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Rosie Louise Mountjoy

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MD5313 – Lead Track – Location song – Further development + Analysis

For my LEAD track I have chosen to do my Location song.

Here is the link to the original task blog post for my Location song – https://rosiemountjoypom.wordpress.com/2017/10/23/md5313-location-song/

In reference to the work in link above, I worked on my song further and developed in more since choosing it as my lead song so below will be the process of this development.

The original task didn’t include that it had to have music so of course first step was to turn these lyrics and develop them into a song.

Location working draft

As you can see written at the top of the page in the photo, this is when I started to play around with chords and also you can see the developing of my lyrics.

The song went on to become this –

 

V1 – As you step into my garden

As you look down over me

Flowers brushing past your black dress

Ready to lay them next to me

 

V2 – Every Saturday you visit

You come and stand at my feet

Replace the drooping roses

Wipe the tear from your cheek

 

Chorus – Im still with you

Im still with you

Im still with you

Im still with you

 

V3- Brush the leaves from the stone

Clear the dust thats fallen over my name

The dates cementing the day you lost me

But you will never lose my love

 

Chorus

 

Bridge – I want you to move on

Past the mourning and the grief

Stop looking down at your feet

Life will carry on without me                              x2 (whole thing)

 

Chorus     (Fades out)

 

I decided to add one of the bridges that I was toying around with when I originally started the task as I felt it would be a strong part of the song.

 

The day I went to record my final song – 

So I started to record my song, using the draft above as the final song but as I was recording something didn’t sound right, this quickly lead me onto adding a pre chorus.

Pre –

Time goes on

Time heals the pain

 

and I also decided to chop out the bridge as it didn’t offer anything to the song!

 

Final lyrics 

 

V1 – As you step into my garden

As you look down over me

Flowers brushing past your black dress

Ready to lay them next to me

V2 – Every Saturday you visit

You come and stand at my feet

Replace the drooping roses

Wipe the tear from your cheek

Pre – Time goes on

Time heals the pain

Chorus – Im still with you

Im still with you

Im still with you

Im still with you

V3- Brush the leaves from the stone

Clear the dust thats fallen over my name

The dates cementing the day you lost me

But you will never lose my love

Pre – 

Chorus- 

Chorus –

End lyric – As you stand at my feet

 

The lyrics tell a story, the first verse sets the scene of a grave after the funeral ‘Black dress’ , the second tells about the frequent visits after, then the 3rd verse shows that the visits are as frequent, ‘Brush the leaves form the stone’ and ‘dust fallen’, The Pre chorus cements this idea of time going by, (this time reflected through ticking in the instrumentation of my track). The chorus is a summary that the person is ‘still with you’ no matter how much time goes by.

 

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Here is a screenshot of my logic session…

As you can see I have used an array of different sounds to create a full sounding instrumental to accompany the song. Something that I have never done with any of my other tracks… EVER!

Logic screenshot

I have managed to create a full sound in the chorus with layering of different synth sounds, a beat and a bass sound. At different points in the song I have introduced instruments and taken them away to create a flowing track.

Final track audio-

 

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MD5313 – Instrumental Piece

The task this week was to work in a group with people you haven’t worked with before, So in lecture me and Will Davies decided that we would work together as we had never had the opportunity to do so before. As it turned out Ophelia didn’t have a group to go with so she worked with us two (I have worked with Ophelia on numerous occasions before but she’s never worked with Will and considering the circumstance surely thats fine).

Myself and Ophelia had a studio booking where we finished early and Will was around so we decided to take full advantage of the room and the percussion instruments in the studio facilities and recorded a rough take of our instrumental piece.

We conversed about what type of sound we wanted to create and then leading on to us sharing different ideas to one another which before we knew it lead into a jam which we thankfully recorded before we started.

Ophelia played the piano, Will on guitar and then myself playing two egg shakers and a tambourine and I used my voice to create ‘ooo’s and different sounds.

