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Canto I: Devotions (A Proem)


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This is the first song in a new project I'm working on. I'll make a forum post elucidating it, but at this point, I'd love some constructive criticism, especially with regards to vocals and the mix. I've been listening to a lot of seemingly concept driven indie folk acts like Joe Pug, Anais Mitchell, The Tallest Man On Earth, and The Cave Singers, along with a whole bunch of blues. SO that's where this stuff is coming from at this point. I hope you all enjoy!

Here's a link to my explanation of the album's 'mission,' so to speak:
http://macjams.com/forum/viewtopic.php?forum=4;showtopic=258587

Cheers
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Lyrics
Devotions (A Proem)

I’ve survived upon a list of all the glass-sealed dialects
That shatter for the poets who we swore to resurrect,
And you told me one night all about the company you keep,
How it scurries in the greenery that clothes you as you sleep.

You came nameless to a body, blossoms bleeding in your eyes –
Now the courtiers and their sages weep upon their riversides,
And I was sinking in the soil as it crumbled and it thinned
Until you leaned down and you told me that I could breathe again –

And the cities, they rage for you –
They wage and they die and their citizens cry when you pass with your skin slick with dew,
And you’ll bury their dead with a wreathe on your head where the cedars once straightened and grew:
And I won’t pay heed to you, no I will not pay heed to you.

I’ve survived upon the silk that you draped across our sins,
And the roughened cloth you measured out to wrap their bodies in,
Yes, you know the hapless frames that you have woven out of vine
Will unravel when you sway amid your rot and your decline.

You’ll build an empire of your laughter, watch it as it fades –
You tell me that corruption is a nightmare that you made,
One day, you know, the time and tides will hollow out your stones,
This wilderness of glass and salt undress your regal bones –
You’ll go away cold.

But the cities, they rage for you –
You’ve ravaged their roads and distended their odes, you’ve decreed them embroidered anew,
You’ll be raw on the teats of a gyre-born beast when the needles, they thread their way through:
And I won’t pay heed to you, no I will not pay heed to you.
Song Stats
Hits: 2034
Comments: 26
Fans: 19
Plays: 96
Downloads: 0
Votes: 0
Uploaded: Jun 26, 2012 - 04:46:17 PM
Last Updated: Jun 26, 2012 - 09:38:16 PM Last Played: Jan 30, 2017 - 03:41:21 PM
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Comments
alackbass said 1734 days ago (June 26th, 2012)
Canto I: Devotions (A Proem)
I'm loving the guitar. What tuning are you using? The fluid part is evidence of your rapidly growing skills on the instrument. Very nice melodic content in your chordal accompaniment. I like the intro. I wish I had written that main guitar theme.

Perhaps your strongest vocal to date. You establish a strong melody and while you may elaborate and ornament the vocal melody in places you never drift away from the main melody. The melody is well suited for your vocal range too. You're becoming very good at transitioning to your falsetto and back to your full voice. I think you're opening up more. You really belt this out in places. Sounds great when you do.

Your best recording to date. I love the reverb and echo you used on the vocal. There's some nice depth to both without being over the top wet. The guitar is present, clear, and full! Like I'm sitting right in front of you as you play.

