Spring Cleaning on the blog

The website reorganization is mostly complete. I still need to reorganize the blog’s categories and tags as well as sort through older posts, restoring those that are still relevant. The blog is only a small part of the site; one goal of the reorganization was to move the blog from the prominent homepage spot and have a proper homepage. Also to get rid of that clunky splash page at the domain home. The transition up one directory wasn’t as smooth as I’d have liked. The blog’s comments were a casualty, unfortunately. πŸ™ The site is otherwise in good shape. I dropped a couple of superfluous pages and spiffied up a few things. I’ll be adding some of the older blog posts as time permits, but I may no longer archive all the old newsletters here.

I’ve got new music tumbling around in my head, so given the choice between doing music and cleaning up old posts, I’ll take music any day! And don’t forget…I’m also working on the sequel to my popular mystery, The Malice Plant. πŸ˜€ If you see anything that I really need to do on the site, please tweet me or comment, otherwise I’ll just sift through the blog’s archive file at my leisure, restoring a bit here and there.

Here is the new RSS feed for this site: http://gymshoesmusic.com/?feed=rss2

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Website Reorg: RSS Feed will change

In the very near future (maybe next week, not sure yet) this website will undergo a reorganization. We’re getting rid of the superfluous landing page at the domain name and moving the whole site up one directory. If you’re subscribed to this blog using an rss feedreader, you will need to get the new rss URL because the old one will go dead. (Ditto for anything you’ve bookmarked.)

The site will be down (I hope only briefly) and then pop back up with the homepage at gymshoesmusic.com. Internal links here will initially be dead, but they’ll be fixed as fast as humanly possible. I’ll tweet when the reorg is happening and when the site is sorted out. Since many of you follow the blog in a feedreader I wanted to give you a heads-up. If you’re not already following my Twitter feed, @Gymshoes_, now would be a good time to start! πŸ˜‰

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Halloween Soundscape: Dark Ambient Music for Halloween

As Halloween draws near and you’re reading spooky stories, decorating, and preparing to unsettle unwary trick-or-treaters, grab some Halloween Soundscape tracks to set the mood. This isn’t some cheesy sound effects album—this is something you can listen to! πŸ˜€ I’ve piped it outside on Halloween night (gave the trick or treaters goosebumps), played it in the background inside, curled up reading a scary book with Halloween Soundscapeon the stereo. It’s an evocative Halloween soundtrack for whatever your plans are.

Try Before You Buy
You can stream the full Halloween Soundscape album in the sidebar. Read the liner notes as you listen. It’s available from iTunes, Amazon mp3, Napster, Rhapsody and mySpace Music.

If you already have my Halloween Soundscape album don’t forget to Share the links above with your friends! Or Share this post with the buttons at the bottom of the post!

Here’s a playlist of a couple of videos I did for Halloween Soundscape. New video: “The Monster Lives”! Note: The actual track for “The Witching Time” is much longer than the music in the video.) Track length is one of the things that makes Halloween Soundscape such a bargain: the tracks are long, but album price is set based on the number of tracks, not the length of the album, so it’s a steal. πŸ™‚

New Video: The Monster Lives

I’ve done a new video for a track on my Halloween Soundscape album. This is one of the more subdued tracks on this spooky ambient album. Though the original inspiration for “The Monster Lives” was Frankenstein’s monster, the music works well for “sea monsters”, too!

Put on the headphones, turn out the lights and enjoy! πŸ˜€

The “season” for Halloween Soundscape is short and it takes time for this video to percolate through the networks so… Please, share! πŸ˜€

If you haven’t heard/bought Halloween Soundscape, you can stream the full album (hopefully as a prelude to buying it!) in the sidebar. Read the liner notes as you listen.

