Conditions Apply: Demos From FAWM 2014

by TA Walker

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about

(Please note: you are welcome to download this album for free - just enter "0" as the price when asked. However, if you feel you would like to contribute something for it, be assured that I will put it towards making a "proper" album as soon as I can!)

This album collects together the fourteen demos of songs and instrumentals, which I composed and recorded "from scratch" between 1-28 February 2014, for the February Album Writing Month (FAWM) challenge. On average, this activity called upon me to compose, record, mix and post online, a new song every 48 hours... with everything that entails. Whilst perhaps I could not call every item here an unqualified masterpiece, I am pretty proud of this collection, and there are songs in the line-up that I feel sure I will be returning to in the future.

Without going into excessive depth on the technicalities, I recorded and mixed these demos entirely on an iPhone and iPad, using the Multitrack DAW, Garageband and AudioShare apps for the actual recording, as well as a range of other instrument and audio-processing apps. An external computer was used only for minor editing of the mastered tracks.

The tracks are presented here in the order and state in which I recorded them during the FAWM challenge period. No further overdubbing or remixing has been undertaken on the demos, although they have all been processed through a remastering application, in an effort to minimise differences in equalisation, levels and so on. Due to the recording environment and equipment used, these recordings may vary a little in quality; however, I hope that the excitement and inspiration of the FAWM challenge will come through regardless.

I hope you enjoy this album as much as I enjoyed scrambling to write it all!

TA Walker
March 2014

credits

released March 4, 2014

TA Walker: all guitars, vocals, guitalele, touch synths, sequence and rhythm programming, percussion
Recorded and mixed on iPhone and iPad by TA Walker at various locations, on the Sidingsound Mobile between 1-28 February 2014

Apps used:
Recording and sequencing: Multitrack DAW, Garageband, AudioShare, FunkBox, Polychord Mini
MIDI controllers: Chordion, SoundPrism Pro
Softsynths and other instruments: Garageband, Chordion, Galileo Organ, Animoog
Audio processing: JamUp Pro XT, Audio Mastering, Samvada

Cover photos: Tim (layout produced with VinylizeMe app (vinylize.me/))
Thanks to my fellow FAWM-ers, friends, listeners and you

For Joy and Naomi xx

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license

about

TA Walker UK

Guitarist/multi-instrumentalist, composer and songwriter, often with "electronica" and "prog" inclinations. Will that do?

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Track Name: Looking For The Spring
Grey - above us and below
And still no sign of snow
To chase the rain
Fall - to turn the fields to sea
The waves surround the trees
And flood the plain

[chorus]
Blue sky thinking
Looking for the spring

Stand - push against the flow
And fight the undertow
Of deep despair
Days - where no respite is seen
When grey conceals the green
Yet green is there

Blue sky thinking...

[bridge]
The tide retreats
Through the turning of the year
Like night and day
The clouds will surely clear
Track Name: You Started It
That day I’ll always treasure
My pulse a rollercoaster ride
As I recall, you started it
And I don’t mind

That walk along the river
The kiss that halted time
As I recall, you started it
And I don’t mind

[chorus]
We take the rainy afternoons
And mornings in the sun
And make a day to share
Of every one

That difference of opinion
This morning, knocked off track
I’m sorry that I started it
I’ll make it back

We take the rainy afternoons...

As I travel through advancing years
I’d rather walk with you
It’s no concern who started it
We’re two
Track Name: The Radio Ham (instrumental)
[instrumental]
Track Name: Castle Song
You're looking out from the walls
Expecting armies at dawn
Hurl themselves at your castle ramparts
The sudden rush from below
The strike you dreaded one day
By the setting sun, tear your world apart

This was your sanctuary
Under a banner of blue
Children played in safety by your entrance
Your kingdom now under siege
The trebuchet at your gate
Poised for destruction from a distance

Each quiet sunset just brings
Another night to endure
For sure, the reckoning you fear comes later
The helplessness that you feel
Perhaps the hardest to bear
Just watch and pray for mercy's favour
Track Name: Song For FAWM
If you wondered what I'm up to
About this time of year
Posts to Twitter, Facebook
That my latest song is here
Each forty-eight hours or so
A new one doth appear
This can mean only one thing: it's FAWM!

That's "February Album Writing Month"
An acronym, you see
Twenty-eight days non-stop
Of mad activity
We rush to write down fourteen songs
A hit or miss-tery?
No-one here can say for sure - that's FAWM!

[bridge]
Ask us why we put ourselves
Through all these tribulations
Only speaking for myself
Bring on the acclamations!

