Friday, 15 June 2012

Well then, recording in earnest. Vocals for Brides of the Wind and The Shining Hour, some acoustic guitars and possibly lute. We shall be at Neil's in Crystal Palace for the weekend and all being well, Hilary being the professional that she is, we should get done most of  what we set out to get done. I'll try and get some photos and post them next week.
Sweet Dreams

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Good evening everyone and welcome to the Secret Green blog. I shall do my best to keep you up to speed with how Far and Forgot is progressing and see if I can give some insight into the process of making an album like this.
As I write, pretty well all of the orchestral parts are written. I tend to write for orchestra rather than for piano or guitar as I find often things get lost or muddied or otherwise discombobulated in the transition. So the orchestra forms the foundation of the whole album. I'm aiming to have five tracks  
on the album, laid out in some sort of symphonic form. A big and bold first movement, a more introspective second, a scherzo, a sort of intermezzo movement and a long last movement. The track titles that follow that scheme are:

Brides of the Wind

The Shining Hour

The Man Who Sold Magic

Seeds of the Sun

The Disenchanting

  1. Willow Hill
  2. Lyonesse
  3. Broceliande
  4. The Faerie's Funeral
And that is the basic structure. There is still much to do. Today I've been writing a Cor Anglais solo for the last movement. It's great knowing that Tony will be playing a real Cor Anglais on the album proper. 

I have also been fretting about the sound of the string samples. I'm afraid that the strings on To Wake the King sounded pretty scratchy and artificial. I'm experimenting with layering different articulations to create a more organic sound but it's still not right. My dilemma is whether to bite the bullet and fork out for another string library, to use in conjunction with the one I have, not instead of, or to just make do. The strings are, however so important that I don't want to compromise too much. What do you think?
Guitar parts are another issue! I seem to write guitar lines that are very difficult to play. Because I write orchestrally, the guitars very often have to play quite uncharacteristic lines. This leads Mr Beedle to curse me. I don't blame him.

As I have mentioned elsewhere, there is a story, or a concept if you like, to this album and it follows on from the last. It isn't an analogy and although it has a very particular meaning for me, I don't want to shove that meaning on to anyone else. I'd rather that the piece as a whole has a certain individual applicability and be open to anyone's interpretation or not.
Having said that, I suppose the titles are quite specific.

Any feedback, comment, suggestion or piece of advise that anyone would like to contribute would be most warmly welcome.

Speak again soon.

Francis xxx

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Hello World! I am now beginning to get excited about the new album, Far and Forgot (From the Lost Lands). I shall use this blog to keep everyone up to date and to try and describe the various processes so that everyone who wants to can feel involved in the recording; however, now it's a bit late and I need to be up early to got to my other job up London. Speak soon. Love and Light,
Francis x