Life as it is
'Life as it is' is a Prog Project that consists of seven different movements. It intends to portray an average human life cycle. The music of the first and last movement is identical as we originate from nature and we return to it. Long Tall J likes to give you some background about the different movements:
1 - 'Awakening' (00:00 - 00:19)
This part is about birth. Some jazzy chords and jungle sounds welcome you to this world. A gentle keyboard lays underneath.
2 - 'Rebellion' (00:19 - 01:28)
A drum beat that sounds like an Irish Bodhran is the basis for entering the years of rebellion. The guitar accompaniment below the biting lead guitar consists of four different guitar parts all played on the bridge pickup of a Fender Strat. The lead part was done on a Jackson guitar and the sound was created with a little Blackstar amp used as a pre amp combined with a Vox Wah pedal. The input signal was put stereo and a reverb, that is part of 'Logic' called the 'Chromaverb' was added to the signal creating this special sound.
3 - Spring (01:28 - 02:26)
The riff below the lead guitar was composed on a keyboard and part of it is the sound of a 1970's mellotron. The lead part is influenced by Steve Hackett of whom LTJ is a great admirer. It was played on a Jackson guitar with EMG pickups and with the stereo delay from Logic added to it the guitar just sounds amazing. 'Spring' is about establishing independence and finding joy.
4 - Prime (02:26 - 03:53)
Prime is about becoming successful in life and career and discovering deeper and more rich elements. The keyboard part was created with MIDI technology using an Arpeggiator. The guitar used is a white Fender Strat utilising an "endless" delay that somehow mingles with the sound of the Arpeggiator. The guitar sounds like a flute, especially in the beginning, creating a strong psychedelic effect. At the end of 'Prime' we are awakened by a stroke of thunder to let us move on and break the spell.
5 - Fulfilment (03:53 - 05:11)
A rainstorm and a beach scene introduces us to the wealthy years where we are approaching retirement and enjoying life, looking back at what we have achieved. Feeling less restless and more confident. These emotions are expressed by a relaxed beat with a slide solo on top. Still it has juice enough and is not just a Hawaiian sing along. The bass part was kept very sober to give space to the drums.
6 - Retrospect (05:11 - 06:51)
The changeover from 'Fulfilment' to 'Retrospect' is via a short part that is constructed out of three audio samples. We hear some dissonant chords as looking back in life there is always something to worry about or that has gone wrong. But overall things are fine and when "Retrospect" kicks off for real this mood is quickly gone. The main part of 'Retrospect" is again based on a keyboard part composed using an Arpeggiator. Combined with a disciplined and effective bass part we hear melodies that remind us of Folk music. The first four melodies alternate between using an E Bow and a normal guitar. All these parts are played on the high registers of a Les Paul guitar. The last bit where the tempo has doubled takes us to the final part and conclusion.
7 - Epilog (06:51 - 07:20)
'Epilog' bring us the final years and subsequent departure from life. After the last guitar notes have died down we just hear the sounds of animals in the jungle as nature carries on. Aren't we a little dot in the grand scheme of things?
So that is "Life as it is". Now let's enjoy and make the most of it!