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, February 28, 2005

I'm home again!

This has been a very long week, and I'm glad to be back home. But there were two events, no... three musical events that were very special to me. I can't thank the people responsible for them enough. Their superhuman efforts on my behalf made for some very memorable times. Thanks to Kent, Sam, and their families.

Last Thursday, I had the chance to drive up to Phoenix from Tucson, where I was staying with Jodi and Brendon. There, I got to hang for a while with Kent Olmstead, of Fast Sundae fame. We took my kids through the Phoenix Zoo, and talked all kinds of cool music ideas while we did.

After that, he took us out to dinner, and we met with a couple of more guys from the email group, Clay Whipkey and Jeff Valenta. Those of you who are MRKH superfans (both of you) might recognize Jeff's name as the one who played the lead guitar (smokin' stuff) on "Thank You" and "The First Step". It was a lot of fun to meet with them both and talk musical stuff for the night.

The next wonderful event happened last night, as I was driving back from Arizona. Not wanting to do it in one gruelling day, like I did on the way out, I was lucky enough to find lodging at the home of Sam Payne. He's one of my songwriting idols, BTW.

So, that night, as my kids and his were becoming friends in his "Jedi Knight Training Space" (his family room), he and I played songs to each other. Great fun.

Then, he asked me to come and perform for his seminary classes (he's a teacher) at the Tuacan School for the Performing Arts. So... Let's look at this. I get to play my songs, in front of three seminary classes full of student musicians, dancers, and actors, with one of my favorite songwriters of all time....

Yeah, I think I'm down with that.

He also let me do some guest lecturing in a couple of those classes, going over D&C sec. 4 and talking about how it applies to the creative arts. Cool stuff. Ask me about it sometime.

Then, he posts this to the LDSM list: "Hey Gang! Guess where I am right now? I'm watching Mark Hansen teach my seminary class! No kiddin'! Nothin' cooler. I'm thinking of hiring him full-time : ). It's been music and the gospel all afternoon. Lovin' it."

What an opportunity. What a day! One of the musical highlights of my life, to be sure.

MRKH - Mark Hansen
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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

I woke up very early this morning. Like, at about 3:00. Not much sleep for Mark tonight.

But, I came downstairs and worked on some ideas for Diego's website. He wanted some 20-30 second clips he could loop. It's fun to produce those, but in some ways it's challenging, too. Trying to fit some interest in so little time.

But I did two of them. In retrospect, I really don't like the first one. It's way to dark and plodding. But maybe he'll like it. I actually got to use the Delay Lama on that one. That's this funky freeware plugin that sounds like a Tibetan monk, sorta... sorta not... But it sounds cool, and the plugin has an actual picture of a monk that changes its mouth as you shape the sound. For free, you just can't go wrong.

But the second one is simpler, and has some guitar bits in it that make it exciting. I like it a lot better. We'll see if he wants to use either one.


Shameless plug: I'm featured in this edition of Latter-Day Songs! Along with Fiddlesticks and John Newman.

MRKH - Mark Hansen
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Sunday, February 13, 2005

Oh, man Yesterday was a crazy, crazy day. I'm not even sure where to begin.

Well, it started with a very messy house. I woke up with a lot of kids in my house (Brendon had a sleepover the night before), and the living room was a wreck. That was a problem, becuase I had people showing up to sing "How Beautiful" in only a couple of hours. Add to that the fact that it was the final recording. If you've been following the blogs, we've been rehearsing it for weeks, now!

So, I got the living room cleaned up. It wasn't too bad, actually. Then I moved my computer upstairs into the living room, set up the mics. In between all that I had to call everyone that had been rehearsing and confirm that they'd be there.

We had nine people show up to do the recording, which we triple-tracked for a nice big choir sound. It really fills that song out wonderfully! Now all I have to do is recut the lead vocal (which I probably won't even attempt until I get back from Arizona in a couple of weeks).

