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.


Plinky: Starsky’s Stolen Candyfloss

Another Plinky video?

After a train ride of talking about Scott Pilgrim and ‘We Are Scientists’  me an Mr.Parker thought we’d make a lovely tune for our blogs, so the material was a result of 5 -10 rehearsal space minutes of combined ideas…

Ashley Field was our session player today (Thanks again!), he an George play far superiorly than me in the recording so atleast I can look back an see what I need to improve on I.e; My timing, tone etc

Big thanks to Alex Nash for the use of his Ibanez guitar

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?”

“Have You Got What It Takes?”

Errrrrmmmmm…… not really.

On a lighter note, instead of asking about my self belief of the future, what will carry me is reminding myself what I do have,  which will aid my journey and conquest of a career in music.

The post after will be a lot about targets and what I need to obtain to reach the next step of my life but for now here’s the list that I have:

– Access to a Recording studio and rehearsal space.

– Access to Silbelius 7 & musescore

– Access to Cubase

– A network of musicians & engineers + photographers

– Musicians:- Guitarists, Bassists, Drummers, Singers, Writers, Violinsts, Saxophonist, Pianist,

– Photographers, videographers, artwork designer.

– Studio Engineers, live sound engineers, lighting engineers, stage managers, musical director, producer.

– x2 Amps (different pre – sets, different sizes)

– x4 electric guitars (different sounds, feel)

– x1 acoustic guitar

– x1 violin

– x1 keyboard (yamaha, it’s cheap though)

– Can play different styles on guitar

– Portfolio of written work on Sibelius 7 & musescore (notation)

– Smaller portfolio of recorded material

Sibelius 7 & Cubase are vital to the distribution process and that’s where pretty much all my work is produced from. So I’m actually quite pleased with the network I’m in, the swell of musicians that are enthusiastic and willing is a great ally to have.

Next is “What Do I Need To Get!!!”

How To Make A Gig Without The Use Of Internet!!

In my recent lecture I was given the task of finding how to set up a gig without the use of internet ie. leaflets/ advertisement through word of mouth. Some of the steps that I’m about to go through are very easy and simple but when done right and shown with confidence and conviction your gig(s) without internet can still come to fruition. They will be in steps so without further or do I’ll introduce with step 1:-

Step 1 : -Talk to bands and organizers at local gigs and stay in contact with them.
– Offer to help on gigs that they are organizing i.e. offer to be a roadie and help set up equipment, or put up the posters or sell tickets. Be sure to do it for free; it will get you free access to the gig anyway and they will owe you a favour.
– Once you have been to a couple of gigs you should have met at least 5 bands or artists. Make sure you keep a good relationship with them.

Step 2 : – Find a venue for your gig. Local theatres, cinemas, schools and function rooms are open to be rented. However, once you find it talk to the manager to make sure it’s within their rules to hold a live event. Your best bet is to use a theatre, as many theatres have the option of holding a seated or standing gig and already have a PA system and stage installed; this cuts costs. There are also an increasing number of pubs dedicated to live music, these are generally around 100-300 capacity and should also have sound engineers on their books and an in house PA. This last point is vital, if this is your first time putting on a gig, having an in house PA not only cuts costs but means that A)this is a venue where people come often enough to warrant an in house PA B)the system should be set up to work with the room making your sound engineers job easier and C) this will greatly reduce the amount of time and hassle before/after the gig as there is one less thing for you to sort out and there will only be a minimal amount of gear going in/ coming out of the venue.

– Get insurance. Public Liability Insurance (PLI) may be included with the venue but always check. Around £150 for insurance for the night is better than a million pound lawsuit. All insurance companies have an option for PLI. With each gig you organize, as long as there are no accidents, the cost of your insurance will go down because you have proved you’re responsible and there is less risk.

Step 3 : – Make posters. The ‘budget’ but classy way to do this is, to make one simple poster with white writing and a black background and get someone who works in an office to photocopy it as much as possible. Otherwise, you will have an extra cost for printing. Put the following on the poster:-
– Headlining Band
– Band on before them
– Band on before them etc.
– Opening band
– Location
– Date
– Cost

Step 4 : – Ring your local newspaper/radio-station/etc. and tell them that the gig is on. Give them all the information you have on the poster, or even post them a copy of the poster. Write a Press Release, and send it to newspapers in your area, and the area of the gig, a few weeks before the gig. Try to get the newspaper to send a photographer if they have an ‘Out& About’ section or similar.

Step 5 : – Gig NIGHT!!!
– You need determination and commitment; things will go wrong, just plough on through. You’ll learn as you go.
– Be strict on security for your first few gigs until you get a natural feel for running them.
– Try to be as nice as possible no matter what someone does.
– Be prompt with payments to keep a good reputation.
Thanks for listening and if you felt inspired in some way then we can talk about setting up a gig.
Thank you.

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 🙂

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.