We ended up creating an emotion filled piece that was really evoking. Considering it started as a jam it actually turned into something neither of us were expecting so here it is…

MD5313 – Resource review task

 

How easy to read and understand?

  • Language used was relatively straight forward and there wasn’t any tricky theory based words, so as long as you have basic music terminology you find the video easy to follow and understand.
  • I found the video very lacking in the pace, it felt like it was dragging at many points over parts that held no knowledge with in the outcome.
  • The audience participation was a struggle in itself as you can’t hear them clearly at all and in this video audience participation was crucial.
  • The references to music that were made were up to date which in itself set you in the right direction of understanding as you know the references used. (‘I can’t feel my face’ lyric reference)
  • The guy speaking had a very active personality which in some respects keeps you engaged but it’s also rather irritating and of putting so can almost make the video a not so easy watch.

 

What knowledge is needed to interpret?

  • I would say that only basic knowledge of music theory is needed such as: Knowing what a rhythm, melody, harmony and what the word monotone means. This basic use of music terminology is good as people with all different backgrounds of music will understand it.
  • I would say you may need to want to peruse song writing to really benefit from the knowledge as it is solely focused around hooks in song writing.
  • How to make a rhythm as this is a key feature for his audience participation and the confidence to contribute will help you benefit from this knowledge.

 

Something you learned and you could apply to your own songwriting?

  • ‘Two most important lines of a song are the first line of the first verse and the first line of the chorus’
  • expand this into music not just lyrics
  • I found this part really interesting as it gives you a different outlook onto the idea that the first line isn’t just a reference to lyrics but the music in itself which has changed my perception of hooks in a song.
  • Go home and listen to a song and take away the pitch and just focus on the rhythm of the hook – another phrase of advice I intent to put into practice.

 

How relevant is it to your songwriting, and why?

  • I find this video really relevant as it focuses on something that’s major when creating a song and something that people tend to think they know everything about hooks but there is so much more to them.
  • Breaking each section down like he suggests and focusing on either pitch or rhythm at one time strips it back to the basics of what comes together to create the song.

 

The video was slow starting and vague at times but at moments key phrases were mentioned and those are the parts I want to take with me and put them into practice.

MD5313- EuroVision Development

For this Eurovision song revisited task we decided to focus on the melody with in the chorus. In the track we submitted last week we chose the chorus melody to ascend as this represents the uplifting spirits of not only the lyrics but of what emotion we wanted to portray. So for this task we have chosen to revisit this chorus and try it in different ways.

V1 – Eurovision revisit – ballad style

First we decided to slow the chorus down, making it into a different style of song. We went for a more ballad approach…

We kept the same ascending melody for the chorus with the word ‘Victorious’ being more melodically flourished on the 3rd time sung. The real difference with this version is the overall style of the song, this slowed down pulled back version offers the song a complete new outlook.

At the end of the recording you hear me mention that we could start with this version of the chorus – this is a complete new idea in itself which in future I would love to experiment with.

(tracks are listed below for all)

 

V2 – Eurovision revisit – Major Chorus 

We decided to make the chorus all major chords and this completely changed the feel of the song. It took away the dark edge and made it more uplifting and high spirited.

1st victorious depends at the end (took away the ascending melody as shown in the original recording)

2nd Victorious ascends melodically

3rd Victorious mimics the first

4th time the ‘We Are’ is repeated twice with the ‘Victor-…’ held then into the ‘-ious’ which descends melodically.

 

V3 – Eurovision revisit – Staccato version

As you will be able to here this is the one version that differs the most from the original track. This staccato piano rhythm feeds into the melody creating a much more fun and uplifting take on the song.

When writing the song originally i mentioned how we didn’t want to create a humorous tone through the music like other Eurovision songs when we were singing about such a serious topic and this style i think brings a happy humorous  side which i don’t think is fitting at all.

 

V4 – Eurovision revisit – Elongated ‘We’

This time I took the emphasis of ‘Victorious’ and put in on the ‘We’ in the chorus lyric. I achieved this by elongating the word ‘we’ and shorting the speed I sing across ‘victorious’ therefore creating focus on the word ‘we’ rather than victorious which is emphasised in the original performance of the song.

