Four Years and Three Letters

Posted: May 16, 2015 by MedievalUser in General Info


Our First Album is OUT!
4th All Our Videos and Art Fischmann…
morninglight

 
Stefan’s letter
Olga’s letter
Cornelia’s letter


Our Band – by Stefan

Children Medieval Band began four years ago, on May 16th, I came up with the idea of starting a band, inspired by Rammstein and Beatles great songs, I wanted to make great compositions too. So I came up with Clouds in Space, I hired Olga as the Drummer and we recorded a video of us playing. That was the humble beginning of our band. Originally named The Crudeles, it changed soon into Children Medieval Band. The name was well chosen because we have always tried to fusion medieval music into rock. CMB is one of the very few neo-medieval bands in USA.

Throughout these four years we’ve had many experiences, some good and some bad. The best one was when we met Rammstein themselves! At their concert we opened for them and played in front of people for the first time – ten thousand to be exact. One of our fortunate events was when we put Sonne on Youtube, expecting just under 500 views, but instead we reached over one million views in less than one hour! We still don’t know how that happened…

We’ve had lots of great moments, but we’ve also had our fair share of failures as well. Before releasing our album, Treasure Underground, we worked for almost a year, composing, recording and mixing. But when we finally put it out for everyone to buy, less than 10 people were interested enough to give their money for a good cause.
We’ve played at several fairs, at all of them the managers congratulated us, some even wanted us for next year. But as you would expect, because of the continuous rise of the number of bands in the world, we were put on the waiting list..
A major problem for us is that we don’t have much audience. A few years ago many R+ fans cheered us, but as we grew up, our band is not so cute anymore, so the former fans, 20-40 years olds, lost interest. Also, unfortunately, those from our generation don’t care about us. It’s sad to see that almost all kids our age listen to garbage, this is their parents’ fault.
In spite of all that, we keep doing what we have to do. And yes, we have an agenda. We don’t want to be part of a generation entirely fascinated by those stars so popular, and also so irritating. We try to create a bit of an influence and change the taste of some youngsters, here and there. Although it seems to be almost impossible, we like to try.
And as we said in our CMB March song:
Even if we won’t succeed
We’ll be standing tall

Plans: we still want to release a better medieval music cd, maybe a couple of videos, and also we’ll start writing new songs for a new rock album, due probably for next year, hopefully. There is some uncertainty though… We may have to move from California and this will impact our activity – hard to tell how much, hopefully not too bad.

Regards,
Stefan


 

 


 
Children Medieval Band
by Olga

On May 16, 2011, I was only 7 years old and life wasn’t very interesting,
until my brother said: “Hey, let’s start a band! I made a composition, but, I
need a drummer.” I then quickly accepted, because I loved the drums, and
I wanted to be a drummer. My brother showed me the composition and
gave me instructions of what to do. I was also supposed to be the vocalist,
because my brother couldn’t sing while playing the guitar, back then. We
were rehearsing our song, and our dad came in and asked what we were
doing. “Well, we just made a little song , because we want to start a band.”
Stefan said. My dad then went and brought the camera and we filmed our
song. It was very weak, and the lyrics were silly, but our dad encouraged
us to continue. We did continue, but we gave medieval music a try.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t be the drummer, because keyboard and violin
were too hard for my little sister. So the first video, and many others, were
filmed with me on the keyboard or violin. After our first video, we posted
other videos that were also medieval. Then, we did something different.
We started posting beatles and other songs around that era, and a few
rammstein videos! Well, it happens that one day we did a cover of Sonne,
and we thought we wouldn’t get any success, but our dad brought us to
the park for icecream as a reward, anyway. When we got home, to our
surprise, we almost had 1 million views on our cover! After that things got
succesfull and we were invited to play the opening for Rammstein! We
went to alot of concerts at different places also, and had a few fans who
were really kind. Now, we’ve released a new album, and I can’t wait until
we do more concerts and covers for this year!
Sincerely,
Olga.


