When I met with Joe one day, I shared the idea with him and we found some wine glasses and tried it out. First of all, we found out that three glasses clinked together indeed produced a triad. So after we had figured out which glasses we had to hold and which ones should be placed on the table to be able to play the whole progression fluently, we practiced … 😀
“Cheers” has been out for more than a month now and I wanted to share the thoughts behind it with you and tell you a little bit about the process of how it came to be. So get ready to nerd out.
I had experimented with the idea to write music for tuned glasses in Bottle Boys already. In some Bottle Boys arrangements we had incorporated glasses, both as a glass harp – where the rim of the glass is rubbed with a finger – and as a tuned percussive instrument – where the glass is hit lightly with a chopstick. In one video (The Champagne Beat) we even incorporated the clinking sound of two glasses tuned at two frequencies that formed a musical interval. When I first had the idea for that arrangement, I was wondering whether the clinking of the two glasses would actually result in the sound of that interval or if one glass would somehow mute the other one. But to my delight it worked and both glasses rang at their individual frequency producing the intended musical interval together.
The natural next step was to clink three glasses together and see if we could produce a chord that way. So I sat down and wrote a small chord progression that I imagined would sound nice for glasses.
Since we felt that it was too good to leave it at that we decided to write a whole song involving the glass chord progression. So I sat down and wrote some lyrics about starting something new and not knowing where it will take you.
The challenge was to work within the limits of the amount of seven glasses as to avoid filling up the whole table with wine glasses. You can get an impression of the early version of the song here:
To make use of the various sounds and to develop the song musically and lyrically we incorporated a bridge in which we employed the glasses as a glass harp and used a different chord progression followed by us clinking the glasses in a different rhythm (using a third chord progression). The humming section at the end is Joe’s beautiful creation. Here the original chord progression is played in the glasses while the voices change/extend the chords slightly – adding bass notes for instance that turn some of the major chords into minor seventh chords.
This song and the process of creating it has led us to initiate Musicovering – as a musical playground for outré ideas and concepts.
I hope you will enjoy listening to “Cheers” and that it or some of the ideas in it will get your creative juices flowing as well. 😃
PS: As some of you may have noticed the final version of Cheers is in the key of F minor instead of F sharp minor. This is due to the fact that the highest pitching glass (C#) broke during transportation along the way and we couldn’t find an equally high-pitched glass to replace it. 😃