Monthly Archives: November 2013

Hazy Day

I went a bike ride today along the River Irwell past Salford Quays.  I’m not going to get very fit riding my bike because I keep stopping to take photos! It was nice though, a strange kind of hazy day.  I battled my way back through the city centre which seems to be getting very excited that Christmas is a month away.  I was so exhausted I had to buy a German sausage from the markets to keep the energy levels up 🙂  One thing I have noticed about Manchester is wherever you go, there always seems to be a view of the Beetham Tower, so I think whilst I live here I’ll try to capture it from as many places as possible.  Here are a few photos.

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River Irwell heading out of the City

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A random spot on the river completely covered in Graffiti (notice Beetham Tower in the distance)

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The same vandalised spot.  It was so bright and colourful it actually looked quite nice!

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Another view along the river, scribbled in with the aid of Photoshop

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Shopping crazy, looking down Exchange Street.  Again, the Beetham Tower looming in the distance.

Route map

In true geek style, here is the GPS track of the route!

I have a few pictures from London I hope to post soon and have also been working on a new track.  Its a bit of a genre-jumper, so its taking a while to put together.  I’ve even managed to get some crunching rhythmical guitars from my keyboard.

Reflections

I’ve recorded this piece over the weekend and have titled it ‘Reflections’ in relation to my other post earlier today on Remembrance Day.

Reflections

Reflections

Tech details – mixing this has made me realise I definitely need some new monitors. My old unbranded monitors, kindly butchered into ‘active’ speakers with a Maplin amp by BigBadBeezer have had their day. Time to go shopping…..

I managed to get completely covered in wires by trying to use most of my gear – the Korg Kross features heavily for the more natural sounds, along with warped electronic sounds from the Novation Mininova. Drums are programmed using EZDrummer, but I also dropped in a few subtle parts on the Korg Volca Beats. I was trying to mix natural sounds with electronic and quite like the result.

In the spirit of rambling on, I am also particularly excited about the new Secret Chiefs 3 album which is currently somewhere between California and Copperas St.  Ten years in the making by the sound architect Trey Spurance it is sure to be a gem.  Their music for me is such an uplifting experience – it is a completely different level – the detail, the playing, the composition, the recording quality is unrivalled. Yet the world watches X-Factor…….  sigh…… arrive soon Book of Souls: Folio A.

Remembrance Day

Today is Remembrance Day (actually tomorrow, but the service was today), a day for reflecting on the past and the ultimate sacrifices made. No words or music will ever offer enough respect for the fallen and the scarred survivors, so I have no great speech to write here. We will remember them.

Poppy

Two Minutes Silence

I attended the service in Manchester City and in the interests of capturing the moment, I recorded the ‘silence’ and have uploaded here.  I had to cut it off shortly after the second gun going off as Metrolink decided to make a loud announcement that the trams weren’t running during the Remembrance Day service during the bugle playing. Thanks Metrolink.

Piano Lesson Piece and Electronic Noise

Zoom

The title of the post says it like it is.  A few sound bites to be uploaded today…. First up, a piano lesson piece I’ve been working on – Sails by Nikki Iles from the ABRSM Jazz Piano Pieces Grade 3 book.  It’s a really nice relaxed piece and as per most jazz pieces from the book has a solo section, which is not my finest moment, but of course whilst the red recording light isn’t flashing the solos flow out beautifully but are lost forever (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it).

 

New Gear Noise

Also uploaded are a couple of off-the-cuff electronic mess-arounds.  I have just become the owner of the rather fantastic Korg Volca Beats analogue drum machine (my review on Amazon HERE), so I plugged this and my Mininova synth into my computer and just went for it.  Bearing in mind both of these are very new so I haven’t really had chance to understand how to use them properly, but in the interests of “just going for it”, I just went for it.  One take in one go and trying to play both things at the same time whilst not really knowing how to use either is a recipe for disaster, but it was great fun anyway!  7 hypnotic minutes (for me at least whilst I was doing it).  It will be great to get a proper piece recorded with these soon.

 

“Sounds a bit like Star Trek”

The final hammering upon the eardrums is another synth jam, again in the spirit of just going for it with no planning – it has four tracks one recorded after the other and according to Viktoria “sounds a bit like Star Trek”.  So that is what it is called.

I have a “proper” piece coming which I’ve actually thought about in advance, I have a few parts recorded trying to mix the organic with the absolutely none organic and I’ll hopefully get it uploaded soon!