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Month 3: March

Create Every Day Projects for March, 2013 (If the SoundCloud widgets either don't appear or they give you a 404, please refresh the page.) Skinwalker's Create Every Day #60 - March 1, 2013 - The Adventure Begins! I finished it!!! I began this song a couple weeks ago, and after some experimentation I decided to compose it in a style that reminds me of music from my favorite types of modern video games. I was particularly inspired by the Bastion soundtrack (composed by Darren Korb), and I'm really happy with the way it turned out. I decided to name it "The Adventure Begins!" as I think of it as a song that would be played as the overworld theme when your character begins their journey into the heart of the gameplay.   Skinwalker's Create Every Day #61 - March 2, 2013 - Apple Pie Fro-Yo, Yo! That's right! My friend Ally and I made some delicious Apple Pie Fro-Yo, all from ingredients that came from dumpsters! She has an ice-cream maker, so the process basically consisted of combining a ton of ingredients and churning it all up in the ice-cream maker. Here's the ingredients list for our awesome concoction:
  • 6 cups vanilla yogurt (we used Greek)
  • 1 1/2 cup apple cider foam (this came off the top of our juiced apples from our hard cider made for Create Every Day #57)
  • 1/2 cup apple syrup (this came from the bottom of the pressure cooker after making apple sauce in Create Every Day #14, and was then reduced in a slow cooker)
  • 1 cup caramel sauce
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • lots of pie spice
The egg yolks and apple cider foam were first whisked to custard in a double boiler. All the ingredients were then mixed together and poured into the ice-cream maker, and then churned until it looked and tasted awesome. It seriously tastes like apple pie. We even broke up chunks of waffle cone to eat with it (also collected from a dumpster), to increase its already extreme level of awesomeness. So rad.
Apple Pie Fro-Yo, made entirely from ingredients found in dumpsters.

Apple Pie Fro-Yo, made entirely from ingredients found in dumpsters.

  Skinwalker's Create Every Day #62 - March 3, 2013 - Piano Stuff I'm at a friend's house where there's a piano, so I decided to mess around on it a bit and record a little with my phone for my Create Every Day today. Here's a little bit of what I was goofing around with. Sorry about the poor audio quality.   Skinwalker's Create Every Day #63 - March 4, 2013 - Skinwalker’s Thailand Story-Travel-Time-Guide - Getting Around Within Cities Part II Today, I wrote my second mini-article for my Skinwalker’s Thailand Story-Travel-Time-Guide series! It's about motorbikes! Check it out here!   Skinwalker's Create Every Day #64 - March 5, 2013 - I Made a Favicon for skeeterskinwalker.com! Today, I made a favicon for my site. A favicon is the little icon that appears next to the site name in a bookmark or tab. The one I made is pretty simple, but I still think it's pretty sweet having one. Here's what it looks like slightly larger.
The favicon I made for the site

