Sunday, April 8, 2018

Raw to Polished - "Just Beneath The Surface" - Song Insight

"Regardless of the ambition, joy, kindness, or wisdom a man projects, it's what lies just beneath the surface that reveals his true nature"

I have several "Song Insights" blogs for songs I've written...kind of a "what's the backstory". For the next few songs, I captured the very first spark of the idea, record it into my phone, and once once the final recording is done...I provide you with a "Here's the raw idea I started with and here's how it ended up"

Song: "Just Beneath The Surface"
Composer: Greg Hintermeister, ©2018
Arranged: Greg Hintermeister
Performed by: Greg Hintermeister
Recorded: 2018 in Hint of Light Studios
Emotions: Anticipation, Ambition, Hope....with an undercurrent of sad, even disturbing threads

Finished Recording

It all started 9 or 10 years ago with some "piano time" with my then-young daughters (they're 17 now). I came up with this piano riff, and thought it was interesting enough to capture it on my phone.

The Raw Idea
(take a listen - originally called "Rain Storm"):

Recently I traveled quite a bit and the car rental had Sirius so I dialed in "Chill Electronica", and was reminded how much I love this kind of music.

I wanted to get back into a regular pattern of composing and recording, so I took this chance to explore what my studio could do for electronic music. Specifically, I wanted to see how what Logic Pro, on my iMac, could do.

I was quite pleased! Not only could I take advantage of the loops, I could still customize and compose exactly what I wanted with the various sounds available to me (including a killer analog synth sound that makes an appearance at 1:38).

Then, with the help of my youngest, who loved the idea of going from minor to major, I got a decent middle section.

Captured Mistake
At minute marker 2:35 I was recording the beginning of the C Major piano section, and my brain slipped and I played a diminished Ab chord instead of a G chord. I loved the sound so I recorded it proper, and then added a second moment of it at 3:40.

About The Title
This was originally called, "Rain Storm", since it seemed the raw idea mimicked a storm and would work well with electronica style. The captured "mistake" made me rethink what to call the song since those diminished chords complicated the simple "Minor to Major back to Minor Rain Storm" theme I was originally shooting for.

Well, the day I declared this song "Finished",  I unfortunately, and surprisingly, unleashed my true nature towards a loved one...said very hurtful things in a very uncontrolled manner.

It instantly undid months (years?) of togetherness, kindness, bonding, and all the "I'm here for you" comments that now seem quite non-genuine. This will take a very, very long time to repair.

Now, listening to this song again, the jumping from minor to major and back again, along with the disturbing undercurrent captured by the Ab diminished, actually reflects my greatly flawed heart, hence the title and the quote.

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