A riproaring rollercoaster of a journey through time, space and that side road just over there...

Category: "Music related"

In My Time of Dying...

Written by:Chris of Arabia
Published on November 5th, 2009 @ 23:25:00 , using 7 words,

Harold the Barrel

Written by:Chris of Arabia
Published on October 12th, 2009 @ 21:11:34 , using 663 words,
Posted in Music related

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSzS7S5uAos

Very occasionally, my iPod's random play feature will throw up an oddity. This afternoon's case in question was 'Harold the Barrel by Genesis, from their Nursery Cryme album released back in 1971, not that I first heard it then. I didn't start listening to their stuff until some time in 1976 and saw them for the first at Manchester Free Trade Hall in January 1977.

What struck me about its appearance today was the quintessential Englishness of the lyrics, the attitude of a socially embarrassed mother, the typical English copper, Harold's failed attempt at maintaining a stiff upper lip in the face of adversity, whilst all the while going quietly mad, and lastly the neighbours gossiping about the goings on behind Harold and his mother's back. It reminds me (as do many things) of the way things were in the sixties. Yes, I was born in 1961, but can't claim to remember the "sixties" as an event as it's so often portrayed, but it does instead match what I believe life was like at that time and how those who weren't traipsing up and down Carnaby Street or inhabiting The Cavern Club would have been behaving.

The other resonance in the lyrics for me came from a book of Graham Greene short stories I'm reading at the moment. All were written from the late 30's to the early 50's and seem to touch on the lives of ordinary folk as they were being affected by world affairs happening around them, or in the mess they had left behind. Some aspects of the latter were still to be seen when I was growing up. For that reason his stories prick away at memories left long in the distant past, or pretty much forgotten. Strange to think that they're still there. They're worth reading [the short stories, not my memories] should you have a few moments.

Anyway, on to Harold...

Harold the Barrel by Genesis, 1971

A well-known Bognor restaurant-owner disappeared
early this morning.
Last seen in a mouse-brown overcoat,
suitably camouflaged,
they saw him catch a train.

"Father of three its disgusting"
"Such a horrible thing to do"

Harold the Barrel cut off his toes and he served them all for tea
"Can't go far", "He can't go far".
"Hasn't got a leg to stand on"
"He can't go far".

I'm standing in a doorway on the main square
tension is mounting
There's a restless crowd of angry people

"More than we've ever seen.
- had to tighten up security"

Over to the scene at the town hall
The Lord Mayor's ready to speak

Lord Mayor:
"Man of suspicion, you can't last long, the British Public is on our side"

British Public:
"Can't last long", "You can't last long".
"Said you couldn't trust him, his brother was just the same"
"You can't last long".

If I was many miles from here,
I'd be sailing in an open boat on the sea
Instead I'm on this window ledge,
With the whole world below
Up at the window
Look at the window...

"We can help you"

Plod's Chorus:
"We can help you"

Mr. Plod:
"We're all your friends, if you come on down and talk to us son"

You must be joking
Take a running jump

The crowd was getting stronger and our Harold getting weaker;
Forwards, backwards, swaying side to side
Fearing the very worst
They called his mother to the sight
Upon the ledge beside him
His mother made a last request.

67-yr-old Mrs Barrel:
"Come off the ledge if your father were alive he'd be very, very, very upset.
"Just can't jump, you just can't jump"
"Your shirt's all dirty, there's a man here from the B.B.C."
"You just can't jump"

Mr. Plod:
"We can help you"

Plod's Chorus:
"We can help you"

Mr. Plod:
"We're all your friends, if you come on down and talk to us Harry"

You must be joking.
Take a running jump......

On the move again

Written by:Chris of Arabia
Published on August 27th, 2009 @ 04:27:27 , using 560 words,

It's either very late or very early. My brain says the former, as I've not slept on this flight. I am as ever on the BMI flight from RUH to LHR, brain fried and horribly fuzzy. We're somewhere over Turkey but not yet to Istanbul - plenty of flight left yet then. Mecca is long behind us though, the map says Bucharest is straight ahead - what would I find there I wonder? The iPod is 'singing' to me, strictly speaking it's Dave Gahan and Depeche Mode, but that was long ago. Only the little white faced box is really working, Dave Gahan knows nothing of his performance tonight, much less to who.

