Tag: earth balm


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).

Sure SM58 microphone photograph. Copyright Shure Incorporated.

I will choose a path that’s clear…

I think I may have come to a decision regarding my next step(s). I’m hoping to revisit my Earth Balm material of 15 years ago and re-record, re-arrange, re-write it with a progressive rock mentality. My mate Andy Long (I hope it’s alright to call you a mate Andy) has been (no pun intended) instrumental in this. There’s no need for me to ditch the re-working that I’ve already done on the material and I’m filled with ideas for odd meter changes, modulations of key and tempo changes and melodic and rhythmic contributions. I’ve a new name in mind too but more about that at a later date.

I thought I might begin by remastering an EP of tracks and making them available via my band camp account as much as a statement of intent as an attempt to generate a little revenue :).

But first, I have to spend some time completing a generic cover letter and a new CV as I haven’t needed them for 25 years. I was hoping the job centre would get in touch to help out with writing and editing the documents. I’ve searched on line for examples but most of them were lacklustre and contained errors. I think it’s also true that I’ve acquired such a broad range of skills and experiences over the last 30 years that it’s difficult to know what to keep in and leave out. That will probably become clear when I start applying for work and can tailor content to the job requirements.

Please wish me luck in both endeavours.

Apologies for using a Rush song lyric for the post title.

Photograph of myself and Nigel Hodge at the Castle jam night. Copyright info to follow.

York, and a new beginning

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.


Pre Production

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.

Myspace Earth Balm graphic file.

Kelvin L Smith

I took a trip down to my parents today and discovered a tape cassette of tracks that I had recorded back in 1991 with Kelvin L Smith guitarist and ambient musician. I’ve lost contact with Kelvin even though I live just a few miles from him. Work commitments mean that I am virtually a recluse as far as local musicians and music go. It’s very much like Bill Nelson’s current work with Pink Floyd-like touches. My guitar work is very major / minor pentatonic but it’s a good prelude to the Earth Balm work in many ways. I’ll be archiving it to the Mac shortly (whilst I work on school planning of course).