Sixth Heaven

What it is about

A melodic bluesy arrangement with a spacey, NewAgeish ending.

Not quite seventh heaven but plenty of sixths to admire.

How it was written

It is all about the problem of writing less than perfect songs, something all musicians are familiar with. The MIDI version was written quickly but the audio version just would not work. It took innumerable false starts and dead ends before the final version emerged and the whole process took well over a year.

Paul Valery, a French polymath, neatly expressed the basic approach: "a poem is never finished, only abandoned". Tis the same with music.

What time is it?

First 4 bars at 156 bpm (0:06)
Same again but 140bpm (0:06)
And again at 124bpm (0:07)
Start of Sixth Heaven
Start of Sixth Heaven

The difference between the audio versions of the opening are simple enough: the tempo changes and, in the 124bpm version, the nylon guitar plays a different rhythm.

Changing the tempo makes a big difference to the feel of music. In fact it is surprising how much of a difference it makes. The first audio sample recorded at 156bpm is very fast by any standard. The second example at 140bpm is about 90% of the pace of the original but still feels fast. The third version at 80% speed, 124bpm, sounds markedly slower compared with the other two, but still eminently danceable.

A bridge too far

Crashing chords in the segue to the ending (0:06)
Sixth Heaven segue
Sixth Heaven segue

Smashing stuff. Maybe worth a song in its own right?

On being second best

Got a blank sheet of paper and a vacant look

Music-maker needs to have a bit of luck

Cos I'm writing a song and it shouldn't take long

But everything's starting to go way too wrong

Cos I've lost my muse

Can't even sing the blues

Oh yeah

Feeling sentimental and nothing sounds good

I dont have the groove that a music man should

Oh no

Oo oo

Ive got way too much to do with precious little time

Cant get the notes to sound good or the words to rhyme

Oh wheres my song?

What am I doing wrong?

Get some inspiration get a little bit of zen

Don't you dare mention starting over again

Put a dot over her and a dot over there

Join them up and you've got a pair

Write it down write it up

Do it by the book

Oh yeah

Getting through the dark and I can see the light

I hear all this rhythm and I feel its right

Oh yeah

Oo oo

Throw caution to the wind leave all your cares behind

Let go of your worries and open your mind

Ive found my Muse

I can sing the blues

We're not in hock to writer's block

We're on a rock on a roll breaking the mould

See that picture of an artisan

That's us that's this it's in the can

Not a work of art

But a joy to be a part of


And the moral of our story

Is extraordinary

It's that second best

Just means you've passed the test

Of fame and glory

And now and then

There'll be occasions when

You will persevere

And then you'll find the key

To seventh heaven

Tech spec

Title: Sixth Heaven

Key: B

Tempo: 140bpm

Length: 2' 55"

Track 1: bandoneon melody

Track 2: bandoneon harmony

Track 3: clean guitar

Track 4: nylon guitar

Track 5: fingered bass

Track 6: drumset

Genre: pop, rock

Lyrics: Steven Fitton

Composer: Peter Fitton