August 13, 2014

Super Mario Bros. Theme on Paint-Stick Violin

Here's my very rough rendition of the Super Mario Bros. theme song played on my home-made paint-stick violin:

SuperMarioBros_PaintStick.m4v

WWpaintstick_SuperMarioBros.jpg

Posted by will at 10:30 PM

July 06, 2014

Paint-Stick Violin

I made an instrument similar to a violin (G, D, A, E tuning) using:
-- a free paint stick from Home Depot
-- four thumb screws
-- a popsicle stick
-- a small cardboard box
-- fishing wire

For a violin costing less than $10, it handles pizzicato really well.

Here's a video clip of me playing the theme to "Pizzicato" from Sylvia, by Leo Delibes, on my home-made violin:

WW_Pizzicati_v4.m4v

Me playing the theme to The Godfather:

WW_Godfather.m4v

WW_plays_stickviol.jpg


Some images of the instrument:

WWviol_perspective.jpg

WWviol_top.jpg

WWviol_side.jpg

Posted by will at 10:06 AM

May 28, 2012

Song -- "Ball Tonight"

Song I wrote about an imaginary break-up:

Ball Tonight.mp3 (2.2 MB)

Lyrics by Will Wang

I'm having a ball tonight
While you're staying at home
Crying out your eyes
For what may be
Your strategy
Stake your claim
On my heart
You demand my faith and shame
Too much for me

It's hard to forget your crimes
Against nature and all mankind
But I -- I -- am
Too weak in the knees to fight
Who knew that a kiss could
Wipe my mind

I, but I'm too weak in the knees to fight
I see, I see a world without you
'Cuz our hearts, our hearts
Have already parted ways.

Posted by will at 03:24 AM

September 18, 2011

Ice Cream Entertainers

Craving ice cream, so I wrote a silly song about Ben & Jerry's.

Ice Cream Entertainers.mp3

icecream.jpg

Lyrics:

"Ice Cream Entertainers"
by William Wang

Ice cream
Ice cream
Ice cream
Ice cream

Do you want, do you need
what you lack, but you clearly need
Ice cream -- isn't that the truth
Ice cream -- cuz that's what I need

My BFF's are Ben & Jerry,
Cuz they make me laugh
and they make me merry
Only posers go for Haagen-Dazs
You want original stuff that'll hit the spot

Ice cream
Ice cream
Ice cream
Ice cream

Do you want, do you need
what you lack, but you clearly need
Ice cream -- isn't that the truth
Ice cream -- cuz that's what I need

Take Cinnamon Buns
Add a little Boston Cream Pie
So good, it'll make you cry
Ice cream
Ice cream

Chubby Hubby, Chunky Monkey
Maple Blondie, Milk & Cookies
Imagine Whirled Peace & Americone Dream
It's Choco-Therapy Jamaican-Me-Crazy

Ice cream
Ice cream
Ice cream
Ice cream

Posted by will at 03:37 AM

June 19, 2011

New Song -- Targa Tasmania

After recording this instrumental, it made me think of TV footage of the Targa Tasmania, so I named the song after the rally race. All guitar tracks by Will Wang. Percussion loops from GarageBand.

Download Targa Tasmania.mp3


TargaTasmania Zonda.jpg

Posted by will at 05:08 AM

April 16, 2011

Haystack in the Sun

Instrumental by William Wang. Drum loop from GarageBand.

Download "Haystack in the Sun.mp3"


HayBale in Field.jpg

Posted by will at 05:00 PM

October 26, 2008

Another GarageBand Mix -- Mission No. 3.14159

Created with GarageBand using loops and samples from the GarageBand library.

Arranged by W. Wang.

Hear (left-click) / download (right-click):
Mission 3.14159 (MP3, 3.2 MB, 2min45sec)

mw_cas_pit_ac.jpg

Posted by will at 09:43 AM | Comments (0)

July 21, 2008

New toy -- TASCAM DP-02CF Digital Multitrack Recorder

First instrumental test-piece using the TASCAM DP-02CF and my Martin XC-1T Ellipse electric/acoustic guitar.

