More music news

Another interesting week in music. I got together with Russ from the Eclipse Trio and we worked on some material for that. We also demoed a new tune of Russ's with a specific audience in mind (more on that later) and tried out a piece on acoustic guitar and oud. That last one was highly satisfying and we should be working on more soon.

In other music news the Band With A Name I Haven't Told You Yet has another studio date so we can finish vocals and get a mix done.



Thanks to the hard work of my pal Emma Jones, we had three delicious cakes to enjoy on Saturday. Here is the chocolate one.

A quick update from the Band With… [actual band name coming soon].

We spent nearly twelve hours in the studio this weekend. Guitar overdubs went down and I was reminded of just how sublime a great guitar solo can be. Our special guest, keyboard wizard Colin Henney arrived in the afternoon for many hours of, “I think it’s a D minor with a flattened 11th, but inverted” conversations ending with many great tracks of piano, Moog and Fender Rhodes.

While we were all extremely happy with the sound of the instrumental parts it was getting late before we could start on the vocals. It turns out that delicious, home-made cake and freshly brewed espresso just aren’t enough to overcome the feeling of being knackered. So, just before 11:00pm we stopped, vowing to return as soon as possible to complete the work.

We did achieve a lot though. Now we just have vocals, handclaps and mixing to go. Stay tuned.


The view on Saturday.


The Band With...

The Band that was the Band With No Name Yet But Is Now the Band With a Name That I Can't Tell You Just Yet (phew...) is back in the studio this weekend. We've been sapping ideas, working on arrangements and generally wondering if ten hours is enough time to get it all done. Now it turns out we have to decide what kind of cake to bring, whether wearing shorts will be a good idea and will there be appropriate facilities for us to make a good cup of espresso. The musician's life is a hard and complex one.

The good news is that we have our ├╝ber talented keyboard playing friend, Colin Henney coming down to add his magic to the songs. Last night we worked on backing vocals and also got to hear some of the additional guitar work.

While all this is going on it's time to find some artwork and get the Bandcamp site ready. I should get some sleep.


Neil Cowley Trio: She Eats Flies (live in Derry)

If you don't know the Neil Cowley Trio, I suggest you try them out. Here they are, playing a live, extended version of She Eats Flies. I love this.


Band Names 2.0 - a badly thought out theory

The Band with No Name Yet has chosen a name. One of us (not me) was reading a collection of short stories and suggested a title as a potential solution to our naming problem. I loved it and, much to my delight, so did the others.

Never one to let a chance to completely overthink something go by, I came up with a theory. We were having trouble with the name because of three reasons.

  1. We didn’t want something meaningless.
  2. Most suggestions sounded like band names from an earlier era.
  3. All the other suggestions were rubbish

What seems to have happened (according to my scientifically researched thesis) is that we have passed the time of Original band Names (1950s to, oh, a few years ago) and are now in the time of Band Names 2.0. Our new band name is from the latter camp and so will get a bit of resistance from those who are, basically, living in the past. There. I’ve explained something badly and alienated almost everyone at the same time.

We’re going back to the studio in a couple of weeks to finish of our first four songs and then, once they are mixed you’ll find the new name when we put the music up on Bandcamp.

I hope it’s worth the wait.



I love taking part in the 365 project; taking and posting a photograph for every day of the year. It can get a big large and unwieldy though. So, while I have no intention of stopping, I am going to post a Picture A Day (PAW) over on my Tumblr page. I would have posted them here but the handy Flickr to Blogger sharing option has gone.

I hope you enjoy them.


An update

Things have been a bit quiet here at the blog. Almost every facet of my life has been a little (or a lot) more complicated and spare time has been in incredibly short supply. Enough excuses though... the house/neighbour problem is moving to a new stage. I can't openly write about all of it at the moment but I can say there are some positive forces at work. We've been through this for two years now and it will still take a long time to settle, however, there is a potential end in sight.

Because of what's going on with the neighbour problem my family and I are having to work a lot harder just to get normal, everyday things done. Our daughter is coping well with this, our son... not so well. The sooner we sort it out the sooner we can get back to worrying about normal things like jobs, money and the cultural importance of photography.

In the musical world there has been great progress. The Band With No Name Yet has another recording session coming up and we've been working on backing vocals and a few arrangement changes for our first four songs. The attention to detail is high and I'm very pleased with the direction it's taking. This won't be anything like my Spingere project but I suspect there are only about four people in the world who really like that stuff anyway. The Band with No Name Yet (we really will get a name) has been a delight and it's allowed me to work with people I truly love working with.

The trio has been on hold while the piano player and guitarist travel around the world doing fun stuff. We have a new album to complete and some changes to apply. This too is band that works hard and has fun. It's another case of working with the right people and being open to change.

The only other music news that I am directly associated with is that my Spingere project is still, still, STILL churning around what will be its new album. I've complicated things by changing the parameters of what I'm doing again. This is the musical version of shoe shopping. You visit twenty different shops and end up the the first one. Well, not a a great analogy as I tend to get fed up after two shops, but you get the idea. The other thing is that my oud playing has improved greatly since I replaced the beautiful, traditional oud with a Godin Multioud (a modernised version). Everything that got in the way of playing and learning has gone. I am having a great time.

In the greater music world I am excited to hear what comes of my pal Lee Fletcher's new album. His last one was a feast of ideas and melodies. Expectations are high for the one he's working on now. King Crimson have reformed, which is exciting. Some new music could result, if the promo poster is anything to go on.

The Neil Cowley Trio have a new album called Touch and Flee, which I'm enjoying greatly too. Other fab new acquisitions are 'The Imagined Saviour is Easier to Paint' by Ambrose Akinmusire and Kin by Pat Metheny. The Metheny album grew on me greatly over the last month after an initial feeling that it was a bit dull. The more I listen the more I love it.

Lots to do. Lots to look forward to.