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Music of Ghouls – The Story

in ancient times the dead were carried over the river styx by the ferryman charon, their last journey from our world into the underworld, also known as “hades”. the ferryman required payment for his service and the dead were given one or two coins that were either put on their eyes or under their tongue.

but there were also those who couldn’t pay the ferryman. he would still carry them over the river but they were denied entry into the underworld. instead, they have to live on the dark shores of the river for eternity. these ghouls are restless and to relieve themselves of their misery a bit they use the ferryman to carry back their stories over the river into our world.

Music of Ghouls is a collection of some of their stories. I’m the ferryman telling these stories in the ghouls voices, meaning I change character from song to song to match the character of the ghouls presented.

Meet some of the Ghouls:

The Xpert
A man who has read any book that’s ever been written. he knows all these books by heart and can quote from them at any time. if women want to be with him (and they do!) they have to write him letters asking for information. if these letters are long enough, he might accept to be surrounded by questions of the chosen one for ever.

The Horse Dark Lady
A woman, who can’t stand when people talk to her. their words are like stones thrown into her face. so she left society and decided to live with horses, because they are the only living creature that can calm her down. now she pulls a gun on anyopne who tries to speak to her.

Vogel der Nacht (Bird of the Night)
A Lady who is also known as the underaged widow. she gave herself literally to anyone who wanted her because she thought this way someday someone might just see the heavenly light shining in her. (this song is in german)

I’ve got money
is about a young kid who’s only dream is to live the life of a millionaire. but he doesn’t want to work for it so he just clings to those who seem to have money until they either run out of cash or prove not to provide the desired lifestyle. a real parasite, sucking people dry.

Sally Bones
is a lady who, in a quest for happiness, shovels through the dirt and garbage of this world looking for lost dreams and desires she could turn into her own.

these are just a couple of examples of the ghouls whose stories I will record on the album.

I recorded some parts of the album in my own workshop using only the upright bass (how I do this you can learn supporting one of the fueling bundles). on august 18 and 19 I’ll record all the live instruments in new york, and then back in munich all the additional voices. beginning of september I will edit the album before mixing and mastering it.

the whole process of making the album is going to be recorded on either video, photography, audio, and live streams. the collected material will make up all the goodies you can fuel here at rockethub.

you’ve read this far, now go ahead and fuel this project so the Ghouls can be heard.

picture by icultist on a CC license

El Chico Blanco – the band from LIC on Music of Ghouls

El Chico Blanco is going to back me up for my new recording Music of Ghouls, and I’m very proud of it. I love the music of Steve Blanco and what the band put together on their gigs in NYC is just amazing.

but who are these guys?

well, here it goes. I’m going to give you a couple of links further down, but most importantly a quick overview about these execellent musicians:

Steve Blanco: piano

MUSICIAN, COMPOSER and FILMMAKER Steve Blanco has been forging ahead with self-made creative works for over a decade. Born in Nyack, New York to a French-speaking Moroccan belly dancer (mother) and film editor with a love of music and art (father), Blanco was exposed to artistic expressions from many different cultures. Growing up he learned the trumpet then drums and didn’t arrive at the piano until age 23.

Blanco’s music has been called “Progressive Jazz at its finest” and his acoustic trio’s album Piano Warrior (Art Of Life Records) is said to “Move like the warrior of its title – FEROCIOUSLY and in an ever-changing terrain.”

(excerpt from Steve’s website)

Anthony Chico Riscica: drums

he’s an old schoolmate from SUNY Purchase

here’s Anthony’s facebook

Geoff Gersh: guitar

here’s Geoff’s website

El Chico Blanco:
is an electric instrumental band that plays Neo-Jam music. here’s their facebook.

I’m really looking forward to playng with these guys on the recording on august 18th & 19th…

Music of Ghouls recording experiment

as many of you already know, I like to do experiments in the musicindustry and regarding every aspect of music making. this whole site is dedicated to that.

so, for the recording of my current project Music of Ghouls I came up with the following scheme.

1. I pre-recorded most of the 12 songs in my own studio in munich, playing almost all the percussion tracks on the upright bass. the bass is the ideal instrument to not only play notes, but to make it screech and punch it anyway possible to get interesting sounds out of it. there’s a whole genre based on it. my favourite bassist being Joelle Leandre from paris, whom I had the pleasure studying with in 1998. check her out, she’s amazing.

so, about 10 of the 12 songs already have all the percussions tracks.

2. now I’m in new york and I decided to ask my friend Steve Blanco, if his new not-fitting-into-any-category 3 piece band (drums, keyboards, guitar) would like to record the album with me. instead of hiring freelance musicians and putting a band together I asked an existing band to play with me. this has one bis advantage, they’re well rehearsed, have good chemistry going on between them and they know what they are doing and what their sound is.
the aband is called El Chico Blanco, check them out.

3. since most of the percussion tracks are already done I only need drums on 2-3 songs, which I wanted to record live to get a live atmosphere on the tape. the other tracks will be only my percussions, bass, vocals, plus guitar and keyboards. the other 2 songs will be live band plus my vocals.

4. I decided that for the live tracks with the full band I don’t want to use any bass on the recording. I want the band sound of El Chico Blanco and I’m afraid I would water it down if I added my own bassplaying.

the recording process experiment: this is the real challenge here.

5. instead of doing rehearsals and then the recording I limited the time of both to 2 days. yes, two days to rehearse and record an entire album. we’re going to rehearse intensely in the mornings and record in the afternoon. this way everything we rehearsed stays fresh and the recording will still have that kind of raw and unpolished sound I aim for.
the big challenge here is the timeframe, of course. there’s no room for bullshit or distraction of any kind. we’re going in, set up, play our hearts out and that’s what you will get on the CD. another benefit of doing this is, that I can record the rehearsals, too, and maybe there’s a couple of tracks that can go on the CD as sort of a bootleg prior to the finished recording.

6. the rehearsals will hopefully be streamed live online. we still have to figure out the internet connection and how to best set it up. if all fails and the live stream is not possible I go to plan B, which is to video tape the rehearsals to provide a video for you of the creative process of those two days. I’ll let you kknow the status of the internet issue so you can all tune in when it happens.

this is a real challenge, because I set the timeframe very tight and I hope we can get everything on tape that needs to be recorded. I believe we can pull it off, because the band is excellent and the musicians are strong musical beasts with a fullhearted can-do mentality I’ve seldomly come across.

here are the dates:

August 18th & 19th 2010
Live Stream on the same days, times to be arranged.