Archive for June, 2007

16
Jun
07

6/16/2007 – Podcasts, Soccer and Bloody Noses

Hello again, all.  Well, a few weeks ago, we held the one-year anniversary show of the Podcast in which I am regularly involved – that being www.audionowcast.com.  The show was recorded in front of a live audience of friends and followers, and was, by all accounts, a great success.  The Podcast (organized by my good friend of many years, Mike Rodriguez) brings together myself and three other resident music pros and a guest speaker, to talk — to discuss, comment and debate the state of today’s music technology.  I am the token songwriter amongst the technical heavyweights.  I am told I’m there to add my penny’s worth regarding the songwriter’s perspective in this age of the digital revolution.  Check out the Audionowcast website and the Audionowcast Myspace page (www.myspace.com/audionowcast).  We have completed a year’s-worth of shows talking about a wide range of subjects, and believe me, the shows are not just about technology, and they contain a great deal of humour and irreverence.  Check it out (it can be found on iTunes as well).

In my spare time, I’ve been indulging in one of my other passions besides music – soccer (“football” to us Brits).  When I was a lad, I was signed as an apprentice to Southampton Football Club (“The Saints”), and all I wanted and hoped to be was a professional player some day.  Alas, that was not to be, and music eventually came along to steal my heart.  As a 16-year-old, I represented my city, my county (Hampshire) and the South of England, as a schoolboy player – and the passion for the game has remained with me ever since.  I regularly still play games with ex patroits, x-professionals, and friends on the weekends in the Los Angeles area.  I’m lucky enough to join Robbie Williams (whom you may also know as a soccer fanatic) for games on his very own soccer pitch!  Robbie has been a very gracious host on and off the field of play, and is a gifted player with an educated left foot!

I often get asked to play in celebrity games, and just recently I played a charity game for the Hollywood Allstars team.  It was great fun playing with friends from the Entertainment Industry for a good cause.  The Hollywood Allstars regularly features celebrities like Vinnie Jones, Steve Jones (Sex Pistols), Rod Stewart and Gary Richards (Fox Sports T.V. commentator).  I was enjoying this particular game in which I was involved (beautiful day, good crowd, party atmosphere), until, in a goal-mouth scramble for a highball in the penalty box, my nose was punched and smashed by MY OWN GOALKEEPER!  (As a defender, I have had my nose broken many times in the past – so I’m used to it).  As a result of this clash, I am told, my nose was pushed back into a straight position!!!!  Unfortunately, I had to retire from the match because of the nose bleed I had acquired, but at least I have a reasonably straight nose again – o lucky me.  Only a week earlier, I was nursing a black eye for my troubles on the field….. I suppose I must learn not to be quite so competitive on the pitch these days.

Before I sign off, I’d like to continue the trend of telling you about the books I’m enjoying at this time:-  “The Friendship — Wordsworth and Coleridge” by Adam Sisman – a study of the relationship between these two great writers; “Solitude – A Return To The Self” by Anthony Storr – a profound exploration of solitude and its role in the lives of creative individuals; and “Here, There and Everywhere” by Geoff Emerick and Howard Massey – the inside story by the innovative engineer who recorded The Beatles’ greatest albums.

Well, there we are – thanks for the indulgence.  Until next time, live lightly on the Earth.

— Martin

12
Jun
07

6/12/2007 – Muse News

Greetings to the faithful; hope you are all doing well out there.  My last few weeks have been filled up with the video recording of an Electric Press Kit and interviews for the release of the new album.  Most of the recording was filmed at my home studio and features live performances of some of the tracks from the new disc, as well as a couple of acoustic versions of brand new songs that I’m writing at this time.  It’s been a great deal of fun, especially performing the acoustic guitar segments outside in my back garden.  I sang under a particularly beautiful, in-bloom, orange tree, and it was great to have the ambience of nature as an audience – and, better still, to taste the delicious oranges afterwards!!  We are just about to edit the pieces, and I can’t wait for you to see the results.

In between the filming, I’ve been putting the finishing touches to a song that I’ve written and recorded for the upcoming Abrazos 2007 compilation CD project.  Abrazos is a non-profit organization that benefits the Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Foundation.  I was thrilled and honored to be asked to contribute to such a worthy cause, and it is at times like these, when asked to help, that I feel lucky and privileged to be a songwriter.  Check out the Abrazos website:  www.myspace.com/abrazos2005.

On the song-cover front, I’ve just heard that a new female vocal group on the Universal Classics/Decca label, called Three Graces, has recorded “THESE DREAMS”.  There is word that Walter A. produced the track, and by all accounts, there are high expectations for their debut album.  It’s always a buzz to hear other artists’ interpretations of your songs.  Some versions you love, some you love to hate!  I’m still amazed to think how a song I started casually in my living room so many years ago (and took 15 minutes to write), could reach out and touch so many people to this day.  Such is the power of song!

And now, as has been my fashion in recent blogs, I’d like to share with you three of the books that I’m enjoying currently:  Meditations For The Humanist by A.C. Grayling – a book of insightful contemplations and ethical questions regarding the human condition; Shelly – The Pursuit by Richard Holmes – a magisterial biography of the great poet; and The Sixth Extinction – Journeys Among The Lost And Left Behind by Terry Glavin – A book exploring our conflicted relationship with nature.

I’d also like to mention some beautiful music which I’ve recently been listening to.  It’s an album by Anonymous 4 and The Chilingirian Quartet called Darkness Into Light, featuring compositions by John Tavener.  The piece named “The Bridegroom,” is particularly haunting and exquisite, and I find the voices of Anonymous 4 extremely moving.  If you are prone to sacred medieval singing, this is for you!

 

— “Hatred never ceases through hatred.  By compassion alone does it cease”

 

                                                 —- Shakyamuni

             Until we chat again, Bye for now…

 

— Martin