My Bitter Half Click to play or right click and 'save as' to download.
You can have my bitter half, you can have my pill
You can have my bitter half, but you don't want it...
The July 2006 Download Of The Month was a little improvised number called Electric Tuba. For that, we talked about our beloved "Improvised Song Project." This month's unreleased release, My Bitter Half, was also an improvised piece, but with words, melody, and bass added later.
Edwin and I improvised the guitar and drums, I believe in November 2001. Soon after, we had a fun melody for the song, with lots of crazy syllables and sounds, but no decipherable words. My very good friend Steven Harris calls this "Syllabating." For me, this has turned out to be a very useful and effective songwriting technique. One of the many things I've learned from Steve.
Then what after the syllabating? Well, sometimes if you listen carefully to the syllabating, you can actually start to hear real words in there. Often those words begin to help form the theme for the song. In this case, we had the opening word riff, but no words for the second half of the song. So this puppy sat on the shelf until the rest appeared this last summer.
To finish this off, we took the original stereo mix of the improvised guitar and drums, ported it over to the laptop, and added the rest of the tracks. My friend Collin Stokes, who I get to play with in the Brian Choban Jazz Quintet, came over and put down a brilliant, vibey string bass line. Then he did another cut through with some experimental bow action. Magic! Collin brings his very improvisational approach to the studio as well, which is perfect for this track. I added vocals with the new words, mixed it on the lappie, and this one's finally done.