Five Takes (A Song About Andy) - EP

by Billie Ray Martin

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  • DVD

    Billie Ray Martin releases this 8 panel deluxe DVD, featuring five movies inspired by Andy Warhol's Screen Tests and printed in colour and silver metallic. The song 'On Borrowed Time' deals with Andy's fictional confession, in which he reflects on his existence and a life he always experienced as less than real. With music by electronic producer and soul singer Waterson, who is riding high on the airwaves with his single 'When You Tell Me That You Love Me'.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Five Takes (A Song About Andy) - EP via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Billie Ray Martin Vocal Sample Pack (3 GB), The Soul Tapes, Strongheaded Woman, Four Ambient Tales (Live at Hackney Road Studios), Four Ambient Tales Live at Hackney Road Studios, Talking with myself (Original 8-Track Demo), Pacemaker, Free: Kind Of Maybe, and 32 more. , and , .

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about

People always ask me what my favourite song or release is of all my stuff. Well: This is one of the top 5. It's so close to my heart in every way. There are songs where i am just naturally 'Me' and no one else, in every way.
Here's a bit more info about the process, which was like a miracle to me:
The song 'On Borrowed Time' deals with Andy's fictional confession, in which he reflects on his existence and a life he always experienced as less than real. With music by electronic producer and soul singer Waterson, who is riding high on the airwaves with his single 'When You Tell Me That You Love Me'.
Billie: “Colin and I wanted to create a track that's based mostly on drums and noise. Colin had created a lovely track with different keyboard parts. I kept telling him to remove it all and just keep the 'weird bits' and do 'more of those'. What Colin then came back with surpassed all my expectations. I was immediately inspired to record my usual five takes, that I record of any vocal. I never rehearse songs or vocals after they've been written so this was the perfect vehicle to illustrate the process. Lyric sheet in hand, not knowing what I was going to do, we recorded the vocals. I'll let Colin tell the rest of the story.“
‘The project started out life as a traditionally structured song, with chords, on a piano, comprising verse, bridge, chorus, verse, bridge, chorus, coda. From this point, I deconstructed the piece until there were no 'pretty bits' left (as per the brief from Billie), and had the basis for Take One. That initial song is part rhythm, part sound design, part field recording and part music. Everything fills a space to create the whole but no one thing overpowers the other.
I then set about altering each take by starting with 'faders down' every time. It was a great way to create different versions because everything seemed fresh and gave a new sonic identity (with familiar components) to each new mix. I evolved the initial process from the first take where Billie had kept suggesting I drop more and more elements, and kept finding myself with ever more interesting versions.
I also started to hear a thread throughout all five takes, as if the versions were supporting the story of the song in an overall story - like a concept. I love the sadness and bareness of the last take, where it sounds almost 'like a vigil' (Billie heard it too), and the way it ends hopeful and transcendent. I followed the original brief in terms of 'taking things out' and also followed my internal guide in a stream of consciousness approach.
Some of the sounds are actually field recordings from the streets of New York (the spirit of Warhol can still very much be felt in Manhattan) and it's not every day one would able to use all five, unrehearsed takes of a singer, but with Billie Ray I was - and then some. I feel the arrangements of each version match and mirror the characteristic of the accompanying vocal, as if talking to one another.‘

credits

released September 10, 2012

written by Billie Ray Martin and Waterson
produced and mixed by Waterson
mastered at Rock of London by Steve Honest
executive producer: Billie Ray Martin
publishing: Billie Ray Martin (Touch Tones Music), Waterson (PRS/MCPS)

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Billie Ray Martin Berlin, Germany

