Archive for Music

Film Soundtrack: In Deep

Posted in Creativity, Film Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2015 by Gideon K

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I met Keir at a film networking event. Josh was screening his Japanese Doctor Who film and Keir was screening a short film he had made. We got talking afterwards and he was telling me about this film he had shot all in one day with two actors and a soundguy. When he sent me a copy of the film I pretty much told him that he HAD to let me do the music for it because he wasn’t going to find anyone else who got what his film was about as much as I did.

I gave him some kind of bullshit rap about that which was 100% earnest and genuine, but seems kind of funny in hindsight. Then again, I guess it’s important to work with enthusiastic people.

Initially I had this whole other idea for how to go about the music for the film (quite a good idea that I’m not going to divulge because I plan to use it for another project someday). Partly it was based on metamorphosis and diversity since the film is quite long for a short film. Ultimately the initial idea didn’t work, and all that remained from my first sketches was the main theme that opens the film and reappears later on. I ended up pursuing more of that vibe and all of the pieces for this film have that soft, dreamy quality to them in one way or other. The aim was to capture a feeling of space and softness, mostly.

I tried to match the tone of the film in the sense of having two or more, but mainly two instruments weaving in and out of each other and tentatively touching around each other. Also, because of the relative sparsity of notes, I used a lot of tremolo and reverb on most of the guitars partly to try to accentuate the sense of space, light and softness, but also just because I like the sound of them.

Indulgence is ok if it works.

I started recording the pieces shortly after I had upgraded my recording gear, and it was a lot of fun experimenting with recording at home with some of my amps and outboard effects units rather than using just using plugins. I usually prefer the sound of a nice warm tube amp over a VST plugin if I have the choice.

One of the reasons this project took me a little while to finish, is that I have this ‘problem’ if you will, in that sometimes I can’t quite bring myself to make a piece of music that is only the duration of the bit it is used for – I feel like I have to make the segment or section used into a fully developed piece, even if it’s quite short. I don’t like leaving musical orphans lying around in my wake. So some of these pieces are 5 mins long even though they are only in the film for about 30 secs each. I don’t mind that though, because in the end I think film music should work as music that can be listened to on its own as well as with the film, in much the same way as I think often a good film will still work if you take all of the music out of it.

Sadly I can’t share the video of the film at this point in time. There’s a little trailer here (which I didn’t do the music for). But I will share the full film if/when I get the ok from the director.

In the meantime, all of the music below is in the film.

The Soundtrack of Our Imaginary Lives

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

Life is strange. You get caught up and focused on some things that you ignore or neglect something else. Then, when you lift your head up to have a look around you realise that more time has gone and wonder if you could have spent your time more productively or effectively.

It seems fairly typical of my creative patterns in some way – to start one thing, eventually get to the end of it (and I’ll allow myself some credit here – it may take a while, but I do finish the projects I start), then plough into some other kind of project straight afterwards that is perhaps on a completely different tangent to what I’ve been previously working on. I sometimes question how much of that is creative restlessness and a desire to explore new or unfamiliar ground, and how much of it is a form of escapism. Instead of sticking to one or two disciplines and mastering them, I fumble and play, I dabble with a number of things and don’t really master any of them.

I’m not sure yet.

But speaking of mastery, I believe this year I have put in at least a few more of the hours that will count towards clocking up the 10,000 hour minimum genius quota. Mastery of what, if anything, is a different subject.

I’ve spent a lot of time over the past year learning about recording and engineering sounds and music. What motivates me is the need to be able to record my own music on my own, at home whenever I felt like it, and to have those results be presentable in some way.

Part of this was brought into focus by putting out an EP earlier this year of punk/alt rock covers that were recorded mostly at home on my crappy soundcard and my old computer. I took it to get mixed by a pro, but it made me want to improve my home-recording skills.

 

To cut a long story short, most of the music I have been working on this past year or so has been soundtracks to short films. Like most other creative avenues I have dabbled in, film music is not something I had given much thought to or foreseen myself having a go at much before. I had done a piece for one of my brother’s film projects when he was studying, but nothing since then until July last summer.

I plan on putting down a few words in due course about some of these projects, but for now here is a little showreel I have put together of some of the music I have made for moving image.

 

Happy New Year

Posted in Me Oh My with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 13, 2012 by Gideon K

 

It’s about time I got round to writing this and getting back on track with this blog.

 

First off, hello to any and all of you who read this blog, and if you’ve just joined us, welcome.

 

I’d like to wish a special set of greetings for everyone who over the past year has come to my gigs, listened to my tracks, read my posts, watched my videos, ‘liked’ my facebook pages, followed my tweets, shared my content, commented on any of it, given me feedback and generally inspired me to do further work.

