A Brief History
Working on material for the ELEMENT 115 music, there were
some songs in the works which included a few unique properties.
These songs had some elements of blues/rock or typical blues
progressions. Not knowing if they would be shelved for later
use, or where (if possible) [they] would fit on the record;
I personally had a different idea starting to take form: Maybe
it would be feasible to produce a record centered around the
theme of these songs and/or progressions.
...and then This happened.
The general theme of "Project:
Blue Book" is to focus the material around what's commonly
associated to either "blues" progressions, blues
styles, or blues/rock music. These are just guidelines not
any strict, specific set of rules. As long as the material
chosen would fall "loosely" into aforementioned
category, it would fly for the record.
One thing creating the first challenge was to
choose the songs/material that would be included, and subsequently
recorded, for this project. There were already four (or so)
original songs we had kickin' around which would fit the criteria.
These songs are either floating in pre-production limbo, at
incomplete arrangement stages, undesirable for use on other
projects, and likely a number of other reasons. Selecting
from just three or four of the original roster would leave
us with space to include cover songs. As this page is being
written, the likelihood is; there being four(4) cover songs
chosen along with three(3) originals. That could change, but
we're assuming this to be the expected line-up. The final
result will include seven(7) titles. This number was symbolically
chosen to represent the Theosophical study of the Seven Rays.
With one or two of the originals
already planned to have a place for inviting friends to appear
as "guest" tracks, something started to develop
in my twisted, demented, mind. As a producer, I thought: "Why
not invite EVERYONE to have a 'go' at it!?" Well, that's
sort-of what I did. I've had some good results recording musicians
that where either not very experienced with a professional
recording environment, or students that hadn't had a chance
to explore that realm as guitar players. I figured that a
few less experienced players (recorded/directed properly)
mixed with the quality of players that have recorded/performed
many times in their history would result in a nice blend of
different backgrounds playing for a common goal. The intention
was to just have fun throwing down a track here-n-there, with
the directive of producing a pro' quality record.
Aside from all members of the secret ELEMENT
115 musical underground laboratory, we are inviting fellow
professionals, friends that play as a hobby, students, and
anyone who can fit into one (or more) of these songs. I have
even solicited invitations to strangers posting on craigslist!
This original idea has now taken on a whole new life. As the
numbers grow, we'll continue to invite players until all the
master tracks for the record have been complete. There will
likely be tracks recorded in three different locations, all
with the goal of ending up on this very record.
The development of the web pages was for the musicians
involved to watch progress and to help schedule their own
level of participation. The web pages are also designed for
myself, as the producer, to keep track of the enormous responsibility
this could become. If not kept in check to a responsible dimension,
it could turn into a logistical nightmare, so we're asking
everyone involved to please be patient.
Requirements and Participation
What does it take to join? Not
much. Of all the different levels of experience involved,
one of the common denominators that brings us together are
styles, songs, riffs, and progressions most of us learned
the first time we all tried to play rock music on our main
instruments. Sometimes pro's, students, or novice players
get together to 'jam' or just have fun (with no previous rehearsal
plan). It's very common at these events to play music which
includes blues, blues/rock, I-IV-V, and/or I-VI-IV-V progressions.
These progressions include a liberal backbone which allows
a player to perform with a wide variety of possible textures.
Playing your 'chops all-out, low-down & quiet, or somewhere
in between, all have a place in [this style] of music. Wanting
to produce the record professionally, the variation of titles
will allow most players to find their level of play somewhere
in the mix of tempos & chord progressions so that each
song wouldn't lose its integral quality with so many people
All participants will receive the SAME amount
of respect throughout the process, regardless of your individual
level(s) of experience. Nobody will take front row or a back
seat to my personal attention based on whether or not you've
recorded professionally before. What, and where, you'll play
will be strictly based on what you (as a team player) can
provide toward the fulfillment of the Goal, which is, completing
this production; the mastered record; "Project: Blue
This thing will not be finished in
one week or one month! Since there are so many changing schedules
and personal situations, the selected tracks to be recorded
will change to accommodate everyone's availability as best
we can. I tried to assemble the requirements in a way that
it would NOT interfere with other responsibilities of the
musicians; such as: other bands, projects, jobs, classes,
work, children/family duties, and unforeseeable or unavoidable
instances which may occur during the production of the record.
The musicians can ALWAYS reschedule if necessary.
If [your] changing of a date/time effects a pre-production
attempt or a day to rehearse something, don't worry about
it. We all want participants to keep to their pledge of accomplishment,
so virtually ANY changes can be made to accommodate you. If
your canceling occurs on a date with a PAID studio time PLEASE
let us know as early as humanly possible. The loss of money
paid for a recording could be detrimental to the limited budget
of this production. Please show all involved an equivalent
amount of respect we offer to you.
This is a Group activity. Please keep [that]
in mind. As with any Group activity, communication is quintessential
to the success of the project. With proper, and regular communication(s),
this thing will work as closely as planned & virtually
anything which requires an "adjustment" can be worked
out where Patience and Will are applied properly. I have great
Faith in this idea, and in each one of YOU. In my many years
of recording/producing I've seen pro's fold under pressure,
and novices shine with artistic glory in unexpected moments
of accomplishment. So if you choose to accept my personal
advice; Apply your Will, and we shall all Advance from this
Please, Please, if you need ANYTHING
at all to assist you during these events, just ask! Of all
I have to offer with my business & experience, we have
resources for virtually anything we could need or want. There
is NO money expected to come out out of anyone's pocket. There
are some of you that need to travel a bit out of your way,
and as [you know], I've offered and paid to cover your travel
expenses or other necessities. YOU are the contributors, so
you will also be catered to in the best way (within the means
of my business COLORFAST™)
that I possibly can. If there's anything you all are due for
your participation, it's the respect of myself, and anyone
involved with ELEMENT 115.
We have the capabilities to provide musical equipment
if needed, recording equipment, instrument repair/services,
recording facilities if/when necessary; virtually all you'll
need is your main guitar or bass you want to use, and for
drummers we'll even try to arrange a kit at the studio if
it will make things easier for you. I've even set up a private
website location for the musicians to download files and keep
up on important details that may occur to better help you
practice & prepare for your individual tracks.
There is no way I could express,
in words, the gratitude I have for each and every one of you
whom have Pledged to contribute. Some of you have read my
Thank You note in the private section, and I'm trying to figure
a way to offer another small gratuity (or party favour) to
help commemorate the event.
This record was my own idea, but You are all
a part of the Greater Plan. I truly believe; the Music we
play is an expression of how we attempt to communicate an
inner motivation of artistic expression, and the Work we do
is whatever Service assists the greater good, Creating in
form, with proper usage of Group activity.
Again, I Thank You with my Heart.
~J. S. Valentine