Some ‘new’ EC releases..

EC is releasing some songs which were recorded at the Royal Albert Hall in the very early 1990’s including full shows from the Blues, Rock and Orchestra nights.

I was at one of the Orchestra nights and seeing my musical idol on stage alongside the magnificent composer/conductor Michael Kamen as well as The National Philharmonic Orchestra, was incredible.

Anyhow, this is his version of the Bob Dylan classic Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door. It features Nathan East on bass/vocals, Greg Phillinganes on keyboards/vocals and Phil Collins on percussion/vocals.

5 a.m.

I awoke early this morning and galvanised by my ‘new’ direction, which is returning to my first love – writing, thereby leaving musical creation to those who know what they are doing, namely my good friend Sharine and her husband, I set about charting in words my daily life, seen through this newfound filter of peace and equilibrium.

I walked into the garden, set up my field recording equipment, placing it in a prime location to capture some early morning sounds. This is the result:-

These are the sounds from an English suburb. Recorded Thursday 18th May 2023 at around 5 a.m. GMT. It contains an overhead plane, the sound of a passing motor vehicle, a distant train whistle and birdsong as well as birds flapping their wings.

This is the scene:-

The Eucalyptus Tree which stretches up to the sky just to the right of centre in the image was cut down because the roots were going under the house and risked causing subsidence. It has grown back just as vigorously. 2 years ago, it was a stump. Last year it stood just 8 feet high. They grow at an alarming rate and this image more than adequately charts the power of nature. Mother Earth at her finest.

I made myself a cup of Masala Chai tea and listened to some Indian Chill music on YouTube which can be found HERE. Track 2 (Mystiqal – Vugh Gardens) I especially love. I made the tea in a teapot and added a splash of oat milk. It was delicious. This is the tea I was drinking:-

I have always felt a strong pull to India. I at one time considered converting to Hinduism. I am not a joiner though and besides by becoming Hindu, I would be creating a sense of the Other. I recently discovered a spiritual path called Omnism, which views all religions as containing inherent truths. I’m an Omnist.

I discovered a great website called Aporee which details field recordings from all over the world. I have always been fascinated by the idea of hearing from people all over the world. ‘Ordinary’ people just like me. Not celebrity types. Just regular folk going about their lives.

As a child I would do this by listening to obscure radio stations courtesy of my Dad’s long-wave radio. The idea that all of these people were out there blew my mind. Largely unheard by the masses yet captured in a fleeting moment. A raindrop in the totality of an ocean but containing the essence of that entire great sea in that one tiny drop.

Anyhow, I hope all of you reading this have a great day today. Peace.

New Guitar

I discovered a few days ago that a guitar was being discontinued because aside from the difference in head-stock shape, it’s the same guitar as another one which costs quite a bit more. It turns out that yes, the more expensive guitar is/was being made by them in their factory. Based on that, I took a punt and bought one.

It arrived today. The strings aren’t very good (too thin for my liking) and will need to be replaced but there the negatives end. What an amazing guitar and not just for the price either. Product details HERE.

Fazley Phynica FSST720 in Olympic White Electric Guitar.

It’s an HSS guitar (Humbucker pickup at the bridge, Single Coil in the middle, Single Coil in the neck position).

It features a basswood body, a maple neck, a roasted maple fingerboard with a 9.5″ radius. 2-point tremolo system with a floating bridge should you need to use the supplied tremolo arm, 22 frets, a bone nut and unbelievable for the money, a rolled fingerboard. The action is low without a trace of fret buzz and the intonation perfect. It plays like a dream. Due to the design of how the neck meets the body of the guitar, it has amazing upper fret access.

This is a guitar which punches well above its weight, which is extraordinary when I consider I paid £87.00 new for it. I cannot stop playing it. A quality instrument. I am well pleased.

The Way Is Revealed

Today’s musical project is an extended version of yesterday’s with the addition of a self-penned Haiku poem voiced using an online text-to-speech reader and the wise words of my beautiful boy cat, a.k.a. The Loyal and Handsome Prince.

Peace Be With You

I have been working on a piece of music today.

I don’t know how long I am going to involve myself in such projects. It may just be a whim, it may develop into something more. I don’t know.

Anyhow, I have entitled this short piece “Peace Be With You” and I hope it finds you well.

I found 2 audio files which are free to use, one an ambient soundscape and the other a keyboard track and then played acoustic guitar over the top, adjusting the levels of each track until I was happy. I am playing a Yamaha F310 acoustic guitar.

Cosmic Garden

This is my second foray into the world of putting sounds of nature with ambient music. I found a royalty-free piece of music and then paired it with the sounds of my garden, recorded early yesterday evening. I lowered the sound of the music a tad so the birds remain evident throughout and then made sure to add a fade in/out of the music at the beginning and end of the piece. Feel free to download if you so wish.

Ambient Field Recording Loop #1

This is my first foray into the world of ambient loops. The birds in the sound clip are from my garden, recorded via a handheld Sony dictation machine early this evening. I plan to buy a more effective field recording device shortly.

The strings were taken from a royalty-free loop website. I used another free online website to loop the loop (!) to fit with the duration of the audio file containing the garden birds. I then merged the 2 audio sources, before reducing the audio level of the string section so the birds can be more clearly heard.

I’ve kept things simple and I feel it works pretty well, considering it’s my first try at this type of thing. A Wood Pigeon can be heard flapping its wings within the birdsong audio file.

Image by Frauke Riether from Pixabay

Today’s Classic Album #1

For far too long now in the musical world, it seems to be about technical ability and/or style over an album or song’s merit. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy listening to musicians who are masters of their craft however when the music is no longer served, I find my interest waning.

Today’s album then is Santana – Abraxas from 1970. Already exceptional musicians who knew how to lay it down when needed however they are working towards something greater than themselves as individuals. They are each serving a grander idea as they journey to creative and artistic resolution.

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