It was such a thrill to be invited to talk to Wez Allard on Skwigly's animation podcast series: Animation Composed. Skwigly has been my go to website for animation news for a long time, and if you're interested in animation it's well worth checking out.
You can listen to the podcast below (I'm around 52 minutes in, but it's a cracking podcast if you want to listen to the whole thing).
Source (with bio info and track listing): Skwigly website
Finally, I sometimes get asked what my songs are about and I almost always fail to explain them properly. So here are some explanations to go with this year's release, along with the instruments I recorded for each song:
(Acoustic guitar, electric bass, piano, drums, tambourine, hammond, vocals)
Back in the summer of 2013 there was a series of Wednesday evenings where a group of friends gathered on a boat and floated around on the Thames near home. Everyone was going through something and the river was a tonic that soothed. That point in the evening where the sun was nearly down and the water was like a sheet of glass remains one of my favourite things. Add the fact that it was still warm and Pink Floyd was playing on the boat stereo, well, you get the idea.
Learn To Fly
(Guitar thump, hand claps, acoustic guitar, electric bass, 'cello, piano, vocals)
In 2011 I made the enormous leap from teaching to composing music for a living without really considering how to go about it. I was lucky to have a pal who gave me some work initially (thanks Mike), but I didn't really know where I was heading or how to get there. If ever there was a leap of faith this was it for me. So, of course, in the meantime I had doubts and paranoia and inner arguments about whether this career was going work, but (as with most things) the best way to learn how do something is to get on and do it. You can read more about the production of this song here.
Miracles and Accidents
(Acoustic guitar, piano, vocals)
I've learned in the last few years that you can never predict what's around the corner. Sometimes the most rewarding things come from the most unexpected places. So I say celebrate the unexpected.
(Piano, double bass, vocals, stair case, acoustic guitar)
I recently watched a documentary on Bruce Springsteen who explained that he changed his song writing style early on from writing about himself to making up stories, which gave him endless possibilities. I've always written in a semi-observational way, with my own experiences mixed in with friends, news etc. This song is an attempt to write from imagination rather than experience. Also, it started as the result of a production experiment you can read about here.
(Acoustic guitar, electric guitar, electric bass, drums, tambourine, vocals, piano)
This song was written on a bus (and in a school class room later that same day) while I was doing some supply teaching to supplement the income. It was summer, and Electric Circus is an actual place (and more specifically a bus stop near Surbiton). It's a straight up, breezy pop love song about leaning on someone when life gets too much.
My friend and long time music collaborator Pauly came over one evening to help with the backing vocals.
So that's all for now, hope you enjoy it!
I added some hand claps to this. Fast forward a couple of instruments, I recorded a percussive sounding bass in order to offset the rhythm. The result was a laid back rhythm that gave a rhythmic back bone to the song:
Just as an extra sneak peak, here's what it sounds like with guitar, piano and 'cello parts:
I'm very aware I haven't posted much in a while. Since the Scream Street series started the process has been so slick there hasn't been much that I'm allowed to report ahead of episodes being aired. Needless to say the production team comprising Coolabi, Factory and the BBC is one lovely bunch of people, and I feel really lucky and privileged to be a part of such an amazing project. My Christmas wish is that this time next year I'm still working with them!
2015 has been a musically rewarding year for me. As well as Scream Street, I released the Band of One debut album 'Being Ghosts' in May. I've recently been working on a new song for Band of One which I'm hoping will turn into an EP by the Spring. I've also done bits and pieces with the wonderful creative agency eatsleepthink including composing a superhero theme for the Friends of Alec Syphas, a super heroic little man battling DMD.
On the fun side, I've helped out songwriter and old pal Rhod Williams by playing on his recordings for years now, and this year saw a couple of gigs with his band King & Queen of Sorry, one in a record shop in Birmingham in January and the other at the Birmingham Institute supporting Eric Martin (lead singer of Mr Big). Both were great fun, with the band made up of old friends. That community feeling of playing music together is always a real buzz.
Finally, in September my wife Dani and I moved into our house in Shepperton, which meant I could finally have a creative space that I could treat acoustically and hang some pictures (no such luck in rented property). It's exciting to consider just how much music will be produced in that room over the next few years and I can't wait to get started. I'm always up for conversations about possible collaborations...I'd really like to score a short film in 2016 if time allows, so get in touch if you know of any being planned.
So all that remains is to wish you a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year. This afternoon Christmas kicks off for us with the annual viewing of 'National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation' and tomorrow we're going to see the film that everyone's talking about at the moment (no spoilers please!).
Bye for now, and see you on the other side.
It’s been a busy couple of months, sorry for the lack of updates. The debut Band of One album is pretty much ready to release!
In my head, 'Being Ghosts' takes from alternative / indie rock and 80s pop rock, with smatterings of other decades. It's an optimistic album about looking forwards; about living life rather than planning for it.
While I wrote, recorded and produced the album on my own I do have people to thank. Pauly Cutcliffe has been a musical collaborator my entire adult life, and he came in to record backing vocals for 'Edge of Future' and 'Closer', the results of which gave me a real boost when I needed it. Also, rather than come up with the artwork myself, I challenged pal Katie Holden (a prolific doodler) to listen to the album and come up with something unique. I'm sure you'll agree she's totally nailed it.
So, to the songs:
1. All Right
2. Being Ghosts
3. Enjoy The Fall
4. Edge Of Future
6. It’s Happening
7. Down The Rabbit Hole
8. Evening Rifles
9. Together Free
10. This City
Finally, I’m not a signed artist. Any help in promoting the album, whether it’s sharing this post or getting your friends to like the Facebook page or Twitter feed, will be very gratefully received. The album will be released in the next few days (I think!), so I’ll share the links here, but the album should appear as if by magic in your favourite download store.
Seeing as it's Valentine's Day tomorrow, here's a nice little number from the first Band of One EP.
'Out On A Limb' is available for free download with the rest of the EP here https://soundcloud.com/garethdaviescomposer/sets/band-of-one-ep
Have a great weekend.
This week's SFTW comes courtesy of side project Band of One. I'm slowly getting songs together for the debut album - it'll be released whenever it's ready, and it's nice not to have the pressure of a release date. I thought in the meantime I'd start to share snippets and ideas as the album progresses, so here's a little groove I put together - it's not finished, it's barely started, but it does give a flavour.
Posts by Gareth Davies.