Songwriting 

Composition
/k…ímp…ôňąz…™ É(…ô)n/
Bear with….To construct and deconstruct an idea is one of the most rewarding things a songwriter and musician does. The aftermath is a performance of said idea. The recording and capture.
There are many ‘jukebox’ bands and artists that simply cover others good work, some do it well. Some are cringeworthy.  I’m sure there are lots of talented musicians that are visual iTunes mini players.  Its super duper some make a fair living off performing week in week out. Nice! Hobbies are fun aren’t they? Familiarity favours applause. When attending a recent event. Comments were made that did not favour original bands. A moan at the lack of ‘covers.’ (3 words for you Sunshine. 1. Hung 2. Drawn. 3. Quartered)  I love watching bands. Being in this one (Subway Circus) we do a reworked version of Mad World. We have our guilty indulgences too.
 Subway Circus YouTube maybe a rocked up ‘Jolene’ will emerge one day.  We did tinker with ‘Rain.’
Having seen The Cult live recently (29th March, Rock City, Nottingham). I think I’ll leave it at that.
Copying is flattery.
They were supported by the band Broken Hands. Lovely bunch of lads. We purchased their new album ‘Turbulance.’ Its on rotation in the car.
broken hands
Playing to an empty room with disinterested folk is job satisfaction in a basket ;-0 Seen as a rehearsal performance out of the rehearsal room- Minus the vulgarity, Rainbow Bungle, George and Zippy impressions (making me cough up my ovaries) banter and frolics. Have you seen Bungles Twanger?
So what is the secret of writing songs?  Meeting your maker, inspiration, booze,drugs, booze, meditation, luck, structure, key changes, talent, creativity, satanic rituals, sacrifice, alien autopsies, tips from higher powers?
What make a hit? Catchiness, riffs, hooks, hocus pocus,  promotion, investment, formula, attractiveness, image.
 Sometimes the least favourite song one makes becomes the most popular. They you are stuck with performing it forever more. When even the thought of ever listening to it again in this lifetime makes the black plague seem an easy way out.
Of course you can also get signed (apparently is possible if you tick the criteria they desire yes!) Or use puppets! Sell out, change your sounds, get writers in, sing out of key, try to act hard, hang out with the big bad boys and be opinionated, get moulded, produced, marketed then probably dropped. Never play in your hometown where you were once humble and playing to nobody. But you know what? Puppets have good times!
You can sit or stand there with a guitar, a piano, a thought, a lyric, a loop, a rhythm. As a band we jam. It begins with simply that. Paul on guitar will introduce a riff, or ‘Speed’ our Bassist with come up with a bassline. Drums follow by myself, or begin. PP sings ideas. We have written a song from a vocal.  I like to document the process. I’ll be able to take a wonderful trip down memory lane after. I’m unable to show the jam of ‘Razorface’ we made last night..Sorry. We will of course showcase when done.
Songs are sounds, notes, chords, tones, melodies, rhythms. Songs are beauty. Songs are orgasm, Zen, Eden, The Celestine Prophecy, exorcism. They birth Demons. This is how they roll.
How do we do it? We have begun writing our 2nd album…It may be Unusual..It may be Haunting… We are soon to be going into studio for the 2nd session to finish our debut album.  Yes 2 sessions  = album.  Later in 2016 we will record our 2nd EP. ‘The Law.’
We have been playing our instruments for a number of years and practice weekly. Invested. If you invest time and effort you tend to get competent. If you are lucky enough to be gifted. There is your Brucie Bonus! We record live with guide vocal. With some vocal overdubs. Its in the bag. quick, raw easy. Indulgence in lots of instruments is kept for the home studio and solo work. That solo work births songs and ideas. Watch this very space.
From live recordings
To home studio
Go with your flow… be free, in order to do that. Relax and open yourself. Channel the vibes. Like meditation set your intent.  Pressure and writer’s block are a curse of the creative. Be inspired by the good and the bad, be inspired by boredom, politics, the news.  Pick a chord, hum a melody write a thought, a poem, improvise begin the begin. Make something beautiful for you. Record your favourite song, turn yourself on. Intro-verse-chorus-verse-chorus-solo-chorus-chorus-end. Go crazy change the time signature and key half way through. I found sitting on the toilet scribbling lyrics on bog roll useful. Nowadays the advancement in technology means I can type it or dictate to my phone.
I’m a big improviser. I really do just go with the flow. I experiment with looping a rhythm, playing my acoustic until I like a chord structure. Vocals. I’ve been free flow lyric writing lately. (Writing as a go to listening the track) Whereas years ago I used to mainly write the lyrics first. Write stories, be the protagonist, write the things you can’t speak. Everyone has heard 1000 songs about love lost. Add a twist. Give it a serial killer, write about your crazy surreal dreams. Write about the bitter snooker hall bulldog chewing a wasp, who has caused parking inconvenience. Let the ghost in the machine take hold of your soul and spout out words that pop into your head and come from your hands. Even if they are not in the dictionary! Read stuff, get inspired. Learn a few words. Use the rhyming dictionary.

