14-Songs-in-a-Month Challenge 2013

I’ve decided to take part in the February Album Writing Month challenge again this year. I’m much busier than last time around, so I’m not sure I’ll succeed again. But at least I’ll get a few tunes out of it. I’ll be adding them to this Soundcloud set as I finish them. I’m going to spend one hour max on music and lyrics for each song.

Thermionic Moon – “Cold Touch”

Back to the 80s! Official music video for “Cold Touch” by Thermionic Moon.
Directing/editing/music: John Thomas Mumm
Performance: Oscar Lopez, Arielle Thomas

Organizing Sound – The Songwriting Blog

An esoteric chart you too can understand

An esoteric chart you too can understand

Over the past year, I’ve periodically updated a songwriting blog called “Organizing Sound”. I’m working on a practically-oriented guide to songwriting that teaches music theory by getting you to write songs rather than memorize arcane facts.

A simplified work-in-progress version is available on the blog in the form of the Practical Chord Progression series. If you can play first position chords and know some simple strum patterns, you have enough background to follow the series. And before you know it, you’ll understand exactly what this chart means and how it can help you write music.

I encourage readers to send in songs they’ve written by following the exercises. I’ll put the song up in the Reader Submissions section and link to your music site if you have one.

The Los Alamos Cocktail

Here’s a cocktail I invented last night while trying to find a use for the Amaro CioCiaro I just picked up. If you’re not familiar with it, CioCiaro’s a bittersweet, herbal Italian liqueur. I added it to my collection when I heard it was a good substitute for Amer Picon, an ingredient I’ve run across in a number of interesting recipes. This drink combines it with tequila, lime, Grand Marnier, and some muddled jalapeño. It’s a spicy drink, so if you’re looking for less intensity, just reduce the pepper.

1 1/2 oz. silver tequila (I used Herradura)
3/4 oz. Amaro CioCiaro
1/2 oz. Grand Marnier
3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
4 slices of jalapeño pepper (reduce for less heat)

Muddle the jalapeño  in a cocktail shaker.  Add the rest of the ingredients and fill the shaker with ice.  Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.  Garnish with a lime wedge.

The Second Thermionic Moon EP: “Wake Up, ENIAC!” (2011)

A concept EP? Or in any case, the latest collection of retro electronica.

Click here to download the whole set.

Alien – Rough Recording

Here’s one of the songs I recorded for FAWM’s 14-songs-in-a-month challenge. I tried to stick with simple guitar/vocal arrangements that I could build on in the future. This is one of a few that I’m thinking of developing into finished songs.

Duck vs. Duck

A test video for my new GH2. I’m using the kit 14-42 lens and very cheap lighting. I plan to upgrade on both fronts soon.

The First Thermionic Moon EP: The Meaning of J (2010)

Take a brief step back in time to an EP that will take you even further back, all the way to the glory days of 8-bit music.

Click here to download the collection.

Ascend, Return

Here’s the latest song from The Music Society.

Cosmic Musings

Here’s the first episode of “Cosmic Musings” from The Sonic Pendulum. There’s a new Sonic Pendulum video soon to be released where we’ve tried our hand at a more traditional narrative format.

For now, enjoy this less conventional, but more cosmic outing.