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Dr-David-Banner

Releasing My Track

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Dr-David-Banner

In the middle of the chaos, I finished my track on Sunday. The B part came to me in the pouring rain. It's a fast Country number with lots of guitar called "If I Ever Could Be Someone". Has plenty of bass and slide and me singing mid tenor (as I can't do baritone). What's weird is the incredibly basic way it was done - no microphone, no vocal process, one large synth, 5 mixed tracks and a mere mobile phone audio recorder. This means getting the synth volume just right and the phone pickup in the right position. Quality wise, it is good enough a recording to hear the bass notes.Not that bad. So, I sent the demo to an old friend in The States. I will try and gradually get some feedback. Vocals always worry me of course. We can all learn to sing but the secret is the approach. Any baritone voice would be awful trying to sing high and vice versa. Most country is baritone although many of the female singers are superb. I am experimenting with country as I lack the gutsy vocals for rock and chart pop bands died out years ago.

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Dr-David-Banner

Musicians and the autistic spectrum? If not on the spectrum, an awful lot of musicians in the sixties especially had what you could call mental health issues. The one who most inspired me somehow was Brian Wilson who was schizophrenic. It was said when Paul McCartney paid him a visit at his home in the U.S., Brian wouldn't come out of the bathroom but could be heard sobbing behind the door.

Haven't heard his music but I did hear an awful lot of comments made about Sid Barret. One in particular that struck me was his apparent excessive concentration that caused him to sort of over-focus. And I heard the rest of the band just couldn't handle him a lot of the time. I have heard of musicians who - like myself - have a very tough time actually finishing a track. Personally, for me, it's hard to switch from creating one part of the song you made to something different (for the B part). Therefore I get lots of songs half-finished and I posted about this one above as I did actually finish it.

Here I abbreviated some info on Sid in an article I found:

"For a number of years I have had fun maintaining and adding to my list of famous people who are, or were, or perhaps were, or perhaps are, on the autistic spectrum. What an fascinating bunch of people! It is a list full of genius, brilliance, eccentricity and original vision. For a long time I've been aware that the enigmatic Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd fame has been identified by some as an autist, but till recently I hadn't realized how widespread this speculation has been. I was intrigued when I recently read his sister's description of Barrett's synaesthesia. I was excited.
Autism and Asperger syndrome are not types of mental illness, they are more correctly categorized as disabilities that can have positive features, or valuable forms of human diversity. As far as I know, autistic spectrum conditions do not cause any sudden decline in sanity or functioning. These conditions are detectable from early childhood, probably having their origins before birth, and are highly genetically determined.For a long time there has been speculation that Barrett was autistic (Gallo 2006). Willis described Barrett's mind as "... extraordinary ... bordering on the autistic or Aspergic." (Willis 2006). Barrett had talent in the areas of visual art and music, two in a group of talents that are characteristic of the autistic-type mind, and these talents were evident early in life (Barrett learned piano at the age of 8). Barrett could be described as creatively gifted. People who have Asperger syndrome (AS) typically develop a strong, sustained interest in a narrow, unusual subject or interest, and the primary or only motivation is enjoyment or curiosity. Barrett's sister Rosemary has described his interest in Byzantine art "...it was an enormous interest of his and he said it was going to be a book but it was really just a collection of dates and facts that interested him.
 Another friend has described how Barrett could "... suddenly withdraw from everything" despite having a great sense of humour (Blake 2007 p. 30). This type of behaviour is consistent with Asperger syndrome. According to some sources quoted by Blake there was also a distance between Barrett and his band-mates, one source saying he thought Barrett was an outsider within Pink Floyd (Blake 2007 p. 78). This is supported by quotes from the biography by Watkinson and Anderson "There was no togetherness because they were always backing musicians to Syd and not a group." (p. 89). In light of this revelation, one does not need to believe in the myth that Barrett was insane to find an explanation for why the other members of Pink Floyd might have wanted to exclude him from their musical group.Some features of Barrett's behaviour relevant to communication have been cited as evidence of mental illness. These include being verbally uncommunicative, a stare that frightened people and a lack of facial expression; "Trying to talk to him was like trying to talk to a brick wall because his face was so expressionless." (Willis 2002 p. 77). It has also been observed that Barrett's style of communication was of making statements rather than normal conversation, and was strange and fragmented (Willis 2002).

