Tag Archives: Logic

Two Tracks From a Documentary

Seattle, 2010. Just back from Argentine study abroad. My friend Yasmeen was finishing her film studies at the University of Southern Califronia and was doing a documentary and asked for some tracks. I put these together and she ended up using “Yasmeen Slower,” in the film.

Yasmeen Louder:

Yasmeen Slower

Reflection and Response


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Final Argentine Thursday: Nas!

First of all I’d like to thank everybody whose been riding with us through the Argentina Thursdays and V’s Recollection series. The periods when we produced these pieces were super important to our growth as artists and fundamental in learning how these mediums really act as reflection and response to our everyday environments. It has been such a joy to share this period and discuss it with others.

To end I go back to the beginning. Buenos Aires, 2010. I began getting back into writing flows during this period, and my first one in awhile was about something that happened far from Argentina, on a street somewhere in Tunisia. My friend and LIFESTYLEcollective member Nassim told about when he started practicing religion again after he saw a boy have a seizure and then miraculously stop. I felt the story would be a cool narrative to put into song. I took a famous track from the Amelie soundtrack, Comptine d’Un Autre Été, sped it up a bit threw some drums and some basic melodic elements and wrote the track.

I rerecorded an acapella today  (December 8th) in Madrid.

Full Track (Early 2010)

Acapella (December 2011)

Yea he got up on the bus/ Summer in Tunisia sweat and dust/ And the wheels started to roll/ Things would change little did he know/ 10 minutes later he him lying there/ Eyes wide open in a broken stare/ Epileptic seizure mothers so scared/ The people move back to give the boy air/ While the uncle tried to resuscitate/ The mother realizes he’s slipping away/ Eyes fill with tears as she turns to pray/ Starts to cry shrieks of pain/ And my friends watches this from the bus/ Feels the mother and her grief for her son/ Suddenly he sees it from her eyes / Lost in the moment inside his mind

Suddenly the dude starts to breathe/ The passengers move back to their seats/ The mothers’ tears turn to joy/ And our protagonist smiles for her little boy/ Suddenly the sun starts to rise/ Move from the dark to the morning light/ The people move back to regular business/ And our dude thinks about what he’s just witnessed/ Quite a transition from near death to a new day/ All wrapped in two hours on a Tuesday/ Bus moves on as his thoughts move fast/ Wondered about death since his father passed/ He said he didn’t change right after then/ But after this moment he gained perspective/ So in the next few years he did his 5 prayers a night/ Started to live a more righteous life||

I think it was dope that Nas could tell the exact picture, the moment when he decided to start practicing again. Reflection and Response at its fullest, in a desert out in Tunisia then back to France, Nas’s country of birth. It’s pretty dope that Nas’s initial moment of spiritual clarity became my initial moment of artistic expression through hip hop.

Reflection and Response


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Argentina Thursdays: A Pair of Coplas

Buenos Aires, early 2010. Coplas. Found throughout the Spanish-speaking world, the set up is a call and response format accompanied by a bombo, or drum. The coplas I recorded by folk music activist Pablo Martinez are Andean in origin. The instrument that sounds like an elephant is called an “erke.” I played the erke in Pablo’s folk music band, and play the erke part between the vocal parts on the track.

Think Spanish gospel.

Pablo Coplas

Aquí estoy porque he vendio

Porque he venido aquí estoy

Si no les gusta mi modo

Como he venido me voy

Una sola mujer tengo

Dos hijas quiero tener

Una pa de vez en cuando

Otra pa permanecer

Jujeño yo soy señores

Yo no niego a mi región

Jujeñito lengua dura

Canta cuando hay ocasión

Here I am because I have arrived

Because I have arrived I am here

If you don’t like my way

As I have arrived I’ll go

I have only woman

I want to have two girls

One for every now and then

The other for always

Gentlemen I am Jujeño

I do not forget (negate) my home

Young Jujeño of hard tongue

Sing when there is an occasion||

I then did a remix of Pablo’s track and added some drums, piano, bass, and chopped up his vocal sample. This remix was a fun way to collaborate with a kind of music that I had never heard before.

