I have been playing and writing music since I was 14 years old. I currently write and record in my small home studio. I don't have any set style and pretty much make things up as the mood takes me. Most things are played on keyboard but I sometimes use guitars or other instruments if I need to. The tracks are hosted on soundclound and embedded here.
For the gear heads out there here is my current setup:
Logic Pro X running on an 27 inch iMac core i7 with 16GB memory. M-Audio Keystation Pro 88 midi keyboard. M-Audio Axiom 49 midi keyboard. Various plug ins including, IK Multimedia: SampleTron, SampleMoog, SampleTank3, Philharmonik. Amplitube3 for guitar. Gibson Sheraton Epiphone guitar. Mastered using T-Racks
A harvest too soon
This composition was commissioned for an exhibition about the 41 men from the village of Rainow, in the Peak District of England, who died during WWI. The piece has 3 movements: The village wakes; Into battle; No return. In the first movement strings and a harp signal the start of a new day in the sleepy village. This gives way to the main theme, initially on piano and then english horn and finally oboe. The second movement begins with the trumpet call to battle and the march to war. over an ostinato in G sharp the theme builds with two competing melody lines which counter and stress. During this piece a church bell chimes 41 times, once for each life lost. The final movement is the village after the war when its sons do not return. A series of piano chords and a single clarinet define the emptiness and sadness of the village. Then everything hangs on a precipice before the main theme reasserts itself, albeit changing from D major to d minor as the village continues on, changed but unbroken.
It took 3 months to complete from initial writing to final mix.
I was travelling on a train from London Euston to Macclesfield (a two hour journey). I had my MacBook Pro and a pair of headphones, Logic Pro 9 and a bunch of virtual analog synth plugins. I wondered if it was possible to compose, mix and master a track before I reached my destination. To make things more difficult I didn't have a music keyboard and had to play all sounds using the MacBook keyboard to emulate the notes. This track is the result, the mix finished just as we pulled into the station.
Then is not Now
I'm a huge fan of the Icelandic band Sigur Rós and their influence is clearly on show in this track. I wrote and recorded it over a weekend in my tiny loft studio in the old cottage before we moved.
Saturn's icy moon was the inspiration for this short piece using analog modular synthesizer plug-ins. There's more than a little touch of Tangerine Dream in here too.
I was plying around with arpeggiators and decided to see what I could do with an electric piano. The hand played arpeggiated track was done in one take. I really liked how it sounded and always meant to do more with this but haven't yet got round to it.