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The Lady anoNYMous
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Alternative orchestral musings, both dark and whimsical. Neoclassical, industrial, trip-hop, ambient, post-everything.
Alternative orchestral musings, both dark and whimsical. Neoclassical, industrial, trip-hop, ambient, post-everything.

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Today on the Jukebox: "They Delving 3.33," by The Lady anoNYMous

After a couple days of writer's block, during which I tinkered with the new songs, I left them alone and wrote - and finished! - a rough draft of a new song. For the moment, it's being called "Misplaced Romanticism." I say "for the moment" because two of my recent songs have had title changes, so I'm not setting anything in stone. Anyway, I had some ideas regarding a song that I'd poked and prodded, with little results, and it took off today, moving in natural progression from movement to movement. It's all exploring one simple theme, but I have nothing against "simple" these days, as I made a point of in yesterday's post for "Simplified." Besides, it explores enough varied territories that it doesn't feel repetitive. I won't know how long it ended up being until I transfer an AIFF to the computer, but it's definitely longer than some of the material that's averaging 3-4 minutes on the new EP, Neoclassism. It may be included, it may not. It depends on how well it fits in with the other songs. This may be a repeat of Dialectical Observations where I had a lot of material but removed more and more to achieve the best flow. We'll see. I still have almost an entire month before the February 19th release date.

Now, I don't know why this song wound up stuck in my head today, but why question it? Besides, I'd had a running theme of songs with vocals not too long ago, which I've gotten away from, and this song should have been included. The theme was started by the idea I've had for a songs-with-vocals (which are rarities in my overall repertoire) compilation, which named itself From a Whisper to a Scream. This song has whispers, growls, and some real belting-out. And me and this song go way back.

It all started when I started to delve (ha ha) into some darker territory, something that I hadn't really done yet, back in those early days. Up until the writing of the first version of this song, I'd really only gone "goth" in "Dusk Devils," which would later evolve into "The Nocturnal Dervish." The original started me on a path deeper into the dark side, which I've thoroughly explored by now, and it was also my first song to use multiple drum tracks, which has become pretty standard in my songwriting since.

You may wonder why this version is marked 3.33. Well, there's been six incarnations of this song, numbered 1.0, 1.11, 2.0, 2.22, 3.0, and 3.33, in homage to the Rebuild of Evangelion films that have been revamping the anime series Neon Genisis: Evangelion. So, the odd numbering is just to show off my geek side. However, the number of versions has been due to different attempts at trying to get the vocals right, as well as a shift from the "piano-industrial" style to a metallic makeover in version 3.0, which was the instrumental predecessor to this, the "final" version. "Final" is in quotes because I'm thinking about rerecording the vocals and remixing the instrumentation for what could be included on From a Whisper to a Scream.

Something interesting about this song that I discovered today: I looked it up in Apple Music and it's a starred track for the album Revolutions. Apple Music usually stars two songs on albums, presumably singles or what's most popular. Well, I was just a little surprised that this was what's considered star-worthy, according to whatever criteria they use. Then again, I'm continually (and pleasantly) surprised by what I find are the most popular songs on different platforms.

Revolutions can also be found at Spotify, YouTube Music, Google Play, Amazon Music, Microsoft Groove, and TIDAL. If you'd like to directly support me and my art, consider buying the song or album from my Snail Tunes store - http://theladyanonymous.bandcamp.com. Purchases include quality downloads and unlimited subscription-free streaming.
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Today on the Jukebox: "Simplify," by The Lady anoNYMous

Well, on top of fiddling around with some of the songs a bit more, I uploaded a prototype of Neoclassism, subject to change over the next month, of course. It's mostly there as just another way of getting things done early; it will be altered as necessary up to the release date, but since I have a complete six-track playlist of the potential product, I figured, why not? It certainly sounds like a finished piece, and is as much, though who knows what whims I might have. I'm still songwriting. and I'm still having little "what if"s that I'm exploring when it comes to the existing songs. The next month will be all about adding, subtracting, and fine-tuning.

The song I've chosen for today's post has informed a lot of my subsequent songwriting, and surprised me when it became - and continues to be - the most popular song from my repertoire. One of the obstacles I've had to overcome in order to pursue my art and put it out there is a doctrine instilled by music snobbery: that the more complex - or fast - a piece is, the better. Yet, my observation has been that music can have a deep resonance even if it's extremely simple. I had to reason with myself that I may not have the skill or practice of the most talented musicians out there, but I still have worthwhile art to offer the world. And I also had to stop judging my own music's merits based on that ingrained standard. My best compositions aren't my best based on their length, complexity, or speed. They're my best because of how naturally they've flowed out of me, or because of how much honest hard work I put into them, or because of how much they resonate with me.

