button

bandcamp

bandcamp

button

button

Buy Ken's Neck
Illusion Fingerboards
HERE!

Ken's Biography

Ken's OFFICIAL
Disclaimer

Press
download
Plague of Smiles
logos, large
right click and
"save link as"

PNG BLACK
PNG WHITE

-------

Thanks for visiting my Diary, Awesome!

2017 --- There's always a plan. You're here to learn from the inner workings of my plan to improve your own game.

MY PLAN: Record music for the next three years with the goal of creating one song every so often. Then switch gears and paint for one year, creating one 6" X 6" oil painting on wood panel, every day if possible. I'll document my progress here. Since this is a diary, the best way to read it, if you haven't been keeping up, is to go to the bottom of the page and scroll up. I am an Honorably Discharged Marine, former S.C.A.D. student, and Acromegaly survivor who is now retired. I tell it like it is so be aware that I do tend to drop some pretty frank language.

Support my Art and Music through purchases at Bandcamp. Thank You!

-------

10/17/2017 --- 3RD and Foraging?! I've just made a note in my Song Diary; a new title.

Started my night with two consecutive night terrors, which are not the same as nightmares. I've had them before so I'm not freaked out by them and the rush of adrenaline. I just ride em' out. It happens when I'm exhausted or my medicine gets jacked around. Then I had a dream I was at an orgy and after refusing the advances of two eager gay guys I found a lovely female blond/brunette with a big smile on her face. I woke up as I was slipping off her panties, went to the bathroom, came back and went to sleep again and encountered the same woman again (this time with solid black hair) in some sort of college graduation ceremony for advanced dreamers. We were suppossed to have the ceremony at the corner of 3RD and Foraging, Fouragen, Forregen, Four Again? The woman and I split off from the group like giggling lovers to intentionally never find the corner and DAMN... I lost the woman somehow. I googled it when I woke up and it doesn't exist. Hope she's not waiting there! Regardless, I have a new song title and inspiration for a song on Volume Three, thanks to my lovely brunette mystery woman.

And now it's obviously time for me to drink... C-O-F-F-E-E!!!

10/15/2017 --- Now I know WHAT my song is about. You see, your subconscious is... a motherfucker. Yes it is! Stabs me in the heart every single time and I just love it. The song I've been working on for the past two weeks just revealed itself to me and I hit the bullseye. Sometimes I'm way off on the titles, forcing me to rename them. Sometimes I hit the bullseye. The song is appropriately called "Face in the mirror (isn't MINE!)" and it's NOT about Cthulhu as I had first imagined. The song is making me relive feelings of insanity I'd forgotten that came about because of a face in the mirror. Mine. Before I was diagnosed with acromegaly I didn't know what was happening to me or what was real. I'd look in the mirror and sometimes the lies we all tell ourselves would hold. And sometimes they wouldn't, prompting insane feelings and disturbed solutions.

Cthulhu, as many of my fellow gaming nerds know, is a role playing game, one that I was heavily involved with back in my Marine Corps days when I was still normal. As players progress in the game they gain knowledge, wisdom, and, and understanding BUT - at the cost of their own sanity. So imagine my surprise tonight to learn that this song is NOT about Cthulhu. It is about my own unresolved feelings that arose because acromegaly rearranged my face! You don't notice the changes. Your friends, if you have any left, are the first to begin whispering about you, usually behind your back. You hear things. You get paranoid. And then one day, YOU FUCKING SEE IT FOR YOURSELF and there is no saving your heart from the horror and the betrayal. Your own body has turned against you. You don't know why, but there's a new face staring back at you in the mirror and you know in your heart that it's there to stay. The tears that rolled down my face were proof of that truth.

The song sings to me. You can hear the madness grating in and out of time like pieces of wet glass rubbing against each other. It is intentionally uncomfortable to listen to. My music is not safe. You want safe? Go listen to Katy Perry or laugh with Lil Wayne or get your dick up with the nasty soft-core porn that Nicki Minaj spews. They're safe. Formula music, created to hit those dopamine centers in your brain and make a shit ton of $$$. The kind of shallow meaningless mediocre crap that some say an artist would have to "sell their souls" to produce. Not my bag of tea. Sometimes the artist's role is to mirror society back at itself. Sometimes the artist's role is to get cut to pieces by the broken mirror the fist has scattered in rage, loathing, and madness. The song is what it is, a remembered landscape of forgotten sonic pain. That is all for tonight. Tomorrow I am ready to add more instrumentation of highs and lows. I have captured the structure and essence of the song and that's the most important thing.

