Scruffy, Indie folk-rock from Transylvania

As Far As Christmas Albums Go

Posted by admin On December - 16 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

As Christmas time is almost upon us, I would like to share some background information on the Christmas album that I have for free download at the moment, titled “Monsters In The Christmas Album”.

The album has been released for a limited amount of time in 2010 and it generated quite a nice response – that is why it is up again this year, and it is still free, as you’ve surely noticed.

The EP was recorded in exactly one month, in a super-exhausting writing and recording session in my house, here in Transylvania.

I wrote The Eyes, The Beard, The Nose, The Stomach, The Lungs at the police station, in my head, when I was doing some paperwork for my car – – – don’t even ask. I made up all of the first verse and was really struggling not to forget anything by the time I got home. By some odd chance, ideas for other verses started suddenly popping into my head, and I had to struggle not to let them in. Because once that happens, I totally lose the first verse, I thought. Which I wasn’t going to let happen, I thought. Naturally, I had no pen/paper with me at the time, so I had to remember the entire thing for about three hours. And I did let all those other ideas in eventually. By the time I got home, I had all three verses done in my head. I penned the chorus later that evening and recorded the thing the very next day. The video took about 2 hours of shooting and 4 hours of cutting and mashing in Movie Maker.

Is Christmas Time Just A Dream? was originally going to be a slow, mellow kind of tune, but I just couldn’t get it working the way I had imagined. So I just gave it a shot in this manner, and it all came together. It’s one of my favorites on here.

To Get Away From Everything was intended to be this way. Simple, finger-style guitars, easy melody and straight-forward lyrics. Also, a Moldavian kaval and old radio sounds/noises in the background. I love that instrument btw.!

Christmas Is A-lookin’ Good was an attempt to break out of my usual songwriting approach. It worked. I have moments like this every time I record something. At one point I just start doing things I was never supposed to, nor thought about doing. I think it’s important to take these kinds of “risks”. I really like the result here. “Work @ It Together” from my “Monsters In Rome” record was born out of the same kind of approach.

Taste Like Candy had a totally different chorus at the beginning. I had already mixed the entire song and had prepared to call it “done” when my girlfriend suggested I’d spend some more time with it – that’s her way of saying “it’s shit”. So I wrote this chorus in about half an hour after that. The Transylvanian shepherd’s flute stayed after I had decided to have the typical Transylvanian folk-ish intro with the drums and bells.

Christmas Song is actually the first song that I wrote for this album. It took me a week to get it totally finished. I struggled with it every step of the way. Just like “Monsters In Rome”. I always fall in love with songs that give me a hard time.

Have a Merry Christmas, dear everyone!

If you want to burn my songs – the songs that you download from this very website – onto a CD, to listen to in your car, or if you just want to take them with you hiking or wherever, I’ve decided to explain a few things about how to best go about doing this. Please keep reading.

You can download the songs as 16bit WAV files, that you can then write onto a Compact Disc. These are the very files I would send to the company that does my CD replication. So don’t download the mp3’s, if you want to write an audio CD! You can have true CD quality, if you just pick the right format. In short: if you want to write an audio CD, download the 16 bit WAV files, and burn those.

One thing about mp3’s: they are a lossy format. They sound a lot worse than they would sound on a CD. Some of you know this already, and don’t care that much about it. Well, those songs on the CD sound a lot worse than they do in our studio. Are you still with me? We, musicians, record at 24 bit/96000 Hz (or 44100 Hz, in most cases), while the so called Red Book standard (this is what you’ll find on all audio Compact Discs) is 16bit/44100Hz – a much lower quality than what we have in the studio. It’s just something the industry settled upon, and so it stuck.

But it doesn’t necesseraly have to stay this way. And it probably won’t. So don’t just go and ruin the sound for the sake of saving space… if you can afford to. That sonic sparkle is worth it, trust me. Try and keep the files at a steady 320kbps, if you must keep your music in mp3’s. Please! In the name of all musicians out there!

But FLAC is better! You can have my music sounding the way it does in my studio, if you choose to download it in FLAC. Many devices already support this format. Check out some devices that support the FLAC format on this link.

In conclusion… when you download any of my music, you can have the option of any format out there – and I do understand that you have to make some compromises from time to time – but do keep in mind the fact that you could have these things sounding every bit as good as they do in my studio.

So there. I hope this helps.

Greetins, Friends!

Budapest Gig, December Album, Collaborations, News

Posted by admin On November - 26 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Before you ask, the “Monsters In The Christmas Album” campaign is going great this year! I have recorded this Christmas EP/album or whatever back in 2010, when I took part in the Hmtpng (read: hometaping) project. This meant, I had to record the entire thing in one month. It was a struggle, but I squeezed some decent songs out of that session, I think. The video for The Eyes, The Beard, The Nose, The Stomach, The Lungs is still my top viewed on my Youtube channel. So…all in all, I am still OK with having done that – so much so that I’ve re-released this digital indie Christmas EP again this year. And, know what? The response is even better than it was last year! And we’re not even in December yet. So that is very cool!

What else I’ve been doing, you ask?

Well, December brought forth an opportunity I have been long awaiting: my first gig in Budapest.

I really like playing in Hungary, I have played there a few times before, but I never got to play the Capital, so I am very glad that this is going to happen on the 14th.

As far as new music and new videos, I will have a whole bunch of stuff to share very very shortly! Here’s what I’ve been working on lately:

– My first collaboration with another singer/songwriter on a recorded track is complete! I’ve joined a friend of mine on one of his songs, and we will be recording a video and sharing this bi-languaged single in January (he sings his parts in Hungarian while my parts are in English… you’ll see, it’s fun 🙂 ).

– I have also finished recording all songs for the MUSICAL that I’ve been talking about since last year. I had some ideas in my head for a long time, but it is only now, in November 2011, that I finally managed to make time for it (thanks to Hmtpng, again). The piece will be presented on stage sometime in January/February 2012 and it will be in Romanian. But not on the album. That is in English. Kind of.

– Aaaaand… we are also working on a VIDEO for Why, the song that will be making all David Gray fans go !HAEY… Just kidding, it’s a great song – and it will probably make your jaws drop :P. Heh. I am working on this one with my band, and they will be in the video also, as you’ll see shortly (but not before next year!).

– Remember my first album? Monsters In Rome? Well, those monsters in Rome are going to have their own video very soon also. And not just any video! A good video! A goooood video. This, again, sooooooon.

Tataaa! And another blog post written! Now I can resume my duties as a musician.

I’ll write again!

Greetings, Friends!

P.S.: Keep spreading the word on my indie Christmas album, if you liked it! Please. It means a whole lot!

Dear Friends,

Christmas Time is almost upon us… once again…

In the meantime, Halloween has passed, and I am very happy with what my Halloween song, Where Kindness Be, has managed to do for me as far as subscribers go. And I am very happy with the song also!

But now, it is time to move on to new projects – and here’s what I have planned:

If you remember, I have recorded my “Monsters In The Christmas Album” EP about a year ago and it was available for download on my website for one month. If you haven’t had the chance to get the album then, I will be re-releasing it again this year – November 7 is the date you have to watch out for! The EP will be on my music page for a limited amount of time, and it will be free, as I have already mentioned.

The writing and recording of these original Christmas songs took up about one month of my life – it was an intensive time, I must add – and I also managed to shoot this be-low-budget music video for the first track off the album.

I am hoping to get a second video done before December for the song Is Christmas Time Just A Dream?, so I definitely urge you to keep watching if you don’t want to miss all this good stuff!

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