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Cheesy 80s Keyboard Blues Sounds

I picked up a book from Oxfam recently, “Play it Again, Chester – Boogies, Rags and Blues for Piano”.  These are beginners pieces, so it was nice to be able to pick up a piece of music and learn it relatively quickly.  I’ve spent a bit of time during piano lessons on these too and have been meaning to record these for a while, but hadn’t got round to it.  What better to do on a bank holiday than waste some time recording on an 80s keyboard!  I took the old Casiotone 405 from the top of the wardrobe and recorded three of the pieces from the book.  I would hope it goes without saying that these are intentionally….. er……. crap sounding, with the old drums backing tracks.  I realise it may be difficult to tell the difference between these synth sounds and a real piano, electric guitar and organ 🙂

Merry Go Round

Here they are, cheesy tracks just for fun.  Play it again, Chester….. whoever you are.

Blue Waltz (Carol Barratt) 
Lazy Haze (Carol Barratt)
Navy Blues (Carol Barratt)

The keyboard they were recorded on:

Casio Polaroid

 

Casiotone and Piano Lessons

Three nuggets of noise for the price of one! As we meander into 2014 here are a few bits I’ve recorded today.  First up is just for fun, a piece completely recorded using a Casiotone 405, direct from 1983, complete with fake wood finish, loads of switches and dials and dodgy crackly outputs, but nevertheless still good fun to mess around with! I picked it up from Gumtree as a bit of keyboard history – see this great WordPress blog on Casio history HERE.  I set one of the auto beats (with A.V. – Accomp. Variation), played a few chords and then soloed over the top.  Cheesy I know! Vintage “synth” ….. 🙂

Fairground1

Casiotone:

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Also here are two piano pieces I’ve been playing in my lessons recently.  First up is Petite Petite by A. Goedicke.  The most difficult part of this one for me, apart from playing the correct notes, is making it exciting.  There [should be] a lot of dynamics and vibe to it, but it has been a bit of a struggle.  Here is my effort:

Petite Petite (A. Goedicke) 

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Second up is “Night journey” by Gurlitt.  Technically this shouldn’t be difficult, but (and this is where my problem is!) it needs a good control of pedal to sound right.  Being a drummer, I’ve spent years of big fat stomping with my right foot.  This recording shows I need to practice pedal more and more, it’s a big sustain mush at times.  I like the piece though and in the interests of throwing out a tentacle, here it is.

Night Journey (Gurlitt)

Lots more practice for me…..

Happy New Year to all!

Last Chance to See (Tentacle 8)

T8-pic

Last Chance to See (Tentacle 8)

I started this blog in June 2012 by uploading “tentacle 1” and mentioning that I may do an “octology”.  A year later and I have reached the final tentacle – Tentacle 8.  As it turns out, the octology didn’t work out as eight beautifully moulded and crafted soundscapes, but more a random kludgeon of pieces that happened to end up with a similar name.  Whilst I’ve been uploading plenty of other stuff in the last 12 months, I’ve reserved the “tentacles” for the slightly more warped side of my taste…… so, here is Tentacle 8 – completely inspired by the Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine book – Last Chance to See.  I would have loved to accompany this with a photo i’d taken of any of the animals in the book, but that rapidly becoming almost impossible  …….

All self-programmed drums this time, using the Drumkit from Hell samples from EZdrummer.  The rest is all from the Korg Microstation and my guttural growls.  I strong-armed Victoria into a couple of vocals at the end too 🙂 Thanks VT.  The last year has been a massive learning curve on so many things, piano, keyboard, melody, composition, mixing, music software, MIDI, even photography and picture editing, and a slight bit of drawing ….. so much more to learn 🙂