Music is usually discussed separately from other arts, but that will not be the case here.  I have some compositions I want to record and share and, since a dedicated site for them is unwarranted, they will appear in this music “gallery” in ART @ CHC.

I ask only that, if you care to listen, please avoid playing on laptop speakers.  Even earbuds are better!  Thanks.

Bucket of Steel   [Posted 2020.03.23, Length 4:07]

The first recording I’m sharing here is a composition I wrote sometime in the mid-1970s.  It was a staple of my home piano-playing sessions, and over time I developed a number of variations on the tune to forestall boredom.  I finally recorded the piano track on our Yamaha U1 upright in February 2016, for a future CD for my spouse.  In February 2020, I dusted off this track and added other digital instruments to the mix.   The analog and digital performances, the arrangement and the mix are all mine and the end result is not mistake-free.  It is, however, good enough for me and I have spent enough time on it — probably a month.

I once wrote a few lyrics for this song but never really developed them.

BUCKET OF STEEL © 2020 Craig H Collins


Company Man   [Posted 2020.12.02, Remix 2021.02.05, Length 4:29]

Company Man is the first words-and-music song I’ve recorded in over 40 years.  I wrote the outlines of the song in the early 1980s, but the lyrics and the bridge were only completed this year.  I may have borrowed inspiration from the Kinks’ Shangri-La as well as from the Jackie Gleason Orchestra.  The composition and all analog/digital performances are mine, with the exception of the intro and outro vocals — those lines were extracted from management comments in Eastman Kodak annual reports of the late 1990s – early 2000s, which I typed into online speech synthesizers and then recorded.

I’m not proud of the vocals, but it’s the only voice I have left after all these years.  And even this modest effort would not have been possible without the (amazing) capabilities of Melodyne pitch-adjusting software.

Overall, I worked on this recording about five months.  At that rate, I might be ready to release my first album when I’m 72.

[February 2021:  Still dissatisfied with the mix, I did another remix at the end of last year.  Although it was better, I was still not entirely happy,  so I did a George Martin and combined the two best mixes (#78 and #82) together.  This will have to do.  For now.]

COMPANY MAN © 2020 Craig H Collins

16 responses to “Music”

  1. Judi says:

    I enjoyed that very much! I plan to listen again and try to identify exactly what I liked and try to be more specific but we are walking a dog this am and must be off. It’s wonderful you still play as so many adults abandon their musical hobbies. Stay well!

  2. Stephanie Velsmid says:

    Beautiful!!!!! Kaaren and I both think you are very talented!!!! We too are awaiting Sue’s ?!!!!!!

    Sorry it took me so long to open your post!!
    Hunting for toilet paper to buy is taking up all my time!!!
    Just kidding ?.

  3. Mary Ann Collins says:

    As I listened to you play, I not only enjoyed what I heard, but it brought back a memory of listening to you Dad play. For us he always played easy listening tunes from his younger days, and we always enjoyed it. Thanks to Sue for making your composition available to us.

  4. mary monefeldt says:

    Loved it! I sang along. First time that I have felt like singing in weeks. Thanks a million, Craig.
    Keep on playing and writing.
    Your friend and fan,

  5. Lynn Rubenson says:

    Beautiful! Uplifting and dramatic… complex but so pleasing and my imperfect ear didn’t hear any mistakes!

  6. Rob says:

    Really nice.

    • Craig says:

      Again, thank you all for visiting, listening and commenting. It’s nice to have friends.

  7. Gail says:

    I’m loving it! Keep composing!

  8. Bruce says:

    I’ve always liked the diverse sections and this is a really cool arrangement. Excellent dusting!

    • Emily Collins Sieg says:

      Agreed! I have listened to my dad play this song since I was a little girl, and in addition to really enjoying his music, it unconsciously taught me to anticipate a bridge, and evaluate its purpose. In that same vein, when I listen to songs I love that are essentially a chorus, I have no leg to stand on.

  9. Judi says:

    Easy to listen to and impressive technology executed remarkable well. I can picture myself in a nightclub listening. Perhaps a nightclub scene from Mrs. Maisels. Also brought Kodak to mind. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Bruce says:

    I really dig “Company Man” though regrettably I am still one myself. Hmmm… time to retire!

    Great job on this! The vocals sound good but are a bit low in the mix, perhaps representing the company man’s position? Guitar sound is nice. I love the orchestration, especially on the extended orchestral break. The synth-voiced corporate babble is a nice touch and hasn’t changed much except nowadays the babble is babbled by the corporate execs themselves, on video from the comfort of their home offices.

  11. Jim says:

    “Asking never pays”. Ah, the reminder that in the corporate world, we quite often killed messengers!

  12. Rob says:

    I love how the ennui of the lyrics plays against the lushness of the orchestration.
    This is good stuff, Craig. Hoping inspiration strikes often.

  13. Sue Collins says:

    So many memories of us being out for the night and you finding a piano to play in some restaurant and lounge. Me sitting with a nice after dinner drink and not wanting you to not stop playing.

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