SONGS

Star Spangled Banner

About

Shelby, Tara and I came up with this arrangement back in 2011 during our "Shelby, Tieg & Tara" days. One of the main ideas behind the arrangement is that the melody is constantly being handed off from one singer to the next. We were really into the choral arranger Eric Whitacre at the time. Eric is known for writing harmonies where the notes are often very close together. These are often called "clusters". We called them "Whitacres".

Now, how did I discover those shapes you see? Well it was a total accident and a lot of things had to happen at the same time for me to discover it.

I decided to put our arrangement down in sheet music form. I used my recording software Logic Pro to do this. During this time I was reading a book called "Harmonic Experience" by W.A. Mathieu. The book goes in depth on the topic of tunings.

There are a lot of ways to tune notes in music. The different tunings are called "temperaments". These days we tune to something called "equal temperament" where all 12 notes of the octave are an equal distance apart. But music for most of history was not tuned this way.

The beginning of the book teaches you about "just intonation" where tunings aren't based on mathematically dividing an octave into twelve equal pieces, but rather by creating simple ratios between the frequencies of the notes. For example, if one note is vibrating at 500 times a second and another note at 400 times a second, that would be the ratio 5:4; a pretty simple ratio (and a very "in tune" note). The closest version of those same notes in equal temperament is the totally nonsense ratio of 1.25992:1. In equal temperament, all the ratios except the octave are some totally unusable number so we don't actually talk in ratios when talking about notes in equal temperament. Because of this fact, many people like to say "the piano is technically out of tune". I think that's a harsh (or at least misleading) way to put it. Listen to your favorite songs in just intonation and the majority of people that grew up in Western society will be begging for their "technically out of tune" music again.

In my recording program, there is a way to alter the tunings from the standard equal temperament that the program usually spits out. So I entered the values for just intonation into the program to hear what our arrangement would sound like in the pure tunings of just intonation. (Surprisingly, great!)

I also for some reason had the program playing the notes using sine waves. A sine wave isn't a sound found in nature. It's the simplest sound possible. You know how when you throw a pebble into water, the ripples create ripples? The same is true for sound waves. Sound waves create other sound waves. But a computer can create a pure sound wave without any of those other by-product waves. That's called a sine wave.

Another thing I did was called hard panning. In order for us to hear the individual parts better I put Shelby's notes all the way in the left speaker, my notes straight out the middle (this is accomplished by sending volume equally to both speakers), and Tara's notes out the right speaker.

The last thing I did was open up Logic's goniometer for some reason. This is a tool that helps you see how much stereo information is in your song. If you put an old mono record through it, all you would see is a line. Stereo recordings show up as a puff ball. If you have too much of the music coming out of the right speaker, the puff ball would lean diagonally to the right. These days, properly recorded music just looks like a puff ball. It's almost a useless tool. I guess if you are partially deaf in your right ear and need to use it to verify you didn't put too much music in the right speaker, it could be useful. Otherwise, I don't find the puff ball to be too enlightening.

But something wild happens when you put purely-tuned, hard-panned, simple sine waves into the goniometer. You can see music! No longer is it a puff ball that shows up but beautiful shapes that get simpler or more complex depending on how simple or complex the ratios of the harmonies are. A simple 3:2 ratio gives you a simple fishing net style shape. More complex ratios give you wild solar system planet trajectory type shapes. When we all sing the same note (a 1:1 ratio), you get the simplest shape - a line.

Lyrics

O! say can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O! say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Credits

Released May 8, 2019

Shelby Lindley
Voice
Tieg Johnson
Voice
Tara Louise
Voice

Music by John Stafford Smith, Lyrics by Francis Scott Key

Arranged by Shelby, Tieg & Tara

Vocals recorded at Tieg's apartment

Editing, Mixing, Mastering, Cover Design, Video Editing, Color Correcting etc. by Tieg Johnson. Tieg is color blind by the way so if it looks green, that's why.


Window

Stream

Please click the 'like' button. Bandcamp spells it 'download' for some reason.

About

I originally wrote this song after watching a montage on YouTube of military members coming home from overseas and surprising their loved ones. I felt the song in the background wasn't appropriate so I wrote my own.

The original bridge featured Shelby, Tara and myself making horn sounds with our mouths. It went over great live but when it came to time to record the song, it sounded incredibly stupid. So Shelby and I got together and wrote a new bridge. In songwriting books they teach you that lyrically the bridge is supposed to show another point of view from the rest of the song. I thought we could take that literally and have Shelby sing it by herself from her character's point of view.

I really like the bass line in this song. On a lot of our tunes, I can just set Chris loose since he's the pro and knows what to do. But on this song we worked together and came up with some really nice melodies for him in the verses.

My favorite moment comes at 2:22. I just love the note choices on the flute part. I don't know why I like it so much.

