Sheet Music: St. Valentine, for Piano

Transcribed for Piano by David Peacock

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Backtrack: Until the Sun Rises

Backtrack is a series devoted to backtracking to tell short stories about songs I've written.

I wrote and recorded this song in 2006.

This song was a first in a lot of ways for me. I’ve been singing since I was little but this was one of my first attempts at singing on a track, as well as writing lyrics. Listening to this now, I’d love to redo this song with MUCH better vocals (which I’ll probably do at some point), maybe change up the lyrics a little bit as well. I also utilized some techniques I had never tried before, like adding vinyl sounds underneath to give it a little bit of an old feeling … in hindsight I’m not sure how successful it was at making it sound “old”, but I do like the vinyl sounds regardless!

There are a few influences for this track, including Radiohead (the vibe, harmonic decisions), Tortoise (tremolo guitar lines), and Wintersleep/Kary (some of the vocal chanting towards the end). I might have been listening to The Postal Service at the time too because I think it does feel a little reminiscent of a darker equivalent of that group at times. There’s also a hint of chip towards the back end, though this stays mostly outside of that realm.

I did this track in Garageband my first semester at music school, and recorded the vocals in my dorm room.

Backtrack: Marathon

Backtrack is a series devoted to backtracking to tell short stories about songs I've written.

Marathon is a track I wrote in 2007 but was never really sure it was finished. It sat on my hard drive for about a year and then I made a few cosmetic changes and gave it to Pterodactyl Squad for a compilation. The whole introduction and pad sound was heavily influenced by late 70s/ early 80s horror soundtracks such as "Solamente Nero" (1978), composed by Stelvio Cipriani and performed by the Italian group Goblin. I wrote and produced the track in Reason, which I’ve always found lends itself well to writing mechanical sounding music. Reason also has some nice effects that you can automate to do cool things, like the bitcrushed swell-out around 03:30.

There’s also some glitchy drum elements, though those are less prominent. Around this time I was exploring Squarepusher a bit, so I could probably make a connection between the two. The melody was originally vibraphone, but I switched it out with a pulse lead which I think works out better in this case.