This past February, I have been working on new music as part of the RPM Challenge. As you might recall from past years, the RPM Challenge is a month-long endeavor to encourage musicians to create an entire album of original music, start to finish. That means write songs, record, mix, master and mail off a hard copy to the good folks who sponsor the event.
This is the third time I’ve taken part in four years. Here are my entries from 2007 and 2009 with Hello Come In. Incidentally, we also spent the entire year of 2007 making 12 original EPs which you can find here.
So now it’s March 1st 2010. This year I decided to mix it up and make music with people locally in Washington D.C. Working with me in collaboration is Robin Hilton and Meg Ruddick — both NPR Music coworkers. Robin I have worked with in the past on a few songs, Meg never before, so it’s pretty cool to try something new this year.
For this project we have named ourselves Golden Days and we’re proud to present our debut effort: It Was Over Before We Began.
1. It Was Over Before We Began
2. Year Of Dreams
3. Mind Control
5. Come Tomorrow
6. It’s A Weakness
7. Captain Kid
8. Bone Fragments
Produced by Golden Days
Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Robin Hilton and Mike Katzif
at Hello Come In Studios & Small Good Thing Productions,
in Washington DC; February 2010
Artwork and layout design by Mike Katzif
Drums on “It’s A Weakness by Aryn Crowley
All Songs by Golden Days; Copyright 2010
Special Thanks to Hello Come In, Small Good Thing,
Krusher, for her unwavering patience and support
and our nearly half dozen fans.
We know it’s been years since you’ve heard from the crew over at hellocomein.com, but fear not young maidens and noble gentlemen, the beast has not been slain permanently. After our year-long hiatus, we’ve had a productive month of February, and created the newest edition in the ongoing melodrama: You Can’t Find Your Way Outside.
This undertaking was written, performed, and recorded (mostly) in the month of February for the famed RPM Challenge. For those unaware, the RPM Challenge, costs no money to enter, does not provide any winnings of millions for the best entries, and really, is merely a catalyst to inspire people to get out of their nightly taco-flavored-Dorrito-fueled reality television watching lifestyle, and get them to make music for the sake of making music. The rules are simple: you have the month of February to completely create either 35 minutes of music, or 10 songs — whichever comes first.
Listen to our attempt at greatness: Some songs are pure genius, while others only part genius. But it’s safe to say that you will either be crying from joy, or despair, or not at all, after listening. The point of the project is not true perfection of the final product, but the process of creating and making music. We hope that comes across in these new songs.
Please leave comments here in the blog about what you love/hate/don’t care about, to help encourage us to create again, or give up for good.
Thanks and good night sweet princes.
~Aryn & Mike
Hello Come In — Chicago & Washington D.C. Divisions
1. White Walls
2. Half Awake
3. The Winch
4. The Academy Of Birds
5. Yellow Matter
6. You Are The Sea
7. Why The Oceans Matter
8. This Is A Fire
9. Music Box
Produced by Mike Katzif
Recorded and Engineered by Aryn Crowley and Mike Katzif
Mixed and Mastered by Mike Katzif and Hello Come In
at Hello Come In Studios, Washington DC & Chicago IL; February 2009
Artwork and layout design by Mike Katzif
Cellos on “Yellow Matter” by Thomas Pierce
Special Thanks to Greg Johnson, Robin Hilton, and our dozen fans.
All Songs by Mike Katzif, Aryn Crowley and Hello Come In, Copyright 2009
Spent most of this weekend out of town and in airports and hotel rooms. But I did have a chance to mix a bit during that time and spent most of today recording. Here is the progress report:
Half Awake (v4a) — Finally tracked verses two and three… not sure about a few lines here and there and might retrack if there’s time… But otherwise, I’m calling this one relatively done: Warts and all, it’s as good as it’s likely gonna get.
Why The Oceans Matter (v3d) — Here’s a song Aryn wrote and bumped over to me to start mixing and adding a few things on my own. Not quite there yet, but it’s different and has lots of potential. He has a few more in the works but I’ll let Aryn chime in here later about this if he so desires.
“Why The Oceans Matter” v3d by Aryn Crowley (MK Mix)
Slack Stringed (v3a) — Another shelved and long forgotten song, now refreshed and reworked in honor of RPM. Aryn added some drums to this and will add a bit more sooner than later. I am also planning on refining my lyrics for this (half written, still untracked) so stay tuned…
In the last week I’ve refreshed some interest in a few song ideas I had either started and aborted or just had rattling around but never committed to working on. Here is a progress report on what I’ve got so far:
This Is A Fire (v2d) — This song still needs major refinement of lyrics and better melodies, but I think I like where it’s vaguely pointing to: simple electronic background music and sequenced drums and not much else.
Yellow Matter (v3a) — Sunday night I did write some lyrics for this song and track an attempt at a melody and vocal harmonies here, but really found it loathsome to listen to after the fact. So back to the drawing board, yet with some lessons learned and ideas on how to fix later on. Otherwise I really like the music to this, with an amazing assist on the great cello arrangements by my friend and fellow NPR type, Thomas Pierce.
Half Awake (v3b) — This is a song that I started a couple days before February but including here still. Not much progress here in terms of those elusive 2nd and 3rd verses. But its getting there and ready to move on once those are tracked.
Back in 2007, Hello Come In (Aryn, Greg and I) took part in the RPM Challenge which asks people to spend the month of February (28 days) writing and recording an entire album of music — 10 songs or 35 minutes of music whichever comes first. That album also served as the second EP in our year-long project to record a short EP of original music each and every month.
After laying low musically for nearly all of 2008, I’ve decided to undertake the challenge again this year. Today was the first day of the official challenge. To commemorate day one, I offer a song that I actually began writing last week or so, but hadn’t finished.
I’m not totally thrilled with the mix (much to muddy for my taste), and I plan to add verses 2 and 3 once I finalize the vocals, but otherwise, happy with how it’s coming together. Stay tuned for the next 27 days for more updates and songs to hear.