The Smith's Journal - February 2006

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A Romantic at heart

Cried my way to work this morning, driving over the hills hearing some electronic music classics of my youth, most notably Robert Schroeder's Galaxie Cygnus-A and Kristian Schultze's Retour. Heartstopping. This largely unknown music is a logical progression into a modern Romantic music, with deep emotional power and expressive richness of timbres. If Beethoven was alive, he would be leading the field.

I never did send the four Valentine's cards I had planned to (You know who you are! :-) Only kidding - just because I've just come back from Africa doesn't mean I can be a polygamist! No, my Muse needs my full attentions now; I need to channel my Ardour into my own Romantic music. And if I don't start making my new album soon, I'm gonna implode!

Tunnel Visions

My next solo album after my 1999 (!) debut Tone Control will be called Tunnel Visions. I've been planning this project for some time now, in a sort of back-to-front way, in that the song titles, durations and instrumentation were conceived first, following my aesthetic intuition, and then the actual composing of the music has come next, all geared around the album's conceptual ideas. I know concept albums were supposed to have died out in the 1970's, but I don't care :-)

Recording a demo tape of Crooked Sixpence last night inspired me to get up with my oud, a great move. After tuning it to a D Major chord (no doubt influenced by Richie Havens who I'd heard interviewed earlier promoting his London gigs), I began experimenting with a funky hammer-on technique using just the left hand tapping the frets directly. I then found I could easily add dextrous percussion on the body of the instrument with my right hand, resulting in some rather groovy bass and drums. This will no doubt become the rock to underpin the already-named track "Nude Oud Funk Etude Eludes The New Dude Blues".

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