Demos and the Instrumental music scene – View From a Newcomer (Part 1 of 3: A little bit of Luck).

I am one of the new instrumental music artists with material signed to leading U.K. independent label AD Music during 2008. This was a year that saw a number of advancements for me in my musical aspirations and also where I am now heading on my particular musical journey that only really started in earnest some 2 years ago. I have been a music lover from an early age, I was fortunate enough to have private lessons and reach a fairly high standard before the age of 10 in both the practical and theoretical aspects of music, pushing things further in early teens before stopping everything to concentrate on exams and being a teenager. Electronic music was always my first passion, my first exposure to it in 1977 being Donna Summer’s iconic “I Feel Love” driven by Giorgio Moroder’s pumping Moog basslines. From there I discovered Tangerine Dream, Isao Tomita and The Human League. Then along came Jean Michel Jarre who turned everything upside down in the most positive way possible. Once away from the confines of school education and private music tutors, I allowed my wings to spread a little in the early to mid 1980’s playing in a succession of bands of all sorts of styles, including time in a country band!!! Whilst not my cup of tea musically, it was fun.

As a 20-something hopeful back in the 1980’s, I had a lot of very big dreams and aspirations with regard to my ambitions in the music business. I wanted to be on Top Of The Pops, The Old Grey Whistle Test (showing my age there!!!), The Tube (and again!!!) and Saturday Superstore (and yet again!!!)!!! I wanted a number one song that I had written, I wanted to play arenas, travel in a limo, have my very own recording studio and write my own column in music magazines of the time. Did I get there? Nope. What I did achieve however, was becoming something of a legend in my own bedroom, the greatest keyboard player ever to exist – in my mind. And so life moved on, the passion was dampened by the unexpected things in life as in jobs, losing jobs, getting married, having kids, you know what I’m saying, the same old excuses to cover every reason why I didn’t make it back then. So what changed? Well, quite a few things actually, if you want to consider the facts of no longer being married, kids growing up fast, new line of work, new relationship, new home in a new town etc etc etc. But the really big change was the determination to find a forward pathway in the music business. And the biggest change of all? I got older and wiser.

Okay, I’ve thrown a few bones into the arena here, let’s start putting some flesh on them.

My determination seems to be in the process of paying off, my first album was picked up by a reputable independant label, I’ve garnered genuine support and friendship of people within the business, I’ve played a live gig as support act to a well known electronic music artist and I have found myself being a part of the label who signed my first album. To carry this on, I have opportunities to potentially play live alongside some of the leading lights in modern electronic music, I have people contacting me asking for advice on equipment and my little album seems to have enjoyed a few sales and positive reviews as well. Not bad going for someone starting out in their 40’s!!!

How did this happen? Well, there have been a number of factors at play, not least the element of a little bit of good luck and a touch of positive judgement. When my marriage failed and I found myself living alone, seeing my two kids at the weekend and out of work through ill health, I took the step back to music which had been my first true love. I bought an old Yamaha keyboard, a MIDI interface and a cut down version of Cubase called Cubasis. I took the time to learn about the recording process and with the help of a friend from Germany, set about writing songs and pieces of music. I found the latter to be easier and having always loved electronic music in it’s different forms, the combination of the two seemed to work. So that was the first thing on my little road to proportional success – I learned how to use the tools of the trade at my disposal. Within a year or so, the first version of “The Garden” was complete, my German friend and I had a small collection of tunes ready to unleash on the world at large, which we duly did using on-line distribution. I also took a look at a couple of social networking websites, MySpace and Soundclick, up-loaded a few tracks and took it from there.

MySpace proved to be something of a gem. Within a short time I had contact with a few like-minded musos from around the world and then it started. I came across a small podcast radio show based in the West Midlands of the U.K. called Robo Cast Radio. The man behind Robo Cast Radio was Ian Price, an electronic musician himself and he was looking for new music to play and so I sent along a couple of tracks – the response was quite something as it brought in new people who hadn’t heard my music before and new contacts who guided me in the direction of an independent local radio station in Leicestershire called Harborough FM, in particular a Saturday night program called “Hawke’s Chill-out Sessions” hosted by the venerable Terry Hawke, a long time fan of the electronic music genre. I sent along a copy of the first release of “The Garden” and a couple of tracks were played, more people found me out on MySpace and within a couple of weeks, I did a live interview on Terry’s show. From that interview, the pathway of the Geigertek project changed. I received an e-mail from Terry Hawke and also a chap called Steve Ruby who lives in the U.S., both of whom told me of a label called AD Music, run by the leading U.K. electronic music composer, David Wright. I knew of AD Music and David through my own love of electronic music – I had several albums by David Wright, Robert Fox, Code Indigo and Bekki Williams.

I checked out the AD Music website, looked at the criteria of what they were looking for and how they operated, all of which sounded good to me, And so I prepared my Jiffy Bag with the CD and a covering letter that had a couple of photographs I had done of myself and when I came to put the address on the package, I got a surprise. What I didn’t realise was that AD Music was based in a small Suffolk town called Bungay which is only a 20 minute drive from where I live – I had a good feeling about this, but being a “feet on the floor” type of person when it comes to the music business, I sent off my package thought no more of it. What happened next? Well it’s more than just a little surprising – find out more in tomorrows blog.

~ by admusic on January 9, 2009.

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