22 Rainy Days is the result of, well…rain, falling rain, lots of it, for 22 days non-stop to be precise, as it was this past winter. (When it rains where I live in Canada, it really rains. It’s not for nothing that they call this region a “temperate rainforest”.) I also have to say that when I was writing the album on which 22 Rainy Days features, AquaVox (thanks for the inspiration Ultravox!), I very much had rain on the brain.
I grew up in a semi-arid Southern Africa, and my earliest memories are of extreme drought and heat. I remember as a child, carefully picking my steps to school by only walking on the patches of shade on the road, because the other parts were so hot the tar melted. I remember dry river beds and dams, filled with plates of cracked mud like the back of a huge weird armadillo. I remember the rarity of rain. The drops fell and then evaporated in little puffs of steam.
And then we came to Canada – and there is water and green all over. And every day I am grateful for it. I love the rain. My Personal Rain Gauge is far from full.
Beats and rhythm first
I started composing by working out the beats first, because it’s mostly about the rhythm of the rain, then added the melody. It starts off with light rain, a slow, quiet section, with the harp to give the feeling of light drops and drips, then moves into the main melody which expresses hard rain. The runs and arpeggios mimic the sound of the falling drops and the streams of water.
I used a lot of synths, to create a wall of sound effect, like a wall of rain. I had a love-hate relationship with synths in EDM, and I didn’t really like (or understand) the sound until I looked into it, and discovered Carl Cox‘s classic album, At the End of the Cliché – truly creative electronic music compositions.
Here the synths instruments did the job, achieving an effect that could not have been created in another way. I like what I’ve made here, I really do. When it was done, I listened to it on repeat for hours. Yes, this one pleases me.