Thursday, February 23, 2006


Here is the latest Strange Devotion update.

The website I registered at the end of January is still not available to me so no progress on that front - but I will start work on it as soon as it is handed over to me.

To make up for this I have gone and set up a myspace Strange Devotion page.

Last week I brought my newly purchased second hand Korg ms-10 up to Scotland and spent the first couple of evenings of last week cleaning it up and trying to relearn how to use the thing. I connected it up to my guitar amp in the lounge while watching TV, but I had to juggle this with tidying up the flat as Adrian was coming to stay on Wednesday and Thursday nights.

On tuesday night I had tried connecting everything up and was thinking how I would work with it all. When I just had the Korg prophesy up here it was easy, but now I've got 3 synths things become complicated due to the fact that I don't have much desk space and I don't know how to use Logic to its full capabilities yet.

I just couldn't get my head round it all so I forgot about it and had a great couple of nights with Adrian instead. This ended with a top night out going to see Goldfrapp on Thursday (who were superb), but I think this something for critical mass rather than here.

So this week I was working evenings on tuesday, wednesday and thursday so it meant I had 3 days to try and get into action and start recording some new Strange Devotion songs. I have a reasonable back catalogue of fully or half written songs from the last 15 years or so and although none had been written or recorded as electronic music I thought a few might fit that genre fairly well and decided the one I'd like to try first was one called confusion. When Strange Devotion was going first time round (around 1980) a friend gave me some poems that she thought I might be able to write some music to. None of them had any rhymes or formal structure to them, but she had marked a couple of them as being more suited as song lyrics than the others. The longest of them was called confusion. I liked the poem and thought I could probably write some music to go with them, but never managed it and they fell by the wayside when I joined other bands and started doing other music.

After a break from music, during which time I got married, I started up again after seeing an early midi synth in a music shop in York and realised that with that and a computer the world would be my oyster. I soon got hooked again and started writing recording and buying as much equipment as I could afford. During this time I found my old Strange Devotion lyric book which still contained the poems on a couple of loose sheets of A4. So I thought I'd try and write something to go with the poem called confusion.
I eventually came up with a tune and managed to organise the poem into lines that rhymed and ended up with a first verse and a chorus. I never got around to recording any singing, but here is the tune as I recorded it back then.

confusion - version 1. This was probably recorded in the early 1990s.

I'm not sure what style this music is, but it certainly isn't electronic and certainly isn't Strange Devotion.

Here is a quick summary of how the week panned out:
Decided to unplug everything put it on the floor and reconnect it in a logical way. If I didn't set it up so it was easy to work with it would give me a great excuse not to do anything.
So I moved a bit of furniture put things back together and I now have something I seem to be able to work with. My interface doesn't have many inputs, but I seem to be managing ok by swapping cables when I need to.
I even went through the process of re-initialising all the setting within Logic, but it didn't seem to leave me with anything different that I already had.
I ended the session by creating an empty project in Logic called confusion ready for for me to start recording the next day.

Got up late due to not getting back from work until after 02:00 that morning, but soon got down to building up some of the tracks for confusion. I ended up with an intro and first verse so I had a go at recording the vocal for the first verse before going into work late.

Started work on the instrumentation of the first chorus. Things seemed to go fairly well so I thought I'd record the 1st chorus vocals, but just couldn't get on with the words I had written so decided I'd better write some completely different words and completely change how I had originally inteded the chorus tune to go. This took around an hour of standing in front of the mike with my headphones on and the chorus looping with a pen and my Strange Devotion lyric book in my hands frantically trying to come up with something before I had to pack up and go to work. My biggest challenge was the fact that the song was called confusion (after the poem) and the original chorus had that word in it so I needed to try and keep it in. I finally came up with something which allowed me to have one go at recording it before bouncing it to mp3 and coming into work.

Here is the recording so far. It is a rough mix and only contains the intro, first verse and first chorus. Hope you feel it matches the feel of the original Strange Devotion stuff.

confusion - Strange Devotion version.

The original Strange Devotion demo tracks from 1982 can be found here.

1 comment:

ab said...

Very very good indeed Dom, I played to Gemma who immediately said it sounded very 80's. Strange Devotion project moving along nicely I'd say.