Rumoured to Exist
NOTE: If you buy the album, then feel free to print these notes to use as liner notes while you listen. Yeah, it sounds (and is) pretentious, but I'm trying to present more of an experience with this album, not just background music. After two or three attentive listens, I guarantee that in the future, you'll find it difficult to ignore :) 'The Rumoured to Exist album was recorded, mixed and produced as 96 kHz/24-bit digital recordings which were then mastered down to 44.1 kHz/16-bit for compact disc. I recorded and mixed these songs between January 2007 and July 2008. Dominick Maita at Airshow Mastering in Boulder, Colorado then mastered the album by transferring the original 96/24 songs to 1/2" analog tape without noise reduction at 30 inches per second and back to 96/24 digital for mastering. The analog transfer provides the psychological effect I sought in having this album sound like it was originally recorded to tape. Yes, tape adds just that slight touch of hiss. The reason being that the music on Rumoured to Exist is based on the music from the 1970s and '80s and also uses many of the electronic sounds from that era, and it was my intent to have the album sound like it could have come from that era. The theme of Rumoured to Exist is love and the moments in that pursuit of love. There remain valid and creative ways to express an opinion on those special feelings, and I think Rumoured to Exist is just such an expression. The album addresses frustration, resignation, investigation, revelation, manipulation and realization of one's own feelings about romantic relationships in songs about video gamers, ocean explorers, school miscreants, Internet dating, and space observation. Now, will you listen? SIDE ONE? [oh, yes, you should know ... I sequenced the album as it would be if it was (or should it be) on a vinyl LP. Each side is just over 19 minutes long] LITTLE GAMES (3:37)? "Little Games" deals with someone who is tired of playing those little games. Given that the album's theme is love, the song's protagonist demands straightforwardness in his relationship with another. Removed from the theme of love, the songs could also be about someone's frustration with a video game. Could today's generation be treating relationships as if they were just roles in a video game?? Unique instruments and sounds in this song include the Fisher SCK-30 Stereo MusiComposer, made in 1984, which samba beat propels the song. The opening and closing fanfare comes courtesy of the Coleco Electronic Quarterback handheld game which has been in the family since 1980, I believe. The Linn drums also make an appearance along near the end. THE WAY I PICTURED YOU (THAT'S OK) (3:09)? The person in this song resigns himself to the fact that she's just not that into him, no matter how much he is into her.? The Linn drum machine takes a more dominant role in the song, especially when countered with the orchestral arrangements that teeter on insanity at the end. The multi-tracked harmony vocals at the end of the second verse were inspired by Harry Nilsson, because I read somewhere that he improvised his harmony vocals in some songs he recorded for his Pandemonium Shadow Show album. Interestingly, many women consider this their favorite song on the album. OPEN SEA (12:25)? This song follows a man in search of freedom, or at least his definition of freedom, over the open seas to another land, presumably leaving behind a land he finds oppressive in some way. Along the way he hears a story from old men about the perfect woman, which supposedly is a metaphor for the freedom he seeks. Oh, wow ... maybe his search for freedom is a metaphor for our search for the perfect significant other? Hmm.? The genesis of this magnum opus comes from the Band of Horses song "The Funeral" combined with a Brian Wilson-like approach to symphonic pop songwriting. The first section is most definitely my attempt to capture a sort of majestic guitar sound imitating the rolling waves of sea in 6/8 time. The second section I've titled "Under the Stars," conveying the sense of sailing at night while pondering the mission. After such thought, our captain decides to let loose below deck with the crew in a song and dance about an old myth of the perfect woman told by sailors of another era. The third section tells this tale with a bridge warning our captain not to take such tales seriously because the men who tell such tales fear that another's success will excommunicate their failed attempts from history. The fourth section presents a mysterious figure who reveals the truth to our captain about what freedom/perfect woman really is. The fifth section recapitulates the first section with our captain expressing his disappointment in this revelation to the open sea. SIDE TWO JUNIOR HIGH SLOW SONG (7:03)? This song started as a personal exercise in creating a genre song. The genre in this case is the power ballad from the early 1980s. In the song you will hear subtle nods to Journey ("Faithfully"), REO Speedwagon ("Keep On Loving You"), The J. Geils Band ("Love Stinks"), Phil Collins ("Against All Odds"), Steve Miller Band ("Fly Like an Eagle"), Styx ('Lady and "Come Sail Away"), and 10cc ("I'm Not in Love"). When writing the lyrics to this song, I wanted to capture the generalizations and platitudes that one might hear in a Journey song, so I consulted the lyric sheet of Journey's Escape album to help me write the first verse. After that, I actually needed to tell the story about two people sneaking into a junior high school dance. AMY SAYS (2:37)? Based on an actual conversation I had once with someone who dated people using the Internet, "Amy Says" speculates how one woman might think about it. I'm sure that the Internet has empowered more women than would have been without it. "Amy" is only one of those women.? From a writing standpoint, this is one of those songs that practically wrote itself. I was in a sort of Ben Folds mode of thinking that day with a little tip of the hat to The Beach Boys vocal harmonies at the end. Some people seem disappointed in how "Amy Says" ends, the sort of ending an American independent film from 1974 might end. However, I must point out that the song was written to be circular, meaning that the end of the song ties back to the beginning both lyrically and musically. If you hit the REW button to start the song over again before the last piano motif begins that ends the song, then you'll hear what I mean. MELLOW, AMBIGUOUS, AND VIVID (2:56)? An instrumental song featuring some fun experimentation. Playing things backward is nothing new, but I found out that the "marry me" line from "Amy Says" when played backward says "Amy." Creepy, huh? Anyway, the featured lead guitar player, Nathan Allen, and I decided to approach a guitar solo using the Frank Zappa method employed on the song "Rubber Biscuit," from the Sheik Yerbouti album. On that song, Zappa put together a drum track and a bass guitar track from two totally different sources from different times and places, a "mash up," if you will. In our song, Nathan's solo over the second section (the "ambiguous" section) was recorded completely independent and separate from the rest of the music with no thought of chord changes or melody, and then we reversed it and placed it on top of the song. Yes ... we were amazed, too.? The third section ("vivid") features good ol' Simmons SDS 200 electronic drums. The moment I plugged those in I knew this was going to be a "kitchen sink" type of album, as in "everything and probably including the ..." COMET (6:43)? "Comet" is a song I wrote after having driven more than hour away from the city lights into the Cascade Mountains to see Comet Hyakutake. The song has a simple, yet extremely sarcastic, premise: post-breakup reconciliation in the time it takes for a comet to circumnavigate it's orbit. Even "short-period" comets are defined as having 20-year orbits.? The drum beat during the first verse emulates the drum beat from the Roberta Flack 1973 single "Killing Me Softly With His Song." The song also influenced my decision to use an electric piano as a main instrument. My approach to the "you want to fly" verse came to me right after watching the Pink Floyd DVD Live at Pompeii. I wanted the listener to feel like a traveler in outer space from a cheesy 1950s sci-fi movie. I may have taken the Pink Floyd influence too far when "Comet" became 16 minutes long with the last nine minutes floating in space (lots of guitar strings scraping through a ring modulator with swooshing white noise and low rumbling -- we pretend there's sound in outer space like that). Coming to my senses, I cut away those nine minutes and put about a minute of it in the background of that last verse.? "Comet" is probably my favorite song on the album, if pressed to choose. I always wanted my album to end with this song, because it's such a natural closer, musically and thematically. "Maybe you will come this way again." I hope you enjoy the songs.'
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