From 1991-1998, I worked at Cornell University in their IT department, first coding custom database systems in FileMaker and 4D with links to Cornell's IBM mainframe systems, then more work on Mac front-ends to the mainframe for Project Mandarin, then work on the pioneering CU-SeeMe video-chat system and other VOIP R&D. In 1996, my office was moved from the CCC building on the Ag quad over to an off-campus site on Maple Avenue. I could park right outside my office, which was a big improvement, and the new office space was quite nice with big windows looking out over big trees. All my computers and files were just transported overnight, and I was excited enough to write this song about it.
The intro to this song started with a cell phone call to my work voicemail, a common technique in those days to capture a song idea. I recorded that by putting a mic to a landline earpiece while checking my voicemail. I found guitar chords that would fit under that melody, and recorded two tracks of acoustic guitar for the intro bit, tuned DADGBE.
In those days, I was using Bias' Deck II software for recording, which had no MIDI or virtual instruments like Logic. My usual recording technique back then was to start by finding a drum loop on which to base the song. I'd rip bits of the copious Killer Whirlpool tapes, or even older recordings of my band. For this song, I wanted it to rock out after the slow intro, so I ripped Jon's solo drum parts from "live it up", from the eponymous "Voyager" tape from 1980. I took one of the huge drum rolls from the intro and looped it into this crazy ruckus that blasts in after the intro to this song. Then I found a decent loop of the floor-tom-beating main beat for the verses.
I layered in tracks of bass [DADG], my old cabinet grand piano, my Les Paul through my Twin Reverb amp, and vocals. I don't remember how I came to arrange the outro the way I did, but there's a magical bit where I grabbed some tracks, made two copies, and reversed the first copy to extend things in a moody, beautiful, fade. (Best enjoyed LOUD!)
This is the opening song on the album "leave a trace". Recorded in mangobananas studio, Ithaca, NY.
Thanks for listening!
new office I don't work over there I work over here now they moved all my desks and computers and files and I got a nice space over by the window and I look at the snow fall in the trees I got a nice space over by the window and I look at the snow falling in the trees in my office -cruising 'round the world on my screen on the network -pushing things to the max at my desk here -a million strange worlds to see this is not work -this crazy train is off the tracks I think and I dream as I debug the code and I wonder what's next and what to believe I sit and I worry 'bout encryption and pirates I'm working a puzzle that hasn't been seen 11, 18, 19, 21 January 1996 ©1996 by Andy Wyatt