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Strange (but True)    



  duration mp3 quality size
Strange But True (lo-fi) 5:28 96kbps, 24kHz 3.8 Mb
Strange But True (hi-fi) 5:28 192kbps, 44.1 kHz 7.7 Mb
Early stages 1: Walter writes a wriff (1989) 1:08 96kbps, 44.1kHz 0.8 Mb
Early stages 2: Theme (1990) 2:23 96kbps, 44.1kHz 1.7 Mb
Early stages 3: Verse (1990) 2:17 96kbps, 44.1kHz 1.6 Mb

Notes - May 2006

This song was intended to be an introduction to a suite of three thematically related songs - musically if not lyrically. Whether this remains true or not by the time we're finished with this project, I don't know. I actually thought I was 100% done with this piece, except for some minor corrections to the vocal track using SONAR 5.0's V-Vocal feature. But then, the more I started tweaking, the more I wanted to do. Ultimately I decided to put in the effort and pretty much re-recorded everything. The main concept here is to have the second half of the track be much more natural, acoustic and "organic" in nature, after the heavily electronic reverberating introduction. As such, I added "real" shaker, tamborine, and doumbek to the percussion track. Another change was using a microphone to record the natural sound of the Ovation steel string guitar, rather than the internal piezo  pickup on which I have relied up until now. The difference in tone is so substantial that I suspect I will be recording it that way from now on.

For those of you who may be familiar with the second compilation CD from the alt.music.yes newsgroup, Second Attention, you may recognise an earlier version of this track as the opener. I think this new version is much improved!

Early stages
(These tracks have been taken from a series of very old cassette tapes on which we used to record all our ideas, many years ago.)  Walter came up with the main keyboard riff for the verses, then a bit later on I used the awesome power of the M1 sequencer to create the intro section. The first "early stages" keyboard sound is actually an Akai X-7000 sampler loaded with a few seconds of a sustained violin note from a Nigel Kennedy's Let Loose CD. Alas, we no longer own the Akai which is a shame, because easy-to-use 8-bit samplers are coming into their own these days. The fast, repeating piano riff in the second track was a complete accident - I think we accidentally set the playback tempo on 300% and realised it sounded cool. The third extract is possibly the first time I tried singing to one of our songs. We were using a Fostex 4-track cassette recorder at the time.



You stare into the mirror, it's
a window on a world you can't define
wishing you could get away, but
wondering how you'll ever find the time

    Reach into the strange but true
    a secret deep inside of you
    a dream of past experiences
    memories that you can not remember

You learn of myths and mysteries,
moving through forbidden zones you find
of how to make the great escape and
face the worm that hides inside your mind

    Listen to the strange but true
    the truth is almost clear to you
    written out upon the pages
    realise that nothing lasts forever...


2001-2006 Colin Nicholls