Monthly Archives: October 2009

Recording Journal Vol. 18: “Oh Yeah?”

I should have known. No sooner did I set an expectation for delivery of this music project then the Gods stepped in and said, “Oh yeah?! You think so?”

This past week was just not my week. In fact, I’ve been feeling lousy for about 10 days now, with the past five or six being the worst of it. I slept away the equivalent of a full day given that I snoozed from 9 pm Sunday to roughly 12 pm Monday. Then, after thinking I was back in the game on Tuesday, I slumbered (and I am not making this up) from 11 pm Tuesday night through to 2:30 pm Wednesday afternoon. And I did that with no effort at all. I awoke thinking, ‘Boy, I’ve been asleep awhile. It must be 9:30 or 10:00 in the morning!”

I wished.

So the long and the short of it: I’ve achieved nothing, music-wise, since I last wrote. Ah well. Such is life. We’ll get ‘em next time … and all that.

I did, however, manage to fulfill all my BX 93 obligations, most of my CPT Entertainment obligations and pretty much all my family obligations (which included a two-and-a-half-hour outdoor wait to have my two boys given the H1N1 vaccination). On top of that, I was able to devote what little time and energy I had to a purpose much more important than any of the above.

A good friend of mine has had the brutal misfortune of watching his 30-year-old son wither from cancer. It breaks my heart just to write it, but inspires me beyond words when I think on the tales told to me of how this fellow has stoically addressed the realities of the situation. I was touched more than I can possibly describe when my friend and his wife asked if I would please sing at their son’s funeral. Of course, I accepted the invitation.

Last Sunday, I shared a cup of coffee at the kitchen table of two people who are not only among two of the gentlest souls I’ve met, but were facing the imminent passing of their only son.

Life does not get more real than that.

It humbles me to think that they chose to spend part of that time with me. When they asked me if I would contribute to the remembrance of their son by way of singing at the funeral, I almost immediately had song ideas go through my mind. And sure enough, for the first time in a while, a new song came to life.

I am certain that Sean, the poor soul that has now passed, helped me write this song. I don’t have an explanation how that’s possible, but it’s what I believe. I have written hundreds of lyrics in my life, but never anything like this.

I will sing this song (lyrics below) on Monday at the funeral.

All else can wait.

– Kevin

A SONG FOR SEAN
©2009 Kevin Bulmer Enterprises
By Kevin Bulmer

From the space where the angels fly
In the air where spirits rise
I see you with hands to the sky
Asking why?

From a storm of heartache and tears
From a life of too much fear
It suddenly all seems so clear
Please don’t cry

Like the horses thundering over the plains
A heart set free and soul untamed
There is no horizon
And there is no pain
 
As the river dances toward the sea
All things as they’re meant to be
You don’t understand
But you will some day

Down there on humbled knees
I know you wanted the best for me
Take heart, cause mine’s at peace
Please don’t cry

Solo / Interlude

Like the horses thundering over the plains
A heart set free and soul untamed
There is no horizon
And there is no pain
 
As the river dances toward the sea
All things as they’re meant to be
You don’t understand
But you will some day

I only hope you can hear me now
And find solace somehow
A voice need not be loud
To show that it’s there

Every whisper of autumn’s breeze
All the colours in the changing leaves
In anything that brings you peace ….

Recording Journal 17: “Aggressive Target”

We got through the Travel Show. It was a moderate success. Gotta’ start somewhere. Meantime, the entire CPT crew seemed to get sick this week. I got the least of it but feel as though I better get some rest over the weekend or else I’ll pay for it.

KG and I got together today to play through some songs (“Sunny Day,” “Awake,” “No Schedule,” “South Carolina” and “Do Better”) to get our chops worked up for recording. My voice wore out quickly. Too quickly. So did my fingers. I’m not in playing shape, but that’s going to change soon. I’m beginning to see the light at the end of this tunnel.

At the start of our session today, I told KG I wanted to have our CD at the printers before the end of the year. That’s an aggressive target. But I believe we can achieve it. He said that he does too. So now we have a goal. My thinking is that that if we can target recording/mastering completion by the end of the year, I should able to get the other pieces in place so that we can release the CD in March or April of 2010. I know that January will be a write-off because of the CPT Racing Experience event. And in February, our family is thinking of taking a holiday. Plus, I’ll likely help – at least to some degree –with the World of Motorcycles Expo, which is run by my good buddy Derek. I feel a sense of loyalty to that event. But that’s another story.

So that brings us back to the music. We started in June and have been consistently chipping away ever since. We have demoed all eleven songs I pegged for the project. All eleven are strong tunes, in my opinion. Now it’s up to us to deliver a worthy performance and capture it on tape. To that end, we have some work to do.

I am going to have to commit myself to more time on the guitar and more time singing. However, I have been singing a lot more recently, especially in the car. I feel I’m getting slightly better, despite the fact that I get a lot strange looks at stoplights while I’m being extra careful to exaggerate my mouth shapes to get the best sound possible while I sing along with my favourite CDs. We’ll see if it helps out come recording time.

By the way, as far as CDs go, I was lucky to add two great new entries into my collection in the past week: “Seaway” by David Francey and Mike Ford and “Friends and Total Strangers” by the Trews.

I love The Trews. They’re the most intelligent rock band I’m aware of that’s out there today (other than Extreme). They write great, great songs and perform them with a sincerity that is hard to dismiss.

I love The Trews.

