I usually post music-related posts at dep.fm, but since this is more of a “special event,” and more of a personal release, I wanted to syndicate this here, as well. For posterity, if anything.
My favorite song of 2011 was, for sure, Bon Iver’s Perth from his 2011 self-titled release. It’s a beautiful piece. I decided it would be a fun experiment to, for the New Year, deconstruct the song and rebuild it for piano and electronica.
I recorded the percussive elements by tapping on various parts of the piano and then cut those in to individual drum samples. Then I sequenced the patterns in a tracker called Renoise. After just listening back and forth between the album track and my version to get the structure of the song duplicated, I continued on with various synthesized layers to produce some texture and atmosphere.
Finally, I started working on the piano part. It’s worth mentioning that I’m not a pianist, but play well enough to be able to play songs I like and help me write my own new songs.
Once I had the piano part down, my brother (@revpictures) came over with the Canon 7D to help me video the song. I used a Tascam DP-008 digital 8-track to record the piano from two condenser mics located behind the piano, and then a Shure sm58 for the vocals. I had the laptop handy to play the pre-sequenced beats. Afterwards, I combined and mixed the recorded parts in Wavelab and final mixed them back in Renoise.
I edited the video footage together in iMovie and then sent back to my brother for final post processing. The project took around a week of sequencing, 3 days on the piano to get that part ready, then a day of shooting, editing, and final mixing.
You can download the mp3 here (You may have to right-click, and Save As).