The Shapiro Files

Friday, December 15, 2006

Dreck the Halls (Free Shapiro Music Download!)

I recently started working on a special project that’s very near and dear to me and I’ll be writing about it here in the near future when I have more to show for my efforts. What I can say at this point is that it involves digging through my collection of master audio tapes of recordings I made nearly 15 years ago. Not surprisingly, lots of the recordings are either badly recorded or just plan bad. However, I just came across one that actually hasn’t suffered too terribly in the decade-plus that’s passed by. Even better, it’s perfect for the holiday season!

Back in 1992, I had finally saved up enough (after paying for tuition, books, rent, and food) to buy a Tascam four-track cassette recorder. Even back then, it was pretty basic stuff and of course, compared to what’s available to the home studio musician today, it’s downright primitive. Nonetheless, I had this strange idea of recording an entire tongue-in-cheek holiday album that would mix both Christmas and Chanukah music. The first song I recorded was a hard rock/disco/funk version of “Deck the Halls.” Keep in mind this is before the days of looping and sampling (at least for the mere mortal with a limited budget), so every drum beat, bass line, etc. was fully worked out and performed pretty much all the way through (well I might have done a tiny amount of copy and pasting on the MIDI-based tracks), layering one track on top of another. I also overdubbed two electric guitars for good measure. And for you musicians out there, I even went so far as to truncate phrase endings to create 3/4 measures in an otherwise 4/4 song (just something I did to amuse myself).

So after almost 15 years in the archives, that little tape recording (drop-outs and all) has finally entered the digital realm and I have made it available as a download for anyone that might enjoy a little holiday cheer. Yes, it’s loud and silly and the technology I used is pretty archaic, but here it is!

Deck the Halls (4.3 MB)

For most web browsers, you can simply click on the above link and the song will play directly in your browser. Otherwise, to download the file to your computer, right-click (Windows) or control-click (Mac) on the link and select the option to save/download the file. Enjoy!


  • Well...That was enjoyable...

    As a musician, I enjoyed the truncated 3/4 time phrase endings...after the standard 4/4 time phrases :)

    It is amazing how far recording technology has come! I can't wait until you take some of your old recordings and get to plug them into new software! And even play new music on new software! :)

    It is fun!

    The Egel Nest

    PS Your CD is well on its way to you!

    By Blogger Bradley Egel, at 12/15/2006 6:16 PM  

  • Very entertaining! I just happened to be typing up some notes from an interview with a composer in the computer research in music department at Stanford. Perhaps he would approve! :)

    Happy Chanukah!


    By Blogger Rebecca, at 12/22/2006 10:22 AM  

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