Multi-Genre Presentation

So I’m supposed to do a presentation on multi-genre, this is when a track switches it’s whole original motif whether it be a funk track that switches into polka or a pop track that changes into an Indian raga. The execution of this was the hardest to find, at first I relied on film composition (Alexandre Desplat – ‘The Fantastic Mr.Fox / The Grand Budapest Hotel) but they all relied on slight changes to their motifs. I was in a rut, we were shown Frank Zappa’s album ‘Apostrophe’ which set the bar with what we had to find, so after talking to the level 4 students, someone suggested John Zorn in which the outcome was rather positive. Here’s what I found;

[Video Above]

0:00 – 0:09 is rock riff A

0:09 – 0:11 is a super quick motif otherwise known as riff B

Then heads back to riff A until 0:19 seconds in where riff B come back with alterations, then it hits you at 0:23 where it’s a country barnyard idea then at 0:28 where the bass is doing a polka rhythm an everything else in riff B then back to riff A, have you got the stimulus yet?

0:39 has riff B once again and once again at 0:50

at 0:52 is a nice ‘loungey’ feel almost like a western bar then we come to the end 30 seconds whereb it crosses over from riff A to riff B.

Now for the stimulus, I like to think of this track as someone flicking through radio stations or T.V channels, a satirical take on how we can’t make our mind on what to watch.

The instrumentation is;

x1 electric guitar

x1 electric bass

x1 drums

Then I’m sure I can pick out a bit of brass, maybe a saxophone on riff B

On the 0:23 motif they’ve changed the guitar for a steel guitar maybe, it’s definitely got a whole different sound in comparison to the other electric guitar.

Piano is played on the 0:52 motif with a reprisal of the earlier steel guitar

The drums mainly conduct the sound, going from a rock groove straight feel, to riff B which is almost a heavy blast beat feel, at the 0:23 motif it has a slower more leaned back feel on the 4/4 which is played again at the 0:52 motif.



What Do I Need?

zblog pic#1

A very big question but instead of throwing it all at you I will take it in steps, the first step is combining my Cubase software with an interface an why not but to trust the same company that made the software to choose the Steinberg UR 22.

So after looking at different reviews and speaking to friends (which actually helped this time after trying it out for myself) I’ve decided to go an purchase this. The stage after will definitely be to gain microphones… but that’s another blog!!!

Taking baby steps is my ‘sort of’ “Coping mechanism,” with objectives, I know it’s not as resourceful or productive but it helps me refine whatever needs to be fixed and also is just my way of doing things. I wonder, what is everyone’s else’s “Coping mechanism?”

Happy? Yes Please!

Mike guitar pic #1

Picture by Jamie Croft

So it’s coming up to Christmas an I haven’t really been given any work from my zero hour contract… Yes it’s that time of year when everyone feels like it’s a recession (The joys of holiday).

Fear not though folks for a new lease of life has been shed upon my weak willed mind that has injected some sort of enthusiasm into my music, having lectures on certain career paths and being told that we’ve got to have music on the brain 24/7 has really put things into perspective. I’ve just been getting more involved into studio work (I can finally do it myself!!!) and when I was working the other day a few musicians came in to have a look, one of which (to my delight) complimented the music being produced and also asked if he could be taught the parts, after a few hours of jamming and teaching I walked home that day with the biggest smile on my face knowing that there was a bit of magic that had happened in that lilac/wooden atmospheric cold room.

I don’t know what the future holds but if all bodes well then I’m sure the music I make will more than enough to satisfy the “Goldie Locks Goal,” (Andy Edwards reference) I also worked out that if I earn around £500.00 after  tax per month when I leave university then this gives me availability for my personal art, I’m so psyched to begin my journey, even without the support of the few who really haven’t in the past, the future looks bright as long as I keep optimistic.

Oh an did I mention I might be making more album work with Imagination Amalgamation, those guys are brilliant and I want to return to it with better visions so the final outcome is 110% I’ll be posting all that I’ve mentioned soon.


Electro Funk:- Preparing For Presentation!

So I’ve got to talk about a genre I know nothing about…

Assuming the electro part would come from Kraftwerk (Who pioneered the genre from the wunderbar country of Germany) and the funk would come from James Browne’s signature emphasis on the downbeat. I thought I knew everything about this genre, I was wrong…. (so so wrong!!!)

The video is very repetitive up until 1:12 when Kraftwerk enter with “Numbers,” (1981) and then for the next 48 minutes are pure jams for the ol’ B – boy movement where break dancing was birthed.

