Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Song Insight: "Alice Wonders"

Composer: Greg Hintermeister, ©2002
Arranged: Greg Hintermeister
Performed by: Greg Hintermeister
Recorded: 2002 in Hint of Light Studios
Emotions: Hard Rockin’, Intense, Industrial, High-On-Life Energy

Other song insights

Sometimes, in order to take a BIG BITE out of life, to attack a stubborn issue you want gone, or to just remember what it feels like to BE ALIVE, you need the right soundtrack for life. Not some schooshy, lilty makes-you-want-to-curl-up-and-drink-chamomile-tea soundtrack, but an intense piece of music that can meet you down where you are and amp you up to take on ANYTHING.

This is my gift to all those who, like me, sometimes need a kick in the arse to get focused, motivated to finish, and energized to tackle the tough challenges in life. For me, this music is a reminder…

…A reminder that while I may be physically ‘getting old’, I can ‘stay young’ through my emotional, mental, decide-to-engage-in-life attitude…

…A reminder that while I’m here, I can define what is important, love with intensity, and take a suck-the-marrow-out-of-the-beast-of-life adventure and truly live a joyous life.

…A reminder that sometimes, you gotta throw every caution to the winds and you just gotta ROCK HARD! AAAHHHHHHHHHOOOOOO!

P.S.  This doesn’t mean you have to physically scream…although that helps.  Sometimes all it takes is a subtle attitude-defining ‘ROCK HARD’ hand-salute while on a business trip in Sydney.

…or in Johannesburg…

For me, I need a constant reminder that God has blessed me with this present moment. I can decide how to use and react in this precious slice of time. I can complain, wish for the future, regret the past, or live a searing-focused God-is-here-with-me-let-the-adventure-unfold approach to life.

“Alice Wonders” helps me do this. I hope it helps you, too.


I LOVED writing this. It has everything I love about aggressive music:
  • Simmering beginning
  • Great clean guitars
  • Pent-up energy finally getting released through screaming guitars and aggressive drums
  • Tuned down guitars (dropped C)
  • Huge distorted guitars
  • E-Bow, providing infinite sustain for great guitar tones
  • Piano jamming away with those huge distorted guitars. This is my favorite instrument mix of all. I love aggressive piano with aggressive guitars.
  • Many interludes that squeeze out every ounce of energy possible
I wrote this for a Rochester Civic Theatre production of “Alice in Wonderland”, directed by Shane May. He asked for music that was not usually heard in live theatre. I came up with these themes, and I decided the best way to develop the themes and moods of the whole score was to create a piece that tied them all together.

I think the music I ended up providing for the production worked well, but this specific piece was not used. I may have gotten a ‘tad’ carried away with the intensity of this song for live theatre :-)

I am so thrilled with how this turned out.

WARNING: Subwoofers will beg for mercy with the low synth sounds, which may cause ceilings to shutter, water pipes to burst, neighbors to snarl, and teenagers to smile!

If you ever need to get pumped up to fight life head-on, crank this and listen…and GO GET ‘EM!!!

Technical Specifics:
Recording Unit: Cakewalk MIDI software, Soundscape DAW
Drums: Roland XV-5080, Alesis DM-Pro
Guitar: Dan Armstrong Model 341 “London Guitar”
Guitar Tuning: Dropped C (C – G – C – F – A – D)
Guitar Tracks: 1 lead track (clean and solo), 3 rhythm tracks, 1 E-Bow track
Guitar Effect in middle: E-Bow. Man I love the E-Bow
Guitar Effects Processor: Line 6 Pod Pro
Bass: Keyboards Roland XV-5080
Synth: Roland XV-5080
Piano: Roland RD-500

Lyrics: No lyrics here. Sometimes they just get in the way of the primitive balls-out energy a song needs to deliver. The melody and harmonies are carried well enough by the guitars and synths.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Of Trees, Love, Locks, and The Danube

Sometimes the romantic in me wakes up. I know it’s been dormant for far too long. The little details of daily living get in my brain and I just don’t remember all the wonderfully romantic things I did when I was courting my Lady Evelyn.

More importantly, I don’t pay attention to the little things that make my life sparkle because of her. It’s not that I need to do romantic things in hopes of making her happy, it’s that I need to do romantic things because she makes me so happy.

I think I just found the perfect way to say “I Love You - A Lot” to my beautiful wife of 17 years.

In Budapest, there is a tree. It has many locks on it.


The legend is that if you write your name and your lover’s name onto the lock…


…then lock it onto the fence around the tree…

Collage Edit

…then walk to the Danube River…

Captured Videos

…and throw the keys into the river…

2010-09-16 Budapest 21

…then legend says your love for each other is permanently locked together in a crazy, beautiful, laughing, passionate, procreative, fun, musical, better-than-movie-ending real-life kind of love.

So…I did.

It turns out that I didn’t need a tree in Budapest to lock in the love I have for my lovely bride. We are two blessed souls that have been given the gift of sharing a lifetime of sounds-make-believe-but-is-wonderfully-real love together. No legend needed here.

But, it doesn’t hurt to show that love in action once in a while.

Love you Lady Evelyn.

You make me a hopeless romantic.

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