Having had the good fortune to belong to a musical family, over the years I have had a strong interest in a variety of music forms including Jazz, Blues, Folk, Rock, SKA, and Classical, and hymns. All these influences led me to learn the guitar, the harmonica, the ukulele - and to develop an interest in digital sound recording.
My early days of music exploration were included 'Top of the Pops', Radio 1, and whatever was to be found in the family vinyl record collection. I also took great pleasure in constructing 'mock' radio-comedy shows using a cassette recorder! Church music and singing, of course, formed a large part of the ongoing local music tradition. Also, I played the violin for 5 years or so, but duly switched to guitar - being inspired by the music of 1960s pop groups and singers: The Beatles, The Shadows, Bob Dylan. A small folk group hosted by a local teacher greatly helped with learning and performing classic folk and pop songs. Here, I also took my first steps into composition.
The following list is a summary of musical and radio broadcasting projects which I have been involved with in the past: * 'Big Pud And The Bouncers' (1989) - an impromptu school band who performed an enthusiastic mini-gig at a St David's Day concert. * 'Serenade' (1990) - a garage band who then went on to become 'The Sceptics', a popular South Wales combo. * 'Fruit Fridge' (1990-1991) - a blues and r'n'b group, formed at Bristol Polytechnic/UWE, playing Hendrix, Cream, Fleetwood Mac covers. * 'Caprice' (1991 - 1993) - a pub-rock duo, with whom I often played harmonica. * Writer and recording artist for 'Thought for the Day' radio scripts for the Bernie Keith Breakfast Show (Valleys Radio) (1997). * 'The Leek & Thistle Music Project' (1998-1999) - an ongoing investigative project into folk and world music, and digital sound recording, culminating in an unreleased CD of original composed music entitled 'Patman - Trouble In The City'. Recordings from this project were subsequently used on two University of Wales student movie projects entitled 'Technophobia' and 'The Duke'. * The HC Ukulele Group (2016 - current) - a ukulele band who enjoy playing reworked contemporary pieces, occasionally augmented with harmonica, kazoo and the Spanish cajon.
Digital Sound Recording As part of my interest in Sound Recording (and as part of the ‘Leek & Thistle Music Project’) I experimented with the recording and conversion of analogue sound into digital sound. Once digitised, sound can be represented as WAV format, and subsequently cut and edited to create new effects and to create ‘sound pictures’, background effects.
This type of ‘radiophonic’ engineering was originally pioneered in the late 1950s and early 1960s by Technical teams such as the ‘BBC Radiophonic Workshop’, albeit using magnetic tape. These ideas were subsequently picked up by composers and musicians. The Beatles ‘Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band’ album is a good example of the use of experimental sound, influenced by avant-garde radiophonic music.
A related form of music composition is ‘Foley’ sound – the recreation of everyday sound which is subsequently added to film to provide ‘ambience’. A further development of this type of sound recording is of course the use of special effects for radio shows (e.g., heavy rain, or the slam of a door), and also for movies. For the ‘Leek & Thistle Music Project’ recordings, a creaking chair made an ideal background sound as a creaking ship, and a clicking castanets represented the shifting sand-dunes of a desert.