Archive for the ‘projects’ Category

I am usually silent and often in the minority, but here is what I say.

Questions for a few friends.

I have been working with a few friends to set up on-line jamming from separate locations. I will go into this a bit later for anyone interested. I did spend some time on-line with a program for live sessions. During my testing I had a bit of a wait time so I noodled around on my guitar. While waiting I used a record feature in the program and captured a few segments of my noodling that I liked. It required a name in order to save and in the mood I was in I called it Not Now.

As you know I am not good with names – of any kind – and my song titles usually show that weakness. So now that I had a name for the music pieces, I had to write lyrics sooner or later and was stuck with Not Now as the title!

I finished the basic music tracks in a couple days. Listening to the arrangement I got out my writing tools and came up with the following lyrics. I will smooth out the music and post sooner or later. Here is “Not Now”:

I really can’t wait
For you and this weekend.
Seems like forever
Since we had a minute alone.
No more than a boy
Paralyzed in an ice cream store.
Or that time I cried…..
Until we had to leave the zoo.

Not Now.
I’ve heard it all my life.
Not Now.
Don’t want to hear it again.
Not Now.
It can’t be now, it won’t be then
Not Now.

So many situations
I can’t come close to understand.
More and more people
Have nothing else to say to me.

Not Now.
I’ve heard it all my life.
Not Now.
Don’t want to hear it again.
Not Now.
It can’t be now, it won’t be then
Not Now.

Still
I don’t complain.
Everything I have
I can give away.
Hello
Tell me your name.
You make me smile
Hope I can do the same.
Ask
I do it all day.
It really doesn’t matter
Or what time of day. Still
I don’t complain.
Everything I have
I can give away.

Following my earlier video project for Cincinnati Microwave Inc., I helped in another project for the new version of the company now called Escort Incorporated. I was an employee during the collapse, and it took a couple of years before the company built itself back up and I was re-hired. New owners but it still had the same family feel as more of the original employees returned to work.

In this project I was asked to write music for the soundtrack of a short info-commercial for Escort Inc. I also assisted where I could and eventually appeared in the video as well.

Our company designed, built and sold radar detectors for decades. For years it was a factory-direct order stream. No real resellers. We held a majority of the patents in the industry and manufactured them locally in southern Ohio. I worked in the Call Center starting part-time in Sales and then managing the Sales and Customer Service Departments over the years.

Out newest model was named the “Passport Max” referring to the maximum range it had. Our detectors had great range compared to most competitors, but this was the best to date.

Here is “Take It To the Max”

I wrote the soundtrack for this Escort Inc. Info Commercial as an employee.

This is a dated video I did while I was working at Cincinnati Microwave Inc. My boss knew I was involved with audio and video so they asked me to coordinate the video company they had hired for the project. So instead of my normal job there, I attended meetings to get and idea what management/sales wanted from this project. Then to all the departments to find out what they do and what looks really cool.

Soon I was given a hand full of details, stats and messaging material and the target length. After all the ingredients were there, we had the video company come in for the raw shots. I orchestrated each shot and got our footage while the plant was in production. The Surface Mount Technology (SMT) lines were pretty amazing.

My next step was to write the script gained from the meetings. I selected one of my instrumental original songs for the soundtrack. I showed up to the editing sweet and had each shot planned out and sequenced. They pretty much watched as I lined up the scenes, audio and soundtrack. After video and soundtrack were correct length and finalized, they recorded my voice for the narration track.

There were no cameras allowed inside CMI, so I do not have any pictures through all the years I worked there. Again, the video is dated and the soundtrack warbles enough to give away it’s age, but I still get a kick from seeing old friends, and remembering those days. It was a great place to work and I am still friends with many a former employee.

Thank you for your continued friendship. The story of friends and talented musicians, artists of all kinds was fun in the telling. Followers will know the names and projects I have been thrilled to be involved with. Sacrifices. Heart break. Overwhelming joy.

I have told the story but I also have my archives to share. I started recording with a reel-to-reel tape deck when I was 14. I recorded everything. Everyone. Everywhere (once I had portable recorders lol!)

The medium has changed many times over. Some of the video, for example, was amazing on a small tube television. It just does not stand up to the quality of large screens with high resolution. I did not include the ancient videos on this post because it just looks bad/old.

