Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Bites of Greatness

My main task now is music and the release of my next album, Bites of Greatness. I wanted to get started on new music in October but lots of other things, the Eden Iris, the Artsfest, Future Nouveau! got in the way. I'm making time!

Less than one week ago I finalised the track listing for Bites of Greatness, many of the tracks were written earlier in the year, partly inspired by Tim Prevett on Red Shift Radio who really liked my album Stupid Computer Music. I wanted to write something similar, catchy electronic tunes, sort of like the chart single releases by Jean-Michel Jarre or Vangellis. I used to think it odd that Jarre would make one track that was obviously "the single", why not make a whole album of those good ones - I thought! I wanted Bites of Greatness to be like that.

The last track Trax was actually a distant remake of an Amiga tune I wrote in the 1990's. I'm not a fan of re-working old stuff (it's much more interesting to make something new) but this one was quite good and deserved some modern production. I completed Trax on Saturday night, Nov 30th, and for good measure finished another new tune called France TV. The original title was just "France" in my sequencer and I didn't bother thinking up a new title, so just stuck with it. Amazingly the first run through of that one sounded fine so I decided to forget about any further refinements and call it done.

In the last three days I've finalised the artwork, added a page of the album to my website, with clips, set up the products, made some new edits and, today, sent the final tracks to the distributors for submission to iTunes, Amazon and others.

For the artwork I wanted a mix of every day objects with "bites" taken out of them. Here's a metal candle holder with bit missing. It also shows the track listing...

And here's the cover. It's rather grey and steely, but I think that look will appeal to people who like that sort of music, and I liked the idea of a clock on the cover too.

Like all of my music now it's made using software I programmed myself. I designed all of the algorithms, from the sample generation and filters to the reverbs. I'm probably the only music artist in the world who has created all of the instruments and the artwork - well, there can't be that many, but I had lots of help from the unseen shoulders of giants that post helpful snippets of code and assistance on the Internet. Like anything, programming a computer is learnable.

Next task; to make some videos, I think. Then, onto the next album; Black and White. There's always a balance between creation and promotion. I probably create too much, especially as most of the albums haven't sold more than one copy and nobody's really heard most of the work! But if the iron is hot, what can we do but strike? I'd rather have too many ideas than push too few too much. I'll leave those tactics to the major record labels.

Bites of Greatness will be available from various download distributors in a few weeks, and on www.marksheeky.co.uk from December 16th 2013. There are a few sound clips on my website already, and some more on my SoundCloud.

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