Dono Music

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Musical Inspiration / Song names

I have recently finished the last track of my seven track album and for the most part the track seems to greatly differ from the other six releases I did in the course of the last year. I think about how I got to this point, at what moment did I decide was I going to going completely different direction when I was writing? Better yet how did I come up with the name of the track that literally has almost no recognizable vocals within it?


Today will be exploring both of those questions. 

First let's talk about where I got the inspiration to go in a new direction with this track. Working 40 hours a week at a full-time job doesn't give me a lot of time to write music. A lot of my time is spent writing is on weekends and this means staying away from the bar and partying in general. All this to ensure that I have dedicated days to write music and achieve real results, but this can come at a cost. The cost being that I'm not going out as much as I would prefer listening to new music, new artists and new ideas in general. 

Canada day July 1, 2018 there’s a free outdoor party here in Calgary with Justin Martin. Known for his amazing releases on Dirty Bird Records, it was an amazing show to say the least. There is lots of interesting new music lots of great old jams and overall great vibe. But I'm not here to talk about how good the party was, I was particularly intrigued by a style of house music that was being played. I heard this style lots of times before and I personally cannot really put a name to it so anybody has a specific name to call this sub-genre by all means correct me. But if I would describe it basically it is a 32 to 64 beat segment, a large announcing midrange sound for the first 4 to 8 bars then tapering to the slow rolling bass for the remainder of the loop. Where you hear intermittent pretty midrange to high and sounds changing across the stereoscope (I will give example at the bottom of this article). I fell in love with it I found it to be a really cool arrangement, so I took that knowledge and try to apply to the latest track that I wrote called "Orbital Ring"

That brings me to the second topic of discussion, how to pick a name for song? Is usually quite easy if you have a lyricist with an idea that already hashed out for you, they basically pick something for you already. But how you pick a song name or track that does not have a vocal can be tough. I mean if you had the word "prison" in your song even if it was once or hundred times, you would call the song prison and that would be the end of it. For me I try to turn to things that inspire me from day-to-day life. This will change from person to person, from the mood of the song and many other variables. But I find this handy to making the song more relatable to you as an artist.

You might ask why the hell I named the song "Orbital Ring". The only answer that question comes from a recent documentary I watched on a YouTube channel by a guy named of Isaac Arthur. A brilliant man who runs the Science & Futurism channel(link below) talking about ideas like getting humans into space cheaper/faster , mining asteroids and lots of other really cool futuristic ideas. Takes a little bit to get over his speech impediment but the guy is brilliant and I've learned a lot watching his channel over the course of the last two months. He tries to break it down within the realm of what's possible today or what will be possible if we discover other technologies. It's a really great channel I suggest anybody is interested in space futurism and technology to check it out. 

One particular episode in his upward bound series talks about "Orbital Rings". "The Orbital Ring is a type of launch-assist system that goes beyond moving small ships and crews into space and allows cheap movement of bulk cargo up to space, into orbit, and beyond." -Isaac Arthur


For some time now I had been explaining to my friends how cool the whole orbital ring launch system was and how to cut costs of our launching into space to the cost of a current train ticket per person. The idea had me dreaming about it all the time. When I started to think about it even deeper, I started to map the feeling of my song to the feeling of travelling around in orbital ring at orbital velocities.

That's how I came up with my song name, not cutting-edge, not funny and it's not game changing. But it's the best representation of me that I can use this time. To be honest there's no rules to making music and the naming of those songs, just find something that works for you something that relates to you, something that expresses you and who cares if it makes sense.


Check out more from Dirty Bird, Justin Martin and Isaac Arthur below

DirtyBird Records -

Justin Martin -

Isacc Arthur SFIA Channel -


Those who read the all of the article get a musical treat

Vocals? Addition or Distractions

Have you ever heard people tell you that "the book was better the movie"?


I will admit that I'm not a big reader and I do prefer visual aids to my story lines, but this is a statement that always confused me. I always genuinely thought that a gifted director / film studio staff can bring a story to life like no other. But one person described it to me as if you're reading the book and you carved out the characters image, actions and behaviors. Then along comes a large movie production who scoops up the book and throws their representation of the characters / scenes up on the screen.

I can see how this can be frustrating for readers cultivating their own custom characters and visuals.

Now take that idea and apply it to music. I'm strongly aligning with the idea that "the instrumental is better than the song with vocals" at least a lot of the time. I would like to submit the argument that vocals can be distracting or can point the listener in only one direction based on what the lyricist is rhyming about. Because of this, songs with vocals relate to movies in that regard, at least to me. If you take the same song and listen to the instrumental, starting to forget the direction of the lyricist. Then your mind starts to really analyze the song and formulate your own feeling or direction with the sound of the music.

My enlightening moment is when I discovered artists like Pete Rock, Premier, J Dilla and more. I first discovered the songs with the original vocals in them and I'll be damn right honest it was absolutely pathetic. Don't get me wrong there is beautiful hip-hop vocals out there, but let's be honest we all know that hip-hop lyricist go in and purchase any track they like from the producer they like slap a vocal that is  3 dB too loud over it, thus hide the original beauty of the track. All to make sure that their voices are heard but unknowingly burying a really pretty song under really awful loud vocals. 

Let's be honest, some of the stuff out there should not be spoken.

But once I stripped out the vocals and found the instrumental, it became one of the top tracks on my playlist, now I have a whole playlist dedicated to instrumental hip-hop or at least the most part. Guys like Eric Lau, FloFilz, Freddie Joachim, Damu the Fudgemunk, Mark Farina, K-Def, Kev Brown fill my Instrumental Hip Hop playlist!

For a long time I've been listening to instrumental hip-hop outside of the electronic dance music that I write, I find that it’s a nice reset button for me!

Over the course of the last year this thought process has been a real driving force behind the last few tracks that I've been writing, I'm starting to use vocal samples more for perks and instruments rather than to tell story. I think I remember Kanye saying that vocals are the best instrument ever and I do kind of agree with him. But used by somebody out of tune or with an incorrect message sounds just as bad as an out of tune guitar. 


Here is a jam I've been feeling lately from J Dilla called Waves from his final album Donuts, I hope you like it too.