Nur Ein XV Round One "The Handbook"

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vowlvom
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round One "The Handbook"

Post by vowlvom »

My shadow entry contains all of the useful instructions needed to get yourself a copy of The Handbook, a book of dubious virtue.
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round One "The Handbook"

Post by lichenthroat »

Quick liner notes:

My song is about the Erie Canal in its nineteenth-century heyday, as well as a brief allusion to its influence in spawning the Sabbatarian Movement that originated in Rochester, New York. And perhaps it's also about toxic masculinity.

I'm pretty happy with this one, particularly the sense of floating in the instrumental melody.
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round One "The Handbook"

Post by crumpart »

So I've just sent in my song and read all the rest of the lyrics that have been posted, and apparently I'm the only bookbinder here. Never would have guessed.
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round One "The Handbook"

Post by Cybronica »

Mandibles are posted. If you read last week's liner notes, you've read this week's, just now instead of looking back to how i felt during the relationship, its how I feel now. I have the 48 hours of today and tomorrow to finally be able return to my old apartment and decide what to keep vs. throw away. It's dredged up a lot. Truth and Estaphonia sound great on the plucked strings, and Estaphonia did a beautiful rendition of the lead vocal (i'm on back up vocals and bass).

Looking forward to hearing this week's songs. I'm optimistic that I will be able to actually write reviews this round!
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round One "The Handbook"

Post by Lucky Spoon »

Song notes:

My wife and I get into fights about things like online reviews where my position is they don't matter if it doesn't work for you or if you don't like it. This, along with similar things, has lead to me consolidating my position into a phrase "life doesn't have an instruction manual". So the first half is me telling her how to live without life's alleged instruction manual. 2nd half is me admitting I suck sometimes too and us planning out how to reconnect and cultivate our relationship. In the end, the handbook of our lives is what we choose to make of it and we choose each other.

Musically, it's meant to have a driving, peaceful feel. The chorus ended up a little more up beat than I wanted, but it gives the song some good energy. Lately, I've had the conceptual idea of writing an album called "Songs of Rest" meant to address the emotions and stress that have tired us all out with the whole covid thing. Nur Ein has been a good opportunity to work on some song ideas for that. My goal is not to shoe-horn SoR into every title/challenge, but it's nice to try to make the songs a bit more peaceful.


Life notes:

My CPU on my recording computer has started overheating when I try to render. This is my life right now: Image
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round One "The Handbook"

Post by Niveous »

It's getting close to midnight. Get those tunes in.

And for those who are just eagerly waiting, you can do my music survey to pass the time. https://forms.gle/uSvYoE9RJW852k4W8
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round One "The Handbook"

Post by Generic »

I'm in under the wire.

I started on Monday morning. Then restarted on Wednesday.

Then restarted again Thursday night.

It was a rough week for me, creatively. But I'm really happy with how it turned out. :mrgreen:
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round One "The Handbook"

Post by arby »

Goodbye Bandita is in! 2 hours before the deadline, but we did do a tiny revision and resubmit at 11:45 after listening on an iPod with no speakers. Ours is about "How To Get Away With Murder", and it will be perfect on our EP which we want to call "Juice" because somehow all our songs so far have somehow kind of related to OJ Simpson. Haha!! No but seriously we actually worked really hard on this one and are pretty proud. Last time I literally had an hour to mix it and it showed, we rightly got dinged for production errors and pitchiness. This time we had 24 hours in total (though I spent 7 of them asleep) to mix.
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round One "The Handbook"

Post by crumpart »

Further liner notes for my shadow entry:

I decided to throw away the handbook for how I usually write a song, and instead wrote my lyrics before anything else, came up with a melody and then wrote the chord progression and structure to that. And that is the story of the first time I ever wrote a song that uses a diminished chord!

I’m giving myself extra points for landing the word “middle” right in the centre of the song.

Toshiro thinks my vocals are too loud. He’s probably right, but then again, I can’t hear his song at all.
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round One "The Handbook"

Post by vowlvom »

I've made a zip file again, for those who want to download everything and have it appear under a single album with artwork etc.

Nur Ein Round 1

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Re: Nur Ein XV Round One "The Handbook"

Post by Generic »

Here are some "liner notes" on my song.

I wanted to avoid what I felt was the "obvious" approach to this challenge: A handbook is a thing that could be expected to have instructions in it, so the "step by step" portion of the lyrics could easily be presented as what one would find inside the titular handbook.

My song is about living with a mental disorder, such as generalized anxiety, OCD, ADHD, or Autism-spectrum. There's a somewhat common description of Autism: "As a child I'd felt as though everyone but me had been given a manual on how to behave around other people." So, in my approach, "The Handbook" refers to a proverbial guide for how to be a person in the world, and the instructions are for compensating for "missing the day / They gave The Handbook Out." The chorus sections all instruct you to perform a task without using a tool that the task normally requires: Row a boat with no oars, chart a course without a compass, dig a tunnel without a shovel. These lines signify the feeling that normal tasks are harder for you than for the people around you, because they were given the appropriate tools and you weren't. The step by step instructions are how to go about living socially — or pretending to. They're presented through a conceit of field orders to an infiltrating force. It's also a pep talk: Do all these things and you'll eventually overcome the fact that you didn't get The Handbook that everyone else seems to have.