The favicon I made for the website

  Skinwalker's Create Every Day #65 - March 6, 2013 - Improvements to SkeeterSkinwalker.com I spent a bunch of time doing updates and improvements to the site, and I'm liking the way it's looking and flowing. I don't know much about site-building, but I played with a bunch of plugins and other fun toys to improve the site performance. I also did some changes to the looks of certain pages, and did some updates and editing to make sure the posts and pages are as consistent as possible.   Skinwalker's Create Every Day #66 - March 7, 2013 - Lyrics for Poppy Club Tune Idea (Verse 1) Okay, I feel a bit silly posting these lyrics, so let me preface it and give a disclaimer - one of my projects is to write a poppy club tune, which includes writing lyrics that are, well, different than what I would usually write. While the flow of the lyrics is much more apparent when fit over the music, I think I've captured the style of some modern pop/club songs fairly well. I already have a theme in mind, and I'm composing it as somewhat of a party anthem, but I'm not posting the "hook" just yet. I'll soon be working on finishing up the rest of the instrumentation so I can move on to vocals and hopefully finish this track before I move to Thailand in a month! Here are the lyrics for verse 1 of the Poppy Club Tune Idea: We goin' to da club We gonna tear it up All day we been waitin' So bring your good friends And some Washington's We goin' drink slayin' (I'm just sayin'!) Ain't no doubt it's gonna be a great night When we roll up to the door - we about to take flight Suddenly the world transforms, now we ready for magic   Skinwalker's Create Every Day #67 - March 8, 2013 - Dark Dub Riff I went back to the Practicing Dubstep Sounds idea I posted for Create Every Day #51 a couple weeks ago and added a bit to it. I ended up creating this really dark grimey dubstep sound, which is way out of the ordinary for me. I'm kind of excited to keep slowly adding to this tune and see what happens.   Skinwalker's Create Every Day #68 - March 9, 2013 - Original Dub Riff Beefed Up In continuing working on this dirty dubstep song, I rewrote the original riff (from Skinwalker's Create Every Day #51) with some sub bass and a higher grinding counterpoint line. It's a bit cleaner and fuller sounding, but there's still tons of work to be done on it.   Skinwalker's Create Every Day #69 - March 10, 2013 - Djembe Jam Session I spent most of this afternoon/evening hanging with my dear old friend, Luke, who happens to also be an incredibly creative person. At one point while we were chilling, he pulled out a couple djembes and we ended up jamming for about an hour. I set my phone out to record a bit of our jam session - this is some of what we were jamming on. (Sorry about the poor phone recording quality.) Skinwalker's Create Every Day #70 - March 11, 2013 - Ambient Trance Idea - More Stuff Rather than continuing to write a bunch of new stuff, I'm trying to go back to previous projects and work on bringing a few more of them to completion. I really like the trance idea I came up with a while back, so I'm continuing to add additional elements and improve the mixing on it. My computer pooped on me and lost some of my work this evening, but I was able to rework most of it and get it back to where it was before the crash. Here's the updated percussion and mixing to the trance idea.   Skinwalker's Create Every Day #71 - March 12, 2013 - Dub Riffs Beefed Up I spent a bunch more time editing and mixing the two different dirty dubstep riffs I've been working with, and I put them together into one piece, which I think is sounding pretty good. I've added sub-bass lines to each part now, and I changed up some of the percussion samples as well. I've got some ideas for how I want this piece to evolve, but it's going to take a ton of tutorials to figure out how to actually create the sounds I want.   Skinwalker's Create Every Day #72 - March 13, 2013 - Am 7/8 Finger Picking Riff I busted out my acoustic guitar today and came up with this somber 7/8 finger picking riff for my Create Every Day piece.   Skinwalker's Create Every Day #73 - March 14, 2013 - Hold Up the Mirror - Guitar Lines I spent a bunch of time composing some fun guitar lines for this song I'm working on - I'm trying to create melodic complexity and rhythmic syncopation while still keeping it in 4/4 and making it fun and easy to listen to. I really like where it's going.   Skinwalker's Create Every Day #74 - March 15, 2013 - Hold Up the Mirror - Chorus Guitar Lines I recorded some guitar lines for the chorus of the song I'm working on, and I'm liking how it flows between the verse and the chorus. I plan to make this a full production with electric guitars, bass, and drums, but setting up the tracks acoustically first will save me a lot of time when going to record the other instruments.   Skinwalker's Create Every Day #75 - March 16, 2013 - Hold Up the Mirror - Bridge Guitar Lines I wanted to create a really ambient bridge for the song, so I decided to mellow out the rhythm and keep the chord rooted the entire time while playing a single descending minor arpeggio over it with a little delay for extra spaciousness. I'm also going to add some ambient vocals over this part to really emphasize the floaty, dreamy feel.   Skinwalker's Create Every Day #76 - March 17, 2013 - Hold Up the Mirror - Verse with Vox I recorded some vocals over the first verse of the song - it's a single take with minimal mixing, but I think it gives a good idea of what I'm going for regarding the overall mood and drive of the song.   Skinwalker's Create Every Day #77 - March 18, 2013 - Hold Up the Mirror - Chorus with Vox Here's the chorus vocal line for the most recent song I've been working on. I'm making pretty good progress on the song in general, so hopefully I can have the acoustic version finished before I leave to Thailand!   Skinwalker's Create Every Day #78 - March 19, 2013 - Nineteen. Eighty. Five. The screen flashes on as my excited eyes widen. My hands are clenched tightly around a brick - grey and smooth. Anticipation builds as things get started with little to no delay - once taken for granted, now an incomprehensible goal. Cue the lights, the sound, and now, the action. Why such an unlikely character was put into my hands I know not - severely lacking in the masculinity I've been conditioned to believe is a requirement of a true hero, this man immediately connects with me and my young, skinny frame, messy hair, and grass-stained jeans. An adventure through a beautiful, colorful, dangerous, and fantastical world has begun.   Skinwalker's Create Every Day #79 - March 20, 2013 - Plinky Zelda Theme at the EMP I went to the EMP! I love going to Seattle's Experience Music Project museum. While I was there, I briefly visited the soundlab where I messed around on plenty of instruments. At one point I was playing around with one of the keyboards and found this fun plinky sound. I started jamming out part of the theme from The Legend of Zelda, so I set out my phone and recorded a few seconds of my play time.   Skinwalker's Create Every Day #80 - March 21, 2013 - Righteous Sandwich! I spent quite a bit of time creating today in various fashions, but I've decided to post a guest creation as it was so amazingly delicious, healthy, and beautiful. My friend, Ally, is masterfully creative in the kitchen, and tonight she pieSkinwalker's Create Every Day together a totally righteous sandwich out of some random foods I had around. She started by toasting a couple slices of Open Nature ancient grains bread and then spread a thick layer Athenos olive tapenade hummus on each slice. She then added a bed of baby romaine, followed by hot salami slices, shaved carrot, and sliSkinwalker's Create Every Day orange pepper. As I held my bowl of Honey Comb in hand, I longingly watched this masterpiece come together and was extremely excited when she offered me half. I gladly accepted, and proceeded to have a taste-bud explosion as I took my first through final bites. Here's a picture of her half after she had taken a bite out of it (she patiently waited for me to find my camera so I could snap a photo of it before taking her second bite).
This sandwich is so bold, everything else pales in comparison.