For some reason I did not take a lot of photographs in this time frame. Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures of the lead vocalist in this recording….. Shoeless Shawn was not with The Chase long before we stopped playing out. So I collected more recent pictures I had taken of group shots of friends, family and fans we have known over the years.

With a little free time on my hands, I have been going through my archives. This is an old recording from my Nakamichi stereo cassette player! I think it is straight off the board. I did not run sound for this recording. Our friend Dave Houston was at the helm.

Everyone stay healthy, and with social distancing, stay at home, grab a drink, and put up your feet. Press play and listen to some live music!

The Chase

My friend’s Night-Time Diving video on YouTube under MikeR998

A good friend of mine lives in Florida and does a lot of scuba diving. I asked if he wanted music for a soundtrack to his videos and sent him a few of my instrumentals. Here is the first video he posted using my compositions. Mike filmed this night time dive at Blue Heron Bridge and it is amazing how many creatures are out and about. I hope you enjoy.

I think we started recording Project Two in May of 1996. Project One was mixed by the end of March so we had a good feeling for the next project. I will eventually dig up archives for details as I am now relying on brief notes and scribbles of information. I do not have lyric sheets for these songs but I know most of the lyrics by heart.

As you know I am really bad with names. I know Annette Rogers was the lead vocalist and I believe she wrote most of the lyrics. My notes also mention Robert Downing with the band.

This was a band I wished I had kept in touch with. At the time in my life there were so many projects and I had my own music and bands I was involved with. All this and I worked a regular full-time job!

I have a brief video of the band setting up – somewhere. Who knows, maybe I will dig it up along with my track sheets and band info.

By the middle of September we had all the recording done and mixed Project Two. We did ten songs in all and I will share a few more with you today.

jjaR at MSK Studio – Butterside Down
jjaR at MSK Studio – Paralized
jjaR at MSK Studio – My Heart Tricks My Head
jjaR at MSK Studio – Overboard
Annette Rogers from jjaR at MSK Studios

Early in 1996 I was introduced to a Cincinnati band called “jjaR”. I met them while they were playing at a popular club called Top Cats. I was really impressed with the band and their original songs. Annette Rogers was the lead vocalist and she commanded the room with her emotional portrayal of each song. The band was intense and dynamic.

March 13th, 1996 we started recording in my home studio. They were troopers. I have a small space for recording with no isolation rooms for drums, vocals, etc. The band wanted a clean demo. They did not want a lot of processing and effects in the mix. A band after my own heart!

jjaR at MSK Studio in 1996

We did two separate sessions. The first session was mixed on March 26th, 1996. I was recording on the Alesis ADAT (Alesis Digital Audio Tape) machine for the first project. We only had 8 tracks to work with back then and no computer editing or effects. They were pros. They set up, got settled in and played their songs with obvious passion.

One of their tracks appeared in a collection of bands our local radio station WEBN (102.7FM) published on CD. They were featured on the second annual CD release. Deary Me Presents – Cincinnati Scene II included “Food Chain Of Love” on the 3rd track of the compilation CD. You can still find a copy or two on on-line.

Here are a few tunes from Project 1 for your enjoyment.

jjaR at MSK Studio – Food Chain Of Love
jjaR at MSK Studio – Super Size
jjaR at MSK Studio – Aliens
jjaR at MSK Studio – Misunderstood

This is an early recording of a Cincinnati band “Chakras”. I recorded them back when I used the ADAT digital tape recorder. It does not have the ‘bling’ of modern recordings but I think you will enjoy the performance.

https://www.facebook.com/chakrasrock

I have been urging my wife Ellen to open a shop and sell some of her art and craft creations.  Learning valuable secrets about craftsmanship and trade skills from her father, Ellen absorbed everything she could get her hands on.  From upholstery to gardening and straight through caning and painting, she just got better and better.  Finally, after all these years she opens her first on-line store!  This Etsy link will offer her necklaces and jewelry.  In the future she will have outlets for her other creations.

I will include a few pictures here.  She has already sold a few items and will be adding more all the time.  If you are looking for gifts for yourself or others and want to find something truly beautiful and one-of-a-kind, please bookmark her site and check in from time to time so you do not miss the necklace perfect for you!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JewelryByTree

 

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