Roy Marchbank & Atma Anur present the new album NoneOther

 

We are happy to announce the new album NoneOther is now available on Bandcamp-click here

TOMASZ BURA Keyboards (The Scientists)
KIT WALKER Keyboards 
(Steve Smith, Kitaro)
STEVE KINDLER Electric Violin 
(Mahavishnu Orchestra, Jeff Beck)
GEORGE BROOKS Saxophone 
(Zakir Hussain, Steve Smith)
ROBERT HENDERSON Trumpet 
(Independent Jazz session musician)
STEVE HAMILTON Keyboards 
(Billy Cobham, Eddi Reader)

Huge thanks to ANDY EDWARDS for this wonderful review and for looking beyond the obvious! Click here for his YouTube channel and make sure to subscribe!

A few months ago I released two YT videos hinting at the new territory I am exploring with guitar and composition. Here I introduce a little of what I have been developing since then. This is where my guitar meets violin and in future videos – all the other instruments in my Audio Modeling sample midi orchestra! In this video I introduce SWAM, Tec and Jam Origin technology. This is the only time in my career I have used midi to create music and it is definitely a new, interesting direction for me. I have studied and played many genres on guitar over the last four decades but one of my favourites is undoubtedly classical. Now having so many instruments of a full orchestra literally at my fingertips, this is allowing me to compose some incredible and innovative compositions that will feature on my next solo album. It’s important when using these samples to understand the organic instrument the sample is mimicking, in order to best create an authentic representation of, for example, the violin, sax, flute etc. Applying that understanding with close attention to breath control, vibrato, fingering and dynamics etc. really offers limitless options for composition and performance, Over time I’ll be releasing further YT videos, demoing more of the other instruments in my library that I now play through a range of my guitars, including six string, eight string, fretless and acoustic.

Super content with the Midi Tenor Sax. Now Solo violin! Who would have thought this possible through a guitar?…What a gift! Live streaming with everything acoustic and electric guitar very soon. For now, it’s back to guitar transcriptions for the new album ‘NoneOther’ and recording live videos before the release. 

Putting the hours in for the new NoneOther album videos.

NEW SOLO: N.B. The audio was recorded into my DAW using a Kemper Profiler. The wave file was then imported and synced with the video in Vegas Pro and rendered. Recently, I was approached by a client who commissioned me to write and play a solo for a track that bears the working title “Fuck Everything Else!”. On first listen, I loved it and knew EXACTLY where my inspiration for this would partly come from – what I had learnt from transcribing the Nancarrow section of Shawn Lane’s Kaiser Nancarrow would not go to waste! It is the kind of track I could ‘fuck everything at’, including having good reason to incorporate a technique I developed around a decade ago, but never before NOW had need or legitimate use for it. In this clip of the ‘Fuck Everything Else’ solo, you can see my thumb technique being used for extra wide intervallic reach. The solo itself is what I call ‘thorny’, playing with dissonance, inspired by the mood of the track. My inspiration for this solo is taken from Nancarrow, Holdsworth and Coltrane. Thankfully, transcribing the Nancarrow section of Shawn Lane’s Kaiser Nancarrow, was worthwhile in the end. The clients love the outcome and I await their final version and the renaming of this brilliant track (though I still like ‘Fuck Everything Else’, as that’s exactly what I did!). Much as I would love to divulge the new client’s names just now, I think it’s only fair that they get this full track mixed and mastered exactly how they want it, before releasing it as part of their awesome project. I thank them for the permission to post this section ahead of that and look forward to sharing the whole track with you in the near future. Expect plenty more new music the coming year!

Recently, I have been busy recording a fusion of world techniques and incredible music with the amazingly talented Registan Group from Uzbekistan. International online project “Registan” group (https://www.registan-group.uz)  I first worked with these wonderful musicians over twenty years ago when touring the Middle East. We have remained friends across the miles but now reunite for this epic venture. I have enjoyed recording both electric and acoustic. We will tour this album live when this nightmare of a pandemic is finally over. The tour will incorporate a collaboration of my music and theirs in a fusion of unique sound. I understand our DVD is almost due for release. Details will follow when available. 

Some of you have been asking how to go from an open string to muting while playing back at the saddle without using palm muting. I invented for myself this technique at the same time as Hybrid Sarod around 30 years ago. Here is a LIVE to iPhone snip taken from my Coronavirus Exercises-Guitar Therapy (Part 2) video from April 2020 describing the combination of Hybrid Sarod and right hand finger muting or P.I. muting.

