Saturday, 28 November 2009

Without Fear Track #8 - The Future's What You Want it To Be

Continuing my blogs about each track on my new debut album Without Fear - in the order they were uploaded. Hence today's track #8 "The Future's What You Want It To Be", or just "The Future" as I refer to it sometimes.

Hopefully you can hear it on the player here!




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Music
Another musical departure for me, The Future... is catchy but laid-back, slow-tempo, and takes its time building to a powerful finish. It's almost a gentle, airy song, the reverb'd vocals drifting with the chords until the bridge comes in.
Watch out for the strings/organ-esque sound in the final chorus - as with every track on Without Fear, all sounds are made by acoustic guitar. I had great fun making this sound by
-playing each note in the scale (F# minor I think)
-over several octaves (3 I think)
-cutting off the harsh pluck at the start of the note
-fading in the rest of the sound
-copy & pasting each note loads and loads of times, cross-fading them together to create a "whauuuuuum" of each note, and gluing them together
-giving each note its own track, thus creating a "map" structure to place each note
-assigning a top, middle and bottom note for each bar, thus creating a chord, and fading in each "whuuuuuum"
-add chorus, reverb and delay to the whole group of tracks to smooth out the sound!

Sounds tricky explained like that, but it's really intuitive once you're there editing! I'm going to do some Youtube videos explaining how I made all the sounds I did with just an acoustic guitar, it'll include this one.

Lyrics
The theme of the song is a basic question: how come the world doesn't look like we thought it would? Flying cars, living on the moon, etc. etc. etc. But beneath that - and clearer towards the end of the song - is the point that we make our own future, and we are making it right now. Who cares that we don't live on the moon? (yet) Is it really a problem that we don't have flying cars? (yet) These are distractions, gimmicks. Getting people living on the moon is hardly worth aiming for when we still have starvation, wars, poverty, joblessness, HIV, people living under dictatorship and others living by superstition and under religious doctrine.

It is up to us to make the future that we want to live in, and the things we often dream of the future being are rarely the things we should be changing now.

There is also a cameo from Ecco the Dolphin in the second bridge ("there's no dolphins who travel through time"). Playing the megadrive was part of my childhood - I thought it would be fun to throw in a line from one of my favourite games. Also that's why there's a megadrive controller in the Without Fear artwork! :)

In the future, nobody is older
In the future, everybody always looks young
In the future, everybody’s hot forever
In the future, everybody’s song gets sung

Tell me why, nothing ever turns out like we write, in space age or sci-fi
Tell me why, we all think it’s gonna be fine

We could like in a world where people take video with their eyes
But we might find that we would never have the time
To be free, to be free
The future’s what you want it to be
The future’s what you want it to be

In the future, our energy comes from water
In the future, everybody lives on the moon
In the future, there’s shiny robots that cure cancer
But I don’t think, the future’s any time too soon

Tell me why, nothing ever turns out like we write, it’s the future but not quite
There’s no dolphins who travel through time

We could like in a world where people take video with their eyes
But we might find that we would never have the time
To be free, to be free
The future’s what you want it to be
The future’s what you want it to be

Take your science and technology, is that what you want it to be
Superstition and plastic surgery, is that what you want it to be
Success at any cost, or do you want to live a life with balance
Time accepts no apologies

The future’s what you want it to be
The future’s what you want it to be

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