 
 


 
Children Medieval Band’s 4th Anniversary (by drummer Cornelia)
4 years ago, my brother Stefan decided to make a band. He wrote a composition, called Clouds in Space. Olga, my sister, played the drums and sang. Though I didn’t participate much (only a few simple notes on the keyboard) because Stefan thought I was too young. This first song was quite a failure because well, this was our FIRST composition. But our dad filmed it and agreed with the band. Next, we started with medieval. There are a bunch of funny videos on Youtube of us! My favorite was when I dropped my rattle stick. We did medieval because we were young back then, I was 4 and it would’ve been REALLY weird if we played rock headbanging.
And well, that’s where our band name came from! But, we changed things a bit. We started playing Rammstein songs and Beatle songs. My favorite part of my life was when we were invited to play onstage. Rammstein invited us, I was really excited! We had 10,000 people in front of us. It was amazing! Then, Rammstien got to play, too, but there was huge amount of sound and I got a little scared (I was 4, so DON’T call me a scardey-cat).

We started making lots of videos on Youtube. We lived in Colorado, and then we moved. I went in the airplane with my mom and the others in the car. My grandpa and grandma came along, also, because they visited a week or so before we moved. We moved to San Diego, and we rented a house. We bought a new set of drums for me and started making more and more videos a few days after we moved and unpacked everything. We went to lots of concerts, My two favorite concerts were San Diego Fair and the Dinner Party at the PalmSprings hotel. Unfortunately, we came back home at 3:00 AM.

During the month of April 2014, we thought of making our OWN compositions. We had made too many covers, it started to get boring and we decided to make 10 songs. I thought it will be amazingly easy. Well, I know the answer next time! We pronounced the release of our album to be in August, but it wasn’t. A year passed by and we tried everything to make it sound better, but it came worse and worse! It was February, the same. March, also, the same. April, we promised to release it at the end of the month. Now it is May. Our Album was released, but we’ve rarely got any costumers. Anyway, that will be it, for now.

Sincerely,
Cornelia.

Our 1st Album – Song stories

Posted: May 5, 2015 by medievaluser in General Info

So our first album called “Treasure Underground” is out and it contains 10 interesting songs made by us with really modest means. It won’t compete with the professionally mastered tracks distributed on airwaves, but we dare to say that our album is better than most commercial stuff, in regard to originality and tastefulness.

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CMB in San Diego

One of our favorite bands – The Stranglers – has this habit of posting sometimes details about their albums. On Stranglers’ site visitors can read descriptions of many of their songs, how they were made, recorded, where the inspiration came from, etc. We found this very interesting material to read and thought to do something similar.

1. End of Road
Musical idea: this song was initially made by Stefan, under the influence of a King Crimson classic. The main theme is haunting. We think it’s a beautiful piece. Olga wanted the arrangement to resemble one of her favorite Rammstein songs – Wo Bist Du.
Message: The lyrics are about a hopeless situation, waiting for a miracle which never happens, but still hoping.
Technical info: like all the other songs, the recording was done at home, with no experience and with very modest equipment. The final mastering of this song (and Wolves) was done by Mark Aviles from Arizona, a skillful sound engineer who did his best to polish and smooth out the rough recording.

2. U-don’t
Musical idea: Everyone of the three CMB members contributed to it. Cornelia, our darling drummer made up an interesting furious drum fill at the end of the solo part. And on one of the recorded takes, she can be heard with an enthusiastic “this is the best song ever”. Of course it’s not, but the enthusiasm was genuine.
Message: A reaction against those people who, under the false pretense that they care, they only do harm. Such a situation occurred to us when one of these irresponsible persons, called 911, considering that CMB kids are being abused somehow. Olga was crying (‘why there are so many bad people?’) and Stefan got furious that at his age (almost 13 at the time) is treated like an object by these falsely concerned hypocritical adults. We are also very family oriented and don’t like the ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ attitude. The song is about that.
Technical info: the guitar is tuned with dropped D (lower E string down to D). In fact all the ten songs from this album use the same tuning. Mixed at home, mastered online at Landr.com

