This post does what it says on the tin – a few snippets of noise and blurred pictures for the Squidren of BoT followers. First up a short snippet recorded direct onto my Korg Kross, so no mixing or editing, just play for a minute or so. I’ve started using some of these chord progressions for my next “proper” piece so watch this space.
Next up is a FreeSynth Improvisation, which means a few mins of random wobs and thrubs from a Volca Keys. I love the sounds you can extract from these, I just need to do something creative with it 🙂 It can be strangely hypnotic hunched over a little analogue device squeezing out random noises. Viktoria suggested I was communicating with Whales. But she might have meant Wales.
As this post is a bit of a mash-up, I also started (yesterday) trying to do some long(ish) exposure photography which seems all the rage at the moment. Camera in hand I wandered the streets of Manchester looking for things that were moving. I’m too stingy to buy a tripod so also had to try and find some kind of flat surface to rest the camera on (which severely limited composition), or attempt to stand very still which is pretty much impossible……. It was a learning experience, but I’m going to upload them anyway!
Alienesqe – I may admit to using Photoshop a little bit
Guess the bus number
Depressing shot, because its on my route to work!
The drummer almost ended up not being in the picture if he’d moved any faster!
Incredibly I’ve also started running, and have set up a page on this blog dedicated to it. Check it out HERE I’m currently training for the Stafford Half Marathon which will be a “fun” challenge.
The second ‘official’ release to crawl out of The Bucket. This is the collection of my favourite pieces since the first EP.
1. ゴジラ (Godzilla)
2. The Moth (M.C.)
3. Wetwork (A prelude)
4. Interlude (Casiotone)
5. I Malfunction
6. II Programme override
7. III System Re-boot
The Bucket of Tentacles has certainly moved on since its inception in June 2012. Back then I knew I wanted to try and record my own stuff but only playing drums left a serious shortfall for recording full tracks on my own, so I purchased a basic keyboard. This then led to piano lessons with the idea to track my progress on piano and upload a few snippets of ideas. This site has since morphed into a whole load of content from basic piano tracks, full tunes, photography and more recently some painting. I don’t think I ever expected really to have this much content!
Onto the EP…. I moved to Manchester City Centre in August 2013 and it has been a huge life change. Very busy at my new job and right in the thick of it in the Northern Quarter. Listening back to these tracks, there is a definite difference in style. I’m hoping more developed, but definitely more ‘electronic’, which is a big change from my rock/metal roots.
I like to think that my surroundings have affected the style. It all happens round here, from the arty, sometimes glamorous bars in the NQ nestled in between the old, derelict run down buildings, the homeless struggling along, but several clutching mobile phones (a reflection of todays society), the fabulous curry cafes for lunchtime indulgence and the surrounding areas affluent travelling in for over-the-top priced beers and cocktails. Insanely talented street art around Thomas Street, Stevenson square and surrounding areas, the canals and River Irwell stretching out covered in more basic tags and dereliction. The café culture sipping cappuccino (even outside when it ever stops raining), and the stream of photographers coming to get their arty fix with a myriad of subjects, and of course, the Common Burger….. mmmmmm…….. Its a far cry from the suburbs of Birmingham. Has city life affected brain and been forged into my musical style? I like to think so. Another factor is the current resurgence of analogue, using the Korg Volcas for those dirty analogue sounds along with other new dance orientated gear/ drum machines has opened up a new stream of ideas – hence the name of the EP.
I hope you enjoy these tracks, I have certainly enjoyed creating them along with all the photographs and drawings that have been uploaded along the way.
Dedicated to two acronyms; the NQ for where it was mainly dreamed up, and VT the soon to become wife who has put up with the endless repetition of track after track whilst mixing and listening back. Thank you both.
Hard copies available in the shop.
Back to how it used to be, just throwing up a couple of quick snippets and pictures! These were recorded a while ago whilst trying to learn how to use the audio recorder on my Korg Kross and I’d forgotten I’d even recorded anything. Just messing around, one take, one track after the other.
I’ve been following a blog by SliceofLondonLife who’s photos I really enjoy taken on the streets of London. Most of his/her (? the beauty of the internet!) shots are capturing a moment never to be repeated. I find that very appealing so I wandered round the local streets and took a few quick pics. I found myself a bit self conscious though pointing cameras at random strangers, so most of the shots ended up blurred or didn’t quite capture what I was after because I was rushing – lesson learnt for future trips! But here are a couple of them:
The Northern Quarter warming up early Saturday evening
Beermoth, quality beers, and a nice silhouette….
City View from Heaton Park
I’ve also joined Soundcloud, which seems to actually generate a few random hits! Check it out HERE
As the malfunction spreads, the struggle intensifies to bring control back to where it truly belongs……
Link to Part 1
I’ve recorded this piece over the weekend and have titled it ‘Reflections’ in relation to my other post earlier today on Remembrance Day.
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.
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!
2013 rolls around, and looking at my blog I couldn’t leave a Christmas tree picture as the last post as it’s the last thing anyone wants to see during the bleakness of January! So I needed a new year post!! Having time off work has been good to spend some time practising, messing around with a few new gadgets (gear page updated soon!), and generally eating and drinking too much. To help me get used to the user interface of the Zoom R16, I quickly recorded these two short pieces. Test 2 is me practicing “soloing” over a few chords, so is a bit sloppy, but it’s being uploaded anyway! Victoria also bought me some headphones for Christmas (Shure HD215) so it’s been good to play piano and listen to mixes through some better quality phones!
Listening back to the pieces I’ve uploaded since I started this blog in June last year, I can hear a definite quality difference in the recording and composition, often because some pieces i’ve uploaded i’ve spent far more time on as they have several instruments or sections, whereas others have been just a quick idea without too much behind them. For the New Year, I’m going to pull out the pieces i believe are “more complete” to hopefully pull together a selection of songs, and dare i say the word solo EP!
On new ideas, I have the beginnings of Tentacle 6 whirring around and I’d also like to record a few more piano lesson pieces sometime soon.
Resolutions? None…. Just keep practicing, playing, recording, messing about and inevitably buy different gear!
Here’s to a good year to everyone!
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 decorations undertaken by VT)
The tentacle octology slithers on as Part 5 rears its ugly head. Partly dedicated to the potential end-of-the-world “predicted” by the Mayan calendar the track is my audio depiction of before, during and after.
Tentacle 5 (Trecena)
Original drums recorded on vdrums, but I really didn’t like the way they sounded (i’ve been having problems getting a good recording from them and trying not to blame my playing), so I used a loop from the kaossilator and hacked it up to be in 5/4 time. All remaining recording from the Korg Microstation excluding the final piano section.