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Jul25

The Get Back

South Community Church, 5161 E. 171st St., Bixby, Oklahoma

Come to 'The Get Back" worship service for an incredible night of worship and community!

Free

Jul24

Worship Night

St. James UMC, 5050 E. 111th St. South., Tulsa, Oklahoma

Come for a free time of worship with leaders from multiple church homes and experience the presence of God.

Free

Jul15

Patient Appreciation

Towne Village Retirement, 8222 S.Yale Ave, Tulsa, Ok

Free

Dollar (Objective Writing 2) 

“Dollar”

Can you smell it? The crips cotton stuffed bill spills its history and past adventures with the truth in both of your nostrils. Smells of food, gas, cigarettes, and more paint the floating image in your mind of the people and places who have left their dog like marker on the face. Bent edges and old creases make the imagination move forward as the glitter, blood, sharpie and other random stains cast a shadow of doubt in whether or not you want touch the face of the president with your exposed epidermis. How can something so small, meaningless, and strangely dirty hold the power of humanity in its grasp. The fragility of homosapiens can be twisted further than the bill I now hold on my loosely gripped palm. The smell and sight of my dollar is immediately replaced with the sense that even more lies on the face than the bill than an old dead white man covered by the puddle water that now pigments his face. Murder. Treachery. Fear. Happiness. Heroism. Healing. Scars. Destruction. This is the true oz like grin of the dollar behind the curtain and the crafted tapestry we have painted over it. So the only real question is, “how much does a dollar really cost?” 

My answer. 

US. 

Ironic.

Pencil (Objective Writing) 

Pencil:

The wooden slated, loud mouth object stares at me from a safe distance as my fingers and sore forearms remember the tedious and oddly annoying tingle of necessity that flows down the soul of my ligaments. In fact this one thing sums of the atmosphere and psychology of high school life entirely. The needy head of the body which demands constant attention is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Promising all your inner thoughts can be displayed with the safety net of the the butt end of itself incase you regret your own words. Forgetting to mention that this is in fact a folly when the betrayal of breadcrumbs in the form of ash lay and wait while you stare at the stain of declarations you can’t in-fact remove. But here we go again. You sharpen the end as if to sharpen a sword on to allow this necessary villain to evolve and continue its havoc because of your deep need to rebel and let out all tones of your humanity onto the white judge and jury of all your synapses. Friend. Enemy. Weapon. Solution. Peace. War. Wisdom. Reason. Faith. Doubt. What gives this once upon a time the right to control humanity. Is it’s the wind blown stud that stood so tall in the cool vastness that was nature. Does it resent the harsh blade and gas powered heat that brought it to its knees and now it seeks revenge. Why.

My first run at being a producer 

 

Walehwa_Josiah_FinalComposition.mp3

 

This month I took a new leap from artist to producer. 

For my piece, I wanted to challenge myself to go a little outside of the norm of my typical style of producing. I wanted something that would work well for a video game or music genre. I thought maybe some television also. More than just the genre, I sought out to challenge myself with different tempos, meters, and feels of music. From there I can formulate exactly what direction I want to go. As I got further into the piece I realized that this song could work well with a few different types of media and styles. I categorized it as being a pop piece because I can definitely hear pop influences in it, and potentially an artist putting some vocals onto it. It also is malleable and can be formed into a bunch of different things, and/or manipulated and change to easily fit whatever an artist is going for. If it wasn’t for the music medium I would definitely go with a video game or commercial vibe with this song. It will work well for racing game or even something like a Snuggies commercial. The reason I say it’s flexible is because I can easily change out the synths for vocals and guitars to fit some different genera. I could even add orchestral things and make it feel entirely different. That’s why I like this song. I could hear it go on many different directions.

 

For the meter I decided to make this song incorporate different structures. I started out with 6/8 timing, went into 5/8 timing, and then back to 6/8 timing. I wanted to challenge myself to rhythmically pull out of the box of the typical rock or R&B genre that I normally go for, and get something that would trick my ears and cause interest. I also wanted to find a way to make the drums not be entirely straight but pull the listener around through the musical melodies and atmospheres like a ride through some nice scenery. The 5/8 timing helped lend itself to that. I decided to use synths for now because they relate to the current pop genre of music, as well as, sensing that synth sounds would be as close to a vocal that fits this track as possible. That way if I wanted to switch it out with anything else it wouldn’t be very difficult process to accomplish. I actually very much enjoyed the sound of the synths once it was in there. If I were to put this on my own artistry I would leave the synths how they are, and then write vocally and instrumentally around them. I also found that the feel of the song could lend itself well to video game in commercial appeal with the seventh sounds. It can be background enough, but also still interesting enough to add presents to whatever the audience is looking at. On the bass, I definitely knew that I did not want the bass to sit still, but be as interesting as the drums are without being too complex. The drums and the bass, in my opinion, need to go well together, so I wanted to find a way to make it move and cohesiveness with the drums yet still stand alone as it’s own part. Almost like a solo bass that fills in the lower portion that the rest of the song sits on. The drums and the bass fit well together and in harmony with each other. I almost wanted the bass and all the other instruments be their own solo while at the same time fitting in with the entire choir of instruments.

