Tag Archives: cello

The Skeletal Structures of Songs

“Demos and Our Bright Reflections”

(following Beati Paoli’s songs from inception to adulthood)


here’s the demo:

one of our newer songs, it was just released on the split 7″ & mini-album, “Quid Pro Quo” (buy it here). this was among the first batch of songs that were introduced and worked out in studio, as opposed to the live ‘jam’ style that past songs had been pieced together through.

cecil worked out the basic chord structure and some lead lines ahead of time, and recorded them on a digital 8-track at home (i think i might have been in paris at the time). after he played it for us, we went over it a couple times in rehearsal and then laid some scratch guitar on top of a click track.

once we had the basic structure down, i began working on drum parts and samples. the majority of the rhythms came from our practice sessions, where i would use the frankendrum through effects pedals to get the delays and sounds that inspired the rest of the beat to come together. from there, i programmed a beat over ceci’s scratch guitar using fxpansion’s BFD. i continued to mess around with it until i was happy with the over all feel, at which point i set up drum mics and recorded it on REAL drums.

after the drums were all edited and in place, i used battery to intertwine other drum and noise samples into the existing part. i also created a beat for the bridge section (using broken glass, metal pipes, bass drops and various other fun noises).

while working in the studio, we were also still rehearsing. cecil and ryan were working on tones and new parts for their respective instruments, and greg was working on lyrics and melody.

we recorded most of the bass and guitar parts next, and then everyone took some time on their own to review the latest version of the song and meditate. i had been listening to a lot of liquid liquid at the time and decided that we NEEDED marimba on it. i got to work banging out a mallet part and corresponding synth part, eventually programming them using fm8 and kontakt. ryan converted the lead on the chorus to a sick fuzz bass, and pretended to work on a cello part for the bridge (which was eventually abandoned). cecil, inspired by the cure, wrote a lead line for the bridge, and greg finished tweaking the vocals, inspired by nothing.

that’s about it. during the mixdown, we used various effects to enhance certain portions or the song, but i can’t remember what all was done, so for fear of misstating or leaving anything out, i just won’t say a word.

and here’s the final product (found on “Quid Pro Quo“):


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I guess I like the new Coldplay? I guess this will make Matt mad? Hehehe :)

Coldplay Viva La Vida

  1. Life in Technicolor: A great, building, first song that does not bore the listener.
  2. Cemeteries of London: An excellent song that sets the more serious tone for the latest Coldplay album. This is not done by the title and lyrics alone, but also by the deeper, darker sound of the music.
  3. Lost: What an interesting switch-up for this determinedly serious, dark album. Still, the underlying organ keeps a gothic feel and somehow works splendidly with the slow claps. Whirling and great, but not my favorite track.
  4. 42: This strikes me as more old school Coldplay than any other title on this album. There is a synth sound that comes in about a third-way in that I have not heard/noticed on the other Coldplay albums I have heard, as I’m sure there are many sounds heard here that weren’t on previous albums.
  5. Lovers In Japan/ Reign Of Love: The first section (Lovers in Japan, I will assume) could be a very polished Envy Corps song, all around. The second part, Reign of Love, makes it a Coldplay song. With any lesser album, I would think that this second part was a trying, experimental effort, but the two-part song works here.
  6. Yes: This song is rounding out the album nicely. It makes sense that it is on same album as Lost. While it fits, it is kind of a weak song and I’ll be surprised if they try to turn this into a single, though, I would be interested to see what a music video of this would look like.
  7. Viva La Vida: Initially, I thought the cello or strings or whatever that is thumping throughout this song was too rich to be a synth, but after Ryan suggesting it could be a synth and trying to listen to it as synth, I can see it. Someone, please confirm if this is a synth! I really like this song, by the way, like really like it.
  8. Violet Hill: How goth of a title.
  9. Strawberry Swing: Not my favorite song on this album.
  10. Death And All His Friends: Who really can call a song this and get away with it, really? The echo-y vocals sound great and work perfectly on the last track of this ghostly album.

I talked to Greg and we agreed that this is one of our favorite albums of 2008. Sometimes I do lose interest and I have my complaints, but there is no doubt in my mind that Viva La Vida is a solid album. B+