Tags: album, assembly, Auto, cachebuster, computer, cover, creativity, Cscript, Draft, era, freeshipping, galore, kaleidescope, Math, objects of desire, peak, pop, pop charts, posibilities, rick wakeman, six wives of henry viii, Synthetic, Synths, tier, type, vintage keys, vintage synthesizers, vintage synths, wives of henry viii
It’s probably not much of a secret to those who know me that I love vintage synthesizers. I used to gaze in awe at images of stars like Rick Wakeman and Vangelis surrounded by tier upon tier of glorious synthesizers. I picked up brochures of the wondrous objects of desire and even managed to work out what each knob did by relating the sounds I heard to the descriptions in the brochures. Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: about, Auto, call, classic history, client, coherent sentence, composer, countryside, Crucible, Cuckoo, cukoo, Day, Draft, english countryside, fantasia on a theme, female spy, full orchestra, guises, height, hennegan, life, man version, music lights, param, performance, production, sci fi tv, series, sound fx, spy, vaughan williams, voice, williams music, wot
I’ve had various guises in my life and one of them was/is as a composer. I’ve written loads of tracks for tv and theatre productions – some I’m proud of others, and I’d rather forget about- but hey, that’s the lot of a jobbing composer. Most had to be written, arranged and recorded with ludicrously short deadlines but I coped and never missed them. Below are few pieces that stick in my mind:
This piece was commissioned by a production company to accompany a video about the English countryside. The client had asked if they could get some music that sounded a bit “Vaughan Williams”. Ok, Vaughan Williams was a genius and normally had a full orchestra to compose for, but I was up for it… Just one catch… the commission reached me at5pm and it was required for an edit starting at 8am the next morning – gulp. I sat down at my trusty keyboards and Atari 1040st running Notator (it’ll mean something to the techies!)and summoned up my recollection of Vaughan Williams music, – The Lark Ascending, Greensleeves, Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis etc. I started composing and within 3 hours I’d composed, arranged and recorded a 4 minute piece. Unfortunately, I’d got so engrossed in the process, I forgot to save it and, sure enough, the computer crashed and wiped out everything. I didn’t panic.. much, so I sat down and did it all again. The following morning I arrived at the studios, on time, with the tape including the main theme and a variety of 30 and 5 second stings. The client was delighted, the producer astonished and me barely able to string a coherent sentence together. I went home and slept. Ah, the joys of freelance composing! Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: abortive attempt, amateur dramatics, amateur productions, amateur theatre, artistic skills, attempt, aunt sally, Auto, battle of agincourt, Billesly Pub, Birmingham, brmb, Draft, Edinburgh, electrical store, hennegan, henry v, idea, imagination, Lion of England, MAC, Maverick, Maverick Theatre, Nick Hennegan, Part, place, production, promotions company, radio jock, show, time, time girlfriend, version
Never one to say no to the sniff of a new idea, I’ve often found myself led down some pretty unexpected artistic tracks – some fruitful… others not quite so fruitful.
One rewarding avenue that I stumbled down was my introduction to the world of theatrical production. A one time girlfriend of mine was very keen on amateur dramatics.. aka AmDram. As a result I ended up being subjected to a variety of amateur theatre productions. Some were OK, others (dare I say, the majority) were painful. Amateur theatre is a strange world where the loudest voice often occupies the lead role regardless of ability. That said, many of our finest thespians have cut their teeth in amateur productions.
As is almost seemingly inevitable, at the first mention that I had artistic skills I was unwittingly recruited into producing some artwork for posters. I had managed to keep way away from becoming a member of the AmDram community but I agreed, for a very small fee, to produce a design for each play in the season. Part of the Am Dram bunch was an aspiring director called Nick Hennegan. Nick had already achieved a certain amount of fame locally as a radio jock on BRMB so, when he stepped forward to direct the theatre’s pantomoime version of “Worzel Gummage”, he was welcomed with open Arms. My lady friend was enlisted into the cast and I was introduced to Nick. The production was… erm… interesting but it was evident that Nick’s ideas were far more ambitious that Am Dram could really accommodate. Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: amazon asin, amazon co uk, asin, Auto, chan, courage, dogma, Draft, Everything, heart, inner voice, inspirational things, inspirational word, intuition, ispirational, knowledge, legacy, mortal, noise, October, rest in peace, steve jobs, this mortal coil, time, voice, VYRO, www
‘Your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your own heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.’