This sandwich is so bold, everything else pales in comparison.

  Skinwalker's Create Every Day #81 - March 22, 2013 - Pancakes from Scratch! I made pancakes from scratch! I know this probably seems like a simple feat, but I usually consider the "just add water" pancake mix to be a bigger hassle than I'm down for, so I'm pretty impressed with myself. My friend, Ally, was hanging in the kitchen with me, giving me encouragement and pointers (such as adding rainbow chips to one of the pancakes). The batter consisted of about a half cup of wheat flour, a quarter cup of white flour, one egg, a pinch of baking soda, a pinch of salt, a half cup of milk, and some maple syrup. Here's a picture of the final product of one of the pancakes.
Pannercake!!! It's food!!!

Pannercake!!! It's food!!!

  Skinwalker's Create Every Day #82 - March 23, 2013 - Hold Up the Mirror - Bridge with Vocals I put some vocals over the bridge of the song I've been working on. I trying to achieve a melodic, atmospheric, ambient sound while still clearly building in intensity up to what's going to be a guitar solo section. Yup, I'm going to play a guitar solo...   Skinwalker's Create Every Day #83 - March 24, 2013 - Beering with Friends! Today, I had the chance to help my good friend, Dylan, bottle a couple of his beers. The two different beers he had brewed include a porter and a hefeweizen, both in 5 gallon carboys. One of the most exciting parts (not really) of bottling beer is sanitizing everything! Fortunately, Dylan has some great equipment - like this cool bottle cleaner where you place the bottle top down over a sprayer nozzle, then you push down and it sprays up into the bottle with gusto - so sanitizing and organizing all the bottles, tubes, containers, and other gizmos was pretty straightforward. Also, our friend, Matt, was helping as well, so we quickly established a high level of efficiency. We set up a miniature assembly-line in Dylan's kitchen with him passing empty bottles to me and full bottles to Matt, me filling the bottles, and Matt capping them. We filled well over fifty 22 oz. bottles, which are now conditioning. The bottles won't be finished conditioning before I leave the US, but we got to taste a bit of each beer in their unfinished states, and I personally enjoyed both of them quite a bit. Here's a picture of the corner of Dylan's kitchen as we were prepping the beer in the carboy for bottling and boiling the next batch.
Don't worry, Tina... we promise we'll clean this all up.

Don't worry, Tina... we promise we'll clean this all up.

  Skinwalker's Create Every Day #84 - March 25, 2013 - Bluesy Jammy Lead Solo Improv. This is a bit of me jamming out on electric lead - I'm not that great at lead guitar solos, so I figured I'd mess around for a while and try to see where my chops are... boy, I've got some work to do!   Skinwalker's Create Every Day #85 - March 26, 2013 - Saria's Synth I was playing around with NI's Massive today, and I developed this synth sound. I decided to showcase it by jamming out Saria's Song from The Ocarina of Time as the melody.   Skinwalker's Create Every Day #86 - March 27, 2013 - Saria's Plucks I spent some more time messing around with the Zelda tune and found a fun plucky sample in NI's Massive that fits the video game theme pretty well. Here's a little bit of that.   Skinwalker's Create Every Day #87 - March 28, 2013 - Happy Birthday, Mandi!!! It's a friend's birthday, so I made this for her, 'cause she's cool.   Skinwalker's Create Every Day #88 (03.29.2013) - Saria's Floaty Intro I've been on a kick with this Zelda tune, so I worked on it a bit more and wrote a sort of floaty intro part for it.   Skinwalker's Create Every Day #89 (03.30.2013) - Rice, Bacon, Pepper, and Onion dish! While living in China, I had to learn to cook something that used easy-to-find and cheap ingredients that still tasted good and provided me the kind of nutrition I was looking for. Over time, I developed this dish, which I was asked to make today for my family and partner. Here's how I make it: I start by cutting three peppers and four onions and sautéing them in olive oil. I also slice about ten strips of bacon into small squares and fry them. Simultaneously, I cook about two cups of rice. While the bacon is frying, I pour copious amounts of Chinese five spice and coarsely ground black pepper into the pan. I also sprinkle this combo over the onions and peppers while they're cooking. Once everything is cooked, I dump the rice into the pan with the bacon, and I fry the rice in the bacon grease. I then dump the veggies in and mix it all up. It ends up tasting pretty good, and it's close to a paleo/primal meal (depending on how rice is counted by the individual). Here's a pic of how it looks dished up in final form:
Inspired by being cheap and not speaking the local language.

Inspired by being cheap and not speaking the local language.

  Skinwalker's Create Every Day #90 (03.31.2013) - MIDI Keyboard Vocal Harmonies I spent some time hanging out with some my favorite people, who happen to also be fantastic musicians from Eugene, Oregon. I spent some time in their home studio and had a chance to play around with a new vocal set-up one of my friends was experimenting with. He ran a microphone and MIDI keyboard through a vocal effects pedal so that the notes held on the keyboard would create harmonies to the vocal part sung through the microphone. This is a little clip of what I was improvising.