Back to basics

With a 30 year hiatus, not playing keyboards, not singing (except when accompanying a CD or radio), getting back into making music has been a steep learning curve. Times have changed in relation to the ability to record and distribute your own music. The technology has made great advancements and it is so easy for almost anyone with or without training, to create something half decent.

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For the past few months I have been tinkering on an Axiom 25 keyboard and a Korg Krome 61 keyboard. I have an audio interface, a mic and a pair of decent speakers. I use one or two online resources and a couple of software programmes. Together with a good spec PC and sound card, this gives me the basic equipment needed and the technical possibility to lay down a few tracks to produce a finished or near finished piece.

I find myself absorbed into the world of sound as I twist knobs, experiment with rhythms, play around with beats and test out sequences and loops. Sometimes during that process, a few chords or a melody comes to the forefront and sparks an idea that is worth pursuing and developing. On rare occasions, this soon develops into a fully-fledged new track that can be completed in one session or laid aside for another time when inspiration rears its head and the timing is right.

A lot of my musical influences were from the late 1970s through to the 1990s so many of my tracks share similar echoes of those times; Bowie, Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel, Mott the Hoople, Grace Jones, Donna Summer, The SOS Band, Eurythmics, Erasure, Thomson Twins, Human League, Roxy Music, Prince, Blancmange and a whole long list of others. More recently: Massive Attack, Faithless, Tom Odell, James Morrison, Birdy, KT Tunstall……and so on.

Tom Lehrer

Disco, funk, soft rock, punk, new romanticism, and so on all played their part along with many other influences. My musical tastes have always been eclectic and unpredictable with the odd curve ball like Dory Previn, Tom Lehrer and Regina Spektor and others, widening my field of musical vision. One common denominator for me was the ability of the artist/track to tell a story, to conjour up a journey that invited you to travel alongside.

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Over the past two years I have produced quite a few tracks, some of which I am more proud of than others. I have had a couple of tracks played on BBC radio and two videos carry privately commissioned sound tracks courtesy yours truly. My next move is to lay down vocal track for a few ideas I have on the go but with it being over 30 years since the world was subject to my dulcet tones, it’s going to be an uphill struggle to produce something I am pleased with. If there are any budding vocalists out there who like what I do, get in touch, it is so easy to collaborate remotely these days and who knows…..?

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