Rest in peace Mr Jobs safe in the knowledge that you really have changed the world.
Tags: alignnone, Artistic, artistic passion, Auto, business, business specialising, Draft, events and performances, film cameras, idea, illustration, life, Photographing, photographing weddings, photography wedding, portrait photographer, reportage, rock, school photographer, true essence, way, Wedding, wedding photography, wife natalie
As well as the music and illustration, the other great Artistic passion in my life is photography. I started off with film cameras way before the idea that camera’s could digitally capture an image even represented the vaguest of possibilities. Like my illustration, my photography has always been about people using a reportage style to capture rock bands and theatrical stuff. I’m very fortunate that my wife, Natalie, is equally as passionate about people photography – so much so that she started a business specialising in photographing little people as a pre-school photographer. Together though, we work under the name of Iconik Photography and specialise in weddings. Nat’s ability as a portrait photographer and my experience in capturing events and performances, have come together perfectly so that we can offer a unique blend of reportage and the more classic style of photography. Photographing weddings was something that I didn’t take on lightly as there’s a real responsibility to get it right, but now I relish the opportunity with each wedding to capture the true essence of a little piece of personal history.
Tags: Auto, band, cock ups, desk, Draft, dry sense, fascinating man, Hendrix, insight, lighting crew, Motorhead, offten, outfit, roadie, rock, rock history, roll, sense of humour, sound engineer, true legend, ups, white trash
A few years back I had the good luck to be invited onto a Motorhead tour around Spain as official tour photographer for the support band , White Trash UK. Somehow I got roped into doing acting as White Trash’s sound engineer, so many nights I also ended up running the mighty Motorhead sound system desk whilst White Trash performed… which was interesing lol.
During the tour I got to meet and chat with Lemmy on quite a few occassions. What I descovered was, despite the somewhat fearsome persona that he offten seems to project, he was an absolutely brilliant bloke. He posesses and great inelligence and insight which, accompianied by a wonderfully dry sense of humour, makes him a fascinating man to talk to. He’s seen and met most most things rock’n'roll so anecdotes about his past, including his days of being a roadie for Hendrix, are pure rock history.
He cares about his music too, sitting in his dressing room before a gig listening to recordings of the previous nights offering. Any cock ups, front and backstage, are noted. Tripping up three times in a row earned the offender a stint in a comedy cow outfit for the show – I remember Lemmy pointing out to me a guy on the lighting crew operating a spotlight dressed in the black and white spotted outfit – obviously a serial offender lol.
In recognition of my admirartion for the legendary Lemmy, I decided to use the great man as the subject for my first portrait drawn completely in photoshop , a true legend of rock!
Tags: april showers, Blues, carl palmer, center, chord, dansette record player, Discovering, double bass player, emerson lake and palmer, jazz scene, line ups, love, mystical quality, orchestra, player, rock, stage, tea chest, television, time, trad jazz, williams music
Discovering the wonderful world of music.
I’ve always been interested in music and sound. One of my earliest memories was sitting down on front of the old black and white tv with my mum, watching a film. I can’t remember what the film was, but at one stage the music took center stage with a huge swathe of strings pumping out through the tinny television speakers. I immediately turned to my mum and said “what instrument is that?”. She told me me it was an orchestra, to which I replied, ” I want to play one of those”. She smiled and told me it wasn’t one instrument but lots of instruments playing together. The seed was planted – I wanted to make music that sounded like an orchestra. On another occassion, I remember discovering that, if you slowed down a record on the old Dansette record player, the instruments sounded different and had a much bigger feel to them, more bass! My mum had Pat Boone’s version of “April Showers” on a 45rpm Single. When I slowed this down to 33 and a 1/3rd rpm, the bells on it sounded superb to my ears – they had a mystical quality to them. My love affair with sound was well and truely born! Read the rest of this entry »