You can now get `Home' on iTunes, AmazonMP3, Spotify, or pretty much anywhere else you purchase your digital music!
And of course you can buy it on Bandcamp as well. I haven't had a chance to work out a physical release schedule, but it looks like something along those lines will happen in May when I return from Australia. Do get in touch with me via the contact form on the homepage if you want the physical copy, so I have an idea how many to make.
Until then, please do tell your friends about the album - you can spread the word by downloading and sharing the two-song sample on Noisetrade.
I hope you enjoy it! Stay tuned to this blog for more details on the album, songs, and people involved in the process.
Over the coming weeks I plan to feature different people or groups of people who have helped make this album a reality. And where better to start than with the people I first started working with in Singapore?
I moved to Singapore in August of 2010 to begin a PhD in Linguistics, and I had been demoing tracks in the US before I came, following a series of small tours and shows in 2009. I usually do my own recording and engineering, but coming to Singapore meant that I could only bring a couple bags, so all my equipment was left behind. In my first semester, once the dust had settled and I knew my way around, more or less, I started searching for a place to record. I found SoundFarm Production Studios on the web and went to meet them.
It turns out that the studio had only recently begun, as a sort of side project that was rapidly turning into a full-blown business. Their equipment was really good, their room was nice, and they were open to experimentation. Reuben Raman was the main engineer I worked with, but as time went on I met Mandric Tan, Sikai Goh, and their mentor Geoffrey Low. I started recording with them in October of 2010, and over a weekend we were able to record most of the guitar parts for the album, and demo the vocals. I went back to the US that Christmas, where I then tracked drums, rhodes, and organ with friends in Lancaster. More on them next.
Happy Valentine's Day! In true Valentine's spirit, Tunecore has put together a compilation (or 3) for all the lovers out there. My song, "I've Got a Girl" competed with over 1,000 other songs for a spot, and you can now download the 28 tracks on Volume 2 for free on Amazon.com. Just click on the picture to the left, which will take you to a page where you can listen to all the tracks and even download individual ones. Mine is track 5.
As for the story behind this song (which is also on the new album 'Home'), it was written in 2009. I was thinking of the kind of amazement that people sometimes experience when they are in a relationship. Amazement that the person they love also loves them back, and that draws them deeper in love with the other person. I hope that people who are in a loving relationship never to lose that wonder, but instead treasure it and work hard to keep it.
I always imagined this song with strings, so when I was in India this past year and had the opportunity to arrange string parts, what you hear on this track are what I came up with. I hope you enjoy the arrangements and can share this song with the one you love.
The new album 'Home' is almost here! I'm still working on the artwork with my friend Janina, so it's not completely done yet, but for now you can pre-order the digital version on Bandcamp: http://hiramring.bandcamp.com
The pre-order includes 6 songs for immediate download and is at the discounted price of $7 for 12 tracks. Of course you are always welcome to donate more. When the full album is released, you will be emailed and can then download the rest of the album and the PDF artwork.
I hope you're getting as excited as I am! I'm really looking forward to sharing this album with you! It's been a really long time coming, and some of these songs are the best I've written to date. I'll be continuing to post here over the coming weeks with thoughts about the album before it officially releases and becomes available on iTunes, AmazonMP3 and wherever else digital music is sold.
Keep in mind that what you hear on the site is a stream, and therefore lower quality than the download. They sound even better once they're yours!
I've been reminded this week of my mortality. It's always good to be reminded of the big picture, that my life is simply a part of the tapestry of humanity, of life. But when someone you know dies unexpectedly it's a hard reminder. Like a brick wall to the face.
In 2010 a friend of mine was killed in a car accident. Aimee was a beautiful young woman full of life and joy, when a car coming the opposite direction drifted into her lane. They were both going over 45 mph and she died soon after.
I penned the song 'Greet the Dawn' shortly after hearing about the accident. In some ways I was trying to understand the situation - the random death of a friend - and to reconcile this occurrence with the promises of God to his people.
God gives a lot of promises in the bible, that those who believe in him will experience blessings and joy, but also trials and pain. I try to grapple with some of these things in my new album, ultimately finding comfort in the promise that through everything God is with us, that if we trust him death is truly a dawn that we can greet with joy.
This album is mostly composed of songs I wrote in 2009/2010 and recorded guitar and vocals for in my first semester at NTU in Singapore, at SoundFarm Production Studios. It has just taken a while to finalize. In many ways I was searching for home in that season, trying to find fulfillment in relationships or situations, and ultimately coming back to my need for God. Themes of love, journey, and loss are pretty prominent, as are metaphors that use nature imagery.
There's a lot of need and raw emotion in this album, but I hope it is tempered by thoughtful reflection, and some more playful tunes. The common thread of 'home' runs through each of the songs, whether in companionship or in relationship with God. I like the idea of a central idea that is not necessarily explicit, i.e. there is no song called 'Home', instead it is a running theme throughout the album. Which of the songs most essentially captures the idea? I'll let you be the judge of that.
I've thought about this album for awhile as a collection of songs, and of course one of the big questions is "what do I call it?". For a variety if reasons that I hope will become apparent, I've decided to name the new album Home. More on that later, but for now, below is the track list:
1. All I Want
2. Hold Me
4. How Far
5. I've Got a Girl
6. If I Held You
7. Greet the Dawn
8. This Lamp
9. My Lord
11. Two Trees
12. Zion's Walls
Some really great news - the album is being authored now! For those who don't know, the process of authoring is the final stage which music goes through before before it is ready to be pressed or replicated onto a CD.
My friend Mark at Working Man's Productions is who I've been working with for mastering, and now that mastering is done and authoring is almost done, the next step is to upload the album to digital distributors and finish the artwork in time for a late February release. Super exciting!
I plan to post in the next few days with more album details, so stay tuned!
I'm a linguist and singer-songwriter. I write about life, travel, language and technology.