I haven't even gotten to your poetry yet. Beautifully ambiguous, full of rich language. Dylan (Bob that is) would have been proud to write these lyrics.
Check out my latest song called Mean Miss Teacher
tf10music said 1734 days ago (June 26th, 2012)
I'm really
glad you liked it. I've been singing scales in the shower. Maybe that has helped. To answer your question, I'm using BEBEBE (again). I love that tuning, despite its limitations. I'm gratified (and relieved) that you dig the mix/recording. It's a nightmare to get a decent recording in my bedroom in Canada -- I had more options when I was in Portland. As ever, thanks so much for the support!
Check out my latest song called If The Body Fades
michael2 said 1734 days ago (June 26th, 2012)
wow
that is great. everything really adds to the track. I like a lot of indie folk too and I can see this going over well with fans of that music. great playing and singing. I think the only thing that I would change is maybe EQing the drone a bit. when you're playing lower it kind of steps on the guitar. since the guitar sounds so nice, I would maybe use a high pass filter on the drone. it's such a great sound though I might even make it a hair louder. really nice work.
Check out my latest song called Jazz Glitch Dub Experiment
tf10music said 1734 days ago (June 26th, 2012)
thanks!
yeah i noticed that about the low guitar, as well. I was just going to pan the drone, but your method is definitely better. I'll look into it. If you're interested, I made that sound by playing a guitar chord, lengthening it by a lot on audacity, doing the same thing with another guitar chord, and then layering the two. Afterwards, I boosted the bass a bunch. Thanks for listening!
Check out my latest song called If The Body Fades
michael2 said 1734 days ago (June 26th, 2012)
haha
my new song uses the same technique, but I used a piano chord instead of a guitar chord. lately I have been into making pads this way. love when you get artifacts.
Check out my latest song called Jazz Glitch Dub Experiment
RochaMalhada said 1734 days ago (June 26th, 2012)
Nice project

I like what you've done; good ideas.

. - Harold
Check out my latest song called Ascent of a Tree (w Mike_D & FEEL)
tf10music said 1734 days ago (June 26th, 2012)
I appreciate
the support. Thanks for stopping by!
Check out my latest song called If The Body Fades
tonestones said 1734 days ago (June 26th, 2012)
Devotions
First of all, I really like the guitar tone. Sounds like a dulcimer. Very nice, folky sound. I also like the vocals. Nice delivery. The poem is difficult to voice and I really like the way you pulled it off.
Check out my latest song called Hallelujah [Leonard Cohen Cover]
tf10music said 1734 days ago (June 26th, 2012)
I wouldn't
have pegged it as a dulcimer, but I like that. Cool. Also, you wouldn't believe how many goddamn vocal takes I did to get the lyrics off the way I wanted them. Many thanks for the comment.
Check out my latest song called If The Body Fades
Philip18 said 1734 days ago (June 26th, 2012)
Canto I
Nice warm guitar chords - plenty of energy in the playing. The voice is clear, and the comes through the fairly heavy echo you have on it. The rich imagery and long lines in the lyrics require precise diction and you have that (although I guess it helps to have the lyrics while I'm listening). Has a sort of live feel. I like it!
Check out my latest song called Reverie
tf10music said 1734 days ago (June 26th, 2012)
I'm glad
you enjoyed it. Thanks for listening!
Check out my latest song called If The Body Fades
Feter said 1734 days ago (June 26th, 2012)
Devotions
COol Stuff specially the guitar work !
Check out my latest song called Roll with it
tf10music said 1734 days ago (June 26th, 2012)
thanks feter!
those one finger chords allow for a lot of cool phrasing.
Check out my latest song called If The Body Fades
Gaylen75 said 1734 days ago (June 27th, 2012)
cool
As a positive this is impressive playing. You have grown so much musically
over the last few years. This isn't my style of music but im sure it is good because everyone seems to say so. Your lyrics are complex and smart and clearly beyond me. You're very consistent so im thinking this is your sound. I don't know what to criticise as I think it sounds good only to say it does seem to lack the structure you prose have.
Check out my latest song called Dont Go Now
hackneybloke said 1733 days ago (June 27th, 2012)
canto 1
fantastic track ben. you've really come on as a musician (your poetry was already way ahead of the rest of us). love the mix and production. wow....seriously good. thanks for the nod.
Check out my latest song called If Symptoms Persist
Char said 1733 days ago (June 27th, 2012)
The idea
is inspired and your style is reminiscent of folk singers I heard in the 60's. Sometimes, you seemed rushed and it makes it harder to understand the words. I wonder if you can slow yourself down a bit and maybe lower the volume of the strumming just a bit. I can imagine it took some practice to sing all these lines and adjust your voice while doing so. Still, when you relax into it and really learn your song it gets easier. So, yes, keep up with the plan. It is very worthwhile.
Check out my latest song called When Loving Is One-sided, Music by Bob Rodgers
magnatone said 1733 days ago (June 27th, 2012)
Canto 1
Hi Ben - wow, you are really coming into your own. your lyrics are stunning. as usual, you have a unique and very engaging guitar style that is so captivating. sometimes it sounds like you're trying to cram a lot of words into a too-small space - although that might be my own lack of imagination. this is really stellar work and it's a pleasure to listen to!
Check out my latest song called Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen) and Variations
Symphony101 said 1733 days ago (June 27th, 2012)
All elements
sound so cool ! Your vocals, instrumentation, everything. Fantastic work ! Way to go, very nicely done.
Check out my latest song called Standing On The Brink (w/ Mosaica)
michaeljayklein said 1733 days ago (June 27th, 2012)
Applause
This was an especially fine effort from you; you hard work is clear to the ears and registers beautifully on that gray matter in-between (well in my case, the BB I call a brain!) Your lyrics are superb (one of your strongest suites) as well; thanks for sharing this!
Check out my latest song called There Ain't Nobody Here but Us Chickens!
Daugrin said 1733 days ago (June 27th, 2012)
Folkie Confusion
Great job... enjoyed the whole thing. The listening you have done has paid off.
'Cos you asked: perhaps suffers from the lilt, not really a fault though, bass drone imho annoys the tinnitus. I need some harmony vocal? Can hear some harmony on top... perhaps trading some of the lines? This might be improved were the lyric more linear, in a more conversational tone. Seems just a bit too word conscious/arty, can't be avoided in these high brow concept pieces?

