As some of you may know I have purchased some Digital Audio Workstation software and have been playing around with it to see if I can learn to record and mix anything worth listening to. I had previously posted a snippet I had worked on of a little thing I called Fall Approaching. I thought it might make a welcoming track for the blog if I ever wanted to add one.


I recently finished another piece — and when I say “finished” I mean I have worked on it as much as I care to since you can tweak these things and refine them forever and anon (and I’m lazy).

The French have a very useful phrase — l’esprit d’escalier — which refers to how one always thinks of the best counterarguments, retorts and witty comebacks after an  argument is over.  There is no English equivalent of the phrase but it would translate roughly into “staircase wit” since you would typically think of these things as you are on your way out of the building with your tail tucked between your legs.  But l’esprit d’escalier is nearly impossible for most people to pronounce (and I find it unlovely) so I used the German version, Treppenwitz, as the name of the song.

There is a lot of chromatic work to symbolize the stairs and it is all descending as we delve deeper and deeper into our self-recriminations and move further from the conflict.  I add an electric guitar which represents the irritation which circles our main argument and niggles at us.  There are some dark tones as we think of arguments he don’t have a good answer for and then towards the end there are subtle timing errors as doubt creeps in or as we miss flaws in our own arguments.  I also let the bass anticipate the beat just slightly at the very end as the staircase empties and we resolutely keep worrying at the problem as we make our way out.


I don’t compress the hell out of these recordings so you will have to adjust the volume as needed.  And since my playing isn’t perfect it can get peaky in places.  Compression hides a multitude of sins (as do retakes, but it loses the spontaneity to overdub weak parts).  I like how laid back these two recordings are and at least they aren’t artificially hyped.  Maybe as I get better at it I can make more professional sounding tracks but people underestimate the amount of work it takes to turn out something which sounds professional.If you like these just buy something through my Amazon link sometime or drop me a note.  If you don’t then no harm done.  I will try to make you something better the next go around.

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