<![CDATA[Roy sunstrum (Music) - Blog]]>Wed, 13 Dec 2017 03:12:19 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[S.A.C. Challenge week 6]]>Tue, 01 Apr 2014 04:00:14 GMThttp://roysunstrum.ca/1/post/2014/03/sac-challenge-week-6.htmlSeeing this challenge come to a close is certainly bittersweet.  I have made many new connections, heard some great music, and pumped out 6 songs in 6 weeks.  

This week I co-wrote with Pennie Addison…a real pleasure.  Pennie started on the lyrics and together at her cottage (midway between Toronto where she is and Ottawa where I am) we edited lyrics.  On the way to her cottage I sang a chorus melody into by phone which pretty much stuck, and we created the melody for verses and bridge together.  There were thoughts of having one of Pennie's daughters do lead vocal but technology let us down.  Not an issue, as we parted Friday afternoon with a completed track.  It's a heart wrenching song dealing with mental illness in youth but with a happy and appreciative ending.

Here it is…  http://soundcloud.com/roy-sunstrum/with-pennie-addison-my-friend

Reflecting on the whole challenge, I am humbled by some of the talent around me.  Thanks to those that commented and gave feedback.  There are several of you that I will absolutely keep in touch with.  For me the biggest challenge was that it was a very busy 6 weeks, even without music, so I found myself moving on to the next challenge without refining the previous enough to be really satisfying.  If I were to do the 6 over (and I may) I have quite a few ideas of things I'd do differently….lyrically, musically, structurally.  

Keep in touch!

Roy]]>
<![CDATA[S.A.C. Challenge week 5]]>Tue, 25 Mar 2014 03:51:17 GMThttp://roysunstrum.ca/1/post/2014/03/sac-challenge-week-5.htmlTrusting the Subconscious

Out of one of my 10 minutes 'stream of consciousness' sessions I captured a comment about how awesome it is that our kids have become our friends.  At 27, 24, 20, and 14 they're quite a pleasure and even though ours didn't give us much grief at all, I reflected on the challenges of parenting and how being able to sit around with your young adults and treat them as friends is pretty cool.  That's what I've shared.  Recording is a little 'raw' I'm afraid.  :)

Here is the song  http://soundcloud.com/roy-sunstrum/when-our-kids-become-our and here are the lyrics.

When Our Kids Become our Friends

Little boys they pull our strings and rock our very sanity
Why can't we harness just a fraction of that energy…Boy oh boy!
They grow to be the party crowd mom lays awake at night and thinks
Of toys and trains baseball bats manhood 'round the bend…Boy oh boy!

In life we all have many hills to climb
So proud of who we've brought about in time
With bumps and scrapes at recess
Years and years of progress
Our work is paying off
When our kids become our friends

Little girls they dress up sweet paint their nails and laugh out loud
They grow to see there's more to life than mirrors in the hall…Oh my girl!
Young ladies don't obey all the rules Dad builds a shield around his little girl
Protect her lord when we let go her wings will spread to soar…Oh my girl!

In life we all have many hills to climb
So proud of who we've brought about in time
With bumps and scrapes at recess
Years and years of progress
Our work is paying off
When our kids become our friends

Young adults now they make us proud
We see them rise up to the test
Pass me a beer and don't spill your champagne

In life we all have many hills to climb
So proud of who we've brought about in time
With bumps and scrapes at recess
Years and years of progress
Our work is paying off
When our kids become our friends


You know it's paying off
When our kid become our friends]]>
<![CDATA[S.A.C. Challenge week 4]]>Wed, 19 Mar 2014 03:46:24 GMThttp://roysunstrum.ca/1/post/2014/03/sac-challenge-week-4.htmlRock the Cliche

Here are 10 cliches that I thought of this week that I found interesting
- Tie the knot
- Over the hill
- Pedal to the metal
- Throw in the towel
- Wake up call
- Home run
- Alone in love
- Can of worms
- Keep your stick on the ice
- Reinvent the wheel

I decided to develop 'Over the Hill' as my song of the week.  It's one of my favourites so far, partly because of the theme.  I'm 53 and decided about 6 months ago to take charge of my fitness, after reading 'Younger Next Year' for a 2nd time.  Now I'm working with a personal trainer, eating very differently and am down about 25 pounds.  So…I'm not planning to go 'over the hill' in a bad way.  I truly intend to be more fit (or 'younger') to enjoy life for a long time to come.  That's the message of his song.    The verses are spoken for a twist.  I'd love feedback on this one.

