‘Swarm’ ‘single’ now released
‘Swarm’ ‘single’ now released
‘Ambient minimalism, with (poly) rhythmic elements’
Now up on the streaming sites and my Bandcamp page with a free exclusive track.
‘Speed of Life’
‘This is quite a different Igneous Flame release. Imagine elements of mid-period Peter Gabriel, Japan, Plaid and Yellow Magic Orchestra with an idiosyncratic ethnic percussion section jamming along with a psychedelic guitarist playing rhythm parts and liquid sustained guitar solos over the top’
Both albums draw on material from the same pool, so I decided to release them at the same time even though the production is very different.
I hope to have two albums to release in the near future, titled ‘Ki’ and ‘Speed of Life’.
‘Ki’ is a tonal drone / sequencer based project with subtle kick drum pulses.It has element of minimalism which is an unusual inclusion in an ambient drone work.
‘Speed of Life’ is essentially a guitar album with electronica style (whatever that means !) backing. I have made extensive use of my Sustainer and fretless guitars on this album and Arabian and Indian percussives.
More information will be added nearer to the release date.
Otherwise, I have been getting out and about on my newly acquired bikes during these unprecedented lockdown times. Here is an image I took whilst out on one of my excursions.
‘Argon’ new album released today !
Argon’ is something of a departure for me in that it is a longform work, consisting of two tracks, which are montages of themed material.
It incorporates subtle kick drum and bass line interplay, with interspersed sequence-like rhythmic textures along with my more usual tonal drone treatments.
Bandcamp link and up on the usual streaming sites:
I’m also working on two album projects intended for early 2020 release. One will be in a similar vein to ‘Argon’, but with shorter tracks and will be more ‘sequencer oriented’. The other, is something of a guitar album with electronica style backing, I should say this will be very different than any of my previous Igneous Flame releases !
Am beavering away on two upcoming album projects, not sure as regards a completion / release date as such – possibly early 2020.
Have had to do a ‘prune’ of older tracks on my Soundcloud page. Soundcloud used to be a good service and I was happy to pay for their ‘Pro’ subscription for years, but I think it’s very much lost it’s way now, so I’m keeping it just for free / unreleased / work-in-progress tracks.
I also recently made a montage of spatial* rain recordings for anyone interested in such things (* ambisonics to binaural). The effect works best on headphones.
Lastly, here’s a recent image from one of my favourite local places.
‘Indigo’ new album released today !
‘Indigo’ is comprised of a selection of tracks created from processed, generative sources.
The process for this album was different to my other releases – I created a pool of source material using generative blocks and ensembles in Native Instrument’s Reaktor. These were later processed, transformed and composed into the finished tracks.
I plan to release another two albums by the end of this year, which (again !) will be quite diversely different works.
‘Indigo’ is up on Bandcamp, as well as the streaming / download sites:
Edit of the track ‘Ogong’ on Soundcloud
Video on Youtube of the above:
Social media for independent musicians ?
Been mulling over this recently and my thoughts are, for an independent, ambient musician such as myself (i.e. not in any kind of major league !), I don’t really see the value of spending the time on social media to try to ‘raise my profile’. I should say I’m speaking here as an individual artist – I can’t speak for bands and the like.
I do have a YouTube channel and an Instagram account * (see links), as I have made a lot of videos to accompany some of my music and I am a keen ‘out and about’ photographer. I very selectively follow / subscribe / comment on these two. I did have a Twitter account for a week (couldn’t really see the point) and have never had a Facebook account (on principle !). I do have a Soundcloud page, but I use that as just a place to post tracks.
The time required to subscribe / follow / like people and posts is just not worth the effort in my opinion – bearing in mind the reciprocal and disingenuous ‘back slapping’ thing going on, which is not my thing at all. I do wonder how much real ‘connection’ is made on these social media sites ? I used to have a Myspace account and spent some time ‘curating’ that and did make some meaningful connections there through private messages, but I gave up on it as it started to lose it’s way somewhat and I realised that I had spent too much time on the networking side of it and now all of that is lost as it has long gone – which could happen to the current sites too.
Out of the blue, I get emails from people who say very complimentary things about my music, which encourages me significantly, this was also the case before social media existed too.
In conclusion, my view is that I would rather spend my time on my music. It may seem an obvious point, but that really is the primary thing – without good work, all manner of promotion is pretty pointless. I do do a bit of a ‘press release’ thing when I have a new album out, but don’t go overboard on it. My goal is to improve and release the best material I can. I have been releasing since 2003 and am very pleased that more people than ever are listening to my music.
(* Instagram seems to me to be a social media site using images (and videos) instead of words. Maybe that’s a simplistic view on it, I originally thought it was more akin to ‘flickr’, but on my short time there it seems much more ‘socially’ orientated than that)
2019 projects update
I am currently working away on a number of projects which I intend to release later in the year.
I’m mindful that it has been some time since my last album release and I intend to make 2019 a more productive year than 2018.
Album projects update:
I’m rather behind schedule for my next releases, the reasons for this are twofold:
1) I needed a break. I have been releasing consistently for some time now and I felt my creative juices were in need of rejuvenation – the last thing I want to do is to go in ‘auto-pilot’ and release very samey sounding albums, so a break (which wasn’t entirely a ‘break’, as I’m still perusing / experimenting with ideas) was in order.
2) Guitar stuff – for one of my upcoming projects, I need to practice guitar to a degree where I become far more fluid in my playing (as I needed to with the fretless bass, for my last album). I also have been buying guitars, which takes quite some time to get them to be in a good playing / working order. I’m experimenting with all manner of guitar / pickup combinations to find the ‘tone’ that will suit what I have in mind for the project.
I have been creating videos of some of the guitars / sounds I’m planning on using. They will more likely to be of interest to people interested in those instruments. However as I have to do multiple takes to get a decent performance, there is an element of playing live which may be of interest (particularly as I don’t actually perform live)
Hopefully, towards the end of 2018, I will be closer to finishing these projects off.
Guitars, repetition and learning.
I’m currently playing the guitar a lot more for one of my upcoming projects and I’ve noticed how much I tend to repeat myself in my playing. if I don’t monitor what I’m doing I go into ‘auto pilot’ and play very old (to me) riffs, licks and patterns. While it could be said that that is part of one’s style, it could also be seen as not exploring new areas / falling into well worn habits. So I’m trying to do some new things, particularly in my solo playing. One thing that helps is actually just playing more ! I find the ‘improvisational brain’ tends to work better when it becomes more used, as well as do the motor skills required to undertake what said brain requires. This is an issue for me in that I’m over 50 now and I just don’t have the ‘chops’ that I had when I was younger, but I can still see the benefit of recent practice, in this area. I feel that guitar playing is a ‘perishable skill’ in a lot of ways and long breaks from playing make for a longer time to get back into some kind of fluency.
In a wider sense, being aware of habitual repetitions and the like applies to music making in general (as well as one’s personality) and observing these habitual behaviours and then (more importantly !) endeavouring to do something to try to change them.
Anyway, here’s a video of me noodling – with some ‘fresh’ (I hope) variants ! I haven’t done any guitar videos for quite some time now (almost three years) and I’m now more fluent, currently. More to come on my YouTube channel.