I have been getting into music tech in a big way. We have bought cables and boxes and more cables and boxes! And a midi controller. And I have been studying Ableton, a great DAW for composition.
But today – a frosty day in January, none of the kit was working for my ears or my soul! The kit couldn’t capture the sound of my keyboard in my dining-room on a frosty day. It kept changing it and containing it and perfecting it. And I wasn’t going to have any of it!
So . . . I recorded myself playing the accompaniment on my good old keyboard and I then recorded myself playing the tune over the top on my good old camera! And now you can hear me playing my keyboard in my dining-room on a frosty day!
This is Silent Night as you have never heard it before. My looper pedal just kept surprising me as I built up the layers. I know there are a few wrong notes but it was very exciting. I felt as if my room was being filled with violin players! I could do another take but would never be able to capture the moment again. If you get through the first half you will get to hear the country twist. Hope it makes you smile!
Hi, May is an amazing month for me. The light just feels a whole lot better than any other time of the year. It is just bright enough for me to still be able to perceive some of the red and orange light from winter but not too bright so that the blue of mid summer dominates and drains the colours. And it makes me feel like opening my heart wide. I hope you enjoy my loop.
As someone who would naturally want to shy away from the brighter light days, and for me that tends to start in the middle of February, I am learning to embrace them because it is on these days that I am my most creative!
Hi, It is 5th December and only 16 days from the winter solstice. I am seeing more red and orange light and this is making me feel a bit stodgy – sort of overly grounded if that is possible! I am also not at my most connected and I am a bit outspoken!
Today though I encountered my friend – the violet light – and this makes everything different. It really disturbs the green of the grass to me but it makes me more quick thinking and gets my creative juices flowing. When you combine it with the red and orange it is an interesting combination of feeling grounded yet full of expression and ideas. it is quite special really and when it comes to music I enjoy lots of conflicting rhythms bouncing off each other and so have created December Funk for you to enjoy.
Today I woke to the sort of cloud where you wonder what has happened to the colours. The tiles on the garage seemed blacker than usual; the bricks on the houses seemed paler than usual. I could feel this sense of imbalance right through me.
I tried to take solace in my computer screen and do a little internet shopping but the more I scrolled the worse I felt. I became quickly hot and agitated. I then thought of my kitchen cupboard sorting I had started the other day and thought it could be a good day to finish that but I took one look at the dull yellow of the pasta in its new jar and thought ‘No, that isn’t going to work either!’
Ruling activities out, I guessed it may be a day for music making. This way I don’t have to confront colour – only musical colour. Having rigged up my guitar, looper pedal and a massive network of cables (or so it felt!) I started to play a poignant chord progression. It felt right for the cloud. Once recorded, I started to play my tune over the top. It seemed too quiet so I fiddled with the volumes. I felt the volume was right but somehow now the resonance of the guitar had started to rattle me and so I had to turn it down again.
The loop I ended up with may not be the clearest most balanced loop but it is the loop that matches my feelings about the cloud so it was the only one I could create today!
My eleven year old son is even more light and colour sensitive than me. He has been saying that he ‘can’t do’ music for a few years now because of the pattern and the sound. I have continued on my own musical journey without my kindred spirit by my side for 3 years, hoping that he may feel my passion and change his mind.
When I bought my looper pedal, 3 months ago, he wan’t that impressed and said he didn’t want to try it out. I continued to make my loops and sing the praises of my looper pedal and yesterday he started to ask me about it. The more I told him the more interested he was! He started to talk about pitch and tone and sound quality And then today he was insistent that he helped me create some recordings. He is such an intelligent boy and could see potential that I couldn’t see in the pedal. He inspired me to explore the presets on my new amplifier and managed to identify the battery flat symbol which would have confounded me for hours had he not!
I could see the cogs in my son’s brain whirring as he helped. He doesn’t ‘get’ Blues like me. It feels too much clutter. I could see him trying to work out how he could access music in a way that feels right to him and I feel deeply touched to witness this.
I went on to create my loop that has the most feeling so far – ‘Lost in the Colours’. For a moment as i created it, I forgot about my issues with the colour and the light and was just lost in the layers and the colours!