Archive for the Notes and Musings category


Musing On Genres

Notes and Musings No Comment
I’ve never gotten my head around the plethora of genres and styles of electronic music; there just seems to be so many. In fact when genres are mentioned I usually have to go and look them up (Thank the gods and goddesses for the internet).
Actually I’ve always had trouble placing the music that I make in any particular niche. I’ve never been a blues guy, or a country guy, or a metal guy, or a reggae guy, though I’ve touched on those genres from time to time, I’ve never really lived within any genre.
But now that I’m using my iPad to make largely electronica music i.e. clearly synth and sampler based, I really feel the need to arrive at some definitions (if only in my own head), for the landscape of sound that I’m moving in.

And that is how I feel about music making, that each song or instrumental piece is a landscape that we are moving through.

So there is a landscape and a journey.

A landscape and a narrative.

A landscape and a mood.

Which leads me to my personal take on genres; its not comprehensive and its open to change, and it probably doesn’t apply to anyone else, but it is how my head is working at the moment, as I think about and make music.

When I make these landscapes, these Soundscapes, there is often no identifiable sounds, no reference to real world instruments or objects, I think of these pieces or elements as Abstract much like abstract paintings (which I make).

At the most they may contain some drones. If a piece is largely drone like I think of it as a Dronescape.
If it has more synthy, pad like sounds emerging and disappearing, more ‘notes’ in other words even if no exact harmony, I think of it as Ambient.
So, so far I have Abstract Soundscape and Ambient Soundscape.
Then sometimes drum beats appear. Perhaps as one element in the landscape, one of  the things encountered on the journey; but sometimes as the major element.
In fact sometimes the drumbeat becomes the landscape that the other sounds exist within. Thus we have the Beatscape.
And that is the little world of music that I’ve been living in lately, and it explains my categories in this blog.
Now I’m aware that there is more to music than that. There is more to my music than that.
I can feel the urge to pick up my guitar again, and I’m wondering more and more about returning to some sort of song form, and how I might be able to incorporate those elements into my landscapes.
But I guess thats what this year is about: how to explore these abstractions and ambiences, these soundscapes and beatscapes, and how to include field recordings, found sounds, words, songs, instruments, voices, and whatever else comes to mind.
Cheers, and thanks for listening to my ramblings.

App Of The Week

Notes and Musings No Comment
I loath manuals. I hate them. My antipathy is visceral, I can feel it like a hard knot in my gut. So therefore, for good or ill, I never read the things. I like to open an app or a program and leap straight in.
Of course this can have mixed results. Sometimes it’s fine, almost freeing; especially with simpler apps or ones that just ‘gel’ for you. But some apps are just so deep and complicated that this approach does’t get you very far, in fact it can be downright useless. And sometimes you can have results with an app while still missing half it’s capabilities and pleasures.
So I have decided to choose an App Of The Week, to really investigate and come to grips with. Note that I may choose longer or shorter periods of time depending on the app, I’m not going to tie myself in knots over the ‘week’ idea. I’ve got enough pressure with this track a day thing 🙂
My first App Of The Week will be Addictive Synth.
This is one of those apps that I just loved from the first time I tried it; if you’ve been reading my track descriptions you will have seen it’s name pop up regularly. But it’s been so easy for me to find sounds I love in it that I’ve only brushed the surface, and it’s time to dig in deep and see what I find.
I’m thinking that I’ll report back when I reach some conclusions.

Oh By The Way

Notes and Musings No Comment

It took me till day 19 of my ‘Year Of Posting’ to sort out wordpress etc and get this blog idea running; hence the first days are being posted over a day or two while I catch up.

But don’t worry, I’ll maintain my track making in the meantime 🙂


What To Expect Here: guidelines not rules

Notes and Musings No Comment

1- I begin my ‘Year of Posting’ with a group of tracks all made entirely on my iPad or iPhone, and I may do that all year. But I’m not sure how things will develop; as I explore my music world I may move to guitar, or keyboard, or hardware synths, or spoken word, or Ableton and Logic on my laptop, or something else entirely, or a combination of the above.

Who knows.

2- I begin the year with a series of tracks with videos from my YouTube page. I probably won’t have time to do that every day, so I may move to some audio only.

We’ll just have to see how it goes.

I find that the process of putting together a video helps me listen to a track in a different way; so it’s a process I enjoy and find useful.


Who Am I? A short bio

Grant's Bio, Notes and Musings No Comment

I am a 54 year old bass player and guitarist, who began playing Post Punk in 1982, having played in several bands over the years since then. Though never more than semi professionally.

I have tried my hand at several other instruments in that time including keyboard, percussion, and mandolin but I claim no real competence on those.

In 1999 I set up a little home studio but always struggled to produce anything; somehow being daunted by the scale of the task.

This year however has seen me embrace music making on the iPad.

Something about the all in one interface, the carry it everywhereness, the sheer versatility of sounds available, has freed me from my inhibitions and allowed me to embrace music making again.



A track a day for a year, are you insane?

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By challenging myself this way I hope to:

-Overcome my chronic procrastination

-Concentrate my thoughts and feelings about what music I want to and/or can produce

-Share my journey and my pain to anyone who is interested or is on the same path.

To anyone who does want to journey with me; welcome, I hope we have some fun and learn some stuff.



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