Download/Listen to "Tascam1" (500kb mp3)

Posted by will at 11:46 PM | Comments (0)

June 08, 2008

My first Collective Soul song cover!

"December" written and originally recorded by Collective Soul.

Everything you hear in my version is me -- two guitar tracks, two bass tracks, three vocal tracks, one percussion track, two violin tracks, ten total layers.

Download Will's cover of December (5.2 mb, mp3)

Hopefully I'll still like it after I get some rest and wake up tomorrow morning/afternoon.

----------------

update: here's a version with clean, echo-less vocals.

Download version with plain vocals

Posted by will at 04:27 AM | Comments (0)

June 04, 2008

rough rough sample of Collective Soul's "December" cover

with a new Martin XC1T Ellipse acoustic-electric guitar, here's some doodling.

Download mp3

Posted by will at 01:43 AM | Comments (0)

April 16, 2008

Suzanne Vega on Songwriting

SuzanneVega06.jpg

from New York Times Online

http://measureformeasure.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/04/15/teen-beat/


April 15, 2008, 9:27 pm
Teen Beat

By Suzanne Vega

When I was a teenager, I used to have a neat sort of formula for writing songs. It worked over and over, and I got about 60 songs out of it. Now it doesn’t work so well, and I am forced to write in all different ways. But what worked for so long was this:

I would start to write a song sometime late Saturday afternoon. Then, after dinner, when everyone in my family was doing other Saturday-night things, I would go into my room by myself and fool around with the guitar for several hours, usually managing to hammer out some kind of idea. In those days the chords came first, and they depended on what I was singing about. Then the melody, and lastly the lyrics.

Each chord told a piece of a story, and by putting the chords together in a certain way you had a musical narrative. Major chords = happy. Minor chords = sad. Sevenths were sort of sexy and bluesy. Augmented and diminished chords were spooky and spiritual, so I had a lot of those.

Most of the time I didn’t know the names of the chords or what kinds of chords they were; I learned that later when I worked with a band and producers. But in the beginning I worked from a book called ”Pop Songs of the Sixties” that had little pictures of the fretboard and showed where to put your fingers. (Actually, I have never learned to read music and still don’t to this day. I have always depended on the kindness of arrangers! Hahaha.)

So I would string together a few chords that worked with whatever the idea at hand was, or whatever the mood of the day was. And then repeat them. The chords made a safe home for the melody, a bed for the melody to lie down on, sort of. So you had to shape the melody to the chords in some cool way. The idea that a melody could be its own clear idea didn’t really occur to me until much later. Melodies have always been hard for me. What I love is rhythm.

A digression: Recently I was asked by the producer Hal Willner to sing “Cruella de Vil” at a fund-raiser. I was already going to sing “Stay Awake.” (This was a 20th-anniversary concert for the album “Stay Awake: Various Interpretations of Music from Vintage Disney Films.”) I jumped at the chance. I would much rather be Cruella de Vil than Mary Poppins. I showed up to rehearsal and the band began to play. I sang what I remembered of the song. It’s a pretty well known song, and you could probably hum some variation of it yourself if you wanted to.

“Actually, Miss Vega, according to this chart right here, the melody goes like this,” said the guitar player, playing it for me crisply. Part of me wanted to shout, “Who cares? You know what I meant!” But that was not the intention of Mel Leven, who wrote the lyrics and melody, that I just hurl forth some approximation of his notes because I couldn’t remember the beginning.

It occurs to me that a melody is as precise and inviolate as a skeleton. You can vary it a little, but not much, really, if you want it to be recognizable. And that particular melody is a wonderful mix of dangerous unresolved intervals and jazzy light hearted vaudeville. Ultimately, we all decided that if I spoke the beginning, that would work dramatically.

But back to the teenage formula. Usually I would get say 80 percent of it done on Saturday night. I would work until about 1:00 in the morning. Most of the time there was a piece eluding me that I would sleep on. Maybe it was a final lyrical detail. Maybe it was a chord in the bridge that had to go somewhere unexpected. What I found was that by sleeping on it, some dream logic would creep into the song and give it an extra sparkle.