Lyrics

Home I never would have known
My body'd turn to stone
Right now
Outside this house
I lived in once yesteryear



Lonely
Is my one and only
I ring up her phone
Before
I ring her door
She puts it up to her ear



     (Hello)
     Hello
     (You've been gone for so so long)
     I've been gone
     I know
     I know
     I thought that I would call and say hello
     (Hello)
     I know when I'll be coming home
     I know
     I know
     Look outside your window
     Say hello



Slowly
She comes walking toward me
(I come walking toward thee)
I can see her face from here
(I can see his face from here)
A single tear
Gets pressed against the window



Eyes wide
Open what a surprise
Hoping now that what she's seen's
(Hoping now that what I've seen's)
Not just a dream
While sleeping on our pillow



     Hello
     (Hello)
     I've been gone
     (You've been gone for so so long)
     I know
     I know
     I thought that I would call and say hello
     (Hello)
     I know when I'll be coming home
     I know
     I know
     Look outside your window
     Say hello



  (So afraid they'd be
  Coming to tell me
  That I'd never see your face
  Right outside our window
  You're right outside our window)



Rushing
Down the stairs
In nothing
But underwear
She doesn't care
(He doesn't care)
She's unprepared
(I'm unprepared)
And never been so ready



She opens the door
(I couldn't love him more)
Than here right now
(But it appears somehow)
I love her more already
(I love him more already)



     (Hello)
     Hello



     I've been gone
     (You've been gone for so so long)
     I know
     I know
     I thought that I would call and say hello
     (Hello)
     I know when I'll be coming home
     I know
     I know
     Look outside your window
     Say hello
     (Hello)
     Look outside your window
     I am
     Home

Credits

Released May 8, 2019

Tieg Johnson
Guitar / Voice
Shelby Lindley
Voice
Shannon Canchola
Flute / Voice
Yu-Ting Wu
Violin
Chris Rolontz
Double Bass
Gabriel Grinta
Drums

Written by Tieg Johnson & Shelby Lindley

Arranged by Shelby & Tieg from an earlier arrangement by Shelby, Tieg & Tara

Vocals recorded at TXL Films and engineered by Tieg Johnson
Instruments recorded at Willowcrest Recorders and engineered by Cassidy Turbin

Cover Photo by Daniel McCullough on Unsplash.com

Editing, Mixing, Mastering, Cover Design and anything else not listed is Tieg's fault.

ISRC: QZES71973311


Lovelight

Stream

Is that a download button?! Touch it. Just once. It'll be fun.

About

"Lovelight" is our 3rd single. Buzz-Music interviewed me when the song was released. Here's what I told them about it:

The general theme of “Lovelight" is just telling someone that they are strong enough to live their own life and to go do that. I have a friend who listened to the demo of this song a lot around the time his mom passed away. When she was alive but sick he was struggling with wanting to spend as much time at home as possible but she was insisting that he go attend a prestigious music school that he got accepted to. I never actually asked why he liked the song so much, but I imagine he pulled a similar message that his mom was giving to him at the time out of the song. He did decide to go to school and I know his mom was very proud of him for doing well with that.

Tara on the other hand described it as "Tieg friend-zoning someone for 3.5 minutes"...This is also an accurate interpretation.

Lyrics

Hold your tongue
Play it smart
Keep your words
In your heart



We were doomed
From the start
Keep our dreams
Far apart



  Fight back the tears in your eyes



  I'm gonna love you light
  We'll never turn out right
  The love I give, I tend to get



  So I'm gonna start a fight
  It hurts but pain goes by with time
  And if we're lucky we forget



     Go on
     Cut me out



My lovelight
Has gone out
It won't shine
It just doubts



Your lovelight
Can be found
In your eyes
You let it drown



  Flickering out when you cry



  I'm gonna love you light
  (Lovelight)
  Our stars just don't align
  (Don't align)
  I'm not just playing hard to get
  (You're playing hard to get)



  Here's where we say goodbye
  (Just say goodbye)
  Here's where the truth becomes the lie
  (Here comes the lie)
  Here's where we promise to forget



     Go on
     Let it out
     Shine under your own lovelight now



     Go on
     Cut me out
     Out of your lovelight now

Credits

Released September 26, 2018

Tieg Johnson
Guitar / Voice
Yu-Ting Wu
Violins
Shannon Canchola
Flutes
Chris Rolontz
Double Bass
Gabriel Grinta
Drums
Shelby Lindley
Voice

Written by Tieg Johnson

Arranged by Shelby & Tieg from an earlier arrangement by Shelby, Tieg & Tara

Vocals recorded at TXL Films and engineered by Tieg Johnson
Instruments recorded at Willowcrest Recorders and engineered by Cassidy Turbin

Editing, Mixing, Mastering, Cover Art and anything else not listed is Tieg's fault.

