Home Music Articles Forums Blog Chat More...      

Laura (MJRF2010)


by

Cameron

 Genre: New Age

Get Flash to see this player.

Description
I wanted to participate in this year's MacJams Reunion Festival, but couldn't immediately decide which piece from my first year that I wanted to work on.

So I looked through my original folder of GarageBand files and found "Laura", which was in fact the very first piece I submitted to MacJams, two days after joining on June 7, 2004.

The first person to comment was Suzanne. The second and final person to comment was Gudkarma.

In those days, getting a 5.53 score was respectable. But after a few months of very little airplay, I decided to pull the song. People were concentrating more on my later works, and loops began to get a bad name....

I forgot all about it until a few days ago.

It's interesting that I originally wrote this piece in honor of my dear friend, Laura -- who you may remember was the subject of my most recent submission a couple of weeks ago. What goes around, comes around!

I had just started playing with GarageBand and this was my very first effort.

It was all loops from the original program. You'll recognize such time-honored favorites as "70s Ballad Piano" in its various forms; Exotic Sarod and Dream Guitar.

For this updated version, I replaced the piano sound with various vocal ones from JamPack 5. I also added other loops from the World Music JamPack and transformed them to vocal, and chopped, pasted, wrote new music in each region.

I added Tibetan bowls to replace the original "Contemplative Synth" sound which didn't fit well with the new vocal texture.

I kept the Exotic Sarod and Dream Guitar to retain that "Blast from the Past" sound.

It was an emotional experience to re-work the very first piece that I ever attempted in GarageBand. Thanks, MacJams, for providing the opportunity with this Reunion Festival to revisit an old chestnut. I do hope that you enjoy this.

Best wishes.
Leave a Comment
You must be registered and logged-in to comment.
Song Stats
Hits: 3277
Comments: 56
Fans: 31
Plays: 226
Downloads: 88
Votes: 3
Uploaded: Feb 11, 2010 - 09:53:56 PM
Last Updated: Feb 12, 2010 - 11:23:21 AM Last Played: Mar 21, 2017 - 10:13:36 PM
Song License
Creative Commons License:
Attribution-NoDerivs

Creative Commons

Song Actions
share on facebook share on twitter download song
Hardware:
Macbook, m-audio keystation 49e
Software:
GarageBand
Comments
Lardo said 2598 days ago (February 11th, 2010)
Reflections...
The voices are just a tad bit behind the beat. Maybe that's intentional -- a bouncing or delay effect? That's the only thing that bothers me. A very nice landscape. Real nice to listen to.

Man, I think I'm going to miss the Reunion Fest 2010 deadline. And I so much wanted to participate by finishing PL's unfinished Sonnet 8. Often, life gets in the way of reflection.
Check out my latest song called Rain Your Grace on Me (Joy of Grace)
Cameron said 2598 days ago (February 11th, 2010)
Richard...
I happen to like the slightly delayed effect of the vocals, which sounded more natural to my ears. Perhaps I should have delayed the other sounds to match. But overall I am pleased with the overall effect.
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
ktb said 2598 days ago (February 11th, 2010)
Laura
Cameron, nicely done. The percussion is especially addicting. Delicate with depth. One thought might be to add a percussive (quicker attack) type sound to the melody part. You go through some very cool changes and the vocal pad seems to get buried at times. Very much enjoyed
Check out my latest song called Blackwater (by Tokai)
Cameron said 2598 days ago (February 11th, 2010)
ktb,
I did experiment with adjusting the attack on each vocal track, and managed to get it a bit more on the beat. I also adjusted reverb a tad. But there was only so much I could do, before the vocal tracks started to sound even MORE synthesized than they already are. So I left well enough alone after a few adjustments, deciding to split the difference.

Thanks for stopping by!
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
VicDiesel said 2598 days ago (February 11th, 2010)
The good old days.....
Very nice piece, but the combination of western New Age choirs, Indian tablas and (admittedly also Indian) sarod feels a bit incongruous. Thank heavens we seem to be past that stage.