Meantime, Mike Ford shines on “Seaway.” It is clear that he is a ridiculously musical person. Songs like the title track, “Eastern Gap,” “There’s No Rush” and “At the Bottom of the Great Lakes” showcase his wealth of sonic skill.

Aside from that, some other great news came around in the form of Jimmy Buffett’s new album being ready for a December release! Plus I know the Arc Angels are working at another original album. Now, if we could just get a hint of news out of Extreme’s camp about when their live CD/DVD will be out, I’d be really happy. Who knows? Perhaps I can beat them to it with my own CD.

The race is on.

– Kevin

PS – A couple of weeks ago, I decided I would try to read a “Star Wars” book. The one I selected (“Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor”) was very positively reviewed. So I figured I’d try it. A couple of weeks later, I am wheezing and coughing toward the finish line, feeling an obligation to somehow finish the thing. My advice, if you’re thinking of reading one of these books, is quite simple:

Don’t.

Recording Journal Vol. 16: “Happy Thanksgiving”

This was another decent week as far as progress on our music project goes. Monday night, we tore “Orlando” down to nothing and built it back up again. I had never been sold on the sounds we’d put into it out of the starting gates and, after leaving it some weeks and putting it in context with the other songs, KG agreed. So we scrapped it. The good news is that we like what we did following that, and I feel good about where it’s going.

Following that, we sat and listened through all the songs and were quite pleased with what we heard. The songs are there; it’s just up to us to get a decent performance down for the record. I’m sure we will.

The second session of the week was split mostly between working on “Bagley Avenue” and some general discussion. From here, it’s likely that we’ll just play through the songs together a number of times and then, when we feel comfortable, we’ll roll tape and capture ‘em for all time. What we have now are basically reference tracks (in cinema, they’d call them “animatics”). In other words, we will re-record everything we’ve done so far. But at least we’re happy with the tempos, keys, arrangements and tone of each of the songs, and that’s half the battle.

I am growing more excited about this project by the day. I can even see some of the cover art in my mind’s eye, and it’s likely that I’ll start to work on that in the weeks to come. I’m looking forward to it.

Meantime, there won’t be any progress this coming week. My company, CPT Entertainment, is hosting our first-ever London International Travel Show in less than a week. My efforts will be devoted almost completely to that event. And I’m quite excited about it too. We’ve worked hard for a long time and I’m proud of my team. I hope we get the results that will make my guys proud. They deserve it considering the work they’ve done.

As for other news, my two sons are both in the middle of a “Star Wars” kick. One of them is even going to be a Clone Trooper for Hallowe’en (he put on the outfit today and it was a hoot). I confess I love it. I’m even watching the animated Clone Wars show because my three-year-old will sit and watch it with me. When your three-year-old tugs on your leg and says, “Let’s watch Star Wars Daddy!” what are you supposed to say? I tell you what: you say, “Sure!”

It’s fun. I was three years old when the first Star Wars film was released. Who’d have guessed that my kids – 32 years later – would be interested in the same stuff. Fun.

Another fun thing that came earlier in the week was the Detroit Tigers’ one-game playoff against Minnesota. Though the Tigers ultimately lost the game, it proved to be one of the best baseball matches (maybe the best) I’ve ever seen. It was made better by the constant email exchange between me and my good pals Jimmy and Bubba. It amounted to a live chat through the entire game, and was an example of the good things about this online world in which we live. I was sorry when it ended.

At the moment, I am “watching” golf’s President Cup, which I recorded earlier on my PVR (those from the USA would call it a “DVR”). So please don’t tell me what happens!

Oh: one more thing. I saw the end of the race today. Good for Jimmie Johnson. But … NASCAR, please! Enough with that track in California! One race a year is more than enough. Snooooooooooooze. See you when they get back to Martinsville.

Sorry  – second more thing. Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian brothers and sisters. And peace and happiness to everyone else.

– Kevin

Recording Journal Volume 15: “Lucky”

Well, boy, we made some progress today. It is amazing to sit back and watch KG work and apply different textures to different songs. Nine times out of ten, he nails it, no matter how out in left field the song might be. And on that rare tenth occasion when he’s off a little bit, he always finds the right way given a little collaboration.

What a talent. Seriously. It’s a privilege to watch.

Naturally, the privilege is mine, watching KG work his magic on songs that I wrote. Today, he layered some spot-on ideas on the songs “Awake (But Not Alive)” and “Hope Over Hurt”. Both tunes, while vastly different in style and feel, make me very excited about where we’re headed. It’s a rare thing when you can hear a song in your head and be excited about it, only to be able to hear it a slightly different way than you’d imagined and be even more excited about it. Such was the case today with both songs.

The piano part KG is playing for “Hope Over Hurt” brings some vintage Billy Joel to mind. And yet it works for the song. It’s the kind of “fist-in-the-air; let’s-take-on-the-world” kind of feel that the song was going for, times ten.

Meantime, “Awake (But Not Alive)” is as sombre a song as there will be on the record. It is more or less and unapologetic statement of my opinion that we, as a society, are a long, long way from reaching anything close to our potential. And Kev found the right feel for it. Nailed it. I can’t wait to play that song live. It’s the kind of tune that is very melodic and yet, if you let yourself really feel it and be honest with yourself, it may make you squirm just a little.

On top of that, we had our usual round of laughs. It really is the best medicine.

I’m lucky and I know it.

– Kevin

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