. We have a new addition to the "family" who has been distracting me and slowing me down on recording a little bit the last few weeks, but strangely, I don't mind too much (if you met her, you'd understand why). Shadow, our new three-month-old puppy, is equal parts precious angel and devious devil. The former makes it impossible for me to get too upset with her when the latter side comes out. I just have to keep her out of my music room - a teething puppy chews everything, and all those cords and knobs and instruments made of wood are way too much temptation!

Well, that's the News from Lake Wobegon...er, from just off the shores of Lake Huron. Hope you've all been having a great summer so far, or enjoying whatever other season it is in your part of the world. Be well and we'll talk soon!

DV

 

Pulling It All Back Together

 

Hello there!

Summer has almost arrived, even though it doesn't entirely feel like it on a wet, chilly morning like this. By this time, I am most assuredly late in terms of where I had expected things to be by now. One good thing about being an indie artist, though, is that you have no record label breathing down your neck about delivering an album - if you feel you need more time to sort things out, you take the time.

The last couple of months, I suddenly found myself wanting to do some more rock-oriented music with a fair bit of guitar on it again. So I did, figuring I would resurrect the "Project Vector" handle and split that music off into a separate thing. As soon as I did that, however, I realized that trying to maintain TWO musical identities is a pain in the backside for me and does nothing but confuse my listeners. A friend had suggested to me more than once that there's no reason I can't just present a stylistic variety under one name and on one album. Anyone who has listened to my various noise over the last decade knows I've been all over the map stylistically, so they're probably already used to it. So that's what I've decided to do...take the tracks I like best from both "projects" and merge them into one new album released as David Vector. I'm going to go back into a few of the piano-driven tracks and work some guitar into them so there's a little bit more cohesiveness going on, and I think it'll be fine. A tad weird, maybe, but fine.

Now loaded in the audio player is a sample from a brand-new track called "Apathetic Superhero." As noted, this one is a little heavier and leaning more towards "progressive rock" (whatever that means in 2016) than what I had been doing for the last couple of years, but it's another side of my musical personality that I no longer feel the need to split off into a separate compartment.

That's the news for now. My brain is tired after sorting all this out and I need more coffee. Talk soon!

 

 

DV

 

Still Recording, but I'm on the Home Stretch (honest!)

 

Hiya gang! A belated Happy 2016 to all of you!

Yep, that's me still recording in the pic. When that was taken last week, I was mixing another new song called "The Devil's Camera," a small snippet of which is now in the site's audio player. I was supposed to be all done recording songs for this album by now...

 

A long-overdue update

 

Hey there!

I hope you've all had a great summer (well, TWO of them since I last posted here!). It's been way too long since I wrote an update, so let's get caught up. 

 

Welcome to the New Website!

 

David VectorHello there, and welcome to my new online digs! Help yourself to a cup of java or a glass of wine, sprawl out on on the couch, put your feet up on the coffee table, make yourself at home!

Getting a new, more modern website online with a new host was long overdue. I had used my previous hosting service since 2002, but they slacked off on updating their increasingly antiquated web design software and my site wasn't even displaying properly in some current browsers any longer. So, as we did physically a year and a half ago, it was time for me to move to a new online neighborhood as well...