Still, pleasant to listen to.
Check out my latest song called Raggedy Ann's Ragtime (original version)
Cameron said 2598 days ago (February 11th, 2010)
Coming from you...
...your comment is particularly interesting because I've heard some cool, seemingly disparate sound combinations in your music. But maybe this one didn't work out so well.

I like throwing together varying elements which ordinarily wouldn't be combined. Maybe I should have gone even FARTHER out with this one! ;-)
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
Outtaorbit said 2598 days ago (February 11th, 2010)
Oh my......
Those damn loopz......... nicely done
Check out my latest song called My Last Great Depression
ic42 said 2598 days ago (February 11th, 2010)
loops, the other white meat
A whole different way of constructing music, no better/worse (in my opinion), but definitely requires a whole different skillset to create an interesting piece. And yes, there is something sentimental about those loops that makes me smile, as I remember goofing around with GB early on this way. However, I never got good at bending them to the extent you have here... they really dovetail nicely with your guidance, you get some compelling harmonies and tensions there. Much better sounding than anything I could ever coax out of the loop palette. Great to hear you joining the MJRF party, thank you!
ttfn,
Drakonis
Check out my latest song called Mars à Oublier - 0x01
Cameron said 2598 days ago (February 11th, 2010)
eduard,
I really appreciate your carefully considered comment!

One of the (many) interesting aspects about working on this piece was that I couldn't really make a silk purse out of a sow's ear -- in other words, the imprint of the very first piece I ever did in GB couldn't be erased, and maybe that's why some listeners have had "issues" with it. But it was a great exercise and I don't regret posting it.

Thanks for your kind words. Now, back to the drawing board...on something else! :-)
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
johnwhitehead said 2598 days ago (February 11th, 2010)
Laura
Enjoyed this. More pop than New Age, and I'm glad for it. Could almost imagine an Annie Lennox lead vocal line over this. Wonderful melody and harmony ideas here. Wonderful piece 'o writing
and arranging.
Check out my latest song called Wandering Blues
Cameron said 2597 days ago (February 12th, 2010)
Yes, could be pop
because of the mainstream rock elements in the loops. There were some gospel and Latin ones as well. Thanks for your comment!
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
Gaylen75 said 2598 days ago (February 11th, 2010)
Very Compelling
This is a song that calls out. It has a story in it. I love the voicing on keys.
Check out my latest song called Dont Go Now
Cameron said 2597 days ago (February 12th, 2010)
Gaylen,
When JamPack 5 came out with all the vocal stuff, I was thrilled, and felt like a kid at Christmas. I immediately started working on my submission, "Darker Side of Nowhere" (a Halloween symphony) which has some of the same vocal sounds, but NOT loops. Check it out sometime if you have a spare moment.

It's interesting how even loops can have a story -- it's all in how they're put together and reworked.
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
Alimar said 2598 days ago (February 11th, 2010)
I thought you forgot about MJRF...
I'm glad you finally posted. I vaguely remember the original, but this is quite pleasant. Loops, schmoops... I used a few loops in my MJRF submission. You've arranged your choices well. Its not easy to use loops effectively.

I like the voices in their slight sync anomaly. Yes it does give a more realistic appeal. Enya comes to mind... if you don't mind. The World sounds embraced by the choice of rhythm and meter are well balanced,

Looking back, I see you and I are two of the remaining few "Boys of Summer" (of 2004... which includes goils, too). The late night chats and camaraderie. I miss those days!

Six years later and several cycles of musical growing pains.
Check out my latest song called The Reincarnate [Reincarnated in 2015]
Cameron said 2597 days ago (February 12th, 2010)
Memories...
...brought back by working on this early piece, for sure. I'll always remember that first thrill of using GarageBand for the first time. We were all so excited! It really formed a strong bond between us, and I remember all the late night chats with GB questions, and of course the emoticons!