10/13/2017 --- I had to do something today, before jumping back into the madness of the Double Harmonic Major Scale. I wrote out a real Biography. It's that link at left. Right over there. Read with caution. It's got some "bite" to it.

10/12/2017 --- No music today. I saw my new doctor today at the VA. Nice guy. We talked about my brain surgery, my heart attack and pacemaker installation, and my gallstone-filled gall bladder. He had me do some X-rays on my hips and phoned me later with the results. He confirmed that the arthritic damage is bad and in the extreme and he's going to get the ball rolling on hip replacement surgery with the caveat that I first lose 60 pounds. That is not an impossible feat but... yeah, it's practically impossible - who the fuck am I kidding! I have acromegaly. I'm flooded with growth hormone and IGF-1 (somatomedin C). GH and IGF-1 make you gain weight, and not just muscle growth - heavy bone growth! I have six months to drop the weight. Tonight I'm eating and drinking whatever the heck I please. Tomorrow I'm in this whole hog to lose the weight. Gotta have those heavy metal legs.

10/10/2017 --- VLOG #10 is out! Share and enjoy! It's best watched in 1280 X 720P HD.

AND... Rick Beato's NEW CD is out, only available on his website. It is FANTASTIC!

CLICK HERE TO BUY PRELUDES AND ETUDES VOL. #1

10/2/2017 --- The sludge rises. Phenylalanine, Serotonin, Acetylcholine, Norepinephrine, and... DOPAMINE! My mother is a narcissistic, passive-aggressive bi-polar (manic-depression) whose numerous suicide attempts prompted me in my early twenties to learn just what is going on in the brain. And from those studies I learned what the BIG FIVE above do in the brain and how insidious imbalance (primarily caused by sugar) can be. Since then, knowing that I also probably share some genetic traits, I began watching my sugar and balancing my acid/alkaline balance but (there's always a but isn't there?) but... there is MUSIC.

The thing that gets me is music. Being a producer of music I cannot get away from it and the better the piece I'm working on is, the more I pour into it and frequently that results in me working on a piece for hours and hours and hours and hours and hours. I sit there in the chair composing. I know I'm burning out. I sit there anyway and keep going. I posted my last post early in the morning after working all through the night. Then I kept going. All the way into October the 1st because even though I was tired I got insomnia. I finally was able to go to sleep sometime in the evening and slept in hour long stretches all night and into the day until now. Just got out of the shower and dressed and I'm typing this at 3:36 p.m. Do the math.

And THAT is the problem both artists and musicians face, the unbalance of dopamine in the brain. We produce the music, we like it, it's addictive, we keep going, we burn through the dopamine that's been released and we go until the energizer bunny inside runs out of juice. Then the crash. But the good news is...

THE SLUDGE RISES!

9/30/2017 --- I took yesterday's musical sketches in C Double Harmonic and cut it down from 13 minutes to 4. I now have a clearly defined intro, beginning, and ending. The middle has too much going on so I'm going to have to focus on what I want to shine and cut all the extra fat. So far, the song has two piano lines and a basic drum beat but it will have guitars, bass, and song candy before it's in the can. With no one in the house tonight but me, I cranked the stereo and practiced my singing. Sang to some Prince, Kimbra, Queensryche, A Perfect Circle, and Sting.

"Way Back Home" by Prince has three notes near the end that I still can't hit. I do good on the Kimbra in a male voicing. Queensryche forces me to accept notes in a lower register - and forget about singing that stuff from their first CD! My timing is off on A Perfect Circle, even with lyrics in front of me. And one song by Sting (Ghost Story) is impossible to get through because I get choked up and teary-eyed every single time thinking about Erin. That song is just too close to my own life. I am so close to crashing and burning right now. I'm gonna sleep for a day. Then I'm going to spend tomorrow making sure the beat grooves, all the fat is cut, the song has proper dynamic climaxes, tension and release points, and there's space for the other instruments to do their thing. So far, the title still holds and I have some luscious darkness brewing. That is all for today.

