Monday, October 12, 2009

Song of the Week # 5 - "That You're Gone"

We're back this week with song #5 from "Virtual Light" (the new CD from my duo Alien Blue): "That You're Gone" (5:07).

This song came about while I was jamming. Just goofing off by myself using that classic Hendrix R&B chord-melody style that Jimi developed by expanding on the ideas put forth by Ike Turner, Curtis Mayfield, Steve Cropper, and others. After Hendrix used this in songs like "Castles Made of Sand" and "Little Wing" the idea was picked up by others (you've heard it in songs by RHCP, Pearl Jam, Steve Vai, & more).

So anyway, I'm toying with a 6/8 groove in E (E F# G# A B C# D#) using a I IV V and then started spicing it up (I get bored easily!), so I added the chromaticism by dropping in the D for the mixo-feel, then took the 4 chord from major to minor. The underlying progression then became:

E B D_A Am
Am E E

Yes, yielding an 11 bar cycle with a descending line from bar 5 of E-D#-D-C#-C-B.

The bridge also features some chromaticism, due solely because I love to listen to Blue harmonize with more complex harmonic options. I can never guess what she'll do, but I'm very selfish in that I want to enjoy the unique lines she draws in the sand. So I took a theme that is in many of the song bridges on "Virtual Light" (more on this later): C#m to B to A, which became C#m B Bm A cycled several times (w/ sus2 embellishments) and ended with the return to the A to Am that resolves back to E. Note the chromatic line is identical to the first section.

Then we get to the 3rd and final section of the song where I employ open string chords and both Blue and I really open up vocally with a choir-esque sing-along sort of thing. From live performances we started extending several notes until it became sort of a contest to see who could hold the longest note (she usually wins), but she opted to take a more support role during this section, so I opened up with a long-held note that turned out to be 37 seconds on the recording. Probably the longest single note I've ever held, though not as long as notes I've heard Blue hold!

Too bad this isn't a hit song or we'd hold a world record for longest note - a mark currently held by Morten Hacket of a-ha in their song "Summer Moved On" at 20.2 seconds.

The lyrics deal with the grieving cycle and how we step not just from loss to acceptance, but from grief to celebration, exemplified by the last 3 lines of each section:

"I see your face, and all I can say..."
"I see your face, and hold back the tears..."
"I see your face, and now I can smile."

The final section is meant for you to sing along. No words, just a simple melody, so put it on, turn it up, listen....and sing!

That You're Gone MP3

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