My name is “Lèyon di li Neûris′”, pronounced /'lɛ.jɔ̃ dɪ lɪ 'nø.ʀɪs/ (if you know international phonetic alphabet), you can also use a /ʁ/ instead of the /ʀ/ for the modern pronunciation, but I tend to like the old one (even though I rarely use it ); it really is my name, I mean, it's my second first name (should we say second name? Of course not) that is also my “prénom usuel” as we say in French (it looks like this concept doesn't exist in English or I'm just too ignorant), that means that this is the one of my first names that is used commonly to call me and it's translated in Walloon(ish or “Walloonagh”), but it's my name.
I'm born in the Prince-Bishopric of Liège and I've expatriated my-self in the County of Hainaut about three years ago. Well, that is without considering some historical changes like the creation of Belgium where those two places are now, but really, I feel expatriated, I left my so called “Province” and moreover, I went from Wallonia to Picard Wallonia. Another thing I think important to mention is that my regretted beloved (half-)brother was half from German speaking origins and I learned the unacademical way to speak German, first to be able to speak to his older (half-)sisters (that was then consider as too young to learn French while the more younger, the more easier it is to learn a language, but we didn't knew that back then). I also have a brother (I made music with) and a (half-)sister (who does not have German speaking origins and who had singing courses in her adolescence, she hummed with me on the burial of our grand-mother with a guitar piece including humming I compose in homage to her).
As explained on my profile, as an artist, I'm mainly a composer and a writer. I play music and sing because I think that I have to for numerous reasons and, in case you wonder (to me, it's not really important even though it's almost exhaustive), I play the following instruments:
- guitars (including bass guitar),
- keyboards (all sorts including organ),
- recorder (the flute, of course, I use recorders but I don't consider it an instrument ) and
- vocal cords (if you consider it as an instrument, I consider it an organ )
What about my career as a musician?
To summary more then 25 years of it:
I played in 10 bands (5 doom metal bands, 2 heavy metal bands, 1 mixture of a few metal genres band and 2 thrash metal bands) and in numerous projects (some being still active) whose genres or sub-genres are (in addition to genres already mentioned) gothic metal, rap, French song, death metal, hard rock, progressive metal, atmospheric, neoclassical, neo-baroque, cold wave, thrash death metal, folk, white metal, electronic body music and techno.
I recorded 16 demonstrations (2 full lengths, 4 extended plays, 10 singles and released virtually some other songs).
I played live in only 10 venues (in 2 of those venues, I played with the opening and with the headlining bands; I also made a few unforeseen guess live appearances) and I always was the one in the bands wanting to do more gigs .
I had 2 opportunities to get signed by record companies (once a band almost got a record deal with a leading symphonic doom metal record company before the band members decided, without me agreeing, to step backward ; once a friend that had a Belgian metal record company was interested in a band I was into, then I left that band, and replacing me lead to a modification of there musical style that thenceforth didn't fit any more with that record company's style).
(To summarise on that topic:) before using Lèyon di li Neûris′ as my artist name, I used the pseudonym “Gloom”, then reading the Holy Bible changed me (I talk further on that topic at the end) and at a certain point, I decided to dissociate clearly what I've done before and after that reading and used the dichotomy Gloom / Lèyon di li Neûris′ pseudonym to mark that before and that after.
I also uses Lèyon di li Neûris′ for a project (that had different names before).
I have very few things to make you listen now because I dislike most of what I've done in that past enough not to point to it now. And even if I have a bunch of compositions more or less finished made under the name Lèyon di li Neûris′, nothing is recorded yet (I think I will publish some scores in the “Original Scores & Recordings” section as soon as I would figure out the best way to do it in a free / libre format before I record anything).
So there is about a third quarter of an auto-produced extended play recorded in my “Gloom” period — even though I chose then not to be credited under this pseudonym — that I think might worth something. Moreover, I explained clearly in the lyrics section of that band's website what I still think now of what I wrote when I was on that band.
