This track was made for KVR Audio’s One Synth Challenge #21 (October 2010 edition). I thought I’d get in early. This little known Synth sounds great but gave me a LOT of trouble. Majken’s Chimera VST. It had a uniquely maritime feel that I’d never heard before so I thought I’d do a sea shanty ambient piece.
Update for Jason and friends
You can visit Jason’s site at Music Software Training.
It’s not really a sea shanty. My father died 3 years before I did this and his old wooden boat (that he bequeathed to me and the family) was slowly sinking into the river.
I started with a simple midi loop. I can usually only comfortably get to 4 bars without sounding repetitive, so this is pretty rudimentary. Once i got the four bars going, I simply tried each and every preset of Majken’s synth to get the rest of the music. It’s probably in C, but I really don’t know. [12/04/16 Actually in the comments, Amanda has identified the song as the Beach Boys’ Sloop John B]
The synth has such a mournful tone, that as I was building the track, I couldn’t help thinking about my father – lost out at sea.Dad used to sing a song that I’ve never been able to remember (or find on the net) “All Aboard the John Dee” about a boat lost at sea with “Grandfather and me” and when I was 4, it would make me sad and cry.
I was very close to my maternal grandfather. He used to take me across the Mersey (I’m from Liverpool) every Saturday morning to New Brighton. There there was a fair with many roundabouts. I loved playing the old WW2 submarine game, where you had to time your missile fire. Grandad had to lift me to view the game and play properly.
The loss of my Grandfather (who we left back in Liverpool) and my Father all came rushing back to me with this piece. There’s the foreboding of death, whines from tall masts, a ship’s foghorn. This all reminded me of growing up in the port of Liverpool. But Electronic Sea Shanty reminds me of a place I’ve never been to. maybe it’s a small boat with surviving soldiers floating through a ruined sea battlefield. Boats burning quietly all around.
It looks like Madjken has revised his (Synthedit produced) synth so that it plays nice in Live.
Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts and how I make make this a better tune. I’d love to revisit this tune again and make it really emotional – not just “accidentally” emotional.