Some things never change. ;-)

Thanks for your kind words.
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
caroline said 2597 days ago (February 12th, 2010)
phew!! you made it!!!
i like this!! it may not be harpnhorn but there is so much feeling behind it - as i said to you before .. it's "new age" but in a good way :) big loves bags and thank you for sharing your reworked first steps here xoxox
Check out my latest song called i'm a reunion maid MJRF 2010
Cameron said 2597 days ago (February 12th, 2010)
Yes, under the wire
for me with this year's festival! I'm glad you liked this.

xoxox back atcha
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
iG.STUDiO said 2597 days ago (February 12th, 2010)
Beautiful soundscape once again.
You are one of the few artists whose songs I fav before even clicking "play", and never regret after listening. Jam on!
Check out my latest song called Spiral Samba
Cameron said 2597 days ago (February 12th, 2010)
Ilya!
I'm glad that yet another early MacJammer is still around! I'll never forget hearing your sax playing for the first time on that bossa nova.

I hope you do more of that, btw. Best wishes.
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
PrototypeEightyOne said 2597 days ago (February 12th, 2010)
Nice
I like the blending of sounds you used. Its very easy to get lost in the soundbed and those voices are spectacular. I really enjoyed this composition. Mix was great and well balanced. loved the chimes/bells intertwined with the deep and high voices.
Check out my latest song called The Dead can Dance
Cameron said 2597 days ago (February 12th, 2010)
JamPacks
are great! They add so much to GarageBand. This particular piece was made with the original GB loops, and it sounded VERY "loopy"! The Voice JamPack really helped put a new spin on this old piece.

Thanks for noticing the Tibetan bowls. I needed something high-sounding to offset the deep voices. While I was adding them, Drakonis' (Eduard) music came to mind, since he likes to use bells.

;-)
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
davisamerica said 2597 days ago (February 12th, 2010)
no nits from me
.... i actually love the instruments chosen. a careful and contemplative mood here and a loving tribute to a friend. there is such grace here. a most enjoyable listen Cameron.
Check out my latest song called empathy
Cameron said 2596 days ago (February 13th, 2010)
Thanks!
I'm glad you liked this. I particularly appreciate your term "grace" connected with the music here. Laura definitely had that.
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
michaelkoppenheffer said 2597 days ago (February 12th, 2010)
Love the tabla sound
on this piece; it's like the drummer's here in the room with me!

So this is still chopped and respun loops? I wouldn't have guessed, but then I'm totally "loop-challenged" myself! Very nice post.
Check out my latest song called Till the Tap Runs Dry (album version)
Cameron said 2596 days ago (February 13th, 2010)
The loops (long explanation!)
are about 3/4 UNedited. I had to change a few notes here and there to make sure everything was in the same key (some loops were in major and others were in minor).

The original version of this piece had mostly loops from "70s Ballad Piano". I shifted those to voices, and then added loops from various World and Latin loops from the World Music jampack (originally piano and guitar) and assigned them to vocal tracks as well.

I adjusted velocities and note lengths on many of the loops.

I also added my own notes in some of the loop regions, but not a lot.

Loops can be made to sound quite musical if you just apply your imagination a bit. Everyone should be encouraged to play with loops more! It's a great way to kick-start your creativity.

Thanks for listening and commenting!
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
Mcboy said 2597 days ago (February 12th, 2010)
for a minute
i thought this was going to be a rendition of "the eyes of laura mars"...but this is way kooler.....the mixture of western and eastern musical sensibilities works so well here...at once peaceful and stirring...!
Check out my latest song called Bluesphemy (MJRF 2010)
Cameron said 2596 days ago (February 13th, 2010)
Peaceful and Stirring...
...EXACTLY what I was going for. Thanks!
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
guygrooves said 2597 days ago (February 12th, 2010)
I admire
any artist who can manipulate a good loop. You sir are incredibly adept at it. This might be the most soothing piece of music I have ever heard. I am also glad you decided to come back round and meet some of us newbies.
Peace
Guy
Check out my latest song called Summer Bossa with awigze
Cameron said 2596 days ago (February 13th, 2010)
Guy...
...WOW! I'm glad you found this soothing.

It's great that MacJams continues to attract new people. I've seen your name around the site and your comments on songs, so it's very good that you are participating here, adding a lot to the community.

