NEW MUSIC: ‘Acoustic Scenery’ Album Released for AudioNetwork – July 2015

Acoustic Scenery

NEW MUSIC: ‘Acoustic Scenery‘ album has just been release on AudioNetwork.

An instrumental collection of acoustic country & folk tracks with a transatlantic rural feel, written by Richard Lacy, David Bird, Terry Maskill & me.

The album features 10 brand new tracks.. here’s some of the highlights.

Numbers – Positive indie folk with bright guitars & piano over driving drums. Builds
Traffic Free – Intricately layered electric guitars over a gentle drum groove
Closing Time – Lazy blues featuring Dobro & acoustic guitars over a laid back groove
Family – Feel-good light indie rock with summery guitars & relaxed topline melody
Wayfarers – Reassuring semi-acoustic rock with a positive guitar melody
Before The Second Dawn – Relaxing, Celtic-style folk with nostalgic mandola melody & acoustic band
Shade and Light – Ambient, alternating major & minor patterns over a laid back groove
Strolling Home – Laid back 1980s classic rock electric guitar theme

You can listen to the whole album here and buy any tracks you like.

Thanks for stopping by…

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NEW MUSIC ‘Garage Rock Gods’ Album Released

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6 brand new songs featuring 49 versions, ‘Garage Rock Gods‘ is released today!

  • Crash Down – Triumphant rock anthem with chugging guitars & emotional male vocal
  • Do It All – Punk rock with stabbing guitars, reflective male vocal & anthemic chorus
  • Real Life – Twisted rock with double time chorus, insistent male vocal & enticing lyrics
  • No Regrets – Hard & fast rock anthem with screaming guitars & rebellious male vocal
  • When You’re Famous – Stadium rock anthem with male vocal singing about an unrequited love
  • We’re Unbreakable – Rock anthem with emotional male vocal & powerful half time chorus

To read all about the making of this album go here… ‘Big Drums, Big Guitars & Big Vocals

As always… please listen to & download the tracks.

Thanks for stopping by…

NEW MUSIC ‘Rock with the Top Down’ Album Released

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Today sees the release of the much blogged about MOR Symphonic Rock album ‘Rock with The Top Down‘.
6 brand new songs and 74 versions in total, with huge production and sound.

Free Your Mind – Sunny 1970’s symphonic pop song about enjoying life & letting go. Male vocal

A New Beginning – Feel-good, classic 70’s MoR symphonic pop with positive lyrics & male vocal

Join As One – Uplifting symphonic pop song with lyrical strings & optimistic male vocal

You And Me Forever – Epic symphonic pop romantic ballad with lyrical strings & male vocal

Dust From A Star – Uplifting pop ballad with rich strings, male vocal & floating on air lyrics

Wishing – Anthemic symphonic pop ballad with lush strings & emotional male vocal

To read more about the making of this album below… It’s been an epic journey…

As always, please listen to & download the albums.

Thanks for stopping by…

A Month of Writing New Projects & Sessions…

Composing

It’s been a solitary month…

Following on from a hectic release schedule, album launch concerts and gatherings, this month sees me locked away in StudiOK working on ideas for new projects.

Whilst many of you are outside enjoying the beginning of a good old British Summer, the humble musician takes to locking themselves away in a darkened room, where the only tan you get is from staring at their computer monitors. It could be deepest Winter out there for all we know…

I do write music on my own, but it’s always more fun to work with others, as they bring along ideas you might never have considered for a project, plus the obvious camaraderie.

This month I’ve been working on tracks for various future albums which will see me busy writing, recording & mixing through to the end of 2014 and beyond.

One of the projects is a Bhaṅgṛā Fusion album with my good friend Prem Joseph. A relatively new style for me, but something Prem has a deep knowledge and understanding of. Prem is a well established Indian music specialist with roots in India and uses India based musicians for his work.

I’m also writing some funky 70’s music with Kes Loy and coaxing Lucy Kimmings into providing some suitably syrupy vocals…
Pop Drum & Bass, Dirt Rock… plus a few others, are also in the pipeline.

© Barrie Gledden 2014

© Barrie Gledden 2014

I’ve also been busy with drum session work. Drums are my main instrument (insert gag here) and I play on a good few tracks for others. I’m presently lending my drumming hand to a project with Richard Lacy. Richard has a great approach to music, I’d almost describe it as organic… his songs tend to evolve & develop and it’s always nice to approach his work in the same way he does. It’s very rarely a straight forward ‘play through’… it’s soundscapes and changing kit sounds & textures. Challenging for a musician, but very rewarding.

Here’s an example email from Richard describing what he visioned for a track…
‘It’s a steady 7/8 time. Needs to feel a bit like a 6/8 with an extra beat. I had this idea that in some places, we could move the snare by one beat in each successive bar. ie. snare on 2, then 3, then 4, then 5 etc.’…
I had a slight chuckle to myself when I read his direction… but dya know what? I knew exactly what he was after… It sure beats the old ‘… er… the mix… could you slow it down by 2dB?’

There are a further 3 albums about to be released for AudioNetwork in the coming months, which I’ll blog about when they are available.

