Influences

To give you a bit of a clue as to how my solo project will sound, I will share with you a few examples of artists and songs that I believe will be influential on my songs.

  –  this band is a huge influence on my approach to music and this song in particular I believe captures the sort of thing I will be aiming for.  It is instrumental, it has a good use of dynamics and creates an interesting mood.  These are the sort of attributes I want in my music.  To be able to create such a mood without the use of any vocals is a skill that is often overlooked and I hope to be able to do this as well as I can.

–  this is an important reference point for my project as Brant Bjork plays all instruments on his solo music, like I plan to do.  On top of this, his simplistic yet effective approach is something I want to achieve.  I regard him as one of my main influences in song writing and I will continue to listen to and analyse his music as the project develops.

 -  I have chosen this because of the dark, gristly sound it has.  As well as this there is a certain level of emotion that is poured into it which I admire.   Again, it’s a fairly simple piece of music but still ticks all the right boxes.

 -  Riff driven music with a retro, psychedelic sound.  This band takes everything I love about music and puts it together.  I would like to be able to make my music have that retro sound.  This means no overproduction and more focus on the methods of actually recording – something to keep in mind.

Funding

This week, we looked at various different ways to get funding.  After looking over the different organisations again I have selected a few that might be worth looking into more.

http://www.artswales.org.uk/what-we-do/funding/apply/individuals  –  this Welsh organisation is designed to give people living in Wales some support to get their projects up and running.  You can apply for small (up to £5000) or large (over £5000) grants.  Although it is aimed at individuals who already have some sort of local following I think it is worth keeping in mind for the future.

http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/news/arts-council-news/momentum-music-fund-open-for-application/  – based in England, the Arts Council have joined with PRS for Music Foundation to create the Momentum Music Fund.  With £500,000 being invested, grants of up to £15,000 can be applied for by one musician.  It is designed to support artistic development and career growth.

http://www.wai.org.uk/funding  –  this organisation aims to give Welsh artists their first international exposure and the chance to develop their project outside of Wales.  Another possibility to think about.

 

First thoughts

My band is going into a local studio to record our second EP in about a month and my plan is to make a good impression on the engineer and ask if I would be able to get any work experience there.  I will attempt to get in contact with him beforehand to show that I’m eager.  It will be close enough to home so it will be easy to travel there if necessary.

However, I realise that this might not happen as the studio might not need any extra people around at the moment so if that plan doesn’t come through, I will look into a more promotional/merchandise area.  This would benefit me in a different way and hopefully teach me important skills about the business of music.

Initial idea

My initial idea for this project is to create my own short EP.  I want to do something I have never done before and something that will challenge me.  So, I my plan at the moment is to play all instruments myself.  This will include electric guitar, bass, drums and maybe piano – depending on how the songs pan out.

The reason I want to do this is to test my own abilities and see how well I can create songs entirely on my own.  My main interest is to actually play music so I felt that this would be a good idea for me to follow.  I am used to playing in band situations where I can always rely on others and create songs with others but this would be my chance to do it alone and see what I can come up with.

My hope is that I will be able to create a strong sounding EP that represents me and hopefully it will appeal to others too.

New Module!

And another module begins…

This time I will be coming up with a project that I can build now and take into the third year of uni.  I will also be doing some in depth research around this idea so I will be knowledgeable in my area of practice.  And finally I will be doing work experience that will hopefully link to my project and give me more of an idea of the creative, working world.

More to come soon!

First Task

To begin this new module, I will start by showing a short song I recently made and where the main influence came from in terms of the overall sound and production.  So here is a link to my track “DrainPype Rat”:

And here is the main influence behind it:

I randomly picked up this album in a shop and bought it even though I had heard none of the tracks.  I was familiar with John Frusciante but not so much with his solo work.  The entire album got me thinking about how many different things are possible within music and how it can go from complete chaos to a blissful calmness within seconds.  So, I began messing about with these techniques I was hearing.

I chose this song in particular because I liked how the drumbeat kept the piece moving – allowing anything to happen on top of it. It repeats certain parts and other parts are there only once.  I attempted to follow this idea in my track by doing the same thing – having a drumbeat keeping the piece moving from start to finish and placing random pieces on top – some of which repeat and some of which don’t.

This was my first attempt at something like this and there’s plenty of room for improvement.  I could add a lot more sounds and even try getting vocal parts included.  A second attempt would probably be longer too, with this one simply being a trial run.  Although I am not trying to completely copy Frusciante’s work, there is plenty that can be learnt from it.

January

It’s been a busy month with the Networking Music, Global Perspectives and Philosophical Encounters modules all coming to an end.

Head over to the Global Perspectives page to see a video of my group’s project including initial ideas and practices, development and final outcome.

Head over to the Philosophical Encounters page to read my ideas on consciousness, rhizomes, copyright and the idea that human beings will at some point be no more!  All of this and more!

YouTube target!

I am happy to say that the single has surpassed the view target.  I was hoping that before I returned to uni it would reach 100 views.  It was on about 65 views and after sharing it again it went up by over 100 views within about 15 minutes, which took me by surprise!  Hopefully it will continue to rise!

Depth/Context on the video and gig

Here is the video for ‘Blood Like Cream’ by the American band Red Fang.  This is a band who are a huge influence on our music and this is an example of a band recently using a video to promote both their new release and their upcoming tour – with great success.  As I wanted to get our release heard and get more people coming to our shows I knew making a video would be an effective way of doing this.  I wanted to give off a feeling of mystery and uncertainty with this video so I made it short and made it all happen in one place.  I also added the changing colour effects for more confusion.  My idea was that making it short and weird would make people wonder what was going on and as a result keeping their eye out on anything else we post.  Here is one short promo video I noticed that had that mysterious vibe:

I think people were taken by surprise as we haven’t made a video before and didn’t tell anyone we were doing this one.  So I think this got people interested and drew more attention to the single release.  I also added an annotation on the video which directs viewers to the full song on YouTube to maximise the chances of people listening to it.

When thinking about the gig, I had a few ideas in mind.  Here are some examples of what I based the event around:

- these unplugged shows are what inspired the idea to have candles and really try to set a mood.  The friendly audience interaction approach is something else I took from these performances.

- these events where bands play in front of smaller audiences and have no need for security or barriers also inspired me to do something like this. The first example here was literally just a band taking their gear out into the desert and people would hear about it through word of mouth and turn up for free.  The second one is more planned and people pay to go but they both have that same personal, up close vibe where you are able to talk to the band and look at their equipment etc after they have played.  The event I planned was closer to the first in that it was free of charge and people heard about it through word of mouth.  Those generator parties in the desert (first link) happened 20 years ago and people still talk about them today because they are unique and it’s a ‘you had to be there’ kind of thing – this is why I wanted to try this approach.