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  • Formal Music Training

    I come from a self-trained background in music. I have taken very few lessons in Guitar, Piano and Vocals so I am still very much "blind" musically. Almost everything I do that you hear is stuff that I do by ear.

    Musically I have been exposed to a lot! My mother is a retired classical violinist who used to play in a symphony. She eventually succumbed to carpal tunnel syndrome which killed her career, but she is one of those types that can pick up a instrument really quickly. Now she mostly avoids making music because she is a perfectionist and finds that if she can't play like she used to that she won't even try. Also she is so busy with handling two jobs that she really does not have enough time for music production anymore.

    For my music, I basically piece the song together by trial and error, solely using my ear until it sounds "right". I can get on a piano and do the same, improvising chord progressions and other things.

    For making ambient, sure you could play 4 - 16 bar length chords and stretch it out until you get a nice melodic background. However I am quite interested in complex chord progressions and harmonic structures so I am going to force myself to learn what I can.

    I am a HUGE fan of classical orchestral music, and If i could go back 10 years in my life, I would want to have taken up Classical piano lessons and Composing! Anyways now i am going to not hold it off any longer and start pursuing this.

    Some of my influences musically are

    - John Williams (Composer of Starwars, Jaws, etc)

    John Williams was born on February 8, 1932 on Long Island, New York, the son of Esther (née Towner) and Johnny Williams.[3] His father was a jazz percussionist who played with the Raymond Scott Quintet.
    In 1948, the Williams family moved to Los Angeles where John attended North Hollywood High School graduating in 1950. He later attended the University of California, Los Angeles, and studied privately with the Italian composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco.[4] In 1952, Williams was drafted into the U.S. Air Force, where he conducted and arranged music for The U.S. Air Force Band as part of his assignments.
    After his Air Force service ended in 1955, Williams moved to New York City and entered The Juilliard School, where he studied piano with Rosina Lhévinne.[4] During this time, Williams worked as a jazz pianistin New York's many clubs and eventually studios, most notably for composer Henry Mancini. His fellow session musicians included Rolly Bundock on bass, Jack Sperling on drums, and Bob Bain on guitar—the same lineup featured on the Mr. Lucky television series. Williams was known as "Little Johnny Love" Williams during the early 1960s, and he served as music arranger and bandleader for a series of popular music albums with the singer Frankie Laine.
    Williams was married to actress Barbara Ruick from 1956 until her death on March 3, 1974. Williams and Ruick had three children: Jennifer (born 1956), Mark (born 1958), and Joseph (born 1960). Joseph is one of the various lead singers in the band Toto. Williams' grandson is Lionel Williams who is in the band Vinyl Williams. John Williams married his second wife, Samantha Winslow, on July 21, 1980.
    John Williams is an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi, the national fraternity for college band members.

    - Danny Elfman (Composer for Men In Black, etc)

    Danny Elfman was born in Los Angeles, California, the son of Blossom Elfman (née Bernstein), a writer and teacher, and Milton Elfman, a teacher who was in the Air Force.[5] Elfman grew up in a racially mixed community in the Baldwin Hills area of Los Angeles.[6] He spent much of his time in the local movie theatre, adoring the music of such film composers as Bernard Herrmann and Franz Waxman. Stating that he hung out with the "band nerds" in high school, he started a ska band. After dropping out of high school, he followed his brother Richard to France,[7] where he performed with Le Grand Magic Circus, an avant-garde musical theater group. Violin in tow, Elfman next journeyed to Africa where he traveled through Ghana, Mali, and Upper Volta, absorbing new musical styles, including the Ghanaian highlife genre which would eventually influence his own music

    - Jesse Cook (Classical Guitarist and composer)

