Mark Hansen Music - LDS Rock Music - Free Downloads

Mark Hansen Music - LDS Rock Music - Free Downloads
Get the new CD, "The Third Time" HERE

WARNING: Listening to this music doesn't require parental approval. It's a bit of clean rebellion. It keeps your outlook up and your hope alive. It's got strong drums and screaming guitars. It pumps you up and drives your life. It's a hunger for exploration. It chooses the right and returns with honor. It's music you don't have to confess to your bishop.

It's not your parents' "Saturday’s Warrior".

It's "A Joyful Noise"

Saturday, January 31, 2004

OK, I'm a little behind.

Thursday morning, I got up early and I re-cut the acoustic guitar for "Sunshine". I haven't gotten a chance to play it for John, though, because his wife has been there with him whenever he comes over. He's trying to record the song as a birthday present for her.

Of course, I'm hoping she doesn't find this blog...

She's not much on the net, so, I'm not worried.

And then thursday night, the cellist came over. This tune is really shaping up. It's not easy for the musicians to play. A tough part. But it's sounding good.

Then, after they left, I cut some guide vocals for "Rejoice". While I was doing that, Brendon came up to me and said, "Can I sing you a song I wrote?"


So, he sings this song, and where most of the songs he makes up are rambling explorations of atonal art (he's just barely six years old) intended primarily to hold my attention, this one actually has verses and a melody. He even had a "lyric sheet" which had a stick-figure picture to remind him what each verse was about.

So, I readjusted the microphone and had him re-sing it, and we burned it onto a CD. He was pretty excited about that.

Then yesterday, as I was coming home from the Boy's Ranch (I'm teaching a songwriting class there), I started hearing a song I'd bgen working on in my head. So, when I got home, I pulled out the lyrics and finally worked out some things in the chords that have been bugging me for a long time.

So, the song is basically written, now. It's called "Play the Cards" (or maybe "Play Your Cards"... I haven't decided which, yet.

Friday, January 23, 2004

Last night was fun. John came over with a lady who cut the viola parts for "Millstones". It took us a coupla hours because we actually tracked it four times. We're looking for kind of a chamber orchestra feel here.

Then what I'll do is mix those four parts down to a single viola track.

On LDSM we've been talking about a new CD that Deseret Book just put out, called, "Not Your Mother's LDS Music". One of the list members described the compilation (which was mostly inspirational ballads - surprise, surprise), as "Not Necessarily Your Mothers LDS Music, But It Pretty Much Is"

When I first heard about this CD, my first thought was about this song ("Millstones"). If any song in the LDS world is *NOT* my mom's LDS music, *THIS* one definitely is! :-) I'm going for the Metallica and Symphony kinda sound.

We'll see how it works.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Put some keys on "Sunshine". Not much, but still a lot of fun. It's starting to sound more fleshed out. I put on some organ and piano.

Monday, January 19, 2004

Not much happened this morning, just cut an electric guitar track on "Sunshine". Then, on my way to work, I called John G and told him I'd been doing some work on it. He was thrilled, which made my day that much more fun.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

I went back and revisited "Sunshine" this morning. We'd only done scratch tracks on about half the song, just enough so that we could remember the basic groove.

And the groove is cool. There's a fast and choppy acoustic guitar strum, a funky moving bass line and the drums are doing this kinda nouveau-retro thing with lots of ghost hits.

But anyway, with a bit of addition for a bridge, and a lot of copying and pasting, I've got an underlying verse/chorus structure for the song all the way through, now. It's going to be a fun tune.

I probably ought to clarify from the previous post about this tune. The guy that wrote this song (John G) is different from the guy that's been helping me produce (John N). I've known them both for a long, long time, John N the longest.

John G used to live in my ward, and was, in fact, my home teacher for quite a while. He was also one of the most diligent home teachers I've ever had. There were a few times when he'd just show up and help me clean or whatever I was working on at the moment. I remember my back gave out a few days after helping him move, dropping me like a rock for almost two weeks.

Ah the memories... :-)

Friday, January 16, 2004

OK, that was a lot of fun. It's way too late to be up, but it was a lot of fun. John and I worked on "Toy Soldiers" tonight. First, we cut some scratch vocals to guide us through the song. I actually cut it twice, and the second time, it was almost good enough to work from for a keeper track. But we won't do that for a long time yet, probably not until summer.

Then we redid the guitars, which were desparately needed. We added some layers of distorted guitars in the bridge and the final chorus, which really brought those parts up in intensity.

