Elements EP: Out Now

Acoustic Instrumental EP – Complete.

This project has been a long time in the making as it’s technicality my short musical life’s work – so far anyway.

Before I go on, a wee bit of its origin: I first wrote Grass Dance in my 5th year of secondary school and it’s been evolving ever since. I kept composing instrumentals after that, Celtic Dawn was next, then Eclipse, Instrü Mentae, The Ballad of Tom Riach and lastly, Equinox [for more, check out my Composer’s Notes]. In 2013, I decided to compile these 6 tracks into an EP that showcased myself as a musician, audio engineer and composer; all bundled together for my Major Music Project in my Honours year studying Popular Music in Edinburgh. I worked with a very talented Media Studies graduate, Chris Gordon, to film the videos for me and I have been delighted with the work he has produced – Instrü Mentae was conceptualised and shot in consecutive takes in the space of around 2-3 hours with a dying battery – a tip of the hat indeed for Chris!

The project was tailored for a university assessment so I recorded in ways to explore certain microphone techniques and the mixes themselves were over produced to show different production methods. After graduating, I returned to my seasonal work as a car parts delivery driver at Highland Motor Parts; a great job for the fantastic people I get to work with, but it did not really put my degree to good use. So using the money I was earning, I started building up my own equipment list for a small home studio set up – new microphones, new interface, new macbook and new software. With new gear in hand, I set out to record the audio for my EP again and to mix it to a more natural feel so it tied in with the videos more appropriately.

However, being at the helm of my own work, I developed the dreaded ‘Creator’s Curse‘:

http://explosm.net/comics/3433/

This comic perfectly summarises the problem I faced with being in complete control of my work; I was just never happy because it wasn’t perfect and I had the technology and means to do so. But I also came to realise, no one is perfect so why should I put releasing a bundle that showcases a perfect version of me when I’m not. So instead of released my overproduced university project, I tried to strike a balance of a good studio take but retain that rough live feel. I really hope you appreciate my efforts.

 

Audio

Videos

 


One last thing…

‘Why is it Pay-what-you-want, don’t you value your music?’

The internet is amazing. It is a vast network that allows us to communicate globally in seconds, which in turn makes it very easy for people to file share all sorts of content, including music. I know that if folk want to listen to something, they don’t need to pay for it in this golden age of internet so rather than them searching for an ‘illegal’ free download that might not be the best quality, they can get a high quality free download straight from the musician.

 

Enjoy,

Neil.

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