Wednesday, November 28, 2018

"Things Are Changing" by Gone Gone Beyond – A Song Feature

     “Things Are Changing” is a soulful delivery of optimism and resolution. And it’s likely the historically best song inspired by one of “Aesop’s Fables.” The lyrics reference the hedonistic grasshopper and industrious ants in the fable directed to the virtues of hard work and planning for the future. At the bottom of this post is the story connecting the song and the fable, as well as Disney’s 1934 animated adaptation of the tale.

     The intro to the song from Gone Gone Beyond is a solidary piano that defines elegance and establishes the song’s pattern of punctuating an almost joyful short sequence of notes with a sustained lower frequency chord. The pattern telegraphs the vocals that soon enter, where optimism is punctuated by a determined resolution: “Things are changing, for the better this time. I’ll do better this time.” In the background is the sound of strings (synth?).

     Gone Gone Beyond is the brainchild of composer/producer David Block (aka The Human Experience) and multi-instrumentalist/singer/songwriters Danny Musengo (Iowa/NYC), Kat Factor (Santa Cruz), Mel Seme (Cuba/Barcelona) and Paul Weinfield (NYC).  The band is comprised of classically trained artists that bring with them a diverse perspective on sound. Their unique formation of all multi-instrumentalists, singer-songwriters from around the globe, makes for a dynamic listening and live experience. The band is constantly collaborating with other songwriters and guest musicians inviting in new flavors to their multifaceted sound.

     "Things Are Changing" by Gone Gone Beyond [We thank the kind folks at TAG Media Group for their patience in providing the link to the Soundcloud stream.]

A note about the song by singer Danny Musengo:
Last year around this time I was talking to my therapist about a cartoon I saw as a kid, The Grasshopper and The Ant.
Even as a child I worried I was the grasshopper... playing music and gallivanting about while the ants prepared for the long winter ahead.
I explained to my therapist that I had just split with my girlfriend, left my apartment, left my job and to top it off... I had given up the one thing that kept my lifelong existential crisis at bay... alcohol. The long winter had indeed come and I was feeling more and more like the grasshopper in the story.
My therapist just looked at me knowingly and asked "Have you ever watched the cartoon until the end?" I hadn't.
"...the ants realize their lives are dull without the grasshopper and his music... so they invite him in to play for them."
This was both a relief and a revelation.

Later that night Dave and I were in the backyard taking a smoke break from a frustrating recording session. We sat silently staring at the stars for some time before Dave suggested that we put away the song we were working on and write a new one. It was 3am.
We got up and walked back down into the studio. Dave sat at the Rhodes, pressed record and started playing the giant chords you hear at the beginning of the track.
They reminded me of the story from my therapy session.
I approached the mic and started to sing.
The whole song came out in one long breath. No edits. No doubling back.
Just one clear cut message from God to the grasshopper.
Assuring him...
Thing are changing ... for the better this time 😉

Big love to Slava "Mindex" who helped with some production and mixing on this one!

1 comment:

  1. I dig this track Danny! The rhythm is pretty groovy. Well done guys.