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Dr-David-Banner

What bothers me is it does really seem that aspiring to be a musician these days is practically a waste of time. In the 1960s rock and pop was massive and lots of people were picking up a guitar or bass. Lots of young people discussed albums, idealised rock stars like Bowie, Hendrix and so on. True enough, not many bands made it but a fair few made at least some money. Logic tells me time I put into recording music as developing an art is wasted. I can maybe upload a track or two to Soundcloud but then what? The guy who partly inspired me to play synth Lyle Mays gave an interview recently in a prog jazz mag. He quit music to do architecture and makes a living that way. It eventually came down to money. I find doing music and experimenting with sound great fun and rewarding but there is no purpose to it. Experts say the root cause of decline of the rock and pop industry was digitalisation, obsolete CD sales and no more big record labels. 

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Peridot
On ‎5‎/‎2‎/‎2019 at 11:41 PM, Dr-David-Banner said:

What bothers me is it does really seem that aspiring to be a musician these days is practically a waste of time. In the 1960s rock and pop was massive and lots of people were picking up a guitar or bass. Lots of young people discussed albums, idealised rock stars like Bowie, Hendrix and so on. True enough, not many bands made it but a fair few made at least some money. Logic tells me time I put into recording music as developing an art is wasted. I can maybe upload a track or two to Soundcloud but then what? The guy who partly inspired me to play synth Lyle Mays gave an interview recently in a prog jazz mag. He quit music to do architecture and makes a living that way. It eventually came down to money. I find doing music and experimenting with sound great fun and rewarding but there is no purpose to it. Experts say the root cause of decline of the rock and pop industry was digitalisation, obsolete CD sales and no more big record labels. 

Universal basic income is a good idea. That way, people can just focus on doing what they'd like to do most without having to worry about "paying the bills". And if everyone does what they'd like to do most, everything that needs to happen happens automatically. You'd have people being surgeons, people in construction, people making music… And so on.

Life without music would be a mistake!

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Dr-David-Banner
3 hours ago, Peridot said:

Universal basic income is a good idea. That way, people can just focus on doing what they'd like to do most without having to worry about "paying the bills". And if everyone does what they'd like to do most, everything that needs to happen happens automatically. You'd have people being surgeons, people in construction, people making music… And so on.

Life without music would be a mistake!

I was careful not to put too much trust in music, much as I love it as an art. Musicians are frequently misunderstood or dismissed. Some examples: Pet Sounds was initially a failed album and opposed by the rest of The Beach Boys. It was a big move away from Surfin USA or California Girls. Only much later was it realised Pet Sounds was an awesome album. Brian Wilson himself retreated to his bedroom for most of the seventies. Then there was John Denver who got pretty big in the seventies.  He did however become bitterly disappointed when EMI dropped him during the M Jackson era. Denver was also bipolar with an alcohol issue but a big environment campaigner. Then despite being successful billionaires, even the mighty Rolling Stones failed with their psychedellic album Satanic Magesties Request. Poor feedback. For me the biggest shock was the failure of Sunflower by the Beach Boys in the early seventies. I consider it a great album but it fell flat. The problem I suspect is the masses tend to follow music based on what others feel about it - fashion. If lots of people say that such and such is terrific, more people will follow on and agree. Few people focus on the music for its intrinsic value. Now, recently I discovered a band called Fire, active in 1969. Fire, I liked because the vocals were superb and the lyrics witty. One track was about everyone laughing at a man who goes to a fancy dress party as a tea pot. The song itself was a good one too. Anyway you can now hear my tracks or demos as I found ways to upload. Recording quality is pretty basic but it works anyway. I have scores of fragmented songs.

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Peridot
17 hours ago, Dr-David-Banner said:

I was careful not to put too much trust in music, much as I love it as an art. Musicians are frequently misunderstood or dismissed. Some examples: Pet Sounds was initially a failed album and opposed by the rest of The Beach Boys. It was a big move away from Surfin USA or California Girls. Only much later was it realised Pet Sounds was an awesome album. Brian Wilson himself retreated to his bedroom for most of the seventies. Then there was John Denver who got pretty big in the seventies.  He did however become bitterly disappointed when EMI dropped him during the M Jackson era. Denver was also bipolar with an alcohol issue but a big environment campaigner. Then despite being successful billionaires, even the mighty Rolling Stones failed with their psychedellic album Satanic Magesties Request. Poor feedback. For me the biggest shock was the failure of Sunflower by the Beach Boys in the early seventies. I consider it a great album but it fell flat. The problem I suspect is the masses tend to follow music based on what others feel about it - fashion. If lots of people say that such and such is terrific, more people will follow on and agree. Few people focus on the music for its intrinsic value. Now, recently I discovered a band called Fire, active in 1969. Fire, I liked because the vocals were superb and the lyrics witty. One track was about everyone laughing at a man who goes to a fancy dress party as a tea pot. The song itself was a good one too. Anyway you can now hear my tracks or demos as I found ways to upload. Recording quality is pretty basic but it works anyway. I have scores of fragmented songs.

