A Reflection

August 27, 2014
So I've been playing piano for many years; and was writing music long before I started uploading the piano melodies, four years ago. However before then, I'd been writing most of my songs using virtual instruments, such as midi guitars, bass and drums.

I think at the time I was trying to write something closer to 'pop songs', with a traditional verse / chorus structure; and casting aside the natural piano sound. After all, when we're young, we all want to play guitar in rock band; and piano music does have a somewhat dated image, which can be hard to shake off. Plus most of the piano music I'd learnt up until that point was classical, with a touch of jazz thrown in; and I simply thought that was all the piano was.

However as my tastes in music began to expand, I was discovering a whole new wonderful world of modern piano music, with contemporary pianists such as Ludovico Einuadi, emotive film composers such as Thomas Newman and talented anime composers such as Toshihiko Sahashi. Some of these breathtaking works astounded me; and more importantly, it connected with me in a way which classical music never could.

See the problem I've always had with baroque & classical music, is although the music is technically impressive, it often failed to resonate with me on an emotional level. It seemed to me like some of the music was trying to say, 'look how many notes and scales I can play at lightning speed', rather than trying to elicit emotion, which can often be best achieved with the simplest theme.

Don't get me wrong; I have nothing but admiration for those responsible for laying the foundations for music today, and there's many classical pieces that move me (such as some of Beethoven's slower sonatas). But upon hearing these modern performers, I had finally found piano music which I could relate to; simple melodies, but played with such grace and feeling, with not a single extraneous note to be found.

It was also at this time when I switched music recording software from Cakewalk's SONAR to Steinberg's Cubase. And while SONAR was great, the default piano sounds were all rather average; whereas Cubase came with an exquisite set of piano sounds. And so, as a combination of these factors, when I began recording music I found that the layers of pretense, the desire to use midi guitars and pop song structures, the desire to hide the fact that I was writing piano music, simply fell away.

Instead, I began to embrace it. After all, the piano is an instrument without compare. It covers a range of pitches which no other instruments can reach. It has this organic flow, where the notes blend into each other. It allows you to play up to ten notes at once, something instruments such as guitars, violins and trumpets simply cannot do. And perhaps most importantly, the sounds it creates can elicit every possible feeling, from fear to anger, from sadness to delight.

And although I love the sounds of many other instruments (indeed some of my recent stuff incorporates other elements such as string orchestration and guitar), the piano and it's sound will be something I always keep coming back to. So to all the kids struggling away over Bach and Handel in piano lessons, wondering what it's all for; remember that there's a whole world of musical possibilities out there. It's just up to you to embrace them.
 

Use Of Music In Game

April 2, 2013
So for the few people who check this page out occasionally, here's a shock; a new post, and it's not even the middle of the year! I think the traditional style of posting regular updates is fading, as the attention span of society grows shorter and prefers everything condensed into short summaries via Facebook or Twitter. However occasionally there is something to be said for doing things the old way, and this is one of those times.

First to the news; as more people discover the music, more people also get in touch with to use my music in various projects. Up until now, it was mainly for short Youtube videos, however it seems that this year things are looking up! Was quite surprised to wake up this morning to find comments on my videos reading, "is this the song used in The Crooked Man?" I had no idea what they were on about and did a bit research; and soon found that The Crooked Man was a free indie horror / adventure game, released only recently and that three of my songs ('Ending Theme', 'You Are My Light, In This Dark World', 'And Then We Were One') had been used during the ending scene of the game.




I've now played the game, and have to say that the ending was beautifully done, even quite moving, and was quite happy with how the music had been used, even more happy when I received a small surge in downloads / subscriptions. Always love to see my music used in projects such as this, although I do prefer to be contacted about it first. In any case, if you'd like to give 'The Crooked Man' a go, it can be downloaded for free from here. I'd also love to give a shot at writing something specifically for a film or game at some point; so if you're an indie film-maker or game developer, get in touch and we might be able to work something out.

I also thought this would be a good chance to outline what you should do if you want to use my music;

  1. Get in touch with me and let me know what it's all about! I might even be able to help you with cutting and editing the music to fit your needs better!

  2. Make sure to properly attribute me as the musician, either through credits or links in description. This way people can discover my music, and if you help me by sharing, I'll share your project around too!

  3. If you're not attempting to make money off your project, all use of music is free, and you can share it around as much as you like, providing you always credit me as the musician. If you are attempting to make a profit from your work, then you'd need to let me know, and we'd sort out something separately. This is really important, if for example you want to sell a soundtrack of a film, with my music on it; I'd expect a fair share.
     
  4. Let me know when it's finished and send me a link! I'm always interested to see the final outcome!

But wait there's more! Another of my songs is soon to be featured in quite an inspirational full length documentary!

Do I know what it's about? Yes!
Do I know which song will be used? Yes!
Am I going to reveal the details here and now? Not a chance!

You'll just have to wait and see what comes! ;)

Detect language » English

Detect language » English

 

Redesigned Website, 2012 News

July 3, 2012
So in keep with the tradition of doing only one news post a year, here's what's been going on...

Although life has been keeping me busy, I've still been playing and most definitely still been writing! My latest effort, "Freedom", the newest Sad Piano Melody, can be found on the Youtube page. Just a little back story on that piece; it was partially inspired by the struggle of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange against a dubious extradition to Sweden, over charges which quite possibly have a political motivation. Freedom of speech is one of our basic human rights, a right which is being challenged in this case, with various world leaders and public figures condemning Assange's actions as illegal, actions which clearly fall under the category of "journalist". It's just quite unfortunate that his journalistic endeavors humiliated, and therefore angered a rather prominent world power. But someone's got to keep the bastards honest.

Also, as you may be able to see, I've updated the website, hopefully streamlining it more! Feedback is always welcome and I've got many new ideas for the website coming soon, including some form kind of 'guestbook' or comments section, where you guys can provide general feedback and ask questions without the formality of sending an email. Also I'm always looking for artwork to use in videos and on the website, so if you're a bit of a graphic designer, get in touch.

As far as the rest of the music side goes, I'm still working away on some little idea, some which will hopefully soon see the light of day on Youtube. I've also invested in some slightly better gear, although remember if you like the music, come back and donate a dollar or two to help me improve the quality of the recordings even more. Although I have got a three or four more piano songs completed since releasing 'Sparks' it's unlikely I'll be releasing a follow up any time soon due to time constraints. However I will still be releasing songs and you can expect the next proper release from me sometime around the start of next year. Then again, maybe earlier! That's the great thing about not depending on music as a living; I'm under no pressure to put together a release, so I can release the music when I feel completely happy with it.

Anyway, that's all for now. See you next year ;D
Detect language » English

 
Make a Free Website with Yola.