In this blog, we're reviewing a special video from my YouTube channel based on music from Florence + The Machine. This was an unusual choice compared with the usual song selections, and on top of that, I had the inspiration to combine 2 separate drum tracks into a duet with myself to create the final video.
2 player drum track - Rabbit Heart
Multiple Timelines In The Mind
I was listening to a lot of different music during this formative time and felt drawn to work with this song. Even though I didn't know if it was possible, in my head I was hearing and imagining 2 layers of drums coming together as one. I went to work learning the structure of the song and then discerned which parts could be assigned to each layer. After I had mentally split the drums into the 2 "layers", I memorised each and practiced one at a time as it's own part with the song.
2 versions of drums on the track were then recorded. It wasn't until the whole process was complete that I loaded the footage into Final Cut Pro and saw what I had envisioned for the first time. I wasn't sure it was going to work as intended, but after editing this weird masterpiece together, it was pretty magical to watch for the first time.
Playing a duet with this weird guy...
One track was doing a lot of the main parts, and one was holding down an ostinato and augmenting with extra dubs. The 2 were arranged to mostly stay out of the way of each other, but an interesting highlight is towards the end of the song (3:19), where I arranged it so that the drum fill is synchronised on both layers, creating an interesting visual effect and sound as both versions tie in for a few short moments.
Picking The Music I Wanted
I came across Florence + The Machine when I was working at JB hi-fi in 2013. I was literally surrounded by a sea of music options in the CD/DVD department, so I could pick whatever appealed to me, and at the time it was Lungs. After buying the 2 disc copy of Lungs, I also bought Ceremonials and How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful. The vocals, harmonies, drums and percussion, instruments, song structures, synthesised drums and sounds, and overall production of their music is still completely captivating to me.
Lungs album art
After building a rapport with the metal lovers of YouTube by creating mainly metal and hardcore music videos, I knew this cover was going to shake up some of the expectations. There was an urge to do more than stick to the same stuff I knew I could do already. As a musician, we can get inspiration from anywhere, and I was feeling more and more of a pull to follow my heart into other non-metal areas.
Choose Your Target Audience
This video was really the first one that was for me. In most of the other cases, I knew ahead of time that I would have an audience waiting, and I played to that audience. In this case, I picked one of my favourite songs and allowed myself the space to create exactly what I wanted, regardless of the outcome. The result was a video I am proud to have produced, but without the view count that a more popular song choice could have brought in.
At the time, this fact hurt as I wanted the recognition and the pay off for what I had done, but I realise now it was never about that, and in fact my channel and my psyche may have survived if I had stayed within my own energy more often. It is one thing to pick the music you love, but the philosophy can and should ripple out into all other areas of your life. To choose or behave as something not aligned with your true self will always cause cracks to form, and though they may start small, the further down the rabbit hole you go, the more you will feel the cracks open up.
Spot the difference
The reason the momentum of my YouTube channel decreased over time is that I started to lose the passion and drive after burning myself out on so much metal music, when really there is so much more music of other styles that I love and never touched on, for fear of stretching and breaking the boundary of my niche market.. sensitive metal lovers who don't like change. I suppose I had a bit of metal lover still in me, and couldn't even submit to my true self.
Next time, we get strange with System Of A Down. What does it take to live in the vicinity of obscenity? We answer this question and more, exclusively here on alex-pepper.com
If you're after more drums, head to my YouTube. If you're after photography, try my Instagram. I'd love to answer any questions you have or give you some tips. If you would like to contact me, use the contact form or find me on the social platform of your choice - all my social links are at the top and bottom of the page.
Thanks for having a read xx