SO, a busy time indeed, but I’m not drowning, just waving…

Thanks for stopping by…

Recording Drums – The ‘Lynne Johns’ Method & 70s Pop Rock Project…

RiCH Fat DrumsBack at the start of 2013, I began work on 8 tracks in a very definitive style.

My year prior had been very much full to the brim with music. It’s my job… it’s what I do; writing, playing, recording and mixing.

Projects are always ongoing and there are deadlines to meet, but in January 2013 I set aside the whole month to concentrate on writing this one project.
I sat down in my own cozy studio watching the snow fall outside, loaded up a cup of tea and a blank canvas, and set out to write a collection of tunes influenced by the kind of music that shaped me as I was growing up.

Having not come from a particularly musical background; my parents nor brother are musically inclined, I never had anyone at home opening me up to different styles of music. Exposure to what was out there at the time, & what had gone before, came more from my friends at school & the radio. There simply weren’t any bands in my school and no real musicians to speak of, certainly not that i was aware of… so my early influences were picked up not by someone saying ‘here… you MUST listen to this’ but more by my Saturday afternoons spent in record shops looking at what was out there & spending my hard earned paper money on what I thought might prick my ears musically.

So why am I telling you all this?

Writing music for a living enables me to travel in all sorts of different directions sonically… Heavy Rock, Classical, Vocal Pop, Quirky… You name it, I’ve done it.
Every project is special & has the utmost time & attention paid to it. The company I write for require nothing short of the best & that’s what you strive for every time.

This project was to be no different from any other in that respect, except for it was going to be in a musical style very close to my heart & centred around the music I listened to as an easily influenced budding musician – a style from yesteryear yet with all the modern pop elements you’d expect, but with that comes the fact that I knew with the style and direction I was taking these songs in… it was going to be a long, long road to travel to get this project to where it ultimately needed to be.

‘Art is never finished, only abandoned’ – Leonardo da Vinci

Side MicOn watching the ‘Sound City‘ documentary recently, I heard Mick Fleetwood reflecting on why Fleetwood Mac chose that studio to record the album ‘Rumours’ rather than do it in their own studio – ‘I can have fun doing this on my own, or I can have fun doing it with others’.
He has a point… The studio can be a very lonely and solitary place… unless you’re there with others… then it becomes fun.

Barrie Gledden has been a very close friend and a work colleague of mine since 1991, when I first met him as part of a support act for his band at the time ‘Brazil’. We’ve worked together ever since through bands & other musical ventures, and like me, Barrie is a writer for AudioNetwork.

Before Christmas 2012, I mentioned to Barrie my plans for January and that I was going to start this mammoth project. In the cold February of 2013, I took the tracks to his studio and played them to him. We chatted about where we thought the songs needed to go musically and planned how best to get them sounding and feeling as good as possible.

I’d mocked up the whole project using virtual instruments; keyboards, drums, bass, strings, piano, synths, guitars, acoustics… all triggered digitally from within the computer… a band in your pocket & an easy way to get your ideas from your head and into a permanent, recorded form – you can work fast & efficiently before the moment and idea is gone forever.

Virtual Instruments can be ground breaking and breathtaking, they can produce sounds that are very hard or impossible to emulate in the ‘real world’.
However, everything I’d used to create these tracks was ‘mimicking’ real instruments… and, more than anything, what this album needed was realreal everything real drums, real piano… and a real string section.

What I’d taken to play to Barrie felt very polished yet needed more input… the ideas were there but they needed arranging, additional vocal lines writing, string arrangements scoring and everything needed replacing with ‘feel’ and ‘interplay’ with instruments from the ‘real world’. Of the initial 8 tracks, there were 6 stand out songs we chose to focus on first.

Let the games commence…

First up… replacing the drums…  here’s a video of what we did… (skins tuned so low they were close to wrinkle point & tension rods dropped out during recording takes)

 

Barrie wrote a more in-depth blog about re-recording the drums for this project here.

Next mini blog – The String Recording…..

 

 

‘Bright & Quirky Piano’ Album with Richard Lacy & Barrie Gledden Released

Piano

Welcome back!

This month ‘Bright & Quirky Piano‘ gets an airing; an album written by Richard Lacy, Barrie Gledden & Me.

My main role on this album was to create various drum & percussion soundscapes. Richard approached me with the ideas already in a good ‘state’ but wondered if, after I’d done ‘my bit’, my playing & sound might inspire him to go off in a different direction.

A few of the tracks really build & have a fantastic hypnotic quality to them, so I set about adding to the atmosphere rather than simply over playing on them. I rolled out my arsenal of snare drums, toms & paraphernalia

Snare

For me, the other interesting part of this project was not hearing the final project ’til release day. Richard Lacy handled all mixing and arranging duties so it was nice to sit back & hear what a great job he’d done.

The full album is here – ‘Bright & Quirky Piano

Here’s a selection of tracks…

Keeping The Faith – Positive, urgent piano progression with bold drums & mellotron swells
Continuance – Upliftingly optimistic piano theme above intricately layered backing
Motion – Gentle layered pianos & ambient guitars with transition to inspiring theme
All Together Now – Positive, uplifting theme with layered pianos & drums. Builds throughout

Hope you like the album as much as I do… have a listen for free & if you like the tracks, please buy them.

Thanks.