The Two Rs – SFE

September 25, 2012

Hello. Here’s a tune from a collaboration I was working on with Rod and Angie through in Glasgow.

I’m quite pleased with the polyrhythm between the 6/8 and the 4/4. I can’t see this tune ever getting a final polish. Which, is a shame as Rod (guitars/drum programming) is an excellent sound engineer and could no doubt do a far better job on the mix than I can.


Two versions of Don’t be a Stranger

May 28, 2012

I’m hoping to get a new PC this autumn and in an attempt to cut down on the amount of stuff I’ll need to backup and copy across to a new system, I’m slowly going through old Cubase, FL Studio and Reaper projects and working out what to keep and what to bin. There’s a lot of half done stuff kicking around on my hard disc drive.

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Starting a new band: worth the efffort?

April 22, 2012

So, I’m thinking of starting a new band. Or trying to find an existing one, but that seems unlikely. Although finding a collection of people to play with also seems unlikely. Where does one find musicians to play with? Gumtree? Hmmm. I think my biggest problem (beyond being an opinionated and argumentative so and so) is that I like a lot of different genres of music, and so trying to think of a description of what I’d like to play is somewhat tricky. Is there common thread running through Count Basie, Miles Davis, King Crimson, Brian Eno, John Martyn, Richard Thompson, Talking Heads, Tower of PowerPortishead etc?

I’m not really sure there is. There’s definitely nothing coherent there. And I think I like it that way. Put me in a rock band, and I’ll develop a longing to play around minimalism. Put me in a prog band, and I’ll want to play music people can dance to. And then I’d probably complain about the dynamics. Never happy, and I don’t have the attention span to actually master anything. [If I did, I’d be playing jazz…. At least, I’d play jazz until I wanted to rock out. And anyway, learning jazz bass seems to consist of learning a huge number of standards, and you only get to play with the good local musicians once you’ve proved yourself on the standards. I want to skip straight to the fun creative stuff].

None of this would make for a good advert on Gumtree. And all the good drummers are already in bands anyway. Any who aren’t can probably take their pick of bands, and I can’t see my vague, handwavey desire to do something interesting getting their attention to long. Especially as it’s probably at the expense of playing many gigs. [Good gigs are a lot of fun, but most gigs aren’t good and the novelty of hanging around small music venues for hours and hours wore off years ago.]

Maybe I should concentrate on academia and go. There’s a backlog of novels to read on my bookshelf. Musically, I can probably keep myself entertained trying to master Bach’s cello suites.

But you know, there’s just something about being in a band.



Editing (Musical) Reality

October 4, 2011

I recently read Perfecting Sound Forever and found it a pretty thought-provoking read. In particular, the pros and cons of editing as a tool and process when recording music. As soon as you start editing and mixing music you’re no longer creating a record: the sound you end up with was never performed and furthermore, it’s potentially misleading (i.e. auto-tuning vocalists who can’t hold a note in tune). Where do you draw the line? Is there a line that should be drawn in the first place? Does it matter? The last question is the easiest to answer: of course it doesn’t. At least, it doesn’t matter what I do. I just play around my guitars and computer in my spare room 🙂

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snippet of a conversation with Dan

September 16, 2011

I know two Dan’s. They’re very similar in many ways. Both are great people, and great musicians.

Was chatting to (the Glasgow based) Dan just now, and he was asking if I’d like to play with his band. I was weighing up the pros and cons, and he came out with this:

give it a bash, its not like I’d stop being your pal if it didn’t work out, I’m too much of a pro that way

what happeend to your old bassist?

we fired him

That man has style.

From the archives: Some Arping

November 29, 2010

Well, as I’m back blogging, I thought I’d dust off and upload another old tune. From way back when in my Warwick days. I think I must of just discovered arpegators and slap bass when I wrote this one. I can’t think up any other reasons for something so musically tasteless. Still, it’s a colourful tune and fairly upbeat and happy for once.

Some Arping by Riadsala

Also, look, see, I have discovered Soundcloud…


November 25, 2010

Well well well. Another blog. I’m still here (more on that later).


Anyways, I thought I’d upload 5ives, as it’s about as finished as it’s ever going to get without a serious new source of inspiration. I hope to reuse some of the ideas at a later date. Maybe even pull it apart, rework it, and play it in a band. But for the time being, I’m calling it done.

5ives – Riadsala

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Quote of the Day

July 8, 2010

I like the fact that there’s a driving beat and some very fast and strange stuff from Alasdair going on over the top. This is going to be fun live

PS. For those of you that are on the edge of your seats with anticipation, I’ll get round to writing a proper update sooner or later.

And another gig with Calum…. Blue Wednesday feat. Neoviolet and some other people

April 6, 2010

And here’s another last minute gig. Calum’s been asked to host Blue Wednesday this month (at the Forest Cafe) and as such will be playing a little set of his own material, and yours truly will be along to to accompany him on bass. His band, Neoviolet are also playing and worth checking out. So come along… as I have the day off work, I might investigate my new box of tricks and see if I can fit it into the set somewhere.

Oh yes, and I handed in my thesis 🙂

One more little set to add to the list…

April 2, 2010

Hi Alasdair,

Can you come and play bass for three songs on Tuesday 6th April (which
is next week)? Paul Gilbody has had a cancellation and offered me a
three song set at Acoustic Edinburgh. So my plan is to go in, play a blinding three
song set (which would require you on bass) and wow them that much that
they feel like tits for treating me like an also ran.

That’s if you’re free. If you’re not, i will turn down the opportunity i think.
Let me know anyway,

it’s 7pm at Medina on Tuesday to do a quick line check if
that’s okay, and i expect we’ll probably be on quite early, probably
first, though he didn’t say.

Calum C…….