i'm working on a new tujunga song. i'm going to try to keep the song itself mired in mystery until i unveil it, but here's the gist of how i'm going about the writing process, performance setup, physical release, etc:
it's probably going to be about 10 to 15 minutes in length. i'm really into the who song "a quick one, while he's away" right now and i'd like it to exist in the same universe as that song (mostly in terms of the song structuring, but possibly even the sound a little bit). kind of a medley of parts concerning a series of events that altogether chalk up to one story. basically a miniature rock opera. this project is definitely something of a love song to my teenage admiration and adoration for pete townshend and roger waters. my dad buried that stuff so deep in me. it's always going to be there.
i've had the plotline and some disparate shards of words and melodies and chords slithering around in my head since spring of this year and i think it's time i finally sit myself down and write this thing out. (i initially planned for this be a full album-length work of individual songs back in the spring, but, as of november, it's become very clear to me how daunting that would be. the story is so vague and depressing as it is, no one would want to sit through that for like 40 minutes or whatever. i'll keep it down to a single 10 or 15 minute medley composition.)
right now i'm writing it to be performed with nothing but (electric) guitar and vocals. that's how i plan to do it the first time i showcase it live (that idea really frightens me). maybe the recorded version will feature a band. maybe not. all of that is totally up in the air right now.
(i don't know when i'll do it live either, if at all. i have a tendency to edit songs for a really long time before i'm finally happy with the end product. i'm totally not one of those people who can bash out a song in a day. i wish i was. i'm way too meticulous about every single word and note. everything needs to be perfect before i can show it to anyone.)
this song is probably the closest tujunga will ever get to any sort of 'singer-songwriter' sound. i cringe at terms like that, but i can already kind of see it. anyway...
this song will not be on any tujunga album. it is a stand-alone, one-off piece that exists by itself, having no relation to the art punk stuff that will be on the first album or the big guitar orchestra stuff i'm going to attempt to pull off on the second album. (think of it as tujunga's 'lion king 1 1/2'.)
this poses a problem for me---this one-off status. i thought about just recording it and then posting it for people to download through mediafire or something, but that doesn't work for me. i need it to feel official; real; something you can hold in your hands and stare at. it's also weird for me that it's just a single short work with no relation to anything else. a single 10 to 15 minute song released all by its lonesome. i don't know how to package that or what such a thing would even be called. (i guess it could be considered a single? an EP?) sometimes i wish i could be all bradford cox about music: just record stuff and stick it on the internet. but i can't do that. in my mind, everything is sacred and a part of something else. a song can't just be a song. it needs to be a song on an album of like-minded songs spawned from the same time period and emotions, with physical artwork reflecting that time period and those emotions. i can't separate music from a physical 'album' format. i guess it's partially my way of feeling like it actually exists. even if only 5 people ever hear it/own it. it's ridiculous, i know, but that's the way my mind works.
maybe i can put it out as a split cassette with someone. or burn a bunch of CD-Rs and just have a lot of blank space on them. or put the mp3 on cleverly decorated floppy disks. when it comes to releasing a 10 to 15 minute piece of music in a physical format, the possibilities are at once vast, exhilarating, and frustrating.
(oh, and it will be given away for free, of course. whenever that happens. that could be several months from now.)
sometimes i feel like i spend more time talking about making music than actually making it. oh well.
anyway, in case anyone's interested, stay tuned. maybe you'll hear it within a couple weeks, or a month, or longer.