In an age where we are inundated with information and we all have to quickly, immediately and almost right off the bat make decisions about what we will or won’t give our time to, it is hugely humbling and hugely appreciated that you have designated any of my creative endeavours and offerings as worthy of your time.

 

Overall, as far as blogging goes I think this year has been pretty good. I know I certainly haven’t pushed this blog as far as it could go in terms of readership, or turning my posts into conversations and interactions with all you people out there, but a good start has been made.

 

I pretty much kept up my end of the bargain. I put up 49 new posts, which since I started the blog in February, works out as just above one a week for the duration of the year. I have also drunk a hell of a lot of tea this year.

 

For a while I was having visions of all the ghosts of teabags from the last year coming back to haunt me and ask me if I’ve made their sacrifice worthwhile.

 

I hope I’ve used their fuel to further my trajectory towards the heart of the unknown blogosphere…

 

 

Here are the top 5 posts that got the most views this year:
1 ‘Art is Work’
2 Top Ten Alternative Queens
3 The Sound of Modern Music
4 Do You Remember the First Time?
5 Why Don’t You Smoke?

 

My most commented on post was Certainty vs Uncertainty.

 

My 5 most active commenters were:

1 opheliacomplex

2 Anna

3 John Clay

4 Miller

5 JB Newman

 

 

Thank you all for your time, wit and wisdom, and to everyone else who commented.

 

 

My ambition was really just to keep the thing up for a year and see what happened. I don’t really know how this year is going to go. All I do know is that it can’t be the same or stay the same, because I seem to be incapable of doing that.

 

I will continue writing this blog and experimenting with different formats for writing posts and sharing ideas thoughts etc. I have a lot of ideas for new things including some fairly wacky ideas about how to expose and embarrass myself online, but I think being uncomfortable is relatively healthy.

 

I’d like to take this opportunity to inform those of you who don’t already know, where all my online content can be found…

 

Primarily, all my online content can be accessed via two main hubs: www.gideonk.com and www.blackhay.com. Each has their own links to separate soundcloud, youtube, facebook, twitter and myspace pages.

 

http://soundcloud.com/black-hay is where all my serious heavy music is at, my sweat and blood masterpieces and what-have-you. It is also where most of my gig listings will be found this year.

 

http://soundcloud.com/gideon-k contains all the other stuff that doesn’t fall under my main project banner – my strange and wacky cover versions, soundtracks, my session showreel and that sort of thing. I might occasionally post some RAAAAAW demos on there for sneakpeaks of upcoming songs and changes.

 

 

 

Thanks for checking in. I hope you’ll stick around. I would love to hear what you people have to say about anything and everything.

 

And finally…

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR PEOPLE!!!!

 

(better late than never, eh?)

 

 

Peace, love and used teabags

 

Gideon

 

 

 

 

You’re A Lifer

Posted in Creativity with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 30, 2011 by Gideon K

There are moments in life where you feel like you’ve taken a step in a certain direction, or just looked around knowing that there are certain other paths it is now impossible for you to take.

I read this in an interview with Mike Patton for Filter Magazine some years ago and it resonated deeply with me.

“I can’t remember the exact moment or the day but it sort of happened over time. I think you realise it more when you see how you fit into the scheme of the real world, when you come home and realise that everybody’s out partying on Friday night and you’re home working without even thinking about it… without trying, without forcing yourself, and realising, you know, that it isn’t work, that it’s you. It’s just you and there’s not a lot you can do about it.

It’s a knee-jerk battling reaction and for me it’s expensive, but I just had to do it. And I will do it, and I’m lucky enough to be making a living doing it so I can do it all the time. But you know, you realise that yeah, it’s no joke anymore, or if nothing else the joke’s on you and you’re in this. You’re a lifer.”Mike Patton

There’s not really much for me to add to this. It captures that feeling when you’ve found that thing in your life that nothing else compares to.

Maybe I’m just working my mind progressively further down one particular funnel, but I can’t imagine a point in my life where music, writing and generally expressing my creativity is not a central feature of my existence. It becomes more of a necessity for me on an almost daily basis.

If I hadn’t known it before, my realisation came in recording in Ireland last summer.

No matter what time I went to bed in the night, I was up the next day at 7. No alarm, nothing, just awake, alert, ready to GO.

I was working 12, 14 hour days, fully concentrating on what I was doing.

I would go running round the grounds of the castle some mornings, breathing mountain air, feeling alive, doing what I was supposed to be doing.

Compare this experience with the drudgery of waking up and forcing yourself to get out of bed to go to a job you hate doing. Not even because it’s such a bad job – it’s just not what you were built for.

“A man’s work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened.”Albert Camus

They say every action we take, where we end up and what we do are down to our choices, but when my body and my whole being react like this and give me such obvious hints about what will lead me to happiness and fulfillment in life, what choice do I have?

Other than the one about whether I step up to the plate and take it or not….