 

To further the exploration of how the song could sound we recorded the song in the Ballad style that was shown in the snippet of V1 up above. Here is the outcome of the whole song in this style.

 

 

MD5313 – Eurovision song 

Group: Rosie Mountjoy (ME), Ophelia Neville, Sarah Walker and Guy Dawes

A set task to create a Eurovision song, something at first thought seems relatively straight forward and easy to do but in all honesty it was tricky; Finding a style that was recognised for being Eurovision ‘esque without completely copying something thats already been done was difficult. As a group we wanted to focus on the serious topic of terrorism but trying to bring this theme across in a euro vision way is hard as we didn’t want to create a humorous side which is what you find from many songs previously in the competition.

We decided first of all that a strong unifying chorus would be the main part of our song. A chorus that unites people and gets everyone to sing along together, this we portrayed through the lyrics and also the melody is easy enough for anyone to sing along to.

Myself and Ophelia worked on the lyrics, trying to find words that weren’t too literal and brutal which the topic is.

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The music was a group decision with Sarah/Ophelia on Keys and Guy on the guitar, we came up with a chord structure all together from just bouncing ideas of one another.

The melody was then left up to me, which I just started jamming around ideas of different vocal melodies. We all decided that the chorus should be uplifting therefore have an ascending melody, which is exactly what we settled on.

Here is the voice note we recorded of the initial sound of the song…

 

After this initial recording idea of the song, Ophelia took this and creating an instrumental that could coincide with the guitar and piano that Sarah and Guy offer.

Here is the the track recorded in the studio…

This recording is clearly not finished but due to the time restraint that comes with working in a group and having just a week to complete the task to share at the following lecture, we didn’t get enough time to finish. We had ideas of adding in a bridge and ending the song in someway that doesn’t sound like just a drone on of the chorus.

Below are the vocals that I sang for the song.

 

MD5313- Location Song

For my Location song I have decided to write about a ‘Grave’/’Graveyard’… This locations is somewhere extremely familiar to me and quite close to home so I have a good understanding and perception of this location. I chose it as many of my songs I use as a way of venting and releasing emotion so this location being a personal one I think I’ll be able to get a a raw and real sound and emotion from it.

I started by answering the questions given in the lyric scaffold quiz and it opened my mind up to what perception I was going to write the song from. Below is a image of my scaffold…

Lyric scaffold quiz

My main concern was who was going to be the singer… I was confused over wether to do it as the person speaking from the grave or the person singing about the person in the grave..

Below I’ve attached a photo of my though process when I chose my location to be A grave. I started off the writing process as I usually do when working on my own with writing down what the topic means, and connotations of said topic.

location-song-ideagram.jpg

 

This then spurred on my lyric ideas which I started to write them all down, not in any specific order, just whatever came to my head I wrote down.

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After getting some of my ideas down this is when I follow my usual writing technique by sitting at the piano and ‘jamming’ ideas out with a chord structure and then shifting everything to fit with one another. The development of my lyrics are shown through the 3 images inserted above of my song book. They show the though process behind the lyrics and each take I had on the topic.

This was my first draft of the song…

using a AABABB structure.

Loaction First draft

With my first draft there are many lines I completely dislike, ‘All of this I see’ is one of them as I think that it gives the song a weird idea of who the person in the grave is, as if he is all seeing, i feel like it is too obvious and too literal.

My other problem line I think is in the chorus ‘My home is in your heart’. This line strays away from the song too much and opens up a different meaning completely, and again to obvious. The lyric ‘Im still with you’ could be perceived in a spiritual sense but also when you visit the grave, the body or ashes are there, so technically speaking they are still there and with you, open to interpretation.

Here is my 1st draft lyric checklist-

Have I grabbed the listeners attention in the first line?

Yes I feel that the first line is intriguing..

Is the song form I have chosen the most appropriate?

