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"

Monday, March 29, 2004

OK, after getting my head spinning at the workshop, I got humbled really bad. I went to choir practice at my ward, and it was obvious that I hadn't done any vocal practicing for a week and a half.


This morning, I got up and burned my mp3 and wma mixes of "He's Out There". So, now I can get those weedified and on the site!

Sunday, March 28, 2004

These last few days have been a whirlwind, and I'm very excited about them. I've got the enviable task, however, of writing about them, and since I've got a number of different places and audiences to write to, I'm gonna be typing for a long time!

This last weekend was the semi-annual FCMA workshop. I say semi-annual, not because it happens twice a year, but because it hasn't always been truly annual! Last year, for example, somehow got skipped altogether!

Anyway, friday night, I attended a panel discussion with the students of the BYU Media Arts program. Some film scoring composers and producers were there, and it was fascinating. Then a couple of friends came over and we jammed some. Cool fun.

Saturday morning, I was at the workshop main desk, helping to check people in and run the opening. That was fun, and I got to meet a lot of people. The first session of the workshop was an absolutely amazing keynote address by Newell Dailey. What a great man! His address both reaffirmed some of my own beliefs about the nature of culture and musical styles, and also challenged my beliefs about the direction we should take LDS music, as well as made me think good and hard about my motivations.

But all of that will be for my mo'boy blog... Here, I'm going to get a little self-centered and talk about some of the experiences that directly impacted my tunes.

One of the traditions of the workshop is to have a session called "The Refiner's Fire". This is kind of based on the "pitch sessions" of so many songwriter workshops out in the real world, in that there's a panel of industry pros who spin a stack of tunes and then critique them. In this case, however, they just critique. In some of the other forums, the panel can actually pick up a song on the spot, if they wanted.

I guess they could do it here, too, but that's never happened.

I've never participated in the past, mostly out of fear.

No, make that raw terror...

Anyway, this year, I stepped out on a limb, stuck my neck out, and put my recent mix of "Here in Me" in the box.

The session started, and song after song was played, and critiqued. I just kept getting more and more nervewracked as the time for the end of the session kept coming closer.

I was the last song of the session. As the tune started, they all started scribbling notes on my lyric sheet. I'd learned as I'd been watching that this was a good sign. If they didn't like the tune, they had no reason to take any notes or make any suggestions.

Then they started talking. There were comments praising the mix, and comments about the impact of the simplicity of the lyrics, and I'm glad they took notes (I jotted down a few, too), because it was just all washing over me, and I had a very hard time taking it all in. There were suggestions for improvement, too, which were dead-on.

Since it was the last one, after the session, they all came up to me as people were milling about to comment on it. It was interesting that even though it was an anonymous pitch, they all knew who's tune it was! Ron Simpson commented on the quality of the mix. (He said that later in the day as well, too, which made me feel great). Cori Connors gave me a big hug and said, "You just keep getting better and better!

It all left me feeling very light-headed. It gave me the feeling that, even though I'm not "there" yet, I'm definitely on the right track.

Later on in the evening, at the open mic, I performed "Wake the Dead". A tune I haven't recorded yet, but I've performed live quite a few times. I got a few nice comments about that one as well.

Well, I left the sessions walking on air. But for more detailed accounts of what I learned about the bigger picture of LDS music, you'll have to read mo'boy or the LDSmusicians yahoogroup...

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Well, I've got the lead vocals for "He's Out There" all comped and ready. Now I just have to begin the mix.

I've also got the website pretty close to going live. I'm hoping that there won't be much difference or hiccup in the transition. We'll see!

Friday, March 19, 2004

OK, like, it's morning. And I didn't get much sleep last night.

First off, I was up until about 11:00 with John cutting a new lead vocal track for "He's Out There", and then having Sherri do some Backing vocals for it. Sounds cool. We've made the song more fun.

I'll mix it an hopefully weedify it by next week at the FCMA workshop.

