I know it has taken me a little bit of time to get back to this but I think I am finally ready to upload some actual content to this blog. I thought a good place to start would be to share with you the very first song I produced by myself and a little bit about my history with music production. The song itself is called “Wilhelm Scream” and to anyone who is familiar with the music of James Blake it is immediately obvious that this is an interpretation of one of his songs… well actually one of his dad’s songs let’s not get too technical.
For those unfamiliar, James Blake is an electronic musician that has been releasing music for about 7/8 years now and has quickly become one of my favourite musicians. I remember first buying his albums on a whim when I was a sixth form student studying for my A-levels in year 13. My friends and I used to visit the uni library in Leeds city centre so in order to take a break I would go wander round town with my mates to get lunch or browse shops. I hadn’t heard many songs by him, maybe “Retrograde” was the only one I had heard but I liked it enough to buy his self-titled debut album as well as “Overgrown”, its follow-up. I remember being amazed at his music from the first listen, and his first one particularly resonated with me. I still think it his best work. What I have enjoyed most about James Blake is how interesting his production is and to me that is most prominent on his first album. There is so much going on, a lot of it can be very bizarre and glitch-y but that all adds to a stellar finished product. However, his focus has definitely shifted over the course of his career. To me it seems that as he grows as an artist he is developing his style more lyrically than musically which isn’t a bad thing by any means but it just seems to be missing something.
Back to Me
Anyway, as it can be seen that James Blake is one of my favourite artists which is where my interpretation of one of his songs comes from. This song was created by me in my first year of university and it was my first real solo introduction in to music production which has now developed in to a big hobby of mine. I learned a lot in making this certainly about the types of songs I liked to make and the techniques I could use to make them. Whilst it certainly isn’t a perfect song by any means, it’s the first one that I was truly satisfied to call finished. As a creator it can be hard to know when you are truly done with something like this but I felt happy with what I had created and so that’s when I knew. It is obviously quite different to James Blake’s version of the song but I thought I’d try my hand at making my own personal version using the melody he had created and turn it in to something different. Well that’s about as much as I want to say about this really so here is the song and I hope anyone listening enjoys it.
Well I have just set up my very first blog. This is new territory for me but I am hopeful that I can turn this in to something that I can look back and reflect on over time. I thought since this is my first post that I would start by introducing myself and then talking a bit about my hopes and vision for this blog, as I see it currently, and a little about my motivations for actually starting one.
Me + This Blog
Well firstly let’s start with a little about me. My name is James, I am 21 and I’m also a very recent graduate from the University of Nottingham (11 days from posting). I am originally from Leeds where I live with my family and my two dogs, Ozzie and Lily, both black Labradors. I moved to Nottingham three years ago in order to go to university and I’m currently living and working here over this summer.
As I am very new to blogging I thought I would at least try to explain my motivations for starting a blog and what I hope to achieve by pursuing this as a hobby, if nothing more than to motivate myself in order to fulfil these goals. This is something I hadn’t previously considered until quite recently when my housemate started his own blog and I made friends with a girl on my course who currently manages a successful blog of her own. As I studied English Literature for one of my A-Level options I found that writing was something I really enjoyed and over the past three years it has been something I missed for the enjoyment of it. Seeing my friends actively pursue blogging has really inspired me to pick up writing as a hobby, even if it is for my own personal enjoyment. My aim for the writing part of this blog is primarily to document my interests through diary-esque entries, reviews and articles that I can use to record my own thoughts.
I have always been tech-savvy and so having started learning Python as my first programming language last year, I decided I would try to learn HTML and CSS as well this year so my hope is as well that I will be able to customise this website in order to create something unique, professional as well as something that represents me well. I am still very new to WordPress as a platform so I will see how this comes along.
I am also a self-taught musician and I want to attempt to use this blog as a platform to release my own music online. Music is a hobby that I have had for nearly six years now which started when I first learnt guitar in order to be able to choose Music as a GCSE option so I could be with my friends. This is probably by chance one of the biggest decisions I made without ever even realising it. Fast forward to today and I can say that it is easily my biggest interest as I have an extremely varied music taste, can play multiple instruments, perform live as part of a band or on my own, and even record my own compositions and covers. As I currently do this for my own enjoyment I thought it’d be a waste to keep this side of me hidden and so I want to at least share something that I am proud of with the world. My aim with this part of my blog is to be able to start my own YouTube channel in order to record videos of me performing or recording music videos as well as a sound cloud account in order to share audio recordings.
Why am I saying this?
As it currently stands I am not interested in building much of an audience with this, my primary focus is to keep this for myself and if anyone wants to read then that is fantastic! The above writing is meant to represent a challenge to myself to see just how well I can stick to my own goals and to see how far I can pursue this. Maybe this is ambitious but I feel by setting it out in writing from the start will only provide me with the encouragement to actually fulfil these goals.
Hopefully this will be something I can look back on and be proud of as well.