I insist on the fact that we recorded in a studio using unfree / unlibre softwares, the aim being to share what I made as an artist. But, except the font of the logo (that was imposed to me), the mixed and mastered recordings and the raw files from the live recordings — I might forget something, but I don't think so —, all in that website is made with free software.
So, here is a link to Mental Vortex's “Dodged Existence's Development”'s section (in the recordings' page), Mental Vortex being a band where I have been the first singer (and I didn't compose any music for that band). The page also contains other recordings where I don't sing (instrumentals and the album that followed — without me — before the band ceased to exist). Moreover, there are to (not well recorded) live's extract, one is the end of the song and the other is almost complete in the gigs' page of Mental Vortex's website
There is also a song from an album from a project I also recorded in my “Gloom” period that I think worth it, it's recorded by myself, but I also insist on the fact that it has been done with an unfree / unlibre Digital Audio Workstation in an unfree / unlibre Operating System. Now I think that the vocal should have been better mixed and that the slow attack on one of the synthetic instrument caused me problems but I lend the keyboard of a friend and didn't know how it worked, I think I tried to figure it out but couldn't and I also think that I feared to mess up with his keyboard, so, I recorded with that problem because I wanted that sound; later, when I recorded again for that project, I did it with my own synthesiser and the result has been, I think, better, so I think I should have use my own synthesiser instead of that keyboard.
So here is a link to “The second of November, the day of the dead” from the “Each year the same seasons… …each year the same twelve months” album from Daily Feeling (a project I abandoned and that last real activities was in 2006).
I might add other music from that (large) period, but I must first take time to present it in what I think is an appropriate way (like what I did with the Mental Vortex's lyrics) before linking it. If you search the web, you might quite easily find more about what I've done under the pseudonym “Gloom”, but, I prefer you not to listen to what I don't want to share with you.
Besides music, I create languages, first because I'm found of linguistics and then because I'm an artist, so, a creator. But, those lockdowns and all that stuffs makes me radically focus almost only on composing and writing because I mostly do it when I'm sad and those last 9 months has been quite depressing, so, I didn't touch on my languages for at least 9 months, but I think it might be almost a year indeed.
What about libre software?
I began to use free software (mozilla stuffs and a bit later The GIMP, then OpenOffice.org) around 2000 when I first had a connection to the world wide web. I first used a redhat a few days in 2002, I didn't like it, then, in 2005, I installed a Debian and had it for a while, then, I installed Ubuntu on another computer, then it became my only used computer, around 2007, I had I don't remember what free distribution installed by default on a notebook I bought then but it lasted a few month because of an accident, at some point between 2007 and 2009, I tried Ubuntu Music, then dyne:bolic, then Musix and kept this last one on a bootable external hard drive that I rarely use, then I wanted more free distribution so I installed all entirely free distribution I could on a laptop and mainly used Trisquel. Then I kinda stepped back as I bought a second hand computer to record music and to stream live and not to have problem with unfree stuffs that might be required, so after a few trial, I ended up with MX Linux that I currently use and my live stream experience was quite short, I didn't like compromising with freedom (I had an account on a disgusting company's video social media and those kind of dump, then erase those accounts a few months ago to only stay in libre social networks, by the way, in that unfree video social media I told about, I use to chat in some Tobiasz Karoń's monthly live streaming).
So now I plan (when I'll have time for it) to go back to an entirely free distribution for this computer that will be for common use and, when I'll be sure of what to buy, as lockdowns made me save money, I will compromise a bit by buying a brand new computer (with alas Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) that will exclusively be used to record, without any connection to internet (because I don't trust Unified Extensible Firmware Interface and modern material) and will try to have an entirely free distribution on it but if I can't make work something I need correctly, I'll have to compromise by using a not so free distribution on that computer.
And that is one reason why I'm here, because I have to choose what I will buy (not only the computer but also the recording material because my analogue mixer is enough to record mono or stereo or to go from limited multi-track (10 with X series with Latch and Rubber entries and two other with only jack entries and less buttons, certainly for effects sends) to stereo, but I want to be able to record multi-tracks (I'm not decided yet but the choice will be between 24 an 32 track I guess, but that's — for — another topic).
