Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Sound Art Experiment number 10

bloody hell!

well, according to my soundcloud profile, it has been 7 whole months since i graced you good people with any new music, and over a year has passed since the last SoundArt was completed.

considering that the SoundArt project was supposed to be completed within just one year, twelve tracks, one a month since december 2008, this is extremely bad form on my part...

regardless, it is here now, and it almost wasn't here now since i had considered mucking around with it a little longer, but enough is enough, it is ready (to some degree) and therefore i saw fit to debut it over at the byford family blog along with our other creative outputs

when i was given the artwork to create a track for, i originally intended to compose it in the ipad that i had not yet purchased yet had been planning to as soon as the latest model launched, i think it may eventually been march when they finally chose to launch the new model, and then a handful more weeks until i got hold of it, and then a few months where i pretty much messed aroud with it and read comics off it and only glanced at the music apps once in a while to make a little bit of noise and then return to facebook or twitter

the plan was that the ipad would be my idea station, a one stop shop where i could plot out and compose my music and elevate myself to the level of Labrynth and Calvin Harris, heck, things ain't over yet, but so far... so quiet

and yes, the SoundArt that i thought would be composed entirely on an ipad turned out to be an entirely different first for me, it certainly was entirely mixed on an ipad, but only the violin sound that opens the track is courtesy of garageband, the rest is entirely me, albeit recorded into garageband and then manipulated

it is infact the first track that i have ever composed on guitar (yes, i realise it is probably out of tune), played by myself, with lyrics written by myself, and consequently sung by myself (not very well, hence the massive amount of effects layered upon it) and although i originally believed 'Teenaging' to be my first ever song, and although i sung on my cover of the xx's 'VCR' i think i may actually have to retroactivelly adjust my own history to consider SoundArt10 my first ever song, heck, it features me playin three chords on a guitar, so it's gotta be.... right


the first thought when i saw the art provided by my brother was to write something poetic on needing a sidekick, and from there the idea developed to be influenced by that famous little bit of writing about God and the footsteps in the sand, and then went on to be something slightly less religious, yet remaining completely true to my original inspirations depending on how you choose to hear it

and here it is, to hear, whether there is someone by your side or not.....

Monday, 22 October 2012

Saul searching, part three

much like the sold out spoken word set at Bardens Boudoir, Saul Williams gigs tend to be the type of things that you find out about too late to actually be able to get a ticket, on numerous occasions I have been left in the dark and left ticketless when Saul comes to town.

to date, there has only been one time that I have witnessed a Saul Williams gig.

promoting the 'honesty box' style released Niggy Tardust album, Saul Williams swang by the Scala in Kings Cross, resplendent in coloured feathers nestling in his hair like an Indian head-dress, glittering and face painted, like a black Bowie beamed to the U.S of A via Mars.

I had played the new album over and over, and the force of nature that blasted through Kings Cross prompted me to further into his back catalogue, and follow the motions and movements of the man they called Black Stacey, and yet still I found myself hearing about gigs in the years since always too late.

I think after his stint at Cargo, supported by Dan Le Sac and Scroobius Pip that I had not caught wind of until the night itself that I figured following Saul Williams on twitter may be sensible.

and via twitter Saul William spread word of a new project of his, a literary project, a literary mixtape that he would be looking for contributors to.

that literary mixtape is now published, with my own poetry included.

and that was a strange journey, through drum and bass tracks and minidisc recordings and missed gigs and odes to alcoholic spirits that has lead to the point I am at today.

did it require three rambling blog posts, who knows.

did it take three rambling blog posts, yes.

will normal service be resumed now....

what counts as normal around here?

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

the recording studio

working on the next installment in the much delayed SoundArt series, that is thankfully now taking shape and hopefully shouldn't keep you waiting too much longer

originally shared on Byford365

Posted via DraftCraft app

Saul searching, part two

read part one of Saul searching here

finally, the Internet age was upon us, and was integral in the shaping of musical scenes, new music was now just a click away on MySpace and it was possible to connect directly with an audience.

one of my many, many, many musical discoveries was an Oxford based band called This Town Needs Guns (and yes, it is true, I often did choose who to listen to based on how entertained I was by their name) whose 7” vinyl I bought and whose t-shirt I still wear.

it was via a MySpace bulletin that I found out that This Town Needs Guns would be supporting Saul Williams at a spoken word set at Bardens Boudoir in Stoke Newington and I was full of excitement as me and my best friend that I had dragged along descended into the decadent basement venue, grabbing a loose flyer as we paid our entry fees on the way in.

we watched a couple of rather oddball acts, one involving fast forwarding and rewinding a dictaphone, both very unique, I looked at the flyer and presumed that one of them must have been Cats And Cats And Cats, perhaps I'd check out their myspace... but I wasn't sure who the other guys had been... and then the crippling truth hit me, and hurt me, that we were actually a day late for the Saul Williams date.

I felt pretty stupid, and bloody disappointed, and I cursed myself for not even being stupid enough to have been a day early, at least that way I could still come back the next day, but until I finally invent my time machine I'm just gonna have to live with my silly mistake.

thankfully our paths would cross later in life, and I would actually turn up on the right day for a Saul Williams gig, but who would have thought that missing Saul William's evening of poetry so narrowly, I would be included in his poetry anthology and actually be invited to join him on stage as his latest spoken word tour hits the road.

(except so far it has only hit the United States, I'm keeping my fingers firmly crossed for an English tour)

Monday, 8 October 2012

Saul searching.... part one

so what has lead me to the point that I am at today?

it certainly is a strange and twisted journey.

I guess it starts with xfm maybe? possibly The Remix show? I can't really remember now

but I heard Krust's Coded Language and it was like nothing else I had ever heard, a high tempo piece of warped industrial electronica that appealed to my tastes for music to be a little different, to challenge my expectations of what music could be, and all of this was heightened by the commanding VCR performance that graced the track.

it was poetry like I had never ever heard it before, a delivery that wasn't quite rapping, and it was this inclusion of spoken word overlaid atop a pulsing breakbeat that blew my mind.

I presume I must have picked up the single from one of a number of nonexistent record shops that had previously flourished in central London, it would go on to feature on the first ever (poorly) mixed DJ set that I ever recorded alongside my other left field musical choices and Coded Language remains a benchmark moment in my love of music, arriving at a time when I was straying from the mainstream and working harder to find what I truly loved.

my next experience of Saul Williams was purely accidental, as my taste for the more obscure, delving into up and coming music, led me to record Steve Lamacq's 'Lamaqc Live' on a Monday night and then listen back to it on my minidisc player (yes, minidisc player) on my journeys to and from work... Saul was not featured on this show, but as I would set my stereo to over run (a trick I had learnt from my mum when he wildest the video to record something off the telly) I had caught a little of Mary Ann Hobb's even further out there Breezeblock show, on which Saul would be appearing as Mary Ann Hobb's sung his praises, talking of his slam poetry.

this was a time when I did not have proper Internet access (we really are getting quite throwback here, with music stores, minidiscs, vcrs and lack of Internet) so to hear the name Saul Williams again was a revelation to me, it was a name I had not forgotten, and a name I was eager to hear more from....

but it would be a few years until the name would once again present itself to me....

ok, before this tale gets too tall, I have decided to split it down the middle for the sake of those with short attention spans....