Author Topic: 15 years of Imaginary Hospitals!  (Read 187 times)

Offline Stephen

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15 years of Imaginary Hospitals!
« on: April 20, 2019, 06:00:08 PM »
I have been on a Travelogue/Jon S. kick lately again, and queued up Imaginary Hospitals on Spotify today and noted that it has been nearly 15 years since its release in June 2004.

There are many brilliant moments on this album. One that comes to mind, as I just finished listening, is 'A Happy Ending'.

You told me I should learn to smile
Maybe it's you that looks so sad
Suggesting I should try to laugh
Perhaps I'll try, what would it change?

We always hope that we will find
Uncanny wonderfully happy endings
And if we change what's in our sights
Well, here goes nothing

(and then it goes into some happy music, which makes me smile.)

Share your favorite things about this album here. Maybe Jon can chime in with some memories.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2019, 06:05:20 PM by Stephen »

Offline Jon Sonnenberg

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Re: 15 years of Imaginary Hospitals!
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2019, 10:08:50 AM »
Ha!  15 years!.  There are several things about Imaginary Hospitals that stand out to me.

The tracks that hold the theme together are "hospital", "channel 37", and "operation", all about my then recent visit to a Hospital and the rooms, feelings, sounds, and experience. "Hospital" was especially telling with all of the beeps and alerts that inspired the main sequence.

I had a computer hard drive crash in the middle of recording this album.  Much of the music was recorded but the lyrics and final mixes had not been done.  I wasn't backing up my data at the time, which was a mistake, and I had to recreate everything half way through.  I remember that there were a couple of sounds - mostly on "Commodity" and "Hospital" that in my mind were not as good as the original sounds.  I don't have any recording of what they sounded like before though or else I would have tried to find a way to sample those parts into the songs. 

This was the first album that I had recorded entirely on computer.  previous albums were either done on reel to reel, ADAT, or a combination of those with some computer enhancement or additional tracks added - like 'Art of Conversation' was recorded onto ADAT, the transfered to the computer and vocals and additional sounds were added in the computer.

At the time, I was using programs like Cool Edit Pro, Fruity Loops, and Samplitude.  After the crash, I made the switch to Protools and continued with PT ever since.  There were some things in Samplitude that I thought were easier to do, not that Protools can't do them, but they are not as intuitive and easily done - things like pitch shifting audio - was much easier to do in Samplitude at the time. 

"DOA" might be one of my favorite tracks on the record.  "You and I" is a close second.  I always preferred my mix from the Hospital single over the album mix - often the live mix was based around the single version with some added sounds and different rhythms.

I remember playing 'Commodity' for a good friend of mine when the album was finished.  He had been (and still is) a big fan of my music.  For some reason, that song never gelled with him and he claimed it was the worst song I had ever written.  He didn't think the song was interesting, hated the sounds, and didn't like the lyrics.  I don't mind honesty and understand that different people have different opinions.  Sometimes criticism helps us mold what we make into something better.  In this case, it certainly did not phase me because I liked the sounds and insisted that it was great the way it was - and I still liked it enough to put it as the opening track on the album.

I always do better with criticism that is like "I think that the vocals are too loud" or "you should add more character to the snare".  Statements like "I don't like that sound" doesn't mean as much to me because preference is such a personal thing.  I can't tell someone to like or not like something.  they just will - which is the reason that even though I respect my friend and his opinion, it did not affect the way I presented the album or that particular song.

Offline Stephen

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Re: 15 years of Imaginary Hospitals!
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2019, 06:42:09 PM »
Thanks Jon!  :)

Offline FloydienSlip

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Re: 15 years of Imaginary Hospitals!
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2019, 11:22:20 PM »
I'll go ahead and second Jon on "D.O.A."; it's one of my favorites off the record too, though I do have a strange love for "Channel 37."
And the rain falls gently on the town, and over the heads of all of us.