Smashing Pumpkins Recording Sessions Wiki

Spring-Summer 2009 - Coldwater Studios, Los Angeles, CA[]

Produced by Billy Corgan; engineered by Kerry Brown

  • As Rome Burns
  • Astral Planes
  • Bluricane
  • Body + Soul
  • Breath of Life
  • Caroline, Yes
  • Circular Change
  • Clouds
  • The Dauphine
  • Emerald Green is the Colour
  • Fate The Lonely Victor
  • The Fellowship
  • Freak
  • I'm a Believer
  • Junkie
  • Let You In
  • Life is Grand
  • Long Ago-Go
  • Lost in You
  • The Mandaryn
  • Owata
  • Right With You
  • Snare
  • A Song For a Son
  • A Stitch In Time
  • The Trip
  • Victorian Victim
  • West Coast
  • Widow Wake My Mind
  • [approximately 25 more songs]

Demo sessions of new Billy Corgan compositions, recorded at Kerry Bown's Los Angeles studio. 54 songs were demoed in total, backed by Mark Tulin on bass and Kerry Brown on drums. While the songs would initially be performed with the short-lived Spirits In The Sky and Backwards Clock Society projects that summer, the best 44 of these 54 songs would form the basis of the Teargarden by Kaleidyscope project, including additional material written after this initial demo session.

Teargarden whiteboard.jpg

Hello from sunny California, where I'm currently working with some of my friends on new SP songs. The mood here is relaxed, serene, and studious as my pals are helping me with some TLC to zero-in on the new direction that I'm trying to take the music. I've made many, many mistakes through the years, and one of them is that I often rush headlong into my next album without really taking the time to reflect on what I've just done, and test my resolve a little on where I'm going. One small detail that I think was beneficial to the band in the early years was we practiced a lot. It wasn't uncommon to have weeks where we practiced 30+ hours, which may not sound like a lot but at high volume this was very fatiguing, and of course exciting too. Through all that playing you would easily come into contact with the emotional value of whether or not a song 'worked', so to speak. Add to that another 20-30 hours per week at home writing music and lyrics, and you can see I was very immersed in that process of checking my ideas between head, home, heart, and practice.

Right now we are just focused on about 5 or 6 songs, using them to try out some new feels to try to find a consistent foundation upon which to build this large multimedia project I have in mind. 44 seems to be the magic #, so let's say I'm shooting for 44 songs on this one. I'll get to how I plan to release them later. Because the work will be conceptual in nature planning it all out also I think will help keep me from losing my way in the evil forest. [1]

Though he has a house in Chicago, Corgan spends much of his time here at the pool house, crashing on the property of a friend, producer and drummer Kerry Brown — who happens to be former Pumpkins bassist D’Arcy Wretzky’s ex-husband (neither Corgan nor Brown has talked to her since the late Nineties). Corgan is practically a member of the family: Brown’s kids call him Uncle Billy. “It’s a stable situation,” says Corgan. He goes to their basketball games, and they found his presence way more impressive after his avatar appeared in Guitar Hero. At the moment, Corgan is staring at a white board leaning against a bookshelf, where he’s written 50 or so song titles in all-caps: “The Dauphine,” “As Rome Burns,” “Blurricane,” “Fate the Lonely Actor.” He composed and demo’ed all of these songs in the past few months, and has recorded and released two so far as free downloads: the epically Zeppelin-esque “A Song for a Son” and the baroque, liltingly poppy “Widow Wake My Mind.”

Corgan has decided the traditional album is dead, so he’s putting out a massive 44-song collection — Teargarden by Kaleidyscope — one track at a time online. Whenever he completes a set of four songs, he’s releasing them on his own label as ornately packaged EPs, with the first due this spring. “I feel like I have probably 10 to 15 songs that are super-top-level,” he says. “I originally thought I’d string those songs like little diamonds amongst the other good songs, but now I’m going to have to push those up to the front of the line. And I’ll just have to write more.”[2]

Return to Teargarden by Kaleidyscope/Oceania

  1. Billy Corgan, "A Message from Billy",, April 9, 2009
  2. Brian Hiatt, "Billy Corgan, Rock God Interrupted". Rolling Stone, January 3rd, 2011