Then I had some down time. I was really nervous because I had a house concert that night out at John Newman's. But, I'd been fighting a cold, with a sore throat and laryngitis for about 3 days or so. Thursday night, at band practice, Matt and Morey had given me a blessing, and that helped a lot. Plus a lot of cold remedies... But by that afternoon, I was feeling pretty confident. I ran through the songs one last time and did some vocal warmups, and then got things loaded up in the car.

No keys.

I could not, for the life of me, find my keys. Anywhere in the house. I searched for 40 minutes or so. I called Jodi to ask if there were extras. Turned out there was. In her purse. In Arizona. No help there... :-)

But calling her did help calm me down, and she suggested that I call her dad and borrow his car. Which I did, but there were a few errands that had to be run with that. I had to buy and pour in some anti-freeze, and then fill it up with gas. By the time I'd done all that, I was leaving West Jordan at the time I'd wanted to BE in Tooele (about a 40 minute drive).

Fortunately, I'd wanted to be there early enough to help John set up. I called him and he said not to worry, that the room was already done and ready. So, Brendon and I drove out and got there about a half hour before the show. Plenty of time to unwind and calm my nerves.

The show itself went great. There were times when I could tell that the cold was effecting my tone, but it never stopped me from singing. I did about a 45+ minute set, and then John and his family (I guess his son is a big fan) started requesting songs. Many of them I'd never really arranged for acoustic guitar and voice, like "Bats in my Belfry" and "Where's my Soul". So I tried them, then I ended with "A Happier Day", which put a perfect capper on it.

Gave away a few Pass-it-On's and got some names for the list, too, so I'm happy with that! And it was fun to meet John's friends afterward. One of them is into the same geeky webcomics that I am. Cool. Or scary. Not sure which... :-)

MRKH - Mark Hansen
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Thursday, February 10, 2005

A crazy day. I need everyone to pray for me. These last two days I've been losing my voice. I'm only nervous about that because I've got that house concert this Saturday. I hope it's cleared by then. After practice, I had Matt and Morey give me a blessing. Just need some extra faith on my behalf.

Tonight's practice went well, though. We worked on one of Matt's songs. Of all the tree of the other guys in the project, I've known Matt the least. But I'm quickly becoming very close friends with him. He's got some real honest power inside him. Plus he's incredibly funny! Writes good tunes, too.

MRKH - Mark Hansen
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Monday, February 07, 2005

OK, I'm catching my breath.

I just spoke with Diego, who'd designing my CD cover, and I'm blown away. I can't wait to show it to everyone. In fact, I'd post it here, but I need to have him approve that first. It just sends chills up my spine.

He took my idea of a hand holding the Iron Rod, and just turned it up to 11. What a design!

MRKH - Mark Hansen
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I've been up quite a while, now, working on "I Will Sing This Prayer". I think that I'll focus on that one and "How Beautiful" for my first quarter songs. I started by simply cleaning up the piano tracks.

Then I added some melodic guitar lines at the end. I set them up with heavy distortion. But with the reverb and the distance in the mix, rather than sounding heavy, it sounds "delicately large". It gives it a majestic sort of feel.

I also put some lead in the outro. Lots of distortion as well, but that makes it smooth, like the other parts. Playing solos in a major key also adds to the majesty, I think.

I also added some strings into the ending. It just makes the whole tune so huge. But not like a "big and powerful" kind of huge, more like a "full and spacious" sorta huge.

Also, a while ago, my wife said she was wondering about the new songs I was working on. I promised her a CD with all the ones I've been working on. But she doesn't know the titles, so I slated this one with the name before it.

The vocals are all up in my nose, though. Of course, those are only scratch vocals. Still, I want them to be good. This one I'm going to have to practice because the vocals will have to be dead on.

MRKH - Mark Hansen
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Saturday, February 05, 2005

On the LDS music list, we've decided that for the season of '05 we're going to put out a Christmas compilation. I'm pretty excited about that.

