One of my favourite guitarists is Andy Summers and I’ve recently been working on improving my playing of his Police era style ‘guitaring’ to add texture to my Earth Balm re-recording and new track work. I admire the palm muting, chord voicing, tone, effects use and the philosophy of ‘less is more’ in the work. I might even invest in some Mooer effects pedals to model his sound (no, he doesn’t use or endorse them but they are a cost effective way to get his trademark sound). The Elec Lady (now I believe called the E Lady) is particularly good.
Thought I’d just take break from taking a break from the blog and just post that music and graphics for the CD are moving at pace. Getting to know Logic and Daz Studio and Photoshop (Elements) very well now. I’ve ditched the idea of drawing and painting the physical artwork by hand as I don’t have the hours required to acquire efficient skills. I will be investing in a set of Rode M5 microphones shortly, to record acoustic guitar solos, in addition to my ‘band’ style work.
I also have to mention that I’ve begun reading my first ever Terry Pratchett novel (Unseen Academicals – not the best Discworld novel with which to begin ((it’s the 37th)) but it was a bargain hardback, in a charity shop, in Monmouth). My kind of (brilliant) author! There’s some clever wordsmithery going on and some well realised character development. I haven’t laughed out loud quite so much with a book before now!
I’m making good progress on the iBook now; generating ideas, sketching out maps, pictures and diagrams, creating animated videos, writing a little and drawing a little each day, working on music tracks too and still finding time to continue decorating the house. I hope I finally get to finish the project and not lose the momentum part way through.
I paid a visit to PMT, Cardiff today (again) to pick up a Shure SM58. I’m now all set to start committing my folk and acoustic guitar repertoire to hard drive.
Thursday’s visit to the Lyceum folk club in Newport convinced me that this is the way forward for me musically speaking. I shall still be remastering (but not re-recording) old Earth Balm material and sending them out to the world via my Bandcamp account (it’s not live yet but I’ll post here when it is).
I returned to York this past weekend . It’s a beautiful place and it was as hard as ever to leave my son behind for his final degree year. More so because it’s become very obvious that he’ll almost certainly settle there permanently.
Unusually, I made the journey back alone. I’d taken quite a few of the CDs that inspired my love of World music and played them at a suitable volume for the 5 hour trip (a lot of traffic problem en route). I hadn’t played the music for some 10 – 15 years but can see where a lot of the early Earth Balm tracks and general sound originated. If I haven’t already done so, I’ll create a page listing some of these CD albums and, if they are still available, create links to Amazon etc. “Sacred Ceremonies” and “Hemisphere No More” were the two stand-out CDs.
One of the significant things for me, was that I had time to think about a new name for my music to replace Earth Balm.
I’ve also managed to load up the Mac Pro with the software I need and already use.
Finally, after years of false starts and dithering, I’ve begun working on pre-production for the re-mixing, re-recording and new recording of Earth Balm music. I’ve begun with creating Kontakt 5 sound sets for many of the synth and ‘ethnic’ instrument samples I’ve used in the past. This should allow me to change the keys of various songs to better suit my voice or the voice of other (proper) singers. The original music used ‘multi ethnic’ samples of singers and I need to augment these with other vocals. I’ll also be re-using some of my own instrument playing and will need to re-pitch some of these. Others, I’ll simply re-record. I’m topping and tailing samples, removing DC offset and normalising the recordings.
I feel like 2016 is going to be the start of a brand new journey. Please wish me bon voyage, if you will.