Archive for the Notes and Musings category

Grant

Grant’s Music Diary 13 May 2017

Ambient, Notes and Musings, Post Blog No Comment

This is an older track; made last year and never posted, for some reason I decided it wasn’t good enough but listening to it now I really like it. There are lots of tracks still sitting around; some unfinished, some not very good, some good but for one reason or another passed over and awaiting their time in the sun.

As it’s title suggests I have posted this to mark my 500th post on Soundcloud.

Who would’ve thought 2 years ago that I could be so prolific? Certainly not me.

It was the discovery of the iPad as a musical tool which sparked off this unexpected plethora of creativity and for that I am very grateful. It’s not that I have ever stopped wanting to be creative, that has been a constant desire all my life, but for some reason the iPhone and iPad was the platform that I needed to overcome my personal demons and to unleash those silent parts of myself that were consigned to dark, dusty and hidden corners.

The other essential ingredient of course was meeting my wonderful wife Lene without whose encouragement and support I could never have beaten back my demons long enough to make anything. The demons still come knocking from time to time of course but she is still there to help me, as I hope I am there to help her.

I am not sure when I will post here again.

It is time for me to revaluate my musical options and explore the different avenues open before me. There is still much to do but I now feel that I will be better served pursuing those avenues without the pressure to produce finished products on a regular basis. It’s just a slight adjustment of perspective I suppose.

Anyway thanks for watching and listening and reading and following my journey so far. This is not the end but merely a hiatus after which I hope to return stronger than ever.

Peace out Tracklings 🙂

Grant

Notice: I’m on Holidays!

Notes and Musings No Comment

Fear not Trackers the track-a-day will continue but I don’t know how often I’ll have internet access, so for the next three weeks postings may be intermittent.

Enjoy yourselves as I take advantage of Norwegian holiday times and spend three weeks in Australia!

Grant

Musing on Day 300 and Thank You All

Notes and Musings No Comment
Well, it is day 300 of this Track A Day odyssey. It feels like I’m almost finished though there are still 65 tracks to make. Whew!
I must admit to being a little tired and to more than once regretting embarking on this journey in the first place.
It has however been very useful to me, not least in helping me overcome my chronic procrastination problem (though I am still procrastinating on reading manuals), but also it has helped me focus on the sounds that I like and on the sort of tracks I would like to aim for in the future. That alone makes it a useful exercise and a successful venture in my book.
I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to my beautiful and wonderful wife Lene without whose love and support nothing at all would be possible.
Also a huge thank you to those few but intrepid souls who have been following this journey. Knowing that you are listening has provided much needed incentive and kept me going when things got hard.
Also thank you to the amazing people at the iPad Musicians Group on Facebook who have provided encouragement, friendship, knowledge, and above all fun.
We’re nearly there Trackers!
Big Big Thanks to all.
Love Grant.
Grant

Day 255: Monday 9 May 2016

Audio, EDM, Notes and Musings, Tracks No Comment

Misted:

I’m finding it very difficult to allocate time for track making at the moment. I can grab small amounts; 10 minutes here, 20 minutes there, a half hour, an hour at best. But this just isn’t enough to really dig into the music and make discoveries and pull something interesting out. I find that a 2 or 2-and-a-half hour block of time is the bare minimum for the creativity to have a chance to get firing, and preferably another similar sized block of time following a small break, and preferably a third a little later.

But even though I can’t dive deep (please excuse the mixed metaphors) on these busy days, I can always visit iMaschine or Alchemy and quickly get something. In fact I find it amazing just how quickly I can get results by playing around with these two apps.

I’m sure that other apps are every bit as good for this quick throwing together of stuff. But I haven’t had the time to explore them all properly: BeatHawk, Gadget, and iMPC Pro come immediately to mind out of the ones that I own.

Today’s track is from iMaschine. Assembled across 3 blocks of time through the day; 2 blocks of maybe 10 then 20 minutes to make the beat. Then another 20 minute block to jam it into AudioShare and assemble the pieces in Auria for extra arranging and adding a touch of Dedalus.

Of course improvements and refinements could be made but there is a pleasure to this quick way of working.

I hope the results can give pleasure too.

