July 8, 2006

Mike at ProgSfest 2004
Much more of a live favourite this time – although this is the original demo I put together. This is part of a much longer prog piece, unfortunately I couldn’t find the other parts on disk… time to hunt down the backups I guess…

Download Meltdown (6.4Mb)

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Why make music?

July 7, 2006

It’s a sad fact of life that if I want to get anyone to listen to any of my music, I’m going to have to do a bit more than just posting the files up here! Whether I like it or not, I guess everyone is a marketer in the blogging world, and self promotion is a necessary evil to raise the blog above the background noise.

So, in doing this, I got to thinking why do people make music (or I suppose more accurately why do I make music)?

Well, aside from the astronomically tiny chance that I’ll make a ton of cash, I (and most other people like me) claim to make music for their own enjoyment. I try and capture ideas and sounds that I would like to hear. In reality, that is only part of the reason. Whether or not anyone will admit it, there is a natural human desire to connect with other people and music is a pretty good medium to do that. The thought that someone else gets pleasure from, or experiences on an emotional lever the feeling of a piece is a strong motivator – it gives meaning and purpose to the otherwise seemingly non-productive task of producing noise.

Anyone who has experienced the awesome buzz of performing in front of an appreciative audience will understand the emotion. A great gig is a two-way conversation between the band and the audience – each side can move the other to greater heights on an emotional wave.

Although in a recording you lose that direct link with the audience, I still think that conversation is somewhere in the back of most performers minds. A little thought that is imagining what it would be like to hear the track for the first time as part of the symbiotic performer/audience collective.

I don’t really know how many of my tracks work on that level. Most of the ones I have gigged have gone through a period of organic change in response to audience reaction and now sound very different to the form they are presented here – in particular, the songs that start life as a solo studio project tend to evolve further as real musicians play them and impart their own character and viewpoint to the conversation.

So although I originally started this blog as somewhere to publish my tracks, the more I think about it, the more I am convinced that I have to try and start up that great conversation again. Allow the feedback of the audience to influence the performance. In time I will be re-working some tracks, dropping others and sharing ideas with other lone performers to create a collective work that is greater than the original idea.

What you see here therefore is the embrionic idea – the feedback isn’t as immediate as with a gig, but this Great Gig in the Web has the potential to offer just as much enjoyment.

For both performer, and audience.

Todays track: Download “Troubadours and Fairytales”

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Still off sick

July 4, 2006

I’m going back to work tomorrow, but I was listening to a load more old tunes today (TV is still complete rubbish) and I came across the stuff I did when I first got into electronica.

In general, I’m a bit of a genre chameleon – there’s not a lot of styles of music I don’t like and these aren’t particularly representative of most of my stuff. These tracks are a couple of synth/sample based tunes I wrote for an abortive video project a friend of mine was working on. Gathering dust now, but available for your listening pleasure!

Download Headrush (MP3 – 6.4Mb)

Download Minority Report (MP3 – 6.6Mb)

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Forever Innocent

July 4, 2006

I wrote this song to perform at the funeral of our 9 year old nephew who died earlier this year in a tragic accident – for some reason, the whole thing came together in an afternoon, with none of the issues that I normally encounter when writing/recording. It just goes to show that sometimes simplicity is best.

It was one of the hardest performances I have ever had to do – I was unable to look at anyone in the room whilst singing, and to be honest I haven’t been able to listen to it since.

Forever Innocent (MP3, 6.7Mb)

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Trawling the past

July 3, 2006

Me in Galahad at ProgSfestAs the TV was so utterly shite today, I’ve spent a couple of hours wandering through my old music. It’s unbelievable how many tracks I’ve got – although to be completely honest I never really considered any of them “finished”.

Anyway, rather than letting these songs and ideas rot, I’ve decided to post them here over the next few weeks. Hopefully someone will like them, if you do, then please link back here as I’ve no idea how else I’ll get people to listen!


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20 Years

July 3, 2006

me and scrapI wrote and recorded this track quite a while ago now, but just listened to it again for the first time in ages. I’m still pretty pleased with it, particularly the solo.

Have a listen.

Download 20 years.mp3 (6.1Mb)

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