MINIMUM

millagram

Dropping in MAY 2020
This is an exclusive preview
Read more…

MILLAGRAM

Capstone Blog December 2021 

December was for deadlines and dead lines (actual temporary power outage) but also full of delusions of grandeur as far as a holiday goes. Thankfully I have passed this hurdle (exams + holidaze) three times before and honestly I'm just happy that some people in the past fought for my right to "have a break" and I don't have to labour relentlessly to survive in an urban environment. 

Tech probs. 

Once I got passed exams, working on this EP came as a nice creative relief from the academic agony of tests and essays. December 1st I moved into a new apartment with a whole extra room for my studio. Once I moved into this freshly painted, looking fresh place, I tried turning on the brand new thermostat for the brand new baseboard in my studio room only to find it unfunctioning. One room out of commission, door closed to keep out freezing temps. My studio remained packed for the first two weeks of December until I had time to set it up in the (warmer) living room. I also had to purchase a new midi keyboard/controller since my m-audio controller, $25 purchase from a thrift store had started to malfunction (perfectly timed with end of term jazz composition assignments...) My partner found me a novation keyboard with usb on facebook marketplace and we picked it up the same night.

Spread sheets. 

Since then I have been going through each Logic session of the tracks I chose for the EP and writing down the entire track list (instrumentation) and noting which tracks I want to keep as-is and what needs to be rerecorded. A fellow colleague of my capstone class showed us their master spread sheet of their compositions which I thought was a great idea so I got right too it. The result was very satisfying and brought me the clarity I needed to be able to proceed with the project. 

New year projections.

As my studio is still set up temporarily in the living room while we wait for the landlord to resolve the heating issues, I still plan to track some guitars, bass and keys there with direct inputs. Meanwhile I am converting a closet into a vocal booth (with a large duvet) so I can be tracking some vocals as well. I will see how this goes but am looking into other possible rooms for this as I can't predict the amount of aux. noise coming from upstairs neighbours, the road next to our house and house appliance hums.  The only other major players at this stage are my drummer friend Nathan and my multi-instrumentalist friend Robyn who I will booking time with this month to do tracking with me. If all goes well I could have most or all of my tracking done!

Unknowns.

I don't know who will be mixing or mastering this album yet. I will be making some inquiries about this, spreading a wider net to some contacts in Halifax who might help. I should know this by the end of January so I can figure out how much that might cost. 

This is all for now, I will be posting later this month for my January entry! Peace!

xoMG

 

Capstone Project Blog October + November  

Artwork by Amanda Morley for her 2022 wall calendar 

It's almost December already? December is for Deadlines since I have a lot of them. One of the things I appreciate about my post-secondary studies is how it has encouraged me to address my relationship with this thing called time and how there's no going back. You missed you missed. Time just marches forward. At least it does when you put it on a timer, on a set of gears perfectly aligned and designed for repetition. What if time was fluid? Can us clock-ticking calendar-bound beings even conceive of this kind of reality? As I reach out in my psyche to all the beings of this earth, beyond my place and even beyond my time I see this reality so clearly. But here I am in a "place" called Canada and a "time" called 2021. The sky is cloudy and things are covered in a light dust of sugar white snow. I have these songs I thought up and captured roughly that have been cycling through my psyche as the music in the background of all these musing of the mind. They form together into collections based on the times and places they emerged. I love recording and releasing them because it concretizes their significance as a record of my journey. They exist as a reminder for me so I never forget where I've been when I get to where I'm going. It requires a lot of Hope and Love. It requires Honesty and Pride. It requires a deep Compassion for myself and all living beings. 

The collection I've compiled so far in this marker of time November 28, 2021 is as follows:

1. Blood Moves In A Spiral (3:44)

2. This Love (3:34)

3. Let Yourself Come Down (4:48)

4. Emptiness Comes (2:49)

5. Five and Nine (4:19)

6. FFFA (fight, flight, freeze, at ease) (3:12)

7. Deep Blue (remix) (?)

(Putting time stamps with that track list is a good reminder that I soon have to register these songs with Socan.) I have demo recordings of all these songs which is why they've made it to this short-list stage. During the last two months I have been showing the demo to some close friends and colleagues to get some initial reactions and feedback on the songs. I've gotten some good insights from people who's own work I admire. Others who have studied the craft of music and can hear and communicate back errors in the enjoyment of it's listening.

Here is some of it:

"I really like the songs. Super diverse vibes."

