the big story
Whatever the postmodernist philosophers mean by metanarrative when they critique the power games of this world, there is one big story that is not about doing violence to the other, one metanarrative which rises above the power games of men and women.
We are nervous about the big stories. But we can't live without at least one, because when all metanarratives are stripped away, we become homeless, hopeless, and meaningless.
This project is the story of home.
Metanarrative is largely a one-man project in composition and recording. This site tracks the development of the story in progress. Take a look around - examine the lyrics; listen to the music as it develops. And above all, understand the story. It's the story of home.
July 31, 2008
Metanarrative is presently taking a back seat until the end of August, as I'm working on another musical project that has a deadline.
Today I did add a fretless bass to my gear list.... It was a value-priced purchase: a Squier Vintage Modified Jazz bass. Very nice, highly spoken of, and under $300. Can't say that too often....
July 11, 2008
On the recording front, I have been working on the chorales for "This Is Our Home" - a very big project. I have also done some initial work on the first song of the second part of Metanarrative, "The Word Became Flesh."
On the gear front, I am making a very big upgrade in the area of guitar effects. Since 2005, I have been working with the Roland BOSS GS-10 - a nice tabletop version of the GT-8. Although a nice unit for its class, it's not pro level. The variety of sounds are fine, but it's not exactly pristine, at least once one moves away from the clean tones. (I later augmented the GS-10 with a Vox Tonelab SE.)
I recently found an exceptional deal on a new Eventide Eclipse multiprocessor. The Eventide line is one of a very select handful of purely digital units that studios are willing to feed directly into their recording interface. Eventide is renowned for their innovative harmonizers (pitch shifters), as well as their stunning reverbs and delays. The Eclipse (retail list $2995 USD) is thus studio class.
I just ordered the Eclipse, so it won't be in my possession for a couple of weeks. In the meantime, I plan to try to unload the Tonelab, which, due to my familiarity and comfort with the GS-10, never really saw the use it deserved. My studio is very small, and the Tonelab is rather large, so it's a natural choice to go. Plus, it's a sturdy unit with a tube, and comes highly recommended, so it should be relatively easy to sell. As for the GS-10, it will likely become practice gear. Perhaps I'll record with it occasionally, but it really can't compete with the Eclipse.
It remains to be seen how much work this upgrade will trigger. With such a phenomenal piece of gear, I may well be led down the path of replacing a few guitar parts....
August 12, 2007
It's obviously been a while since I updated. But although things definitely slowed down on the music front for the summer (work takes up so much time when you're in construction-related employment, and web site development picked up too), that doesn't mean nothing is happening. The fellow doing drum programming (mentioned in February update) has made some progress, and I'm really liking his direction with Movement 2 ("Open Your Eyes"), in particular.
In addition, I have been doing some research and am in the process of procuring a new DAW (Digital Audio Workstation - a music computer). Regarding my existing one, I bought a Pentium late in the game, and it just doesn't have the power I require for smooth operation; in fact, it basically won't run one of my sample-based programs (EWQL Symphonic Choirs) at all. I was referred to a musician who has built quite a few DAWs, so it's good to have that audio experience. A music computer is not approached like a regular home or office computer.
For techheads only: At this point, it looks like I'm going to be getting an E6850 Core 2 Duo processor (dual-core 3Ghz) with a P35 chipset in the motherboard, powered with 4 GB of 1066Mhz RAM. (Although I'm going to be sticking with XP, which only recognizes something like 3.18 GB. Vista really isn't ready for audio at this point, but this machine is sufficiently expandable that things should work out nicely if I need to upgrade to 64-bit in a couple years.)
April 18, 2007
Not much to report on the recording front at the moment; I'm busier with work, as well as with lining up a house purchase and corresponding mortgage. The truth is that taking on this mortgage will slow things down financially... which, in a way, is okay. Here's why:
I have decided to release both Metanarrative CDs together, as one product, likely in a nice Digipak. This decision offers a number of benefits:
- Buyers will have the whole story together, rather than waiting indefinitely for the follow-up release. I'll personally be happy to know that buyers won't end up with half the story.
