Writing a conceptual piece

Well knock me down, cover me in yoghurt and call me handsome! I've done it. I've gone and bloody DONE IT!

"What?" I hear you say.

For my entire life listening to music I've had this desire to write a long'ish musical composition made up of varying tempos and styles. The Prog Rock dudes of the 70's did these things in abundance and brilliance and growing up in that period myself, I obviously absorbed a hell of a lot of it. Listening to bands like Yes, Genesis and Rush made me feel that I too had a "big one" in me (sorry...that sounds disgusting. But you know what I mean..).

It's funny how life is, but since I was 9 years old (a f**king long time ago) I've played guitar. I've invented little runs, short musical pieces that I've played almost as "warm up" pieces for my fingers. I've remembered these little chord sequences and recently video'd myself just noodling around on the acoustic. I made the video, not out of narcissism, but to see if my new microphone worked plugged directly into my computer. I was successful getting the mic to work and played back the vid. What I'd done on video, was to play various chunks of these pieces I'd made up over the years in a long sequence. I watched......and then got an idea.

Could I combine a lot of these random bits and bobs into a musical composition with lyrics and shit? Yes I could! My trousers started to bulge around my crotch area with the excitement of it all because I realised that this moment, this VERY MOMENT in my life happening NOW, was to be the time when my "Opus" would be created. The first thing I did was to very quickly jot down on a piece of paper all the various musical sections that I thought would work together. 

"Right! Start off with this slow bit, then I can move into this faster tempo bit, then I could go crazy for a bit, then slow it down before moving into my grand final rock out bit."

I started a new project in Garageband and positioned my new microphone a few inches from my guitar and started recording - just jamming really and repeating pieces as new ideas flowed into my head. I played it back and my trousers bulged a tiny bit more with the excitement that something.....just something, was coming together!

I'm one of those people that has to let musical compositions mature for a while - like a good wine. I'll lay down the drums and a couple of guitars with the basic "shape" of the piece and then stop work, leaving it to rise, like a loaf of musical bread. I did this with all the various sections (which turned out to be 6 in the end) and kept coming back to them on a daily basis - adding a guitar flourish here, a cymbal crash there and slowly but surely the monster started to grow.

Even in my sleep, I would dream about my Opus. How would I get from section 2 to section 3 which was a completely different tempo, seamlessly? How could I join these pieces together? Well blow me down, I came up with at least two genius ideas to join these sections together- IN MY FU**ING SLEEP!! WOW!

Finally I had to write lyrics and almost immediately had the idea to write the words about something I knew about well. An industry in which I've worked, that I've come to loathe because of the total wankers that populate it. Talentless, ego driven idiots, who throw their weight around making the lives of those who work for them, miserable. So I had a thread! Once I had that thread, the words flowed and before long I had enough words to wrap around the music.

I am so pleased with the end result. It's almost like I can now tick this off my list of things to do before I die! Having said that, it was so much fun to do.......I'm thinking of writing another......

If you would like to hear it then click here and let me know your thoughts. I should warn you...there are sound effects of some birds in there......