There’s No Time to Rest

I spent much of the day recreating project templates and reinstalling plugins and patch libraries. Part of this was procrastination, but mostly it was to overcome the frustration I get when technology gets in my way. As I installed the various libraries, I randomly selected the piano patch you hear in this piece.

  1. There's No Time to Rest Ray Toler 2:48

I was just noodling with it as I installed other things and the main chord progression started insisting itself on me. As I played that, I started humming a rough melody and a word would slip out every now and then. The mood quickly established itself, and the first line came to mind.

These lyrics didn’t flow as quickly as yesterday’s track, but it was still fairly quick work. I spent most of the time finessing the additional lines in the second chorus and debating whether or not to use that asynchronous structure or add a third verse and chorus.

One of the things that Song-A-Day has helped me with is not trying to force the issue when I don’t think there’s anything left to say. That doesn’t mean I always stop when I should, but I’m no longer a slave to rigid structures.

I’m happier with the vocal on this one, though it’s still clear that I’m out of practice. I did two vocal passes and comped together the final vocal. There were still a few off notes or slides I should have changed, but it was already approaching 11:00 and I needed to wrap things up, so I decided to just do some gentle tuning on the worst offenders. I’m ok with some “character” in the vocal, and am not shooting for a top-40 over-processed sound, but there’s a big difference between “character” and “bad.”

Autotuning is just a fact of life now, and I’m much more comfortable with it after realizing that the end result is the most important thing. There are a lot of dirty secrets in the music industry, and holding dogmatically to some purist ideal, especially when I’m trying to create a finished track in just a few hours, is self-defeating.

As with yesterday, I’m treating this one as a demo. There are a couple of things floating around in my head production-wise that I think would really polish this one up nicely: some low end, maybe strings, some teeth-on-edge noise just at the threshold of hearing.


Are you out there all alone?
Pleading for someone to find you.
Scattered ashes, scattered bone.
And scattered promises to undo.

Miles and miles to travel on
And there’s no one to 
Cling to when you are tired
Time to rest

There’s no time to rest

Are you out there in the dark?
All the lights losing their meaning.
Striking stones to make a spark.
But bitter words keep contravening.

Looking desperately to find
Kindred spirits to
Cling to when you are tired
But the kings and the fools keep on
Leaving you uninspired
Lay your head on the cold ground
And dream of those you admired
Time to rest

There’s no time to rest
There’s no time to rest

Copyright © 2019 Ray E. Toler, Jr. All rights reserved.


  • Piano: Omnisphere
  • Vocal effects: Valhalla Plate, SoundToys Echoboy

Next up: Look Away from the Water

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