And talking about recording, let's get back to music on the other side of the console (if I may say), I began in the mid 1990s recording with my brother by using two stereo tape recorders, a few cheap microphones (then, I think my brother bought a Sennheiser drums microphone set while buying a good drums as we both chose to invest in music around that time and could afford it, or he bought that set later on, I don't remember) and an old mixer (that the singer guitar player from the first band we integrated gave us): recording a first instrument (my brother's drums), then replaying it while mixing with another instrument (and vocals generally added with the guitar take) and recording on another tape recorder. Sometime the initial tape had an introduction part on guitar before the drums enter the song (and as we didn't know much about recording, we didn't manage to keep the guitar setting before recording the rest of the guitar, on the contrary, we recorded the drums and those first guitar parts in a rehearsal local and the rest in another one that was very noticeable on the end product ). We also tried Pro Tools (when we had the cheap microphones) and it doesn't turned out well (if I remember well, we couldn't deal with the synchronisation), but we had two “edit” two drums part, indeed, as my brother recorded freely, without listening to any other instruments — except with the introduction parts I talked about just before, but that stopped playing as soon as he began — and on those two drums part he played with the wrong speed (two times too fast), so, we slowed down those part with Pro Tools and of course, it went an octave down , I don't know if, back then, it was possible to change the speed without changing the pitch with that software but, whatever, we didn't even imagine it should be possible, that's only around 6 or 7 years later that I learned that it was possible.
For the next recording, we bought a synthesiser / rhythmbox and we stated that we couldn't record the drums properly (I suppose the main reason being our mixer was two small), so we programmed the drums part on it and added some additional instrument to sound kinda more symphonic (some instruments sounded good, some others sounded fair enough at the time but was no real good at all from today's perspective) and recorded it with a first instrument (bass) and used the same two tape recorders and a mixer technique.
Then the guitar player and singer of the first band we have been in had a 4 track Tascam record and my brother began to record with him. I think I bought my analogue mixer a bit before and then, for sure my brother had his Sennheiser microphones. He recorded one song, then, the recording stopped abruptly without us having a real explanation why, so we finished that song the way we did before.
So we chose to buy our own recording equipment before recording again.
At the end of that decade, I recorded with another band in a digital studio (that only became affordable at the time), that was not all around a computer then, it was like analogue big tape recorders but using a digital signal, that studio used a system that recorded that signal into “Digital-Video Home System” tape format because it costed very little and, having in mind to record my own stuff, I assisted almost all the recording session to learn as much as possible from it. That turned out pretty bad because the drummer was way not enough experienced, we took the first day (with an extra hour that was not charged) to tune his drum and fixing all the problems (he reversed his ride cymbal because he thought it was cool, but it caused problems), and when we recorded, he couldn't stand the click (and of course we never rehearsed with a click) but we insisted using the click and there was other problem with that drummer's interpretation, so the mix was quite hard to do (there were no automation on that studio, I think it was quite expensive at the time). Moreover the easy way the studio guy used to wide the sound (having this and that instrument hard right and this instrument hard left and only the bass centred and only the drums' instruments not hard paned), I hate it on headphones and I use headphone a lot since few years after that. I'm certainly extreme and narrow minded concerning panning (and I didn't paid attention on that panning question while we did record, mix and master that auto-produced extended play).
