Monday, December 22, 2008

Superheroes of The Sea - The Album


The audio

The artwork

The track listing

  1. How to Prove a Point [Thor Heyerdahl] (4:34)
    Music: Tim Donderevo
    Lyrics and Vocals: Jules Peters
  2. Nemo of the Nautilus [Captain Nemo] (5:56)
    Music: Joseph Ashley-Smith
    Lyrics and Vocals: Barney Brown and Layla Vandenbergh
  3. Sea City [Sea Cities] (3:47)
    Music: Greg Dean and Rob Fisher
    Lyrics: Eric Lebofsky
    Vocals: Eric Lebofsky and Jenny Cohen
  4. Molusco Hermoso [Hexabranchus Sanguineus (the Spanish Dancer)] (4:05)
    Music: Jules Peters
    Lyrics and Vocals: Kip Loades
  5. Cunning Odysseus [Odysseus] (3:29)
    Music: Eric Lebofsky
    Lyrics and Vocals: Barney Brown, Oli Hayhurst and Tim Donderevo
  6. For Fear of the Light [Abtu and Anet] (3:00)
    Music: Dan Waldkirch
    Lyrics and Vocals: Nick Osbourne
    Backing Vocals: Madeleine Staples, Doug Stuart, Rob Fisher, Richard Yates
  7. The Testimony of Oliver Deveau [The Mary Celeste] (4:27)
    Music: Oli Hayhurst
    Lyrics and Vocals: Joseph Ashley-Smith
  8. Plankton [Plankton] (3:53)
    Music: Rob Fisher
    Lyrics: Tim Donderevo
    Vocals: Kelly Hoglund and Tim Turton
  9. King of Pirates [Edward Teach (Blackbeard)] (3:00)
    Music: The Incredible Flight of Birdman
    Lyrics: Dan Waldkirch
    Vocals: Dan & Maria Waldkirch
  10. The Love Song of the Mako Shark [The Mako Shark] (4:19)
    Music: Dan Gresham
    Lyrics and Vocals: Timothy S Marchand
    Backing Vocals: Jules Peters
  11. The Shelter of a Shanty Home [Flotsam] (3:14)
    Music: Timothy S Marchand and Jules Peters
    Lyrics: Rob Fisher
    Vocals: Rob & Audrey Fisher
  12. Oh Jeannie [Jeanne Bare] (4:47)
    Music: Barney Brown
    Lyrics and Vocals: Greg Dean
    Glockenspiel: Don Schwartz
  13. Windy Old Weather (Fish of the Sea) (4:09)
    Music: Trad./Jules Peters, Greg Dean, Rob Fisher and Aya Saito
    Lyrics: Trad./Kip Loades
    Vocals: The IML
    Produced by Barney Brown and Tim Donderevo
Mastered by Tim Donderevo

The lyrics

Coming soon.


Copyright and Publishing Intercontinental Music Lab 2008

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported

Roger the cabin boy & Seaman Staines

I spent the day mastering Superheroes of the Sea yesterday - and what a joy it was! Once again - every single track is amazing in its own right - and super-powerful in Rob's skillful and textural track order. I'm constantly impressed by the lengths you lot go to, to make this project something special. There's some beautiful and intense and hilarious lyrics/prose on the album, exceptional vocals, along with some incredible twang-action and, for the first time, saxophones! As mastering engineer, not a single element that you wrote was lost on me - I heard everything, and I liked what I heard a lot. Keep up the good work IML!


- Yes - I know those names never appeared in Pugwash.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Arrrrrr!!!!! Well done me hearties! You've done it. Album 2 is in the net, has been clubbed to death, descaled and is being flash-frozen for rapid transport to your Christmas inboxes. Oh boy! Its a mixed bag this time around, and the quality is even higher than the first album! Congratulations to all IML members - you've done it again. I'm very excited to hear it all back to back once Captain Fish has done his thing as IML selecta. Extra kudos to anyone who contributed to the Shanty - its a marvellous thing! Happy Holidays music machines.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Brave Argonauts!

The time has come to get things buttoned-up ship-shape and Bristol-fashion. As Superheroes of the Sea masterer I must confess that I'm the tear-arse last-minute contributor this time around. The holiday season has proved the busiest season of the year for yours truly. NEVERTHELESS - you SHALL have your IML album for Christmas. So long as you've all been good girls and boys...