3. Crashed Van
Musical idea: We wanted this song to sound a bit like Rammstein, but it didn’t. It’s interesting though. The second part with the strings and nice vocal has its special beauty.
Message: there is a certain surrealism about this song, but it was inspired by a real event. Several years ago, in New-York, we were walking on a Queens street, coming home from a playground. All of a sudden, while we were approaching our house, a van stopped in front of us, three youngsters jumped out and run. One of them had thrown an object (a gun) into our backyard. But the police helicopter was already above and the cops caught them a few seconds later.
We found out that the smoking gun had been used to shoot someone a few minutes earlier and that that van was actually stolen and used for this terrible crime. We made a song about such a situation, changed into a sort of bad dream, with a nice ending and a funny moment (“I turned my wheels rectangular”).
Technical info: The main guitar riff was created by Stefan (also most of the lyrics and of course the vocal). Olga added the low D harpsichord repeated note and the synth effects for a dream-like atmosphere. Mixing & mastering is done at home.

4. Charts
Musical idea: it started with a, supposedly, very heavy riff. But the recording and mixing didn’t do justice to this part. Then a bit of James Brown funk style influence while the vocal got, unwillingly, into a bit of rap.
Message: The lyrics are interesting, about the pop charts which don’t include the best music. A tribute to Rammstein, which we consider one of the greatest bands ever. And also a way to thank them for inviting us on their stage 3 years ago.
Technical info: Besides the main guitar riff, drums and the bass played on keyboard, we over-dubbed here and there some medieval sounds – dulcimer, trumpet, English horn. With this song we went to a professional recording studio, because we wanted to record all at once. Doing that it’s better for certain lively pieces, the beat and dynamics are in place. However, after a lot of hassle with loading and unloading our instruments, spending time and money in that studio, the result wasn’t too good. So that was our only attempt to do this album in a studio environment. We used some of the recorded parts from there but redid the guitar and vocal. Mixed at home, mastered online at WaveMod.com

5. Treasure Underground
Musical idea: written mostly by the guitarist Stefan. One evening, being very impressed by the melody of the old Sicilian Clan movie, he was playing the main theme with a heavier sound on guitar. Then the keyboard joined in.
The originality of our song starts with the blending of this sad epic theme with a joyous keyboard background. Then the idea of using this atmosphere as the opening of the underground tour came instantly. Later on, a second part was added with a stronger riff.
Message: The lyrics are about the lost old american good times and the present with its irritating mainstream (which in this piece we call it main-scream). The ‘underground’ has several meanings and the treasure might be the old ‘american car’ or other niceties which are never appreciated by the masses.
Technical info: During the strophe, Stefan used his own innovation – the guitar breathing scheme (done with volume pedal). Regarding the chorus, it’s one of the few parts of our album which don’t sound too far from what we wanted. We like that interesting combination of a glorious hymn with a bit of lamentation. Stefan voice, quite rough, keeps an ‘ostinato’ same note. Cornelia sings a descending line of half-tones while Olga, barely audible with a faint falsetto, is ascending along the guitar riff. The mastering of this song is done by ADG Mastering. He did quite a good job, but we couldn’t afford financially to do all the other songs with him.

6. Wolves
Musical idea: Made up during a jam session. We liked the awkward beginning part with the guitar seemingly struggling for each note. The atmosphere about the night, the old ruined castle and the lonely monk surrounded by hungry wolves, makes this a dark fairy tale, which we concluded with a beautiful sequence of arpeggiated chords on harpsichord. Olga had a lot of contribution with her keyboard parts.
Message: Inspired by the story of a venerable Romanian monk who spent 10 years alone in the deep forest, during the communist most aggressive period. He once described how he resisted through the more dangerous nights by continuous prayers.
Technical info: Couldn’t afford professional recording on this song but we asked Mark Aviles to do the mastering. He also added a low cello part to it.

7. Ice Scream
Musical idea: Stefan tried several unusual riffs and liked this one better. The structure of the song is quite weird (ABAB-CD) but it kind of makes sense for us musically. Or maybe we just got used to it.
Message: lyrics are about not just ice-cream, but also a complaint against anything which is fake or artificial. A protest against liars. It is a sample of our good rock concept.
Technical info: Mixed & mastered at home.

