My new Songs!

Last edited 15th of June 2024
First Published: Sunday 17th of December 2023 – My new songs!

Go to Mixed Messages.
Go to Minha Sabiá.
Go to Tabloid Formula.
Go to Comfortabubble Journey.
Go to Agogô Dubstep.
Go to Dusky Lullaby.
Go to PanReggaton.

Ifs & Buts
17 Dec 2023 – Last week, out of nowhere, two songs came to me. One of them, how cliché, came to me while I was having a shower. Ifs & Buts… I might have been doing a ‘what if’ at that point and had a word telling myself not to do it. And that’s where it started. Ifs and buts will drive you nuts! The chorus came first. As I’ve been learning jazz chords on Simply Piano I opted for a mellow jazz progression, Cmaj7 G7 Dm7… The verses came out very easily too. I think the whole thing was done a couple of hours (chords + lyrics)…

I recorded it with me playing the guitar + singing and left it at that. This was on the 12th of December. That evening I wanted more than guitar to it and I started learning GarageBand. It was super intuitive and by the middle of the next day – 13th of December the track was done… I asked my cousin, who is a proper singer to help out with the vocals, but in the meantime I had to auto-tune and add reverb, because I’m no singer. But also I just wanted it out there quickly, otherwise I might just do nothing with it.

Listen https://on.soundcloud.com/KfRn9

[Intro]
Cmaj7
I was always 'ifs and buts', but
G7
'ifs and buts' will drive you nuts
Cmaj7
I was always 'ifs and buts', but
G7
'ifs and buts' will drive you nuts
 
[Verse 1]
Dm7
So you wake up in the morning
Am7
With a mind full of regret
Dm7
Thoughts spinning and dizzying
Cmaj7
You’re feeling so bereft
 
[Pre Chorus]
Am7
I could have done this
A7
I should have said that
   Em7               G7
Be mindful.... don’t fret!
   Em7               G7
Be mindful.... don’t fret!
 
[Chorus]
Cmaj7
I was always 'ifs and buts', but
G7
'ifs and buts' will drive you nuts
Cmaj7
I was always 'ifs and buts', but
G7
'ifs and buts' will drive you nuts
 
[Verse 2]
Dm7
Why did you trust that fiend
Am7
When they said they’d have your back
Dm7
Why did they say they cared
Cmaj7
Then they knocked you off (your) track
 
[Pre Chorus]
Am7
I should have done this
A7
I could have said that
   Em7               G7
Be mindful.... don’t fret!
   Em7               G7
Be mindful.... don’t fret!
 
[Chorus]
Cmaj7
I was always 'ifs and buts', but
G7
'ifs and buts' will drive you nuts
Cmaj7
I was always 'ifs and buts', but
G7
'ifs and buts' will drive you nuts
 
[Verse 3]
Dm7
If you chosen that straight path
Am7
But not this thick forest
Dm7
If you'd moved on fast
Cmaj7
But you got slooow torture
 
[Pre Chorus]
Am7
I could have done this
A7
I should have said that
   Em7               G7
Be mindful.... don’t fret!
   Em7               G7
Be mindful.... don’t fret!
 
[Chorus]
Cmaj7
I was always 'ifs and buts', but
G7
'ifs and buts' will drive you nuts
Cmaj7
I was always 'ifs and buts', but
G7
'ifs and buts' will drive you nuts
 
[Verse 4]
Dm7
Well, listen to me now
Am7
I’ve been there, been lost and found
Dm7
Mistakes are what we make
Cmaj7
Mistakes are what we're made of
 
[Pre Chorus]
Am7
I could have done this
A7
I should have said that
   Em7               G7
Be mindful.... don’t fret!
   Em7               G7
Be mindful.... don’t fret!
 
