How this site (and me) have changed since its inception in 2012. Loads of music has been uploaded, culminating in three short “releases”; Bucket of Tentacles (2013), Analogue (2014) and The Illicium Lure (2015). I’m very proud of what I managed to pull together as a “solo artist” since starting to learn the piano and its more than I ever really expected, but I developed a new passion, running, which I’ve gradually started sneaking into this blog. Like many things I’ve tried in life its become an all-consuming activity to the extent that there is no time for music and I unfortunately seem to have currently lost the desire. I go running, in the mud, instead and haven’t touched my piano since around April 2016.
I’ve really enjoyed blogging to this site, so I’ve been contemplating how to continue with a running theme, and have now set up an alternative blog at www.allhailthetrail.co.uk
For anyone interested in my running exploits then please have a visit and follow. Otherwise, thanks for following this blog and any comments along the way. I expect to continue uploading Bucket of Tentacles style photographs now and again and who knows, maybe some more squelchy synth noises and horror beats will re-appear.
Bucket of Tentacles is descending to the depths from where it emerged. For the moment…..
The title inspired by Morbid Angel’s Hatework, here is a very non metal track including samples of street performers around Manchester.
The geek details: I used a recording of the drunkards in The Unicorn in my last track, so I decided to do some more ‘field’ recording in the City. I used my phone to record clips of various street performers, so not great quality. The core of the track uses a couple of short loops from a live drummer in Piccadilly Gardens and then some “phat” dubstep style beat boxing recorded on Market St for the breakdown. The “radio” intro also features me, Hare Krishna chanting and buskers playing the piano and singing.
In the interests of throwing it all in, I’ve used sounds of bassoon, analogue synth (bass and lead), piano, koto, charang, organ, gang chanting plus some extra programmed drums. The whole thing was a bit of an experiment and might be a bit erratic, but hey, that’s the way I like it!
Hopefully I’ll record a couple of classical piano pieces I’ve been learning soon!
The Roland TR-8 encourages ‘performance’ control i.e. making changes and sounds to beats as you record rather than editing after, so I thought I’d try and get a quick “improv” done – here it is, just a single take of drums edited on the go and a few synth tracks unrolled over the top! I’m hoping to get some “proper” tracks up and recorded soon as well as a classical piece I’m learning in my lessons (which will be tough work!), so watch this space.
The tale of being…… well……. messed up.
The boring stuff: A track mere days after the last one? That’s right, in stark contrast to my last effort, yesterday this was turn on the gear and GO, write/play/record and mix in a few hours. I’ve just added another track and re-mixed today, and in anti-perfectionist mode, that is how its staying. Mainly using my new Arturia Microbrute (drums on a Roland TR-8) this is lots of dirty analogue noise, and a bit of frantic energy. I have no idea why but I kept thinking of the classic 80s Sega game Space Harrier. Megadrive on ebay anyone?
Welcome to 2015.
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.
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 🙂
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:
Natural equilibrium restored…….
Part 3 – System Re-boot
will be left
Or bone rots
(Poem kindly used courtesy of Jon Adams @soundcube whose Twitter poems, other tweets and shares I very much enjoy).
(There may very well be a remix of this track with some additional collaboration, lyrics and guitar. So watch this space)
Some information on this series of tunes HERE
Geek Info: Sticking with the theme of “Get the F on with it”, this is another piece developed from a very quick idea over the weekend. Only two bits of kit used – all the synth sounds from the Novation Mininova and all drums from the …. *electronic drum roll*……. Roland TR-8. which is a fantastic drum machine modelled on the original TR808. I almost said “analogue drum machine” but its not – Its using the very best of modern technology to make it sound like something old. There must be some logic in there somewhere!
I’ve also been trying to do some painting recently. Not much time to dedicate to it, but I’ve followed a beginners book and did the classic bowl of fruit yesterday. Following a guide really showed me how little I know about painting, but it was incredibly enjoyable. The new “painting” area of the blog HERE