"Billie Ray Martin is one of the living legends in modern music history and one of the best voices on planet earth."
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"Billie Ray Martin is an absolute revelation."
K.Hollings, The Wire
Billie Ray Martin: "I'm a kid from Hamburg’s red-light district, who wanted to be a soul singer, but ended up playing repetitive machine music, while still trying to be a soul singer"
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Track Name: On Borrowed Time (Take 1)
heaven's not so easy to reach
when you're living a life
on borrowed time

this life it's been always a dream
like you're watching tv
not living life

what have i lost and what's gained
i was a sinner and i was a saint
but all the memories they seem so faint
when time's a thief

no shot wounds could go so deep
like the fear i feel when i can't sleep
but that was the deal that was reached
i now believe

heaven's not so easy to reach
when you're living a life
on borrowed time

although it's been always a dream
am i living a lie
on borrowed time

what i can't feel i can't see
but the films are so very real
so then why can't i see what i see
behind the light

what i can't see i can't feel
end of time is the end of a reel
end of time is the end of a reel
end of time

what i can't feel i can't be
will god forgive me
and will everything be redeemed
am i living a lie
Track Name: On Borrowed Time (Take 2)
heaven's not so easy to reach
when you're living a life
on borrowed time

this life it's been always a dream
like you're watching tv
not living life

what have i lost and what's gained
i was a sinner and i was a saint
but all the memories they seem so faint
when time's a thief

no shot wounds could go so deep
like the fear i feel when i can't sleep
but that was the deal that was reached
i now believe

heaven's not so easy to reach
when you're living a life
on borrowed time

although it's been always a dream
am i living a lie
on borrowed time

what i can't feel i can't see
but the films are so very real
so then why can't i see what i see
behind the light

what i can't see i can't feel
end of time is the end of a reel
end of time is the end of a reel
end of time

what i can't feel i can't be
will god forgive me
and will everything be redeemed
am i living a lie
Track Name: On Borrowed Time (Take 3)
heaven's not so easy to reach
when you're living a life
on borrowed time

this life it's been always a dream
like you're watching tv
not living life

what have i lost and what's gained
i was a sinner and i was a saint
but all the memories they seem so faint
when time's a thief

no shot wounds could go so deep
like the fear i feel when i can't sleep
but that was the deal that was reached
i now believe

heaven's not so easy to reach
when you're living a life
on borrowed time

although it's been always a dream
am i living a lie
on borrowed time

what i can't feel i can't see
but the films are so very real
so then why can't i see what i see
behind the light

what i can't see i can't feel
end of time is the end of a reel
end of time is the end of a reel
end of time

what i can't feel i can't be
will god forgive me
and will everything be redeemed
am i living a lie
Track Name: On Borrowed Time (Take 4)
heaven's not so easy to reach
when you're living a life
on borrowed time

this life it's been always a dream
like you're watching tv
not living life

what have i lost and what's gained
i was a sinner and i was a saint
but all the memories they seem so faint
when time's a thief

no shot wounds could go so deep
like the fear i feel when i can't sleep
but that was the deal that was reached
i now believe

heaven's not so easy to reach
when you're living a life
on borrowed time

although it's been always a dream
am i living a lie
on borrowed time

what i can't feel i can't see
but the films are so very real
so then why can't i see what i see
behind the light

what i can't see i can't feel
end of time is the end of a reel
end of time is the end of a reel
end of time

what i can't feel i can't be
will god forgive me
and will everything be redeemed
am i living a lie
Track Name: On Borrowed Time (Take 5)
heaven's not so easy to reach
when you're living a life
on borrowed time

this life it's been always a dream
like you're watching tv
not living life

what have i lost and what's gained
i was a sinner and i was a saint
but all the memories they seem so faint
when time's a thief

no shot wounds could go so deep
like the fear i feel when i can't sleep
but that was the deal that was reached
i now believe

heaven's not so easy to reach
when you're living a life
on borrowed time

although it's been always a dream
am i living a lie
on borrowed time

what i can't feel i can't see
but the films are so very real
so then why can't i see what i see
behind the light

what i can't see i can't feel
end of time is the end of a reel
end of time is the end of a reel
end of time

what i can't feel i can't be
will god forgive me
and will everything be redeemed
am i living a lie