April 2015 Images
All taken with my Sony RX100 (MK1), mostly using the in-camera HDR setting.
Lyrics that resonate with me
I’m a bit of a philistine when it comes to words generally, but here’s a selection of some of my favourite lyrics (with a brief thought for each):
Talking Heads ‘Houses in motion’
‘For a long time I felt without style or grace
Wearing shoes with no socks in cold weather
I knew my heart was in the right place
I knew I’d be able to do these things’
Conveys a sense of someone not being a part of things, but aspiring to…
Peter Gabriel ‘Here comes the Flood’
‘Lord, here comes the flood
We’ll say goodbye to flesh and blood
If again the seas are silent
In any still alive
It’ll be those who gave their island to survive
Drink up, dreamers, you’re running dry.’
I find this to be incredibly poignant, regarding the afterlife…
Killling Joke ‘Europrean Super State’
‘Why are the proud descendants of Plato
Paying off more debts accommodating NATO?
We the caretakers of democracy
No longer tolerate this hypocrisy’
Jaz Coleman (Killing Joke) singer, part visionary / part madman -on good (observational) form here…
Todd Rundgren ‘God Said’
‘Nearly everyone I know claims to have heard your voice
And every time they do, I know I should rejoice
Because one day I’m sure you’ll break your silence
And speak just to me
But I feel like time’s running out
And my heart, my heart is filling with doubt
And god said
I don’t dwell upon you, I dwell on something else
And I am not really here so get over your self’
A very honest admission by someone who appears to have spent his life seeking truth(s)…
Peter Gabriel ‘No self control’
‘There are always hidden silences
Waiting behind the chair
They come out when the coast is clear
They eat anything that moves
I go shaky at the knees
Lights go out, stars come down
Like a swarm of bees’
Just plain evocative descriptives of forces and undercurrents, not usually manifest…
David Sylvian ‘ Red Guitar’
‘I recognize no method of living That I know
I see only the basic materials I may use
If you ask me, I may tell you It’s been this way for years
I play my red guitar
It’s the devil in the flesh
It’s the iron in my soul’
The iron on my soul – brilliant !…
Brief music update:
‘IRIS’ is still being worked on, I’m getting (hopefully) closer to the end of that project – still a fair amount to do still. Early 2015 release (?)
I’m getting into my newly acquired iPad’s musical capabilities, there really is some great stuff out there. I may well be doing an ‘electronica’ side-project on Korg’s ‘Gadget’ / FL Studio Mobile.
A couple of shots taken in the garden this morning whilst taking the dog out for a mooch.
Some new guitar videos
Just uploaded the fourth of my recent guitar videos. Just posting some points / info regarding how they were made:
They are just one take improvisations and I always make some mistakes, if the mistakes are pretty horrid I repeat the take (sometimes it takes up to four or five attempts to get a decent take), If they’re not too bad I leave them in.
The camera (my Sony RX100) is on a tripod and the tripod is next to a large mirror, so I can look into the mirror and see the reflection of the screen on the back of the camera and use this to ‘frame’ things properly. Unfortunately, in my exuberance when playing, I sometimes move out of frame – particularly my right hand – doh !
I’ve been adding some video effects on these recent videos.
The playing is just noodling really, I try to show a different sound or technique for each of them. I don’t play live currently, so these are an outlet for ‘performance’ of some kind.
For these videos, I’m using a great Amp simulator called ‘Flextron’ made by AXP. It’s a good as (or better) than all the other amp simulators / cabinet simulators I’ve tried and it’s made things much more flexible for me as I can place effects before the overdrive, which works best for phasers, wah pedals etc. I was using the overdrive from my Zoom G2.1u before, which was the first thing in the effects chain. ‘Flextron’ is free and available here:
Here’s the newst one, which is a different approach to the others:
Inspiration versus creative work’
Here’s some food for thought.
A quote from the artist and Photographer Chuck Close:
“The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you’re sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case.”
Good advice in my view, but perhaps more so for the artist who can work on their material full-time.
To put this quote in context, I’m currently working on my new album ‘IRIS‘, I’ve just finished a phase of reworking and all the tracks are still at a very early stage. The work-in-progress material I’m working with is almost three hours in total duration – it’s a sizeable project !
I’m now going to move on to the next phase, which will require making listening notes and then another bout of reworking. From experience, I may need repeat this process at least another four or five times over again – it’s what’s required to get the album finished and it is a lot of work. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not complaining about this, even work can be fun ( when it’s creative work) and having been through this process a fair few times now, it’s not such a daunting prospect.
So, in terms of inspiration, I’d say that my situation is more along the lines of what Chuck said, it’s the ‘real’ work stage where it all happens and any form of inspiration is more motivation, in that I want to advance the work and get the ruddy album finished ! Indeed, if I was to wait for inspiration, I think I’d be waiting for quite some time, the work brings up new facets by actually doing it.
Of course, any creative type needs to make some changes to spice things up, so here’s my current set-up, with even less gear and even more lights and buttons ! I’ve upgraded to Ableton Live Standard with their super-good sampler (cunningly called ‘Sampler’) and I think I’II get a fair bit of mileage from it. There’s an awful lot more you can do with these Launchpads than just launching clips (in Ableton Live) as well.
imac (invert) look as well !