Once Upon A Time…

I read something recently that said when someone is changing what they do, they need to tell a story to help their fans understand. It may be too late to explain myself to Gymshoes fans who don’t understand that I’m an author, too, now that I’m back in print in ebook form. So, here’s my story:

Once upon a time there was a wordy girl who had too many words. Some of the words she put into poems, some she put into stories and some she put into songs. One day while making music for some of her words to live in she made some other music. This wasn’t music she could sing to, but as the old saying from American Bandstand went, “you can dance to it”. So she did. This was music she could dance to, daydream to and listen to when she put her words into stories. Most of the time when she made Gymshoes Music the stories she told did not have words. She missed words. She had more words than songs would contain so she wrote more long stories. She still dreams music and writes songs. Some of them even have words. She has always been a writer of stories. Music is but one way of telling them. πŸ˜€

There. Does that help? πŸ˜€ Many (perhaps most) creative people have multiple outlets for their creativity. I’m fortunate in that both books and music are creative outlets which can be made available to the general public. They’re sometimes even complementary to one another. So grab an album and a book, kick back and go elsewhere for a while. Welcome to my imagination! πŸ™‚

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New ebook release

For those of you with ereaders (or who read ebooks on your laptops and tablets), the last of my older books, Joshua Mansfield and Sheri Zod, has been released as an ebook. You can read more about it on my author site, A Truant Disposition. It may be especially interesting to those of you who follow Gymshoes music because the novella (it’s shorter than my other novels) includes songs, one of which there’s a recorded version of by Undead Monkey (melody line is different from mine). It’s a contemporary fantasy, more in the magic realism school of literary fiction than Tolkien (sorry, no elves). Though this is the fourth of my older novels to be released as an ebook, it was actually the third book I wrote. It’s a good rainy afternoon sort of book. I hope you enjoy it. Might go good with some of my Gymshoes music…If there’s a track that strikes you as good to go with this ebook, drop a comment, I’d like to know what you think! πŸ™‚

Yes, It’s Supposed To Sound That Way

Some you, new to Gymshoes Music, may listen to the first track of Sand In My Shoes and think: is it supposed to sound like that? Yes, it is and I’ll tell you why. πŸ˜€ Gymshoes music is (mostly) not live, not natural; it’s a one-person artificial studio construct. I’ve done stuff that’s real and rootsy (A Tropical Depression) and incorporated natural elements into my soundscapes (“The Beach At Sunrise”, “A Piece of Fiji” for example), but mostly that’s not the idea. Gymshoes music is mostly about creating something that can only be created in the studio. It’s about manipulating sound and rhythm, about editing bits and bytes. Some of you may sneer, but I have a somewhat punk attitude about it: like early punk musicians, I don’t have to be able to play these instruments—it’s legitimate not to.

I recall a discussion about a drum part with former Undead Monkey collaborator Hockinfinger. The band has never had a drummer more than briefly (something that breaks my heart as I’m a very rhythm-oriented girl who wants a long-term drummer). I worked up a complicated overdubbed drum part and he objected (rightly in this case) that no human drummer could play it. His criteria for creating a drum track was the limitation of what a human drummer could do with two hands and two feet. I can understand that. It depends on how real you want the track to be (and what the song needs).

On the other hand, Gymshoes music is not supposed to have that level of reality. πŸ˜‰ I’m one person and though I might lay down a bit of percussion, I’m not a drummer. Doing strictly studio work means that I don’t have any limitations! I have overdubbed rhythm on a lot of the songs precisely because I can do something digitally that can’t be done in the real world! Artificiality is integral. So embrace the hopped-up guitar and manic polyrhythms!

Most contemporary music is a product of technology one way or another. If you’re listening to me play acoustic guitar in my living room, there’s no technology involved. If you’re listening to an mp3, you’re up to your neck in technology. πŸ™‚ I play acoustic guitar, write songs with lyrics instead of samples—like A Tropical Depression—and enjoy rootsy music. But with the exception of A Tropical Depression, Gymshoes music is mostly fun manipulating sound and rhythm. So, yeah, it’s supposed to sound that way! πŸ™‚

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