Eigenvalue

Following what seems to be a disturbing pattern, “Eigenvalue”, the second track from Synchronized Seasoning took way too long to finish. In fact, I’m now almost 30 years old, and this song was mostly written more than half a decade ago. The time between was filled with some tough stuff and some negative thoughts, but I kept chipping away at this beast slowly in the background. During this period I was in grad school, which is notorious for causing self-doubt, and worse. Thus, this one is a bit dark.

My old pal Travis Orbin is on the drums for this one (check out his session video!), and I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone else in the universe that could have done as good a job. The drums were recorded at Anup Sastry’s studio. Apparently, beyond being a great drummer, Anup possesses some impressive audio engineering chops. The drums were recorded in the Winter of 2012–2013 (I actually had to search my email to find the dates); yes, it took three years to record this sucker, and even longer before that to write it, record some draft guitars, program some drums, etc. You’d think after working on it for so long, the song would be pretty damn great, but we won’t talk about that.

I happened to have filmed some silly footage along the way to put together a video for the song. If you look closely, you can probably notice age differences between the various clips, complete with gray/less hair. This tune is also available as a free download from bandcamp: https://petepeterson.bandcamp.com/track/eigenvalue

Gear

The gear used to record this song is listed below. As you’ll note, I changed DAWs partway through, from Cubase to Reaper. I was tired of the Cubase licenser dongle, Reaper is much less expensive for a pleb like me, and it saves project files as plain text. Saving plain text has the advantage of being amenable to version control—namely Git, which allows one to make “checkpoints” along the way, and to go back to these if an unwanted change is made to the project. Furthermore, one can create “branches” to nondestructively try out new ideas and only “merge” these if they work out. Keeping project files in Git may also open up avenues for online collaboration via GitHub, though storing large amount of audio files could get unwieldy.

Lyrics

Down in hell
Did this to your own self
Missed the call
And fucking wasted it all
Got no friends, no wealth

Sold soul
Couldn’t accept your role

Bound to die
Trapped on no one’s side
Wanna be best but who you tryin’ to impress
And if you only fear this
You’ll not be peerless Follow your
Dreams killed quickly as they’re born

Wait, no
Glorious life postponed

I see
What you fucking did there
I played

Comfort is a lie to you we’ll say
Things are getting better every day
Can’t lose if you don’t play

Shame
No other fucked up
What will people think?
Dilettante
What you get ain’t gonna be what you want

Sit back and pass on every opportunity
No golden chance for me
Things just ain’t right right now
I’ve got to let ‘em go
No golden chance I know

I see
You’ll bleed

Steepening climb
Destined to fall
Median after all
This zero sum is not a game
I’m played

Normal pain
Emotion comes too late

Nails, on chalkboard
It’s a keyword
That G-word
No applause
Thus, no cause

Shrinking eigenvalue now
Never tested
Now I can’t grow
Not in those who know
Waiting for it
Entitled to instant success
Fuck this fucking shit

I sit and watch as an old man that I’ve become
My paths reduced to none
It’s all been a waste

I sat alone and slighted opportunity
This golden chance for me
It never was there
I should have seen the cliff this path was leadin’ to
This golden chance I blew

Owwwwwwww
No other fucked up
What will people say?
Impostor


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