- Drawing volumes 1 and 2 together will allow me to do further work on volume 1 when volume 2 is nearing completion. This is attractive, because it will allow me to incorporate musical themes and foreshadowing to a greater degree, should I so wish (and I suspect I will).
- When preparing the companion book, I will have all the lyrics completed.
- Although a double CD will obviously provide less income than two separate CDs, the corresponding economic reality is that the costs will be lower too - no need for two separate sets of artwork and packaging, for instance.
Of course, the decision means that there won't be anything on the market for a while. But I trust it will be worth the wait.
February 9, 2007
It's been a while since last report, so I'll update. My original deal for drum programming fell through; for some reason the original programmer expected something more conventional, although I had described the project as prog-influenced. Thankfully, I've managed to make another arrangement with a fellow prog buff, in exchange for working with him on a collaborative project. Just today, I uploaded the tracks most needing help.
I've also done a bit further work on Movements 2 and 6 - additional/replaced guitars, some timing fixes, and (in the case of Movement 6) some additional harmony vocal work. The new stuff will help both these tracks have a bit more sense of variety, but I think I've got more work to do with Movement 2, in particular. However, I'll likely sit tight until I have the drum tracks back, which will give me a better sense of direction, I think.
In addition to the above, I've finally got to Movement 1, but it's still very much in early stages.
Meanwhile, I continue to expand my Anthology collection; I released volume 2 (The Best of 1984) on February 3.
December 24, 2006
As I await my drum tracks, I've still been busy with music, although not so much with Metanarrative. Yesterday I released a 16 song collection of my early material, entitled The Tim Gallant Anthology, volume 1: The Early Years (1980-1983). It is available at my retail music distribution site (which will also be carrying Metanarrative), pactummusic.com. For more info on the Anthology, take this direct link to the appropriate page.
November 27, 2006
The big news is that I am getting help with drums and percussion programming. Today I sent off tracks to Craig Learmont of MusikHaus Records. He'll be working on the Prologue, Movement 2 (Open Your Eyes), Movement 5 (Aftermath), Movement 6 (Up From Ur / Fire In Your Hand), Movement 7 (Flesh and Blood), Movement 9 (Sursum Corda), and possibly Movement 4 (Mercy Awakens). I'm excited, because this is definitely my weakest area, and I'm confident that Craig will provide me with a good foundation that will help me finalize what I'm doing with other instrumentation.
The Ibanez has been treating me well; I've added it here and there to a few tracks. I still need to adjust the truss rod on my Carvin.
I've also updated the web site to reflect the revised naming conventions. The first CD has an additional track ("Exile"), so that entailed renumbering the movements; and I decided further that identifying the Messiah, or even the Passion Suite, as a single movement was rather artificial. The present plan for the project as a whole is to have 19 named movements, plus the prologue and finale.
October 29, 2006
Just got back home yesterday from a week in Idaho and Seattle. Just before that, I managed to tweak a few tracks, and also put a bit of new gear on order, including an Ibanez JS1000 electric guitar (a Joe Satriani model) that I got a really good deal on. I also need to do some work on my Carvin; I'm getting a bit of buzz when the third string is open. Perhaps the slot in the neck bridge has worn down too far. I'm not sure what else could cause the trouble.
October 9, 2006
It's obviously been a while since I posted here, but that doesn't mean the project has been idle, especially for the past couple of weeks. Today I posted three new pieces at SoundClick: the instrumental prologue, a new addition to the project called "Exile" (which will be the new Movement 8), and "Sursum Corda" (Movement 9). I'm still quite unsure about that particular approach to "Sursum Corda"; I may redo it altogether, or I may keep what I have but add a Gregorian intro.
