graphics, editing, voice-over, music...

Here it is. The Songwriters’ Collective’s October offering - the ‘five instrument challenge’. Including a new offering from a new member - welcome aboard!

1. We Used To Be Punks - Colin Parish
This song is an homage to Radio Four, and a lament for lost youth. Recorded/created in GarageBand on my iPad, the only proper musicianship is the ukulele playing and the singing.
I have unintentionally cheated because I was told the rule was a song for a five-piece band, and I didn't realise that vocals counted as one instrument.
It has virtual drums, double bass, cello and guitar, and real-life uke. Bit of a strange line-up but I think it works. I recorded the vocal twice, at octaves.
Once I'd recorded the song I couldn't bear to change it... So I've disqualified myself and I don't expect any votes, but here it is anyway. I promise to read and obey the rules in future.
1 We used to be punks (final)

2. Deep Down - Stephen Clarke
This is actually the sequel to last month's song (I feel a concept album coming on). That story of the woman running away from home with her kids inevitably got me thinking about the day when my own mum did the same thing. It happened, as this month's song says, "a May Monday morning, quite without warning" when I was ten. The "deep south" we ended up in is Bournemouth, by the way. And apologies to my kid sister and Ruff the dog for writing them out of the story. 
The 4 instruments are: rhythm guitar, lead fills, bass, and an ancient Yamaha "digital drum bank". Plus a lead vocal. (I recorded a double lead vocal and harmonies but I've censored them for the sake of this exercise in minimalism.)
2 DeepDown (single lead vocal)

3. Where is Mr. Barker? - Eddie Custard
This one's about a school teacher who is routinely humiliated by his pupils for years. One day he decides that instead of going to work he'll go to the seaside and have an ice cream.
3 Where_is_Mr_Barker

4. Rat Park - Tim & Julie Warner
The five input challenge, and the idea behind the song has meant just one vocal, guitar, sampled drums and playing double bass and electric piano on the iPad.
I really liked the comments from Patrick about the band getting pissed off with each other, so I've tried to make is seem like a band noodling about, making it like a sketch rather than an oil painting.
The subject matter is some research by Alexander, Coambs and Hadaway about addiction (sometimes known as the 'rat park' experiments). Many thanks to Kate for leaving so many looks about psychology at home.
4 Rat Park

5. Night Train- Patrick Duffin
A spooky one for Halloween concerning a fenland faustian pact. This features five people who sing, stamp, and clap.
5 Night Train

6. Silence is the Residue of Fear - Phil Sanderson
1. Drumtrack  (samples / loops)    2. Software Synth Bass     3.   Vocal ( Me )     4.   Excerpts from a teacher's motivational speech at 'TED'   5.  12 String Electro Acoustic (signal split: acoustic with no effects and electric through distortion, echo etc etc.)
I found the 'limitation' of 5 instruments quite liberating, as it helped me focus more on chords, song structure, getting the drum part right and playing the guitar much more freely than I've demonstrated so far. No endless hours spent pondering which instruments to add, o'dub etc .
6 Silence is the Residue of Fear v5

7. I Broke a Promise (But I Kept a Vow) - Mike Gosling
This month I started off with the rather lofty ambition of writing a string quartet arrangement to accompany the vocal. However, having recorded a demo with guitar and vocal as a basis for working out the string arrangement, I then didn't have enough time to successfully re-record my vocal part without the guitar. So, what you have this month is a demo vocal with guitar (recorded on my little digital recorder late one night) and then overdubs of strings and a bass part to hold it together. It sort of fulfills the brief; it is a bit way short of what I imagined in my head (as usual!).
The funereal pace is probably due to me recording the demo quietly in the kitchen whilst the rest of the house is sensibly sleeping. The pace will pick up next month for the Christmas song!

"I Broke A Promise" is the other country song I wrote back in June. I thought I should try and finish it. It's a song about faith and infidelity. A song of love lost and found and lost again.

Thanks to Karl for being a willing pair of ears for the mix.

7 I Broke A Promise

8. Watch the Colours Fade - Tim & Glyn
Conventional band set up - I tried to perform in one take as much as possible, although inaccurate playing prevented the possibility of that. I roped Simon in for the guitar break (so couldn't claim to have done all the guitar in one take) Thankfully you don't get to hear my excruciating attempt at a solo. Conventional set up with guitar (miked up amp) bass and keyboards. Glyn wrote the lyrics and we worked together on the music and arrangement.
8 Watch the Colours Fade 2