The Sandman

When you were a child your parents took you to the beach and collected a little jar of sand for you. They put it on your nightstand so every morning you would see it and remember your trips to the beach. It was a very special jar of sand.

But every night while you slept, the Sandman came and stole a grain of your precious sand. You didn't notice at first. Who could notice one grain of missing sand? But the weeks and years went by, and one morning you woke up and noticed there was sand missing from your jar!

What happened? How did it disappear? 

Your hearing is like that jar of sand. And every crash cymbal hit, every hammer strike, every engine rev, all the loud noises that damage your hearing are like the sandman coming every night to steal your sand. One morning you might wake up and notice some hearing is missing!

New Song! You Got To Feel That

Content Warning: Explicit Language

This song is in a musical I am writing about an abused kid who runs away to Los Angeles and becomes famous, but not for the reasons they wished.

In particular, You Got To Feel That is about getting out of your head, getting over negative self-talk, and doing something positive.

Don't think it. Feel it.

(C) 2019 Ken Bussell.

Jesus, You Are My Rock

This song is an exercise in patience, restraint, and delayed gratification. It is based on a parable of Jesus, has progressive atonement theology, avoids gender bias, and encourages bodily response beyond just singing. It was written from a deeply personal perspective, when faced with shifting sands all around me, who do I turn to, and where do I make my stand? The words are just as meaningful for me today as ever.

It takes 5/8 a long time to process through a two-chord progression in 4/4. If you're a math person, have fun with that. One cool thing about it... it makes each song section unique. It also helps the song last over ten minutes.

Originally written in 2003, I have performed this song hundreds of times in churches. Only recently have I been recording and mixing it in my dining room. And I have a laundry list of unfinished issues with it.

1. No auto-tune vocal correction. It needs it.
2. No elastic audio rhythm correction. Also needs it.
3. No large diaphragm condensers. All dynamic mics. Not good.
4. No automation.
5. No mastering.

The list of compromises is long. But I'm tired of waiting for things to be perfect. I hope you enjoy it.

This is What You Get - New Music Video

This is my second-ever music video editing project. It's another original song written by myself and Heidi Davis. This one is also from the musical "The Ripper: Song of the Knife."

Recording for this song went a little easier. The drum parts are simpler, the instrumentation is stripped down, and there is no guitar solo. I had to record bass and guitar direct (in my breakfast nook), so the tones are all in-the-box (Pro Tools).

I do like the Waves GTR plugin though. It has several PRS presets that sound great, offers multiple mic and cabinet arrangements, and has lots of stomp effects that get the job done. I used it for both guitar and bass tones.

Her Demon - New Music Video

I took my first video editing class back in 1996, and soon after I began working on a local television show using a Commodore Amiga with Video Toaster (until we upgraded to an Avid nonlinear system). It only took 22 years for me to finally edit my first music video.

We recorded all the video in one evening at the Bach to Rock music studio in Tanasbourne. My son Luke did all of the videography. We followed a scratch track because I had not finished the final mix for the song. So I had a lot of work to do to get the song mixed AND edit the video together.

John Oliver on Criminal Justice Reform

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver deserves a lot of credit for their reporting on the American criminal justice system. I put together a comprehensive playlist of all the issues they've covered, including police, public defenders, prosecutors, judges, and prisons. If you don't believe there is a need for sweeping criminal justice reform, watch all 20 videos. You will change your mind.