Blog Archives

Fleuve Parasseux

Time to get back to the roots of this blog and get some music up! Here is my latest offering – “Fleuve Parasseux”

River

Fleuve Parasseux:

What’s that rubbish picture I hear you say?  Its a river of course, but I have taken the liberty of inconveniencing a few electrons and altered it using the free image “glitching” website available HERE

I love that we have access to fantastic technology, but then try and mess things up so that pictures look old, retro, faded and “glitched” or produce music then distort it to make it sound like its on tape, or add record scratches etc. Why do we strive for perfection and then try and quickly get away from it?

The track itself started as a piano piece which I recorded and then developed all the other parts around it.  Whilst uncharacteristically “nice” for the most part, I tried to add my own “glitch”.

New EP coming very soon including a collection of tracks from this blog, a couple of new “interludes” and an older track with new vocals all over it (not by me thankfully!)

 

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Sombrero Sam (Piano Lesson)

The latest of my piano lesson pieces, but rather than use a piano sound, I split the keyboard into bass and electric piano (which I’m really enjoying the sound of at the moment even though its a bit “gritty”) and just went for it, along with the solo section.  Mistakes a’plenty but its being uploaded anyway.  I’m also learning a very trimmed down/basic version of Clair De Lune which I hope to record soon.  Whilst I know the piece, I’m not “familiar” with it, so Daria (piano teacher) played it to me at my last lesson.  Aside from the fantastic playing, it made me think how can anyone write that! Truly amazing and puts my usual throbs and squeaky electronic sounds firmly in their place.  I sometimes find it hard to strike a balance between listening to incredible music and taking it as inspiring, or making me want to quit as I can never be that good.  But onwards I shall go.

Learnt from ABRSM Jazz Piano Pieces Grade 3:

Sombrero Sam (Charles Lloyd arr. Will Micheal)

 

Wetwork (A prelude)

I decided to see what I could write, play, record, mix and post in an afternoon, and here it is.  Most of my recent pieces have been veering along a dance/electronic path, so I tried to stick with more traditional instruments here.  The name? The main rhythm is something I used for the song “Wetwork” in the metal band “…and fate was foolish”.  The song was about… er…. murder, so this is the soundtrack before those horrific events occurred.

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Wetwork (a prelude)

 

 

Lowdown Live

GIG PIC 1

I trundled down to Birmingham last weekend, Cajon strapped to my back (very useful as a seat when waiting around) for a gig with “The Lowdown”.  I posted the songs we recorded back in August HERE before I moved and since then they’ve carried on rehearsing (having beers and chatting) and have come up with a new set.  So eight months later I was sent the new songs, we had a very quick run through them on the stairwell of the Lamp Tavern in Dudley and on we went!

Pete, a long time friend and recent band member, had his gigging and guitar/vocal debut and it went really well.  I took along my Zoom R16 – the soundguy took a single feed from the desk straight into a mono-track so there wasn’t really much mixing I could do afterwards.  We only played five tracks and the soundguy forgot to send the guitar to the track for the first couple of tracks so i’m not going to post those.   Soooo……. here are three of them.  Much beer and sore head the following day to say the least….. folk’n’roll…….

I Don’t Know

Biding Time

Coming Home

Onto other things….. Part 3 of the bionic tentacle trilogy is currently being re-programmed and will be up sometime soon.  I’m still trying to juggle learning piano/recording/synthesis/software/drum programming/writing/theory/photography/drawing and spending too much time not doing any of it!

I’ve also added a links page HERE to just a few of the pages or places I enjoy, so check it out!

Blue Note

Strictly speaking this is a piano lesson piece, but rather than record it pure piano (mainly because I can’t play both hands together yet), I’ve added some sax, drums and bass.  Its taken from Alan Haughton’s “Rhythm and Rag” book.  Its great to play because the basslines are very James Bond.  The picture? It’s a shark….. because ……well …….er ……. they’re a little bit “James Bond” aren’t they? Also, its about time this blog got back to it’s slippery roots.

Blue Note (Alan Haughton)

SHark

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.

Lowdown

Just about squeezed in before i move, this is the first official “release”  by Lowdown.  Featuring Alistair Davies (Guitar/Vox), Mat Jamieson (Bass, Ukulele, backing vox), and Dan Stinton (me) on Cajon and other percussion.  All recorded live (with a few sneaky overdubs) on 15th June and mixed by me thereafter – it was a steep learning curve as I’m used to recording “line” instruments so suddenly having everything recorded via. mics is a whole new skill in itself.  I’m pretty pleased with the results though but have loads of “lessons learnt” for future projects.

Al/Mat > Its been really cool to do something not quite so noisy as our other bands.  They’ve all been great too of course – I am gutted that I can’t do it any more.  I’m sure there’ll be a few more jamming session to come….  I may also need some session musicians in future for the Bucket of Tentacles 🙂

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Coming Home

Two to Three

Wake Up Now

Bottles in the Bedroom

Million Memories

I apologise

Roxanne

Knocks and not the Breaks

Call off the Rescue

Here is a few pics of the recording session, all stolen from Mats Facebook page.

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Get on with the singing will ya!

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Backing vox sponsored by Carlsberg

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Psychedelic tambourine playing

 

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A jumble of wires – hoping its connected right

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Should have stood him on a thick book

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DJ Sticks in the house

RTBD

Roy1

Recently i found myself looking after a bearded dragon called Roy.  When faced with such a situation, there is only one appropriate course of action – record a quick d’n’b snippet in his honour.  So just for fun here it is!

The lyrics go…. “Roy the Bearded Dragon” 🙂

Tentillum 6

I had two short ideas for Tentacle 6 based on the same chord progression.  I did intend to develop them into a full piece (and may still do that), but thought i may as well toss them, still wriggling, into The Bucket.  I’m using these pieces to practice soloing, the one in 7/4 is interesting to stay in sync with, so the lead lines (as you can tell!) are off the cuff.  Such care and attention to detail also led me to mix them in approximately 10 minutes.  Perfectionist me…

Jellyfish edit1

Tentillum:

I’ve actually uploaded a far few musical snippets now, so I’ve also re-arranged The Bucket into some very broad categories.  I really just wanted to separate what are intended as full songs from those which are just quick rough and ready ideas.

 

Time for a Christmas song……

Christmas eve, been rapping all morning (along to the Executioners course), and done a bit of wrapping as well.  I thought it appropriate to upload a bit of a Christmas song,  but of course Bucket of Tentacles style.  You’re welcome to sing along for the first half and then MC along for the second!!

Christmas-Tree-WP

(Christmas tree decorations undertaken by VT)

Happy Christmas!

The tech specs:  Despite me promising never to buy any more gear, this track was recorded on a new Zoom R16.  Its looking like my old cymbals are going up for sale though to fund…….  The Zoom is a 16 track portable recorder, which can do 8 tracks simultaneously.  All tracks can be “mixed on the box” which is fantastic, or you can dump the audio direct into a DAW.  In this case, Cubase LE6 (light version of Cubase) that came with the Zoom.  So its all been a bit of a new experiment really to get me used to the new gear and software.  Just a note on the drums, I tried to find a “junglist” pattern in 3/4 but unsurprisingly haven’t got one, so banged this one out (on the keyboard) at half speed and sped it up – the wonders of modern technology eh?!  The main use of the Zoom will be to record the acoustic band i’m in (Lowdown) simply and quickly live.  But then have the audio on separate tracks just to get a better mix, so hopefully we’ll record an EP soon!