WX5 Videos

I just realized that I haven’t shared my WX5 videos here. I did them a while ago and posted them to Youtube but I’m guessing some of you haven’t seen them before. The WX5 is really fun to play because you configure it to sound like a variety (hundreds) of different instruments, and the voices allow you to inject your own personality and expressiveness.

If you don’t like one of the tunes, just click on the < or > buttons to the left or right of the videos to move on.

You can see more of my WX5 stuff here.

Be a kid for 60 seconds

Be a kid for 60 seconds

I recorded this tune today just before Sunday Lunch.

Being a kid is a lot of fun, and sometimes you enjoy music more when you suspend your “grown up” mind and just be a child again – even if its only for sixty seconds.

This is a three-part tune I did on the WX5, using Trombone (8), Clarinet (99) and Trumpet (5). If you can pick the tune before the trumpet comes in at 35 seconds, you’re truly a kid at heart!

Enjoy!

Bach Fugure in G Minor (BWV 578)- my jazzy attempt

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been working on this rendition of Bach’s Fugue in G Minor “The Little” (BWV 578).

I’ve driven our entire house crazy with it, and now my poor wife, Liz, can’t get the tune out of her head. And I can’t stop whistling it and humming it as I walk around.

I think I could do better than this, but I’m sharing this with you because if I know someone listens to it, I’ll try harder next time. Despite my clumsy attempts and the slow pace I took it at, I love this piece. Bach is a genius. This music is just as enjoyable now as it was hundreds of years ago when he wrote it. I love the way the different phrases echo from each part.

This arrangement is in four parts, for four saxophones. I recorded each track separately on my WX5 using the Floboe for Soprano and Alto parts, Trumpet for Tenor part, and Baritone sax for Baritone part. At one place, when the trumpet had a two bar sustained note, I was really tempted to throw in an improvised jazz lick, but in the end I decided not to because I need to play it better before trying something like that.

It’s hard to play this on a wind instrument because you have bars and bars of semi-quavers, and no room to breathe.

Anyway, if you listen to it, please let me know. I’ll try hard to play better next time!

Lullaby

Lullaby

Here’s a simple lullaby.

I picked out the simplest chord progression I could find, (I IV V) threw in a simple bridge (ii I ii V) and played a few different parts on different tracks. (Air Sax, Floboe, Bass Clarinet). The piano accompaniment is a what I got when I plugged the chords into Band in Box).

It’s amazing how something beautiful can come out of something so simple.

The pics are of my sister, brother and me as babies.

Hope you like it

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Music – Live and Raw

Here’s some more live music from our jam session this morning.

As with previous sessions, Brian picks the chords on the guitar, and I improvise on the WX5 playing whatever music seems to fit.

The end result has plenty of mistakes. We could have tidied it up post-mix, but the aim of the exercise is to create something fresh, and real, rather than make something tidy and manufactured.

Life, Friends and Music mean more when they’re real – when you can see the flaws, but you know that what you see is what you get, and you like it anyway.

I hope you like them

1. Happy Day (Floboe and Guitar)
We just started warming up with this song at the start and didn’t intend to record it, but we were having fun with it, so we decided to record it. Every Saturday is a happy day for me – it’s a lot of fun to sit down for an hour and make music.

2. Almost Knockin’ (Floboe & Guitar)
This one was an exercise on a known chord progression. The chords on this song are the same as “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” except we’ve thrown a bridge in the middle. The hard thing is NOT to play the tune you’re used to hearing, but to create something new.

3. Little Boy Blues (Clarinet & Guitar).
I love what Brian does on the guitar on this one. It’s a delight to learn with such a talented musician. I don’t know how he can do so much on one instrument.
This one’s cheeky. I think the blues teach you not to take yourself, or life too seriously. Kids teach you this too, so perhaps Kids and the Blues are related some way?

4. Minor Tears (Air Sax & Guitar)
The Air Sax has a haunting quality about it. It’s ideal for slow minor blues. You might notice it “squeaks” a bit in the high register. That’s not through bad fingering. The tone generator is programmed to “break” when it goes up high. I suppose whoever created that voice thought that something so sad should have a few cracks in it.

5. Evensong (Trumpet & Guitar)
When I close my eyes playing this, I’m sitting on a hillside, playing a smooth trumpet, watching the sun go down.

Three of me

Dammit! I have a cold, I’m as contagious as the plague, my voice is so deep I sound like I have three gonads, and I can’t go to music tomorrow.

So I did the next best thing and played a classical clarinet trio with two people I know pretty well – me and myself.

The piece is Rondo (from Divertimento IV) by Mozart.

I chose this piece because although it looks easy, the timing is a bit of a challenge. And I need to improve my timing.

Hope you enjoy it!