Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Composing the Celebrate Software Freedom Day Song

June 16, 2011

The Celebrate Software Freedom Day Song, a collaborative and creative result, was totally unexpected.

It was actually a whole rehearsal day for Dekada and Rizal Uno (for an event in August) at the Galang's residence in Antipolo City. Meric and Deng came late at around 10pm when some of the band members were already having their dinner and then after t'was time to jam with the band.

Right before the jamming started, Erwin played an already laid out tune and made us listen to his fast ska arrangement, it was his new project. Then Deng said, "Can we just have that for SFD?" He in turn said "why not?, if it fits".

Deng asked Erwin to play the whole tune (originally in Key of F) one more time but in a slower tempo. Then bit by bit a single melodic pattern was being hummed in deng's mind to fit the already arranged harmony. Deng asked for Meric's help to form and mold the concept of the song. It should not be too wordy, simple, yet it should embody/capture the theme and thought of F/OSS and essence of celebrating Software Freedom Day.

And over bottles of beer, the scribbling and mumbling lasted for about two hours. Deng asked Erwin to mum the brass section while fitting in the lyrics and melody to the tune. Alas, we think we have a song.

While rehearsing before the recording takes place, we transposed the tune to key of G to fit the singer's vocal range.

Take 1. Take 2. Take 3. And the vocal recording was done.

More beers and it was 3am but the group was still enthusiastically up and about to finish the song recording. So the final touch of percussion, bass and brass was to be laid out plus of course we had to think of how to end the song, a little more grand than the verses. Recording/ Mixing... and as we waited for Master Erwin to accomplish his final arrangement, it was already 6 in the morning.

We felt free. We felt elated. We felt good. And we hope this is something worth sharing and singing along for this year's Celebration of Software Freedom Day.

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