Peace out.

Grant

Day 233: Saturday 17 April 2016

Ambient, Audio, Notes and Musings, Soundscape, Tracks No Comment

Breaking My Shackles (With A Whisper):

An Ambient piece today. A simple almost minimal meditation on melancholy.

Two jams with Shoom combined in Auria along with two jams in Alchemy.

I’ve always enjoyed minimalism, in art as well as in music. The baroque annoys me with it’s obsessive busyness. My most profound experience of Art was standing in a room of Rothko’s; and Eno’s work has always attracted me, as have many of the ideas centred around Zen and the Japanese Tea Ceremony.

There are many ways to express and experience minimalism, and I have been thinking about and experimenting with the concept lately. Whether it be in shorter simpler pieces, or the more frequent use of silence, or the use of fewer elements.

Grant

Just a Quick Note

Notes and Musings No Comment

Hello guys and gals and non gender specific peeps, just a quick note to let you know that my beautiful wife and I will be away for the next few days and I’m not sure what the internet situation will be, so you may not hear from me till we get back.

But do not fear I will be taking my trusty iPad, so tracks will be made and posted on our return. Thanks of course to my supportive and long suffering wife (she truly is my better half),

As always thanks for listening and for your support.

Live long and prosper. Peace Out.

Love Grant

Grant

Day 205: Saturday 19 March 2016

Audio, Beatscape, Notes and Musings, Tracks No Comment

These Beta Blockers Are Making Me Thirsty:

A Beatscape.

I used iSpark for the beat and Addictive Synth for the bass. Recorded with AudioShare and arranged in Auria. Effects used on the drums are: Dedalus, Muckraker, Caramel, Emo Chorus, AUFX:Dub, Nebulizer, and Sliver.

The initial beat from iSpark was 27.25 bars long at 60 bpm, I recorded it into AudioShare and then recorded versions of it using the different effects; I tried others but only used the ones I’ve listed. That left me with the original beat and six effected versions, I loaded all seven into Auria and did a little panning and mixing of volumes. Then I did some cutting and pasting and arranging and muting until I had this composition sketched out.

Finally I turned to Addictive Synth for the bass arpeggio which I kept short and simple. Incorporating it into the mix required a little more arranging.

Musing:

It is difficult when making music like this to know when to stop or what else might be required, we have so much potential at our finger tips. For example I could have carried on adding sounds and parts to my hearts content. But it does feel finished to me, so I’ve left it here.

Of course part of the nature of this endeavour (posting one track each day) is that I must work quickly and I don’t have the luxury of excruciating over tracks and decisions. Which perhaps is leading me to a certain type of composition and a certain type of working.

There is something to be said for working quickly; hopefully it means I’m working from the heart and the gut, and not giving my misgivings and sense of inadequacy time to impose it’s usual dictatorship on my actions.

 

Grant

Musing & Bio… On Loving Bass

Grant's Bio, Notes and Musings No Comment

I am a Bass Player.

It’s a funny fact about myself. Like my love of black jelly beans, or my inability to learn Norwegian 🙂

But to me it is quite fundamental.

I am a Bass Player.

‘Hello my name is Grant and I am a Bass Player.’

Except (though it is a sort of addiction), it’s not a problem, but a strength. Or at least an interesting fact for me to recognise.

(segue alert)

I began my musical journey at 15 or 16 by learning Bob Dylan songs on a three quarter size guitar that my parents had given me when I was 6. Apparently my mum would lose me in the city and find me staring transfixed at the guitars in the window of the local music store. Unfortunately what my parents failed to recognise, or more likely they didn’t have the money to realise, was that I was staring at the beautiful hollow bodied electric guitars, with dreams of The Rolling Stones and The Beatles. It took two years for my parents to get around to music lessons (procrastination must run in families cause it’s a vice I too suffer); but again my dreams of musical coolness did not really include riding in the winter on my push bike, to an old lady whose house smelt of stale urine, to learn ‘Oh my Darling Clementine’. I only lasted a full term because my mum insisted that it was already paid for.

Anyway, by the time I was 15 I couldn’t hold back the desire to play. So long evening hours in my bedroom with Bob Dylan songbooks ensued. And eventually I was a guitarist in a couple of bands with high school friends at 19 or so.

