Monday, July 4, 2011

Last EP Download

Well, one more single from the RENDER sessions is up for download.  IWALANI was written for my mum, who passed away in 2001.  Originally written in 1996 for a Hawaii radio competition it was re-written at the time of her death and subsequently recorded a few months later.  In going through the hard disk masters I found several alternate versions of this song and was surprised to find each one was different from the other.  One was closer in spirit and arrangement to the original 1996 version but runs a full two minutes longer than the finished version.  In 2001/2002 I was all about editing myself and felt that a six and half minute version was just a bit too much so it was canned.  Another version features a similar backing track but different vocals.

IWALANI: In Hawaiian it means "heavenly bird" and it was my mother's Hawaiian name.  The message of the song is clear.  There are tons of vocals on this track (at one point the backup vocals were doubled and tracked 12 times to create harmonic layers which you can hear clearly towards the end of the song.  The single edit was done for radio and was created on my computer utilising edits and bits from a rough mix that was done early in the game.  I've included both the complete version and a dance remix.  The remix features a saxophone which was part of the original arrangement from 1996 but omitted when the tone of the song changed from a jazz vibe to a tropical setting.  It was also on one of the unused versions but for some reason was deleted from the master.  I remember having to sync the keyboard to move the sax solo to the dance mix.  There are a few vocal parts that were added to the end of the song since it ran a bit longer than the regular version.

SOME WONDERFUL DREAM:  This song was written for the album RENDER but was omitted at the last moment because I didn't want the album to be completely about my mum's death.  I didn't want people to say, "Okay, we get it, you miss her!"  Also, because it really was of an MOR (Middle of the Road) pop vibe it didn't fit in with the alternative flavour of the album.  The backup vocals were tricky and a BITCH to record.  Doubling each voice track helped to thicken things up but it took a while to get them down and it was tricky mixing it all, ensuring that all four harmony parts would be heard.  This song says everything I felt about how my mum affected not only my life, but the lives of my entire family.

THE BOY WHO WILL NOT STOP: Written and recorded towards the end of the project it's the one song that has live vocals and piano.  Both were recorded directly to disk without any edits and the only overdubs are the keyboard overlays which I added later.  In transferring this version I discovered that I had edited out an impromptu vocal jam session tag which ended the song originally.  It just featured me doing a little bit of Bobby McFerrin type scatting and improvising.  Although it still exists on the original master, this version is missing it.  Nothing revelatory but it was fun.  Sorry, it got left off here though.

DANCE ME TO THE END OF THE WORLD:  This is the original full-length version of the track that was available on the previous EP.  It was recorded shortly before 9/11 and in the very early days of the album recording session.  It was originally intended for the album but ultimately did not make it.

That's all for now.  The album will be up for download soon.  Till then, see ya!

Love,
Harry

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