almost a diary, music, music industry, songwriting

B612 Songwriter Meeting

B612 Song Convention It’s been an awful long time since the last entry in this blog. But that is, fortunately, much rather a consquence of being too busy than of a lack of activity – and, just as a reminder – you can always listen to some of the songs I’ve written this year on my profile page on songramp.com. You can also always send me an email to this address: ts_infolists@web.de. And, well, yes, I will also offer them on myspace soon, as a myspace account seems to be as important for musicians as an email address for the rest of the world.

How do I know? Well, contrary to my usually rather secluded way of writing, this week, I went to Berlin to participate in a songwriter meeting with a number of songwriters from different countries with very different backgrounds. Some of them were experienced songwriting professionals, others, like myself, were not. The meeting was part of a very impressive and informative event called Song Convention that was organised by B612, an innovative Berlin-based management and publishing company run by some very friendly people who are visibly in love with what they do (they’re using javascript for the links, so there is no direct link to the Song Convention page – just open their page and click on ‚publishing‘, then ‚events‘).

And that showed. I might write something more detailed about my impressions of and the experience I gained at the Song Convention later – with a little more distance and time to write – but for the moment, let me conclude by saying that I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to work with some stunningly talented people as well the creative adventure that was starting to write a supposed hit song at noon and present it pre-produced at 6 pm. And I was really happy with the results, which, of course, yet unfortunately, I cannot present here.

And now I’m off to enjoy some of the acoustic benefits of being in Berlin during the PopKomm trade fair.

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songwriting

quarterLife

It’s done. Well, it’s a little done. Just before Christmas 2005 I’d finally compiled 20 of my more recent songs on a single CD. As a nice, hand made christmas present, and, of course, for future presentation purposes. I called the album „quarterLife“, because I think that’s what it’s about. Some of the songs are truly personal, others less so, some not at all. Still, in combination, I do believe they represent a lot of what I’ve been about, and to some extent what I am still about, in that quarterLife period of my late 20s.

Those songs on the album which I haven’t posted yet on songramp.com will go online there in the next couple of days. So feel free to check my site there as often as you like.

My songramp.com page

Update (2014): My soundcloud page – https://soundcloud.com/tobischwarz

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songwriting

We didn’t start the rhyming.

Maybe someone should tell the Guardian’s higher education columnist David Cohen that claiming to not know Billy Joel doesn’t make anyone look younger – just a little ignorant. Ignorant though he may be about pop-classics, Mr Cohen writes about a very entertaining website called ‚philosophy songs‘ featuring a number of philosophically inspired re-lyricised cover versions of well known songs. The site was apparently created by Alan White, a professor of philosophy at the University of Wisconsin Colleges.
Here’s the lyrics of his re-working of Billy Joel’s 1989 hit „We didn’t start the fire“ – mp3s of his loose singing to what are apparently general-midi files of the song are available.

Billy Joel’s song listing major events of the second part of the 20th century seems to be helpful for school teachers when explaining recent history. I wonder if Mr White’s quick run through the history of philosophy could also be found useful in elementary philosophy courses…

We Didn’t Start Inquiry
(Sung–loosely–to Billy Joel’s „We Didn’t Start the Fire“)

„All is water“, „All is air“,

„There are numbers everywhere“,

apeiron and logos, Eleatic thought-block–

Sophistry, Socrates, Plato’s reminiscences,

Aristotle’s physics (apriori / ad hoc). . .

Hellenistic Hippo-crat–Ages Darken after that–

Abelard, Maimonides, Proslogion proof,

Avicenna, Guanilon, Occam strops his razor on,

Galileo drops the ball–inertia’s set loose–

(chorus)

We didn’t start inquiry,

But with ideas churning we can kindle learning–

We didn’t start inquiry,

But with questions going we can foster knowing!

Descartes doubting everything, Leibniz’s monads mirroring,

Locke, Spinoza, Newton, Machiavellian prince,

Reid maintains the will is free (Hobbesians compatibly)

qualia’s primarily the Berkeleyan sense. . .

Hume causes Kant to wake, Kierkegaard gets into faith,

Wollstonecraft, Kapital, the Origin’s proofed,

Nietzsche outwits superman, Mill’s utilitarian,

Peircean pragmaticism works up new truth–

(chorus)

Russell’s denotation scheme, Godel crushes Frege’s dream,

Popper, Whitehead, Dewey, James, Santayana, Royce–

Novel time of Einstein, tables turned by Wittgenstein,

undetermined quantum cats that die by choice. . .