So I went into writing this song from a place of practicing simplicity and resonance, and it was primarily built from two simple notes on both a synth and an organ, layered over a beat and bass-line that I found to have an irresistible groove. Everything else was built on that. There were some feats of dexterity inspired by that, and some experiments that worked wonderfully well, but it all came from a very simple structure, and I've since allowed myself to approach composing from that place of finding a simple groove and going with it. And, as if to affirm this new practice, this song has become my most popular.

I'd like that to be a lesson to other artists: your art is worthwhile, even if, in you're opinion or the opinion of others, you're not the best at what you do. The importance is that it matters to you, that you felt it was necessary to express, that there's a possibility others might appreciate it. If you can convince yourself of that, it might even give you the courage to put your art out into the world.

This song is from my third album, Jaded, which is available at Spotify, YouTube Music, Google Play, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Microsoft Groove. If you'd like to directly support me and my art, consider buying the song or album from my Snail Tunes store at http://theladyanonymous.bandcamp.com. Purchases include quality downloads and unlimited subscription-free streaming.
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It's been set for awhile now, but in case you haven't been paying attention, well, this new little "poster" is something I just threw together...the new EP/album (it has the potential to exceed the six tracks - seven, on the Patreon Artist's Edition - that have already been recorded and mastered). I decided on February 19th because it gives me a month to polish, play around with the track list, and create the Artist's Edition's artwork, and it happens to be the third anniversary of my debut EP.

Giving myself this much time also allows for creating other releases for my anniversary. Over the past two years, I've created an anniversary gift for y'all; year one saw a new and extended version of my no-longer-available debut; year two I threw together a collection of rarities. Progress Report: The Anniversary Spin and Vague Notions (respectively) are still available for FREE DOWNLOAD at http://noisetrade.com/theladyanonymous. I have no idea what this year's theme is going to be, yet, so I guess it's good that I have a month to figure it out.

Also next month, I've decided to give y'all a Valentine's gift. That's the date I've decided on for the release of Jaded Winters, a short EP/single for "Winter's Salve" and "Jade's Theme," featuring their earliest released version each, as well as their newest. It will be made widely available across online stores and streaming platforms, and it will also be a pay-what-you-will release at Snail Tunes (http://theladyanonymous.bandcamp.com) and NoiseTrade.

I hope I've given you something to look forward to. Until then, may your inner snails remain resilient and determined.
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Today on the Jukebox: "Vainglorious Wrath (Alternate Spin)," by The Lady anoNYMous

I've gotta make this quick because my battery's about dead and there's no convenient power outlets close at hand, so I'll just begin by saying that not a whole lot has been done today, except for confirming the levels for "Symbolism" on the studio speakers. I've been mostly playing around with the artwork and with the songs that I have completed drafts of for the upcoming EP. Every time I try to make any headway on new music has me running up against a brick wall these past couple of days. I have a couple of very promising half-completed songs in the works, but what direction they go next eludes me. I'm not too worried about it. I already have a "complete" EP on hand, it just needs fine-tuning. Anything more that I get done before the February 19th release date just opens up more possibilities.

The new EP isn't the only event that will be celebrating the upcoming three-year anniversary of my debut EP as a solo artist - a single for "Winter's Salve"/"Jade's Theme" is also being released, and I'll probably be putting together a celebratory compilation such as I did the last two years. I have no idea what's to be on it, so I guess it's good that I'm getting so much advance work done on the new EP, because I have it in my head to be juggling around new releases all at once.

Today's Jukebox pick relates to the upcoming anniversary, as it's the final incarnation of one of those first compositions from my debut EP, a song called "Glory and Wrath." Whenever I'd toyed around with the idea of being a solo artist in the past, I thought it might be a good idea to start with performing/recording covers, and I often thought of doing a cover of Portishead's "Glory Box." This song started out as my writing a rendition of that beloved piece, but then I started writing my own music branching off of its simple bass-and-strings core. At this point in my journey, I'd been heavily influenced by Afro Celt Sound System and Dead Can Dance, and my vision of my music was that it would be more straightforward alternative rock with ethnic and world fusions. So what developed was a little piano ditty with some hand drums, a middle-eastern sounding cello, and that Portishead base. In honor of the song I was ripping off, I threw "Glory" into the title.

