Saturday, 21 November 2009

Unfinished Suite

Here's an old one I came across recently. I'd forgotten about it despite all the hard work and all the time it took me when I was recording it a couple of years ago. At the time it was to be my most ambitious work. I think I'd tired of making 4-5 minute "songs" with a discernible structure, so I figured I would make an album with 4 long, sprawling, epic, proggy tracks just as a sort of "fuck you" to everything else I'd done in the past.
I think it was precisely that which put me off ever finishing it, even though it was nearly there (just some vocals, as I seem to recall). I just spent too much time and energy that I got bored of it and moved on to something else. I think now I see why we never got a follow up to "Loveless" and why the Beach Boys' ill-fated "Smile" never saw the light of day until Wilson re-recorded it about 40 years after the fact.
Moral of the story: it's all well and good to be a perfectionist, but there are certain limits. You do need to settle at some point and allow yourself to be more spontaneous.
You may look back at it in the future and say, "Oh, now I wish I'd changed that, or spent a bit more time on that bit", but at least you'd have finished something. And that's good enough for some people. It's certainly better than just abandoning the project.
Anyway, maybe one day I'll finish this. Unfortunately all the files were lost in a devastating computer crash, so there's not much tweaking I can do except maybe record the vocals on top of it. It would be a shame to just leave it in the past, as it is a worthwhile piece of work, in my opinion. It surprised me when I came across it recently, so that must mean something, right? Obviously I've changed a lot in the last couple of years and so much has happened in that time span. It's amazing what a couple of years will do to a man...
So here you have it: a sprawling epic that starts off like something Air might have done, but then gets all proggy, thus pushing my own musical abilities. Then it goes Disco: a bit funky and a wanky guitar solo like it was emanating out of Prince's purple guitar. Then you get some interesting soundscapes and you get all the elements you had heard up to that point being warped into strange new shapes, only to resolve in the last part of the suite: a pretty pop song about near-accidental death from drowning in alcohol in frustration, only to wake up in hospital bed and laughing it off. I'm not sure if it was going to be a concept album of some sort, and since I never recorded vocals for the first part of the suite, I just called it "Unfinished Suite". I never gave it a proper name. I also never came up with a good vocal melody for it, or if I did I just never recorded it and now I've forgotten it, so if anyone out there has any ideas they would be most welcome! Help me finish this and put it out there once and for all!
Another good reason to upload it on here is that it's too long for myspace (wankers!).

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