9/28/2017 --- I usually keep a TIGHT LID on my emotions, to the point that I'm mistaken for being a robot on many occasions. Things got to me this week. Bad dreams. Bad spirits. Blatant DISRESPECT coming from the racist NFL scum taking a knee to support the BIG LIE that America is racist and her flag stands for "the oppression of black people." You want to tell me some bullshit about America oppressing black people after the success of Floyd "Money" Mayweather, Lil Wayne, Seal, Oprah, and hundreds of pampered millionaire atheletes?!?! GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE! Am I speaking loud enough and clear enough for you? Can you hear me Jerry Jones and your California Cowturds??? I am a US Marine veteran, honorably discharged, and I am saying in the loudest possible way, "FUCK YOU RACIST SCUM!" Heroes stand. Cowards kneel. So... with all this dark, delicious, murderous hate for leftists and their phony race division I step tonight into the C Double Harmonic Scale which has a flat two and a flat six producing...

C-D♭-E-F-G-A♭-B

The music I shall produce with this shall carry darkness and malice to a whole new level - hopefully. I'm going to start out just using the major scale before jumping into new territory, but I am itching to dive into both the phrygian and oriental modes. This scale sounds gorgeous on piano, especially when using some of the Tension Instruments in Ableton Live. I am also filming as I go along. So join me in the coming weeks for an exploration of mankind's darkest musical thoughts.

9/24/2017 --- 1) The world did NOT end last night as many had prophesied - falsely! 2) Marc Scherer and Jennifer Batten released Battlezone - YAY!!! 3) I stayed up all night long modding a guitar and filming it. Burnout to follow. Did I just inhale six McDonald's chocolate chip cookies? Yes. Monday is the cleanup day. Tuesday, it is back to composing more music. That is all.

9/22/2017 --- I did some rearranging tonight on Bandcamp. The Volumes are now public.

9/21/2017 --- I flipped my flop. Had to go to sleep yesterday to catch a medical appointment today which tonight has created INSOMNIA. So I find myself watching, but not fully understanding, the following video by Rick Beato. NO ONE has ever been able to teach me jack-fucking-shit in music but I am slowly picking up Rick's online lessons because he's teaching on keyboard instead of a guitar. After finishing my last song (which really made my Mom's day, she loved it!) I am returning tomorrow to the Double Harmonic scale in the Key of C (you flat the 2nd and the 6th to produce C-D♭-E-F-G-A♭-B) for my next composition. And I pretty much intend to stay here until I can come up with a song in regular Double Harmonic, The Phrygian mode, and the Oriental mode. Then I'm going to play around in the key of A and E, maybe G too, but all within the Double Harmonic.

This next statement will probably piss off a lot of music majors but I really don't care to learn the thing, I just want to play around in it and compose in it. IF in the process of playing I pick it up then great, but that's NOT my goal. I'm not young. I have earned my old fart status. There's no reason for me to learn something because I have ZERO intentions of becoming a performing artist. That is not who I am. I am a composer. I select my scales like an artist chooses a certain palette of colors. I don't have to know the names of the colors I use in my music. All I'm concerned about is creating and finding that artistic gold that the tools give me. Everything else is pretty much irrelevant. If tomorrow is good and the coffee is kicking I'm probably also going to begin filming a new VLOG because I have a new Jackson Dinky that's going to get some beautiful Amber/Bordeaux stain and I need to show off my Neck/Keyboard Illusion. Anyway... the Double Harmonic video is somewhere below this one on Dissonance = Emotion, which includes a section on how chords resolve. It'll click in my head one of these days I'm sure.

9/19/2017 --- Tonight is the big YAWN. I released something I believe is totally killer into the world and... big yawn. I'm not a pessimist. I'm a realist. The reality is that I will have to keep digging until I strike such a huge vein of artistic gold that the world can no longer ignore me. I have just finished my 25th major song and $0.00 is the end result as of today. It's quite obvious that I'm not doing it for the fame, the sex, the drugs, the travel, or the money. It's easy to be a winner when the world rallies behind you. My art and music is strong, sharp, impeccable, and dangerous to my fellow competitors. To keep it that way requires discipline. When I do become a multi-millionaire I want people to know that the money never made me. On the contrary, I made the money because I have the heart of a winner and that's what we do. We never give up and we never give in.

"CHANGE. ADAPT. OVERCOME."