The song form I have chosen is AABABB, this gives me three verses with two being at the front that offers chance to tell the story before it reaches the chorus. On the other hand I would like to experiment with a bridge or pre chorus?

Is the lyric hook in the chorus correct, i.e. it sums up the key message of the song?

No, this section of the song I don’t think is strong at all, the line ‘My home is in your heart’ is really vague and can also have so many meanings, I think I am going to remove it. The ‘Im still with you’ lyric I think is really catchy and memorable so I’m toying with the idea of just repeating that line for my chorus.

If there is a bridge, does the lyric and story change direction sufficiently?

I haven’t got a bridge, but as I mentioned above in my next attempt I would like to experiment with one.

Does the chorus reflect the outcome of the verse sufficiently?

The chorus I don’t like at all, so answering this question how it is now… Not at all. Its too cliché and misleading.

Have I ‘driven home’ the song title message enough so the listener will remember it after one hearing?

I haven’t decided on a song title yet, it is always something I leave till last so im not really prepared to answer this question.

Have I set up the story (location, etc.) sufficiently within the 1st verse?
I would say I have, the reference to ‘my garden’ this being a universally known name for a grave, and also by saying ‘look down over mean’, implies the person is on the floor, below them.

Have I managed to move the story on through verses, or am I merely repeating myself

in subsequent verses? Have I built a consistent emotional tone throughout?
The emotional tone I think I have built, but I don’t think there is a clear story through the verses, I’ve recently thought about the idea of time passing, so the verse show that which I’ve somewhat achieved in verse 3 ‘dust fallen over my name’ and ‘brush the leaves away’, these lines implying time has passed and the grave is a little neglected and isn’t visited as often as before.

Have I put the singer in a good light?
I guess so?

Is the tone overly preachy and moralising, so as to make the listener not relate to the singer?
No, I think nearly everyone can relate to the song, therefore relate to who the singers addressing and most people have a person who is the ‘singer’.

Is the meaning of the song universally understood?
Yes,
as I’ve just stated above, I would say that everyone has had to visit a grave at some point in their life, or will do. Loss is a universal emotion and I think everyone understands the feeling and emotion no matter how big or small.

Can I imagine an established recording artist singing these words?
These are words that I would want an established artist to sing, as this is what I would want my music to say if I was to ever have my music heard. Some of the cliché lyrics no and yes, pop music the cliché fits into but I don’t want this song to fit into that category.

Is my grammar rock solid?
I think so… and hope so.

Did I indicate when someone is speaking? i.e. “he said”
I haven’t included speech from someone other than the singer,

Is the lyric clear?
In some areas yes, but there is a lot of touching up and changing to do.

How is my rhyming? Have I ‘forced’ any just for the sake of it that then makes my lyric weaker?
‘Me’ and ‘See’ in the first verse I think feel really forced and this is why that las line of the first verse is the first thing I really want to change.

How well have a made the melody and lyric work? Is the emphasis on syllables correct?
At the moment yes I think it works, I just think the song feels a little to somber melodically at this current state.

Have I built the song to an emotional payoff?
I wouldn’t say I have at the moment, but this is something that I always strive to do with my music.

Are the tenses in the text correct according to the story?

Yes.


 

This then leads me on to my second attempt:

2nd Draft –

As you step into my garden

As you look down over me

Flowers in the right, tissue in the left

Life will carry on without me 

 

Flowers ready to lay by my side

Roses filling the garden

Each time you visit me here

You cry more and more every time

 

Chorus

Im still with you

Im still with you

Im still with you

Im still with you

 

Brush the leaves from the stone

Clear the dust thats fallen over my name

The days all roll into one

But you will never lose my love

 

Chorus  x2


 

I have put the changes in bold in the draft above so you can see clearly the small alterations to the lyric made.

Ive also played with the idea of having a bridge after playing the second hearing of the chorus…

The bridge ideas –

Location Bridge ideas

Below is another picture of my song book showing further development on the lyrics.