A few years ago, on Christmas Eve Eve (that would be in the wee hours morning of Dec 24th - not before Christmas Morning), I was awake, and a song started coming to me. So, I got up and wrote it, like a good little songwriter. Then, the next night, The Real Christmas Eve, my sister came over to celebrate with our family, as is our tradition. I premiered the song for them there.

That was two years ago. Now this morning, I actually put the thing down. I did it first with just the acoustic guitar all the way through, then added the vocals (scratch, of course - c'mon it's 7:00 in the morning!). Then, I realized that it was too low for me.

So I played with it a little and changed the key. First by trying to play different chords, but I ended up in the key of B flat, which a guitarist can't do without a capo.

Then I recut the guitar, and the scratch vocal, and now I'm much more happy.

MRKH - Mark Hansen
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Friday, February 04, 2005

An open letter to other LDS bloggers:

About four years ago, I did some major shifts in my recording studio. Up until that time, I had a relatively functional analog setup running a Fostex 16-track deck sync’ed up to a computer running my synthesizers and drum machines. It worked well enough.

I was also seeing that I needed, for my own benefit, to notch it all up. I needed to become a better producer. As a part of that, I got a new computer, sold off much of my analog gear (even gave away some of my toys, including my Proteus), and bought Cubase. I’ve never looked back.

I decided that I would take the time with each song to make it ready for the world, instead of just being demo-quality.

And I would produce a CD.

Now, after those years, the dream of that focus is about to become reality! And I’m sooo psyched. I’ve finished all of the songs, we’re working on the design, and I’m making arrangements for the printing, pressing, and publication.

My ideas of LDS rock music have evolved over the years. I’ve been writing songs since high-school, but since I returned from my mission, I’ve focused more tightly on rock for an LDS audience. Over the years, I’ve written probably a little under a hundred songs. I’ve demo’ed or recorded about 40 or 50 of them. 11 will go on the first CD, to be called “One United Generation”.

· Here in Me
· He’s Out There
· The Taker
· Thank You
· Toy Soldiers
· What’ll Save Ya
· Millstones
· Out of the Chapel
· The First Step
· Pharisee
· One United Generation

My first batch of CD’s should be done by the end of February. I know that many of you that read this blog are bloggers as well, and I’d love to enlist you folks in spreading the word. If you’re reading this, and you’re a blogger, please go to: Scroll down to the bottom of the page to the email form there, and tell me your mailing address. Alternately, you can just use the email link below. I’ll send you a free copy of the CD.

It’s also my way of thanking you all for letting me into your lives via your blogs. You’ve all made me think and feel, and I appreciate that.

MRKH - Mark Hansen
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Some exciting things going on. As I've been facing the challenge of figuring out how to actually GET copies of "Generation" made, I've had some good advice from some good friends. We found an Epson printer that will print photo quality right on the CD's. Only $80 and change. I shot some pictures the other night and Diego is now working eagerly on the cover art.

But the part that has amazed me and touched me the most is this: In an effort to raise the money to buy the printer and the basic supplies to do this, I put together a special web page as a part of my site to pre-sell copies of the CD. I sent out an announcement to my family and friends, to my fan mailing list, to the LDSM group. In two days, I've sold 7 CD's. I've gotten back numerous letters of congratulations and excitement, some of which have almost brought me to tears.

It really has been a challenging 4 years making this CD. It has been also marked and moved forward many times by the intercession and encouragement of good friends. I think that's one of the things that I've learned most of all doing this. I have a LOT of friends.

Also, last night, I remixed "Millstones". I haven't checked it yet, to see if I still "respect it in the morning", but I was pretty pleased then. I think I finally got the strings and the guitar to stop competing.

MRKH - Mark Hansen
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Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Last night Brendon wanted to play in the studio, so we did a little bit of silliness. Then, we started to put all kinds of filters and plugins on his voice just to see how silly we could make it sound. It was a great bit of father/son time, but it also showed me what a lot of those plug-ins were capable of! Nice bonus...

MRKH - Mark Hansen
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