Sometimes the writing doesn't run
According to the plan
When work or family or stuff
Requires this music man
But I pledge my intention
To win what I began
Because the effort's worth it: that's FAWM!
Track Name: Diamond Cut (instrumental)
[instrumental]
Track Name: In My Time
Those times we meet halfway
You know they tend to stay
With me
A smile shared - a thought guessed
I think we know the rest
Surely

[chorus]
In my time
Who knew
I'd walk this
Road with you

And when the words vanish
Somehow you can finish
My thoughts
Like brick walls, no way through
You show me they're moths to
Be caught
Track Name: See This Through
Halfway there, and taking stock
Behind me, and ahead
Of all those times of penning songs
When I’d rather be in bed
Is it my slightly haggard gait
Or eyes a shade of red
That demonstrate my will to see this through?

[chorus]
You know I like to finish what I’ve started
What point is there to run this race half-hearted?
And I know that rhyme’s a stinker
But I’ve no time to tinker
So please excuse me while I see this through

Running with a stitch that feels
I’ve been stabbed in the side
Legs run independently
How, I’ve no id-ea
The finish line lies round the bend
That well describes my mind
Whatever happens, I will see this through
Track Name: Bridge Of Crows
As the August sun sets over the hills
The night of all nights now descends
I strain my eyes across the silver stream
Where light and infinity blends

There, gradually, a silhouette forms
The bearing and grace of a queen
Now she and I, reunited once more
But for the river between

[chorus]
Magpies and crows, come fly from all sides
Carry me back to my love
We’ll meet on the bridge, stars below and above
My one and my only, my bride

The shining white way that kept us apart
For one precious night, lights your face
The morning will part us for one more long year
For now my world is your embrace

Tomorrow you’ll follow the sun to the east
I must take the opposite shore
I’ll herd my flocks while you weave tapestries
Until the day we cross once more

Magpies and crows...
Track Name: Not Quite Twelve (link piece)
[instrumental]
Track Name: Leave It All Behind
That never-ending summer
Was nothing of the sort
I'd barely downed that lemonade
And we're back in class once more
Those weeks of sun and rockpools
Feel like a long-lost dream
That melted down one autumn day
Like a seaside trip's ice cream

[chorus]
Leave it all behind (x3)
Tomorrow waits for you

So many circuits round the sun
And somehow I remain
To ride the rodeo of life
Aboard the ages' train
Wiser heads than mine have talked
Of starting guns once missed
A day to lie and catch the rays
I won't cross off my list

Leave it all behind...
Track Name: Where Did All The Fun Songs Go?
Lyrics

Where did all the fun songs go?
Let's go looking
Where did all the fun songs go?
Let's track them down
Where did all the fun songs go?
I must be honest - I don't know
Let's find an answer here
Let's find the answer here

Where did all the fun songs go?
All my trials
Where did all the fun songs go?
All stole away
Where did all the fun songs go?
Washed away by rain and snow?
We both have no idea
We both have no idea...
Track Name: You And I And We
As winter turns to spring
My memories will centre on one thing
The time you came
It was not the sunny day
Or a bracing breeze that took my breath away
Who was to blame...?

Since 'you' and 'I' became a 'we'
Twelve times around the sun
We have spun - through our own course
And I'm still yours...

When 'we' became a 'three'
The mathematics became a mystery
Outside our family
I guess somehow it just makes sense
I don't believe in mere coincidence
For you and me

With you and me and daughter - three
Much more through endless space
We have raced - a long, long time
And you're still mine...
Track Name: Fence
I’m out in the garden, fixing the fence
It’s not looked the same since the weekend, when
The gales left it hanging
Got woke by the banging and creaking and cracking
But somehow the panel still stands

I wonder the fence may be stubborn like me
It refuses to lie down, like our cherry tree
Which bends with the breeze
Just stay standing, please - we will it to live
And it listens and reaches for sun

[chorus]
And soon leaves will appear
The quickening of the year
Will speed us all through spring to summertime
Our garden has lived it all
Through winter rain and grey and squall
To wake and stretch and smile when skies look fine

The waters of winter left moss on the lawn
The herbs start to grow back; the rosebush got torn
Part-way off the trellis
So if it could tell us what it wanted most
I’d help it get back up again

And off in the woods, the blackbirds all sing
Out of reach of the cats, who listen and think
Of the dinner they’re missing
Whilst spring is now springing
Around them - I’ve made up my mind
That I won’t miss a thing

And soon leaves will appear...