    Born in Paris on 28 November 1964 to photographer and filmmaker John Cook and television director and producer Heather Cook, and nephew to artist Arnaud Maggs, Jesse Cook spent the first few years of his life moving between Paris, Southern France and Barcelona. As a toddler he was fascinated by the guitar and tried to emulate the sound he heard coming from his parents' recordings of Manitas de Plata, a famous Gypsy guitarist from the region of Southern France known as the Camargue. After his parents separated, Cook and his sister accompanied his mother to her birth country, Canada. Recognizing the musical aptitude of her son, Cook's mother arranged for him to take lessons at Toronto’sEli Kassner Guitar Academy. Cook eventually studied under Kassner, himself a student of the great maestro Andre Segovia. While Cook was still a teenager, his father retired to the French city of Arles in the Camargue where his neighbor just happened to beNicolas Reyes, lead singer of the flamenco group the Gipsy Kings. During frequent visits to Arles, Jesse Cook became increasingly fascinated by the “Camargue sound”, the rhythmic, flamenco-rumba approach that could be heard on many corners and cafés in the “gipsy barrio”.Back at home, he continued his studies in classical and jazz guitar in some of North America’s most prestigious music schools, including the legendary Berklee College of Music in Boston.[1] He has often quipped that he later attempted to unlearn it all while immersing himself in the oral traditions of Gypsy music. This helped him widen his range of musical tastes.

    - Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails)

    Reznor began playing the piano at the age of five and showed an early aptitude for music. In a 1995 interview, his grandfather, Bill Clark, remarked, "Music was his life, from the time he was a wee boy. He was so gifted."[11] His former piano teacher Rita Beglin said "Reznor always reminded me of Harry Connick, Jr." when he played.[11] Reznor has acknowledged that his sheltered life in Pennsylvania left him feeling isolated from the outside world. In a 1994 interview with Rolling Stone, he references his choices in the music industry.

    - Hans Zimmer (No explanation needed really)

    Zimmer was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. As a young child, he lived in Königstein-Falkenstein, where he played the piano at home, but had piano lessons only briefly as he disliked the discipline of formal lessons.[3] He moved to London as a teenager, where he attended Hurtwood House school.[4] In an interview with the German television station ZDF in 2006, he commented: "My father died when I was just a child, and I escaped somehow into the music and music has been my best friend."[5]

    - Gustav Mahler (Classical Composer)

    Born in humble circumstances, Mahler displayed his musical gifts at an early age. After graduating from the Vienna Conservatory in 1878, he held a succession of conducting posts of rising importance in the opera houses of Europe, culminating in his appointment in 1897 as director of the Vienna Court Opera (Hofoper). During his ten years in Vienna, Mahler—who had converted to Catholicism from Judaism to secure the post—experienced regular opposition and hostility from the anti-Semitic press. Nevertheless, his innovative productions and insistence on the highest performance standards ensured his reputation as one of the greatest of opera conductors, particularly as an interpreter of the stage works of Wagner and Mozart. Late in his life he was briefly director of New York's Metropolitan Opera and theNew York Philharmonic.


    Anyways so what is your musical background? Influence?

    Last edited by V0RT3X; 01-07-2013, 02:49 PM.
    -=| (Youtube)|(Bandcamp)|(Ambient Online Forums)|=-

  • #2
    I tend to not make a distinction between formal training and being self taught as I think there's so much middle ground for me, where I have picked up a lot from other people who have had training of some sort, either by them showing me something or by copying them. Also I have used a few books and other resources to learn.

    If I could do it over I'd definitely have taken lessons from an early age, but my parents were not well off and buying a musical instrument for me probably would not have been possible.

    As for influences, I'm not really sure where to start. I'd cite my aunt for the records she played when I was very young, mostly late 60s American soul music. I'd also say all of the people who I witnessed play something and I wanted to play it myself.

    But if you mean specific artists whose styles I have tried to take on board there might be quite a few. I also don't necessarily sound like any of them as my attempts at playing their style ended up producing something very different.

    For guitar I'd say John McGeogh and Captain Sensible.

    For keyboards I'd say Dave Greenfield and Tom Waits.

    For wind instruments I aspire to Didier Malherbe or Ray Thomas.

    For Bass Geddy Lee or Lemmy.

    Orchestral not sure, but probably Henryk Górecki or Phillip Glass.

    For general ambience and arrangements it's got to be Brian Eno.