When I was gathering material for a full-length album, I revisited "Wrath" with an attempt to do a remix. The song refused, and instead I ended up cannibalizing it and working its elements into a much larger, more complex piece. "Vainglorious Wrath" was born, and appeared on my debut album, Instrumentality. Then, when the first anniversary of my debut EP rolled around I attempted to do a remix of "Vainglorious," which bore "Inglorious Wrath," which is now rare for a reason. It wasn't horrible, but it didn't achieve what I'd aimed for. However, it did give me ideas that were used in a second attempt that stayed truer to the source material, one that was more or less just rerecording pieces of instrumentation and implementing some new ideas. Thus, this Alternate Spin came to be, and this is the version of this song I prefer over all others.

This recording was first made available on the EP Elemental, and was then included on the album The Instrumentality Project. Both the EP and album are available at Spotify, YouTube Music, Google Play, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Microsoft Groove, and TIDAL. If you'd like to directly support me and my art, consider buying the song, EP, or album from my Snail Tunes store - http://theladyanonymous.bandcamp.com. Purchases include quality downloads and unlimited subscription-free streaming.
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Hey, folken, I'm in the middle of the adjusting/converting/playback phase with some of the "completed" material for the upcoming EP, and as I've been doing this, I've been getting some advance work on the artwork done. Yet again, I've turned to the back catalogue of +cyril rolando, with the piece "Anoo 2009" being the well-that-should-have-been-obvious choice for the cover, with rich symbolism and sociopolitical commentary embodying what Neoclassism is all about. Once again, I'd like to give a big public THANK YOU to Cyril, who continues to engage in a much-appreciated reciprocal art exchange with me. I couldn't ask for better imagery to be associated with my music.

Not only have I been working on the cover, but I've been working on track art for the Artist's Edition. Giving myself a month in advance to get this all done is really a load off, as I usually get very harried about this part of the process. Even though I'm just choosing pieces already completed by Cyril, a lot of work still goes into this, including adjusting the cropping, hue, saturation, brightness and contrast, along with the text and various decorative effects. Then there's trying to make it all uniform enough to feel as though it's part of a whole. This process can be both fun and tedious. If I try to cram it all in at the last minute, it makes me feel fried, but now I'm getting to do it all at a more relaxed pace.

This is, I think, the best version of the cover I've come up with so far. Drafts of track art for "Why Can't We Have Nice Things?" and "Reciprocal" (formerly "Eleven") have also been completed. Right now I have seven potential songs for the EP, including bonus track(s) for the Artist's Edition. I've listened to a completed playlist a few times, trying it in a few different orders, and I'm about to go give some of the songs another listen on the studio speakers now that I've made adjustments, even though it's below freezing out there. But great art often comes from suffering, right?

I hope you're all having a fantastic day - may your inner snails remain resilient and determined.
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Today on the Jukebox: "Hell is for Reels," by The Lady anoNYMous

I've spent the entirety of today working on "Quietly Creeping," my piano-focused simplified trip-hop rendition of "The Creeps" from Revolutions. Okay, there was, like, two minutes dedicated to recording a tiny intro to my new neoclassical ballad "Love & Loss," and changing a couple of notes of "Otaku." Those are the reasons I'm happy to exchange a more immediate payday with giving myself a release date of February 19th, over a month away. I learned from my experience with Dialectical Observations that giving myself ample time to tweak and fine-tune over an extended period pays off. Yet, even as I'm typing, I'm listening to what I could pass off as a finished EP. Right now I'm leaning toward renaming "Eleven" "Reciprocal" and including it in the EP proper, with "Love & Loss" being a mellow closer for the Patreon-exclusive Artist's Edition. And if I feel confident enough in it, "Creeping Quietly" (I can't decide what order those words should be in) might be another bonus track, if not released to Patrons sooner. But who knows about any of this; there release is still a ways a way, with a plan to use it as one of the celebrations for my third-year anniversary as a solo composer.

Working on a new version of "The Creeps" has my mind dwelling on Revolutions, my fourth full-length album and what I claim to be my most experimental. Lots of its techniques and now-favorite synths have since become commonplace in my work, but they were used in weird ways on unsteady feet on that record. And this Jukebox song is a unique song amongst unique songs.