[Chorus]
Cmaj7
I was always 'ifs and buts', but
G7
'ifs and buts' will drive you nuts
Cmaj7
I was always 'ifs and buts', but
G7
'ifs and buts' will drive you nuts
 
[Verse 5]
Dm7
Now you can recognise fake
Am7
Next time just let it fade
Dm7
No need to be upset
Cmaj7
Feel what you’ve learned instead
Am7                   A7
And how it’s made you stronger
 
[Pre Chorus]
Em7                         G7
................................
Em7                         G7
Now you can pass it forward and sing:
 
[Chorus]
Cmaj7
I was always 'ifs and buts', but
G7
'ifs and buts' will drive you nuts
Cmaj7
I was always 'ifs and buts', but
G7
'ifs and buts' will drive you nuts
 
[Outro]
Cmaj7
Ifs and buts
G7
Candy and nuts

Here is Ifs & Buts on Ultimate Guitar. The chorus also sounds a bit like ‘Always sniffing butts’, which I think is hilarious. My dear friend Denise said it is like a dog song. They’re always sniffing butts.

I had fun making the video in Adobe…

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Mixed Messages

On Thursday the 14th I went for my usual walk, while listening to a podcast. This one was about Robbie Williams and how he struggled finding his identity between Rob (thoughtful, serious musician) and Robbie (outrageous, fun loving, drug taking performer). How he’d get mixed messages from the world about which persona was “better” and more “lovable”, but also critically & peer approved. The chorus “Mixed Messages/Missed signals” came and when I got home it was also written very quickly. This felt like a more sombre, darker song – hence the Em key. A bit of an em(o) song, so the key fits even better. It made me think of my granddaughter and how she’s already having to deal with mixed messages. We all have to deal with them and it’s so hard, especially nowadays with the maddening internet cacophony of opinions. Very confusing.

By the time I picked my granddaughter from school the body of the track was laid and I had recorded the words too. I asked her to sing the chorus – which is the most beautiful, haunting part of the song. The verses might be ok – if the right voice sings it. For now, it’s me again with auto-tune/reverb.

Listen https://on.soundcloud.com/qbBy7

[Chorus]
  Am7               Em
Mixed messages from every direction
  Am7                 Em
Missed signals, can't make a connection
 
[Verse 1]
Bm                Em
Who should I be?  Where do I fit?
Bm                   Em
How should I dress?  How should I text?
Bm                    Em
Who should I please?  How should I act?
 
A                     G
When should I rest?  When should I be wild?
A                             G
When should I scream it out?  What should I believe in?
A              C
What can I say without being cancelled?
 
[Chorus]
  Am7               Em
Mixed messages from every direction
  Am7                 Em
Missed signals, can't make a connection
 
[Verse 2]
Bm                    Em
Am I too aggressive?  Am I a doormat?
Bm                    Em
Am I too suggestive?  Too skinny or too fat?
Bm                    Em
too much, not enough. Too weak or too strong?
 
A                      G
It just feels so rough to be star shaped
A                    G
In a circular hole.  Their opinions so loud
A                        C
I'm trying to get out of this invisible cloud.
 
[Chorus]
  Am7               Em
Mixed messages from every direction
  Am7                 Em
Missed signals, can't make a connection
 
Bm                     Em
Give me the confidence to trust my own thoughts
Bm                      Em
To listen to myself and not follow the hordes
Bm                        Em
Hive minds and bigots and emotional terrorists
A                     G
Make it all go away!  Give me a sunny day!
A                G
In a town by the ocean
A               G
My dear cat and sweet chats
              C
Talking about fanciful notions
 
[Chorus]
  Am7               Em
Mixed messages from every direction
  Am7                 Em
Missed signals, can't make a connection

Here is Mixed Messages on Ultimate Guitar.

I made two dodgy videos using iMovie (hadn’t used it before this, but it’s very easy, simpler than Adobe Premiere Pro, it also looks simpler :D)

My husband remixed it, a breakbeats remix no less (that’s how he gets his musical fun – as well as DJing). He used Roland synthesisers TB03, TR09 & JX03. The bassline was programmed with Arturia Keystep triggering the JX03.

===============================

Minha Sabiá

Minha Sabiá isn’t my song – it’s a Capoeira song, adapted from a 1962 samba song, Sabiá Roxa by os Tincoãs. I published it with chords on Ultimate Guitar a while ago. It’s a beautiful song, I wanted to make an arrangement for it using my new skills with GarageBand. I also got my husband and granddaughter on the chorus – so it’s a very special family song now. I spent the weekend of 16th-17th of December working it it. Including the video.

