It started with a buzzing noise from the speaker, that quickly got v loud and caused me to dive for the power switch. One of my RCF PA speakers had developed a fault. V expensive and probably not cost effective to get repaired professionally, so it was onto the web to see if anyone had reported anything similar, and found a diy solution. There normally is something for this type of thing, and sure I found that the likely fault was either in the volume pot or some of the transistors. Should be a simple enough thing to try, so parts being ordered. Annoying though – I also have a TV to fix (replacing capacitors) which I’ll do at the same time.
On the music front, I decided that, before I do any film shooting, I’d better purchase the “V-log” upgrade for my Panasonic GH5 camera. Colour grading is a new thing to me, and apparently makes things more ‘cinema’ by effectively increasing the camera’s dynamic range, and making colour grading easier.
Going to do some recording now – changed words to a couple of songs, and want to prototype some keys and drums. The ultimate aim will be to get a proper keys and drummer to play these parts, but I need to give them a vague idea of what I am after….. and of course I keep changing my mind!
The exploratory new music project with Pete (and Andy, keys player) will get underway next week. Should be interesting – I have played with Pete before, so know a bit about his music, but Andy will be a new acquaintance. This will probably be a slow-starter, but that gives it even more of the sense of the unknown!
I am setting up a nice, simple pedal-board for a more “instant” facility to get ideas down. No looper, no complicated chaining, just a GR55 guitar synth, an Atomic Amplifire, and a switcher (plus a vocal effects unit). I do have a tendency to make things a bit over-complicated, in the attempt for a panacea, so this will make a nice change.
I have also been “storyboarding” some of the videos for my songs, and we may even start trial shooting in the next few weeks. I am expecting to regret the proposed scene at the start of “Castaway”, which needs me to pretend to be washed up on the sea-shore of some deserted island. Warm water would be nice…. but I expect we will do this at Canvey Island or similar!
So yesterday pm Pete came over and we had a bit of a chat and an acoustic jam. Although a big Prog fan at heart, he has been recently playing with a couple of acoustic bands, and also occasionally jamming with a good keys player. Pete is about the same age as me, and it seems he would really like to play some prog music in a band. He asked if i would be interested in getting involved in a project to form a Prog band. This took me aback a bit, and I had recently dismissed the idea of getting involved with the stresses of another band. On thinking about it though, if the balance and ambience is right, then maybe it is worth exploring – one never knows what could end up as magical, and providing one keeps one’s wits about one…. I will think on this for a few days – at the very least, it was nice of Pete to ask, and is good for my self-esteem!
This evening is the monthly meeting of a local movie-makers club, which I would like to suss out. They have just sent me a reminder, but probably going to be too difficult to get there tonight. I missed last month’s too – this is going to be one of those ‘slow-starter’ things!
Possibly some musical activity today. Gill is off again to Dorset, and Pete Slade is coming over later to pick up his double-neck, which has been on loan to me for over a year now. it is a Shergold bass/12-string, as played by Mike Rutherford of Genesis. The 12-string neck was just strung with 6-strings, and I was experimenting with it to see if it would work for me, playing with Quiet Wish, instead of using the emulated bass for bass parts. Well, it might have worked, but the thing is soooo heavy, that it would have been a real chore to play. Maybe one needs to be 6 foot plus to be able to handle it. I did also look at buying or making a small double-neck version that might have been more manageable.
I used to do some jamming with Pete, and tonight we might do a short bit of acoustic jamming. One idea I have is to use my new camera/gimbal to film a short walk up out local hill, and we could jam an improvisation accompaniment to that. I will record it, and if it comes out any good, we can post it even!
Since the break-up of Quiet Wish at the end of July 2019, I have been trying to get organised on starting another musical project. This has not been easy, as Quiet Wish took up all of my dedication for nearly 5 years, and I found the way it ended particularly hard and personally disparaging, and even degrading and humiliating. The subsequent loss of personal confidence has been difficult to overcome, and only now am I really coming to terms with it in some sort of way – once I realised that I too can have my own personal dreams and motivations, and am not accountable to others, and don’t have to please anyone but myself. So, on we go…
Completing the garage renovation has allowed me to once again have a studio which is pretty silent and well-treated, and will allow easier recording of acoustic material. Most of the songs I write are a long way away from the prog-influenced sounds of recent years, and are more acoustic, singer-songwriter, even country/folk style. I want to get my songs recorded to a higher level, and that in turn means I need to get back in practice with playing and, particularly, with singing. My voice has never been stellar, but I want to make the best job of it, so it’s back to the singing lessons and practices that improved my singing previously.
The big step for me, and a real exciting prospect, is to, alongside recording the songs, to storyboard a music video for each. The songs lend themselves to visual stories, and I currently find it easy to picture scenes that would fit in well. I am already planning to film some clips myself – the video experience of QWT and the like, plus being seriously into photography back in the pre-digital age, has given me a “good amateur” understanding, so that will add to the fun.
I plan to keep a blog diary here of progress in getting this all together. Music and films won’t appear until I am happy with the results – hopefully in a few months time.