Now, how do I prepare a presentation for something I know nothing of? luckily in our lectures we have been handed similar assignments since we got back 2 months ago, straight into it, no rest for the wicked. With this being said my confidence in speaking to a group/ class has improved immensely as I’ve even been asked to teach and come in for guest “Talks,” and what not for other classes. So “Ted Talks,” really helped on that struggle, Ted Talks are where guest keynote speakers talk about actual intellectual and relevant subjects and give it straight, there’s even one on “How to be more like a politician when speaking to people,” which consists of body language and juggling round the truth or procrastinating when someone gives you a hard question… yeah, it was a dig and no… I’m not sorry.

Well my gut really tells me to wing it but I might film the presentation just to show you how I did, so the internet world can either see me conquer or fail.

Presentation day : 4/11/2014

My Level 5 Comeback!!!

So what I’ve done is post what was an open mic at my college, a new events management course are trying to cut their teeth at their trade and I for one are trying to collaborate with them as our objectives sort of come hand in hand, in the video I got asked to do that very hour a show, some ambient stuff.

As I got up there the bassist (The esteemed Mr. Chatfield) says “In G Major,” In which I nod and pull out some bright lydian chords for the audience accompanied by a sound scape provided by the bassist and then conducted by the drummer.

100% improvised… those classes sure helped

So I’m back to blogging, yes it’s been a while but I feel I have improved over the past year so I hope my content and contribution to this space is a lot better than before. Being half way through my course now and I’ve done some interesting things, I can’t way to tell you about these subjects that I’ve got coming up:-

– Workshops for younger musicians

– Teaching

– Setting up my own gig

– My own musical journey


Next Year

In this blog I will be talking about how my approach towards self development and blogging will change for next year, what did I d that worked well for this year and what I should continue to do vs what I think I should do differently. Already I’ve talked to my personal tutor about how next year will be different to this academic year as we should all try hit the ground running, in a sense of doing the work straight away and continuing our enthusiasm to write the way we do now. This year I think my class and I have come a long way from when we started, theory knowledge and playing ability has vastly improved, so if we do continue with our current state then next year we should be able to produce a high level of material both written and physically played.


What went well this year was competitiveness, that really sorted the group out to make us do the blogs on a more common basis, we’ve all stopped being so competitive of playing ability as we found it’s a very pretentious and childish area and started competing for workload which I found was a key ingredient of us doing well this year in which we all will follow up for next year. What will change drastically for us is having first years, I think this will change the way we rehearse because they’ll bring in their own way of playing and it will be up to us to show them that the standard of where we are at is very high. What I should do differently is concentrate more on my viola practice and also spend more time on Sibelius 7 which is software for score writing, this has improved my theory knowledge vastly and I’ll continue to use it.

So to sum up what needs to be done next year, here’s the objectives:-

– Keep the competitiveness up, a key element of us trying to increase our workload & practice

– Viola pratice

– Sibelius 7 has helped me hugely with theory knowledge so I should continue to write on the software so I’m getting a weekly dosage of score writing

– Look for my university place for my third year

Yes, my time here’s almost up an I’ll be looking for a place for my third year to gain my degree, hopefully I’ll gain the skills (or may already have) to progress to that next stage of my life.

Informal & Formal

Blogging & other means of assessment, well in the previous blog post I wrote about how blogging has impacted me but in this post I’ll be comparing the process of blogging with more formal means of assessment (essays and exams). Also what strengths and weaknesses are there, from my experience with both methods. Well using essay writing and exams my whole life until the past year it really has been quite the transition, from past experience I have a system when it comes to essay writing (I’m sure everyone does) where everything has to be organised, header & footer, convenient titles, why this and why that whereas with blogging it’s pretty much at my own leisure and it helps filter all of the nonsense so that I can hit criteria straight away.

The strengths of both:


– Fast

– Hit criteria without the pressure of a word count objective

– Videos & photos are considered valuable

Exams & Essay writing

– The status quo, the more your experienced in this style, the more employable you are.

– Everyone throughout my academic life had always used this method, so everyone’s familiar with how to write in this style.

Now I’ll bullet point with what my thoughts are on both blogging and exam/ essay writings weaknesses are drawing my experience with both of them.



– Due to the informality, it could be off topic/ target with what the assessor needs to see

– Due to it’s speed, there might not be enough on a subject to support it, might not be able to hit higher criteria

Exam & Essay Writing

– Slow, concentrating on that word count could mean a slow burner for someone looking at a blank document

– Lack of enthusiasm, anyone & everyone can blog, its quick and easy whereas essay writing can prove to be difficult if you don’t understand criteria resulting of a lack of enthusiasm which leads onto you not handing it in on time.

My experience with exam & essay writing has resulted in me reaching a mediocre grade in the past due to me being labeled as a “Kinetic,” learner, so I’m glad I’ve found a way in which I can communicate and easily obtain higher marks.