Oct 27, 2008

The Beauty of Internet Collaboration

One of the most interesting aspects of the Internet is being able to communicate with anyone around the world, instantaneously, about any subject that interests you. When it comes to me that subject is usually music. But within the last couple of years I've been going beyond talking about music on the Internet to making music with the art form or collaboration.

Though it becomes difficult sometimes, collaborating with people over the Internet is an exciting endeavor. Recently, I was turned onto a site called TuneRooms.com that allows you to post songs or ideas to your own personal "tune room", share it with other people, and allow them to collaborate with you by them adding their own tracks. You can also browse the site looking for people in your genre, or search the want ads for musicians looking for expertise in a certain instrument. If you're worried about copyright issues, you can even choose the license agreement by which your tune will be governed by.

Even with the help of sites like TuneRooms, sometimes it's hard to convey opinions and ideas over the Web because it tends to be so impersonal. That alone is enough to put a strain on a collaborating relationship. But being patient and going with the flow can lead to great music and before you know it you're busting out a jam with someone that's rockin' out in front of their computer in Australia (or somewhere that's crazy-foreign to you).

I've actually worked with a guy from Australia. We worked a couple of rockin' tunes together. I've also worked with a number of musicians across the United States. For the past year or so I've been working with a singer/songwriter out of Florida named Katyln Lowe. (As an aspiring musician I'm sure she won't mind the plug at all.)

We've never actually "met", but we've collaborated on 6 tunes so far and hopefully many more in the future; Katlyn writing most of the lyrics and providing the vocals, me providing the musical arrangements. With Katlyn's heartfelt lyrics and ever-growing vocal talent, she has a great shot at becoming heard by the masses.

Minus the lack of proper recording and mixing equipment, our collaborations have produced some music that you would never imagine came from two people living more than a thousand miles away from each other. Check out the player below for a taste of our collaboration.

This is only one example of the beauty of Internet collaboration. I can only see the Internet becoming even more of a resource for musicians in the coming years with great sites like TuneRooms.com. For you musicians out there, don't be afraid to reach out and try something new. Let your ideas be heard and share them with other musicians to create a piece of music you never thought could have been made. As musicans/lyricists/singers, it's our creativity that drives us and practicing, sharing, and working on our craft can only make it better.

For anyone looking for a collaborator, feel free to contact me: ericdwfrye@gmail.com. Whether you need someone to sing your lyrics, to back up your lead vocal, add a musical backing to your lyrics, or even write lyrics for a piece of music, I'm game. I'll rock out with anyone, anywhere in the world if you give me the chance.

Keep rockin' everyone and make sure to check out Katlyn in the player above and at her Myspace page by clicking here. Also, take advantage of sites like Tunerooms, you'll find me on there as well.

Oct 22, 2008

Right Idea; Wrong Time, Wrong Place

10:05pm: Curled up in bed, drifting toward sleep. The dead street lamp outside contributes to the empty blackness. The soft tumble of semi-wet clothing and the hum of the dryer are now inconsequential. The pains of the long day are slowly falling away as consciousness is fading.

Right then a melody floats from the darkness. Soft and steady; smooth and simple. Behind it comes a chord progression on an acoustic guitar; tuned down a half step it's dark, yet it moves steadily forward. Should I get up? Should I fumble with my cell phone to cast the little light I need to scribble incomprehensibly in the song book on the floor? Nah, I'll remember in the morning.

This tune plays over and over, piece by piece tumbling into place. Sleep waits through the first chorus then overwhelms.

7:35am: Awoken with a blank mind. What was that song I was playing in my head last night? Melody, chord progression, the whole dark, sweet, chill jam....gone. Figures.

8:17: Stomach now full of store brand wheat flakes and milk it's time for a long, hot shower to awaken my senses and hopefully my mind. As the steam fogs up the mirror I soothe away in the hot water.

As I soap up my hair and drum beat, steady and strong builds in my brain. Slowly but surely the whole song starts to fall together. Faster paced and more high energy than my semi-conscious diddy, I'm sure it's not the same. Before I know it I'm belting out the melody with nonsense words as if I'm singing a Nirvana tune that I've known for 10 years. Though my washing is done I linger until I remember that I do pay for water, and I jab at the handle as if it's a stop button on a boombox.

Since the mirror is too fogged for shaving, I hastily dress and run to my make-shift studio. I don't know where to start. The melody escapes me and the oh so perfect drum line beats no more.

I might be exagerating a bit, but this is basically the story of my life. All the right ideas popping into my head at the wrong times, in every wrong place. It could be around noon while walking the dog, 1:30 while eating out for lunch, or 5:43 while wrist deep in a bowl of raw ground beef getting dinner ready.

It happens everywhere and without warning. But of course that everywhere doesn't include while sitting in front of my computer, guitar in lap, mind on high alert. You might think that carrying a voice recorder or a notebook would be the solution. Sometimes, yes. But it's always those situations where I'm the least prepared and most apt to crack under the pressure of a great idea, that that seemingly great idea rears it's melodic head.

The ideas don't all disappear into oblivion, but most are never heard again. Some survive in pieces, never to be completed, left in a pile of the junk heap that is my head. I see it as my curse as a young songwriter. Maybe even a step toward that first big hit. But until then I'll still be humming a melody in my sleep, belting out a chorus in the shower, and running up the stairs, hands covered in raw meat, in search for the next great idea at the wrong time and in all the wrong places.

Oct 18, 2008

Welcome LinkReferral friends and beyond - New stuff coming soon!

I'm slowly working on getting some new content up here. I'm sorry I haven't been consistent but I'm trying to get in a habit of posting at least once a week.

Read up and let me know what you think. I'm always looking to get better so I love feedback. I'd also love to talk to any songwriters out there to see how you tick.

I'm also looking to get some new songs finished, recorded, and posted via my ReverbNation widget. The songwriting process has been tedious lately so that'll probably be a bit further in future beyond my next post.

Let me know what you think of my blog and my music. And feel free to contact me, I love meeting new songwriters, music lovers and internet freaks! Rock on!

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