E              A
Quem quiser pimenta
          B7
Minha sabiá
            E
Vai na pimenteira
          B7
Minha sabiá
                A
Tem muita gente boa
          B7
Minha sabiá
          E
Lá na cachoeira
          B7
Minha sabiá
        A
Oe Dona Miló
          B7
Minha sabiá
          E
Faça como eu
          B7
Minha sabiá
             A
Amarre seu cavalo
          B7
Minha sabiá
               E
Tambem amarro o meu
           B7
Minha sabiá
         A
Ela é roxa
          B7
Minha sabiá
             E
E ela é roxa só
          B7
Minha sabiá
     A
É roxa
          B7
Minha sabiá
       E
É roxa só
          B7
Minha sabiá

Here is Minha Sabiá on Ultimate Guitar.

===============================

Tabloid Formula

22nd of May 2024 – Another song that came to me while I was in the shower. Three hours later this appeared, via GarageBand. Another “Abhorrent Baby” (c) Maria Graciela (she coined the phrase to refer to musical productions that are not quite professional).

Listen https://on.soundcloud.com/kmqzP3YqePisfvri9
Titillate, terrify, infuriate
Irritate, humiliate, incinerate

===============================

Comfortabubble Journey

27th of May 2024 – This one happened very fast. It’s a bank holiday today and I woke thinking I’d like to make a track, no vocals, just for fun (well, it’s all been for fun). I picked the chords C Eb Bb F as they sound good together. On Garage Band I found a beautiful piano (Instant Hit Chord Piano) loop but to my frustration I couldn’t just drag that into the track and apply a chord to it. I spent a lot of time trying to do that and hit a wall. So I got the midi keyboard and made the chords that way – but still no chance of applying any of the loops to the chords. Why? Am I missing something? Maybe later versions of GarageBand have this, I’ve no idea. From my ‘research’ it would appear I’m asking for something it can’t do.

Anyway, as it often is the case with GarageBand and myself, it’s a bit like riding a wild horse – or writing a character – it has a mind of its own. Yes, it’s due to my lack of experience/education in music production. Sure, I know music theory but there’s a lot in GarageBand I don’t even know exists, and there are also 1000s of possibilities, which can be overwhelming.

Over the next couple of hours I somewhat put this together and called it ‘Comfortabubble Journey’ – because it was a journey to make it, it feels a bit like a journey/soundscape. The Comfortabubble is a long story but the word comes from a night out with friends a few years ago – it means something to us. It’s an ambient/electronic track. When I set out to do it this morning I really had no idea what I wanted and what would transpire. I need to figure out a way of having a clear idea of what I want and then getting GarageBand to do what I want instead of me fumbling my way around it (which, to be honest is a lot of fun, so maybe I won’t worry about this, it’s not like I’m a professional musician).

===============================

Agogô Dubstep

03 June 2024 – Another song that gone done very quickly. Started working on it just after dinner on Sunday and it was mostly done by bedtime. With an agogô loop as the main ingredient, I started adding layers around the drum track, and placed the agogô beats and other samples. The dubstep theme happened by accident when I was going through some other loops and I liked the way it sounded together.

===============================

Dusky Lullaby

06 June 2024 – This was more of an idea I was going to get back to – but then I couldn’t really take it any further, so converted to mp3 and made the video. I made two videos in the end, the second I used a walk I did with my cousins in Brazil, in 2015, near where she lives. Just playing around Bm, G and D chords to give it the atmosphere of being in the woods/nature at dusk.


===============================

Pan Reggaeton

08 June 2024 – This song also has no chords, like Agogô Dubstep, just playing layers and samples from GarageBand. This one took a little longer as it didn’t sound complete until I found & added the Shimmer Slow Chimes sample, which took a little while to figure out was the right sample. Everything took longer, as I wasn’t familiar with the loops library, so I spent a while getting my head around it… Remember, I’m a newbie so still a lot of features I’m getting to know. I just stopped rushing and enjoyed the process with this one as I tend to want it all finished at once, otherwise I just abandon it. I know the panpipe is a huge musical clichê, but I think it works in this case. I used abstract liquid videos again, because I like them.

Releasing the songs into the world

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