Then, we worked on "Sunshine". Sherri finally got her birthday present and she was thrilled. And the vocals she cut on it just smoked. She was in top form.

So, now we just cut some harmony vocals, some lead guitar, an fix the drums, etc... Fun stuff. Just sparkle it all up.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

I'm so stoked.

I can't begin to explain how stoked I am right now.

And it's over the littlest thing. Only 50 cents. That's not much. Not at all.

But it means a lot.

OK, I'll tell you...


Ah. Much better.

The cool thing is, that I haven't really pushed it much, yet. I've been redesigning the MHM website, and getting it ready for the new host (it's actually there already), but there's still a lot of work to do before I transfer the domain over and make it fully live.

So, just off the few people I've told about it, and the website, it's already sold one copy!

I've also been remixing and reworking "Pharisee". I think I've got a pretty good mix, but I'm not really too confident in it yet. John thinks we should recut the vocals, and frankly, if I'm not going to have it done immediately, there are other tunes I'd rather work on, like "Thank You" or "He's Out There".

I also had this killer idea for a riff this morning, so I took a few minutes to make a quick drums, bass, guitar demo. Just a few bars. It has this sort of Dio-ish feel, except it's in a major key, which almost makes it celtic?

Yeesh, that's scary...

Monday, March 15, 2004

OK the song is weedified. I'm working on getting the website ready for it, now.

And this morning, I started to remix "Pharisee" which might well be the next single. It depends on just how the mixing goes...

Sunday, March 07, 2004

One song is done!

I tweaked the preliminary mix of "Here in Me" today, and it is done!

Woo Hoo!

The next step is to prepare it as a weedshare file, and post it on the web!

Saturday, March 06, 2004

Today was spent up in Ogden, UT, at the Newgate Mall, doing another Artisan Fair gig. This one was very interesting. First of all, when I got up there, there was no PA or stage. One of the other stores in the mall had comandeered it. After contemplating what to do, I decided to go ahead and play. What the heck, right? It's just performance practice anyway, right?

Well, that's pretty much what it turned out to be. After sorting out the location and getting set up, I ended up only doing two sets, but that was plenty. I sat on my barstool in front of a couple of benches in the hallway, and there were some people that occasionally stopped and sat to listen. Which was actually better than the previous time out at Cottonwood, where people just walked by. Having some sort of seating area was definitely worth it! Even if it was small.

So, I did two hours without any amplification. Just me and a guitar. My voice is tired, but it doesn't feel shredded. So that's a good thing. I guess we'll see how I feel tomorrow.

I've also been listening to the "Here in Me" preliminary mix in just about every system I can, foisting it onto just about anyone who'll let me listen. It seems to be holding up pretty well.

I did mention that we finished up a preliminary mix last Thursday, but it appears that Blogger has lost that post.

Ah, well...

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

So, on the way home from work, I caught this bug in my ear, and I just though it would be fun to capture my basic idea for "Where's My Soul".

So, I just came home, and copy/pasted some drums for a basic loop beat, then recorded the basic guitar, and then copy/pasted a bass part.

Then I had some fun with a scratch vocal track. I did it way low, in a sort of vocal fry range, giving it a really cool sorta bluesy feel. It kinda feels lazy, which fits the song very nicely, I think...

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

I woke up early this morning and decided to begin mixing. Somehow, coming to it with clean ears, early in the morning gave me a fresh listen. I didn't hear all the problems that I had been listening to before.

So, I started out with the lead vocal. First I duplicated the track, then detuned and delayed the second track slightly to "full" it out. It also gave it a smoothness that it lacked before.

Then, since I was able to (with my new setup) A/B compare with a professional track, I got the guitars finally in the right placement! In all my mixes before, they've really been crowding things up. It was so nice to be able to hear a nice space for the vocals to breathe in. I also got the bass unmuddied and out of the way.

I'm not even close to having the mix fully done, but it's much better than it ever was before! And, in the process, I've made this track much more edgy and exciting. Look for the weedshare release in as little as a few weeks!

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