Now I'm going to check out your songs!
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
billykirsch said 2597 days ago (February 12th, 2010)
Second version of a first try
Love the chord change @ 1:00 & 3:24; tension! Loved it.
Cool sound palette, specially the chorus like voices and the indian strings and percussion.
Loops are just another sampler. Nothing inherently bad or good about them. Just how they are used. It's quite evident you were having fun playing with this!
Thanks Cameron for the post. It's good she had a song for her while she was still here. That's the coolest thing.
Check out my latest song called Everything
Cameron said 2596 days ago (February 13th, 2010)
Billy --
Yes, Laura *DID* hear the original version back in 2004 and thought that GarageBand was amazing -- which it sure is!

I was also honored that she has played my piece "Darker Side of Nowhere" for Halloween trick-or-treaters for the past couple of years.

By the way, this version of "Laura" is going to be part of the background music at her memorial on Monday.

Thanks for your kind words.
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
Doug Somers said 2596 days ago (February 13th, 2010)
Lovely chord progressions
I find this has a a mix of reflection, hope, and a bit of a feeling of loss. The mix of instruments works fine for me, but then I cross cultural boundaries as well in my work. The slow-ish attack of the vocals takes on its own character in this piece and gives a dream or memory like quality to it. Clearly a lot of careful choices here about the arrangement with a most pleasing result.

Thanks Cameron for bringing this piece back to light.

Cheers,
Doug
Check out my latest song called Coming Home - Based on a Theme by David Kneupper
Cameron said 2596 days ago (February 13th, 2010)
Thanks
for your insightful comments -- coming from such an interesting composer as yourself is especially appreciated. I truly enjoyed your latest "Desert Dance II"!
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
Peter Bauckham said 2596 days ago (February 13th, 2010)
Good
mix of instruments - makes it interesting. Personally, I find working with loops, and coming up with something different, is really difficult but you've done just that.

Peter
Check out my latest song called Reality TV MJRF2010
Cameron said 2596 days ago (February 13th, 2010)
Working with loops
is sort of like learning a new language -- the more you speak it, the easier it becomes to make music with them.

Thanks for stopping by!
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
sschedra said 2596 days ago (February 13th, 2010)
Cameron
I am thankful that MJ hosts such wonderful artists as yourself. This piece has a beautiful sadness to it. Maybe not a sadness, but certainly a spiritual overtone.
Love it!
Stephen
Check out my latest song called Cheap Tricks (LSP2)
Cameron said 2596 days ago (February 13th, 2010)
Laura's spirit
continues to be with me. I've found that re-working this piece this week has made it stick in my head even more. That's ok...but I need to start another project! ;-)

I appreciate your comments.
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
blaky smith said 2596 days ago (February 13th, 2010)
Brilliant
Very nice track. You have made a beautiful work, really a great pleasure to listen. Thanks...
Marc
Check out my latest song called Un jour de décembre
Cameron said 2596 days ago (February 13th, 2010)
Marc,
i'm glad you liked!
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
Moviz said 2596 days ago (February 13th, 2010)
I like
the nice warmth of the chords that ascend an descend vocally and instrumentally in this.... the vocals are really nice in a repetitious way, but fit well... I enjoyed this Cameron, regards M
Check out my latest song called Angels
Cameron said 2596 days ago (February 13th, 2010)
Maurice,
thanks for stopping by for a listen.

I was concerned about the repetition of the original piano-morphed-into-vocal loops, but decided that as long as I added others to the mix, that it would hold together better and have some variety as well.

The repetition also becomes a meditation, of sorts -- which was the way I felt when I opened GarageBand for the first time, and realized I could music on this great little program, even with loops.
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
Skean said 2596 days ago (February 13th, 2010)
Peaceful
As a loops user myself I'm so impress of your work her sir, very nice and peaceful.. Bravo.
Check out my latest song called Which path will we take
Cameron said 2596 days ago (February 13th, 2010)
Kenta,
it's always great when you visit my song pages. I appreciate your comment!
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
magnatone said 2596 days ago (February 13th, 2010)
Laura
cool idea to rework your very FIRST post on MJ. well fashioned loops, nice mix of instruments and sounds - enjoyed!
Check out my latest song called Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen) and Variations
Cameron said 2596 days ago (February 13th, 2010)
Thanks, Karen
for taking the time to listen and comment on one of my pieces.

