New Music Monday: A Song Started In 2011

Here is a song that I first started writing back in 2011, thus the rather plain title “2011 09 01”. The title and date associated with it has no meaning; it’s simply the format I use when creating project files.

Yeah, it sometimes takes awhile to finish a piece of music. 🙂

When I write, sometimes a bass line inspires me. At other times a particular sound inspires me. It’s different for every song. If I remember correctly, this one started with the bass line and grew from there.

It’s only at the demo stage and I don’t think I’ll take it any further. Nevertheless, I figured why not let it see the light of day. So here it is. I hope you enjoy it.

Moogfest: Been There, Done That Finally

This past Friday and Saturday, I attended Moogfest 2016, an event that I’ve wanted to attend for several years.

Personal highlights were seeing and playing the Moog Minimoog Model D reissue, checking out the gear in the Moog Pop Up Shop, attending a talk featuring Tatsuya Takahashi (designer of the Korg Minilogue), getting to hear famed producer Daniel Lanois speak and play, and walking around downtown Durham, NC and the American Tobacco Campus. Downtown Durham is interesting in that it has such a distinct identity, much like downtown Roanoke, VA.

One of the unfortunate lowpoints was feeling rather underwhelmed after playing the Minimoog Model D synthesizer. I’m thankful for the opportunity to play the reissue of this iconic instrument and hope Moog’s effort to bring it back to production is successful. But I’m glad modern synths have advanced far beyond its 1970s era capabilities which for the most part it retains. At its heart it’s an instrument begging to be played. Howvever, at $3500 it’s a nostalgia piece. Nice to have, but not necessary.

Another downer was that there seemed to be few sessions for musicians and their needs and interests. Most of the talks I attended were geared more towards the engineer types which is fine. Without engineers we wouldn’t have synthesizers. Nevertheless, I’d like to see the addition of creative music making focused sessions in future Moogfests. After all, without musicians engineers wouldn’t have a market to which to sell their creations.

Overall, despite those relatively minor points, it was a very interesting and informative event which one should experience at least once. I’m hoping that since Moog invited a Korg designer to speak at this year’s conference that it bodes well for the possibility of Dave Smith and Tom Oberheim coming to speak at a future Moogfest. If that happens, I’ll definitely be attending again.

‘Til next time.

Ground Control To Major Tom…

In tribute to the late David Bowie, Steven Wilson and his band cover “Space Oddity”.

I continue to be perplexed as to why Steven isn’t more well-known for his musical achievements. He is an authentic creative force in a world full of PR created entertainers.

Wintertime Music

Whew! It’s been awhile since I last posted. Thanksgiving, Christmas, a new year have all come and gone since my last communique.

Despite it being wintertime, January is turning out to be a good month music-wise with two of my favorites putting out new work this month. Last week, Steven Wilson released an EP, “4 1/2”, a sort of intermezzo between his last full album and the next.

music album cover

And tomorrow Dream Theater release their latest, “The Astonishing”, a double-album clocking in a wee-bit over 2 hours (yes!).

music album cover

Needless to say, I’ll be setting aside some quality time to digest all of this sonic goodness. Until next time!

Vital Listening

Mutemath’s latest album “Vitals” drops tomorrow. As is wont with many bands these days, they are streaming it in advance. My physical copy doesn’t arrive until tomorrow, but I couldn’t resist taking a quick listen. Have listened to “Joy Rides”, “Remain” and “Used To” so far. And I’m liking what I hear: peppy, synth-heavy alt-rock. Nice. Very nice.

Electronic Head-space

I’ve been getting into a different musical head-space these days, one that is tending more towards electronic. Having grown up in the ’80s, this is sort of like returning to my first love. I’ll always love modern progressive rock; I thoroughly enjoy the complexity the genre offers and it’s been so much of my writing and listening focus the past decade. However, the compositional simplicity of electronic music with a focus on the sound palette (ala Depeche Mode) has of late become so very interesting to me. So much so that I’m busy writing and recording new music with a strong focus on the electronic. It’s actually quite liberating artistically helping to spur lots of new and interesting ideas.

To be continued.