Passenger – “Beautiful Birds”

Guitar and Life

Yes, I admit it. I once said I didn’t like the artist, Passenger because of his voice. How naive again. It seems that once, maybe twice a year, I am forced to deal with the repercussions of my foolish and wasteful ways of thinking.

It was another in the long line of mind-resets that has opened a panorama of music to me, giving me access to a new and vibrant world of sound. This arpeggio-based ode to a mysterious, and painful love is beautifully and elegantly constructed and opens up fully during the bridge that at once, both tears at your soul and invigorates the senses down to the very air that you breathe.

As the music passes you think, yes, be careful of your tendency to pre-suppose. Live with more thought. Be like the music and flow, change, even create, but don’t forget that one should never stray too far from home.

The perfectly assembled harmonic flow mixed with melodic simplicity awakened lyrical prose that is rarely seen anymore. Wonderfully quaint, but biting words mixed with descriptive color schemes, make the merging of these two powerful art forms remind us of our humanity, in the of its light and dark hues.

https://lyricstranslate.com/en/passenger-beautiful-birds-lyrics.html

Beautiful Birds

Do you remember when we were two beautiful birds?
We would light up the sky when we’d fly.
You were orange and red like the sun when it sets.
I was green as an apple’s eye.
You said you loved all the songs that I’d sing
Like nothing that you’d ever heard.
And I said I loved you with all of my heart,
When we were two beautiful birds.
Do you remember when we were two beautiful birds?
We’d sing when the morning would come.
You were silver and blue like the moon when it’s new,
I was gold as the summer sun.
One day, you asked for a different song.
One that I just couldn’t sing.
I got the melody sharp, and the words all wrong.
Those were the last days of spring.
To build a nest, we pecked feathers from our chests
Like a book tearing out every page.
We weren’t to know that these feathers would grow
Into a beautiful cage.
Indeed, the beauty of heartbreak. It breathes life into the world of art. As promises are rarely kept in this world of maddening human proceedured, we reap the benefits of loves demise.

 

“Beautiful Birds” Guitar Playthrough

-Mark

 

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“Brothers” Full Metal Achemist (Acoustic Guitar Cover)

“Bratja (Brother)” Full Metal Alchemist – Acoustic Guitar Cover from Mark Jeffery Campayno on Vimeo.

“Bratja (Brother)” Full Metal Alchemist – Acoustic Guitar Cover from Mark Jeffery Campayno on Vimeo.

Anime Guitar

This is a nylon-string cover of the beautiful ” Bratja (Brother)” written by Michiru Oshima.

Here is more information about the song that will put things in context:

Brothers (Russian: Братья, Bratja; Japanese: Buraacha) is a song composed by Michiru Oshima for the anime Fullmetal Alchemist. It can be found on the first Fullmetal Alchemist O.S.T.. Other orchestrated versions can be found on Fullmetal Alchemist O.S.T. 3 and the Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa soundtrack.

The song is about the Elric brothers, Edward and Alphonse, and their feeling about the tragic incident that happened at the very beginning of the series. They attempted to resurrect their mother who had died of an illness. However, during the transmutation, Alphonse lost his body while Edward lost his left leg, and, consequently, his right arm.

In the first verse, Edward expresses his grief and regret for pushing his brother into doing the transmutation with him. He blames himself for what happened, admitting that “there is no cure for death”. Alphonse, in the second verse, attempts to console him. He urges Ed to forget whose fault it is, as they both chose the same path, so neither of them is more guilty than the other. In each of the choruses, they sing about how much their mother meant to them, but how their tries to bring her back were in vain. In the final stanza, both brothers question where they should go from where they are now after realizing that it is impossible to bring back that which has been lost.

Another version of the song was recorded in english by Vic Mignogna, the voice actor who played Edward Elric in the series.

Here are the lyrics translated into English:

Bratja (Brother)

Forgive me, younger brother
I am to be blamed
It is impossible to return
that, which has been taken by earth

One that knows the law
would help me find the answer.
I made a terrible mistake,
there is no cure for death.

Dear Mother! So Soft! (soft as in loving)
We loved you so much.
But all our powers
were spent in vain.

I intrigued you
With the perfect hope
To return our family
My brother, the blame is all mine.

Don’t cry, don’t despair, older brother
You are not the only one to blame
We both have one road
Lets bury the blame to the depth (meaning lets forget whos fault it was)

I can’t blame you for anything,
And I hold no hard feelings. (as in Im not mad at you)
Heavy is our cause
The desire to be stronger than all

Dear Mother! So Soft!
We loved you so much.
But all our powers
were spent in vain.

I was intrigued myself
with the wonderful hope
to return our family.
I am the one to blame.

So what do we do now?
How do we correct and forget?
When you can’t return
That, which was been taken by earth.

Here is my acoustic cover of the song:

“From the Mouths of Enlightened Musicians”

The musical world according to a young visionary.

When I set out to put together my weekly radio show with three female musicians I had no idea how it would fly. Well, it flew just fine thank you. The final segment was pKiaya2lanned to be an interview/review of a double-release by the band, Silver and Moonlight. However, and as a great surprise to me, the interview segment blossomed into an exhaustive analysis of music making, improvisation, the inner workings of band live and composition, and a look into the mind of a gifted and artistic young lady…I would dare say a modern, artistic renaissance woman.

