So, fans of the Carolan Guitar, did you ever wonder about the finished products?
As you all know (of course), one of last year's projects was test driving the Carolan Guitar - I caught it for a week or so, before it travelled to the US, and then on its way to France. These intensive days produced a bunch of recordings, videos and even prompted the resurrection of this blog!
As you may remember, I also started off writing two songs on that curiously carved semi-acoustic guitar. The first was an unfinished instrumental which ended up with the title Judith. I posted the primary results in the hope that someone would pick it up and finish it. Nobody ever did, so I simply reclaimed it.
To hear the original demo, played, in part, on the Carolan Guitar, go here.
I added more and more overdubs, removed some of the tracks (so much, that in the end *none* of the original ones were used!), added some vocals, wend mad on the drums, and knitted a giant guitar riff together. A very convoluted process, that, surprisingly, ended up sounding very loose and live (played to a virtual audience only). I was basically making up this song on tape.
Have a listen:
Sometime later, when I had a Boss drum-machine running, while fooling around on the piano, I returned to that same song. I stumbled upon a piano-based arrangement, focusing on a left hand bass-riff. Then I added several layers of of trumpets and brass (on synth), bass and electric guitar, more drums and vocals. The results were quite poppy and commercial:
How different from the previous, gritty guitar version!
But these songs were just playing around. The real Carolan Guitar song, written deliberately on that instrument was Shut This Door - a deeply sad lament that goes one or two steps too far. In the finished version (played on my regular Cimar acoustic guitar, I'm afraid), I share vocals with Claire. Chambo plays a Nick Drake-like guitar intermezzo (that pushes the song's protagonist over the edge):
And that's a nice little CD single for the twenty-first century.