That’s, like, sooo last year… The 2010 Project arrives!

By Chris Moore:

Okay, so I’m going to keep this post short and sweet, and I’m doing this mainly because I’m almost forty-four hours into a zombie-like state of affairs.  The past two days have proved equal parts fascinating and frustrating as I’ve navigated the web, exploring all manner of ways to make The 2010 Project available easily and reliably to anyone who might desire to listen.

Suffice it to say that, in the end, I’ve opened up a new website which will be solely dedicated to making the works I’ve discussed on this site available to listen to, read, sample, buy, or otherwise experience.  This new site is the HMRM Store, available at (if memory serves, which it often doesn’t, I’m indebted to Nicole for the name), and it has four dimensions: music, books, music reviews, and book reviews.  I’ll have much more to come about this new site, as well as the very exciting, very recent founding of the label that released my new album: EmEff Records.  There’ll be much more to learn about we EmEffR’s in the coming months, so stay tuned for that!

So, in the name of brevity, here’s the deal.  I haven’t released an all-new, studio-production album since 2006.  Today, Tuesday, July 19, 2011, marks the fifth and a halfth (sp?) anniversary of the release of Love Out of Fashion, that aforementioned previous album.

Today marks the release date of my seventh full-length album.  I haven’t released one since the formation, duration, and/or demise of mOu, and in some ways, The 2010 Project is acutely concerned with friendship, as well as romantic relationships, and what to do after a harsh split.

It was my “2010 project” to come to terms with my life (i.e. accepting myself for who I am, being comfortable with asserting myself, etc.).  Essentially, my project was to heal and — after years on a social roller coaster, as well as working tirelessly to prove myself as a newcomer in my profession — my project was to enjoy life again.

I hope you’ll listen.  I hope you’ll appreciate the passion that drove these recordings.  I hope you’ll relate.

Finishing The 2010 Project was the catalyst for establishing, so this is a landmark occasion.  It is a time to look back and appreciate past projects which have concluded.

And to begin thinking about new ones yet to come…

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Days twenty-two and twenty-three: the (final) finishing touches!

By Chris Moore:

At long last, exactly eleven months after I first pressed “RECORD” at the opening session on August 10, 2010 (yes, I did start this album in the year it’s named for!), this is my final 2010 Project online journal entry.

Yesterday morning began fairly early as I arranged and recorded the background vocals for “Socrates’ Gulps” while Nicole was out for a walk.  When she came back home, I finished them while she took a shower.  Finally, I had to concede my need for breakfast, and we went out for brunch.

Figuring out a bass part on guitar

Brunch led to a trip to the Book Barn in Niantic, which was followed by grocery shopping.  By the time we arrived home, a leak had begun dripping from the ceiling in our bathroom.  Unfortunately, the woman who lives above us was out for the day and didn’t answer her phone on our first few calls.  We called our parents, the condo association… pretty much everyone short of the governor for advice.

Finally, when the ceiling began to buckle, we knew that this was no minor situation.

In the end, we called the fire department and had the opportunity to meet many nice firemen, a very helpful police officer, and our friendly neighborhood grounds/maintenance man…

…who, when no one could find the leak, came bearing a hacksaw.  (See picture below.)

A leak led to firemen, a policeman, and a maintenance man bearing a hacksaw

Needless to say, by the time our last visitor left for the evening, the recording spirit was pretty much lost.

So, I picked up this morning with the bass, almost got it right (except for a part I’ve always heard in the song and which Mike suggested I convert to a bass line), had some amazing breakfast prepared by my wonderful girlfriend (who I hope is reading this :-)), and finished up the bass on “Socrates’ Gulps.”

So that, as they say, is that.  There’s some more mixing at Mike’s studio, some package design, and a few more loose ends to tie up before…

…the official digital release date for The 2010 Project: Tuesday, July 19th, 2011!

Check back soon for more updates!

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Day twenty-one: finishing touches, part three…

By Chris Moore:

After a handful of very late nights this week, I slept in again until after noon today.  One thing led to another, and I didn’t even begin recording until later in the day.  Even so, I was able to work out the background vocals to “Work Time, Get in Line,” as well as a series of intricate acoustic guitar solos.

The trouble with “Work Time” is that it is a song that deals in criticism: of the corporate mentality, of rigid order, of patterns in our lives that are not “supposed” to be broken.  Thus, the instrumental break is supposed to reflect the chaos of a mind trying to break free from this unnatural order, attempting to be free in some way.

This may sound interesting in theory, but there is a fine line between chaos and controlled chaos.  I did use a metronome for this song — one of the few tracks on the album without drums — but even so there are a couple moments where the tempo is imperfect.  (The takes that I did that were perfectly in tempo ultimately came across as flat and without feeling.)   Of course, one of those aforementioned moments is in the instrumental break.

In the end, after much playing along to the song, listening to playbacks, and mixing and remixing the song, I’m proud of the result.  I’ve been worried about pulling off this track from the beginning — there’s a reason it’s one of the last songs I came back to complete! — but, after Mike instructing me in how to play congas and the acoustic and background vocal work I did today, I’m happy to report that it will make it to the album as a track I’m very proud of.

By the time I finished this song, it was hot and sweaty in the stale air of the balmy evening, so I simply had no energy to begin the final track I’m working on.

Until tomorrow…

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“Days” nineteen and twenty: EPIC.

By Chris Moore:

Although both days nineteen and twenty took place today, 7/7/2011, I have listed them separately because they were two quite distinct sessions.  The first took place in the early morning, as I arrived at Mike’s brand new studio just after 11:30pm on 7/6.  He began by setting up some equipment, and we got underway around 1am.  Over the next four hours, we listened to eight of the twelve tracks on the album and mixed them down to final versions.  We even got a chance to listen to the bonus tracks I’ve selected for the deluxe version of the album.

You can tell it was late just by looking at these photos, which were obviously taken without the aid of natural light.  Being that this was a late night (or, really, early morning) session, it brought back all sorts of memories for me, namely of past experiences with mOu and with Mike and Jim individually, as well as on the Meaningless sessions.

Tonight was one of those rare moments that are sufficient to sustain dreams for months and perhaps even years to come, a reaffirmation of what it is we do best and why we do it.

After I arrived home, I went directly to bed with my alarms set for 9:45 and following.

And I woke up after noon, with absolutely zero memory of my alarms ever having sounded.

This being said, I only had a few hours to record, and I used them to complete the electric solo and background vocals for “I Would Prefer Not To.”  Mike had recorded a sample set of background vocals on my iPhone that I heard him singing (and loved), so I used those as a model to complete the song.  The guitar solo came out quite well after I worked it out, found a guitar effect on my Zoom pedal that fit the song, and further worked it through GarageBand’s on-board set of effects.

After I finished these tracks, I moved on to “Work Time, Get in Line” and managed to complete the bass for this track before I headed back to Mike’s studio for more recording and mixing.

At his studio, we mixed down “I Would Prefer Not To,” then Mike re-taught me how to play congas (I had played them a bit during a DryKnuckle BedHeads jam months prior) and I finished that track on “Work Time,” and after dinner, Mike showed me a piano part for “Vows and Changes” that elevates the track to heartbreaking status.  With Mike’s instruction and coaching, I played the keyboard, and we easily finished mixing that song, to end the evening with a grand total of ten out of the twelve songs completed.

And all in time for the beginning of one of our favorite Thursday night activities: TNA wrestling!

If you haven’t heard, I’ve set tomorrow as the deadline for completing the recording of my album, so I’ll have to step it up and put the final finishing touches on “Work Time, Get in Line” and, with a bit more to do, “Socrates’ Gulps.”

Until then…

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