Time to get back to the roots of this blog and get some music up! Here is my latest offering – “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!)
Time off work means being able to throw some noise into the internet, so here it is.
My last “batch” of recordings were predominantly electronic-sounding so I’m trying to explore fusing some more natural parts with dirty synth. This has been slow going and only has a couple of sections, but with very limited time its been a track of bass one week, followed by the drums the next etc. I will certainly have to pull my finger out if I’m going to get a third EP out sometime in 2015….. For the music theory dorks, I’ve been messing around with ‘passing’ chords which is a technique to move from chord to chord by adding a bit of smokey jazz into the equation. As an example, rather than jumping straight from Gm to Cm, the in-between chord is Baug with a Db bass note. I use this technique a few times on this piece.
The pic? A warped photo of northern Fuerteventura with Lobos in the background……
Also here is a basic version of Clair De Lune I have been playing in my lessons. Whilst much “easier” than the full version, getting it to sound smooth and ‘romantic’ is another matter (especially when you’re a “metal” drummer at heart) and I’m not there yet but here it is anyway.
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
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!
A piano lesson piece from “Jazz Piano Pieces Grade 3” – A Spanish Sketch by Terry Seabrook. I tried this ages ago but gave up after a while, so I’ve tried again – and its still a struggle now, especially trying to get the solo section flowing with the piece – more improvisation practice required. With the Spanish vibe, definitely one of my favourite pieces I’ve learnt.
A Spanish Sketch (T. Seabrook)
Both pictures from Alcalali in Spain. The second one is during a yearly festival, where around midnight everyone from little kids to the elderly are partying in the street until the very early hours. I think we lasted till 1am…. 🙂
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 🙂
Two to Three
Wake Up Now
Bottles in the Bedroom
Knocks and not the Breaks
Call off the Rescue
Here is a few pics of the recording session, all stolen from Mats Facebook page.
Get on with the singing will ya!
Backing vox sponsored by Carlsberg
Psychedelic tambourine playing
A jumble of wires – hoping its connected right
Should have stood him on a thick book
DJ Sticks in the house
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!
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).
(A cajon without a pilot)
Unbelievably its now been a year since I started playing piano so whilst I should be trying to demonstrate my new found skills, instead I recorded this track. A few simple chords, but I like the vibe to it. It’s a “Korg-fest” as everything here is done on the Kaossilator and Microstation. It actually started of from a bit of a mess around on the Kaossilater, so as usual, there was no plan and the track just sort of evolved. I really should try and write before starting to record!
Here is another very short 1 bar loop done on the Kaossilator. Its so quick and easy to create short parts on it in an almost random fashion, and i quite like the intensity of this one.
Had the lads round the other day to do a bit of recording (i.e. have a few beers). We tried a “proper” recording layering the separate tracks and whilst the sound quality is slightly better it lost all of its vibe. So we stuck a mic in the corner of the room and just went for it. Nothing is too loud so it tends to work quite well. Back to basics with vocals, acoustic guitar, bass, cajon
So here they are! All songs written by Alistair Davis, I can only claim credit for hitting a box. Sometimes in time.
Bottles in the Bedroom
Call Off the Rescue
Wake Up Now