Some Musical Thoughts On 11 Reasons…

Each of my albums tends to have a different vibe to it, which often manifests itself in the way I use the technology at hand to make it happen… So here’s a few thoughts on how the looping part of the album played out. Half of this was written on the plane on the way over here, the rest, just now. 🙂 Hit play now, so you can hear it while you’re reading… (and if you download it, you’ll also get the PDF that comes with it which has specific program notes for each track, as well as some further thoughts on the project as a whole)

It hadn’t really struck me until listening back to “11 Reasons” on the plane over here to the US that I’ve shifted away from ABAB form on this record.

Unlike on Behind Every Word (the title track and Scott Peck in particular), none of the tunes have a verse and a chorus. They all evolve and morph the way all my music did before I got the Looperlative.

What has changed to make possible this kind of ‘step forward into an old method’ is the degree of subtlety and complexity with which I can manipulate multiple unsynced loops of different lengths – there’s a LOT of that going on on this album, whether in the big ambient passages or while playing with multiple melodic lines and post processing them in real time (and, in some instances, adding some filter-delay afterwards – the privilege of having multiple outputs on the looperlative, and therefor being able to mix things quite specifically once they’ve been recorded). I’m also using more and more synced loops of different lengths (multiples of whatever the original loop is – Travelling North is a prime example)

It’s interesting for me to note this unconscious shift back to the evolutionary model rather than the more traditional “Lamarckist” jumping back and forth between distinct sections. Perhaps in noting the change, I’m setting myself up to do a project of highly complex multiple section loop tunes … you heard the rumour here first 🙂

New Album Update And Tour News

OK, we’re here in New Jersey, playing a house concert tonight. Jetlag is the worst I’ve had in ages, which is probably due to flying with a toddler. 🙂

Both Lobelia and I managed to finish up our solo albums before we set off. Which is very exciting!

My new solo album is called ‘11 Reasons Why 3 Is Greater Than Everything‘, and will be out via bandcamp on May 18th, and via iTunes/Amazon etc. not long after that… That picture at the top of this post is the cover art, and there’ll be individual art for each track too, as well as extensive sleeve notes. And of course, I’ll blog some more info and thoughts on it here over the next few weeks.  Continue reading “New Album Update And Tour News”

As If By Magic… Three New Albums Appear On The Horizon

Blimey, it really is all go in the Lawson House Of Music. After a fairly long period of relative inactivity, we’re back in full-on music making mode!

What that means is that there are three new albums on the horizon – First up, there’s the duo album with Mike Outram, which I’m FINALLY getting round to mastering. It’s sat there for so long (we recorded it over a year ago) and I’ve been continually listening to the rough mixes that we did (some of which are on Soundcloud) and love it, but for some reason wasn’t in a position to finish it. Maybe I wasn’t sure quite how it was meant to sound… Anyway, it’s now nearly done, and should be out in a week or so… Continue reading “As If By Magic… Three New Albums Appear On The Horizon”

Happy Birthday To Me – Help Yourself To Some Music

2010 has been a bumper year for me, musically. Not only have I – as my top 20 shows – found more brand new music that I love than I know what to do with, it’s been an unexpectedly busy and productive year of music-making.

The ‘unexpected’ part is because it was also my first full year as a dad – 2010 is definitely the year of the Flapjack. At the start of the year, he was barely a month old and we had no idea what we’d be able to carry on doing as musicians and how much would have to go by the way-side. Continue reading “Happy Birthday To Me – Help Yourself To Some Music”

My 20 Favourite Records of 2010

2010 has been, for me at least, a bumper year for new music. I think it’s safe to say that I’ve bought more albums released this year than I have in any year for well over a decade. This is a very good thing. That a lot of them were bought direct from the artist is also a very good thing.

Here’s a list of my 20 favourites – not any preference order, that would be futile, and subject to change at a moment’s notice (they’re alphabetical by artist).

Suffice to say, I recommend all of them, with the obvious caveat that if the are from within a style that would otherwise be something you’d avoid like the plague, proceed with caution…

Bandcamp embeds provided where possible… Continue reading “My 20 Favourite Records of 2010”

Added Extras For The New Live Album…

Just in case your preference is for my solo stuff, please feel free to grab the solo tunes off of ‘live so far‘ to add to the brand new live album – you can pay whatever you think it’s all worth for the live album, then download the others without paying – no need to do 4 transactions:

…this way you also get two versions of The Kindness Of Strangers… feel free to pick a fave 🙂

And, while you’re at it, feel free to add your favourites from Soundcloud – most of those tunes are demo recordings, some of which may surface on albums in the future, but there’s no reason why you can can’t add them to your own compilation of favourites…

Alternatively, you can download both albums, and enjoy the songs with Lobelia and the collaborations with Neil Alexander and Todd Reynolds. But you’re a grown up, do whatever makes you happy… 😉

Ten Years On: Live In London – Brand New Live Recording!

It’s out! I’ve been talking for the last week on Twitter and Facebook about mixing the recording of my solo set from last week’s London gig with Michael Manring, at Round Midnight, and here it is:

In addition to the tracks listed in the player, there’s one ‘hidden’ track that you only get with the full album download. And as always, you’re welcome to pay whatever you think it’s worth for the download. Have a listen, see what you think. Continue reading “Ten Years On: Live In London – Brand New Live Recording!”

6 Years Since The Death Of John Peel

John Peel past away 6 years ago today.

I miss him more than any other person that I never met. I’ve written many, many times about the live-changing impact he had on me, growing up in Berwick Upon Tweed, pre-internet, starved of pretty much all other access to boundary-less music.

So to celebrate, here are a few albums I think you should hear – great music, by great people.

Honour the memory of John Peel by hearing something brand new today: Continue reading “6 Years Since The Death Of John Peel”

Music Is Worthless Part 2 – a Response to Jeff Schmidt

This post started out as a comment on my previous post, in reply to one from Jeff Schmidt. But it’s too long for that, so it’s now its own post.

Here’s Jeff’s comment:

4 years ago – I could have said this exact thing -probably word for word.

Today – not so much.

If I was on the cutting edge of music market thinking then, maybe I’m on the cutting edge now with the complete opposite opinion. Is the tide is turning that much? I think so.

Pay what you want is a cop out.

Stand up for your work and put a value on it. Continue reading “Music Is Worthless Part 2 – a Response to Jeff Schmidt”