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DOWNHILL + UNNOTICED

Ian C Stewart "Downhill" and "Unnoticed" Youtube



Wow, I just did a search on my own name on Youtube & it's pretty dire. I guess the middle initial makes all the difference in the world still....

I accidentally encoded these two songs together on Youtube just now. No wonder it's six minutes long!

I did a lot of extremely informal recording in those days usually with a handheld tape recorder & an acoustic guitar. After I got my first camcorder, I recorded a few songs that way as well but I'm not sure that it had the same effect. You can actually see the conditions I wrote and recorded in, in addition to hearing them. That alone is enough to scare me away from trying anything like this now.

"Downhill" seems relatively uptempo but still has those sad big boy chord inversions. The tempo changes were due to my feeling that the songs should be able to go in any direction at any time. "Downhill" is the rare occasion when I was singing directly into the camcorder mic. The picture is dark because I had the blinds closed for some reason. I don't remember the lyrics but I'm sure I still have them written down somewhere. That excavation will have to wait for another day.

"Unnoticed" was improvised or um y'know, written on the spot for this camcorder thingy which I recorded November 17, 1997. Wow, how was that ten years ago already? This song is unique for its tempo and I don't know, I've always dug the chords and rhythm. Why did I never do anything with it? Not the singing so much but the rest of the song for sure.

Oh yeah and this was my Mark E!tzel phase, so everything is super wordy and the songs, though somber in tone, are basically interchangable.

Comments

Darrin said…
Yeah.. the informal route has been how I've mostly recorded my stuff. Mainly cause in the beginning I didn't have a 4 track, and even after I got it, it took to much time to do. I was about getting the song down and moving on. Only on rare occasions did I record it first on a 4 track.

Some of my oldest stuff (from back in 96) are the hardest to decode mainly cause at that time I didn't own a pitch pipe and I would just tune to whatever note was on the lowest string. That and I also didn't call out what chords I was playing, so on top of it being in a completely different key, if the sound was muffled, I had no idea what I was playing. And sometimes the tape speed wavered between the handheld and the stereo.

Later on, before playing a song I would hit the low E so if I needed to pitch correct my guitar then I could at least get somewhere near the same setup as when I recorded my guitar. Plus, I would go through the song all the way through and then go through again without vox and call out the chords, even explaining what strings were being pressed n stuff.

And yeah.. that second song is cool.

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