This time around, there's no particular significance to the melody, strumming patterns, or plagal cadence, other than my making choices that I thought sounded good. As I’ve continued to stretch myself on the guitar, I wanted to avoid open chords and also to try different voicings, which I think I've accomplished. I tried to include non-obvious chords (even though I'm not using the piano at all, an Eb still found its way in there somehow!), and non-obvious articulations of the chords I chose (the chorus in particular has three different inversions of the F-major chord). Unlike last week, there's no lead guitar, as I felt the arrangement didn't have room for it.
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round One "The Handbook"

Post by WreckdoMelle »

Well I'm not actually sure my shadow entry will meet the challenge to the judges' approval, but no danger of elimination :) . I thought it would be interesting to do a handbook on how to create a monster like Dr. Frankenstein did, but from the monster's viewpoint. The monster is a little cynical at this point due to all they've been through, so it's not quite a literal monster recipe, though they hint that they have the recipe right here in this handbook which may or may not be an actual book, it might be rhetorical -"I got your handbook right here..." The monster includes a step that Dr. Frankenstein himself omitted. Admittedly, it has been over 10 years since I read the book so I'm riffing off the top of my head. Hope y'all enjoy.
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round One "The Handbook"

Post by Niveous »

Figured I would touch a little more on the Goodbye Bandita song. The idea of the song is a handbook on how to commit a murder. The song details the mental steps the killer must do to prepare, followed by the grooming of the victim. Then there is the act itself which isn't described in the song but it's definitely there in the mix. Then it ends with the final steps. It's not a perfect crime but it's crime done with conviction.

And remember the golden rule of the whole thing- don't tell anyone.
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round One "The Handbook"

Post by vowlvom »

Now that reinstatements have been announced, here's another review template for anyone who similarly hates the idea of typing out 29 band names, as automatically generated by my fancy spreadsheet.

Code: Select all

[b]8th Grade Team[/b] - 

[b]Balance Lost[/b] - 

[b]Berkeley Social Scene[/b] - 

[b]Cavedwellers[/b] - 

[b]Frankie Big Face[/b] - 

[b]Glow Worm[/b] - 

[b]Goodbye Bandita[/b] - 

[b]Grumpy Mike[/b] - 

[b]Inflatable Vegetables[/b] - 

[b]Jon Eric[/b] - 

[b]Jules Iolyn[/b] - 

[b]The Lowest Bitter[/b] - 

[b]Lucky Spoon[/b] - 

[b]Mandibles[/b] - 

[b]Max Bombast[/b] - 

[b]Micah Sommersmith[/b] - 

[b]Moss Palace[/b] - 

[b]Nick Soma[/b] - 

[b]Nuke Skyblaster Reporting For DUTY!![/b] - 

[b]Pigfarmer Jr.[/b] - 

[b]rain[/b] - 

[b]Rob from Amersfoort[/b] - 

[b]see-man-ski[/b] - 

[b]The Serviettes[/b] - 

[b]Third Cat[/b] - 

Shadows:

[b]Brown Word and the Big Whine[/b] - 

[b]Hot Pink Halo[/b] - 

[b]Lichen Throat[/b] - 

[b]Vom Vorton[/b] - 
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round One "The Handbook"

Post by Niveous »

Moving this question here for the judges:
furrypedro wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 8:12 am
Good to see TC and see-man-ski coming back into the fold.

I'm curious to know how the voting mechanic works for re-entry. Are there scores allocated to all shadow entries like the normal Nur Ein scoring method, or will the process remain shrouded in mystery?
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round One "The Handbook"

Post by vowlvom »

I believe we shall remain shrouded in mystery.
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round One "The Handbook"

Post by grumpymike »

I'm curious how the website works.
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round One "The Handbook"

Post by ariskofrain »

getting my comments in early. what a ROUND though. really good, right the way through. again, not something to say about everything here, but standouts for me are:

frankie big face - big fuzzy bass! big fuzzy vocals! I love the falsetto "ooooo", and I like how everything sounds wide and full. really really good. did I want another chorus again after the instrumental at the end? I did.

glow worm - this sounds so crystal sharp. the chorus is so good, the bloopy bass, the little pre-call and response in the prechorus. this is absolutely my subjective whims, but I just wanted the last chorus to go for another round, with some big wide synths, everything in, big falsetto-y adlib vocals, I was craving it so badly. but, restraint is cool too, I'm just a sucker for when songs Go There, yaknow. also: you cannot just keep teasing that incredible full upper range. it's so so so good.

grumpy mike - did we end up with similar vibes? i feel like we ended up with similar vibes, even lyrically, which I think is pretty neat. little drum drop out in verse 2? mwah! the harmony in the chorus is great, and exactly what I wanted to hear.

