Would You Believe

would-300Like many “greatest hits” albums, there is always one new song included in the album.

I wrote this song for my wedding in 2011 and was used for our first dance song during the reception. As a result, I am not the lead vocalist on this song. This song also allowed me to end the album on a happy note.

listen to Would You Believe

Look Around

around-300Look Around was written in early 1990 for a friend who had recently lost her father to cancer. I wanted to give her hope and some sort of comfort that it would all get better.

The first version of this song was recorded at USC on digital multitrack in 1990 and ended up becoming the title track for the album released in 1993. This early version featured Dirk Mahabir on drums, Adam Flint on guitar, and Nate Schelling on vocals. I had decided not to sing this song at the time and so I used a guest vocalist for the recording.

In 2011, I lost my father to cancer. Since that event, the song has grown to have greater meaning for me and it only seemed appropriate to include it on the album.

listen to Look Around

The Night Before

night-300In 1993, I released an album called Look Around. A few songs were recorded on digital multitrack at USC and the rest in my living room on a Tascam cassette four-track machine.

The Night Before was recorded onto a handheld recorder in a piano lab and then transferred to the four-track for the vocals.

I was fortunate enough to have access to a wonderful Bösendorfer piano for this recording. The piano was recorded without a click track and therefore I decided that I did not want to do any edits. I was lucky because I needed two takes to get it right.

listen to The Night Before

Wooden Fence

wooden-300The original recording of this song in June 1990 was rushed because I was trying to finish The Still Life before the quarter ended during my last year at UCSD. The version on the album was recorded live with just drums and the main keyboard. I had not worked out the bridge section entirely and so it was improvised on the night of the recording. As a result, this song never felt finished to me. There was no MIDI file for this song so I had to recreate the song from the recording. Since I was not pleased with the original bridge, I opted to write a new one. To be completely honest, I am still not sure about the bridge…

listen to Wooden Fence


transparent-300I wrote this song the morning after a date that had gone very well back in 1994. David Ozab was not surprised when I called him later that day with a new song to record. This song was also recorded onto a four-track in the same fashion as I’m Not Talking About and appeared on Through The Looking Glass.

This song has always been a favorite of mine and I was very excited to be able to record a new version. I did go overboard with the number of tracks recorded which made this the most difficult song to mix on this album. In the end, it was worth the time and effort to give this song a new version.

listen to Transparent

I’m Not Talking About

talking-300In 1994, I went on a writing frenzy and wrote 12 songs in six weeks. Nine of those songs ended up on an album called Through The Looking Glass. This song was a result of me trying to write dance music. The original version was recorded onto a four-track reel-to-reel deck with two tracks devoted to the sequenced drums and synths, one to guitar, and the other to the vocal.

The introduction for the new version was extended and all the original sequenced parts were kept. Even the guitar part followed the pattern originally set by David Ozab in 1994. Charlene added some spectacular vocal parts and Trevor’s drums locked perfectly with the original drum pattern. Overall, another fun track to record and mix.

listen to I’m Not Talking About


inside-300The very first version of this song was recorded in 1987. Granted it was just a piano and vocal track, but it was a recording nonetheless. It was recorded several times since then but each recording never captured the quirkiness of the song. This song appeared next to Make Me Bleed on the album Out The Window.

The goal with this version was to have as much fun as possible when recording it. The drums, bass, and guitar are all live takes with no edits. The vocals were recorded in complete takes as well. Overall, this was a fun song to record and mix.

listen to INSIDE

Make Me Bleed

bleed-300I wrote this song in August of 1990 for reasons I cannot remember why. It was meant as a tongue-in-check song about a relationship gone too far. The original version was created on a Yamaha QX3 sequencer and a Roland MT-32 and was overly sequenced. It was recorded two more times before this latest version with one of those versions appearing on the 1994 album, Out The Window. Each version lacked a live drummer and as a result always felt stiff.

This new version feels loose and fun, which is what I always wanted from this song.

listen to Make Me Bleed


afterthoughts-300This is another song from Impressions which means that the song was lowered by a whole step. I had originally planned on recording this track live playing piano and singing at the same time. However, the logistics of the piano recordings did not allow this to happen. In any case, the piano recording is live and without edits.

listen to Afterthoughts

Who I Am

whoiam-300This song was track 3 of what would become the last Instant Emotion album, Impressions. I actually had hoped that this album would mark a new beginning for Instant Emotion, but instead it served as a finale. This was also the fist album not to feature me as the main vocalist. When these songs were being written in 1996, I was already working with a different vocalist, but by the time I started recording in 2000, that vocalist was no longer available. Fortunately, Stephen Scanlan agreed to serve as vocalist for the album.

I had to drop the key of this song by a whole step in order to sing it. However, I still could not reach the high notes in the middle section, so that was given to Charlene to sing. I also changed the ending of the song. The original version ends immediately after the chorus on a suspension. Given its context in the Impressions album, this ending worked very well. However, for the new version, I brought back the opening motive and ended the song with a strong major cadence.

listen to Who I Am