Now it’s different. I don’t have the hours at home that follow one after the other. I can’t imagine working from 8:00 until 1:00 in the morning without some kind of interruption, and when I wake up on Sunday morning I am not running over to the guitar to see what the missing piece was. Usually I am thinking, “Where’s Ruby? What does she have to do today?” (Ruby is my daughter.) Or answering the phone or staring at my husband in his sleep.

What worked for the last album was getting out of the house. I was having so much trouble concentrating at home (”I need to clean the closets!”) that I hired an engineer (Britt Meyers) to come to my house to work with me for three hours a day, three times a week. Those first days were agony, and when I sang the opening lines of “Bound” to Britt for the first time, I felt as though something crazy and weird were coming out of my mouth, like snakes. Now it is a real song, and though I still sing it with heartfelt emotion, it feels finished. But any song in the beginning is raw and uncooked and wobbly.

Eventually Britt persuaded me to come down to his studio to work, and we got a lot done. In fact much of the last album was created there at Great City Productions. So this year, when I came off the road, I thought, “Great! Let’s get right back to work!” — and booked myself a bunch of studio time. Which now I have been steadfastly avoiding. I mean, I had jury duty and everything. But we have two days booked at the end of this week. So let’s see what comes slithering out.


SuzanneVegaBCposter.jpg

Posted by will at 03:07 PM | Comments (0)

December 03, 2007

Hustle and Go - Rap Song #1

My first rap song. It bites, but whatever. Got to start somewhere.

I cut-and-pasted a few pre-made background loops from GarageBand so that I didn't have to actually play any real instruments. Then, I recorded two separate vocal tracks. And there you have it. An exercise in the ridiculous.

Right-Click and select Save As to download Hustle and Go (1.7 MB MP3)

or

Download Hustle and Go (700kb in .m4a format)

cartoon rapper.jpg

Lyrics:

Hustle and Go

Hey, Yo
Respect your Master, the real O.G.
You'd best decipher my rhymes,
if you want to hang with me,
You'd better burn my moves smack, damn, into the back of yo' eyes,
like a frequent flyer,
Out on the street.

Oh, y'all's about to see, the playa
Hustle and go,
Oh, yall's about to see me now,
Who-the-man, ya know?

Nobody but the PoPo gonna bring my spirits low,
And even if it comes to that, that's where you can save my soul
How's that, you might be asking?
Well, all you have to do is -- check it -- hear my lyrics, yo!

Ain't nobody ever gonna catch me,
I'm a playa -- hustle and go!
Ain't nobody gonna 'rass me,
I'm the shiznit with mistletoe!

Posted by will at 01:58 AM | Comments (0)

November 27, 2007

Ice Before Winter

Music (instrumental)
by William Wang

Download Ice Before Winter

TokyoRainbowBridge.jpg

Posted by will at 02:44 AM | Comments (0)

April 23, 2007

Simple Sunday Song

In the style of my Expressions album, but recorded 8 years later.
Nothing fancy. Another stab at recording, that's all. Would've been nice if my Mac Pro wouldn't keep crashing, leaving me without opportunity to save.

Download file

Posted by will at 10:40 AM | Comments (1)

April 20, 2007

How to record and mix your very own vocal tracks

Because Ivy was wondering . . .

Part 1:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jg3MH-xXIbw

Part 2:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfL2I0p1bVk

Posted by will at 02:36 AM | Comments (0)

September 17, 2006

Take Me Away

Lyrics, Music, and Recording by W. Wang

Download Song (4.1 MB)

Download Music Video (7 MB WMV)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4m7ryRWvN8

June-1600-x-1200.jpg

"Take Me Away"

Half-way here, without pain
Lying here, awake

Why does life
Have to be so strange

Why do I
Have to feel

Haunting
And Taunting
Me

With the snow
Comes rain --

And I can only hope
It melts you away

Take Me Away,
Take Me Away,
From Here

Posted by will at 04:52 AM | Comments (0)

August 24, 2006

My Pain Reliever: Study in A Minor

carcassi.jpg

To keep my mind off the chore of simply breathing and the weight of daily routine, I sought reprieve by tending to Matteo Carcassi's Study in A Minor, Op. 60, No. 7.

