I started writing original music with a passion about the time I was forming Terra Nova up until just after it disbanded. It brings together my listening and performance influences from rock, pop, jazz and world music, along with time spent in the trenches of writing literary poetry. Sadly, none of this music has ever been performed live — much due to the fact that the guys in the band were pro musicians. They would listen to a tape and run through the notated lead sheets I had written out once or twice before performing. No interest in going to the considerable extra effort to work out originals as a group - not without pay.
The creative process for me remains 1-part inspiration and 9-parts working out the details and execution. At times, I would come upon a promising riff while working out on guitar. Sometimes, I would start composing the words to express a feeling I was having (an invaluable after-effect of my experience writing poetry). But quite often, I would simply wake up with the overall melody and progression to the hook and a few lyrics in my head. How that happens is a wonder (it still supports my current day-to-day as a designer).
Initially, I was only able to commit songs to a home tape player. After acquiring a 4-track recorder, I could overdub for a simple arrangement. Finally, with growing experience deconstructing commercial recordings to write out parts for Terra Nova, and with the purchase of a sequencer, I was able do some full stereo arrangements with keys, strings, horns, bass, drums and percussion (8 sequenced stereo channels with stereo guitar played live into 2 channels, followed on with vocals and live horns on the other 2 channels). Even then, I would often simply sing and play guitar straight into the 4-track.
I'm very pleased to be getting this music out to see the light of day. Email me to let me know what you think.
Original Songs - Arranged
The songs in this playlist are multi-tracked, with backing parts arranged on sequencer. Some are more elaborately worked out than others. Chronologically ordered.
- Kevin Cornwall: vocals, guitars, saxes, flute, sequences
- Couple of girlfriends: vocals on When We Touch
Original Songs - Acoustic
These are simple acoustic renditions, recorded, mainly, to give them voice and document the sound. A good song, at its core, works just as well without all of the layering on that happens in production. In fact, the better it is, the greater the variety of treatments to which it is amenable.
- Kevin Cornwall: vocals, guitar
- August Days is an original transliteration of Estate by Bruno Martino (music) and Bruno Brighetti (lyrics).