"My first impression was that a lot of the grooves start and keep rolling throughout the whole songs without pausing or transitioning between the different parts too much. (our drummer friend) is always the best at knowing when to drop the beat out. Half a bar, or some hi hats, or even just one snare gone can make such a huge difference. It helps the song breathe and lets you know you're heading to a new part."

"Might also be cool to replace some of the midi although I saw some videos of Billie Eilish's brother and he makes so much of her music with just the stock logic instruments. It's so annoying cause it always sounded so corny when I tried but they make it work so well, I think by dialing in each sound just right and meticulously arranging the parts to come in and out to build dynamics."

"MG these songs are amazing!!! 

Let yourself be free has awesome vocal harmonies 

This Love is SO Funky. I saw (our trumpeter friend) playing trumpet 

Five and Nine is MY FAVORITE. Fuck ya love that 

And the first two tracks were really really great too. This album is Awesome!"

Verbal feedback from others also included comments about the love of harmonies and grooviness and how the sound would be enhanced with more live instruments (a lot of it being midi stand-ins). I had an in-person listening session with my high school band teacher who leans on Jazz and live music. He said he could hear it was Pop oriented but with a bit more variety and interest. Basically more repetitive than jazz but less repetitive than pop.  The song Blood Moves In A Spiral was also thoroughly vetted but my Songwriting II classmates and instructor so i gained a lot from workshopping that song over a four month period. 

So all in all some really great input from a variety of folks. 

My first next step is to hear back from my drummer friend to whom I emailed the demo. I would like to focus on and track the drums first. He may be able to record himself but we will do at least one session together to get a feel for it and maybe he can add or subtract stuff from his own studio after. Musicians having their own set up to record their own instrument is kind of a sweet deal for everyone which is why I did that for myself as well. But there are factors like quality of room treatment and quality of microphones that plays into it. It looks like we should have access to some good gear and rooms through our musical circle though and I think it will all just be an fun exciting experiment of sound. 

December is for deadlines and drums. 

That's all for now.

See you after exams!

MG

 

Capstone Project Blog 

SO FOLKS! Im almost almost finished my BFA in Music at Concordia that I started back in 2018. I must say Ive been thanking the universe daily that I was set up in such a way to transition easily to online studies during the pandemic as my previous career was a restaurant chef :I Luckily for me this has also allowed me to relocate to my home province (Nova Scotia) to hang around my elderly dad and begin to attend to and rebuild some things that had been neglected. 

The last set of music I released was to be release in May 2020 in Montreal and Halifax before knowledge of future events could be predicted. I released it anyway and did an online show for my family friends and friends of friends. I enjoyed it yes, but apparently not enough to do it again. Its just not the same for anyone involved. I have had the opportunity since returning to NS to do a few small in-person shows and hope to do more this winter as there are some nice local venues even in this little NS town. 

Thats a quick background on where Im headed now. The Capstone Project at Concordia is an opportunity for me to bring to light all that I have been learning and music I have been writing in these past three years of study. Im surprised even by myself so I dont know what you will think at all. As part of the project I will be posting a blog here every month to update my progress. Hopefully they will be as hilarious as the process itself. The project is due in April 2022 so I say all this to say that I MAY have a finished album by that time, if not very close to finished.

My goal for this blog is to strip away some mystery and let you into my process of music creation from creative burst to composition to recording to production. I hope to hear from you along the way :) 

xo

MG

New Album MINIMUM drops in May 2020 

With a fresh mix of old and new styles, MILLAGRAM's album MINIMUM offers a perspective from a life lived minimally in many regards. Co-produced by herself and Montreal's hit song machine Paul Cargnello, she explores the experiences of the past and shares her dreams for the future with words and sounds that will make you think and dance. 

Let me introduce myself 

My name is millagram. People call me other names but mainly they call me MG. I live in Montreal now but I was born and raised Scotian.It's about that time that I start sharing my story, my present moment and my future dreams. It's time to give you a window into the life that I live in pursuit of beauty and of the destruction of my ego. i mean, sometimes i need my ego but most of the time it's just getting in the way of me living my life

Join our mailing list for the latest news

Previous events

millagram live online

the internet

I'll be performing LIVE on Instagram and Youtube to celebrate the release of my album MINIMUM! Please join me!

May 26, 2020 5pm EST

Follow me on Instagram @millagram_inc Subscribe on YouTube www.youtube.com/millagram

Millagram + Trio

Cafe Resonance

Millagram + trio

+Jean-Michel Fredric (keys) +Frantz Celestin (drums) +Fred Doston (bass)

Original . Jazz . Pop . Dance

6-8pm suggested donation $8

filming/recording in progress