Coplas Remix


Reflection and Response


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Tuition Well Spent: A Progression

(Visuals by Vicken Donikian. Audio by Peter Muller and friends)

Ideas progress.

I wrote The Rain in 2007 in Seattle during a bout of particularly bad weather. A few days later my bandmate from Tuition Well Spent, Mike, wrote the lyrics for the tune which would become “The Love.”

The Rain

The Love

We then performed the song live at the Ethnic Cultural Theatre at UW in 2007 and had our friend Ben do some drumming and Whitney Killian added some harmonies.

The Love (Live)

I then asked V do to some art for the Myspace page and I sent him some pics and he sent back the two visuals that accompany this post.

Progression on a multi-medium level.

Reflection and Response

-P and V

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Argentina Thursdays: What She’ll Miss

I used to be in a band during my first few years of college called Tuition Well Spent. Before I left to Argentina I recorded a melody I had written with Mike, the vocalist from Tuition. When I was in Argentina and learning how to use Logic Express 8 I found the vocal parts and decided to see what I could do with them. I can be heard using drum sticks to tap a rhythm out in the background during the vocal track. I also let Mike know that I felt the take by the grunts at the end.

Full Track

Vocal Track

So she doesn’t want to see me I can tell

Why she takes me so high that I fell

Maybe I over-think it all but I’m not sure

I got these blues baby I need a cure

So she doesn’t want to see me I can tell

Why she takes me so high that I fell

Maybe I over-think it all but I’m not sure

I got these blues baby I need a cure

Such a princess perfect every way

Find myself losing yet still I chase

One day she’ll know what she missed

Until then I swallow this bitterness

Reflection and Response


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Argentina Thursdays: Two Soundtracks

Writing music for imaginary films has always been super fun. I’m constantly inspired by artists and composers such as AR Rahman who do so much with music to accompany film. In Argentina I recorded a few instrumental tracks with the idea that they would stay instrumental. Peep!

Soundtrack I

Soundtrack II

Here I add a little Argentine flavor with a sample of Pablo Martinez’s voice saying “Aqui Estoy.”

Reflection and Response


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Lonesome Road Goodnight

I started this track in Argentina. A choir at the school I was studying abroad at sang this haunting tune about a lonesome road and I immediately thought it needed to be sampled. I found the original James Taylor version. Then I forgot about the idea for two years. Last week here in Madrid I found the half finished beat and remembered how fun it was to make. I feel like the song is about redemption and has a sense of teaching, so I wrote lyrics based on those ideas.

Full Track



Lonesome Road Goodnight.

Please jettison stress/ this is what is waiting up ahead/ And just reflect / And work even harder on success/The fuck I used to give I now use to live/ Walking that lonesome road  a little kid hope andsin / stoked on the stoogie that we smoked   with a fifth in that glass bottle outside the doors we slipped/ Andthese roll models dip and throw strikes/  Before those open mics/ way before we know whats tight/ The brain evolves slowly right/

Yea fuck it/ You know what you need to do/ I believe in me so you should believe in you/ Believe in peace/ please believe that it’s true/ And stay in your feet and never use those knees to stoop/ Take that grease from your grandparents stereotyped/ He’s Italian which means their not marrying right/ Mediterranean not enough white but they prefer a lovely life/ Say goodbye to the lonesome road with a daily kiss goodnight/

Reflection and Response


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Bed Bugs

I made Bed Bugs when I first visited Vicken in Brooklyn in August 2010 as V and his girlfriend Megan successfully avoided the bed bug scare that had become a problem in the borough that fall. Sometime during my stay at their apartment I had V say some things about bed bugs into my laptop’s microphone. Then I made a beat around that sample.

Bed Bugs

V’s Sample

Reflection and Response.


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