chriswilliams.com

presents SIMPLE HAPPY DREAM

A note from me to you

When I started recording these songs in 1998, I had no intention of letting the world have a listen.

I was just trying to figure out my first eight-track recorder, the Roland VS-840. I'd use it to preserve song ideas before they evaporated, then use any spare tracks to whimsically elaborate. Far more advanced than my old four-track, the 840 encouraged me to experiment with vocal harmonies - as many as I could make up and sing - and layer more guitars than is usually appropriate.

Recording was all about the thrill of making a brand new song that I could listen to the next morning: clumsily capturing my erratic instrument performances... tirelessly tweaking the VS-840's built-in effects... lusciously layering as many harmony vocals as I could think of... and mixing it to my own, blissfully unfashionable taste.

Naturally, this was fun.

This also means there are a lot of mistakes, but for every not-so-hot rhythm or pitch, there are magic little moments of groove, harmony and coincidence. Most of the goofs are still funny to me, and I wouldn't edit them out for the world. Several of the songs use first-take vocal performances. In places I stumbled over the freshly-minted lyrics, or haphazardly improvised delivery, but when I went back to sing them perfectly I just couldn't recreate the innocence.

It took me years to decide to release this for family, friends and likeminded strangers. I might have re-recorded all the songs and fixed the iffy parts, and maybe someday I will.

In the end, though, I decided you should hear the versions I so happily played in the car each morning after each late night of recording. Each new "debut" was itself a reward for the countless hours spent.

I think anyone can make their own little pop album. I hope you'll enjoy mine.

Chris Williams
February 4, 2004

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