17.11.2017

Revolution

I still dream of a revolution,
not because I'm just bored of evolution,
but things won't end well, that's just another illusion,
waiting for the end is no solution.

Sure: you want to sit back and watch how the game plays out,
but you're watching those who are weaving your shroud.

You might have a craving for that ivory to build up your own tower,
and you can't do that by raising your hands against those in power,
but you can't live in peace in thunder and lightning,
'cause what you hear and see, it's not mother nature, it's armies, fighting.

Sometimes you just want to be left alone,
but you can't merely survive on your own,
we're all citizens of planet earth,
being part of human nature is what makes living worth.

I know, you've heard these lines before,
and you would listen, but you're fighting a fucking war,
maybe you're wearing a shining armor, but I bet you're not,
praying for help from a king or a god is all you got,
but praying won't help, it won't even call a truce,
'cause all hell is about to break loose.


Words & Music: Michael Michaelis

Michael: Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Violin & Viola (String Sections), Cymbals & HiHat, Wavedrum (Bass Drum, Snare, Toms), Percussion (Cowbell, Bamboo Cata), Sequencer- and Synthesizer Programming.

Recorded, edited, and mixed proudly using Cubase.


[All Rights reserved. © Michael Michaelis, 2017]

7.10.2017

Byrods - Program

When I was looking for a title for my project, I translated the German term “Nebenstraßen” into “Byroads” - which seems pretty obvious for my kind of music.

Another choice would have been a translation of “Programmmusik” (program music). I rejected that for obvious reasons – it has a silly sound, to say the least. But it might have been a better description of what I'm trying to do.

In my songs lyrics come first. The music is just commenting the words. If the words are simple – like in Memories or Echos - the music can stay simple as well. The first song in the current “cycle” of what I'm just doing is Becoming - written on a trip thru South Africa, featuring musical standards used in African popular music, like unmodified cadences and patterns of “call and response”.

Sometimes the topic touched by the lyrics needs some level of comment. The music I do is not just paraphrasing what is already said, but offers some kind of an emotional level of understanding. Big words! ..and I'm not even sure if I can even touch that level at all; if I have the skills, as a composer, to do so.

Nevertheless: Nightfall is a good example of what I'm trying to do. It's a reminiscence to Richard Wagner's “Tristan & Isolde” (the “sirene” in the lyrics is – pretty obvious, at least to me – Isolde); there are several occurrences of the “Tristan” chord in the music. The formal structure of the song follows a “program”: Daylight (the intro) – Sunset (verse 1), Nightfall (verse 2), Rite Of The Shadows (interlude), Night (verse3). The entire structure is “reverse”; as is living, dying..

And so on (the dissonant Harps in Lies are not a coincidence, when the lyrics states: “I love you”; neither is the marching snare in Child of My Time in the last verse).

But it's up to the listener to make the connections – I just had a thought that it might help to give a hint.



In the last couple of weeks I did some re-recordings/re-mixes of some of the songs that started the cycle:


Becoming

Echos

Nightfall

17.8.2017

That Life

They say: life is what you make of it,
it's what the conductor preaches to the orchestra pit.
(Life is what you make of it,
but you'll burn yourself, ending in a fire pit.)

You might have a song on your lips,
all it takes is a single cloud for a full solar eclipse.
(You might think you made a mark,
it's just whistling in the dark.)

I believe you when you say you want to make it right,
finally you find yourself in the darkest night.
(Every time you try to make it right,
you end up stumbling thru the night.)


[“Es gibt kein richtiges Leben im falschen” - Theodor W. Adorno (“There cannot be a right life amidst wrong”).]


Words & Music: Michael Michaelis

Michael: Vocals, Guitars, Piano & Synthesizer, Bass, Violin & Viola (String Section), Cymbals, Percussion (Shaker, Tambourine, Triangle, Claves), Wave Drum (Snare, Bass Drum, Toms).

Recorded, edited, and mixed proudly using Cubase.

(Last Update: 20.8.2017)


[All Rights reserved. © Michael Michaelis, 2017]

28.6.2017

Memories

There was a ragged garden behind my childhood home,
an enchanted place, a little world of it's own,
it was a sacred site, I buried a treasure there,
but I can't remember what and where.

The first time I heard that song I was all alone,
a stranger spoke to me I'd always known,
this music is a true companion for many years,
but I can't remember what once made me blink back tears.

Wish I could remember the first time I saw your face,
but that memory is just the center of a tangling maze,
I remember it's alleys, I walk them every now and then,
I circle it's center again and again.

Refrain

Memories are like a canvas, over-painted many times,
like a line of poetry, twisted and bended until it rhymes,
they feel real, but they're just a state of mind,
the past hides a truth you'll never find.


Words & Music: Michael Michaelis

Michael: Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Violin & Viola, Cymbals.

Recorded, edited, and mixed proudly using Cubase.

(Last Update: 27.9.2017)


[All Rights reserved. © Michael Michaelis, 2017]

16.4.2017

The Jester

I'm the one who casts that dark shadow deep inside of you,
when you think you got rid of me, I jump out of the blue.

My art of seduction is subtle, I'm just telling what's true,
you'll side with me simply 'cause you know now what to do.

If you want to be the king of the game -
just do it, grab the crown in my name.

I can make a mask, and your face will grow to fit it,
but once you join my game you're not allowed to quit it.

You can shine in all the power and the glory,
just leave that life of yours at my soul depository.

Ending

Well I wish today is the day I take your soul,
but geez! you're a trickster, hiding an ace in the hole.
You denied the crown, took the role of the jester instead,
running me down as a cartoon on your scribbling pad.


(Unused Verses)

When you're tested by your qualms, I whisper in your ears,
I make a pledge to everything you wanna hear.

I'm your gardener, you are my seeds,
just do it, string my prayer beads.

Head for the crown, try to be king,
just do it, allowed is everything.


Painting: Paul Klee, The Devil juggles.

„He wears a mask, and his face will grow to fit it.” - George Orwell

„Just do it.” - Nike Inc.


Words & Music: Michael Michaelis

Michael: Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Violin & Viola, Cymbals & HiHat, Wave Drum (Bass Drum, Snare).

Recorded, edited, and mixed proudly using Cubase.

(Last Update: 20.4.2017)


[All Rights reserved. © Michael Michaelis, 2017]

6.2.2017

Persistence (Melting Clocks)

Music: Michael Michaelis

Michael: Guitar, Piano, Bass, Cymbals & HiHat, Wave Drum (Bass Drum, Snare), Percussion (Shaker, Darbuka, Rainmaker), Synthesizer- and Sequencer Programming.

Recorded, edited, and mixed proudly using Cubase.

(Last Update: 11.2.2017)


[All Rights reserved. © Michael Michaelis, 2017]

6.1.2017

Persistence

The sheet above fixates an improvisation I recently did on my guitar. I couldn't find a pulse for what I was doing, so the result looks like kind of a construct of excessive overthinking. It isn't.

The theme reminds me on a picture of Salvador Dalí, „Melting Watches“ - the music will fit pretty well into my „Paintings“-Project.


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