 

For the key, I decided to do the track in a minor key and use the relative chords also. I chose Em and pulled chords from G also. I chose a minor key because I wanted it to have a darker feel, while at the same time moving around. Like a star flying through the night sky. As the song move forward in being created, I decided to try to pull a lighter more vibrant feel from the minor key. This became even more challenging but ended in quite a unique result. The chords I use were…

 

 

A Section | Am7  C7 | Em7  | F# dim | Am G | Am7 C7| Em7 | F#dim | Am  C|

     

B Section | F#dim Am| G | C Em| C | F#dim Am| G | C Em| C |

 

C Section | Am | G | Em7 | F | Am |G |Em7 | F|

 

D Section | D | F | F# dim | G | Am | B | C |G |

 

I particularly liked how the F sharp diminished chord made the song have dissonance and pool to make you feel like you are still on a journey and haven’t arrived yet. I threw a lot of seventh chords in there as well to fill out the chord progressions a little. Since the A section and B section were a little busier, I wanted to use the C-section and D section as a simpler progression that builds momentum higher and higher until it arrives back at the busy A section again. Like a roller coaster. Up and down and building back up to the top. Melody wise, I was thinking as a vocalist. I decided to play what would sound like the lead singer singing. I wanted it to be an actual song in itself. I want to be memorable enough for a listener to be walking around humming it as if it had been written and sung by their favorite artist.

 

I also decided to add some nylon string guitar to the song. I recorded the audio through a microphone instead of plugging the guitar in because the quality sounded better. I didn’t want the guitar to be strummed or to stand out too much. I wanted it to be almost like a sound effect. Just something extra to sit under the mix and add little hints of sound here and there. The obstacles I ran into were keeping the guitar tuned, and how to best fit all of it in the song without taking away from the piece itself. The tuning actually ended up being a benefit for me because I found that it being slightly detuned helped in the dissonance feeling if it was buried a lot in the song. I also added effects to it to keep it more spacey and lowered in the track. I didn’t want it to stand out too much but just add another layer. I found that recording acoustic guitar through a vocal mic actually works quite well. It all depends on how it is placed. A little something I learned and will continue to use.

 

For my mix, I started with a noise gate on the recorded acoustic guitar. I wanted to take out any noise that was not associated specifically with what I wanted the hits of the guitar to be doing since it’s playing was very sporadic. It wasn’t in the whole time so when it was in, I wanted it to be in. When it was out, I wanted it to be out. I also added a reverb through a bus and used that reverb on the drums and acoustic. I put it higher in the mix for the acoustic to make it more spacey. Drums I kept it low or just to add a little bit of presence. I also put a compressor on the kick, snare, acoustic, and bass guitar. The compressor added a bit more presence to all of them, while keeping the harder hits pushed down and pulling the lower hits out. I really like what it did for the sound of the bass and the drums together. It made them even more cohesive, which is what I was trying to do. Finally, I put a delay through a bus onto the acoustic to add even more of a space like feeling to the acoustic guitar. From there, I mixed my track. I started with the drums, then I put the bass in, then from there mixed and panned the rest of the instruments to fill the sound space. I quite enjoyed this project and new endeavor of production.

 

Questions 

It's sometimes pretty dark in the human soul. The mind is a war zone. How far is too far in honesty and art? This is something I wrestle with daily. Are we as artists actually allowed to be transparent? Especially when tied to a specific religious image. What's the cost? Rejection? Persecution? The possibility of people throwing out the truth all because lies are many times easier to swallow. Are the consequences all negative? Or will we carve a new trail into the parts of humanity that others are afraid to reach. Open the pages of a story that we all know exists but are too coward to stare at. #questions

Stole my Heart 

And if the stars align or the angel cry I bet it'd be for you.                                                                                                             The science of God's existence is the design that created you.                                                                                                        Fear is not being enough or relaxing love in a heart of inconsistencies.                                                                                     Pathetic is prefaced with an A but our love is unstoppable.                                                                                                            This vortex holds us together.                                                                                                                                                      Does pain and love not go hand in hand.                                                                                                                                       We built no back doors.                                                                                                                                                              I'm yours forever. 

Don't worry. There will be more. 

Can't wait to begin the blogs. Not only will there be blogs from me, but poems as well. I want to write from a place of transparency and honesty. Keep watch on the page. Can't wait to share my thoughts with you all.