In the early 2000's, I recorded for another project with the synthesiser / rhyhtmbox and the two recorders and a mixer technique. Then, we had a computer to record lent by a friend of my brother that started a computer shop (computer that I would buy later on) and we used Cubase to record with another band my brother integrated a few years after me. I bought some microphones for that recording. We used my synthesiser / rhythmbox as a source to sink the computer and as a base rhythm to record the instruments, for the vocals, I added piano with the melody I had to sing to have a melodic reference, that was, for us, the easiest way to deal with latency. We experimented by tripling the guitars (at least the one that was recorded). We took our time, much time as the last recordings was made in the mid 2000's; half-step of it, my little (half-)sister that was still a child played with a friend of her on her birthday and while we didn't pay attention, they went on the recording room and, there, they moved the guitar amplifier's microphone, we wasted a lot of time to have a sound quite close to the one from all we already recorded. Finally, few years later, a hard-drive crash made that this recording was never finished (there was still a guitar and a few other things to record). The drums sounds a bit too rehearsal alike and there's a part where the rhythm guitar player went too fast and it took so much time to have a good takes with him that I just let it like this. The recording not being finished, I never mixed it, there's of course a rough mix that has been kept as individual rendered files but that didn't trained me to mix. I might take the back-up one day and see if I can do something from it without having to re-synchronise the numerous takes (the rhythm guitar is particularly divided up) with Ardour or whatever, the main criteria would be to be able to import Cubase sessions, I still must look what's possible concerning that, what's sure, is that I won't use Cubase again.
During that recording of that band (around the mid 2000s), I recorded an album and an extended play for a personal project with only programmed keyboard and vocals, indeed, I recorded the extended play during the album recording, but there was not much to mix as the instrument was synthetic and programmed, for the extended play, it sounded good enough but there is a song clipping on the album, I don't remember what happened by the way.
Sometimes before the hard drive crash (I think), we were busy on preparing a recording with my main band with my brother (that our father integrated years prior to that). As we took the time to have the best drums sound possible with our material — I don't remember exactly, but we used 11 or 12 channels from my mixer and for each instruments, we made intensive tests on all we thought about testing — the drums sound was really good. I wanted it to be recorded with free software, I tried Ubuntu studio when it came out and tried to record with Ardour but I never had the time to found how to deal with synchronisation as, few weeks later, our father deceased and we never recorded what we had plan to record.
The band then stopped playing and a few month later I integrated another band, and a guy who also played with the same drummer then the band I integrated exchanged the old 4 tracks mixer that has been given to my brother and I with a Fostex 4 tracks analogue recorder he used as a mixer and that was too big for him for an undefined time — I then was a lot into analogue sounding and I'm still (though a bit less) but for practical reasons I want to be able to record as much analogue as digital —. So, with that band I integrated, I once tried to record this drummer for that band and I had a problem to have a proper volume by plugging my mixer (that was way too loud) into the 4 track analogue recorder and the drummer had absolutely no patience to let me solve the problem, so, as soon as the other members of the band showed up he didn't want at all to take time to finish to manage to deal with that problem, so, that attempt to record with that analogue recorder ended because the drummer preferred not to try it again.
I think I was in this band when I began to use Audacity often (that is certainly the free digital audio program that I know the most).
At the end of that decade, I integrated Mental Vortex (see the link above), they already had recorded the drums and the guitar of the 4 tracks that would become Dodged Existence's Development, then a bass player integrated the band the next month and two more month after, as we were both ready, we recorded the bass and the vocals of those 4 tracks, I was in the studio when he recorded the bass but was to busy on finishing the lyrics when he recorded (I should have finished it before, but I thought I only would have to verify if all was good and I realised that was not as good as expected, and it was even worse as a professional translator pointed out when the virtual version of the recording has been released on the website, he then helped me to have perfect English lyrics by pointing out the mistakes and letting me correct it the way I wanted as I asked him to do so, that's why the lyrics printed on the cover are different from the one I sung, it's a shame, but I really thought I was better then that in English), all that makes that I didn't profit from the bass recording to learn something about recording (by the way, on my previous studio recording, I couldn't assist on the bass recording).
