Venusian release ‘Ancestor’

I have been playing bass with experimental/trip hop outfit Venusian for over 18 months now and last Friday we released out first album as our current set up (but the fourth under the Venusian name). ‘Ancestor’ dropped on Friday the 13th April – as seems befitting of an act so steeped in gloom and apocalyptic sentiment – and is available to stream/download via Bandcamp.

 

Neverbody debut EP released

My new band Neverbody has just put our first EP on Bandcamp, it’s 3 tracks of instrumental guitar music with leanings towards math rock, classic prog, and post-rock. Have a stream below and please consider downloading supporting us if you like what you hear! Recorded and mixed by yours truly, with much credit to Tom Peters for the mastering and Dan O’Gorman for the art design.

End of 2016 Roundup

I’m back! Though in truth I’ve never really been away. It’s just that proceedings have been disorderly over the past few months because I’ve had limited access to the internet (until now, hooray!) and that’s mostly due to the process of moving house – an arduous affair that had me in limbo far longer than I expected. So here’s a quick round up of everything that’s happened since my last post and what will be happening before the end of the year.

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A highlight of the year – Glossom playing our London debut at Brixton East, 12.11.16

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Glossom recording at Elevator Studios with Edwin Louis

I play the guitar in a 5 piece band called Glossom that recently went to Elevator Studios to record a live session on film. It was the second of two fairly long days over the weekend, but I found myself awake and feeling it was time to leave at 2:30am. We crammed into our sax player’s car with our gear and went with filmmaker Edwin Louis into the heart of Liverpool’s fairly modest financial district, and here we met cameraman Calum – a student I hired through Facebook – and Daz the engineer.

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The studio was a great space. 4 floors in a converted warehouse with an expansive live room in the middle and a control room  right in the loft. Edwin and Calum did a brilliant with it too, rigging up the whole live room with the lighting they needed by appropriating every table lamp and fairy light we could scavenge. Daz really took care of the sound and was very patient during the camera changeovers too.

The music itself is a mixture of brand new and yet unrecorded material we still play, all instrumental and all performed live. This was a test of our skill as a band and I think we’ve all come away from it with a better understanding of our own playing. It was a hell of a lot of fun too, nothing got us down all day that I can remember. Which was nice because if Glossom were an animal it would be a capricious one. Maybe a cat.

Was a real pleasure to work with everyone involved and I’m really excited to get to the final result. Sneak peak below!

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Pure Psaltery / Video Jam @ Bury Art Museum / future projects

I took a very pleasant trip to Bury Art Museum on Thursday with a good friend of mine, where I performed Brébeuf once more – my live psaltery score to Stephen Broomer’s short film for Video Jam. I’ll admit that, when I first wrote the score, I felt strangely detached from it and took great effort to develop the composition into a performance. Having now performed Brébeuf twice, the preparation involved has slowly encouraged a stronger connection to the piece, and I think Thursday’s performance went a lot smoother as a result. It was, at the very least, a more faithful following of the intended dynamics and tempo. Once again, Video Jam put on a brilliant night of sound and vision, but sadly a late start had me dashing for a train so I missed most of the other performers – suffice to say that what I did catch had me feeling very flattered to be included. Well done to all involved.

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Textbook Studio provided some stylish programmes for the night.

In other news, I recently released a small sample pack called Pure Psaltery. As the title suggests, it’s a modest library of 101 samples recorded using the psaltery, featuring chords, melody ideas and sound design. With it being my first attempt at such a project I decided to give it away for free (you can read more and download it here). I also received some great advice from a couple of sample production library companies and hope to release some even better sounds for you fellow music-makers to use in the future. If some of my Pure Psaltery samples (or should that be psamples?) do creep their way into a track you’ve made, then send it my way! I’d love to hear it.

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Free psaltery samples – how could you say no?

What else is next? My showreel could do with an update, so expect some new music to that end through the next few months. Glossom are working on some new tunes that will hopefully be released as live videos. There might be a video game soundtrack or two on the way soon as well, but I can’t quite talk about that yet… Until next time!

Video Jam at Bury Art Gallery

Brébeuf and my live score for psaltery is going to be performed once more at Bury Art Gallery on 18th February! If you missed it at Manchester Jewish Museum in November last year then now is your chance to see it at this brilliant free live event.

Video Jam will be bringing together some of their favourite live scores from their catalogue of previous events, and I’m very flattered to be included. It is part of the European Network of Cultural Centres (ENCC) conference 2016.  The programme will be as follows:

– 2 Koi Karp scoring ‘Untitled (YMA Sumac Waiting)’ by Graeme Cole. First performed at Video Jam at Title Art Prize 2013
– Mary Stark and Chaines commissioned piece ‘Film as Fabric, Thread and Lace’ for SPACES tour 2014
– O>L>A scoring ‘I, Dismantled ‘ by Paul Daly. First performed at Video Jam at The Whitworth re-opening 2015
– HORRID scoring ‘The Time That Remains ‘ by Soda Jerk. First performed at Video Jam at AND Festival, Liverpool Cathedral 2013
– Alex Cottrell scoring ‘Brébeuf’ by Stephen Broomer. First performed at Video Jam at Manchester Jewish Museum 2015

Hope to see you there!