“Elegance is good taste plus a dash of daring.” – Carmel Snow.


(This project will be released on CD by Series Two Records in mid 2012.)

I’ve never been a songwriter.

Usable lyrics have always evaded my grasp.  Aside from some pretty nice chamber music art songs for the Jim Sande Ensemble in the 90’s, my only songs would have been some dreadful Doors imitations in the early 70’s, and a couple of seriously flawed attempts in the style of the Police in the mid 80’s.  Plus I’ve always been terrified to sing, and can’t stand the sound of my own voice.

But some interests and inspirations have converged to steer me towards this artistic byway.  First, I hate seeing everybody else have all the fun.  Secondly, when I tell people that as a composer I work with layered loops of processed field recordings, it pretty much kills any further conversation about music.  This way, I can just say, “Yep, I’m a musician, and I wrote these songs here.”  The songs were written and recorded between the end of December, 2009 and the end of August 2010..

As for the lyrics, everything is taken from Spam emails.  Spam is, of course, annoying and unwanted.  But examined as an accidental literary genre, it happens to be a fertile territory for found lyrics.  Questions arise however such as, who is really writing these, and what is their native language?  If you analyze them as texts, you can see the effort put into them to be formal, yet colloquial, pleading, yet polite.  The stilted language, obviously meant to inspire confidence, falters with awkward or simply incorrect word usage, spelling and grammar. I retained these misappropriations because that’s part of their questionable “charm,” so to speak. The fabricated stories are colorful and far-fetched, ridiculous and pathetic.  What is evident though, is that the writers of these emails are hoping to tap into our deeply rooted responses of sympathy and greed.  In that way, they are addressing universal concerns.

Musically, I’m paying homage to, emulating, and parodying, my favorite British shoegaze bands of the late 80’s early 90’s, such as Cocteau Twins, Lush, My Bloody Valentine, and Slowdive, as well as the contemporary Swedish variety of the genre, like The Radio Dept., and The Bridal Shop.  Of course, it doesn’t really sound like any of that too much.  As Maurice Ravel said (I paraphrase), “Find a model and copy it.  If you have anything original to say, it will appear in your infidelity to the model.”

I’d like to also mention that every track includes authentic Mellotron sounds, either legally downloaded from the Web, or from the M-Tron Pro plugin purchased from M-Audio.

Written and recorded between the end of December 2009 and mid September 2010.

One Response to “caramel snow”

  1. […] been very busy writing songs for the Caramel Snow project, so I’ve set up a page here to collect them.  There are six so far, and I’ve already done quite a bit of work on two […]

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