    For music in general that I think has in some way influenced how I play I'd say Gary Numan, Pink Floyd, Motorhead and Magazine.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by robojam View Post

      For guitar I'd say John McGeogh and Captain Sensible.
      I met the Captain on a few occasions Those that I can remember include a Johnny Moped gig at the Music Machine in Camden 1978 (with Alan Holdsworth). More recently we met at a 21st Century Schizoid Band gig about 10 years ago.
      Last edited by seismic1; 01-07-2013, 06:13 PM. Reason: grammar abuse
      Whatsisname's Little Fluffy Clouds | Campsite | Hearthis | Orfium | SeismicTC | Twitter | Ello

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      • #4
        Didn't ever meet him in person, but he was in the bar during a Damned gig, but surrounded by far too many people to get near. Although he did spit on me during the gig, does that count?

        Actually, I had someone (half in jest) ask me if I still had it on my jacket and he'd buy it from me...

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        • #5
          - Danny Elfman (Composer for Men In Black, etc)

          Danny Elfman was born in Los Angeles, California, the son of Blossom Elfman (née Bernstein), a writer and teacher, and Milton Elfman, a teacher who was in the Air Force.[5] Elfman grew up in a racially mixed community in the Baldwin Hills area of Los Angeles.[6] He spent much of his time in the local movie theatre, adoring the music of such film composers as Bernard Herrmann and Franz Waxman. Stating that he hung out with the "band nerds" in high school, he started a ska band. After dropping out of high school, he followed his brother Richard to France,[7] where he performed with Le Grand Magic Circus, an avant-garde musical theater group. Violin in tow, Elfman next journeyed to Africa where he traveled through Ghana, Mali, and Upper Volta, absorbing new musical styles, including the Ghanaian highlife genre which would eventually influence his own music


          wow!! no mention of oingo boingo?weird (weird science, science,science)...
          Last edited by ARshawn; 01-11-2013, 12:18 AM.
          https://soundcloud.com/sleep-data

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          • #6
            I have no formal training but have been around the music scene for a long time. I'm old enough to have been part of the original punk scene in Winnipeg where I grew up. Sang and bang some drums in a band way back when. A few years ago I started a band with some friends from the way back days and we get together regularly to jam, have fun, and play out occasionally. I'm the lead singer and we mostly play old punk and new wave covers and some originals.
            https://soundcloud.com/raizen-band

            I really enjoying going to live shows and have been a life-long music collector. I recently packed up my cassettes, am getting ready to sell my CDs, and still play my vinyl occasionally. I like all kinds of music ranging from punk to some alt country, with african and latin influences thrown in for good measure. I mostly gravitate to singer song writers and my favourite band is The Fall. I'm also a big Nick Cave and Bob Mould fan. In the 90's I went to local shows but as usual skipped a lot of popular culture and bought only a few CDs. I just gave up eMusic subscription after 8 years or so. In the early days you could download as many tracks as you wanted and they only complained if you went over 1500 tracks or more. This allow me to really broaden my exposure because you try different artists. If you liked them, then you chase down bands they were in, look for similar bands in member's lists etc. That was really great.

            I have always dug repetition and enjoyed ambient. My electronic/ambient influences are Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire, Tuxedomoon, Steve Reich and Eno. Using My iPhone to start with I played around with a few synth apps but did not do anything concrete. When I got my iPad, everything changed. It made exploring electronic sound accessible. The apps made making pleasing sounds easy with a low learning curve and at an affordable cost. Although, I went on a pretty big app buying binge in the fall and in December with the holiday sales and the release of Audiobus. I probably should not have added up my iTunes purchases. :(

            I've been creating music for about 7 months and have learned a lot about how to control my sounds, I'm diggging deeper into the apps, and am learning new stuff all the time. Starting to learn Chords and have way more control over the recording/mixing process.

            I think the most surprising thing was how large the IOS, desktop and hardware muscians community is and am seriously impressed by the creativity of the music and the opportunity to network with experienced muscians.
            Last edited by Frozen Lonesome; 01-11-2013, 09:09 AM.
            https://soundcloud.com/steve-raizen
            https://www.facebook.com/FrozenLonesome

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