12|26|07   A day out in the woods

Walking in our woods in Indiana

I spent a wonderful day out in our woods and fields yesterday. It’s extremely cold right now, but heartening. The sun is out almost every morning, and I feel very much at home in the vast expanse of the American mid-west.

It feels like a lifetime has gone by since I recorded this little idea:

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12|21|07   Lowell, Indiana: A note from home

A view from our veranda. There is snow everywhere, and the sun is refracting through the thin red petals of a flower. It is beautiful.

It’s true, I never thought the time would come, but I am now of an age where I belong to “those of a certain generation”. I guess I always thought that life would just make an exception for me, moving just a bit more slowly maybe, a bit more gently, protecting me, rather lovingly, a bit more kindly. Life, instead, has moved too quickly for my taste – and with more indifference, I might add. The many years have congealed into a single web, thin, and barely wide enough to cover my tracks.

I am so grateful to be home. I am so grateful to be home. So grateful…

MP3 Download: Theme and Variation 1 (192kb @ 2.5mb)
A tender interlude based on the song “We Might As Well Have Stayed Young”.

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12|21|07   NZ Musician review!

“Christchurch act The Enright House have been picked up by label arm A Low Hum, and with this debut have produced a beautifully crafted, sombre and atmospheric album. Melancholy pervades, the highlight for me being We Might As Well Have Stayed Young, an aching reflection on the passing of youth that those of a certain generation will no doubt relate to (“Listening to Skinny Puppy, we’d paint our ceilings black and tile our bathroom in mirror shards…”) – it’s become one of my favorite songs of the year.

The album is washed in lush arrangements; electronic elements mesh with drums, viola, piano, and guitars manipulated with bows, bottle caps and other assorted items. Instrumentals sit alongside the introspective lyrical contributions of Enright House founder Mark Roberts and the haunting poetry of Mary E. Jones. Light some candles, pour a glass of red wine and immerse yourself in this moody gem of an album.” • Renee Jones

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12|10|07   “It’s a Sonic Summer”: a free mp3 Compilation

It's a Sonic Summer: a music compilation of innovative New Zealand music, brought to you by Under The Radar

Under The Radar brings you: “It’s a Sonic Summer” – a free mp3 compilation of innovative New Zealand music.

Check out the full track-listing featuring all these amazing New Zealand artists:

  • Disateradio – “Computer Graphics”
  • The L.E.D.s – “Rumba”
  • Collapsing Cities – “In The Valley”
  • Cue The Sun – “15 4″
  • White On White – “Beta Dance”
  • Sora Shima – “Hovercraft”
  • The Enright House – “Scattering the Sun like Gunshot”

Visit Under The Radar’s download page to get your free compilation [33mb zip file].

And if you’re on the other side of the world, where currently it’s not at all summery, don’t fret, just think of it as a winter compilation. It’ll help keep you warm next to the open fire.

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12|10|07   The Lumiere Reader: Enright House feature and review

A screen-shot of the Lumiere Reader article

The Lumiere Arts Reader has just published a massive review/feature on us and the new album, giving us 4 out of 5 stars! Here’s a short excerpt of what Brannavan Gnanalingam has to say:

A Maze and Amazement LP is a beautiful album, complex and dense, but highly accessible. It’s a languid dream, shifting between melancholy and uplift, heavy on mood and texture. In other words, it could probably be described under the term “post-rock”, but there is so much happening here, it’s a little too reductive to try and sum it up in a term or two.

All this has resulted in a rather shimmering piece of work. A Maze and Amazement LP could be accused of over-extending itself at times (and potentially use a little trimming at points), but it’s ambitious and gorgeous to listen to. While approaching his music from an intellectual angle, it’s also a stirring piece of work, that reveals more and more to you every listen. Unlike say, Godspeed! You Black Emperor which thunderously document an apocalypse, this is much more personal, much more insular. “I think music that has a lot of heart in it, a lot of thought in it, can be beautiful and simple and still leave enough complexity for people to discover. And discovery takes time.”

The whole article can be found online at the Lumiere Reader’s website, but be forewarned: the feature is absolutely epic in length (over 2000 words)! Don’t get me wrong, I actually think this is the most interesting interview I’ve ever done in terms of the actual discussion, but don’t say I didn’t warn you about the length… even my Mom is going to have a tough time getting through this one! :)

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12|09|07   “Driving”: A song by Misfit Mod and The Enright House

My friend Sarah, aka Misfit Mod in a Kimono

Ever heard of Misfit Mod? Well you will. Count on it. Period.

Misfit Mod is my friend Sarah’s musical outlet, and honestly? everytime I listen to her music I get rediculously jeleous. Why? Because each and everyone of her songs is an earth-shattering revelation on just how much sonic and emotional depth can still be achieved within the bounds of popular music.

Anyhow, before Sarah moved to England a few months ago in order to start her music career, we actually spent a few hours one quiet night creating a song together, called “Driving”. I can’t remember who did what, but the two of us were knee-deep in synths, samplers and feedbacking guitars for most of the evening. And, after eventually taking turns at kicking each other out of the apartment, we both recorded a vocal line without the other person being allowed to hear it. In the end, we had two independent vocal lines, which, to our utter suprise, even worked well enough together to layer them over the top of each other at the end of the song.

Download the full 192 bit mp3:
The Enright House and Misfit Mod – Driving [3.3mb]

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11|30|07   What’s in store for the next 6-8 weeks

I’m about to head off to the States for a five week holiday (Chicago – New York – Chicago). Consequently, things will be a bit quiet in terms of the band until the four of us reconvene in January. However, despite not being able to play shows et cetera, I’ll actually be incredibly busy working on the following:

First and foremost I will be adding a lot of interesting and unique content to this website. For one, I will be implementing Bruce Warila’s concept of songpages. However, his idea of what songpages should contain strikes me as rather bland; our way of doing it won’t be. Whereas Warila suggests including standard items, such as who wrote and recorded a song, the lyrics, licensing blurbs and a courtesy song stream in his songpages, I can’t help but think he’s got a solid idea, lacking, ultimately, in enough substantive content to get music enthusiasts seriously interested in the idea.