9/18/2017 --- I am going to say something that is going to make hardcore music-theory knowing players out there giggle but my mind is completely blown. I am 51 and have spent 35 years playing guitar entirely by ear. That approach didn't work for shit on keyboards so I've been learning music theory as an exploration of composing music. Something happened entirely by accident but I caught it. I wrote a song on 8/28/2017 in the Key of A# Major. Then I decided on a whim to jump to something else entirely and heard a video by Rick Beato in which he explains the Phrygian mode. I really liked the tone of his song. He was playing in E Phrygian and I thought that if it sounds this badass in E then I should go lower. So naturally I went down a whole step to D to compose a work of music in D Phrygian mode. (music theory brains, this is your cue to start laughing and giggling like little girls). I ask you, what are the odds? The odds that I went from A# Major to D Phrygian mode and fucking holy hell, the notes are exactly the SAME!!! The only difference is the root note that you start on. So I go online and discover there are other scales and modes that are the same. For example, A Aeolian and E Phrygian share the same notes. So now I'm going to have to discover which scales have twin sisters in the modes. I think this approach will help to speed up the learning curve with music theory.

The amazing thing is, I didn't discover this tidbit until after I had finished my new song in D Phrygian. I was searching and searching and searching my files trying to find a photo I could use for the Bandcamp photo. I couldn't find anything that fit the title - "Having A Spot of Mrs. Kersh's Tea." Then I ran into a photo I took of my keyboards where I had A# Major outlined on my keyboard in orange electrical tape. I stared out it knowing that it was A# Major and then it clicked in my mind that HEY, those are the exact same notes as D Phrygian. So... now I have completed the image for the song using that same keyboard photo and the song is below.

What is the song about? Like many people, I love Stephen King. When I wrote out my list of potential song titles I put down "Mrs. Kersh's Tea." Mrs. Kersh is a character in the novel IT. You can read the book or go watch the old IT movie or wait until the remake, It Chapter Two, is released to know where the song got its inspiration. Earlier in the evening (the 17th) I went over to my mom's house and got her and my sister Mary to do a quick impromptu recording and that's what made the song! I merged my mom and my sister's voices together and then used my mom's laughter and the sound of her tapping out a rhythm with the spoon and teacup to complete the song. Anyway, enjoy the song and IF YOU happen to know either Stephen King or the people producing the new IT movie then by all means alert them to the song. It'd be so cool if it made into the 2nd movie somehow. SHARE AND ENJOY!!1

FINAL WORD - it's absolutely KILLER in headphones!

9/14/2017 --- Going to have to charge up my ipad so I can use it and the Amplifi TT to lay guitar tracks tomorrow. The song I'm working on has no drum tracks on it to date. Everything is sketchy and subject to change. Double checked my piano lines as I discovered some E's that somehow slipped in there. The song's in D Phrygian which has no E's (D,Eb,F,G,A,A#,C,D). If I were to name the song right now it would have to be called, "Having A Spot Of Tea With Mrs. Kersh." As many of you know, Mrs. Kersh is a character in Stephen King's IT and her tea sucks ass. IF ANYONE out there knows the people who are currently working on the soundtrack for the second Chapter of IT, by all means put me in contact with them and shoot me their name and email. Hell, if you know them, shoot them a good word! I don't even know if Mrs. Kersh will make it to the bigscreen in this new IT remake but hey, it's worth a shot. The song is great regardless! Here's a quick reminder of Kersh and her tea.

9/10/2017 --- Irma is sucking out any life I have today. I cannot help but watch the developing story streaming on various youtube channels. Kinda looks like the storm is petering out. It is sad to watch videos of looters. This generation has no respect. I grew up in a generation when the police were not so corrupt and looters were simply SHOT DEAD ON SIGHT, which is as it should be! Liberalism is a disease that eats away at society and weakens morals. I have a few things to clear up on monday and that will open the way to record a new VLOG for my youtube channel.

9/09/2017 --- It has come to my attention that some sort of criminal evil is afoot at my house. I live with a house mate who has a past history of drug use. I do not suspect her of any evil. I do however, believe the local cops suspect she is up to no good and they know about my music business and studio being located on my premises. A HONEY HOLE. A honey hole is a cash spot for drug enforcement. They find them. They plant drugs on the premises. They raid the house. The house owner goes to jail when they find the planted evidence and the house and its possessions - thousands of dollars in recording equipment is sold off to keep local drug enforcement in the $$$. This is how a corrupt police/sheriff office operates. Marlin just had a local police chief busted for sexual offenses. Something about forcing the women he was arresting into sex acts or jail. So... a corrupt police force in Marlin is A FACT!