Hours and hours and hours of practice, and a few forgotten meals later, here it is (pardon the fumbling in the bridge section -- still needs more practice):

Download MP3 (2.3 MB)

performed by: Will
composed by: Matteo Carcassi

Posted by will at 01:11 AM | Comments (1)

May 31, 2006

Into Pieces

Into Pieces (take 4)
2:56 (min:sec)
by: William Wang
6/02/06 4:19 AM
(slightly-revised version uploaded on 6/18/06)

Download Into Pieces.mp3 (3.5 MB)

*Into Pieces*
(music and lyrics by William Wang)

I tried to understand,
But you let me fall to pieces.

I thought I was myself with you;
Instead, we were two,
Lost in different seas.

I wanted so much to be with you there,
On the Great Pacific -- that peaceful sea,
But I think you'd rather be
Out on the Atlantic
Fighting an angry sea.

I tried to understand,
But you let me fall to pieces.

Posted by will at 03:53 AM | Comments (0)

May 13, 2006

"Overworked American" by Will Wang

Listen to / Download Overworked American.mp3 (3.9 MB)

Will Wang - Overworked American

Dear Overworked American:
Must you work on through the night again?

Haven't illness and suffering
Left you wondering:
How did my sickness begin?

While the moon glows quietly,
You wake up and you're wondering:
What more can I do?

Posted by will at 08:11 PM | Comments (0)

May 11, 2006

"Goods" by Matters of State -- redone by WSW

Will Wang - Goods_v2 by Matters of State (2.5 MB)

Goods (All In Your Head)

This is the story with the fantastic lies
Or some facts to help us minimalize
As for this shelter I can plainly deny
But you can't kill time without injuring us

And we'll count up all the goods now

This is the girl with such fantastic eyes
Such brute creation to but lay up beside
Should cut our nails and wash up our feet
And enjoy the tedium that's yet been untried by me

Posted by will at 01:56 AM | Comments (0)

April 27, 2006

My Palo Alto Song

Silly song I wrote tonight . . . it's Wednesday, so it's as good a reason as any to be silly.

Will Wang - Palo Alto.mp3 (2 MB)

Wsw_Google.jpg
(unrelated pic of fun stuff in Palo Alto. Google-Google!)
(click here to see "Googleplation")

Posted by will at 02:22 AM | Comments (2)

April 16, 2006

B.A.C.083

Note the lyrics from Cannibal Corpse: very disturbing.

Download BAC083a.mp3 (2.3 MB)

7-29-05.jpg (unrelated picture: May 16, 2004 accident in England involving a BMW & Land Rover; 8 died and strewn across the motorway)

BAC083

Early hours, open road, family of five, on the way home.
Having looked at death in the eye, surely, no one will survive.
Just a pile of mush, left to dry in the sun.

I see my fresh kill left in the road,
Remains of your bodies, mangled and torn.

Trying to perceive if he's blind or insane,
He steers his car into the other lane.
Both of them collide, expressions, horrified.
Head-on, at full speed, the vultures will soon feed!

The father of three, was ejected from his seat:
E-J-E-C-T-E-D.
The mother, smashed upon the stick-shift shaft:
I-M-P-A-L-E-D.

The look of death, in my eye, surely no one will survive.
Blood, free, on the run, left to dry, in the sun.

I see my fresh kill left in the road,
Remains of your bodies, mangled and torn.

Fourth child on the way, won't live another day,
Fetus on the road, with mangled little bones.

Little children fly, not a chance to wonder why.
Smashed against the ceiling,
All their skin burning, and peeling.
Shards of glass exlplode, chest and skull now implode.

Corpses they'll become, and
Graves will be dug,
Graves will be dug!

Posted by will at 05:29 PM | Comments (0)

March 31, 2006

Lucy, USA

Here’s a little something I wrote & recorded last night.

Download “Lucy USA 5.mp3” (3.6MB)

* Lucy, USA *

by WSW


Hey Lucy —
Lucy, hang on.
Hey Lucy —
Lucy, hang on.