Then we got a little wild and imported some guns and bombs into the background of the whole beginning section. It's starting to sound kinda cool.

Well, overall the whole song is coming together, and parts of it are sounding really cool.

Stay tuned, next week we're going to try and bring in string players for "Millstones".

I have to say, it's been interesting to work on "Soldiers" with John, seeing as he's the one it was written for. That'll make a lot more sense when you hear the song and the story. For a long time, he and I were best friends, then we had a falling out, and have since repatched things up. But this one was written when it wasn't fully patched.

Anyway, we'll keep on...

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

I loved playing with blocks as a kid. Stack 'em up, tear 'em down. Stack 'em up, tear 'em down. Great fun.

So, I got up this morning, and played with blocks, but this time it was with a song, and on my computer.

While John and I had been listening to "What'll Save Ya" the other night, we were faced with a bit of a challenge. The plan was for it to fade it out on a long guitar solo'ed outro. The problem was, the guy who cut that guitar for me (Bill Dent) made a big mistake. He made the ending solo way too good. We kept looking for a fade out point, and we couldn't find one.

Finally, as we were hashing out our options, we decided that what we should do is move the middle solo to the end, the ending solo to the middle, and restructure both the middle and the ending. See, the two solos were different lengths.

Anyway, to make a long story short, today I was cutting up tracks in Cubase and flipping them around. Moving this here, cutting and pasting there... Copying and extending this section, trimming this part...

And in Cubase it's a lot like building and stacking blocks. Back in the days where I was doing analog recording, I would have had to re-record the entire thing from scratch, including the solos.

And that would have been too much like work. Instead, I was just playing with blocks! :-)

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Lots of fun last night! Some of us from the LDSMusicians list got together for a party and song circle last night. A "song circle" is just where we informally play our tunes for each other. I actually got up the nerve to play "The Things I Do" in public. I hope it came off OK, as I haven't really practiced it as extensively as I should. Yet.

I heard some good stuff there, too. Especially from Jennifer Griffiths. She's going to be someone to watch in the coming months and years. Quite a writer and a great voice.

Saturday, January 10, 2004

The other night, John N came over and we worked through a lot of the songs, listening to them and determining exactly what needed to be done to each one to fill it out. It's going to be a lot more work than I'd originally imagined. I might even have the CD done by the end of 2004.

That bothered me, originally, but I'll just keep plugging along and working at it. I mean, it'll be great to have the CD finished, but I'm not going to sacrifice my family time to do it, either...

In other news, I saw "The Home Teachers" movie last night. It was a lot of fun. Lots of slapstick, physical comedy, not so much on the mormon inside jokes. Still LDS culture, tho...

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

The last few days have been clean-up days. I've been taking some of the "completed" songs from my hard drive and archiving them to CD-ROM. It's not a fun process, but it needs to be done. It's a lot like cleaning your kitchen, ya know!?

In the process, I've probably freed up about 5-6 gigs on my hard drive. Music takes up a lot of space! On some songs it can take almost two full CD's to archive all the files.

While I've been letting the CD's burn, I've also been re-reading old lyrics and thinking about which ones I want to start recording.

There's one that I might start on soon called "This House is Haunted". It's loosely about some old neighbors of mine that got divorced. It was really hard on both of them, and for a long time, they couldn't let go. It's like they were both still haunted by the marriage. The house where they had lived stood empty for a long time. It seemed to be a cool metaphor for their empty relationship.

Of course, by now, two of the kids in the family are married (both with kids), another daughter is a returned missionary, and one of the sons is preparing for a mission.

I think the song is about 8 years old or so...

Think I should get around to it? :-)

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Nothing much this morning. Just a lot of clean-up on some random tracks. I added cymbals to the drums on "Rejoice", and revisited a song called "Sunshine".

"Sunshine" was written by a couple of good friends of mine, John and Sherri. He wrote the lyrics, she wrote the melody, and I did the chords, and now am producing the arrangement. She'll probably sing the track. She's got a great voice.

First session of the new year!

Last night Jodi and I were up at the Salt Lake City First Night celebration. We got to see Peter Breinholt perform and a set with Greg Simpson and Shane Jackman together. It's amazing just how relaxed these guys are with their music. They ought to be, they've been doing this stuff for years.

Shane's got this easygoing vocal style that I want really bad. He and Ryan Shupe both.

There's a series of artisan fair things going on at some local malls and I have a chance to perform in them. I'm trying to see just how I can work within the family schedule to pull it off about once a month. I really need to perform regularly to get the experience that Shane and Greg have.

But I just keep doing what I can!

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