Week from Monday 2nd January 2017

Sigh, now I have to get used to typing a different date... Not quite 'BACK TO NORMAL' yet. We've been given an extra Bank Holiday Monday because that inconsiderate New Year's doodah fell on on a weekend. I'm catching up with a few PODCASTS and gathering 'data' for my #OnThisDay postings for the new month. I've pretty much come full circle with that little TWIT-THEME. This'll be the last full month before I start repeating myself...

I updated some news items for UNCLE WILLY's website, then I set off to SALISBURY to look at some CONSTABLE paintings**. I don't know why, because he never looked at any of mine... JC famously painted views of the Cathedral from across the meadows. To get that same angle today, he would have to stand in the middle of the ring road! Naturally, I hit all the CHARITY SHOPS while I was there - first delving of the year! I found an interesting Brazilian Techno seedy and something by the Norwegian eclectics JAGA JAZZIST, as well as a ridiculously cheap copy of TOM JONES' autobiography and a biography of PAUL SIMON. Less than a fiver for the lot. The Jones book is for my mum (although I'd be quite interested in reading it myself), and the Simon will be read by me, then get re-donated to OXFAM. It's a nice bright low-sunny day for #ViewFromTheWalkies. I snapped some of the architecture before my batteries gave out. (** I eventually phrased it that way because on the first draft it read like I'd gone to stare at policemen!)

Week from Monday 9th January 2017

I was digging about on that internet for some (preferably free) WAV-to-MIDI software for a "PROJECT". I want to be able to take an existing WAV audio recording and generate a new MIDI part to go with it. I found an old piece of kit called "AmazingMIDI" which seems to do the trick (Ah! the old ones are the best!). I tested it by having it 'compose' a marimba part to go with the JOHNSON'S GRIDLING BAND improv "LILY'S MUSIC". It sounds really convincing and rather promising. I can't say what the real "PROJECT" is yet...

...Okay, yes I can! I've been 'orchestrating' one of twitterchum TIM WEBB's SOLO BASS IMPROVISATIONS (from the Bandcamp album of the same name). The first results have gone down well with the Inner Circle Of Twits, so I shouldn't be surprised if there is more to come! Nobody can figure out how I did it, so I've told them 'TIS A SECRET ALCHEMICAL PROCESS KNOWN ONLY TO THE ANCIENT AZTECS.

The muchly threatened SNOW arrived in our locale, but it hasn't stuck around for long... Meanwhile, suddenly, everyone wants some business cards printing!

Week from Monday 16th January 2017

...so that means extra visits to ol' GOZZY town, GETTING STUFF DONE at the printers. The weather is all drenchy and unwelcoming, so I haven't enjoyed it much. #ViewFromTheWalkies pictures have been mainly of wet pavements again. But the other day, I managed to get a FREE HAIRCUT for my troubles. Which was nice... I'm eager to get all this tedious 'real' work out of the way, so that I can go back to the MUCH more interesting task of studying Tim's "SOLO BASS IMPROVISATIONS" for further inspiration. There's one piece that sounds like it might go with some marimbas, and another called "REBUKI" that is right up my 'WORLD (if you will) MUSIC' alley. It just screams out for some 'oriental' instrumentation - BREAK OUT THE SHAKUHACHI!

I'll get me koto...

On Wednesday, I went over to town to deliver UNCLE WILLY's bizcards and flyers and what-have-you, so naturally I made a bus-hopping 'DAZE-OUT' of it! I found a number of fairly desirable 'WORLD (if you will) MUSIC' items hidden amongst the throwbacks, as well of a copy of (the Canterbury) DAVE STEWART's highly amusing - but still VERY informative - "Musicians Guide to Composition, Improvisation and the Mechanics of Music". Or "Inside The Music" for short.

Week from Monday 23rd January 2017

This morning, I awoke to the news that the uhrwerk ubermeister JAKI LIEBEZEIT of The Can has left us. Clearly, the Grim Reaper hasn't quite finished machetéing his way through those who inspired us in the seventies...

Over the weekend, I uploaded to the google-ether a handful of 'demo' tracks based on TIM WEBB's tunes. These are meant as examples of the various 'techniques' I can bring to the table, should we decide to go for the RPM CHALLENGE... although a couple of the tracks DO stand up in their OWN right, as it happens. The Challenge in question is a competition that requires us humble musos to form a 'band' and come up with AN ELPEE'S WORTH OF TOONS, all in the space of a calendar month (Thirty-six minutes of music in twenty-eight days, eh? Pah! I spit on your so-called 'challenge'!). Given our individual backgrounds, musical leanings and turnover velocity, I've suggested that, for us, that might mean two seventeen-or-eighteen minute "sides".

Week from Monday 30th January 2017

At this moment in time, over ONE-AND-A-HALF MILLION folks have signed the petition to prevent D****D T***P from being granted a 'STATE VISIT' to these shores, with all the pomp and red carpets THAT entails, on the grounds that it will bring embarrassment to the Queen. Well, I guess for the purposes of forwarding a petition, 'royal embarrassment' is as good a reason to cite as any! Merely locking him out on the basis of his being a VULGAR BUFFOON probably wouldn't cut it from a constitutional point of view... Not, of course, that the GUBNINT will take a blind bit of notice of what WE have to say about it. "RESPECTING THE WISHES OF THE BRITISH PEOPLE" only counts for owt when it suits THEIR own agenda.

Oh crap! now JOHN WETTON has passed away... and DEKE LEONARD, he of my favourite 'west coast' band MAN...

FEBRUARY's here, so now we can finally start work on our magnum opus for the RPM CHALLENGE. Tim has posted a viddy clip of himself plunking away on the old upright "in readyness", while I've been familiarising myself with a drumbox programme called HYDROGEN, which will very likely help provide some of the rhythmic elements to our meisterwerk.

I've been keeping one eye on the ongoing TOUR OF DUBAI... but if your idea of a spectacular bike race is watching the riders go up and down mountains and through beautiful scenery, then look elsewhere! The United Arab Emirates are flat, ostentatiously artificial, and basically very ugly to look at. Being so flat means that nearly every stage ends in a 'BUNCH SPRINT', following what amounts to nothing more than an ENDURANCE RACE in the heat. And as you've probably realised by now, if there is a bunch sprint with MARCEL KITTEL in it, then Marcel Kittel will win it! Which is exactly what happened in the first two stages of the race, an almost identical finish with Trek man JOHN DEGENKOLB coming in fourth on both occasions. On stage three however, there was a slight kick-up at the finish (they've finally reached the UAE's only hills!), so the pure sprinters were out of their element and nowhere to be seen. DEGENKOLB finally got his victory, pushing him up the overall standings. Stage four, where things were promising to get slightly MORE hilly (but still dull to look at?), has now been cancelled because of a SAND STORM. Don't see too many of those in the Tour de France! The riders have been praising (and thanking) the race organisers on Twitter for recognising the safety implications...