I know that war ain’t pretty.
Now, believe me, I can see it.
But we do our best
To stomp them down —
The ones who’d take our freedom.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Posted by will at 03:49 AM | Comments (0)

March 28, 2006

Vox Valvetronix Guitar Amp, AD30VT

Some preliminary sound bits from the curious little Vox.

SmellsLikeMoltenMercury.mp3

ELPTest2006March28.mp3

phpThumb.php.jpg

Posted by will at 10:19 AM | Comments (0)

February 11, 2006

Suite 900 "Ambient Noise"

When maintenance or construction is planned by the building owners, the building owners notify the tenants ahead of time as a courtesy, even if such work will be performed during non-business hours. For example, if the underground parking garage will be cleaned and repainted, we are notified in advance.

Thus, it would have(emphasis on WOULD HAVE) been nice to have been forewarned of the speech- and thought-deafening demolition of the 9th-floor lobby flooring by dueling jackhammers (yes, there were more than one!) that occurred one Friday evening when a client’s reply brief happened to be due.

Here’s what it was like in the office:

Download the low-resolution, 2MB-version of the video

Download the high-resolution, 7MB-version of the video

P209016_11mb_0001.jpg

“Jackhammer”jack·ham·mer n.
definition: A hand-held machine for drilling rock and breaking up pavement, operated by compressed air.

Posted by will at 03:06 AM | Comments (0)

January 25, 2006

License to Fill (in the ______)

Yet another WSW-GarageBand creation:

Download file - License to Fill (in the __) 160kbps.mp3

Posted by will at 01:30 AM | Comments (0)

January 19, 2006

Miles to Go

Poetry by N.M. Bodecker ("When All the World Is Full of Snow") and Robert Frost ("Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening") put to music by William S. Wang:

Download file - Miles to Go.mp3

Lyrics:

When All the World is Full of Snow,
I never know just where to go.

I do not want to make a track,
Not even to the shed and back.

I only want to watch and wait,
While snow moths settle on the gate,

And swarming frost flakes fill the trees,
with billions of albino bees.

I only want myself to be
as silent as a winter tree,

To hear the swirling stillness grow,
When all the world is full of snow.

(N.M. Bodecker)


Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near.

He gives his harness bells a shake
As if to ask, "Is there some mistake?"

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
And miles to go before I sleep.

(Robert Frost)

Posted by will at 03:31 AM | Comments (0)

October 10, 2005

Gotta Love Freebirds

I was thinking about Freebirds this weekend, so I wrote this silly jingle. mmmm. Unwrap my Monster!

Download Freebirds2.mp3

Download Freebirds2wav.wav

FreebirdsWW.jpg

Lyrics

Freebirds, baby, Stop me when I’m passing by,

Going to Freebirds, baby, Burritos that satisfy,

Big burritos, Nachos, too, Quesadillas, And it’s all for you,

You got foil figures, And they play the blues, With a freedom chick on a chopper, too,

Freebirds baby, Stop me when I’m passing by,

Going to Freebirds baby, Burritos that satisfy,

Big burritos, Nachos, too, Quesadillas, And it’s all for you,

Big, big, big, big …

Yeah,

Unwrap my Monster!

(tin foil clapping)


in response to Dave’s schmidgeon of a fuzzission, I’m posting a little fit I did back in the day. Huuuaah!

Download thumbs-in-ears-tongue-sticking-out-here’s-looking-at-you-Dave-you-only-wish-you-could-have-back-your-EVH

Dave, what’s the fuss? Take a chill-pill, sit back, relax, listen to this and hush:

Download Shine-On-You-Crazy-Diamond-aka-Dave’s Chill-Pill-2

Posted by will at 12:32 AM | Comments (1)

September 20, 2005

Winterreise No. 17

I felt like making a song after seeing an Idlewild concert in Deep Ellum, so I started writing/recording around midnight — as soon as I could get home — and finally finished around 4am. Here are two random poem readings set to the music I wrote:

Download Winterreise No. 17

Download Ozura

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Posted by will at 04:51 AM | Comments (0)

August 01, 2005

Texas Highway 546

fun R6 vid of a Texas road I found.