I scribble A-Z and rhyme to each letter. Even if it makes me dribble. Let it out. Do you think I know what this is about?  and I wrote it….;-0

‘Tokyo at Mohive, Chrono las over
Highway a night drive
Imploding supernova

Molasses in the spring with Olaf
Birds of paradise in the garden

Nephilim in darkness
Corroded movers
They shake new world orders
Roll it under, Make it thunder
Break the man in two

Machina took it out on toucan
The words and menopause
The losers in the blue room
Empty wards have active soul wanderers’

Piano, keyboards, synth strings, bass, banjo, mandolin.  Hooks, meat grinders, grate a courgette add …Sitar….. http://www.claudinewestmusic.com

In a Band? Just jam ideas, work on them. Play nicely, communicate, compromise. From a seed spawns a song. Dictatorships make for unhappy puppies. If your dictator is a genius? make your choice: Stick with, earn big then have an almighty fall out and make a solo record. Or leave on principle, struggle but be creatively happy. Or just look for the right people. That may mean lots of fails and a few winners. Fate deals its hand too incase you didn’t mind.
~ Claudine

Limestone Century

New tune! Limestone Century is an essentially funky ‘Bog Woppit’ track from my 2016 forthcoming solo album. I adventure new paths using Pro Tools SE instead of Fostex multi trackers. I’ve put off using it for a while now as dislike reading instructions (So I watched Youtube videos to get me started) Back in my early 20’s I was the reel to reel tape user. Then to 4 track cassette tape. Moving into digital multi trackers. Always a musician and composer (I’m not a sound engineer and wiz at the tech) But I’m slowly learning. Pro tools crashes, pops. But on the whole I’ll persevere. It made music making very easy. ¬†(I’ll save up for the ‘Full Monty’ after California next year) It does take the challenge out of my making it up as I go along. I can tolerate for this album I’m sure ūüėČ

I bought the tiniest midi keyboard for my massive hands. More for recording synth parts for meditation music. The principled self that records everything live with real instruments still gets to do that in part. Fully in our Rock band ‘Subway Circus’¬†¬†yes I’m having a bit of fun playing with loops and like.

Inhaling my himalayan salt pipe is helping lung recover after that darn nasty lurgy last month.

What’s it about? ¬†I suppose a ‘header’ : Purification, making peace, music. 2016 started off poorly. It’s time to make things alright again.

Once upon a parallel line

The Quintessence of Frequency in an Idyllic Blue Sky

the Sound of the Hedonist:

 Levitate in the Limestone century 

The haven’t not decided¬†

The world collapsed inside

Retired and fired up upon too young 

Razor wires and battle cries 

Idyllic blue sky

Make your peace with makers 

And follow lycanthrope a

Panic button

The sound of a heaven rip

Divination walker of the mountains and the underpass 

You make your peace with fables 

You make your peace with your God 

© Claudine West 2016

Enjoy ~ Claudine

Read this! Into bliss.

The flat line of silence is unbecoming. Have you ever had a dream where you are performing an amazing song? The shadows watch from the sidelines. I still don’t wish to make amends with the past. Those shadows still watch in the waking world. I bang the drum, a different rhythm than I’m used to. The keyboard player was filming the birth of this baby during his performance. It was organ like and organic with an acoustic guitar. Others were present too, ghosts and vocals. But it’s all just a blur. Flowed on a different plane. Who that keyboard play is, was lost when I awoke. I cannot remember the rhythm. Maybe a soundtrack to a movie about finding yourself. The discovery and elation of travelling the right road. The subconscious is a magic maker. Tap into it and explore a whole new universe. The sign at my crossroads was a mirror on the wall. Oh the reflections…

I recall the old days of listening back to that days recording efforts. Stoned. Hearing new things, frequencies. Like a golden glow coated the track. Staying up all night analysing lyrics about want, obsession. The whisky and vodka relaxed inspired takes. Chain smoking Marlboro Reds. All night sessions are great when you are young. The body handles it better. Does sobriety bother me now? ¬†Clear heads help one enjoy the mornings. The escape, the thrill is the music. Drugs and booze just numbed it eventually. Fun though. Nothing to prove, or ‘brag’ about. The dark times are but a memory. The recovery spanned a decade.

I’m sitting here with a cup of tea getting rather excited about our next session. Ive just been sent a bunch of new ideas. Basslines sent via dropbox. Then the guitar and drums and lyrics come. What came first? The chicken or the egg? There are no rules. There is the energy that channels through you. There is the true connection between musician and instrument. The vortex of creativity that sucks you inside, into bliss. When I look upon you from the stage. I read your eyes, your moves. I feel your energy. Then I get lost in the vibrations of sound. The adrenalin truly is the natural drug of choice. What does it for you?

The last jigsaw piece, A committed vocalist, will slot in pretty soon. I did manage to phone Dave our Bass player in my coat pocket yesterday. He text me asking what the underwater sounds answer machine message was? Womb and heartbeats! The second person of the day to get my pocket stalking.

I spent last year writing and recording meditation music, then a solo album. In between rehearsing and writing Subway Circus ditties. That will be unearthed. From new age, to folk/pop to rock music keep things nicely varied. Evolution and challenges for a musician. Is the popping candy of sweetness.

‚Čą Claudine