Good luck with final mixing etc. Don't panic if you miss the deadline! Rob has left plenty of wiggle room to get Album 2 in by Christmas. However - at this stage, we may not be eligible for a Christmas number 1.

Tim Donderevo!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

King of Plugins


I have just posted my track to the MediaFire site. It's called "King of Pirates," and features a special guest, my sister Maria. She plays Mary Ormond, Blackbeard's teenage wife.

Obviously, I'd like to hear your thoughts on the song, but I'd also like any input on the mix and the technical side of things. There's plenty of time before the deadline and I'm sure I'll have time to remix it, unless that's against the rules.

As I said, there are a LOT of vocal tracks: 18 of them, although not always going at the same time (I think the most at once is 10). So, this thing was basically a nightmare to balance out...and mixing was never my strong point to begin with. My poor computer had to run close to 50 plugins for this song, and it was not very happy towards the end.

Overall though, I really like it, and I had an absolute blast recording it. There are some bum lyrics in there, but you can fix that in mastering, right Tim?

Album Art - sneak preview

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I Dream of Jeannie (Baré)

Just posted my completed Oh Jeannie up to the folder. So far, opinion is split - my 6 year old says it's horrible, my 4 year old likes it and my wife was too busy watching Come Dine With Me. Anyway, had great fun doing it with the legendary Don Schwartz at the controls. Thanks Don for popping in with that glockenspiel and bringing the chorus back to life!


Excitement is building faster than a series of strictly come lancing.

We now have the turt signed up to master the album again. A coup, considering the quality of his work on the last one. He's a damn fine man, and once again we will greatly appreciate the time he will put in to make us all sound better and harmonised.

We have all music tracks submitted, 12 in total. I am going to sing over Tim M's track (created with the aid of legendary producer and j-rap star juicy p) which will be about flotsam and how it forms the shanty towns of the ocean. Tim M in turn is going to sing over Dan G's 80s masterpiece. What's more exciting is that all vocals should be done in a week and half (just in time for the immaculate conception) and the whole shebang done and dusted before santa starts wriggling down sooty chimney stacks.

And most exciting of all, a shanty. No, I'm not talking of RnB stars, nor of ethnic peoples in modern day Ghana. I'm talking a dirty, rough, bristley, haggard, weather-beaten, salty old sea song. Many of, if not all of, perhaps even some from outside of, the IML will come together in digital union to render a version of the age old "Windy Old Weather". Hopefully we'll have all sorts of instruments on there and some interesting voicings. It's a new style of composition for the IML and it will be the perfect finishing touch to our album.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Oh Jeannie

Sure has been busy in here. Sounds like the album is (ship)shaping up into something special already. From the feel of the backing tracks there appears to be more of a sonic consistency this time around. Good theme Cap'n Bob. I finished writing my track 2 days after receiving it from Barn - very different to last time around when it took a whole month of editing lyrics and melody. I wonder if others found it different this time around?

My track is on Jeanne Bare, the first woman to sail around the world (while dressed as a man). By that I don't mean the first woman to sail around the world dressed as a man (although she was), but the first woman to sail around the world, and she also happened to be disguised as a man. By that I mean.... . Oh well, the lyrics flowed easier than the blog.

The track is called Oh Jeannie. I thought the other day that this had a pang of familiarity and so typed it into google. No song of this name there. Phew. Then I typed it into Youtube (which I'm reliably informed is now bigger than the web itself) and there it was... a clip entitled Oh Jeannie by some band called U2.


I played the clip, nervously expecting confirmation that I had simply re-written a famous song (c'mon, we've all done it) and had simply confused subconscious memory with musical originality (again). Anyway, turns out this U2 band are shit. The clip consisted of a ponytailed twat on an aeroplane (called Boner I think - the twat, not the aeroplane) improvising a crap blues about a flight attendant called Jeannie who had just served him some eggs. The grainy footage kept panning to his friend (called 'The Hedge'!) who was constantly giggling. Knobs, but I doubt we'll be hearing from them again.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

My Saturday night = IML

Hello guy here.

I don't know who Nick and Dicky are, but I've got their track, and I love it. I recorded 90% of my vocals last night, and they sound fantastic...Nick and Dicky, you will be pleased. I took a rather unoriginal path and made it into a love song from Blackbeard to his teenage wife Mary Ormond, but hey, it was a pretty song, and I decided to make it prettier.