Click to play video, right-click to save (copyright, schmoppyright … )

R6_546_Sanctum.jpg

Download 7MB R6-546-Sanctum.wmv video

Bigger vid (9MB):

R6 546 The Quest

Posted by will at 05:30 AM | Comments (1)

April 20, 2005

Sunrise Awaiting

I-couldn’t-sleep-at-4AM-so-I-went-downstairs-and-started-playing music by WSW.

Potpourri Sunrise (instrumental).mp3 (3.8 MB)

CU_beebe_s2.jpg

Posted by will at 02:02 PM | Comments (2)

April 06, 2005

JFK on Robert Frost

I ran across a speech that President Kennedy once gave on Robert Frost. It was inspiring, so I put it to music. Enjoy!

Music by William Wang

Right click and ‘Save Target’ to download the mp3: William Wang - JK Frost.mp3

Excerpts from: Remarks at Amherst College, President John F. Kennedy, Amherst, Massachusetts, October 26, 1963

This day devoted to the memory of Robert Frost offers an opportunity for reflection which is prized by politicians as well as by others, and even by poets, for Robert Frost was one of the granite figures of our time in America. He was supremely two things: an artist and an American. A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers.

In America, our heroes have customarily run to men of large accomplishments. But today this college and country honors a man whose contribution was not to our size but to our spirit, not to our political beliefs but to our insight, not to our self-esteem, but to our self- comprehension. In honoring Robert Frost, we therefore can pay honor to the deepest sources of our national strength.

In free society art is not a weapon and it does not belong to the spheres of polemic and ideology. Artists are not engineers of the soul. It may be different elsewhere. But democratic society—in it, the highest duty of the writer, the composer, the artist is to remain true to himself and to let the chips fall where they may. In serving his vision of the truth, the artist best serves his nation. And the nation which disdains the mission of art invites the fate of Robert Frost’s hired man, the fate of having “nothing to look backward to with pride, and nothing to look forward to with hope.”

I look forward to an America which will reward achievement in the arts as we reward achievement in business or statecraft. I look forward to an America which will steadily raise the standards of artistic accomplishment and which will steadily enlarge cultural opportunities for all of our citizens. And I look forward to an America which commands respect throughout the world not only for its strength but for its civilization as well. And I look forward to a world which will be safe not only for democracy and diversity but also for personal distinction.

http://www.jfklibrary.org/j102663.htm

Posted by will at 01:42 AM | Comments (0)

March 21, 2005

J Down

“J. Down”

Download mp3

Music and Lyrics by William Wang

Kick it!
J. Down!
To Have And To Be
Perhaps you’ve seen it,
Not the song, but the foreign movie.
You know what I thought?
Hey, that’s freakin’ sweet.
So it got me thinking about,
You know — this girl — J.
At first I thought, dude, that smile,
I’d dream, dude, she’s with me.
But then I planned to call and say,
Yo, check out this movie. 
It reminds me of you, the coolest teacher that be.
Before she got “hello, it’s me,”
She hung up — Click! —
Doh!  How it is, I see.
So here’s to J., you femme prick.
I hope you like this lick I wrote
Of how you make me sick.
Oh, J. Down!  Yeah, down with J.!

Posted by will at 02:12 AM | Comments (1)

January 07, 2005

Everyone's Favorite Dog

Old Yeller video clip with music by William Wang - “West”

OldYeller_0001.jpg

OldYeller.wmv (1.7 MB)

Posted by will at 01:37 AM | Comments (5)

January 01, 2005

A new song for a new day

GreenWay, by William Wang

click here for the 2.5 meg mp3, GreenWay

I was fine until you came
Now my mind is lost in space
Don Quixote in the Rye
Catching windmills in the sky
Bye bye
Bye bye

Heart racing
Thoughts pacing
Flooding, flowing
Brimming, and brooding
Serotonin, yeah I own it
It’s tragic, and yet it’s magic

But the glam of fantasy
Eyeing me endlessly
Taunting me
Teasing me

Would I … give in
Would I … give in

manchamill.jpg
windmill in La Mancha

Posted by will at 01:34 AM | Comments (0)

September 19, 2004

Music

Posted by will at 09:59 PM | Comments (0)