March 31, 2017
I have been playing guitar regularly again lately and am finding it hugely influential on the way I hear and think about music. Something essential of me comes to the fore when I physically play either guitar or bass; it’s present when I just use the iPad apps but seems to come to the surface when I hold these instruments, which after all I have spent countless hours and about 40 years playing (on and off).
Anyway Gadget has been updated with the possibility of adding audio tracks, both vocal and guitar, and I have been exploring the new options this opens up in app. Previously any tracks with guitar or vocals have been made in Auria which is certainly superior in sounds and options and versatility but having everything in Gadget makes it easy to sketch ideas etc in one place.
Probably the best option would be to import each track from Gadget to Auria for finishing but that is for another day. This track is all Gadget.
I began by jamming 7 tracks of guitar along to the drums, slowly building up the (admittedly simple) idea. The horns where also built up by playing the guitar, this time triggering the midi in Gadget by way of MIDI Guitar. This required quite a bit of editing because it wasn’t very accurate but I think yielded good results so I will continue to try this out. I tried singing the vocal but ran up against my inability to sing well, so I ended up doing it as a spoken word, just keeping the last bit of singing which is reasonably in tune and made a good backing I thought.
Anyway I’m really happy with this, I hope you enjoy it.
March 22, 2017
I discovered this track from Feb 2016 lying around in one of my folders and decided that I really like it. I was making a lot of Abstract Soundscapes at that time and I have been thinking about making more stuff along that vein.
One of the disadvantages of loving lots of different genres and styles is that I can never decide where to put my energies or what is truly me.
The basic assumption of course is that the music that I make will be better the more ‘authentically’ ‘me’ it is. The problem is that I’m not entirely sure where, or what, or if such an ‘authentic’ me might be found.
The concept of authenticity I often find problematic anyway; it’s usually used by people who want the power to define and limit others, have you noticed how the people who claim to be ‘keeping it real’, never actually are. Also, whatever it is that you are talking about, the closer you look at the boundaries between the authentic and the inauthentic the more grey areas you see, till everything becomes a blur and a blend.
So, if I look at the world and doubt the usefulness or the ‘truth’ of the concept how can I still apply that concept to myself. And if there isn’t an authentic me, what is there? An inauthentic me? Or is that a false dichotomy?
Ah the thoughts that pester…
March 15, 2017
Still feeling unsure of myself and my direction but I had a lot of fun today jamming this horn arrangement. Drums and bass set up in Gadget, just a repeated 4 bar thing, then 3 passes per 4 bar segment jamming along in a different octave each pass. I played the notes in with my Korg NanoStudio Keys controller.
So it’s not really an horn ‘arrangement’ as such. More a series of 4 bar jams arranged together (of course I did them with the intent that they go together).
Anyway it’s a really fun way to work so I think I’ll do some more and maybe refine as I go.
March 13, 2017
This last week has seen a few Gadget and iMaschine tracks plus quite a bit of guitar playing but I’m feeling lost again. This often happens after I finish something intense; in this case the FAWM series of tracks. I then seem to go through a rough patch filled with self doubt and ennui.
I wish that I new how people keep up the self confidence thing.
This piece sounds a little like how I feel at the moment: lost, uncertain, melancholy, slight panic with moments of calm. Made with iMaschine and Dedalus.
March 5, 2017
This is an addendum to yesterday’s Gadget fun. Here i’ve used iMaschine 2 to make a quick track (about 2 hours or so) and I’ve used the same vocal sample as yesterday plus adding some of my own guitar and a beat from my Teenage Engineering PO-12.
Typically I will sit down with a coffee after walking my dog first thing in the morning and make some music. If I’m feeling tired or uncertain I can just fire up one of these two apps and have a play…
March 4, 2017
I intend to carry on with the words and guitar experiments that I spent Feb pursuing and already have some new tracks building but I cannot express how much fun I have just sitting down with Gadget on my iPad and playing around, a track nearly always emerges…
February 28, 2017
The aim of FAWM is 14 songs in the month but I have stopped at 11. I am happy with this collection though and 11 songs is a pretty good album length I think.
I didn’t achieve my goal of writing in a more ‘song’ style because I just couldn’t get that to work. I have some unfinished bits but the whole spoken poem in a musical setting seems to work better for me. That’s a useful discovery anyway 🙂
My other goal of using more guitar in my iPad music has worked quite well though, I intend to keep that up.
Here is the final collection of songs which I feel makes a nice album. I hope you agree.
February 21, 2017
Well I’ve been beavering away this last week or so trying to write words that I can use, and trying to find aways to incorporate guitar into my iPad Soundscapes etc. Trying to find some ‘Songs’.
And largely failing in that endeavour. The song part of it anyway.
I have enjoyed trying to focus on writing words (which as I have mentioned before I find really difficult) and though I have mainly found poem/texty sort of Spoken Word things rather than ‘lyrics’ which might be sung, I do quite like the results.
I have also enjoyed reacquainting myself with my old guitar playing self and thinking about how differently I approach music through different instruments and techniques. As well as what that might mean in the long run.
I have 9 tracks so far with a few more coming up, so here is a link to the entire playlist so far, I hope you enjoy them.
February 14, 2017
Still struggling with this, words are so hard to come by. I’ve also been trying to bring guitar into things but it has been so long since I played regularly that it’s taking me some time to get comfortable with the instrument again. I think I’m starting to get there.
This track is just guitar and vocal. I improvised the guitar using BiasFX on my iPad and then added the spoken word in Auria.
February 9, 2017
I’m struggling with this. Number two is another spoken word set this time in an ambient soundscape which I hope suits it.
Words are difficult to get as usual and I want to experiment with more song type forms and with using guitar but I keep coming across barriers, sometimes technical and sometimes of my own making.
Oh well it feels like a learning experience so lets soldier on. I have two or three fragments building so hopefully I’ll have more soon.