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.

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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The Canterbury Tales – my second foray into theatre

(Originally posted on 7th March 2014)

It’s great to be working again with the passionate theatre community of the University of Liverpool. Some of you may remember the otherworldly Goblin Market put on by award-winning LUDS and my eerie Balalaika-infused score that went with it. Well, this time they’re teaming up with The Liverpool University Players to put on Chaucer’s Middle English classic The Canterbury Tales and I was invited on board to write some music for them once more. That means familiar faces! So I’ll be collaborating with harpist Sarah Peverley again (who is helping produce the show), as well as Director Rio Matchett and Musical Director Darren Begley.

The Canterbury Tales follows a group of pilgrims on their way to the shrine of St Thomas Becket as they take each other on in a story-telling contest.

It was quickly decided to keep the instrumentation simple – I was to draw from a small selection of forces to create a medieval palette for the show and the plan involved having musicians on stage, delivering the score diegetically. Originally we tried to get a hold of a lute for me to play, but ended up settling on a Psaltery which I was to pick up, learn to play, and then compose for within the space of a matter of weeks, complimenting the rest of the lineup consisting of an Irish Flute, Bodhran, Harp and vocals. As a result, the compositions are generally very simple, making use of the dorian-mode style of the medieval era and ensuring that vocal pieces reflect the base comical nature of the text. When you’ve got cast members singing ‘I have a gentil cock’ then it’s best not to get too pretentious with your writing. Inspiration came from traditional English and Celtic Folk songs as well as contemporary recordings (thank you psalterygirl!) and I found myself developing a newfound respect for the proto-Renaissance compositions that were emerging in the Middle and High Medieval period.

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LUDS presents ‘Goblin Market’ – Liverpool Preview 30th July 2013

LUDS presents a unique adaptation of Christina Rossetti’s dark long-form poem.

(Originally posted on 24th July 2013)

As has already been mentioned on the blog a while back, I have been working with the award-winning Liverpool University Drama Society and historian/harpist Dr Sarah Peverley on a re-imagination of Christina Rossetti’s dark fairy tale ‘Goblin Market’. The play will feature both live and recorded music composed and performed by myself and Sarah. The score includes harp, Balalaika and an eerie woodland soundscape – we have set out to capture the otherworldly plane of director Zoe Wiles’ vision.

The big news is that, prior to showing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival from the 12th to the 17th of August, there will be a preview at The Kazimier Garden, Liverpool, and it’s free! Not only that, the event will feature more live music from myself and Dr Peverley as well as arts and crafts and fruit cocktails. If you just happen to be in or around Liverpool or the North-West of the UK on the 30th of July, it’s going to be an evening to remember.

Performances are at 6pm and 9pm. Check out the Facebook event here.

GameDevNorth in Liverpool

GameDevNorth at the Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool

GameDevNorth at the Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool

 (Originally posted 10th December 2012)

GameDevNorth is a monthly meetup of people living in the North-West of England and involved in the games industry.

The event was attended by roughly 60 people and was sponsored by Ubisoft Reflections , Microsoft and Sheridans. I was there on Saturday night (8th) and had a good time meeting all sorts of people, from the freshest artists and developers to people who were regularly part of AAA productions. I discovered that the event was taking place more or less right next to where I live in Liverpool at the moment so it seemed like a no-brainer to go along and see what it was all about.

Besides the convenience, it felt somehow fitting to have it at the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool this time around, considering the recent sad loss of one of the city’s beloved developers: Psygnosis/Studio Liverpool. The company was known for titles like WipeOut, Colony Wars and countless Formula 1 racing games – as well as being the original publisher of Lemmings. It’s not all bad news thanks to Sony (who bought Psygnosis in 1993) who are still keeping the site open with some of its other creative teams. Nonetheless, it’s always sad to see classic developers go.

I had a good chat with all the representatives of the sponsors and learnt a lot about all the different ways people navigate into and through the industry. Just thought I’d mention this event, and make anyone aware who’s not, that local meetups are always going on if you look out for them. I stumbled upon this event on Reddit and it was taking place just seconds from where I live! If you’re looking to work in the games industry, they’re a great place to start meeting up with aspiring and inspiring game developers on a casual basis.