Like That !
 ...the 2016 Lin and Thorne Ventura musical collaboration

Background

We have been talking about making a record together almost as long as we've known each other. After all, we're both musicians though our professional music backgrounds are quite diverse. Lin comes from a more classical background with a secondary education in Jazz, and Thorne comes from a mostly self-educated Rock n Roll background. We've been sharing everything in our lives so why not making music? It took years to figure out what our common ground might be upon which to start a musical collaboration. It's a work in progress and this is our status report (so to speak).

Before we ever laid down a note, we discussed song titles for original compositions. Among them:

But composing the music became an exercise in procrastination after a few false starts. So we decided to try again but with covers, songs we both love, or at least felt they would be fun on which to play and sing, and to use the original recordings as a baseline but add musical twists to make the songs reflect some of our own musical sensibilities. And so...

The Recording Studio

Our home studio includes a Sonar Platinum music workstation (aka DAW or Digital Audio Workstation, the recording software), a variety of guitars, basses and keyboards, one Nady TCM 1050 vacuum tube condenser microphone (thank you Michael at fallguys.net!) and a ton of cables, some of which were patched together to be 50 feet long to reach from Thorne's recording studio in one room to Lin's keyboard studio in another room. Adobe Audition was used to master the songs. The ART DPS2 (Digital Preamp System) was used to convert analog instrument inputs into digital signals that are in turn sent to the USB audio interface and recording software.

All guitars and basses are performed by Thorne. All keyboards are performed by Lin (except where noted). Vocal duties are shared by Lin and Thorne. All drum programming is by Thorne which includes the use of a step sequencer and "finger drums" which is real-time recording of drum sounds triggered by playing a MIDI keyboard controller (M-Audio Keystation61) into a synth drum module, Addictive Drums 2. Various compression, reverb, EQ and other effects were added on some tracks. Initially the Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 USB "sound card" was used, but various noise artifacts (which appear as clicks on some tracks) forced it to be replaced by an M-Audio Delta 2496 internal sound card. But then we figured out what the Focusrite problem was and started using it again as the component circuitry is superior to the M-Audio sound card (better analog/digital converters).

The Songs

Last update: 11 March 2016 - Cleaned up bass in Triad.

1. Black Friday (3:36)
2. Everybody Wants to Rule the World (4:18)
3. Triad (5:15)
4. I See the Rain (3:52)
5. Time of the Season (3:54)
6. Crown of Creation (3:15)

I See the Rain

Instrumentation. 1 acoustic guitar track of Gibson Hummingbird, 1 rhythm guitar track using Fender Strat, 1 lead guitar using a Fender Strat (both Strats played through a Line6 Pod XT), 1 track of Fender Precision electric bass, 2 tracks of programmed drums, 5 vocal tracks.

"I See the Rain" is by Marmalade from 1967. The dense, vocal harmonies over a driving bass in the chorus really make this song. We completed this one in 2 days.

Lyrics:
Beautiful day, I'd like to lie on the green lawn
The ducks are congregating round and round the lily pond
And the cows have all gone
Runnin' home to put their coats on
Stay indoors while it pours 'til tomorrow
I see the rain again, I must complain again
Why does the rain let me down?
Will you try to make it sunny in the morning?

Five to ten, now it's time for the weather
Sun will shine and in its time get better
But it won't last for long
Clouds are spreading over London town
Stay indoors while it pours 'til tomorrow
I see the rain again, I'll take the blame again
I see the rain lets you down
But I'm gonna make it sunny in the morning

Crown of Creation

Instrumentation. 2 rhythm guitar tracks, one a 12-string Rickenbacker and the other a Paul Reed Smith Custom 24, guitar solo track was played using a Les Paul Custom, 2 tracks are Fender Precision electric bass, 3 tracks are programmed drums, 2 vocal tracks (with 3 vocals).

"Crown of Creation" is a cover of the Jefferson Airplane song from the album of the same name. Recording this song was a challenge because the song starts in 4/4, then changes to 5/4, back to 4/4 and then ends with a rather free-form vocal arrangement. Creating the drum tracks had to be done part by part since a single MIDI 4/4 drum track at the same tempo would not suffice.

The day we completed this song we found out its composer, Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane/Starship fame, had died. Making our rendition public on youTube was our way of honoring Paul. The first comment most people made when hearing this song was about how Lin sounds like Grace Slick.

Lyrics:
You are the crown of creation.
You are the crown of creation,
And you've got no place to go.

Soon you'll attain the stability you strive for,
In the only way that it's granted:
In a place among the fossils of our time.

In loyalty to their kind
They cannot tolerate our minds.
In loyalty to our kind
We cannot tolerate their obstruction!

Life is change.
How it differs from the rocks.
I have seen their ways too often for my liking.
New worlds to gain.
My life is to survive and be alive for you.

Some background on the lyrics which is in part taken from John Wyndham's SciFi novel, The Chrysalids:

The song "Crown of Creation" by Jefferson Airplane was inspired by the novel. Its title and lyrics are drawn from the text and plot with permission from Wyndham.[16] One example lifted almost verbatim from the text reflects a philosophical explanation by the Sealand woman: "But life is change, that is how it differs from rocks, change is its very nature." This line is rendered in the lyrics as "Life is change—How it differs from the rocks." The portion of the song that reads: "In loyalty to their kind / they cannot tolerate our minds. / In loyalty to our kind / we cannot tolerate their obstruction" is from an explanation by the Sealand woman that asserts the inevitability of conflict between a more advanced species and its less advanced progenitors. (The book's original phrase is "they cannot tolerate our rise.")