BUT..

Life really began for me when I despaired of ever being able to play.

Looking back on it now I think this was my first severe depressive episode, though it wasn’t severe compared to what was to come (but that’s another story). Anyway, crippling self doubt and all that; I thought I was shit and I should just give up. But I decided to give it one last try; I had sometimes swapped instruments with the Bass Player in my first band and enjoyed it thoroughly, so I went into debt and got a bass and amp. In my mind this was it the final throw! If I can’t do this I’m giving up.

What a revelation!

After a false start or two I realised that this was what I was meant to be. The two instruments are superficially similar (after all the tuning is almost the same) but their roles are very different. The very fact of the register difference is crucial here. (A fact that was reinforced for me years later when I learned the mandolin). You are playing a very different instrument.

So… for eleven years or more I was almost exclusively a Bass Player. For a lot of that time I didn’t even own another instrument. I did flirt with my first Synth in there somewhere (but again that’s another story). I thought as a Bass Player, I breathed as a Bass Player, I dreamed as a Bass Player, I moved as a Bass Player…you get the idea.

Where was I going with this?

Oh yeah… bass lines have been creeping back into my music lately. I don’t even have a bass. I mean I own several but they are on the other side of the world. More and more I realise how much I miss my bass. A bass. Any bass.

Grant

Musing on Stuff and Supplementary Post

Ambient, Audio, Notes and Musings, Supplementary No Comment

I often make more than one track in a day, sometimes they are exploring different apps or different approaches. But often I think they must reflect my mood because they end up in the same place, or at least feeling like they belong together.

Todays post (Day 67) was a very minimal ambient piece made entirely with one patch in one synth and just played. Very much as I might play a guitar, no switching apps or collaging, just two notes interacting.

Which brings me to a thing that I have been musing about.

How much or how little is needed for a track? How simple can it be? How do we tell when something is finished? When it doesn’t need any more? Would spending more time on these things improve them? Is perfection necessary or just annoying and counter productive? Perhaps these are two different states of being?

These are some of the questions that I am probing with my ‘Year Of Posting’. But as yet I have no answers.

Your comments and ideas would be appreciated.

As an example I include a playlist of all yesterdays tracks. The first three are all made with one patch in CubeSynth and definitely belong together as minimalist pieces. The fourth went through a more complicated journey; CrystalSynthXT, Dedalus, FLUX:FX, TwistedWave, and Borderlands Granular (more like my usual mode of working though without the trip to Auria for collaging), and yet somehow it feels like it belongs here.

Anyway Peace out peeps.

Grant

Day 57: Supplementary Post

Ambient, Audio, Notes and Musings, Soundscape, Supplementary, Tracks No Comment

Perspective: A Drama In Three Parts:

Musing:

Each track I make is a journey; there are usually twists and turns (often wrong turns), there are decisions made, decisions rescinded, backflips, and surprises. I never know when I start where I’m going to end up.

Sometimes the result is close to the initial idea or intention. Sometimes the work takes on a life of it’s own and I have to hold on for dear life while it works itself out. Often I have nothing in mind, but just begin and try to keep myself alert for the possibilities and signs of life that unfold.

I am anthropomorphising I know. So be it.

The creative process does seem to be out of my control; but I’m too much an atheist to attribute it to spirits, or muses, or being receptive to some god or other. Perhaps it’s something to do with Freud’s Subconscious, or Jung’s Collective Subconscious, or perhaps I’m being all Zen, or attuning myself to the Tao. Whatever. Take your pick, or use your own metaphor. It’s great fun! It’s the stuff of life!

 

Anyway…takes a breath…

Todays track had three way stations on it’s journey, three moments of clarity, almost like shrines along a pilgrimage: one near the beginning, one in the middle, and one at the end. As it should be I suppose.

If you so choose, come journey with me.

The Tracks:

Part One is the original Beatscape that started it all.

Part Two is how I clothed the Beatscape but with the Beatscape removed.

Part Three is the resolution, the arrival, the conclusion.

Cube Synth, Patterning, iFretless Bass, Dedalus, Emo Chorus.

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