Posts Tagged ‘casio’

Song 21: “untitled 3”

by on Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

Here is Song #21 – You can stream it by clicking the little PLAY button, or download it by right-clicking the title:

CJ Bargamian - 21 untitled 3

21 ShakersThis was another case of me having a bit too much fun with my old Casio keyboard – I played some chords and a little melody on top…and that was it. Once I had a basic rhythm track recorded, I played the melody over it with the Casio, and then banged on some drums to fatten it up. Ultimately however, I opted to leave the drums out of the mix (it was a bit too much!) and just used shakers instead.

I finished it up with a little toy piano interlude in the middle, and a vocal track that just popped out!

Instruments used:
Casio keyboard (80’s thing)
Toy Piano


Song 14: “Boredom Sets In”

by on Saturday, August 15th, 2009

Here is Song #14 – You can stream it by clicking the little PLAY button, or download it by right-clicking the title:

CJ Bargamian - 14 Boredom Sets In

14 CasioThere’s not nearly as much to say about the process of writing this song as there has been about the others – it really took about 5 minutes of screwing around with my 80’s Casio keyboard’s arpeggio feature for this one to pop out. Basically, I just played a few chords and the Casio did the rest! The only funky thing is that the output jack of the Casio has long since stopped working – so I had to put it in front of a microphone to record it.

I then layered some ukulele picking on top, and then some shakers, and then finished it off with a pretty simple vocal part.

Honestly, this song was totally just a fun excuse to do music more like I used to back in the late 90’s. I think I’m going to use that as inspiration to get nostalgic with the next couple of songs; maybe I’ll try to revisit some more of my previous styles of songwriting….

Instruments used:
Casio keyboard
Baritone ukulele
Shakers & sticks

Boredom is setting in
And I can hardly stay awake
Fools are here to entertain me
But time crawls…you might have to detain me
I thought this was supposed to be the place to be
But I can’t find my way out fast enough
Blank stares come back at me
Empty smiles and laughter

Song 11: “Instrumental, w/Dog”

by on Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

Here is Song #11 – You can stream it by clicking the little PLAY button, or download it by right-clicking the title:

CJ Bargamian - 11 Instrumental, w/Dog

11 ThereminThis song started out with a simple little ukulele part, and morphed into something I could imagine hearing in the background of an American commercial for a French product. You know – kinda a faux Parisian sound; my friend Jeffrey Butzer would laugh at me for this song. Anyway, I recorded a simple A-B-A-B repetition of the uke parts first, and then overdubbed some shakers. Next, I decided to bring back the ol’ coffee thermos from Song #2; I just did some simple percussion with it as well.

Once the foundation was done, I still did not have any vocal ideas at all. So, I opted to make this one an instrumental cut; I grabbed my 1980’s Casio keyboard, selected the crappy “Electric Piano” sound, hit the record button, and just noodled around. The result is a nice, but uneven, keyboard lead – I was happy enough with it, so I kept it.

Here’s where it got interesting. About a year ago, I ordered a toy Theremin kit from Japan – the instructions were in Japanese and I kinda just had to wing it as I assembled the thing. I first heard of this Theremin kit from this hilarious video:, and I just HAD to hunt one down afterward, with the intent of using it for the same purpose as in the video. Once I had it assembled, I learned pretty quickly that it would be useless to me as either an instrument OR a cat toy, mainly because (as you’ll see below) my dog goes absolutely bananas anytime I even go near the thing.

So, for this song I opted to lock my dog out of the room, set up a mic, and play the Theremin knowing full well that my dog’s barking outside would surely be picked up in the recording. Just as I expected, that was indeed the case. But, Stella has been harassing me to let her do some guest vocals on one of my songs, so I figured this was as good a time as any to appease her. So yes – that is indeed my yapping dog in the background of the song.

Here is a video of her freaking out over the thing, right after I had finished the song:

Instruments used:
Baritone ukulele
Coffee thermos
Casio keyboard
Toy theremin


Song 04: “Turn to Stone”

by on Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

Here is Song #4 – You can stream it by clicking the little PLAY button, or download it by right-clicking the title:

CJ Bargamian - 04 Turn to Stone

04 Casio adThis song originated with a simple 3-note melody on my Casio keyboard – I honestly had no real direction…I just wanted to play the Casio. I didn’t want to over complicate the song by adding another part, and I wanted it to be reminiscent of older Magnetic Fields stuff…so I just made it a little over a minute long. Once the Casio track was recorded, I played a simple little Melodica melody over it – but it sounded like shit so I left it out of the final mix. Next was a simple little strummed ukulele part, and then I topped it off with some shakers.

During the course of recording the other parts, a vocal melody had emerged, but I had no theme for the lyrics. So, I flipped through my notebook looking for random lines that might inspire me; I like to scribble down random sentences or phrases that come to mind and then use them later. I found a little scribble that said “I will turn to stone, and you will turn to gold – until we both decay.” I thought I could make a song out of that, so I just went with it.

Once the vocals were done, I doused the mix in swirly echoes, and it was done! Also of note – my dog and cat would not leave me alone while I worked on this song, so I put my camera in their faces and made the music video below.

Instruments used:
Baritone ukulele (1950’s, no name)
Casio keyboard (CasioTone from the ’80s)
Shakers (those little egg-shaped things)

Snow turns from white to blood red
And in the field or ice and rain lay more
Of those who stayed, and I can’t be like them
And if I stay, I will test your faith
With trials and hoops to leap through
I will turn to stone and you will turn to gold until we decay
What a mistake it was to leave here, I was at home
What a mistake it was to go
Born to leave, but doomed to stay