A few days ago I put latch locks on my house. My house mate went to spend the night with her kid. She didn't tell anyone. Around three in the morning someone attempted to enter my house, not once but two times, around five in the morning. They couldn't get in because of the latch locks. My brother then informs me that he's heard from a local sheriff that my house is going to be raided and is a known drug house! I inform my brother that he is full of crap. I've been living here and haven't seen anything going on or smelt anything bad being used here. But I do KNOW FOR A FACT that the local PD is corrupt and I've seen them hanging around my neighborhood watching my house. So I am posting this publicly and if anyone out there has had this happen to them please contact me. PLEASE Share this with the FBI and send them an email. I also am going to contact the FBI.

PUBLIC NOTICE: No illegal drug use, drug related activity, or prostitution is allowed in my house. It is not tolerated! I am not going to be a willing "victim" to ANY corrupt police department.

9/08/2017 --- Cleaned my house then went to sleep early so I could get up in the morning and take my car to be inspected to get my sticker. Couldn't sleep. Then I heard a commotion, fighting, dog barking, and screaming from my housemate. Grabbed my butcher knife and we ended up calling the cops. Her boyfriend had assaulted her, stole her pain meds, and took off running. After we made a police report we got in the car and went up and down streets looking for her pitbull who took off running when the door was opened. Now it's about seven in the morning. A neighbor found the dog and brought it back. Going to try and get a nice power nap then deal with the car later today when I wake up.

9/06/2017 --- Here is another one for the WTF files. This is the second paranormal experience I have had this week. I had a dream that I was at a place like a park or a mall. There was a ride for children. You put your quarters in the slot and then you walk along this path. As you're walking everyone else is watching you... and your double. The "ride" was a hologram splitter and it split your holographic dream body into two so everyone watching saw you and a double of you walking along this pathway. I woke up facing my windows. It was pitch black outside. I was fully awake at this point and contemplating getting up and making coffee. As I was staring, WIDE FUCKING AWAKE, at my window it suddenly lit up with bright light. I thought that maybe someone in the road had turned their car in the street so that it was shining in my window but I noticed it wasn't just that one window, it was all the windows. So I moved the blind and WHAT THE FREAK... it was instantly about nine o' clock in the morning. One second it was early in the morning pitch black. The next second - without even blinking - it was suddenly early in the morning and the sun was out full and shining, blue skies, NO CLOUDS! I hadn't blinked. I hadn't gone back to sleep. I certainly wasn't groggy. I was wide awake and staring at the windows when the event happened.

I am also a person who sleeps with a CPAP machine and nothing had shifted. My body hadn't shifted, the CPAP machine strapped to my face hadn't shifted or moved. None of the blankets had moved. I had no sense of "missing time." It just went from dead of night to early sunshiny blue sky morning as if someone had flicked a switch! And I saw it happen with my eyes wide open and alert. Someone needs so explain this shit to me. WTF???!!!

9/04/2017 --- Ok, WTF?! I ran out of hyrdrocortisone over the weekend and I can't get a refill until I visit the VA on tuesday. One of the things that hydro c does is help you to wake up. I no longer have a functioning pituitary gland so I have to have it to live. It may explain why I got up late the day prior and only stayed awake for a few hours before going back to sleep; wherein I got about 21 hours of sleep. The last dream I had I was dating a young black-haired Hillary Clinton. We were taking a shower together. When I awoke I heard a melody being played on my keyboards. I listened for about a full minute to the point where I was singing the melody. My keyboards are a MIDI controller. They do not produce sound on their own! The playing skill of the ghostly pianist was unsure. It sounded the way a small child learning how to play will halt and then speed up. As it faded away to nothing I sat up and could turn my head and still catch phrases of it.

I have heard tell that other musicians have, on occassion, heard such ghostly things when close to dreams or in a dream. Some have even taken them and taken credit for their creation. I do not and would not do such a thing. It's not my song. It's the song of the ghost. I see amazing things in my dreams. Artwork and such. I sometimes hear amazing things. Those things do not belong to me. I did not create them. I discard them immediately to keep from offending whatever spirit produced them. It is my own personal choice to do so.