A few week after that recording, I began a 9 month training course in radio technique and animation — that professionally lead me to nowhere, they where oversailing their training course's employment opportunities, I didn't fully believe them on that but I still overestimated those opportunities —, during that, I made an internship in a studio recording from a midrange standing — while the two studio I recorded in were some more or less very affordable one — where I learned a lot, there was a graduated sound engineer working there — once he went earlier on the studio and when I arrived he was trying to solve a phase issue on a piano he recorded, he explained it to me and asked: “don't you hear it?”, I didn't hear it and I was amaze by how precise he was on the frequencies he was working on, even though, after a certain time, not getting anywhere with that phase issue he went on something else I was more able to work on with him, leaving that problem for later and we never talked on that topic later, I suppose he solved it by working overtime while I was no more there — and sometimes there was a sound engineer student. I'm glad to have the chance to do that (even though they were using unfree products), the boss of that studio only regretted that I didn't want to participate on the microphone placement, the truth is that I had a too vague understanding of the different type of microphones and, moreover, I didn't want to do something wrong, certainly still having in mind the incident with the microphone that my (half-)sister or her friend moved, the first day he proposed that I uncomfortably said something like: “not this time” thinking I would study more on microphone back home, but I forgot to do and the next day, when he asked again, I said a more definite “no”, I guess, and I think that was over for that opportunity. Now, when I see studio recording videographer (with whom I finally learn something about microphone placement), they remind me that studio recording, all the more on the significance on making the client comfortable (there was all sorts of coffee capsule, and a lot of them were so delicious ).
A few years later the guitar player of the band I wanted to record with the Fostex bought a digital 8 tracks + 8 virtual tracks recorder and as it was quite ready to use, I suppose, we didn't have problem with the drummer, moreover, I think he started to be interested on the drums miking techniques prior to that, so, I learned some things on that from what he learned with videographers, the singer also made a training course on being a road crew in the same place where I did my radio training course but there was more employment opportunities, indeed, I think he already worked on that field before following that training course and he also had some good advises he learned by being a road crew, but, sometimes, his advises where more live oriented. So, we often recorded our rehearsals it almost became a habit, but we never made a proper recording to sale, we talked a few time about that but we had much problem with the different rehearsal local we was in and the situation was not stable enough to do that proper recording, that rehearsal local problem even lead us to the cancellation of a gig. I left this band in the mid 2010s and this was the last band I was in.
For a few years, I didn't make much with music, about two years ago, I was very inspired for my project named Lèyon di li Neûris′ and thought about waiting to have enough materiel to record it with the Fostex as I wanted it to be a full analogue recording, but lost inspiration being to busy on non musical stuffs and with the lockdown, I've been even more inspired then two years ago, I prefer to record digitally what I plan to record (an extended play and a few singles) and I hesitate a lot on what gear to buy for it and those kind of things (I also have to fix some problems with my so old instruments and gears I already have), so that's the contrary then two years ago, i have plenty of material ready to produce but I don't have the material I want to record it. But I began to use Ardour, first for my project between cold wave and electronic body music, but, at first, I had hard time by dealing with the way Musical Instrument Digital Interface notes are written, I'm a classical score guy I suppose, so as I left the first song project aside, I worked on another one …with Tuxguitar (that I don't like because of Java, but I'm used to it, I only try once MuseScore 2 and thought it would take me too long to adapt on this program), then I decided this song would be for my techno project that would then be more electronic dance music oriented and then gave up that song because I didn't like what I was doing, then, to make some test on sampled drumkit (and I'm still not really decided ) and for what follows on the next paragraph (now that I'm more familiarised with Musical Instrument Digital Interface writing with Ardour)…
That leads me to another reason why I'm here (and that's why I subscribe now), being inspired made me compose something for the Libre Music Challenge #6. That's almost composed but I want to record vocals and I have a cold that makes my voice not good enough (there's another reason but that's also — for — another topic, the one about that challenge).
Finally, I talked about reading the Holy Bible that changed my life, here's a summary on that topic: I believe in the God of the Holy Bible (that I read more then entirely in all the different canons), but I prefer not to call me a Christian or anything like that because I'm in no church and I'm quite stuck in finding a good way through it.
Thank you for reading all that, as always with me, it's quite long (all the more as I add things afterward ).
In case you're interested, here are my social networks links: