The Making of Glacial Speed (Part 2)
In this video, I continue the story of the song, Glacial Speed, the 2nd track from M.E. VI (a requiem).
Full Video Transcript
Hi, I’m Rob Teplansky of Strong T, and this is part 2 of the story of Glacial Speed.
So, I had this kernel of an idea from a phone app and an airplane ride, but I still didn't have any lyrics, or actually a full song concept.
I had recently finished recording Life's a Gas in the Greenhouse. And so I decided at the time, that I really wanted to stay with that theme of climate change because it was such an important and compelling issue.
And of course my trip to Glacier National Park, which was why I was on that airplane to begin with, had left a very strong impression on me. The park was beautiful. It was stunning. And yet, the glaciers really were the least impressive part of it. By this time, so much of the glaciers had melted.
But I don’t want to discourage anybody from going. The park itself is beautiful. And as I say in the song, “Run to see the ice before it’s gone!” But there you have it. The glaciers are retreating so fast now because of the warming that's being cause by human activities, that we are really, in fact, redefining glacial speed.
So, I took all of this, and I wrote and I recorded a song that was truly a mess. So I figured if I set it aside for a little bit and came back to it, maybe I could fix it. You know, figure out what to do with it.
It sounded like this (plays sample).
And by that time, I had developed the concept for M.E. VI (a requiem). I had other songs that I needed to finish composing and start recording. And so I set aside Glacial Speed.
I actually, at this point, didn't even consider that Life's a Gas in the Greenhouse and Glacial Speed were even part of M.E. VI (a requiem). But as I got through recording some of these other songs, and got a better understanding of how everything was going to come together, it became clear to me that both Greenhouse and Glacial Speed were going to become essential to the album.
So I went back to it. Now, luckily, I had acquired a new bass guitar – I believe it was in 2021. And this instrument really sings to me. That bass guitar is actually single-handedly responsible for re-writing several of the songs on M.E. VI (a requiem), including Glacial Speed, Cry, and The Judgment.
Now, the first thing I did was throw out the chromatic bass line. It was really mucking everything up. Then, I actually slowed down the tempo of the song. It was really zooming so fast, and I wanted to give it that feel of glacial speed having changed from something that was a glacial pace, something really slow, to something really hyper and hyped up. And I just went too far. The song was at such a fast tempo that I couldn't even get the words out fast enough as I was trying to sing the words of the song.
So, I slowed it down. And then I just let the bass take the song in a new and different direction. I re-wrote the melody to be more musical, and then I re-wrote all of the arrangements for the song.
And there you have it. I essentially had a brand new song that was much more musical, easier to listen to, a lot more fun. And that's all while keeping many of its quirky characteristics.
So that’s how Glacial Speed recovered from an epic fail. In part 3, I’ll reveal the story behind the sampled parts from a 1950s era science show, and how they made it into the song.
The album, M.E. VI (a requiem), can be found on Bandcamp for digital download at strong-t.bandcamp.com and it’s streaming everywhere. So however you enjoy listening to your music, I hope you will find M.E. VI (a requiem), and give it a listen.
Thanks for your support and for listening!
And until next time, peace.