Random Thoughts

Notes about "(Climbing) Gravity's Well"

Somewhere deep
In gravity's well
Little Bo Peep and
A grey wolf as well

Uranus and Neptune
Well I hear you brother
If I can't see it
I don't list it here

Two light years
we say is "the edge"
It's round but it's flat
It's elliptic it's ecliptic

Square of the R
Gives the cube of the T
(and inverted force)
And this explains all we saw
And some we didn't (these both 12/16/20)

Spiralling the drain of gravity's well
The deeper you go the faster you come
The faster you go the higher you ride
Spinning on the rim of [the world] [gravity's well]


SEE ALL TRIGGER AND PAIN WARNINGS BEFORE PLAYING! I recorded - and mostly processed - four different complete takes of the Gravity thing today. The first, "early" in the day, was interesting in that I played the guitar in a different rhythm, and at more of a double-time pace. Like all eighth notes with some sixteenths thrown in to mess up the measures. I did that with a fairly normal vocal presentation. Then a bit later, I'm not sure why, I did that again only I also changed my voice. To that of a cat being slowly strangled. Seriously. I call this the Frantic Banshee take, and what is amazing is that whatever the hell I am doing here, I manage to keep at it for six whole verse over however long that took. Oh, and two complete takes. I bunged one up in like the 5th verse or something. I even started "working inside" the sound I was making. This sure as hell is not the song for this voice - maybe no song is - but what a bizarre vocal space to find and start to occupy. In the first half you can mostly hear me realizing how much damn air I need to do it, and trying not to break anything. In the second half here and there I am stretching it slightly. If only "Angry tortured Banshee's cat being stepped on" was an accepted vocal style. Anyway, you've got your trigger/content warning. If my voice is somewhat of an acquired taste, this is pure fermented hops and cocoa beans in a 180 liqueur. Then I did it a third time, at this tempo, in a higher register, but also in a recognizably human voice. At this point my right arm actually hurt. Finally, surprised I could make noises with my voice or hold a guitar at all, I recorded it at what could almost have been a grand majestic epic tour pace. It's probably a bit too slow, but I'll post it next as a pain reliever for this one. Now, what is sort of cool about this is that I am beginning to be able to manhandle the song a bit, which means that I am winning the battle of who is in charge, it or me. If I can go in with a very different musical or vocal approach - like that time I did last summer with "When This Is Over" (and shit, it's not yet, is it?) - and pull it off to an extent, it's a good sign that the song and I are coming to terms with each other. So, you're warned about the banshee. The tempo is kinda fun if you like that sort of thing. Bouncing off the walls for six straight minutes, that is. And the ending came out very nicely indeed. Lyrics ain't changed much since yesterday! "(Climbing) Gravity's Well" (as covered by The Frantic Strangled Banshee's Cat) [Exposition] The dust in our hearts we share as long-spent stars Amid silent constellations In a nebulous creamy haze And a deep red fire background We wander constantly in phase Dance Martial waterlords Enjoy that Jovian delight - From Saturn's slow and stately waltz To the meteors that burn so bright Aphrodite's morning whispers Ignite quicksilver fire Two evening-fevered wishes For this lunatic desire [Intermission] Gemini, Apollo, Kepler, Galileo, Voyager One and Two In a melody without a chorus A balladeer without a name Scribes our tribal memories And seeks the keys to fortune's game Along forgotten thousand years Comets fall in faithful turn Drop those ancient traps and fears Looking skyward, we yearn to learn Generations counted pebbles One day calculated curves We climbed so high so we could see - Our home, our blue-green Earth [Q.E.D.] Pluto, Uranus, Neptune: an icy dwarf, and two gas giants blue 12/2/2020 2:20 AM

Demo - 2021 03 09 A
A somewhat different take on the rhythm.

Demo - 2021 03 09 B
A very different take on the vocals.
You have been warned.

Demo - 2021 03 09 C
The other end of the scale - epically slow.

Previous version:

Demo - 2021 03 08
"I have gone from making less mistakes to fewer of them"


This. Is how it goes. To think this started with an *awful* first draft a bit over three months ago. Somewhat fitting as the album-ending bookend to "When This Is Over", though, I suppose.

This was the first of three tries, back around midnight - and I think the reason I made the next two was because the last note on this one doesn't ring out. After ten and half freaking minutes. It's there, though. Later the intro vocals were slightly more melodic, and oh, my - the third one, second half vocals were right in the pocket and I have to rewrite half the words to take advantage of that space I found. No, not really. I just have to sing them into it.

That third one would have been the one here but some of my choices of which guitar rhythms to use in which places weren't as good as this one, and that actually matters a lot to the overarching structure - and feel - of the whole song. But the control over the almost bloodthirsty placement of the vocal sounds in the second half... yeah, there will be more like that.

Something else that speaks to the point I am at here is that I recorded three takes of a ten and a half minute song and they all came out within six seconds of each other. (For example, when I redid "Strung Out" the other day, it ended up about two seconds different from the months-before recording - and that is with an unspecified number of quieter and quieter repeats in the coda.)

All I was supposed to write was "This. This is how it goes."

(back to words)

(Notes about the notes about the songs)

typos? comments? mail me here

© Huw Powell

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