9/02/2017 --- I should have done the darkest scale ever. Instead I saw another Rob Beato video in which he played something from the Phrygian mode that I thought was perfectly dark and sad. Played around with it in the key of D. Some youtube videos suggested a progression of 2, 4, 7, 1 chords. However, another video said the bass line in Phrygian should be a drone, if anything, on one note or chord - the flattened 3rd; which would be an F7 chord? This is why I think music theory is full of shit. Who made up all these damn rules instead of listening to their ears; all this fucking book knowledge seems to get in the way of what the ears and the heart/feelings have to say. So instead I played around in the mode and came up with the notes for an intro, notes for a melody, a possible hook/drop and maybe an ending but... the song is definitely too short. It may be possible to loop some sections and then solo over them. And yes, I do want a bass line that's more than just a one note/chord drone. I don't know why one of the melody lines seems to be an Fsus4 chord stretched out but it works and sounds cool. Fuck the rules. All the rules to me are just a starting point. If they work great. If they don't then I'll play around until my ears find something awesome - which is how I found the Fsus4.

I believe what is really going on is that some musicians just play around and discover things and make songs and other musicians are more interested in puzzles than music so they attempt to label the various things the musician came up with and put them into its own little box of language. Or they'll read someone else's rulebook and pull out a string of language boxes for a progression to make a cookie cutter song - which is how I feel when I'm learning and using music theory and trying to stay within the "rules."

9/01/2017 --- Woke up and bought ANOTHER Jackson JS32 Dinky (see my 7/13/2017 entry) in natural oil finish. I'm going to use Amber TransTint dye to stain the body of the guitar with Bordeaux (it's a blood red / wine color) around the edges for a classic sunburst finish. For the fingerboard I'm going to go with my own "Symbol Literacy" design. No music tonight but I did discover Rob Beato's youtube channel through one of his KICKASS videos, The Darkest Scale Ever, which I INTEND to study extensively and write some songs in the scale and its various modes for my work-in-progress CD The Bleeding Cut.

8/30/2017 --- I just woke from about 15 hours of sleep! Drinking coffee now. Discovered nothing on the Internet. When you finish a song it's always a good idea to stop the world and clean up the mess. So it's clean house, clean car, laundry, and listen to SLAYER day! That is all.

8/28/2017 --- My latest song is out. You can read how it came together either below, in the diary OR in the description under the song at the Bandcamp website. Buy it, Share it, LOVE it! Thank you.

8/27/2017 --- OPEN MESSAGE TO MICROSOFT (feel free to forward): "You fucking incompetent pricks almost cost me to lose a song! There is a special place in HELL reserved for you Bill Gates, you and your incompetent coders!" Windows 10 does not act like it should. It should be a program that sits in the background and does nothing but allow programs to run. INSTEAD, you assholes want to be itunes, and a search engine, and virus software, and all kinds of happy horseshit that is INTERFERING with my programs!!! When I'm running Ableton Live and it starts crackling because my computer is busy behind my back downloading Microsoft BULLSHIT then I get fucking upset. Why is my system crackling? I go online to AKAI's website for the EIE Pro and discover that Windows 10 has prompted them to create a new audio driver. I spend hours upgrading the driver and it creates havoc with Ableton Live. I'm losing hours and hours and I'm losing patience and you assholes threw a really good monkey wrench into my song. Yes you did! I'm in the process of fixing and salvaging what I can. I shouldn't be doing ANY of that. I should be recording, not running around looking for fixes for the damage you Microsoft ASSHOLES have caused today. Bill Gates, please dump Windows 10. It does NOT serve your customers. We don't want a swiss army knife of programs. We want an operating system AND THAT'S IT!!! Three words...

FUCK - YOU - MICROSOFT!

8/25/2017 --- A # Slow Knife In The Back (see what I did there diary readers) is beginning to shape up. Many happy accidents today. For those who don't know, a "happy accident" is when you do something by mistake or perhaps on subconscious instinct and it sounds so freakin' good you gotta leave it in and play around with it! And when people call you a genius for it you shrug your shoulders, roll your eyes, keep silent, and CLAIM THAT SHIT ladies and gentlemen! I'm about ready to release the song. Going to have to find a fresh ear to come in and critique it tomorrow. I shut the song off for the night and I have to find a whole different sound. Something in the key of SLAYER perhaps? Maybe something you could sing to like classic Ted Nugent? Anything that will help my head to stop hearing and singing my song. Geez, talk about burning a thing in your head! It happens.