This is my solo and out-take from the G5 session I recorded recently for those wonderfully talented chaps from Finland. Please go and support their hard work by visiting the link below. https://youtu.be/rUofkwd7h2U Many thanks to Jukka “Jupe Jalas” Turunen and Toni “Tony Riveryman” Jokinen for inviting me once again. Its been a pleasure! This solo audio was recorded into my DAW then exported and rendered using Vegas Pro. Slainte!

Clip of the track ‘Navo’ featuring my 1993 homemade custom fretless. From the forthcoming DVD with The Registan Group In 2002 The British Council made it possible for Scottish Contemporary traditional act ‘The Iron Horse’ to come together with the the twenty piece Uzbekistan chamber orchestra –Sogdiana, in a memorable musical fusion. Roy Marchbank (then guitarist and co composer with the The Iron Horse) had reworked a traditional Uzbekistan piece fusing it with traditional Scottish rhythm and tuning. On flying to Tashkent an intense ten days of rehearsals and recording culminated in live concerts in Samarkand and Tashkent ( the latter televised live to millions) Now, after staying in close contact for twenty years, Zulkhorbek Turapov (and Komiljon Shermatov , originally of Sogdiana) are reunited with Roy Marchbank as The Registan Group. The collaboration, has created a new and exciting World Fusion, incorporating ancient and original playing techniques with with Jazz, Flamenco, Classical and Traditional influences “To say this meeting of musical minds and cultures has produced something wonderfully unique is an understatement” says Roy “We all look forward to performing this together live in concert”

Clip of the track ‘Dovul’ from the forthcoming DVD with The Registan Group In 2002 The British Council made it possible for Scottish Contemporary traditional act ‘The Iron Horse’ to come together with the twenty piece Uzbekistan chamber orchestra –Sogdiana, in a memorable musical fusion. Roy Marchbank (then guitarist and co composer with the The Iron Horse) had reworked a traditional Uzbekistan piece fusing it with traditional Scottish rhythm and tuning. On flying to Tashkent an intense ten days of rehearsals and recording culminated in live concerts in Samarkand and Tashkent ( the latter televised live to millions) Now, after staying in close contact for twenty years, Zulkhorbek Turapov (and Komiljon Shermatov , originally of Sogdiana) are reunited with Roy Marchbank as The Registan Group. The collaboration, has created a new and exciting World Fusion, incorporating ancient and original playing techniques with with Jazz, Flamenco, Classical and Traditional influences “To say this meeting of musical minds and cultures has produced something wonderfully unique is an understatement” says Roy “We all look forward to performing this together live in concert”

 Delighted to release the first track of my new guitar and bass ep featuring the great Stu Hamm. It’s such a pleasure to be working with him. Here’s our lockdown play through of ‘The Long Road’, inspired by the happiness and peace I have with my beautiful wife Jill. This is dedicated to her for her 50th birthday. All my music is available for purchase from Bandcamp and the usual outlets and will shortly also be found on Reward music. Thanks to Crafton Barnes of #teamshawnlane for helping to make this happen and for mastering the track. 

 

 

Continuing ‘A Second Look Series’ – with Shawn Lane
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Any solo from ‘Powers of Ten’ was the most voted for on the Shawn Lane channel community poll so ‘Not Again’ seemed a good choice to kick off the series. Today sees the release of the second video and another solo from that seminal album – Gray Pianos Flying.

This has been a really interesting solo to transcribe and play from this studio album and has required a lot of attention to detail in achieving Shawn’s various tones employed across each section of the solo.  I used a 2mm Dunlop and 9mm Phat Bhoy Classic Pick. We’ll be discussing the reason for different plec choices and my set up for this solo, plus much more on the forthcoming Mediocratics Radio podcast.

 

Feel free to leave questions in the comments section of the YouTube video and whenever possible we will include these in the podcast next week. The time and date of the podcast will appear in the discussion section under the YT videos and are also announced on social media. Thanks in advance for sharing the video, it helps to boost the subscriptions to Shawn Lane’s channel and spread the word about his music.

 

Launching ‘A Second Look Series’- beginning with Shawn Lane
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Today marks the launch of the ‘A Second Look’ series, in which I’ve been asked by Crafton Barnes (engineer and close friend to Shawn Lane) to provide an in-depth exploration of some of the worlds most interesting and prolific musicians.

Rightly we begin the journey with the legendary Shawn Lane-incredible guitarist, pianist, composer and all round amazing human being.
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How to get the most out of the ‘A Second Look’ series. Three steps.

There are three information sources for this series.

Crafton Barnes

and I have put it together like this to get the maximum from learning the featured pieces and getting a deeper understanding of the video content and the featured artists.

