A Bit Of Ol’ Practice For Moving Imagery

Another piano piece trying to capture a documentary I was watching, maybe in the future I’ll play the original documentary video and then my alternative version (same video, different sound track)

I hope you enjoy the piece!

I also want to write with other people in the same way, (stimulus -> small piece of music -> scoring) so if anybody would like to start exchanging ideas then I’d be more than happy to start a new project.


My Randy Newman Track

So I’ve been talking a load of cod wallop lately about film music etc, I had no evidence of this.

Yes I have put on weight, yes it makes me sad, an no this video doesn’t really improve my chances of those pesky distinctions but it makes me happy to know it’s on a platform.

So here it is, inspired by Randy of course and it’s kind of about Star Wars but you probably wouldn’t get that from the feel, anyway if you want to rip into then that’s fine, I’m not very good at piano so criticism is always needed, I’m aware of the mistakes but if you want to watch then thank you very much.

What was nice was I came home and shown my folks (not really supportive – off tangent) and they said “I didn’t know you could play piano,” that made me smile, so close your eyes and welcome to the world I’ve created which is alive for 2:50 a piece ­čÖé

Plinky. – Captain Quirk

Yes!!! finally I got some gems to share, problem is there’s a million mistakes and you can’t really hear me but for your entertainment I present Plinky. So who are Plinky? well it’s a project where you make music that draws elements from musicals that we’ve all sessioned for as well as our own blends of creativity.

So… the plan!!! I kind of want a lot of people to know how to play the tracks of Plinky, I want to see what people do to augment and improvise over existing material, a bit like when people play over jazz and put their own personal flavour onto it.

Run down – Okay people I hope you enjoy the video, what’s that? you want to play it? oh geez well here you go:

Main Riff Chords – C# – 9 / G# – 7 / Amaj7 / Cmaj7

C# – 9/ G# – 7 / Amaj7 / F# – 9

C# – 9/ G# – 7 / Amaj7 / D – 9

C# – 9/ G# – 7/ Gmaj7 / Gmaj7

Jackson Five Riff – G# – 7/ C# – 7/ B octave

G# – 7/ C# – 7/ Gmaj7/ B octave

I believe in collaboration and augmentation, if you feel my version of this isn’t as good as one you can create then please share, I love hearing other musicians styles as long as it’s organic and unique, so when it comes to playing live I have a selection to choose from and so everyone and anyone could get up and play these catchy brain child’s of mine.

Have a nice weekend whatever it is you choose to do, if you did want to learn more or even session then please just ask.

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

Technology – Have You Shaped Us?

Yes they have, I also have a blog dedicated to how technology has helped my music, here’s the link;


The blog is to support the fact that instead of having a wide range of guitars my concentration had changed to pedals and the fact they support me into making better quality sounds and makes my specific sound that I try to accomplish sound that tad more unique.

Enough about me, more about how the internet has changed the way we think as musicians and distribute our product, interact with our fans and even create the music. My focus in the blog is how social media has affected the world of musicians.
From a bands point of view, currency is in views/ followers/ likes, that is currently the climate of bands (which will most likely change in time) in which they have to fight the masses of publications and adverts that are posted on their wall or blog. I know from experience of posting videos and video diaries that Facebook and much like the deceased Myspace that it’s like watching paint dry, to gain popularity it seems you have to obtain these ever so quaint likes/ follows and views and to do that you must interact with the public. This is done easily by posting your video multiple times and in the hope that someone will share this, simple clicks and word of mouth and your best friend.

Positives and negatives of social media:


– It’s been done too much, look for a different approach

– No one cares for new music, unless it’s been reviewed by someone they know (even then it’s a push)

– Paying for like & views with actual cash (Really? … Yes that actually happens)

– This can be the band or artists downfall by taking to much interest into social media, what I mean by this is everyone is their own critic, causing everyones strong opinions to potentially hurt your integrity. (Don’t let reviews ruin your art!)


– Gain Fans? Publicity seems to be key and nows theres a very easy/ lazy way to do it, a win win.

– Keeping everything organised

– Music at the click of button, your accesibility is key

– Keeping in contact with those who your enjoy your music is very easily done, just be witty about it, try and be different (hard considering everyones become accustomed to the current climate, become an innovator)

Thought I’d share a few things on how hard it is to actually gain a fan base, if someone has seen you at a gig and was interested then they’ll eventually check you out for your material online so having that instrument is vital in the continuation of your band in the current climate.

