I really like the beat Tim’s put under this Uffmoor track, and he kindly showed me how he put it all together in Ableton Live. Listen to Timmotronic’s remix of The Axe here.
My friend Paul has remixed this lovely minimalist take on ‘The Axe’.
Of the two stories mentioned in my last update, I’ve been drawn to writing the folk tale. The quest narrative and father/son theme is especially relevant right now. Next step: summarise all of my notes into a one or two page overview.
However, I’m already getting sidetracked by the temptation of new musical projects. One idea is a kind of ambient & field recording affair. The other would be single instrument compositions and improvisations. I want to travel in more minimalistic, spontaneous directions and this would have the added appeal of cutting down on the labour-intensive processes of programming and mixing. Having said that, I should probably eliminate the labour of mixing entirely by focusing solely on writing.
Andy of Grande Valise asked if Uffmoor Woods Music Club would be on hold while I work on the novel. The answer is yes but there is another Uffmoor EP in the pipeline. Romances of the Djinn will be available as soon as the cover art and some final mixing is done. Then I’ll take a break until the time is right to record a new album.
What could be more rockin’ than a cover from My Fair Lady…?
Wandering in the time between lectures at university I remember finding a tiny room with a small upright piano inside. The room had a polished wooden floor and a window that looked out onto a courtyard, I think. I can’t remember the view but I do remember the sunlight picking up the dust motes hovering above the keys. I started playing around on it, trying to write melodies for Distant Signal songs, playing the first few bars of Moonlight Sonata, half of which I’d transcribed from a classical guitar tab on our piano at home (I can’t read music). I was fascinated with the piece ever since friends and I had heard it in that scene in Resident Evil where playing it opens a secret, hidden door.
The piano at home was meant to be donated to the local Cricket Club from a house in Fairfield Road but they didn’t have space for it. As my next door neighbour and I were in a band my dad offered to keep it in our front room until it was needed. Some of the melodies for Distant Signal songs we played live were written on that piano.
A few of the very early Uffmoor Woods Music Club tracks came out of experimenting on the ivory. One of them, ‘Hello, Eavesdropper’ I remember writing and recording in one day, with an SM-70 mic hanging in the opened lid connected to an digital 8 track. I basically put together some licks and practised them over and over to try to get the various sections to run together fluidly. I then felt tired and had a bit of a kip for an hour. When I woke up, I could play the whole piece although the timing seems uneven now! I put a flanger on the vocal and it was done, as far as lo-fi is ever done.
Eventually, we didn’t have room for the piano either. Nobody wanted it so my dad smashed it to bits with an axe. I was disappointed, but that didn’t stop me taking photos of its broken workings.
I play the piano as a guitarist, which is to say not at all to some people’s way of thinking. I recently had the chance to write another piano track for the new record, Everything I Will Remember When We’re Gone. Inspired by Bill Evans’ transcendental ‘Peace Piece’ (which I first heard underneath Miles Davies and John Coltrane on ‘Flamenco Sketches’), I recorded ‘Deep Assignments’ in two first takes. This surprised me and discouraged any urge to tamper with it apart from dampening the last note, which had seemed too strident.