Archive for Guitar

Film Sountrack: Count To 10

Posted in Film Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 23, 2015 by Gideon K


I was initially drawn into working on this film when Fraser said that he had a film and wanted something a bit dark and messed-up for it. I’ve been looking for a film project I could run with a little, and explore some more malevolent and frustrated musical moods. There aren’t always that many projects that will allow you to pour your own kind of diesel on them, so this was right up my street.

Strangely, early on when I was working on the music for this short, I showed the film to some people I know to see what their reactions were and they had no idea what the film was about. That was kind of strange to me as it seemed really obvious. But then I guess Fraser and I have similar voyeuristic sides and so on.

Anyway, this was actually quite a straightforward project to get done. Very simple. Fraser came round one evening and we sat in front of the film and discussed his ideas for what he thought the music could or should do in each bit. I would play around and sketch something musical on the computer with a keyboard, guitar or drum machine, and we would bounce some ideas around. Within about half an hour the basic skeleton for the two songs was done and then I developed them more on my own afterwards.

I have to give thanks to the two drummers who helped me out by playing on the recordings. Koko and PJ. The music would not have come out as well or as interestingly if not for them lending their skills. For one thing, I would have had to rely on drum software and while that has its uses, it is never the same as having a real drummer to record. Thank you both.

 

London Songwriters Meetup

Posted in Me Oh My with tags , , , , , , on April 1, 2011 by Gideon K

I went to check out a London songwriters meetup event last sunday. I’ve been looking for social events centred around this sort of thing.

Was interesting. I showed up a bit late and missed the collaborative part (well it was a sunday and it started at 1 – come on…) and so ended up talking to one of the organisers.

One interesting topic of conversation that came up was her inability to finish songs, and that this is a common thing I’ve picked from speaking to a lot of people. It’s the difference between those that do and those that don’t, I think – the actual finishing of a piece of work.

Nobody I speak to that laments about being unable to finish things, ever seems to have a solution or forward plan of action in terms of how to get past that.

Then I guess nobody who complains about things ever does.

After the groups played their collaborative efforts, finished or otherwise, there was a section for people to play one of their own songs. I was there, so I put my name down for it. After each person had played one of their own songs, people would write anonymous feedback on little bits of paper for the person.

Everyone had been playing things they’d just written that day so I in the spirit of it I did a song I’d hadn’t played live before. I fluffed a bit of my singing simply through not having my breathing timed properly – need to practice that.

The other thing was that I slipped and became unsteady a few times with my chords, BUT, no one said they noticed it because I kept my right hand playing the whole time and kept the groove going.

I’ve been teaching this to my guitar students recently – the difference between playing it like a guitar student and a person who actually plays the guitar well is down to groove. The whole point of music is to make you feel something. That’s usually down to the motion of it physically moving you – keep the right hand going and the left hand will take care of itself.

Most of the feedback didn’t tell me anything I didn’t know. One or two didn’t get the songs’ meaning. Everyone else seemed to, or thought they did, which is even better.

Unfortunately the group didn’t really stimulate or challenge me that much, and although I enjoyed the conversation with people, I didn’t really learn anything.

It was fun though and everyone was really nice.

I’d like to find more songwriter groups and check them out. Maybe I should just focus more on getting out there and playing to people again.

What I’m currently up to 05/03/2011

Posted in Me Oh My with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 5, 2011 by Gideon K

I’m currently working on my own band or project called Black Hay.

I had a band under this name in 2009, but that didn’t quite go as far as it could have before temporarily falling apart, and in 2010 I’ve been playing with Ghostnotes too much of the time to concentrate on anything else.

I’ve been meaning to revive the beast though. I have an almost album’s worth of songs, along with a clear concept sonically, thematically, artistically. And it won’t go away.

I thought it made more sense to try and get the material recorded (or at least demoed) first instead of trying to put another band together and THEN recording.

I realised it’s not the kind of project where I’m looking for someone else’s input to help me realise its potential, I’m going to be singing these songs, I can play guitar, bass and keys to the sort of level I need to play my music, I just need people with certain skills to do the things I physically cannot.

I’ve been highly inspired by my mate Lee’s DIY approach to this regarding his band Dumbjaw, and getting some great sounding tracks done for very little money with just a bit of grit, persistence and balls.

What I have been doing is looking for:

– A drummer, the right drummer, a groovy, hard-hitting ROCK drummer to help me realise these songs.

– A producer/engineer to help record and get it sounding good.

My plan is to take each song one at a time, rehearse, arrange, demo, and get everything tight and shiny. Then and only then do we go about recording perhaps only bass and drums live with everything else on top.

Once one song is done, repeat the process with the next song, rather than trying to tackle a whole bunch of songs at the same time.

That’s pretty much all I’m focused on at the moment, writing songs for this album idea.

I know a few guys who play bass and guitar that might be able to help out if I need them, and should I require other instruments, I’ll look for them but for now that is all.

Who knows which ones will go into the final thing or what I’ll use it for or do with it once I’m done. All I know is this urge is driving me crazy if I don’t do it.

Do the work, decide what to do with it afterwards.

Crazy? Silly? Moi?

By Way of Introduction…

Posted in Me Oh My with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 11, 2011 by Gideon K

Is it possible to put your passions and dreams first, and let the world fall in place behind them?

 

I don’t know the answer. I only have a gut feeling that it is, but it is the way I want to live, and I’m going to give it a try. The alternative stinks, so I’d rather fail at this than succeed at that.

 

Since before I can remember I have always been building something, drawing, making, playing, writing, dreaming… it used to be constructing things out of blocks, furniture, toys, now it’s mostly via words and sounds, guitar and voice rather than water paints or lego, but to me the urge is the same.

 

“There is no delight in owning anything unshared.” – Seneca (Roman philosopher)

 

I get the feeling that there are other people out there who have similar questions I do. I believe thoughts and ideas are meant to be shared, fed back to you via other people so that you can see their true shape. Like bouncing a basketball off a backboard – how it comes back to you can show you the way you are putting it out there. Thus you can change it for the better, and I’m all about getting better.

 

I’m going to be writing about creativity and how my endeavors relate to this. I will be posting my thoughts and ideas, things I have learnt or am trying to figure out. I’m not here to give anyone advice necessarily or tell people what to do, just to tell stories and speak my mind. This is all about exploring and keeping creativity flowing.

 

I’d love to hear passionate, compassionate, well-thought out responses to anything I’ve written. If you agree, disagree, or have anything to share then the comments section is open. I always make time to listen to what others have to say whether I agree or not.

 

I hope you get something out of my blog.

 

Thank you for reading.

 

Gideon K