Monday, November 10, 2008

my half life

When I recorded the video to Half Life (which can be viewed in in the previous post) my marriage was in the process of falling apart and I wasn't much in the mood for playing music, but I decided to try and forget it at least long enough to record the video of myself trying out that song with the vocoder.

That was the second last time I went to the rehearsal room and the following week, the last time, I didn't bother taking the video camera as I had a feeling I might not feel like doing much playing at all. As mentioned below, I worked out a live version of Dead To The World, but I ended the session early and have not been back since (sorry Richard, but I will be back again one day).

The Last Time

Despite the current lack of activity, I do have a number of songs ready to record and a number of songs to prepare for any future live performances.

I intend 2009 to be Strange Devotions busiest year for a very long time and I am hoping to play my first Strange Devotion gigs since 1982.

Until then, here are the lyrics to Half Life:

Like setting sun my self belief left
one day it fell away
into the bleakness of some strange dream
a strange dream from the day
I tried to keep myself from falling
but things got in the way
I felt normality was crawling
and sliding over me

No spotlight
in half light
brings half life to me
and half life is not the place to be

when you can't see a way out

Behind the wall of hidden feelings
a small flame can be seen
it leads me back to 1980
when I was seventeen
I went to see bands like Vice Versa
TG and Human League
I thought I knew where I was heading
but I just got lost at sea

No spotlight
in half light
brings half life to me
and half life is not the place to be

but spotlights
through dark light
brings dark life you see
and dark life is were I want to be

so that I can be.........

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

half life

I've recently taken up a weekly slot at True North Studios to start preparing some material for possible future live performances.

The first few sessions were taken up trying to re-learn songs that I hadn't played since 1982. I started off with Again The New Formation and after preparing a quick backing track (with a fair few mistakes in it) I videod my frst full run through, and it can be seen here.

I also had a go at a new song called Half Life, which I haven't yet recorded a studio version of, and put that on the myspace page also.

Last week I decided to take my Korg MS200BR along instead of my Korg MS-10, as I hadn't got around to trying out the vocoder part of it yet. I had another go at playing Half Life in order to try it out, and the result can be seen hear.

Last night I spent the evening working on a live version of Dead To The World, which came out better than expected, but I didn't have my video camera with me so that will have to wait for another time.

Monday, July 07, 2008

A Gig.

Well not exactly, but the next best thing.

Last Saturday afternoon and evening the theatre group Theatrebox performed a play at the Harrogate Royal Hall that had been specially written for them by Terry Deary (author of the Horible Histories books). The cast was made up of around 180 children/teenager aged between 4 and 19 and the show they put on was amazing. I helped out with the musical scores for some of the songs and was also lucky enough to be asked to play with the band. It kept me pretty busy for most of this year, so I haven't managed to get much done for Strange Devotion, though of course the single was released in May.

This was the first time I have played live for over 20 years and I really enjoyed it and can't wait to play live again. Maybe I will be able to do a few Strange Devotion gigs in the future.

My trusty Korg Prophecy in the corner of the 'pit'

It probably would have been a better idea to have written about this before the event rather than after it, but I guess I can just blam that on being so busy practicing.

I shall now be carrying on working on my latest Strange Devotion track Half Life, which will be put onto the myspace page as soon as the recording is complete.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Further Release Update

The Strange Devotion single is now up in Anna logue's Shop (just below Störung's great single) although possibly not quite available yet as the price is currently shown as €TBA.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Release Update

A few weeks ago I received a copy of the mastered version of Again The New Formation in mp3 format and was amazed at how great it sounded compared to the original reel to reel version it originated from. Sven Mühlender has done a fantastic job of the mastering and I am now really looking forward to hearing the uncompressed version for the first time.

This shouldn't be too far away as. although the release date is now going to be in May 2008, judging by this latest news update on the anna logue records website it looks like it should be in stock sooner rather than later.

I don't want to give too much away about the cover yet, as it has not yet been shown on any websites, but I should just add that Thomas Pargmann has also done a fantastic job with it. I am really excited that after 26 years the tracks are finally being released in such a great package.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Strange Devotion Debut Single

The tracks Again The New Formation and Danger Line are to be released as a 7 inch vinyl limited edition on the Berlin based Mauerstadtmusik label. The release is currently set for March or April 2008 so it will come almost 26 years to the day after the tracks were recorded.

Previous releases by Mauerstadmusik include "Die Welt Ist Schön!" by Alexander Von Borsig, "Oi! Oi! Oi! / Butzmania" by Chris Lunch & Frieder Butzmann and the Soundtrack LP for the Nekromantik and Nekromantik 2 films.

Monday, November 26, 2007

New Strange Devotion video on youtube

A new video has been made to go with the song Confusion.

It can be viewed on youtube here.

It was recorded using an old camcorder over a period of about 1 week on the way to and from work and also at a bonfire party.
A total of about 90 minutes of footage was shot and this was edited down on a MacBook Pro using iMovie.

I wrote an earlier blog post at the time I started recording this song back in 2006, which can be found here.

The lyrics are based on this poem

In 1982, when Strange Devotion was going the first time around, a friend gave me some of her poems saying I could make use of any that inspired me. I particularly liked one called Confusion and became determined to write and record a song to go with that poem. I kept revisitting it and trying to come up with some musical ideas that might go with the poem over the following years. By the early 1990s I had a rough song formed and I recorded the music to go with the lyrics at least a couple of times with different arrangements, but I never recorded it with vocals.

When I started Strange Devotion up again in 2006 I thought it would be great to make this one of the first songs to record. I worked on it for a while and ended up completely rewriting the chorus, but, apart from that, I still think I have managed to keep the lyrics fairly close to the poem I was given in 1982. So you could say this Strange Devotion song took 25 years to write. It would be great if the poem's author could one day hear the end results, but, unfotunately, I don't have any current contact details for her.