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June 2008 - Chris Schuette

Weekly Thing #6: Across Town

June 25, 2008 | By | One Comment

I’ve learned a few things while doing the Weekly Thing, but I’ve really come to appreciate how challenging deadlines (even self-imposed ones) can be.   There is always a little something that will go wrong at the last minute that threatens to delay the project. I finally realized that the only real delay was the fact that I’m too picky (it’s a difficult realization, you know!)

I actually started this piece about three weeks ago.  It started as a simple Rhodes keyboard solo and eventually evolved into…well, I’m not sure what, exactly.  I later added the percussion, layer by layer, threw in a Wurlitzer keyboard patch and hit record.  Yes, it’s really that simple, so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

I call this song “Across Town,” and it runs 2:49. Dig it.[powerpress]

George Carlin

June 24, 2008 | By | No Comments

It takes a lot to shock me these days.  With everything that goes on in the world, and how quickly we hear about it, I am rarely surprised by anything.  Unfortunately, I was shocked yesterday morning when I went to CNN.com and saw that George Carlin had died.  It still seems weird.

I first saw George Carlin on “The Tonight Show” in the early 80’s.  He was doing his bit about “a place for my stuff.”  I had never seen anyone so manic and funny at the same time.  Like most people, I immediately became a fan.  The main thing I liked about George Carlin was his authenticity.  He was never phoney and he was never “cute.”  I’m sure gonna miss that.

Here is a clip of George Carlin on “The Tonight Show” in 1972.  Nobody could interview like Johnny Carson.

Weekly Thing #5: Baseball

June 18, 2008 | By | No Comments

This week I was hoping to post a new song I’ve been working on, but to be perfectly honest, It’s not done yet. Yeah, I still need to add the alpenhorns and that synth patch from “Lucky Man.” I actually spent a good portion of the last week working on music for my friend’s wedding. Funny story: Turns out that during my preparations, I failed to see that the wedding is actually June 21st, not June 14. So imagine my surprise when I get there and I don’t recognize anyone. I set up my music at the piano, thinking that all of the recognizable people are downstairs. Long story short, I’m a dumbass. And also, a BIG apology to Patty involves buying ice cream…quickly!

Anyway, since the longer piece isn’t done yet, I’m posting something that will hopefully evoke fond memories of peanuts & Cracker Jack. This is a piece of “Baseball Music” I recently wrote for a local radio spot. I had to fill 30 seconds of music to be played behind the voiceover. Pretty simple stuff, really, but I still give it a 6 out of 10 on the Cheese-O-Meter (yeah, I can admit that.) Here is the track with the voiceover, ’cause context is everything.

Oh, and the longer piece should be ready by next week; you know, to help get rid of the awful aftertaste of peanuts & Cracker Jack. Play ball![powerpress]

Weekly Thing #4: Solo Piano

June 11, 2008 | By | 2 Comments

This week I’m posting something a little different. Unlike the last two songs, this one isn’t bombastic battle music. No, this is actually something that I wrote several years ago. I’ll warn you; it’s a mellow solo piano piece with no strings, crash cymbals or scary choir voices (I’ll probably add that stuff later.)

Now, just so you know: I hate the term “New Age” when used to describe music…mostly because it doesn’t seem to mean anything. I also dislike the term “New Age” because I’m supposed to say things like, “I wrote this when I was going through a very difficult time.” Oh please, I probably wrote this at 3 AM with a pot of coffee next to me and a Doctor Who rerun on TV with the sound turned down. I did record this at home, though. I was just learning how properly record a slightly out-of-tune piano (don’t get me started.)

Um, anyway. This piece is called “West Road” and it runs 4:36, so you know, pack a lunch.[powerpress]

Weekly Thing #3: Iron Chef 2

June 4, 2008 | By | No Comments

Last week I posted a piece that I wrote for a project. The project is actually an upcoming video game for the Wii, and I’ve been composing some of the music for it. It’s amazing how productive you can be when you’re hopped up on cold medicine and can barely breathe.

This is another piece of battle music, and if it sounds a little “over the top” that’s because it is supposed to. Man, I’ve never used so much damn reverb in my life; The actual piece is 1:12 in length, but it loops back to the beginning as part of the game.[powerpress]