ISRC: QM2PV1801384


The Cliffs Of Moher

Stream

What was that? You like the song and want to express that by helping me with my groceries this week? You're so kind. Just hit that download link and you can have it for any price you want. You can help me buy an orange or (if you really like it) a food more expensive than an orange!

About

“The Cliffs Of Moher” is a song I wrote when I was first thinking about starting my new music project TIEG. I was still involved in another music project called Shelby & Tieg at the time but it was clear the ending was near despite my desire to hang on.

I remembered hearing about natural wonders of the world like The Cliffs Of Moher and learning that they are created by the very forces that will one day make them disappear completely. The idea that “what breaks us makes us” is a fascinating idea to me and coming at my problem from that angle made me feel better about letting go and starting this new chapter. After all, Shelby & Tieg wouldn’t have happened had the band before that not broken up, and the band before that, and so on (I’ve been in a lot of bands).

In short, this song is about finding the silver linings in the various endings of life and a celebration of new beginnings.

"The Cliffs Of Moher" was our 2nd release and the song officially launched TIEG as my primary musical outlet. This song is about Shelby and I going our separate ways so, naturally, she became one of the members of TIEG.

Lyrics

Where the cold wind blows
And it stings with the crashing waters
Every salty wave takes with it
Little bites of stone



On the Cliffs of Moher
There’s a beauty forever altered
One day its winding shores won't be
The marvel that we’ve known



     We’re those cliffs I know
     The way we came we go
     A little every day
     We break away
     And question how to grow



     I don’t want something new
     I’ve tried to see this through
     But feels like every day
     We fade away
     With far too much to do
     So if the waves break us
     Well they created us too



I wish I knew when
Or even how to say goodbye
What if we knew then?
Would we have ever really tried?



I wish we could mend
And not leave whats been good behind
We are at the end
But it’s not the end we thought we’d find



     We’re those cliffs I know
     The way we came we go
     A little every day
     We break away
     And question how to grow



     I don’t want something new
     I’ve tried to see this through
     But I know the waves we’re battling
     Are what brought me to you



     We’re those cliffs I know
     The way we came we go
     A little every day
     We break away
     And question how to grow



     We’ll become something new
     Alone we’ll brave the blue
     But know the waves we’re battling
     Are what brought me to you
     And when the waves break us
     Then they’ve created us too

Credits

released June 20, 2018

Tieg Johnson
Guitar / Voice
Yu-Ting Wu
Violins
Shannon Canchola
Flute
Seana Thompson
Cello
Chris Rolontz
Double Bass
Gabriel Grinta
Bodhrán
Robbie McCarthy
Oboe / English Horn / Irish Concertina

Written, arranged, recorded, edited, mixed and mastered by Tieg Johnson, so if you hate most any aspect of this, blame him.

Recorded at TXL Films

ISRC: QZDA51802191


What I Used To Know

Stream

This song got released first before the band was really a thing, and therefore will probably always be the least popular even though it's probably my favorite. Help it not feel sad by clicking that download link and showing it what it's worth.

About

"What I Used To Know" is the first song TIEG released. I have a fear of losing my memory in old age. I thought it could make for a good song topic. It ended up being "The Notebook" in song form. That's a really good movie, so I left it as is.

Lyrics

Help me find my way back here
To everything I hold dear
When the pieces start to go
Teach me what I used to know



  Inside my head
  Inside my head



Take me where my thoughts are clear
Help me find my way back here



  You’re in my head



     Remind me how I like to spend my time
     Take me to those places in my mind
     My favorite days, the days I called you mine
     And I’ll see it in your eyes
     The wonder of our lives
     I don’t want to let that go
     Show me what I used to know



I’m sorry if I’m gone too long
I wish that you could come along
When my world starts to disappear
Help me find my way back here



  Where I belong
  Where I belong



     Remind me how I like to spend my time
     Take me to those places in my mind
     My favorite days, the days I called you mine
     And I’ll see it in your eyes
     The wonder of our lives
     I don’t want to let that go



     Remind me how I like to spend my time
     Take me to those places in my mind
     My favorite days, the days I called you mine
     And I’ll see it in your eyes
     The wonder of our lives
     I don’t want to let that go
     Show me what I used to know
     I don’t want to let that go



A heart could not forget you dear
Help me find my way back here

Credits

released July 26, 2017

Tieg Johnson
Guitar / Voice
Yu-Ting Wu
Violins
Shannon Canchola
Flutes
Seana Thompson
Cellos
Chris Rolontz
Double Bass
Robbie McCarthy
Oboe

Written, arranged, recorded, edited, mixed and mastered by Tieg Johnson, so if you hate most any aspect of this, blame him.

Recorded at TXL Films

ISRC: QZDA41847288