Archive for November, 2021

Salon de la Guerre has released its first music video. It’s for the song “Lanternfly,” which appears on the album Wings Made of Cash. The video was directed by yours truly.

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Wings Made of Cash

I’ve hit a couple of milestones recently in my musical career. One is that I copyrighted my 400th song. I’m also starting to put together what will be my first music video–a mix of animation and photography.

And last but not least is the fact that Salon de la Guerre’s 31st album is available as of this week! It’s a 20-song cycle of pop, rock and electronic silliness about money and obsession and money obsession, as well as the various ways people flail about trying to make themselves happy and follow their own existential bliss.

The album is called Wings Made of Cash, and it’s out on Amazon, iTunes, Spotify, YouTube and other places where music is still sold.

I spent the summer recording this album (along with two classical albums and an ambient album) after getting my hands on Apple’s Logic Pro X software. As I’ve mentioned previously, this was my first time working with a musical score editor, and now that I’m writing in musical notation, I’m finding myself more prolific than ever. Part of my philosophy of music, after all, is to keep things new by changing the approach every so often. I once put Sonic Youth sounds to marching band rhythms. Later, I tried mixing Maybelle Carter’s guitar strumming with Thurston Moore’s alternative tuning. I once tried to mix country music with avant-garde microtonal experiments. I have an album called Yipano in which I improvise a bunch of songs on my son’s keyboard and let the audience in on the intimate and embarrassing fact that I’m very much learning to play the piano in real time.

Sorry to sound like I’m shilling for the late Steve Jobs, but the Apple software has opened a new and magical window in my brain that’s let me conceive many different new musical ideas that I’ll likely be investigating well into the future. For my next act, I’ll likely start plugging real musical instruments into the program (I used only MIDI instruments for this and the three other albums I made over the summer) to see what different sounds emerge.

Wings Made of Cash was composed, arranged, performed and produced by yours truly at my home studio in New York City during the summer of 2021. I also designed the cover. The male model photo is by an artist named “FatSprat” that I came by on a photo service.

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Dog photo by Irina Kashaeva

I know that I promised you a pop music album, and damn it, I’m trying to live up to that promise. But in the meantime, I’ve managed to string together another classical piece.

The Dog Opus is my 30th album, and it just hit the virtual shelves. It was conceived as a string quartet but synthesized on my computer. I was inspired by Sergei Prokofiev’s “String Quartet No. 1” (Opus 50) and “String Quartet No. 2” (Opus 92, “Kabardinian.”) I used the two violin synthesizers on Apple’s Logic Pro X, as well as the electronic viola and cello. I am not sure how well these would transpose to actual instruments, but I do have the score, and maybe someday in the future if I found amenable musicians … who knows? I’ll leave smarter people than I to decide what key I’m playing in.

Why a dog quartet? Well, I was running out of the family members I normally put on my classical works.

The Dog Opus, released under the name of my musical act Salon de la Guerre, is now available on Amazon, iTunes, Spotify, YouTube and other places where music is streamed and (still) sold.

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