Originally written when my initial vision for these projects leaned more in the "world music" category, inspired by Afro Celt Sound System and Dead Can Dance, I tried my hand at a traditional-style Celtic rock instrumental. "Reels" referring to fiddle riffs, a lot of this song was written with violin, viola, and cello all echoing each other, to a rapid acoustic guitar refrain. A demo of just guitar, strings, and traditional-rock-style drums was released on a no-longer-available non-commercial EP (back in the day when all my releases only asked for tips...not such a good business plan) titled The Hypnotic Jamboree.

The demo is now a rarity, and for the "official" version, I resurrected it for a post-industrial treatment to give it a twist of weirdness...kind of just for the sake of being weird. So now there are multiple drum tracks, some odd synths (with one in particular taking center stage for a moment), and the song wraps itself up in a fiddle round. I'm not sure how much of a hit this makeover is. The demo got a lot of praise and was my most-downloaded song on Jamendo for quite a while. Maybe I made it too weird for many palettes, but this is the version I'm standing by. The demo still resurfaces among the rotating rarities available for a pledge at http://patreon.com/theladyanonymous, though.

This song can be found on Revolutions at Spotify, YouTube Music, Google Play, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Microsoft Groove, and TIDAL; maybe other streaming platforms that I'm not aware of, as well.

If you'd like to directly support me and my art, consider purchasing the song or album from my Snail Tunes store - http://theladyanonymous.bandcamp.com. I just recently knocked the album's price down a buck! Purchases include a quality download, as well as unlimited subscription-free streaming.
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Nothing's really coming to mind for a Jukebox song, so I'll just make a quick status report:

New music has been continuing to come along. "Love & Loss" - a piano ballad in the style of "Winter's Salve" - has been mastered, with a new intro written today. It's looking to be the closer or Patreon-exclusive bonus track on the upcoming EP, Neoclassism. "Eleven" is leaning toward being renamed "Reciprocal" and being included on the public EP. Yesterday, I felt like crap with my neuropathy experiencing an all-time high (since I left the hospital three years ago, anyway) so nothing was done, but I've managed to regain my equilibrium today and have spent most of it working on the piano rendition of "The Creeps." It's turning out quite lovely, if I do say so myself (I do) and I'll be excited to share it when I come across an excuse to do so. It will likely fall into the hands of Patreon (http://patreon.com/theladyanonymous) patrons before long, and will make its public debut on the vocal compilation From a Whisper to a Scream, whenever that happens.

Because of my work on "Quietly Creeping" ("Creeping Quietly"?) Revolutions - the album on which "The Creeps" appears - has understandably been on my mind, so I visited the following link and was taken aback to realize I've still got it marked at $6 USD. Well, it's approaching the album's two-year anniversary, which almost coincides with the three-year anniversary of my debut EP. To get the ball rolling on anniversary celebrations, albeit a little early, I've decided to bring the price down a buck. The album is sixteen tracks of my most experimental work. It's perhaps a little dark, but it shows me finding my footing in the "piano-industrial" niche that I carved out for myself. Some of these strange compositions are among my most popular, including "Passage Through the Veil," "A Different Story," and the title track, "Revolutions," which reigned (still reigns?) as my most-played on SoundCloud.

This purchase directly supports me and my art, and includes a quality download of your choice from a variety of formats - from standard MP3 to lossless audio - which is free from any kind of burning-prohibiting protection. As my music is licensed Creative Commons Non-Commercial Share-Alike, you're welcome to do whatever you want with it - burn it, share it, remix it - as long as it's not for commercial purposes.

Also included is unlimited subscription-free streaming on your Bandcamp feed and the Bandcamp app, both of which are wonderful tools for previewing and discovering new music that might else-wise be off your radar!
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Apparently I haven't posted for a couple of days, as Facebook will unfailingly tell me. I haven't been online much at all, except to glance at my notifications without really responding to them. Mostly, I've been hard at work on my music, using a touchscreen DAW and shunning the computer. What's taking up my attention is the piano version of "The Creeps" (I'd welcome input on whether "Creeping Quietly" or "Quietly Creeping" sounds better) and a new piano ballad that is currently titled "Love & Loss." It's a forlorn and sparse little beauty, with subtle beats, a couple of sparingly used background synths, two cellos, and - of course - the original two-handed piano composition that I started out with. The piano was written in half of a day, much faster than anything I've composed in a while. Playing around with it and adjusting the sounds has occupied much of my last couple of days, but now I have a completed (final?) draft that I'm mastering. I'm in the phase of converting the AIFF to MP3 and seeing how it sounds on headphones - next will be studio speakers. And...as I'm listening, I think it sounds perfect as an MP3 on headphones now!

