“Music of Ghouls” fan funded album release

I decided to do another experiment. I launched the album recording of Music of Ghouls on rockethub.
fanbased funding is nothing new anymore with a couple of very good services out there, such as artistshare (the first to launch in 2003), kickstarter, and hypebot, just to name a few.

I decided on rockethub, because it had the most music related projects, though I think artistshare is the most serious one out there and I know first hand they do great work. (they’ve won a couple of grammys, go figure.)

rockethub just seemed to be so easy to set up and get started.

so, here are the packages you will be able to fund there to help release my album “Music of Ghouls”

$ 15
exlusive download of the album, plus 3 extra tracks performed live in my studio.
$ 20
E Book (download) “Music of Ghouls” behind the scenes (similar to this one) including photos, music scores, lyrics, handwritten notes, designed like a tattoo-flipbook. your name will be in the credits as “producer”
$ 50
All $20 Value, plus the complete album as high def. download (no mp3 files, but .aiff), handwritten page of a song score, thank you letter from me.
$ 75
exclusive bass lesson either in my studio (munich, germany) or via online stream, 60 minutes, learn everything I know about recording half the sounds of this album on my upright bass, talk music and profit from my experiments in the music business (availability 5)
$ 100
Printed Book “Music of Ghouls” incl. Photos, handwritten notes, music scores, lyrics, CD (the album) and a handwritten thank you letter from me. your name will be in the credits as “executive producer” (availability 20)
$ 150
All $100 Value, plus instead of a CD you will get a preloaded iPod Shuffle (2G) containing all the music. (availability 10)
$ 250
2 VIP tickets to all my shows in and around munich, germany for 1 year (availability 5)
$ 500
Exclusive Online Stream Concert, just for you, plus a copy of the video tape of the show (availability 2)
$ 1000
Exclusive Show at your Party or in your living room (Munich, Germany only!), plus 1 copy of the $100 value Book (availability 1)
$ 10.000
I’ll fly you to Munich! Follow me around munich, germany. visit the studios (where I’ll show you how the music has been mixed and mastered), visit my studio where I’ll show you how I recorded the bass and vocal tracks, and spend a weekend (max 3 days) hanging out with me in this great city (sightseeing, concerts, theater…) (hotel and flight included, as long as flight costs don’t exceed $1000 USD!) (availability 1)

let’s see how this is going to work out.

here’s my pitch:
if you like my music and would like to be part of the album, please visit rockethub to fuel one of the bundles and get the album on the road.
if you don’t like it you might still know someone who does! please don’t just throw out my album, but forward the rockethub link to someone who you think might like it. you’ll do them a favor, yourself and me. this way you at least spread good karma.

thank you for your support!

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…

mindmapping for songwriters

photo by philippe boukobza under a cc attribution license

mindmapping has become one of my favourite activities when it comes to brainstorming ideas. I use it now almost anytime I take notes. the creativity flow is increased so much that it’s almost hard to stop.

I use it to:

brainstorm ideas
search for words to write lyrics
make decisions (on almost any topic)
finding topics for blogposts
determine to-do’s
track recording processes
track my practicing process
find solutions to problems
overcome writer’s block
do 80/20 analyses of my work and life
do interviews
…and more

basically anything I write down these days ends up to be a mind map.
at the end they look like a big idea-virus, a piece of art, and it’s so easy to go from one central keyword or idea to an infinite set of ideas and phrases linked directly to the initial idea. many times I stumble upon new and never before thought of angles of the same idea or problem.

I tried to find software that is as much fun as doing it by hand. the software I found so far is either too complicated to use or the look and feel is to dry, the handling of the software kills the creative mind-flow.

I think, anyway, when it comes to brainstorming and idea development using a computer or other technical device is drawing the attention away from the subject and the mind flow is distorted.

the technique is especially helpful when you write lyrics and you need to get words, phrases, even storylines sorted out.

this is how I do it:

1. start in the middle of a piece of paper, write down my central idea or phrase or word.
2. I write down all related ideas around that central idea and connect them with a line
3. I then repeat this with all the new findings. you’ll spread your mind in all directions and you’ll end up with a pretty cool idea-virus and everything is connected to the one little idea in the middle of the paper.

I recommend to do this as often as possible to get into the habit.
you can filter the different mindstreams which flow from the central idea by giving them different colors, so you’ll immediately see what relates to each other.

happy mapping.

tell me what the most surprising a-ha experience you got from doing mindmapping your ideas in the comments.

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.

dead on arrival e-book excerpts

I got asked by a few people to post some excerpts of the dead on arrival e-book so they can get an idea of what it’s all about. here they are, for all you loyal people who support my art. thank’s a 1000 times.

first one is “circus circus”, second “there aren’t just flowers in the garden”. for those interested in the tech. I produced both songs using propellerheads reason for the beats, then added the real instruments in the studio.

listen to circus circus

listen to “there aren’t just flowers in the garden”

you can buy the ebook here

Dead On Arrival E-Book and Music

here it is finally, as promised. the Dead On Arrival E-Book and Music. I put together pics, scores of the music and personal notes and turned them into an E-Book including all 25 tracks at $30.

Dead On Arrival is my 2009 cut-ups experiment inspired by william burroughs. the performance has been very successful here in munich.

click the button below to get all the goodies right away.

Add to Cart

I use e-junkie as the shopping platform. it’s save, fast and you’ll have the goods right on your screen within 2 minutes.

I hope you’ll enjoy the music and the book as much as I enjoyed making it!

dead on arrival e-book with music

I’ve been in sicily for the last 3 weeks and have 1 more week to go. as stated earlier, I’ve been planning a book version of my last album “dead on arrival“. the print, though, seems too expensive right now to make it happen so I decided to publish it online.

the book includes 52 pages of background information on the music, all the lyrics and excerpts of the scores. plus I’ll attach the music to it.

right now I’m in the phase of figuring out the best way to provide the book (which will be a pdf file) and the music as one item for download. I’ll probably use e-junkie as the shopping platform. they seem to be the easiest and efficient online download shops.

I’ll keep you posted about when the book will launch and what the price will be.

if you have any tips on how to best provide the files, please let me know.

also, if you#re interested in pre-ordering, please shoot me an email to info@orkaan.com

greetings!