The addition of "Exile" will obviously entail some revamping of the numbering, but I probably won't get around to that until I next revamp this web site.
August 10, 2006
Movement 7 is now up in full at SoundClick. The first part of the piece (about 9 1/2 minutes) as it now stands can be found here; the conclusion (about 6 1/2 minutes) can be found here. I think it's sketched in well enough to move on to work on another movement for the time being (I'm starting on Movement 1 now). Once all the pieces are sketched in, I'll come back and do further work.
August 7, 2006
I've been making good progress on Movement 7 over the past week, and now have a roughed-in version of the whole movement. Still a long way to go, but I'm very happy with how it's coming along. It has a couple of near-metallic moments, but opens and closes with some very subdued classical guitar that (I think) works pretty good.
It's not posted anywhere yet, though (just the partial I posted on July 16)... perhaps I'll get to that this week. Meanwhile, I hope to begin work on Movement 1 today. Stay tuned.
July 16, 2006
The recording continues to progress. New at SoundClick, I now have a very early partial demo of Movement 7 ("Flesh and Blood"), which will be the climactic portion of Volume 1, covering the entire old covenant period after Abraham. Presently, this is the sketchiest of all the demos, but hopefully you'll like what you hear.
June 9, 2006
Early demo of Movement 6 ("Up From Ur / Fire in Your Hand") is now posted at SoundClick. I've still got a lot of work to do before this is a final cut (the drums are just a single loop; there's egregious errors in the piano part; some of the guitar and bass work should be redone; I need to add a bit more cello; and there's lot of mixing to do), but it's a start, and I'm excited about the possibilities here.
June 7, 2006
As can be seen, the news has been slow for some time. I had about a month downtime with my recording computer (turned out that a faulty internal power supply was damaging everything else), and then things started to get busy on other fronts, including a move from Montana back to my home town of Grande Prairie, Alberta. That move took place a bit over a month ago (May 1-2), and I've finally managed to catch up enough to get back to the project.
Last Saturday I started doing some work on "Up From Ur / Fire in Your Hand" (a movement that saw a lot of work go down the drain when I had my computer crack up at the beginning of the year). I'm pretty pleased with how it is coming along, and hope to make enough progress this week that I can post a demo version in the next few days (perhaps early in the coming week). It's going to be over ten minutes long, with quite a bit of musical and vocal variety. I'm excited about where some of the musical and vocal ideas are leading, and it's so good to be back playing and recording, even though I've got a lot of rust to shake off.
Jan 9, 2006
Recording has been stalled for the past couple of weeks due to computer problems. Dell is supposed to be sending a tech with a new motherboard this week. Unfortunately, my best opportunity for concentrating on recording is passed, but I will continue to plug away.
Dec 28, 2005
Over the past couple of weeks, serious recording of the project has begun. Yesterday, I posted four in-process movements of Metanarrative over at SoundClick. You can find them here. I largely posted them for feedback on improving the mix ( I have a lot of work to do in that area, as well as some major work on drums and percussion, especially on "Aftermath").
Titles marked "(demo)" on the SoundClick page are the "in-process" tracks in production; other Metanarrative recordings at SoundClick are composition versions (identical to what is available on the downloads page here).
Dec 3, 2005
With the (essential) completion of composition versions, I decided I was motivated enough to attempt some serious recording of this project. To that end, I have been in the process of acquiring the following gear and equipment:
- Refurbished computer with enough processing power to support music creation.
- Lynx One sound card.
- Presonus VXP preamp/vocal processor.
- Groove Tubes GT-66 large condensor mic.
- Peavy Fury 6QT electric bass.
- Brian Moore i21.13 synth-ready guitar.
- Roland BOSS GI-20 MIDI converter interface.
- Event TR-5 powered monitors.
- Misc. software and accessories.
The above purchases will enable me to create an entire project in-house, if necessary (although I'm open to the idea of collaboration...).
Postscript: for up-to-date info on gear, see my gear page.