Carnap, Tarski, Reichenbach, ordinary language acts,

Ayer, Strawson, on „Two Dogmas“–gems true grue–

Anscombe, Kripke, Frankena, Dummett, Putnam, Plantinga,

Barcan Marcus, Rorty, Lewis–even me and you!

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Britney at Songramp

A couple of days ago, I discovered a web community of singers and songwriters who comment on each others pieces. So I became a member and put some of the songs you can hear on tapsmusic online there as well. Including one that you cannot listen to here: Britney – a quick song demo about a dream I had last week.

So if you’re interested in finding out what other people think of my song demos, you can check out my page at songramp.com

Update (2014): While the profile page still works, „Britney“ is no longer available via Songramp.com, but you can listen to it right here!

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songs, songwriting

My Wicked Ways, Pt. 2

My Wicked Ways is actually one of the first songs I’ve ever written – back in 1993. Back then I did not write lyrics for the song, so I added those last year when I listened to some of my „earlier“ stuff. That’s the reason for the „Pt. 2“ in the title.

My Wicked Ways is actually not too wicked a song. It’s a light ballad and you can get the VST based demo as mp3 (128kbit, enclosed). Words, music and vocals by Tobias Schwarz, 1993-2005.

Musikvideo: Adobe Flash Player (Version 9 oder höher) wird benötigt um dieses Musikvideo abzuspielen. Die aktuellste Version steht hier zum herunterladen bereit. Außerdem muss JavaScript in Ihrem Browser aktiviert sein.

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songs, songwriting

Dr Deaver (2004)

Dr Deaver is a song with less autobiographic lyrics than some may think.

Actually, I think it was a friend who suggested writing a song about a chapter headline he had read in a British sex education booklet for teenagers. The headline was: „Am I wrong to be turned on by porn?“

While not printed under Queen Victoria, the booklet wasn’t in line with recent progressive trends in sexual education and so the chapter about pornography was – while somehow understanding from a medical perspective – not too enthusiastic about such material’s potential for genital arousal. It was extremely funny to read and so I did indeed decide to write a song about „a guy’s lifelong relationship with certain visual stimuli.“

Dr Deaver wasn’t the author of the booklet chapter, but the name somehow appeared in my mind while I was sitting at the piano. So here he is, with an answer for everything you always wanted to know about porn but never dared to ask. Enjoy – but not too much…

You can get the VST based demo as mp3 (128kbit, enclosed). Words, music and vocals by Tobias Schwarz, 2004-2005.

I wonder how long it will take for google to send people here because of the frequent use of „porn“ in this entry… oh wait, I did not use „free“… (oops, now I did).

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songs, songwriting

New Year’s Resolution (you’re ugly inside) (2003)

New Year’s Resolution is another song that I wrote a while ago and now decided to put online – beware, there are a couple more of them. I wrote the first version in early 2003 and now arranged it with more electric guitars and a „twist of Keane“-piano in the background. I think it makes an interesting combination and that the sound – while obviously only a demo – supports the rather dark lyrics well. As usual, you can get the VST based, home-produced demo as mp3 (128kbit, enclosed). Words, music and vocals by Tobias Schwarz, 2003-2005.

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songs, songwriting

Fool Cruel Gone One (fcgo)

FCGO is an older song. I wrote it in the Summer of 2002 and occasionally revisited it thereafter, mostly because I wasn’t too happy with the lyrics. I started with four random words and two rhymes – Fool Cruel, Gone One. So that was a bit of an experiment… Now I quite like them, so you can decide for yourselves. FCGO is currently arranged with more audible electric guitars than most other songs I published here and so the song has a nice drive. Feel free to listen to the VST based demo as mp3 (128kbit, enclosed). Words, music and vocals by Tobias Schwarz, © 2002-2005.

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songwriting

Comments & Spam.

Since the entries in my music blog are supposed to remain on the main page, they are particularly vulnerable to comment spam. So, lacking a better alternative at the moment, I have decided to close all comment threads except the one for the most recently published song. So whatever you might have to say, please use that thread. Thanks.

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