Here is the song    http://soundcloud.com/roy-sunstrum/over-the-hill

And the lyrics……

Over the Hill

(spoken verse) 
All through the years and forward in time
Childhood laughter turns to complicated teens
Times were good it seemed the higher we climbed
We found ways to chase and catch our dreams

Over that hill there's clouds of white
Whether it's snow…grandkids all bundled tight
Or the  robes of heaven's angels
Please let it be our hair in one more portrait dear

(spoken verse)
Few can say they've had a life as grand as mine
Younger next year is now my biggest plan
To keep on loving you my friends and family
And to push for more than any have the right to see

Over that hill there's clouds of white
Whether it's snow…grandkids all bundled tight
Or the  robes of heaven's angels
Please let it be our hair in one more portrait dear

I'm not ready to give it all up
I'm ready to fight 
I'm not going to fade to a memory

Over that hill there's clouds of white
Whether it's snow…grandkids all bundled tight
Or the  robes of heaven's angels
Please let it be our hair in one more portrait dear

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<![CDATA[s.A.C. Challenge week 3]]>Sun, 09 Mar 2014 23:11:39 GMThttp://roysunstrum.ca/1/post/2014/03/sac-challenge-week-3.htmlBreaking out of Ruts

An interesting one.  When I released my album mid 2013 I worked hard to break out of a few clear ruts.  Previously all songs had been verse / chorus / verse / chorus, and almost all about girls or women in some manner.  If my efforts last year pulled my tires slightly out of the ruts, this week's assignment blew the tires of the truck!

First here is the song, Hum of Life…  

https://soundcloud.com/roy-sunstrum/hum-of-life

So what was different about this for me?
  • Structurally it's really unusual for me.  It's foundation is 3 verses, each with an identical last tag line, much like Dylan's 50 year old classic Blowin in the Wind.  
  • The first musical verse is pure instrumental until you get to that tag line.  Unusual.
  • I was really mobile as I worked this.  The concept came in a restaurant in Vegas with two co-workers Bill & Yvonne as Bill commented on the overall 'hum' in the place.  The music was written and recorded partly in the Vegas airport and partly on a red eye flight.  How many have used a US Air jet as a recording studio.  GarageBand for iPad sets me free!  Lyrics were written this afternoon on a Florida beach and vocal recorded in my hotel room.
  • The order was different for me.  Normally I write lyrics first or do them together a couple of phrases at a time.  This time, the musical recording was done with very few completed lyrics.  They followed.  
  • My early songwriting had virtually no rhyme structures (strange?).  As I've started rhyming more I almost always rhyme the ending of neighbouring lines….A A B B.  This time I rhymed alternating lines A B A B.

Here are the lyrics…..

HUM OF LIFE, March 2014

That hum of life, those treasured sounds of mine

Waves on the shore lapping over the rocks and the reef
Wind in the trees and the birds singing sweetly up high
These quiet sounds are sometimes all I need
Whispers contentment that money just can't buy
That hum of life, those treasured sounds of mine

Friends at a party clinking their glasses of cheer
Kids running round sending peace a note of goodbye
These sounds of love are sometimes all I need
The bonds of our own special ones till the day that we die
That hum of life, those treasured sounds of mine

Strangers beside me sharing their hopes and their fears
Crowds on a sporting day with 1 minute left in a tie
These sounds of the masses remind me of so many here
Welcome the noises of people all sharing one sky
That hum of life, those treasured sounds of mine



Hope you are enjoying this,
Roy



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<![CDATA[S.A.C. Challenge Week 2]]>Sun, 02 Mar 2014 04:49:37 GMThttp://roysunstrum.ca/1/post/2014/03/sac-challenge-week-2.htmlWeek Two of the Songwriters Challenge - Antennae

I'm part way through a very hectic few weeks....hoping to shine in the final couple of weeks.  The more I listen to last week's song, I'm really not pleased with the production...I'm new at Garageband, but because I'll be recording the coming 2 weeks from hotel rooms, I've stuck with it. 