8. Digging
Musical idea: made up during an improvisation session. The second part was added as a message of hope during hardships. The passage “dig out to the free way” is Cornelia’s contribution.
Message: The idea of this song is escaping from captivity. We dedicate this piece to all the innocent people held captive. Children are closer to God and they know better: the captors will never be admitted to Heaven. Holding innocent captives is one of the worst sins.
Technical info: we are aware of the unusual structure of the song; the first part and the chorus don’t seem to fit together. We tried to convey somehow the feeling of escape from captivity through a sudden change. Mixed & mastered online at wavemod.com

9. LifeGuard
Musical idea: made up around a simple classic rock riff, with a joyous attitude. At the end, during a simple guitar solo, we introduce a nice medieval theme and end up with a drum tremolo executed quite skilfully by Cornelia.
Message: The ocean is the real life, sometimes beautiful and sometimes dangerous. The lifeguard is the Saviour. When the time will come to drown, we hope to be saved.
Technical info: Mixed & mastered at home.

10. CMB March
Musical idea: here we successfully combined a nice medieval melody written by Susato 500 years ago, with our riff and vocals.
Message: A nice chorus about our own band and then a darker ending with a bit sad, but still a positive theme.
Technical info: Finding the right guitar riff along the medieval melody required a lot of effort. Same with adding a vocal part and chorus. But we feel it came out pretty good. Mixed & mastered at home.

 
“Treasure Underground” album – conclusion

Musical idea: In the beginning of 2014 we decided to try writing our own compositions. Our favorite bands (still existing) Rammstein and Stranglers, seemed to tire down a little and had not released new songs for a while. We felt that we should start working on continuing their music for the new times to come. During our jam sessions we had recorded improvised parts which we liked. And we started from there.
Message: Underground has several meanings for us. One is related to music: we dislike mainstream and we listen mostly to what we consider to be underground music. We also see the underground as a symbol for the good stuff which is either chased away or has to hide. We like to consider our songs package as a small treasure built under ground (because up there the ‘main-scream’ is too loud for us).
Technical info:
Recording equipment is very modest, couldn’t afford better:
– guitar – used inexpensive Fender (squire bullet)
– keyboard – Yamaha 10 yrs old model
– drums – used ($100)
– microphone Behringer ($40)
– mixer Behringer Xenyx low budget mixer ($40)
– slow old computer + free audio software (Audacity) + Reaper’s plugins.
As Graham Cochrane (therecordingrevolution.com) claims, good music can be done with low budget studio, and we think we have proved it.
However the production could be better.
The instrumental and vocal performance is not the best either – we feel more comfortable live on stage than in the studio.

But the whole concept is good. The songs have interesting lyrics, the construction is how we wanted it, avoiding cliches and not predictable.
The album is something new, different and made up on principles, non evil and non frivolous. A ‘good rock’ album.
Available at Loudr.com, Amazon and nimbit.com
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Treasure Underground

Posted: April 30, 2015 by MedievalUser in Albums

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Huzzah! Finally, our album is done.

In a few days we’ll celebrate 4 years since CMB has formed and we thought it’s a good time to release our own compositions.

It’s been a very long and difficult journey, struggling with the recording and mixing, but we think it contains good taste musical ideas and great lyrics.

The songs are available at nimbitmusic.com/childrenmedievalband (and also we’ve made a simple trailer on youtube).

The truth is we are not so crazy about the quality of the sound. It’s under the standard of a professional album, and we simply consider it as “100% homemade”. But still, we are confident this is a good thing and we hope you will appreciate the efforts put into this.
We expect some criticism, but we are aware of all issues, and have already rated ourselves, on a scale of 1-10:

  • Recording – 2 (due to low budget equipment)
  • Mixing – 4 (inexperience)
  • Mastering – 5 (except three songs done by others: Mark Aviles and ADG Mastering)
  • Performance – 7
  • Lyrics – 9 (all of us worked really hard and contributed in different ways – other details to follow)
  • Originality & non-conventional – 10
  • Avoidance of FE (frivolous-evil) – 10

Since we like to exaggerate a bit :), we dare to say that this is probably one of the most original albums ever made by a kids’ band.
Also available at Loudr.com, Amazon and maybe iTunes.
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