Musical Texture – 3 examples with counterpoint

In this blog I will be talking about 3 different pieces of music and their contrapuntal elements along with texture and the specefic areas in which counterpoint occurs in the song, this should also cover styles and elements of three different artists. The three artists I have chosen are:

– Bjork: Crystalline, this was chosen due to its abstract texture and then at 4:18 in the track it completely changes into a breakbeat changing it rhythmically.

– John Coltrane: Interstellar Space, this is due to the instrumentation, it’s easier to explain the contrapuntal texture to it’s limitation but also a nice contrast from my first choice.

– Plini: Heart, the instrumentation makes it accesible and easy to pick out the devices that make the song what it is, also a contrast from the other two, although it’s another instrumental piece it’s key changes are more apparent due to it’s genre, whereas the Coltrane track has more jazz involved this has a more major/ pentatonic feel when the solos are playing. Coltrane uses more Melodic minor whereas Plini have more more intruments to be concerned about especially when soloing so the sense of free jazz isn’t in the track, the improvisation isn’t actually the same.

Okay then, in the video above you’ll start with the glockenspiel and a form of homphonic contrapuntal texture due to the way the vocals are being accompanied by the instruments┬áthere are polyphonic/contrapuntal elements with glock ostinato parts and certainly with the jungle breakbeat at the end creating rhythmic counterpoint. 4:18 in the track introduces a more rhythmic counterpoint into the song which completely differs from the song, as this is my first choice the comparison between the other two is apparent due to the amount of change inbetween that point at 4:18 and the instrumentation. Genre affiliation would be breakcore at 4:18 but as Icelandic pop goes I’d say the genre is just Bjork!

Seconds away! an as we start with the ridiculous experimental drums then comes in Coltrane with the melody, this would be monophonic contrapuntal texture due to the one melody playing whereas the counterpoint exits between the constant changes and shapes of both drums and saxophone. The genre being free jazz is music without the boundaries of specific time and key (yes if the un – virtuoustic play then it really does terrible) this is probably the pinnacle and the final accolade of music where two musicians really can play something of such complexity without boundaries and make an entire album from it.

Start with just a monophonic riff but adds with a heterophony feel, as the song progresses I felt to name it as homophony pretty much throughout, what’s cool to see is in their solo’s they keep to the same top major scale and pentatonic melodies much like I do in my soloing, there is a touch of polyphony, i.e. a contrapuntal device at 1:31 when the guitar solos against the main melody.
So learning this song wouldn’t be too difficult as it really isn’t on Coltranes playing level, the contrast between this and the the other two is that it doesn’t rely on a vocal melody being the priority stripping the thought of Homophony and due to the instrumentation it can’t be monophonic so already from a┬á contrapuntal texture angle it differs completely from the other two. With the scales used too it differs;

Coltrane – Melodic minor, free jazz

Plini – Major/ Pentatonic minor, key changes – adds the modulation into solo (gives it more flavour)

Bjork – bass + glockenspiel just using riffs throughout, vocal doing the majority of melody

So hopefully I’ve discussed and cleared three different types of contrapuntal textures along with examples and used those textures to show the difference between the genre.

Taking Direction

Recently I posted a blog on my third party perspective of watching my fellow musicians rehearse for a college musical theater show “Moulin Rouge,” I talked about how the show was actually coming along but I want to talk about how the acting MD’s (musical directors) gave instruction to there groups. As I observed and said in my blog, the groups were split into two;

– The Moulin Rogues: Consists of an acoustic band, I.e spanish guitar, acoustic bass, cajon, accoridan. These guys were at the forefront of the show and were majorly involved in audience participation with few resources.

– The House Band: Consists of keyboard, synth, electric guitar, electric bass and acoustic drum kit. These guys were on the balcony and dealt with the majority of the bulky score, had a lot of attention to resource and P.A output.

So when instructing there was an apparent difference in the way they carried out there objectives, asking the Moulin Rogues about their direction these were some of the things Murphy (MD) had asked them to do to improve:

– When acting, stay in character, when the actors are doing the scene, make sure you react to it because when your on set, although your in the background and with your instrument, your still in with the scene.

– Involve yourself with audience participation

– Smile more

It’s small direction like this that made for a great show, learning the material and being punctual is only half of the show when acting is involved as well so fair play to the Moulin Rogues. The house band had direction such as;

– More confidence in solo’s

– More tighter with the band

– Look at me more to tell you when to play or be quieter

So the house band had stricter rules to follow and perfectionism had to take its role as they played the bulk of the weight, they did a fantastic job and the music was well complimented throughout and after the performance. The show was amazing so next year if they do another I shall be auditioning!