Like most, I truly welcome feedback on this song.  I do like it better than week #1.

Some of the places where I put my antennae up this week:

Waiting at a grocery store pharmacy - Bits of impatience, people overworked (I think someone called in sick), but what stuck out for me was a mother and daughter just in out of the cold.  They were so bundled up.  Then it occurred to me that bundle is an interesting word.  Grouping...wrapping...  Not ready to work that song through but maybe for the future!

Minor hockey arena lobby - I was speaking with a cousin about an aunt who had passed away a few days earlier.  Realizing I hadn't seen her in years it started to come to me how time gets away from us...thinking about it later the phrase 'Falling through the cracks of time' became the theme of this week's song.

Investment pitch - One of the companies I work with hosted an investor pitch.  In the social time ahead of the presentation, some old friends greeted each other.  One friend with a shaved head and a crazy assed beard made me thing of the strange things people do with hair.  That's as far as that got. 

Two other scenes....a few minutes around the microwave at work and a Starbucks lineup bore no fruit.  :)

I hope you like this....    https://soundcloud.com/roy-sunstrum/falling-through-the-cracks-of

Falling Through the Cracks of Time

Dreams dreams evasive schemes, destinations so extreme
We lay awake with visions clear, but leave it all for a future year
She slowly formed a master plan, but she sat idle like an old blind man
Action couldn't take its grip, turning slower than a big cruise ship

Time waits for no-one, tomorrow might never come...ohhh...might not come
Good intentions languishing, falling through the cracks of time...ohhh...what a crime


We climb aboard our life's express, without a scheme I must confess
Time it speeds out of control, spinning 'round like a barber pole
So to the bar to raise a glass, to all my friends of the drinking class
We might waste a day or two, no better time to say to you

Time waits for no-one, tomorrow might never come...ohhh...might not come
Good intentions languishing, falling through the cracks of time...ohhh...what a crime


Those cracks of time







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<![CDATA[SAC Songwriters challenge]]>Sat, 22 Feb 2014 19:32:36 GMThttp://roysunstrum.ca/1/post/2014/02/sac-songwriters-challenge.htmlChallenge Week 1 - Starters

Titles that Grab Me
- Funny How Time Slips Away (Willie Nelson)
- No Rest for the Wicked (Colin Linden)
- Time to Get a Gun (Fred Eaglesmith)
- Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner (Warren Zevon & David Lindell)

First Lines that Grab Me
- I wish I was in Austin drinking mad dog margaritas and not caring where you are (Dublin Blues)
- Well you're dirty sweet clad in black don't look back and I love you (Bang a Gong)
- You walked in to the party like you were walking on to a yacht (You're so Vain)

Themes
- Loneliness and hurt e.g Dresser Drawer (Amos Lee)
- Good old days / history e.g. Detroit '67 (Sam Roberts & Sam Lewis)
- Love e.g. Angel Eyes (John Hiatt & Fred Koller)

My Titles
- Man of Strings
- Mischief Gone Wrong
- Glass Half Full
- The Specialist
- I'm Looking Forward to an Easy One

My First Lines
- I stirred it up like other Friday nights to laugh and have some kicks
- With the city miles behind me and the treetops way up high
- His life was wood and streel strung up so tight
- Well I'm sorry dad I bought some firewood
- I never thought such goodness could be fatal

My Themes
- At the lake (things are better)
- Our kids grow up and become our friends
- Regretting judging others
- Pressures of life
- Too much of a good thing is a bad thing

My Song....Coming Soon 'Mischief Gone Wrong' NEXT POST







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