Location working draft

 

Vocal take of one of my ideas –

MD5311 – The Production Project

Starting back at uni comes with excitement but also dread due to the preempting thoughts of how much harder and challenging it is going to be now we are into second year, the year where everything starts to really count!

The first session back in the studio was more exciting as we got to go into the shiny new studio which we could only gaze at through the window in first year; its funny how much a new studio to work in gives you a boost of motivation that you need to get back into the swing of things.

 

Setting up the studio…

Mains unit – Press two big red buttons (with force or they won’t switch on/off)

Desk – Button behind the screen of the desk

Mac – Silver button (gentle) box bottom left

Desk – ‘Set up’ click on box screen and then press top right button on desk twice\

Speakers – Light switch at the back of the room

PMC speakers – Remote control 0db – press circle button

——–     Save in ‘Prompt for location’     ———

Headphone – Mono – Audio aux —– Do output first, ‘Headphone (HP) 16’   —- Input ‘Talkback’

 

 

MD5314 – Thinking out loud

MD5313 – Origin Song

The topic we decided on was to write about a loved one passing away. This is a topic each one of us in the group have experienced at some point and almost everyone has experienced the feeling of loss at some a point in their lives.

Ophelia sent across lyric ideas to myself and Sarah, her lyrics being personal to her situation of a recent passing of a loved one. This being such a sensitive and raw subject it soon became apparent that it would be difficult to push forward ideas when it came to the lyrics. I straight away gave Ophelia feedback praising the lyrics and song that she had written as for me knowing the situation it was lovely to see her using music as a way of releasing her emotions which is something I know all too well.

These are the lyrics that were presented to us:

Verse 1:
The freshly picked flowers
Lay delicately across the stone
As we stand around
In the unkept garden
We can see her joy in the colour
But the weight on the day prevails
Chorus:
As we remember
Sometimes the memories become muted
As we remember
All of life’s nows become haulted
Life will go on but
you will never leave
You will never leave
Verse 2: 
So many stories to tell
She would send us up to bed
As she drunk baileys with mum
She’d drive over in her little white poppy car
with a box of chocolates having half eaten each one
Chorus
Last verse:  
The flowers have begun to droop
As they lay scattered
caught in the weeds
Stood alone with the silence of the garden
So much harder to hear her laughter
but quietly comforted by her love
——————–
Feedback from myself – 

The lyrics in the first verse set the scene of being by a grave, ‘Flowers lay delicately across the stone’ and ‘unkept garden’. These two lines are the ones that feed real emotion for the reader, the idea of delicate flowers across hard stone and that they are in a unkept garden, shows to me personally a real experience of being at a grave. The use of the work ‘garden’ really shone for me as this is a gentle word used by many to describe a grave. (as obviously grave is a word full of dark connotations whereas garden to me means beauty and life, quite a juxtaposed saying really).

The chorus holds the line ‘memories become muted’ which tells me, you still have the memories of the person but you just can’t hear them anymore as their voice is one that won’t be heard in real life again. A clever and emotion filled lyric.

Verse 2 is where the song becomes personal to Ophelia, she includes a memory about her loved one which only to her will have clarity, to other readers becomes a story about the unknown person. For me this is where you could take the song in two directions, leave it as it is with a personal touch from the writer or change it so it is universal for anyone listening to/reading the song.

The last verse is how the song ends, with the song ending on a verse for me gives a hidden meaning that the person who passed wasn’t ready to pass, they didn’t get to finish and conclude their story (many songs are concluded with the chorus). It also sends an emotion that the pain never goes away, it carries on, just like the song could, another verse suggests that it could go into another one or a chorus.

Lyrically and structurally I think the song is strong as it stands, and how Ophelia sent it me so, there was no need for any change. I took into consideration the situation but also how good I felt the song was, therefore I still would say this was a group task, and being part of a group means knowing when to step back when someone is using music as an expression of emotion which for me is a strong aspect of why I do music, so I understand.

The step I took was to put this song to music, here is what I did by bringing Ophelia’s lyrics into an adaptation by me.

 

 

 

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