Imagine if Mozart, Bach and Haydn had had the same attitide towards things… That would have been quite the bummer, wouldn't you say? Vincent van Gogh only sold one painting his entire life. Bach was considered nothing special during his time... I dunno, maybe you could consider just going for it, not caring what other people think as long as you believe in your music. We need music. We need art! 🙂

I'll add to that the following though… In order to "get somewhere" I do feel you need to be obsessed and passionate… Else you're bound to end up having it as a hobby which is fine too, don't get me wrong. If certain things are more important to you than music then that's just the way it is. Me, I may not have a lot of money but every day I get up and work on my music hours on end and I wouldn't really want to have it any other way.

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Peridot
On ‎5‎/‎1‎/‎2019 at 6:21 PM, Dr-David-Banner said:

I have heard of musicians who - like myself - have a very tough time actually finishing a track. Personally, for me, it's hard to switch from creating one part of the song you made to something different (for the B part). Therefore I get lots of songs half-finished and I posted about this one above as I did actually finish it.

It used to be like that for me to an extent as well. Years ago when my approach to writing was a bit different. I'd have various parts of the song but then how the gaps should be filled in was a mystery for a while. Now it's way more "direct" and "in the moment" where I so to speak am in front of the canvas, feeling all these things and then I basically paint away until it's done.

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Dr-David-Banner
5 hours ago, Peridot said:

It used to be like that for me to an extent as well. Years ago when my approach to writing was a bit different. I'd have various parts of the song but then how the gaps should be filled in was a mystery for a while. Now it's way more "direct" and "in the moment" where I so to speak am in front of the canvas, feeling all these things and then I basically paint away until it's done.

Music works best for me in fits and starts. Only when I'm inspired can I produce some result. Also I find a really good riff or hook can be more timing and imagination than skill. Lately I've been bending pitch more so the riff may be simple to play mechanically but timing, reverb and acoustics all help. Sometimes sounds Hawaian. So, no real need for me to do drills on scales or even study classical piano. The only thing I do insist on is some hand co-ordination (using both hands). I get your meaning on feedback and motivation. It does bother me that I can't just bump into people and chat about music. I recall back in the eighties there were proper piano, organ and guitar shops on the highstreet. I even went to small gigs and I saw Judie Tsuke perform. You could meet other musicians. Today it is awful. I recall once seeing an accomplished lead guitarist busk in the town centre and he was totally ignored. Also, I grew up around big bands and performers on the air. The Police, for example. The New Wave movement. It's a whole new debate to ask why did the pop and rock scene wither away? Sure, I will still enjoy doing what I do but it's all very withdrawn. Currently I'm experimenting with maybe forgetting about retro pop and looking at other genres. Country for example can be OK and has its own fan base. 

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Dr-David-Banner

Earlier generations were definitely far more musically inclined, probably most of all in the sixties. When I listen critically to lots of music, I have to conclude sixties musicians were well ahead in sound, creativity, imagination and competitiveness. Vocals were especially strong so the backing vocalists added to the lead singer. Lead guitar you notice was serious stuff. Lyrics had some cultural message or hidden meaning. Many rock and pop musicians were hugely influential. I highly recommend digging about online to find that music and listen with a critical ear. Those who are musically wired may find a lot of interesting material. Such as The Californians from the Midlands who dabbled in psychedelic rock but never made it big. Or Fire who had that hit Father's Name Is Dad". Music peaked between 1967 and 69 but musically and culturally. By the way psychedelic rock that dominated the scene means: Creative, imaginative music around an alternative culture of peace and self-exploration. Discontentment with materialism and state control. In many cases the use of marijuana and LSD to stimulate creative imagination. This latter cultural phenomenon however turned sour when drugs got many hooked or deaths of young musicians increased. Society had to learn the hard way that drugs have to be respected and controlled. I guess LSD played its part in this era of huge musical creativity but so did other factors. The music was very genuine and deeply rooted with people expressing alternative ideas. 

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