FAQ

Here’s more in-depth information about Andy Hunt’s independent memes.

 

You wrote a whole album in one month?

Yes! The folks at the RPMChallenge set us all to the task of creating an entire album, ten songs worth, in the short month of February. I took some half-baked lyrics I’d written in November, two written songs, and headed to the piano. This is the result: some pop, some rock, a jazz influence, and even a beer-bottle solo.

Give a listen to Twenty Eight Turns

Some notes on the songs:

Margarita the Maid is based on a true story that happened in NYC to close friends of one of my neighbors. Makes you think twice about leaving for a long vacation. Élégie was a spur-of-the-moment idea to flesh out the 34 minutes of songs to 35 minutes—the minimum needed to meet the challenge. Despite the inauspicious origins, it’s a nice little interlude.

Caravan of One features my actual, unprocessed voice. I intended to use a vocal processor to sound more like Louis Armstrong, but ran into technical difficulties. In the interest of time, I just re-recorded it and tried to make my voice sound "different." I did; it scares the cats.

The best line in Shake My Fist was the last one written, about lint in his pocket. Wrong Side of the Door was inspired by our dog, who is always, always, wanting to be on the other side of the door, convinced life is somehow better there. Nutjob is based on a true story. I’m not naming names—you know who you are.

Follow Me is probably my favorite piece of the whole album. The idea is that this young guy is setting out, leaving his home town for the big world out there, and asking his girl to come along for the adventure. He’s honest that there are no guarantees, from the world or from himself. Let’s go.

 

What’s with this live album?

Andy Hunt

I get to play out in public every now and then. In November 2010, I did a live concert with a couple of my friends. Now, when I play live I don’t have all the toys I have in the studio—it’s just me and the piano. So this live recording has all the usual artifacts of a live performance: clinkers, distortion in the recording, crowd noise and such. But it’s a lot of fun, so I decided to release that performance as a live recording. It’s not perfect, but it’s kinda cool.

Give a listen to Unvarnished

 

Why Cold Summer Nights, why now?

Currently, I’ve got three different album projects in the works: Let it Go, Fields of Play, and Cold Summer Nights. Against common sense, this first release is not my best material. The songwriting isn’t all that great, the production is not as clean as I’d like.

So why start with it? For my own learning. I’m starting off with my oldest material to learn more about my equipment, my studio workflow, and the mechanics of releasing and promoting music. These songs are kind of fun, and speak to a sort of hypothetical, universal teenaged experience. It’s a good starting place. My characters are raw and young, and this music fits in with that vibe.

The next two projects are completely different in character, but are still based in a jazz-rock foundation. So please stay tuned! Sign up on the mailing list and you’ll be the first to know as new material is released.

Give a listen to Cold Summer Nights

 

What’s a ‘meme’?

I’ve always wondered, Obi Wan, what is a meme, anyway?

A meme is an atomic unit of idea that is transmitted from one individual to another. Now you know.

 

Biography

Andy Hunt

Andy Hunt is a noted software developer, consultant, author, and publisher with a passion for music.

Andy is the author and co-author of seven books in the fields of software engineering, project management, and cognitive science. He and Dave Thomas founded the Pragmatic Bookshelf, publishing best-selling and award-winning titles for software developers, managers, and the geekararti.

He formed the independent memes in 2006 as a vehicle to to unleash decades of songwriting and musical ideas onto an unsuspecting world. Andy’s style combines elements from bands such as Steely Dan, Pink Floyd, Styx, and plain old rock-n-roll and jazz standards.

Featuring local musicians including Alan Brown on drums and Charles Owen on guitar, Andy records and produces the music from his studios in Raleigh, NC.

 

Studio & Gear

Andy is a recovering trumpet player and keyboardist. His favorite studio toys include:

  • Kurzweil keyboards, with breath controller, ribbon controller, and foot pedals
  • Bach 37 trumpet
  • Yamaha 631 Flugel horn
  • LA Sax Pocket trumpet
  • Logic Pro with Mackie Logic Control Automated Mixer board
  • Native Instruments Kontakt
  • Cascade Ribbon microphones
  • Apogee converters
  • Event studio monitors

 

The plot of Cold Summer Nights

Cold Summer Nights is an album in the traditional sense; the songs follow a loose plot line, and there are two sides with a short break in between. Please note this is entirely a work of fiction. Any resemblance to people living, dead, or otherwise, former or current girlfriends, authority figures, distant relatives or classic rock bands is entirely coincidental.

1. The introduction, Valentine’s Game, sets the stage that love and life are really just a game after all, and you shouldn’t get too bent about it. Our hero, of course, has not learned this lesson yet.

2. Our hero starts off with lust in his heart (and other vital organs), focusing on the radiant beauty of that teasing girl who’s been spotted wandering Barefoot in the Parking Lot. He lives a vivid life with her—all in his head. She doesn’t know he exists.

3. They go to the dance, and he starts to get an inkling that maybe this won’t go so well. There are those few who get lucky, and there are those great many who’s egos are laid to waste from the casual rejection by their heart’s desire. It’s a heady atmosphere, a Crucible, that separates the bold from the foolish.

4. Frustrated, he laments Why Not Me? and we begin to get a glimpse of exactly "why not" him. Perhaps he’s just a shy geek as he claims, or maybe he really is an oddball axe-murderer and serial killer. You never can tell about people. At any rate, the dance nears an end, and ultimately he lacks the courage to even approach his dream girl. He realizes now from this final chance encounter just how far out he is.

5. He comes to realize that he’s Outta Time. In fact, in his despair he not only feels he’s run out of time (in the sense that it’s too late) but that he has in fact slipped out of time itself, and entertains a conversation with his future self. Thus endeth side one.

∴∴∴∴∴

6. He’s hanging out with his friends, and meets a new aspiration; a fun-loving girl of negotiable virtue. He hesitates, just for a moment, and the opportunity is lost. He’s left by himself on a Cold Summer Night.

7. Life’s like a Carnival, he muses. Thinking ahead of his his future self, he sort reminisces in reverse, about how his friends and their lives will turn out as the decades reveal themselves.

8. Time for a road trip. He heads out with "just a friend," and starting around Two A.M. he begins to realize that maybe her friendship is more valuable than he thought. He begins to see his other friends as shortsighted; they aren’t going to make it in the long haul. Life stretches out ahead of him, and he begins to understand.

9. Aurora. He gets it.

10. It’s years later, and our hero and his girl reach the close of the day. He remembers that despite all the angst and frustration, it really is just all a game, and they head off to sleep, by the glow of their own Firelight.

 

Photo Gallery

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