Monthly Archives: July 2013

Ode to Birmingham

BHAM

No where near as dramatic as it sounds…… With preparing for moving, I don’t have a huge amount of time to do any “proper” writing and recording, so here is a short moody piano improvisation (which yes, I know is not an ode!).  I had an idea with the left hand and just went for it, so excuse dodgy timing and notes! I recorded this on video camera so you get an ’email received’ bling bling somewhere towards the end, and a creaky piano chair!

Bonus Noise! After i got my new job, instead of cautiously saving money for the move, i instantly went out and bought a Novation Mininova. It has lots of buttons and switches for editing rather than pages of indecipherable menus, so is great fun to play with. Really nice bit of kit.  I can even justify the spend as I’ve just sold my Roland V-Drums which i owned for ten years.  I’m very sad to see them go, but we must move on.  So here’s a couple of messy video camera recordings of electronic type noises just to get me used to the buttons.  I’m looking forward to using it properly in some pieces.

A bit of junglist drums and low pitch rumblings (i may try and develop this into a full piece)

Just messing with the arpeggiator

For the record, its been unusually hot in the UK this week – 30 degrees.  Even playing piano has been hard work.

My only fan:

FAN

Moving up Norf

Six months ago if you’d told me I was moving to Manchester and becoming a landlord then I’d have asked you what you’re talking about.  If you asked me now, then I just reply “well duh, that’s exactly what I’m doing”.  Because that’s exactly what I’m doing.  Out of nowhere, I’ve found a new job, we’ll be renting a city centre flat and my house in the Black Country will be up for rent!

Manchester

Big and exciting changes ahead.  Music wise, this mean I lose out big in a couple of areas (family and friends aside).

Firstly I can’t play in the really cool acoustic group, Lowdown, with Matt and Al.  I’ve been playing music in some form or other with these guys since…er….. the late nineties.  They haven’t even laughed much about me trying to learn piano.  We recently did a day recording session at my house so at least we have a snapshot of the songs we’ve been playing (if I ever get round to mixing it), but I’m gutted not to be able to carry on with it!  As its so hot we played out in the garden the other night with Pete who’s recently joined and had a really chilled out jam through a few songs.  Matt’s double bass was booming down the street, and it sounded ace! Happy days.

Secondly, I wont be able to have piano lessons with Kata anymore.  She’s been forced through my (often painful) playing for a year which probably deserves some kind of medal.  The lessons have been great – I was incredibly lucky to find such a skilled player and teacher (even if she does tell me all the time that English people are weird), and she has been a good inspiration, so I’ll definitely be missing that too.

I took the image above in an abandoned building in the Ancoats area of Manchester City Centre.  It used to be a school, or some kind of art college and has all sorts of remnants of times gone by strewn around, including scribblings on the walls, sinister looking plastic figures and posters from the kids who used to stop there.  In fact, its quite creepy – the big tough contractors I was working with actually said they didn’t like working there or walking round there alone.  “Wimps!” I thought, as I quickly scuttled out in the safe, bright sunshine…..

Here’s a couple of picture of our garden rehearsal the other day (sorry neighbours).

band-1

band-2

Cajon

(A cajon without a pilot)