Step 1. Download Transcription in Notation/Tablature
On the day ‘A Second Look’ Video is released on YT, my transcription pdf for the featured piece will appear on the Notation/Tablature page of my website. I’ll get that up a few hours in advance of the video. Looking at my transcription will also give you an idea of the work it takes to understand Shawn’s (in this case) technique and composition. Every single note and nuance had to be inserted by hand, as I have interpreted what I hear Shawn playing. By doing this you get all the nuances and ornamentation. Some of these are written on to the notation that appears in the YT tutorial video but you’ll get more detail on the pdf.
Step 2. Watch the YouTube video:
On the videos the solo is played according to the transcription (as you’ve seen in the trailer). To better understand the detail of what’s going on I have broken it down to into sections (which runs to around a four page transcription). I then play the piece slowly (again in sections so you can learn bit by bit, rewinding as needed) – the notation and tab runs above this. I don’t speak over the slow breakdown of the solo as I wanted anyone learning to be able to fully concentrate on the music. No distractions from being able to listen! Which, let’s face it, is what we really want to get to grips with – not listening to me speaking over it!
Step 3. In-depth Q&A discussion on The Mediocratics Radio station:
Tune in to the Mediocratics discussion.
One week after the ‘A Second Look’ videos appear on YT Crafton and I will gather in any questions. The answers to these will be put together with sharing some deeper insights on what and how Shawn, or another featured artists, plays. The time and date of podcasts will appear in the discussion section of the YT videos and/or announced on social media. If you subscribe then you won’t miss a thing!
This package of three information sources: pdf transcription, tutorial on the video and Mediocratics podcast, will put you on the right road to playing and understanding the ‘Not Again’ solo and every other incredible piece & technique to be featured on ‘A Second Look’ !👍
Hope you enjoy the series. Feel free to leave questions in the YT comments section or over on The Mediocratics Guest Book. We’ll get to them all!

 

G4 solo
I recently was commissioned to record a solo for a Prog Metal Fusion collaboration with these excellent musicians from Finland. 

Jukka Turunen :Guitar
Ari Katajamäki:Bass
Ville Karhu:Drums
Juha Mäenpää:Keys
Janne Karhunen:Guitar
Jimmy Konsta:Guitar
Toni Jokinen:Guitar

Ville Siuruainen:Drums

 

 

My contribution starts at 4.16. A very different take and style for me and at least 15 years since I pushed the front end of a Valve amp head hard with an overdrive pedal. I had nearly forgotten how much fun it can be! Please feel free to share and support.

 

 Acoustic up close series.
This video begins to look at the complex and often frustrating world of acoustic alternate picking technique.

 

Guitar Therapy Part 2
Part 2 of  Coronavirus Exercises-Guitar Therapy on dynamics and right hand finger muting.

Guitar Therapy
Here’s an insight into how to alternate pick at speed, with a relaxed wrist and arm. This is the first video of a new blog series, specifically on this subject.


Phrases from my Newest Composition ‘Sentinel’.

(Roland VG88 COSM Synth and GK2A Pickup)

Welcome to my blog! A new post on here at least every week may be more! I’m kicking off with a live recording to demo Roland’s VG88 and GK2A pickup. These phrases are played on my Yamaha Pacifica 1221M. My trusty warhorse for 30 years, this guitar has travelled the globe with me. I had the Pacifica customised by Jimmy Egypt (Glasgow luthier) many years ago; taking off and reshaping the bottom horn. He also did the same surgery recently to my new Suhr (more on the reasoning behind this preference in a future post). AAA bookmarked flame maple was applied to the face of the Pacifica and it was fitted with DiMarzio pickups HSH configuration and five way selector switch with volume and tone.

The pickups on the bridge and neck are EJ custom. The centre pickup is a single coil Area 67 and the tremolo was salvaged from a 90’s Ibanez 560. In this demo only the GK2A midi pickup is utilised – but here is the interesting part – it is a digital pickup but in this setup it is purely acting as a modelling pickup; it is modelling bowed strings. The settings have been edited to best function for legato playing – again, this for another (far heavier) blog post. Here the GK2A is acting like a conventional passive pickup.

The track over which I play these two phrases is from my new composition ‘Sentinel’, so over time you will hear how this develops into a finished piece. However, for the purposes of this blog post, it might be of interest that the phrases are inspired by the improvisation of the late Allan Holdsworth and jazz pianist Art Tatum. This post serves to demonstrate how Roland’s GK2A and VG88 provide a winning combination for playing guitar synth legato.