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Persian Queen

1

Further psychedelic adventures wherein we follow the treacherous exploits of the Persian Queen.

The vocal melody strictly adheres to a Half Tone-Whole Tone scale; the chord structure also honours this restriction. In jazz it's used to improvise over a Diminished or and Altered 7th chord. The effect is quite deliberately unsettling and exotic yet the supple internal symmetry of the sonority reveals its own distinctive elegance. Eventually. Maybe.

The guitars are the 6120 clone for both six-string parts. A David Crosby-inspired rhythm figure has the P90 and Magnatron both switched on through a POD's Blackface sound. The solo has the thick sound of Fogerty's early work on the first eponymous Creedence album, truly an inspirational record. Pod Blackface again with a Deco in front set up as a dual-cascade overdrive, combing the mids into a viscous sypup. The Magnatron treble pickup is selected on its own here. There's a twelve string part too, Blackface again with heaps of compression for that delicious metallic sizzle of 5D-era Byrds. At least, I hope so.

It's time to keep your appointment with the Persian Queen-

https://soundcloud.com/thre...

2

Great stuff ade- I felt like I was in a timewarp. A great Byrds/Dylan -like mash up.

5

Many thanks for having a listen JC, Bob and Twom.

6

Well, you're playing to the choir here. I love East-West hybridity. And for all the intentional Byrds/psychedelia references, your inspired engagement of middle-eastern polyrhythms and modal touches transcend to create something that doesn't sound nearly so dated as a retro-60s outfit. Gretschiness aplenty and global groove.

Makes me wish we could get together. Wondering what arrangement/production contributions from your honed sensibilities would bring out in one of my tunes. Would leap at the opportunity. And may be lay down a twelvesby part for one of yours.

Thanks for sharing.

7

Strummerson, please drop me a line. As you may know, I tour quite a bit (all roots/original rock n roll/Metropolitan country, would you believe) but when I get time off I like to write and just let the music take me wherever it fancies. I would happily open a new collaborative door.

Thanks for your comments, for you noticed that there is a lot of discipline and restraint in this piece despite the freewheeling playfulness of the surface. It was quite a challenge to stay inside the modal and scalar boundaries so the Half/Whole Tone scale would traverse every change and still sound coherent. Much appreciated.

8

A joy to listen to, Ade! What impresses me most is that - compared to most other artists who mix both music worlds - you set the mood without using any "traditional instruments". Instead you follow style details as stringed instruments in unison to the vocal melody. I really admire your courage and inner urge to experiment and do something new.

Sascha

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Thanks Sascha for your encouragement and for spotting the characteristic unison vocal/12 string chorus figure.

I recorded the entire melody line on the guitar playing along with the drum beat before doing anything else. The line was hard to sing in tune with those tight intervals, so that was a big help. The chord changes, instrument parts and arrangement were devised after the melody and lyric was completed and in finished placement.

In fact, the whole thing was a right mess until the final pieces were installed- the finished piece remains a challenging listen. The bassline was a big help in controlling momentum through the different sections and holding the weave together. A few flaws happily remain, firm believer that I am of the dropped stitch in a Persian carpet.

10

Man I loved absolutely everything about this! This is absolutely amazing!

The guitar sounds perfect like the Beatles in the 60's, fantastic singing too and the mix was unreal and professional!

I also like King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard for the reason but this is better! I'd buy the album any day!!! Do you have any more of these? Gees!

11

Definitely reminiscent of back in the day. Very good.

12

I enjoyed that a lot.

13

I'm just going to rave about this again. I've been thinking of it all day. Such great lyrics too and classic guitar sounds. The solo sounded so much like say George Harrison wow.

I just played it for my wife - she likes it too. It's so interesting.

Ade - your wordsmithing is amazing - it's actually great poetry.

14

I love the originality, and the courage to step out there. Very nice work, Ade.

15

Very cool. Love the lead guitar part, especially the lead in to the solo. Really good tune.

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Thanks all for having a listen to this strange little song, glad there has been some aspect or other to enjoy within it.

Much appreciated.

17

I was back there again today listening - I love the tone of the guitar in the guitar solo. I also forwarded the link to one of my friends who I thought would particularly like it and sure enough he did.

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When I was recording this I said to myself, 'You've gone too far this time. Nobody will ever enjoy this!'

All I did for that solo sound was to switch on all the buttons on a Strymon Deco. The second channel was set not to delay, instead functioning as a mids booster with the first channel making the grind. It's not that distorted, but really thick.

Thanks especially for your comments on the lyric. I really wanted to get a sense of terrible power, jeopardy and deceit without revealing too much of the detail, instead the pungency of the setting and imagery would give a surreal, dreamy quality to the song.

Thanks also for your positive remarks on the vampire song, Strange Cargo.

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Fun stuff Ade, I smiled lots. I love that scale - it was first used by Olivier Messiaen, the French organist and composer, who catalogued it as one of what he called 'symmetrical scales' - the other such scales being the chromatic, the whole tone and the augmented. It's known in classical circles as the Octatonic scale - I did a series of video tutorials for some pupils a few years back, on how to use it in improvisation in a jazz context, I think maybe they're still on youtube in fact.

You found some fun things to do with it, that's a really enjoyable combination of discipline and insanity you have going on there. Plus your lyrics are always good.

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NSM, thanks for the exquisite details on the Half/Whole tone scale. Listening to Olivier Messiaen now, wonderfully expressionistic and mysterious music.

You should find that link for the tutorial and put it up.

I'm up your way at the end of the month- Lochgelly on the 29th and Queens Hall on the 30th.


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