Triad

Instrumentation. 4 rhythm guitar tracks and one guitar-solo track were played on a 12-string Rickenbacker, 2 tracks are Ibanez 5-string electric bass, 2 tracks are programmed drums, 5 vocal tracks.

"Triad" was written by David Crosby. Our arrangement is based on the Jefferson Airplane version from their "Crown of Creation" album. Lin's lead vocal certainly makes the song her own. Our love of polyphonic "close" vocal harmony and unusual chord resolutions is evident on our rendition.

Lyrics:
You want to know how it will be
Me and him OR you and me
You both stand there your long hair flowing
Your eyes alive your mind still growing
Saying to me "What can we do now that we both love you?",
I love you too. I don't really see
Why can't we go on as three

You are afraid, embarrassed too
No one has ever said such a thing to you
Your mother's ghost stands at your shoulder
Face like ice, a little bit colder
Saying to you "you cannot do that, it breaks all the rules
you learned in school"
I don't really see
Why can't we go on as three

We love each other, it's plain to see
There's just one answer that comes to me
Sister, lovers, water brothers
And in time, maybe others
So you see, what we can do is to try something new
If you're crazy too. I don't really see
Why can't we go on as three

Everybody Wants to Rule the World

Instrumentation. 1 guitar-solo track played using a Fender Strat, 2 rhythm-guitar tracks using a Fender Strat, 1 very short track of acoustic guitar using a Gibson Hummingbird, 1 track of Ibanez 5-string electric bass, 2 tracks are programmed drums, 1 keyboard track using a Kurzweil SP4-8 "Fender Rhodes" preset, 1 keyboard track with a synth preset, 1 keyboard track for the flute sounds, 3 vocal tracks.

"Everybody Wants to Rule The World" was written by Tears for Fears from their second album, "Songs from the Big Chair", released in 1985. It wasn't easy playing a rock-steady, well-articulated, shuffle bass track for 4 minutes.

Lyrics:
Welcome to your life
There's no turning back
Even while we sleep
We will find you
Acting on your best behaviour
Turn your back on mother nature
Everybody wants to rule the world

It's my own design
It's my own remorse
Help me to decide
Help me make the most
Of freedom and of pleasure
Nothing ever lasts forever
Everybody wants to rule the world

There's a room where the light won't find you
Holding hands while the walls come tumbling down
When they do I'll be right behind you
So glad we've almost made it
So sad they had to fade it
Everybody wants to rule the world

I can't stand this indecision
Married with a lack of vision
Everybody wants to rule the world
Say that you'll never never never never need it
One headline why believe it?
Everybody wants to rule the world

Black Friday

Instrumentation. Base drum track and drum fills track, electric piano, Ibanez 5-string bass, 4 tracks (3 rhythm and 1 solo) of Fender Strat through a Line6 PodXT, 3 vocal tracks.

"Black Friday" was written by Steely Dan from their "Katy Lied" album. I (Thorne) went bezerk for the guitar solo. I got pretty hopped up by our rendition.

Lyrics:
When black Friday comes, I'll stand down by the door
And catch the gray men when they dive from the fourteenth floor
When black Friday comes, I'll collect everything I'm owed
And before my friends find out I'll be on the road
When black Friday falls you know it's got to be
Don't let it fall on me

When black Friday comes, I'll fly down to Musswellbrook
Gonna strike all the big red words from my little black book
I'm gonna do just what I please, gonna wear no socks and shoes
With nothing to do but feed all the kangaroos
When black Friday comes I'll be on that hill
You know I will

When black Friday comes, I'm gonna dig myself a hole
Gonna lay down in it 'til I satisfy my soul
Gonna let the world pass by me, the Archbishop's gonna sanctify me
And if he don't come around I'm gonna let it roll
When black Friday comes I'm gonna stake my claim
I guess I'll change my name

Click here for background about the song

Time of the Season

Instrumentation. Base drum track, 3 acoustic guitar tracks one of which is slide acoustic, 4 vocal tracks, 1 electric bass track, 1 programmed synth track.

"Time of the Season" was written by Rod Argent, a member of The Zombies at that time, and hit the radio air waves in 1969, 2 years after it was recorded for their "Odyssey and Oracle" album. We slowed it down to give it a more soulful feeling, emulated the original percussive sounds using programmed drums and added our own instrumentation on top of it. It's hard to go wrong when playing over a great groove and Rod Argent and The Zombies created just that on this song.

Lyrics:
It's the time of the season
When love runs high
In this time, give it to me easy
And let me try with pleasured hands
(To take you in the sun to) Promised lands
(To show you every one)
It's the time of the season for loving

What's your name? (What's your name?)
Who's your daddy? (Who's your daddy?)
(He rich) Is he rich like me?
Has he taken (Has he taken)
Any time (Any time)
(To show) To show you what you need to live?
(Tell it to me slowly) Tell you what
(I really want to know)
It's the time of the season for loving

================= On Deck (maybe)