So, the songpages I’m working on will include all of the above, but will also make available media such as videos, live performance mp3s, live and rehearsal videos, prior demo recordings of the song, remixes et cetera. But that’s not even the half of it:

The thing I’m most excited about, is creating hand-drawn scores of every song that you will be able to download as PDFs. These scores will sometimes be a collection of guitar tabs, or traditionally notated scores, or graphical scores explaining what sounds occur when and where. They will all be entirely unique, and if I like how they turn out, I might even get them bound affordably and make a super limited edition (maybe 10) available for sale through the website.

In addition, every songpage will feature an 8-15 minute “making-of” podcast, including anecdotes, a few secret blunders, as well as segments on song production, instrumentation and song-writing.

Finally, some songpages will even go a step further and include downloadable remix packages, containing all the individual instrument and vocal tracks, as well as drum-loops and samples – all as 16 bit wave files. So, if you’re interested in remixing our stuff (and possibly having us include your efforts on our site, or even releasing them as part of upcoming singles or EPs) you will be able to download these remix packs as zip files, import them into your sequencer of choice, and have a go at doing your own thing!

So, far from taking a break from The Enright House, I’m simply going to be doing a lot behind-the-scenes activity, which, hopefully, will eventually culminate in one the most involved, content rich, and – fingers crossed – exciting band websites on the web! Five weeks, of course, might well not be enough time to get it all done, but you know what? I’m totally looking forward to trying! :)

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11|18|07   Podcast 1

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To download the podcast rather than stream it, just right-click this link and save.

I’ve been meaning to create podcasts about songs and their production for quite some time now, but just haven’t been able to find the time to make any inroads into those plans… that is, until today.

I’m still trying to figure out how best to go about these, as I fully intend to complete one short podcast about each of the songs on A Maze and Amazement. This first attempt is a roughly 9 minute podcast and is all about “We Might As Well Have Stayed Young”. Hope you enjoy it, and be sure to keep an eye out for more of these in the future.

Finally, you can download the full song as a 320 bit MP3 file

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11|11|07   Guardian newspaper’s song of the day!

What!? No way! The Guardian newspaper (!!!) has just featured our song Darkwave = MC Squared on their music and entertainment blog as the song of the day! That’s insane!

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11|11|07   First impressions of Southern Amp

First of all, a big thank you to all of you who came out to see us yesterday! Like I mentioned on stage, we were really happy to see so many people gathered around the local stage, when, of course, all of you could just as easily have chosen to spend your time watching far more well-known acts on the main stage.

So how did it go? Well, usually I have pretty mixed feelings about a gig on the day-after, but this morning, I have to admit, I find myself in a total state of post-ecstatic equilibrium. I think we all drew enormous amounts of confidence and joy from all the heartfelt audience support during songs, and I, too, just felt really connected to the lyrics and the music. In short, yesterday was awesome, and for that all four of us are just plain grateful and happy.

Our Southern Amp setlist:

  • Scattering The Sun Like Gunshot
  • On The Banks Of The Rhein
  • Solitaire
  • Darkwave = MC Squared
  • We Might As Well Have Stayed Young
  • Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

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11|09|07   Southern Amp sneak preview

Drove down to the AMI stadium today to pick up artist and vehicle passes for Southern Amp. It’s actually a rather interesting vibe there. The stadium was absolutely flooded with sunlight, whilst the corridors and suites overlooking the grounds were calm, empty and air-conditioned to perfection. On my way out, I ducked into one of the vacant suites to snap a few shots of ground zero:

I couldn’t help but notice the fact that I only saw two stages, not three. Turns out I was on a fools errand, as the third stage was actually located right behind the stadium, and not inside it, as I had assumed:

This actually strikes me as an excellent solution, as it means that our more intimate set won’t be drowned out by the massive P.A. of the main stage. Furthermore, I am so relieved that they decided to place the CHART stage inside a tent, rather than just setting up a small stage in the middle of nowhere. The advantage, aside from being weather-proof, is that a tent helps create a much more intimate environment, which should be of great asset considering our sound and performance style.

I’m looking forward to this now! We’re on from 11.45 to 12.20 am, and although most ticket holders probably won’t be arriving until far later in the afternoon, we’ll be playing our heart and soul out for those 35 minutes. As the Germans say: “Morgenstund hat Gold im Mund” (“Morninghour has Gold in it’s mouth”).

The moral of the story? We’re excited about Southern Amp and German proverbs are the stuff of lunacy.

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11|09|07   Einstein and the story of who won the comp

I never enter any giveaways, I don’t play lotto, and every time I bet one or two dollars at a horse race, I lose. These things just cannot be won. Ever read the fine print on the coke bottle competitions? If Einstein had tried to enter these things in his day, the world would still be stuck on “e equals”.

In short, I just don’t believe in chasing prizes. The odds are always too poor to justify spending time, money or thought on.

Well, unless, that is, you entered our Southern Amp give away and happen to be either Earmonn Marra or Marcus Puentener. Earmonn and Marcus, namely, entered a contest that they actually ended up standing a 100% chance of winning. Huh? Yes. Two tickets, two emails, two uncontested winners.

So… congratulations to both of you! :)

My next step? I’m making sure this lesson isn’t wasted on me. Next week I’m going to join the adult world and have some business cards made just so I can finally enter into the monthly burrito draws down at my local Mexican joint.

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