Also, I think I'm probably in the running for most vocal tracks: I have 18.

I've tried to reference several of my favorite Blackbeard factoids in the lyrics. Apparently Blackbeard used fires in his beard, to scare people. My favorite story though, popped up on several websites:

Having had too much to drink, he said to his crew, "Come, let us make a hell of our own, and try how long we can bear it." Going into the ship's hold, they closed the hatches, filled several pots with brimstone and set it on fire. Soon the men were coughing and gasping for air from the sulphurous fumes. All except Blackbeard scrambled out for fresh air. When Blackbeard emerged, he snarled, "Damn ye, ye yellow-bellied sapsuckers! I'm a better man than all ye milksops put together!"

Not only was Blackbeard apparently the life of a party, he was probably a big sweetheart too: he was big into threatening people, but there is no evidence of him actually killing anyone.

Anyways, this is fun! Can't wait to hear the other tracks!


Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Crow's Nest

Wow it's getting busy on here! Good to ...sea...(ahem). We're now up to 12 tracks for the album now thanks to a last minute submission from the Gresham. I've offered it out to Monsieur Marchand for vocal duties in the first instance as he has not had a track yet.
In other news, Gregor Dean has been commissioned to do some art work for the project. I've told him in the strictest terms that nothing less than a pirate ship with characatures of IML members dotted around on board will do. I have already bagged the crow's nest.

Eternal Drift

Having received my new IML track, I have plunged myself into the amazing world of PLANKTON! It is a world so enthralling that, whenever I read about it, my psyche morphs into a physical analog of a vast aquatic eco-system consisting of billions of primitive but miraculous individual life-forms. My synapses grow double flagellums and elevate & sink, drifting with the tides. Once organised emotion-sensing cortex systems are reassigned to the eternal machine of comprehensive carbon flux. The question now is how am I going to write a song in this altered state? I'm listening over and over Rob's beautiful backing track and it's working perfectly with my new understanding of plankton - and clashing horribly with all the clumsy and bizarre scientific names and descriptions I'm reading! This is going to be a hard one to write - I don't know how, but I think I'll take a cue from the plankton, and go with the flow.

Help please?

Anyone know the collective noun for "Hexabranchidae''?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Collective nouns for fishy friends

I think I've finished writing my lyrics. Though I need to decide on whether I've pushed the comedy boat ... too far out to sea. I found the following website useful for a couple of crucial aspects of my song. Fellow lyricising IML'ers may do as well. Land ahoy!

A bit more on the comedy conundrum. Nemo is so clearly insane, and so full of contradictions it's very difficult to write from his viewpoint without exposing is obvious mental fragility. I was finding it pretty difficult to perform under those difficult conditions and just slipped into what I think has become the Nemo for Superheroes of The Sea. We'll see. My original recording for Galileo was pretty out there and got completely re-recorded at the last minute (thank goodness).

Monday, November 10, 2008

Seconded whole heartedly. Lovely logo, lovely work.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Blubbering Praise

The new sea shadow for the logo looks tremendously spunky ... and spermy, by the way. Magnifique!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Breaking News

A new track is on the way. Early reports indicate it will address the topic of cuttlefish and it is believed to originate from a first time contributor in Japan.

In other Superheroes of the Sea news Jacques Piccard, one of the two first men to visit the deepest point on the globe (Challenger Deep in the Marina Tranch) passed away recently. A worthy topic for this album if ever there was one. It took 5 hours to get down there and they only stayed for 20 minutes before starting back up, amazing stuff.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Freedom of the Sea

Well, I feel incredibly lucky ... and HUGELY excited. Not only have I got a song that is already making me cry (and that, miraculously, has a touch of my favourite song of all time, As The World Falls Down), but I have freedom of theme! I might just have to go for a swim somewhere and think about it. Or maybe I'll try having a bath with a stranger - that might provoke some ideas, or some trouble. This first research aspect of the project - the cogitating part - is one of my favourites ...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Stage 1 - Done