I'm glad you liked the mix of sounds. I wanted to update the original with more interesting software tracks, yet retain the flavor of this first effort.
Check out my latest song called Trio for Horn, Violin & Piano
scaustrita said 2595 days ago (February 14th, 2010)
Interesting Sound
The combination of genres is unique.
Though there are different, they blend seamlessly.
I personally do not use loops, but I look at those who do as conductors and arrangers.
They take a snippet and create audible wonders.

:: Uplifting ::
Check out my latest song called Matter at Hand Steve Caustrita & Sam Dixon
lavalamp said 2595 days ago (February 14th, 2010)
Very nice
Again, I like this, but my wife will love it.

A lot on the left speaker. On it's just my ears. But overall, sounds excellent

LL
Check out my latest song called The Shallow People
crissew said 2595 days ago (February 14th, 2010)
Very cool
a lot of fun to revisit songs long since left on the heap of completed songs. I remember the nostalgic feeling I got when I exported all of my old recordings from Deck II to import into garageband. Was a very rewarding experience to remix and add to my old tracks and improve them. Sounds like you had a similar experience. Very cool, enjoyed the voices you added to this. I still have yet to use the voices jampack I got a while back. This track has a movie soundtrack feel to it now, something in the background of an epic movie. Nice job!
Check out my latest song called Dollar Store Christmas w/ Jerry Rissew
bud said 2594 days ago (February 15th, 2010)
I'm a looper - hiya looper
Joseph Cornell and Kurt Schwitters both worked with collage and no one questions their art - no difference here. Old story. I love the way this piece flows and the choice you made.
Check out my latest song called Polara
Dadai.2 said 2593 days ago (February 16th, 2010)
golden reflections....
of the shimmering.

Cam, this is just so fine. The effect upon listening is peaceful wonderment and joy. I very much like your first submission.

You played the loops as if instruments. Good work for a french horn player...
;-)

Jack
Check out my latest song called Stepping Back From The Edge (2008 protest song)
MarkHolbrook said 2592 days ago (February 17th, 2010)
I enjoyed this
piece but I didn't like some the faster ah ah ah voices... they sounded kind of fake. Overall the tune is pleasurable and enjoyable. I love the composition as a whole.

Nicely done!
Check out my latest song called Corn Whiskey
2_Daves said 2588 days ago (February 21st, 2010)
Its pleasing to my ears
And that's all that matters to me. Faved
Check out my latest song called Passion 2
kristyjo said 2580 days ago (February 28th, 2010)
interesting mix
The change in timbres adds a new twist to some standard GB loops. I like it.
Check out my latest song called Sussex Carol
Bethan_Mathis said 2572 days ago (March 9th, 2010)
Just heavenly
Well I am listening with fresh ears and I love the "Heavenly" voices, very tight indeed. So glad I didn't miss it. Thanks.
Check out my latest song called Song For A Friend
dancedivine said 2571 days ago (March 10th, 2010)
Peaceful...
Nice, peaceful vibe.... I like it!
Check out my latest song called Drive These Blues Away - Remastered
VicDiesel said 1420 days ago (May 4th, 2013)
Ah what memories
That sarod that those tablas..... I'm enjoying the vocal writing though.
Check out my latest song called Raggedy Ann's Ragtime (original version)
Artist Info
artist photo
Name: Cameron Kopf
Location: In the Woods Northern CA USA
send a note
I've been meaning to update my bio for a few years now -- much has changed! At the beginning of 2013, I decided to start drawing my Musicians Union pension. I no longer play union professional orchestra/show gigs (French horn). It is a great relie... [see more]

Check out some of my other songs:

Chat
Who's Online
148
Invisible Members: 0
Visitors: 87