3rd nature (2014) ALBUM NOTES
Colors in Waterspace - This tune consists of 2 parts that have been independently written and recorded. The first part is based upon bright sounding finger-picked electric guitar chords recorded with a special delay effect and an electric-bass melody on top of it. I always hear faint “choir vocals” in there but there actually are none. It is coming from the mix and the special delay effect. The second part is based on another finger-picked electric guitar part with pedal steel chords over it. These finger-picked chords are played on a guitar of my own design. An electric acoustic hybrid. It sings like a bird and has an incredible sustain especially with clean sounds. It is the guitar that I use most often on this album. The tune culminates in a “slow hand” solo played on my Satriani guitar with wha-wha.
High Octane - This song is the result of a period of time I heavily practiced my fast alternate picking (right hand) technique. It features both an acoustic and an electric guitar solo. In the middle there is a melody-line with German lyric vocals that I mixed in ever so lightly. If you listen hard you may make out: “tragen die Toene der Lebensqualitaet…” For me it is pure and fast free flowing, rocking, swinging and rolling guitar playing fun.
Criss Cross - Rhythmically highly complex, it starts with a 14 over 8 beat (made up of two 5/4s and one 4/4 which adds up to 14/8), moves into a swinging 5 over 4 and then into a straight 8 over 4 beat. I am also quite proud of the percussion tracks that I played via my little master keyboard using a mix of drum- and jazz brush sounds. I hope you enjoy this tune as much as I do. It is a 100% arranged tune, no solo.
Nature Moods - This is a track that uses a midi guitar for the flute melody. Would you have guessed? To me it feels like a lone Pacific-North-West seabird sailing in a gentle breeze on the misty rain forest coast.
3rd Nature - I guess you could call this one a “suite” with 3 movements. 1st movement: an improvised acoustic guitar solo played on an experimental guitar; a small body parlor guitar (made for steel strings) that, one day, I strung up with nylon strings. It does not sound as rich and bright as a Spanish classical guitar, but due to the narrow neck and low string action it plays extremely easy and fast, almost like an electric guitar. I pressed the record button and captured this fully improvised solo out of pure inspiration from my “new instrument”. It is my way to use some modality (different modes, or scales, over the root note E). Later I added “drone” chords under it, to outline the different modes. 2nd movement: features some nice smooth melodies and chords played with my above mentions hybrid guitar. 3rd movement: a crazy electric guitar solo over another 5 over 4 beat. It is a pretty complex piece of work.
Temporal Flux - Is based upon a finger-picked chord progression that I wrote (and played) on a guitarlele (6 string ukulele). You hear it after a short intro. It is a straight 8 over 4 beat but subdivided in 4-5-3-4 which adds to 16 (I saw this Konokol video recently you know…). I find it has a somewhat odd-beat feel. Later in the straight 4/4 middle section I add drums and a conversation between acoustic- and distorted electric guitar develops. Then the piece returns to the 4-5-3-4 part but the drums keep playing the 4/4 beat and make this somewhat odd-part sound straight now. Well, at least this was my intention, hence the name of the song.
Island Gem - The idea started out with the strummed chord progression played on a baritone ukulele that inspired me to write the acoustic guitar melody line you hear at the beginning of the song. In the middle there is special finger-picked solo feature of the ukulele and then the song ends with a free flowing acoustic guitar solo. “Island gem” is in my mind the feeling of a sailboat-voyage that finally arrives at a beautiful uninhabited island.
Morning Glory - Features a bit of an Irish feel. I use the baritone ukulele and a 12 string electric guitar (among other instruments). If I remember right, this song was the first one that I wrote and I recorded after my previous album “From the Heart”. At that time I enjoyed practicing my bass playing, especially the right hand technique and the overall bass tone. I think you can hear it.
Solstice - For me, this tune has kind-of-a gypsy feel to it. I used many different guitars in this song. Among them the above mentioned Parlor guitar with the nylon strings for the melody and the solo. I sometimes like to use guitars that have a distinct tone, no matter if it is a great tone or not. The song consists of four individual chord-patterns that repeat in irregular fashion. I had the song structure recorded already early 2012, long before “From the Heart” came out. But it did not fit the concept of that album. Here is fits quite nicely. I wrote the melody and played the solo as one of my last assignments before completion of this album. Compared to the “From the Heart, I believe “3rd Nature” is not as easy to listen to. It is much more complex layered music. I hope you can cope with it.
Hi Peter G - Ahem….you know where this lick comes from, right? I always admired this lick, but felt that it has the potential to lead into a totally different direction. And here you have my version. Okay, I went a little bit overboard with the space sounds, but you have to understand that I recorded it as one of my first experiments with the Cakewalk Sonar X1 producer recording software that I got in 2012. It came with a plethora of synthesizer sounds you know. This piece was, in a way, my playground and learning experience for the Sonar X1 software.
Thanksgiving Day - I think this piece is not too complicated, but still complex in contend and arrangement. It was recorded on Thanksgiving weekend 2013. I used an existing theme from my song “Lady of Love” (featured on my first solo-album “M’ocean”). Then I added a new part that I wrote on a vacation in Hawaii. I connected the 2 parts via a x-long bridge, going up across 2 octaves. You also hear this bridge in half time at the end of the song. I play the main melody lines with an electric baritone guitar and sing along with it. This is a 100% arranged song without a solo.
Kantstrasse Reloaded - This one has some history to tell. Kantstrasse was a song we played with Munju, my old band, back in the 80s. It is the side A #1 song of Munju’s “Brot und Spiele” album. But this version is different as it only uses two parts from the original song, both from the second half of the original tune. I took the liberty to re-write the bass line (I hope Wolfgang will forgive me) and wrote all kinds of other licks, riffs, bridges and intro&ending around it. It became a very complex piece. But Munju did many complex arrangements too.
My Xmas Song - I wrote this tune on Christmas eve 2012. The Kaudel’s family has a long standing tradition of singing German Christmas songs on the night of the 24th. The singing is actually done by Karla and Donna, I do the guitar accompaniment and maybe add a few baritone vocals here and there. The girls sing harmony really nice! For me it is a treat to listen to. While mentally preparing myself for the family performance, I had the wonderful inspiration of the chords & melody for this song. I believe I recorded it the next day, I sure was still in Christmas spirit. I thought it would make a great final tune of the album.