Matthew 14:28-30

Work on “Butter Yo Shit” is stalled at the moment; still trying to come up with a bass part that doesn’t sound hackneyed and pedestrian.

In the meantime, keeping busy with another song pulled out of the distant past. I think I was not long out of high school, around 1987 or 1988, when I was visiting my longtime friend Jason Katz, who I’ve known since 4th grade, and found a page of words he’d written entitled “Peter’s Lament”. He told me it was about the Biblical disciple Peter trying to walk on water and failing due to a lack of faith. I was inspired to use his words in a heavy metal song. The song “Cruel Sea” by Cities was a major influence on the music I wrote.

Back then I had a guitar to compose the song, and I’ve managed to remember almost all of it (nothing was written down). I’ve been assembling the track in Caustic for Android, since that’s where most of my music work happens these days. Guitar modeling PCMsynth presets by Jason Blann of EIP Studios Ohio provide the lead and rhythm guitars, and another PCMsynth set to one of Blann’s Pocket Kit Pro patches makes the drum sounds.

This song runs up against the two major limitations of Caustic: fixed 4-4 time signature, and fixed tempo. The time signature problem is solved by using the unbounded piano roll feature of the step sequencer – I’ve used it once before for my track “Monsters and Magical Girls” although it turned out to be unnecessary; I could have done that entire track in the pattern editor since the odd-time section has a divisible-by-four total number of beats.

The tempo issue is another matter – most of the song is at a steady tempo in a triplet rhythm, but one part of the chorus goes into a duple rhythm at a slower tempo. My tentative solution is to finish all the note placement in Caustic, output to .wav, load that .wav file into Audacity, and selectively “change tempo” on the sections that need to be slower. It remains to be seen how that will work out, but I’ve at least used Audacity’s “change tempo” function once before on a whole song.

Once the instrumental is finished, then I can record a scratch vocal – I think of this track as a demo; I’m considering soliciting input to make a “real instruments” version, from Facebook friends that I know from the now-defunct YTSEJAM.com messageboard; I still know at least one guitarist, drummer, and vocalist from there (of course I will play the bass myself).

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