8/23/2017 --- I move the wrong way and BAM! sharp, like a knife in my back. The song I'm working on is in the key of A# Major. I'm going to name the song "A # Knife In My Back" because I am truly a realistic sarcastic asshole! Sit down too long it hurts when I stand. Stand up too long it starts hurting and I have to sit back down again. Just took a few more sodium naproxens. My back is worse today than yesterday. But I did manage to get some mixing done. The song still needs some shakers and crinkling noises to backup the beat.

8/21/2017 --- Very bad night working with Ableton Live. They have this static glitch in their software that crops up when you use lots of chorus or delays on the tracks. There is some sort of feedback loop that develops on repeated listens that results eventually in hearing a lot of static. Doubly compounded if you attempt to use the warp editor to warp clips while it's happening! All you can do is shut it down and restart it. So I've been doing that every forty minutes or so all night long. I've got the meat and potatoes of the song down but something in the details is lacking in the mix. There's still some shakers and crinkle noises I want to add in too. My back is about 50% better. After about ten hours working the song I saved it and shut it down. Shower, watch the eclipse with my special glasses, and visit my mom are next on my to-do list.

8/20/2017 --- (language alert, language alert) Felt good enough to begin mixing the song again. Hadn't heard the song for two days and immediately I noticed something was off with the volume levels and the panning. Some FUCKFACE ASSHOLE, you know who you are, tampered with the volume levels on the back of my KRK rockit 8's. Messing with a musician's studio monitors is akin to fucking another man's wife and sending him the porno tape on his birthday. NEVER mess with another musician's studio monitors. No wonder I've been using the headphones so much!

I reset both monitors and kept at it but had to finally quit this morning when my back began acting up again. I have to keep busy until two p.m. or so. I'm reseting my body clock as well so that I'll be able to watch the solar eclipse on monday.

8/17/2017 --- It started with youtube. I found these unreleased demos of Van Halen; from like 1976-1977? Listening to them really made me sit up and pay notice - because the difference between the rough demos and the finished product is all in the mix and the production. I could instantly understand what the producer/mixing engineer had to do to whip these rough gems into classics. And with that, even though I didn't want to do anthing in Ableton Live... I changed my mind and opened my latest song. My song is in the key of A# major so I grabbed my guitar and recorded the chords in that scale. I then went chord by chord double checking the tuning electronically. Then I isolated each chord and cut them up. After that I opened the warp editor and made sure every cut mark was EXACTLY on a null of the waveform so there won't be any popping sounds with my samples. I intend to heavily Trent Reznor this new song NIN-style on the guitars; which is what I do. You'll never catch me performing on stage! I am a studio cat 100% and that's the way I like it baby!

If this were an ordinary day I would continue working up the song but unfortunately KEN is hard down. I pulled a back muscle when I grabbed my guitar off the wall. Hurt's like a ^&*(%$!!! and that is all for today. Beers, then back to bed when my HOUSE OF PAIN is a disappearing memory.

8/16/2017 --- Just had a major accident occur in Ableton Live. I save along the way but luckily, yes LUCKILY, I had not saved this time. In resampling tracks I mistakenly recorded the wrong track and then erased the master of that track and had done too many operations to undo. So I closed without saving and reopened and luckily I was only a bit behind but I do indeed have to remix the guitar tracks and that is going to be... tricky. To take the edge off the stress I shut down and watched Scarlett Johansson in the movie Ghost in the Shell. I don't give two shits whether she is Asian or not or about any sort of "robotic racism." You nerds complaining about that are missing a GREAT movie. I'm going to be watching this one again and again and again. It reminds me of... heaven, although I greatly love my own particular timeline.

So I got the basic guitar tracks down. I may have to NOT work tomorrow. When you work long hours on music you develop a dangerous sort of ear hypnosis. Your ear is telling it's "a great song Ken!" But that is just because you've burnt it into your neural network. Everyone else hears crap. So tomorrow my work is to NOT work but instead clean my house, listen to other musicians, maybe read a book, and let my ears come back to normal. That's IF I can stop myself. Ableton Live is soooooooo addictive!!!

8/15/2017 --- Got some tedious work done on "Miles" last night and tonight since tonight is actually the continuation of last night. I've been awake for about 30 hours straight. My feet are swollen so I know I pushed it too far. Recording music is so addictive when you really get into it. Since the heart attack and packemaker my heart only beats at 30% efficiency and when it's had too much it makes my feet look like balloons. I'm hoping yesterday's coffee wears off soon. I'm charging up my ipad so I can sleep a good while and wake to more coffee. I have nothing to do tomorrow except lay down some lead guitar tracks.