All of this is a status report, with the following link as an excuse to update y'all. But, as a reminder - my music, all albums and EPs, are available through iTunes and Apple Music. And if you follow me on Apple Music Connect, you'll occasionally be privy to a few treats as well! So add me and your favorite songs or records to your library - I'll make it worth your while.
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Today on the Jukebox: "Man Seeking Cocoon (For NSA LTR)," by The Lady anoNYMous

I spent the earlier part of today trying out ideas on a song that I'd started a while back. It kept me occupied and inspired, but after a snack and a nap and a subsequent listen, it turns out they weren't very good ideas. So I flipped through other unfinished projects and came across what was simply two measures of the start of a piano ballad. I immediately saw where I could go from there...and where I could go from there...totally stream-of-conscious in a classical style, and I wrote a two-handed piano ditty, a forlorn-but-pretty beauty, a complete song in a single afternoon! It wanted to be called "Love and Loss," so I didn't argue, even if it did seem a bit generic. There are some synths I've a mind to experiment with, and there will definitely be some string accompaniment, but it's been a while since I've written a whole draft in a few hours! This has me very excited, but I'll leave it until tomorrow to explore it further.

Now, I had a hard time choosing a song for today's Jukebox, and then it occurred to me that I've had this song on my mind lately. It seems to be a sure thing that it will be overshadowed by every other song on Dialectical Observations, my most recent album on which it is track two. The first song segues so perfectly into this tune, but aside from that, every other song has outstanding qualities that make each some of my best work ever, while this one can easily be lost as "that song that comes between tracks one and three." Yet it has its own merits and special qualities, such as some holy-hell-how-did-I-do-it dexterity that I would be hard pressed to repeat. There's some synths that I customized and can't figure out how to duplicate; I hear how they can be used in two songs I'm currently working on, but my DAW isn't convenient enough to let me save a synth and reuse it in another project. And this song sees the return of my beloved "theremin," once overused and now scarce.

So I don't think this song deserves to be forgotten or to slide in between the cracks. It's an integral part of what makes Dialectical Observations a cohesive whole, a "soundtrack for the indie film behind your eyes." My sixth full-length album can be enjoyed in its entirety at Spotify, YouTube Music, Google Play, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Microsoft Groove, and TIDAL. If you'd like to directly support me and my art, consider buying a song or the album from my Snail Tunes store - http://theladyanonymous.bandcamp.com. Purchases include quality downloads and unlimited subscription-free streaming.
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Today on the Jukebox: "Mr. Douter (Sin Palabras)," by The Lady anoNYMous

My musical efforts today were spent remastering "Symbolism," the better to blend it with the other songs written for the upcoming EP, Neoclassism. It took a few hours of tweaking, but as I'm listening to a playlist of the EP as it stands, I'm thinking my time was well-spent. It now makes for a dark and energetic opener that paves the way for "Why Can't We Have Nice Things?" Of course, "Eleven" is on the current playlist, though the current plan is for my latest to be a bonus track on the Patreon-exclusive Artist's Edition. But we'll see if I write anything to take its place. I have a great song title, but what of a song to go with it?

Meanwhile, my attention has been drawn to this song, mostly because I heard the wordless (sin palabras) version of "Lily White" earlier today, but I'd done "White" with vocals as a Jukebox post pretty recently. However, Lily White (Sin Palabras) has the EP Dissonance in common with this tune, which was also a rarity made widely available on the EP. I sometimes prefer the wordless versions of my songs that otherwise include vocals, because it gives further focus to the instrumentation, or allows one to bask in the spaces that have been cleared in the absence of verbal distractions. "Mr. Douter" normally includes a spoken-word piece that fits uncannily into the timing of this tune, but hell, it's about my ex, and who wants to hear about him in association with this song all the time. The instrumental composition is much too good for that.

It's been my observation that the sin palabras version may be more popular than its vocal counterpart, but that may just be my own insecurity. It may be that this version has just gained for notoriety. If you like the dark ambience and structure conveyed by this tune, I'd like to invite you to listen to "Mr. Douter" on the album Jaded, and see what you think. Maybe you could even let me know?

This version was first made publicly available (it was formerly a Patreon exclusive) on the EP Dissonance, and later included on the album Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, both of which are available at Spotify, YouTube Music, Google Play, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and TIDAL. If you'd like to directly support me and my art, consider buying the song, EP, or album from my Snail Tunes store - http://theladyanonymous.bandcamp.com. Purchases include quality downloads and unlimited subscription-free streaming.
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