Daug
Check out my latest song called Clearing in the Forrest of Feeling
bud said 1732 days ago (June 28th, 2012)
Wow - this is pretty awesome
I'm a fan of the genre going back to the likes of John Martyn, Nick Drake etc. I'll have to check out some of the folks you mention. Your vocals are strong and sure while embracing the wandering way. Nice lyric/poem too. BTW - there's a book called Electric Eden that you might enjoy reading.
Check out my latest song called Polara
egobandit said 1732 days ago (June 28th, 2012)
rattle when you sway
such clarity in the guitar, I like how you switch octaves between a high and low lick, then the off the cuff singing really hits it with emotion , I need to check out some of those bands great motivation! great song!
Check out my latest song called to be free
Skweryl said 1730 days ago (June 30th, 2012)
HOW DOES ONE
OVERCOME BEING TONE DEAF? I HOOPE I CAN SAY THAT NOW CAUSE I THOUGHT YOU WERE BUT NOW YOU'RE NOT AMAZING INCREDIBLE METAMORPHISIS OF A CATEPILLAR TO A BEAUTIFUL BUTTERFLY MY VERY FAVORITE PART OF BEING AT MACJAMS HAS BEEN TO WATCH YOUER EVOLUTION BEN..........AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Check out my latest song called SKUNKCASS SoloMe-o
Vic Holman said 1720 days ago (July 10th, 2012)
catching up
ben! you really have come a long way on your recordings. you have really reached a new pinnacle. guitar sounds great and your vocals excellent.
Check out my latest song called Could Have Been Anything
Carrie71 said 1720 days ago (July 10th, 2012)
canto I...
The music is great. The only thing I would change is the vocals...most seemed rushed and crammed into the the music. Or maybe your breathing into mic? Vocals are hard to understand. Maybe you could have someone collaborate with you and do the vocals.
Doadars Uncle said 1682 days ago (August 17th, 2012)
Alive
Like fresh, tumbling water, I love it!
Check out my latest song called Don't Leave (remix)
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Name: tf10music
Location: Portland Oregon United States
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I haven't been playing music for too long. I've dabbled with the guitar for years, but it was only late in 2009 when I started writing my own stuff, and I've loved it ever since. I had always been inventing riffs or short melodies on the guitar, but ... [see more]

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