by Ear Blocker
There once was an expectation, that an artist would take a while to create an album. That was certainly the case for my first album “Headfiller”. Over the course of a decade it was finally released. My latest “Assortment” was created in a comparative blink of an eye. The levels of frustration, pain and joy seem to be similar though.
Listen to the album while reading the text.
Can’t stop making music
Most of the tracks were originally conceived in 2016 and have just been released 28th February 2019. It is available at all digital outlets for your listening pleasure.
I wrote my first song at the age of five, about that popular theme of going to the toilet. Inspiration must have come from a lack of resources, as I remember writing it out on toilet paper!
I come from a line of musicians, although I didn’t get the opportunity to be educated by them. Must be in the blood!
My main instrument of choice has been the guitar although I wrote that particular song at the piano. I just find it far more expressive. I have played in bands throughout the late eighties/nineties and have been creating music with computers since the mid 90’s.
Not adverse to collaborations, I tend to do it all.
I have managed to keep it going throughout many twists and turns of life, but music has been the constant companion to which gets richer every year.
All of my work has been an exploration into different genres, experiences and technology over a long period of time.
Claimer: I can’t stop making music!
Assuming some people like to get a little behind the scenes of an artist’s thoughts on creating songs, I submit the following;
Heavily inspired by Prince (I am a massive fan). I had
been playing his incredibly beautiful composition “Sometimes in snows in April”, not long after his passing. As a result, I started playing with an open sus chord, which became the source of the song. The tempo changed a little over time and thus some parts have been audio warped, which gives them a unique sound. I played with layering synth with orchestral strings, can you tell? Funky slap bass and Linn drums. Lots of parts to create signature themes, hence the title.
A good song tells a story, right? The story about Scheherazade (tales of the Arabian nights) has always fascinated me. Why would someone volunteer themselves in such a position? How could the Sultan behave so abominably? For some reason, I kept thinking of the intro to Grace Jone’s single “Slave to the rhythm”, where Ian McShane lends his gravelly tone. Somehow that all manifested in this song. I was keen to develop lots of lush sounding; other worldly; exotic; world instrument parts to listen to on those hot summer nights.
For me this became an unwitting nod to Britpop band Blur with a brief shout out to the late David Bowie. I was looking to produce a song that sounded stripped back with just a touch of extra here and there. This was in contrast to the previous track. Friendships can take on all forms and this song humorously, touches on previous experiences and acceptance.
“Sounds like Radiohead” someone told me. It wasn’t my intention (I don’t think) but I had been listening to them. As you can probably tell, I do like to mix things up, particularly with world instruments. Everyone uses Tabla, so why not try the Dohl? Of course, it needs heavy distorted and ethereal guitars as accompaniment to the delicate classical guitar. Just try not to get too Cocteau Twins (I like them too).
Hitting a sixties vein here. Managed to get my guitar to sound like a sitar, a heavily featured instrument in late 60’s. Reflecting on the struggles of relationships and life, leaves the listener none the wiser.
Everything we do
In need of something slow and soul soothing, this John Lennonesque vocal composition emerged. The rest of the Beatles managed to show themselves in their respective ways. Ringo on the tea-towelled drums, George on the flanged
guitars and Paul… actually not on bass but maybe on the mellotron.
This musically speaking, was a Smith’s moment for me. The driving bass dragging the punchy bright drums along, sets the pace to be re-enforced by the wailing guitar.
The musical love child of Billy Joel and Prince. Sorry, you can’t undo that vision in your head can you? I’m going to make it worse for you though, add in a little Ray Montagne and you have the blueprint for Lonely Man, Ha!
Quick confession, this song was created back in 2004 but I felt that it wasn’t quite right. A revamp on some of the parts and here we are.
I like playing bass and coming up with bass lines. Also, I like playing guitar and coming up with riffs. Actually, I like making music and coming up with songs, compositions. Conclusion, I like sound. Those harmonics hopefully will carry you away…
A commentary on the bleak world of work when I had been listening to Radiohead.
Assortment is an album that covers a broad spectrum I know. But why limit yourself, don’t answer, I understand about targeting audiences. Still as an artist it’s got to come out. I like to think I’m contributing to the rich tapestry of music in any manner I can.
I hope you can enjoy some of it too.
Thank you for taking the time.
Ear Blocker, Category: Artist, Albums: Assortment, Headfiller, Singles: Wrong Turn, Moth on My Plate, The Miller, Toy, Your Something…, Top Tracks: Untouched, Breakin’ Away, Say Watcha’ Want, Intoxication, Moth on My Plate, Monthly Listeners: 7, Where People Listen: London, Hornsey, Beckton, Amstelveen, Schaumburg