 

A little background:

Kiaya Abernathy is a vocalist, lyricist, multi-instrumentalist, spectacular visual artist, and a very creative photographer. If that isn’t enough, she’s strong-willed, perceptive, and enlightened. That would all be understandable if she were in her forties, but if you take off a decade aKiayand a have you are closer to the truth.
Kiaya is dedicated to bringing to the masses art in all of its expression. In this interview, she speaks for all of us who struggle to bring forth creative and meaningful music into a world where sameness and commercial gain eclipse meaning and foresight.

 

 

As you listen to Kiaya speak about her band, her father, her ideas, and her hopes for the future, think of the way things could be. The way music would change if her worldview were a reality. If music were set free from the chains of what has to be.

Listen here:

The Interview

 

Check out the 31 song double album release by Silver and Moonlight:

Stars Shining Bright and Loon Call are here:

The Bands Website

silverandmoonlight.jpg

 

My radio show, The Studio Rocks with Mark Campayno, can be heard every weekend here:

JBRNewSlideThe Studio Rocks w/Mark Campayno

 

 

 

 

“Nylon Fantasy #2”

A Nylon String Guitar Original Work

Prelude

This “classical guitar” work in the new acoustic style is by far my favorite of the ones I’ve written 'Air Guitar' byso far. Both its sound and construction are exactly what I look for in instrumental guitar works. Like anything else that comes as a pleasant surprise, this was one of those sessions where everything came together. I must say however, that I never go into a session with a preconceived idea, well at least not one that is carved in stone. My brain doesn’t work that way even though I can be very conservative and by the book in other areas of performance and study.

 

Methodology

I go in to such sessions randomly trying not to get caught up in the guitarists mindset that can plague your endlessly. The thoughts and schemes such as what key? What scales or chords? Should I go intblockdiagramo an altered tuning or not? Should I play fast or slow? That does nothing more than push your spirit into a one-dimensional force bent on being traditional. Traditional for the sake of tradition. Not to pay homage to it, but to be bound by it.

The Work

I don’t remember consciously doing this but it has a logical rhythmic flow to it. The piece starts out by stating the melody in between a very dense foundation harnomics.gif
of dark arpeggiated chords. I overdubbed some, but not all of the harmonics onto the work as a decorative effect. I, like many non-guitarists, tend to find them aurally attractive and very desirable especially on acoustic guitar.

 

Technique

slurs

The slurred sections were not easy but flowed surprisingly well considering that I had no plan for incorporating them. I’m very happy with how they turned out. It’s my climbing Mount Everest moment as that are fairly athletic. It will take quite a few minutes to pull them back under my fingers in that exact configuration. However, I must take the time to score out the work so as to codify it. In that way, it becomes “official”, solid, unbending. Unless, of course, I go back and change the score.

Angular Thinking

As musicians, we all have areas that are endemic to our playing. I love the angular in music, but to produce it well is not easy. This was one time that it happened without the usual struggle and gnashing of teeth. The fleeting moments of non-compliance with the voices in our heads that would doubt us.The total control one has sought from the beginning of the Screen+Shot+2013-03-07+at+10.01.40+PMjourney. However, I’m sure I’ll go back to the struggle until I can take control of angular and the unexpected in my playing.

 

Thank God for the guitar.

 

-Mark Jeffery Campayno

Your First Recording Session: Are you Prepared?

A Short Primer On Your Band’s First Recording Session

So you and your band have worked hard. You’ve saved enough money to book time at a recording studio. All the merch sales, donations, and gigs have paid off. Well, almost. You are now entering a whole new level of band life and there is much riding on your time in front of live mics in an environment that may be brand new to you.
The capturing of the music in real time will be the ultimate barometer of your sound and furthermore,  will define who you are as a unit.  I’m not taking
IMG_5668 away from the fun and learning that goes on during live recording sessions, however there is much to consider as you prepare for this experience.

In order to have the session go smoothly with few snags, here are some things to consider before your studio date arrives. Go into the session with an open mind. Be flexible and open to the advice of the sound engineer and to each other. The mere act of recording can expose parts of your music that could use tweaking.  Riffs that worked during your “garage sessions” sometimes do not translate well on recordings leaving you with quick decisions to make.

To minimize such issues, ask yourself this question: Does the band have all parts worked out with no trouble spots?  Does each member have a working knowledge of each other’s parts? In other words, do they know how all the pieces fit together?  Is everyone capable of playing or singing what they are required to play or sing? Sometimes technical issues are masked during band rehearsals due to volume, less that idea sound in your space, and underdeveloped “hearing”.IMG_8280

Prior to the session it may be wise to rehearse the song parts one, two, or three at a time. Have the drummer and bass play. Then add keys or rhythm guitar. After that, add vocals and harmonies. Be prepared to start your songs from different sections. If anyone in the band cannot play from any section instantly then the music is NOT memorized and precious time will be wasted and the costs will increase.

Finally, the issue of equipment comes up. Does everyone have decent equipment to record with. More often than not, you will use what the engineer suggests. Don’t be offended if your 6 Line (lol) amps sound doesn’t cut it in the studio. Are your guitar players using too much gain and distortion during rehearsal? Have you thought about cutting it down to about 3/4 of what they are used to (at least for the rhythm parts)? It’s shocking how much that will clean up your sound.

IMG_0396Remember to provide your engineer with a detailed list of your songs and the structure. If not, the clock will tick as you try in vain to describe how each song goes. That is a gigantic time waster. Provide also each member’s role on the songs. Who sings harmonies, who plays tambourine, when does that elusive cowbell part come in?

A few hours spent on firming up all these details can save you hundreds of dollars and can clean up your session in a big way!

-Mark