We have now reached the half way point on our voyage across the ocean. The backing tracks are in and have been reassigned to the lyricist vocalisers to do their stuff. The quality is up there with the first IML album in my opinion. It has been a great pleasure to hear these brilliant tracks everyone has been writing and equally a great pleasure in determining good homes for them. I hope my assignments will do them the justice they deserve. We have a nice balanced cross section of themes - 5 humans, 2 creatures, 1 ship, 1 concept and finally a mystery topic yet to be decided. Here are the assignments in full:

Composer (Theme) to Lyricist
Ash (Nemo and the Nautilus) to Barney
Oli (Mary Celeste) to Ash
Juju (Spanish Dancer) to Kip
Greg (Sea Cities) to Eric
Barn (Jeanne Bare) to Greg
Turt (Thor Heyerdahl) to Juju
Nick and Dicky (Blackbeard) to Dan W.
Eric (Odysseus) to Oli
Dan W. (???) to Nick
Rob (Plankton) to Turt
Tim M. (Cuttlefish) to Rob

You may notice we are one track short for vocals. We may possibly get a track in from Tim M. or Dan G. in which case I will assign it to yours truly for vocals. Otherwise I may put out to tender for an extra track if anyone has the capacity and will to knock out a quickie.
Have fun with stage 2 IMLers!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Finger ache

I made some headway into my track last night. I've been experimenting with different microphone placements and rooms to get the right sound for the acoustic guitars. That bit's easy. I've also been trying out different string types from ultra light to medium. Blah blah blah. That's all fine but I haven't been playing enough guitar recently so I'm cheese-wiring my fingers. It's sounding good though. Lacking a bass, I've been sticking the electric guitar through some bass amp plug ins which sound OK. Might end up a bit muddy. I'm not sure, but this track may be submitted without a theme at all. I know that when I was running the Superheroes of Science project the ability to listen to a track, choose a scientist and singer, led to a feeling of power never felt before. It would be nice to bestow that power upon Rob.

In other news, I can see that someone has uploaded a backing track already for Superheroes of The Sea but I won't be listening to that until my track's recorded. Just in case, you know, I get scared. Sploosh!

Friday, October 3, 2008


I listened to a lecture about where waves come from last night. It was pretty dull quite frankly. I liked the first bit where the lecturer said, "here's an introduction for stupid people about waves" but then it all got a bit technical. Anyway. I think I'm wedded to the idea of making a sonic piece which depicts the build up and destruction of a wave (on a central ocean to coast) level. Starting with a simple melody, then layering and layering until it sounds like in this order:

Lounge jazz
Speed garage
My Bloody Valentine
And back

It might be a tough one to lyricise but I hope (and I don't want to influence the prospective lyricist), that the story arc of the words could cover the complexity of human life from birth, the bit in between, and death. For individuals, the song could be about oceanographers, but unlike some of the heroes on our last album I haven't found an oceanographer yet, who has, dare I say it, an interesting life. Am I becoming jaded? No, I've just got a cold and have drunk some wine. Anyway, hopefully I'll get better tomorrow night so I can go out with some of the other IMLers and start planning our Science Festival gig. Happy days.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Mobius Dickus

It's a magnificent theme. Sea myths are incredibly potent. In fact, I feel potency in my every member just thinking about it. I feel the tides of potency determining my every posture. Potency becomes me. Potency annihlates me. Potency turns me round and violates me, while potency's accomplices watch, laughing, parrots chirping on their shoulders. Potency leaves me crumpled in a corner, guilty, exhausted, but desperate for more.
I am so excited about this album, particularly after the MONSTROUS triumph of The Superhoeroes of Science. The potentialities are too much for one man, in fact: so I have called a meeting of my peers next week. Perhaps togethe we can get to the bottom of this thematic mystery, and come up with a compositional plan ...

Good luck to the rest of IML.

One-Eyed Willy

Time to plug things in and start thinking

So Rob has set the brief for the next Intercontinental Music Lab project, "Superheroes of the Sea". I'm very excited about this, potentially this could be even more mind blowing than our previous album "Superheroes of Science". As with the science theme there's plenty of scope to explore the lives of people, or beasts but this time with the added value of ... myths. It's such a rich theme to explore that I'm not sure where I'm going to start. Screaming guitars to accompany a Kraken or more ukulele to accompany an oceanographer? One things for sure, I'm going to spend more time composing this time round. Good luck everyone. Anyway, I've got a cold at the moment so I feel very much under the sea.