Soul and the Radio

In my usual capacity for limited foresight I have neglected to mention some freelance work I’m doing tonight!

In Guildford there is a lovely little venue called the Bar des Arts. And at 8pm this evening a lovely gentlemen, who goes by the name BR James, will be performing some lovely piano-y, acoustic-y, soul-y orientated music. Loveliness of which I have been asked to document in photographic form. So if that sounds like something you may enjoy, come take a look. It’s free!

In other news, at 6pm tomorrow Phoenix Chroi will make an appearance on Radio Woking! Though when I say make an appearance what I actually mean is make a staggered entrance, as the various members can’t actually arrive at the station at the appropriate time. Regardless, the situation can be salvaged by the fact that we are there to promote our new EP/album (look out for it over the coming weeks!), and thus random tracks from the release can be played as the members turn up. It’s all a bit of mess but hopefully it won’t be a complete calamity. Tune in!

In…

The Big Gig

Last year the Phoenix Centre held a small festival in Woking Park in collaboration with the Our Big Gig initiative and generally to celebrate local music and artists. To use some terminology that has already been thrown around way too much: This year we’re doing it again! But bigger, and better!

In the spirit thereof I have crafted a short video to help promote the event (featuring aforementioned terminology), which can currently be viewed on the Phoenix Facebook page. What the video, regretably, doesn’t inform you of is also the inclusion of: food and drink stands, as well as local business and art stalls; a songwriting workshop; ‘give it a go’ sessions, covering a host of instruments; and for all the music to be broadcast on Radio Woking.

So if that all sounds like the kind of thing you enjoy, why not come on down to Woking Park on the 19th July? Or better still help fund the project to make sure it all goes as epically and swimmingly as possible!

The Blue Blur

Who likes Sonic the Hedgehog? If you don’t it’ll probably save you a few moments to stop reading here. You can thank me should you have not stopped reading just eleven words ago and reached the end of this sentence.

Hello everyone else! How many of you remember that Sonic project I was potentially becoming a part of? I’m pretty sure that leaves none of you. It all started back in November where I was sent a request to use one of my Sonic cover tracks in a fan made game. Naturally, one thing led to another and I am now helping out as audio engineer and bug tester.

The project is called “The Blue Blur” (fans will get the reference) and is currently still plowing headfirst through the early stages of production, however, some impressive looking/sounding playable demos have made their way into the world (not public yet, unfortunately). If you’re interested in any way, shape or form, go here to keep up to speed with the whole thing. In the meantime listen to this (relevant)!

Please Hold

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this before, but I work part-time for the NHS/Virgin Care to help supplement my otherwise modest income from freelancing. Approximately 2 years ago a friend and colleague made an offhand comment regarding the I.T. department requiring hold music for their phone system. “Ah!” I thought, “I know how to music. I’ll come up with something”. And so I did… before promptly forgetting about it.

Two years later a different friend and colleague made an offhand comment regarding the I.T. department requiring hold music for their phone system. “Ah!” I thought, “I’m pretty sure I started doing something for that. I should probably finish it off”. And so I did… genuinely this time. So now our I.T. department has hold music.¬†Go check it out.

Phoenix Album (almost…)

In November Phoenix Chroi went into a studio to record an album. When I say studio what I mean is a rehearsal room with some mics dotted around the place. And when I say album I mean 8 songs. Regardless, it wasn’t bad going for about 5 hours work. Since then I have been working on mixing and mastering the tracks to an acceptable level.

It’s been between 3 – 4 years since the original members of Phoenix Chroi wrote these tracks, and is the first time the songs have been recorded to a sufficient enough level. As such the various members of the band are much relieved that they can finally put these tracks to rest and start working on new material, as well as having something to show to fans and promoters and the like.

Despite this, recording will continue to happen. The mini-album in its current guise is merely a live demo affair, but obviously a fully fledged production is much more preferable. So over the coming months the members of Phoenix will come to my humble home studio and re-record and re-dub with the aim of getting a more professional product.

In the meantime, check out the live demos on my Sight for Sound SoundCloud page! The link for which will also be available on my Sound page.

Finally a big shout out to Keiron Marshall at The Sound Lounge for giving us a place to play and helping us record!

Developments mkII

For those long term followers, of which I’m assuming there are none of you (other than maybe my mum… (hi mum!)), you may remember earlier in the year Red Kites and I traveled to Cheltenham to record a few acoustic videos. Many months have since passed but now has come the time for the creations to be released into the world! As mentioned in a previous post, I was only happy with two of the three videos we recorded and, although I haven’t heard anything specifically from the band, wouldn’t be surprised if only two videos make an appearance. Regardless, the first to be unveiled is a cover of a Death Cab for Cutie song – I Will Follow You Into the Dark, and can be found on Red Kite’s YouTube page as well as my portfolio page. Check it out and keep an eye out for the next video: Salt Water.

In other news, a couple of weeks ago, at the Phoenix Cultural Centre, I was introduced to a self proclaimed jazz guitarist called Stuart Palmer. He plays in a metal band and they are looking for a new vocalist. To cut a long story short, I offered my services, an audition happened and a recording of me singing on one of their tracks has found its way onto SoundCloud. I should point out that nothing has been set in concrete as of yet, the original band may still¬†decide I’m not the right fit for them, but the response has been positive so far so we’ll see how it all shakes out.

Lastly, I was contacted via my Xebec SoundCloud page two days ago by a person who had taken a liking to one of my cover tracks, namely Egg Rocket Zone from the video game Sonic Advance. His original post was simply asking if he could use the track in a fan-made Sonic game but, after a request if they’d like an extra pair of hands on the project, I may now be involved more deeply. At the moment all the information I have about the project can be found here. Though as per my meeting with Stuart, nothing has been made “official” but again, here’s to hoping!

Full Time Phoenix

As a matter of interest I feel compelled to mention that the Phoenix Cultural Centre has its own pseudo house band. That is, the same people who started up the centre are also in a band together and, for reasons unbeknownst to me, decided to use the word phoenix in both of these endeavours. Anyway, over the past few weeks I have been enlisted as a temporary guitarist. This is because the original guitarist is part of various other musical outlets and can’t make certain rehearsals or gigs with the band. However, with me stepping in when needs be, the band is able to perform more regularly and get more of a consistent schedule up and running.

Oh yes, I should probably mention the band’s called Phoenix Chroi (Chroi not pronounced anything like you want or expect).

Anyway, for further reasons unbeknownst to me, Elaine (singer) and Joe (Bassist) decided they would like to recruit me as a full time member of the band. They also suggested that I play keyboard as well as/instead of guitar, as they felt this would add an extra dimension to their sound.

I’ve never played keyboard in front of people before but am looking forward to get the chance to be out and about and gigging regularly again. Phoenix Chroi has a website here and a Facebook here, so if you’d like to keep up with gig dates, news and other general band related things go check them out.