Multimodal (a nasoalmo.org effort)

I wrote, performed, recorded and produced these songs during National Solo Album Month (nasoalmo.org) 2008. It was fun to apply a deadline to my creativity. It certainly increased output, and I'm sure I've learned from the experience. I'd recommend it to anyone! (Especially if their girlfriend is taking part in nanowrimo)...

The writing process was mainly chord-progression first, then bass, then lyrics, then drums. Lyrics are the hardest part for me, as I listen to them the least when I listen to music. The drums are the easiest, which is part of the reason I left them until last.

All of the drums were done in one three hour session at a local studio. These were intended to be a first draft, but techinical difficulties meant that they all had to be final takes! I think they worked out okay, but I wish I'd been in better practice. Half of the guitar was done on my old 25 quid classical, and the latter half was done on my lovely new Aria-FA80!

Everything was recorded using my laptop, and a VXPocket 440. The bass was programmed, and everything else was performed.

I'd like to thank Alison for finding out about NaSoAlMo for me (on the night of October 31st!) and also for my new lovely guitar. Thanks also to Tom F. for loaning me the portable mp3 recorder that helped me remember ideas and listen to the works in progress while on the bus, and Lucas for the loan of his bongos, although they never made it into the album! I intend to make a song with them ASAP. I'd also like to thank anyone who put up with my excessive talking about this project. I hope everyone enjoys at least some small part of at least one of the songs!

Cheers, Matt

You can stream the whole album in order by clicking play on this player.

...or you can download all of the mp3s in a zipped file by clicking here.

...or you can listen to the songs individually, using the play buttons below.

1)  Codependence -- 00:04:21
You woke up this morning, thinking you'd fallen out of love. But all you wanted was not to have given so much of yourself up. You used to look to her to see what you wanted to do. But that kind of codependence is a hidden death sentence. Your fire is burning too bright. At this rate it won't last the night. It's not always an advantage to be such a romantic. It's not always best to be the one who's giving. Next time you'll share without losing what you have.
2)  Drawing -- 00:02:51
Pencil-lines and shadows, cross hatch and outlines: a girl skipping in the rain..and graphite on the side of your hand, the proud producer of a drawing of a girl in the rain. A gift I kept on my wall. But I know it was all a lie. You traced your drawings from fashion magazines. And the rose you drew on valentines day -- was that traced too? I read your email it's crazy how it echoed inside my mind. I'm at loose ends. I don't know what to do with you. I miss you. I do. But I know I can't trust you. Lying on a mattress on the floor. Glow in the dark stars, under a duvet and warm. But I know it was all a lie -- like you traced your drawings from fashion magazines.
3)  Head Home -- 00:04:24
I put my glasses on to bring the world into focus and to do just the opposite to my thoughts. Distracted away by perspective and brighter colours and sharper edges and distance. Amber street lights diffuse through the window. The silhouettes of wet trees sweep across it like it's a movie screen. I look around at the top of the stairs and put my feet up on the window ledge and put a notebook on my lap.
4)  What you want from me -- 00:02:16
Hit me with all you got, and we'll see if you get what you want from me. But uh you can't get what you want to get from me.
5)  Behind Perception -- 00:03:20
I'm back home and you're surprised to see me. The kind of surprise that comes without a smile. And then you're out the door and far away. Sometimes it's like you've never been close. Is that the case? Have you never opened up? To me? Or maybe not to anyone? And now I'm sitting here, wondering how to convince you. You've got to let go of the me you think you know. I've already changed -- your pereception needs to do the same. I've explained this to you again and again and again. How I've been has little to do with how you see me. I shouldn't be a source of anxiety. I should be comforting. But when this is behind us, we'll be fine. When this is behind us, we'll be free.
6)  McSorleys -- 00:04:00
With a guitar and a djembe on the West Sands, singing Hendrix and Marley and Dylan, when the rain starts to fall into our footsteps in the sand. We can't stay here forever. And now we're worlds apart, spread across the continents. You know we can't go back. Tucked away in a booth of black leather, with names etched in the wood of the table. Names of people thinking back to this table, and their friends who were sitting around it. Up the next day at 3 in the afternoon, when my shadow is longer than I am tall. The night was always about to fall on the east coast of Scotland. We are all over the world and I miss you.
7)  Up on the (South) Downs -- 00:04:04
Instrumental.
8)  Must this be the case? -- 00:04:20
An interview with an actor, and he said, wearing a suit, sipping a Campari and soda. "Yes, well, for that part I had to make myself smile more...you tend to smile more when you are younger. You tend to find things more exciting, invigourating -- you get the idea," and I thought, "Must this be the case? I mean he was smiling as he said it. But it's true it's not a full-on smile. It's a know-it-all smile." Last night I had a snake wrapped around my arm and I was gripping one end of it, near its head -- at least if I have the right end. I can't quite tell if it's the head or the tail of this snake. Whichever, it starts wrapping itself around my arm. I try to throw it on the ground. Oh - I'm swinging from tree to tree, by the way.

Click here to go to the old rhthm.com.

Other music, NaSoAlMo albums etc:
Richer Grays (NaSoAlMo2010)  |  Sensorimotor (NaSoAlMo2009)  |  Pre-NaSoAlMo (pre 2006)

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