8/11/2017 --- One of the things I do when I'm down and I need some inspiration is to change my state of mind. Tony Robbins reminded me / of what Carlos Castaneda learned / from the sorcerer Don Juan - who told his students to "wipe the table of the Tonal, wipe the table of the Nagual!" You have to change your state of mind. Which is why I decided to watch the FANTASTIC movie "Miles Ahead." And the minute that movie was over I turned on my recording system and got back into it. So... THANK YOU MILES DAVIS, wherever you are in spirit! And thank you Don Cheadle and supporting cast for bringing his soul to life.

Now the song I'm working on has the working title of "Miles" but that's not Miles Davis. I get my title from a song by The Cure in which Robert Smith sings "miles, and miles, and miles away from home again." I've previously done some work on this song and it turned into "A Song for Carolyn" because every time I hear that song it reminds me of her and how I completely fucked up. But taking a page from Michael Jackson I stole the front quarter of my own song, consolidated the tracks in Ableton Live, and then reversed them. I then used that as a background sort of scratch tape to layer other instruments upon. I used my ear and marked out the notes on the keyboard that belonged in the song. Using an online generator I discovered my song is in the key of A#major. And why it sounds sad in a major key?! Fuck if I know. All I know is my ear tells me when I have notes that shouldn't be there so I end up with a sad sounding A#major in 5/4 time type of song. The beer also helps with my state of mind. I don't run away from sadness. It takes me places where things need to be said. I also have no clue what the time signature means but my ear tells me it's better than 4/4 for this particular song. In my head I see couples dancing in reverse, (which would mean the woman is leading and the man is going backwards) back to a haunted house at 513 E. Congress Street to a time when I was young and in love with two different women.

8/08/2017 --- First of all, there's been a change on this page. The opening video for Paranormal Strangeness is now live. It's posted above. I have decided to end the Kickstarter project because no one seems to give two shits and most Kickstarter musicians are not raising enough money to do anything meaningful at all. I'm hoping Kickstarter is not becoming the next MySpace but it's entirely possible. I will continue to add songs to Paranormal Strangeness on Bandcamp and continue with my plan outlined in red type above. Click the Paranormal Strangeness video and enjoy. Purchase the download here.

7/31/2017 --- Jennifer Batten just announced her latest CD release on Twitter and Youtube so I can reveal to you now the fifth SECRET fingerboard design I created for her Neck Illusions series. Marc is a FANTASTIC singer with huge range and emotion and fits Jennifer's playing perfectly. I can't wait for the CD to be released! It is called BattleZone. They're not allowing you to embed the Youtube player yet but you can hear a teaser of what the CD sounds like HERE. Click the image below to see an enlargement of the fingerboard.

a custom fingerboard for guitarists

7/26/2017 --- This is my first keyboard design, for a 49 keyboard set from Keyboard Illusions, although this is not for sale at the moment. It's my own custom design that I'm going to put on my Axiom MIDI keyboard controller. There are also variations that go off the edges of what this shows for 61,76, and 88 keys. There is also a full set of a second design that I prefer to keep secret at this time. Click below to see details.

This is a 49 keyboard set design

 

 

Click here for NEXT PAGE

Click here for the 1st page to start at the beginning of the Diary

-------

Kenneth David Bryon Webber is an opinionated artist, designer, 3D modeler, animator, musician, and CEO of Plague of Smiles LLC, an art and music company. He worked on avionics for the FA-18 Hornet while in the Marine Corps then left with an Honorable Discharge to pursue a career in the arts. He attended the prestigious Savannah College of Art and Design, but only for a short time as a growing brain tumor brought a touch of madness and homelessness. The tumor was discovered late but thanks to the VA, brain surgery, and gamma knife a real life is still salvageable. 2015 brought a heart attack and the installation of a pacemaker/defibrillator. So it's safe to say that Ken has felt many thorns in his pursuit of the roses. Stay smiling!

 

This website and all it's art and design copyright © 2014 by Artist and Musician Ken D. Webber; All Rights Reserved. TRUTH ™ Line of Signature Guitars and MAAT ™ Pyramidal Stacking Amps created by Ken D. Webber copyright © 2006; All Rights Reserved.
Plague of Smiles ™ is an Art/Music Company
Plague of Smiles LLC
Disclaimer