the lowest bitter - last year's nur ein, I did feel a lil lonely making all my songs about being queer and trans, so thank you for writing this one, it is relatable. I really like it, the step 3 & 4 verses are great, I love the strange little guitar line underneath.

lucky spoon - thank god someone else has come along with me to emo-ville, that palm muted guitar verse made me smile, and the variation on the back half of verse 2 is really great. and the delivery on "handbook of our lives" makes me believe this song would have had that lyric without the challenge. round of applause.

moss palace - this vibe is so good. the vocal delay on those single words is a decision that brings me so much joy, and the last chorus is so satisfying, with the little "stay the night" weaved in there. so confident.

nuke skyblaster - i want to emphasise the sheer level at which i didn't want to enjoy this. however, it was overcome. big neil cicieregan vibes.

vom vorton - the hook is actually, like, criminally good. and the non-guitar-solo-solo is great. what a great atmosphere this little track has! aw!
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round One "The Handbook"

Post by frankie big face »

ariskofrain wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 9:58 am
frankie big face - big fuzzy bass! big fuzzy vocals! I love the falsetto "ooooo", and I like how everything sounds wide and full. really really good. did I want another chorus again after the instrumental at the end? I did.
Hey thanks! I knew my ending would be controversial but I decided to err on the side of leave them wanting more. But your positive vibes are making me feel even better about song I liked pretty much already. After last week, I needed that. :)
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round One "The Handbook"

Post by glennny »

Dear Judges,
Last night I posted lyrics that were in our shared google doc, I didn't realize at the time they weren't quite up to date.
The lyrics for the Cavedwellers are now accurate. Thanks.
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round One "The Handbook"

Post by noma »

Some liner notes on my song:

This time I wrote the lyric immediately on the day the challenge was posted, like I would write a poem, before I had any music, which is rare for me. The lyric is held in anapaestic tetrameter (da-da-DA times four), most commonly used in comic or absurd poems such as by Lewis Carroll and especially in limericks. This means I had to compose in a 6/8 time signature to fit the lyrical meter, also rare for me. Regarding the content of the lyric, it's entirely from the perspective of the Handbook itself, which is basically an amateur magician's guide in my song; only the music in the bridge implies that the seven step instruction was actually followed and the spirit is being summoned at this point in the song. Only afterwards a short caveat is noted on the possibility of the spirit taking possession of the person who summoned it; the fate of the person summoning this one specific spirit in the song is left ambiguous, but the Handbook happily presents itself as a helping hand to the spirit anyway.

On the music, I started out with recording a quick demo on acoustic guitar, just strumming, so I'd remember how the melody and chord structure went. When I played it the next time I started picking the guitar instead with lots of pull-offs, and I transferred this to electric and recorded it over a drum machine beat and ominous filtered synth, which were not meant to be there permanently but I liked it enough to keep it.
Then I added a second guitar and suddenly it sounded like a smooth minor key blues, Gary Moore or something like that. With the other synths and bass added, it started sounding more psychedelic. Though originally I had planned to give it a medieval sound to fit the lyrical content, but I quickly did away with that.
The chord progressions still hint at the early idea though; the Dorian scale which was a favorite in the Middle Ages is implied by the chords (not the ambiguous vocal melody which has neither the critical F# note nor the F note of A minor); and the second part of the verse progression shifts to the harmonic minor with the E chord and G# note in the vocal melody. The chorus is in C major and at first following Pachelbel's canon progression, but then leading back to Dorian via the harmonic minor. Also, the whole bridge is in harmonic minor (plus Bm7b5 chord!) to give it a mysterious and vaguely uneasy vibe.

Speaking of the bridge, I would have loved to have a musical saw or theremin playing the main melody representing the spirit, but as I play neither (I do own a small theremin without the volume control, but I suck at it and use it mainly as a gimmick) the spooky lead synth will have to suffice.

Wow, that was long. Hope you guys like my song!
And good luck to all the other competitors! :)

Edit: whoops, and I forgot to mention the intro and outro vocal - this is Cookie Blue and me; we both recorded multiple voices, me mostly in falsetto, and the main voice is a combination of Cookie's voice and my normal voice filtered through pitch/formant shifter to sound like a child. Plus it has tons of effects, obviously. Hope it sounds convincingly like a creepy little girl.
Last edited by noma on Mon May 18, 2020 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nur Ein XV Round One "The Handbook"

Post by Caravan Ray »

Liner notes for my song this week:

Deep purple colour. Aromas of rich dark currants, nectarine skins, gushing blackberry, but lots of fragrant tobacco, rich soil, smashed minerals and metal. Big-bodied and saucy but racy acidity stabilises the beat nicely with the robust tannins. Laden with mocha, loamy soil, charred herbs, pencil shavings, roasted hazelnut. Dense like characters that make it perfect for cellaring, however it is danceable straight away.
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