I had words at one point, but I was too wrapped up in Iain M. Banks. I'm reading 'Matter' at the moment. Whilst I'm not sure I've read everything he's done, I'm much of the opinion that this is by far the best of the Culture stuff he's done - met him at a book signing many years ago, nice chap.

Why doesn't my mind ever switch off? I know I've not done a few things before I left tonight, and some of those that I did were not as good as they could have been. It seems a perpetual torment that I agonise over stuff that's not as good as I might think I could have done, yet those indescribably less capable than I, get away with turning out crap and couldn't give two hoots. I will die unhappy, knowing that however good I gave, it was never quite good enough (in my mind at any rate). I remain driven by the belief that I am slovenly and indolent and must try harder - where did I go in all this I wonder? I remain life's play thing to be directed at the behest of a greater cause.

That said, I feel more attuned to what's going on around me and feel better placed to influence it. If I want anything currently, it's my 15 minutes and the acknowledgement that I do contribute. I no longer wish to be someone else's passenger and desire the reward I feel I've earned. Clear a path, I'm coming through - something like that anyway...

The map says we're just over the Black Sea coast and are encroaching on mainland Europe, if only the dark (to me) Eastern nations, Romania I think, Hungary next. Places I know nothing of, though I did once meet a girl from Romanian girl serving in a bar in Bahrain. An image sticks in my head of her, as they have a distinctive look to them, that is very none British, or at least it was until the doors were thrown open.

We must be nearly half way there now and Tool are blasting out Lateralus. I'm nearly 48 and wouldn't trade this kind of music for anything - Stephen Fry, and his regular Tweets of Debussy and Mahler, I am not. Stick 6 strings on it and turn the fucker up LOUD! Moved onto Sian Evans and Kosheen - I don't mind that either. I have catholic tastes, whatever that means. Bucharest to our right now - what's it like down their?

About 3 hours to go, time for a doze I think. Dream of home maybe for a bit - not the place I left though. G'nite...

More DR-880 Data (this time with instruments)

Written by:Chris of Arabia
Published on August 16th, 2009 @ 21:52:17 , using 66 words,
Posted in Music related

Since my last publication on this - Roland Boss DR-880 preset data list, the data for the instruments associated with 40 of the kits (at least one of each type) has been added to the Excel file. I've also added the bass tones used in each of the kits. As always, any comments on the file, especially corrections, would be welcomed.

Revised data file: dr-880_data.xls

Painfully Slow Progress with the DR-880 Data

Written by:Chris of Arabia
Published on August 14th, 2009 @ 22:43:19 , using 193 words,
Posted in Music related

Well I suppose I never said this would be quick when I posted about my attempts to map out all the necessary data for the DR-880 - Roland Boss DR-880 Preset Data List. I'm now well under way with mapping out the individual sounds used for each of the preset drum kits. When I say well under way, I've now hand transcribed the instruments for 40 of the kits onto a form I've created, and I've now got 12 of the sheets entered cell by laborious cell entered into Excel - that's 720 so far from a grand total of 6,000 that are needed before this can be considered complete. I wouldn't mind quite so much, but there is a sizeable amount of duplication going on here, then again, as there are only 440 sounds available to map across those 6,000 locations, that's hardly surprising. In an ideal world there would be an easy way of telling where the bulk of the duplication is, but the only way to find out is to look at every last mapping on the DR-880 to find out. How dull? Still I'm sure it will all be in a good cause... yeah right!

Roland Boss DR-880 Preset Data List

Written by:Chris of Arabia
Published on August 2nd, 2009 @ 23:52:31 , using 210 words,
Posted in Music related

As a start point towards beginning to create a fully specified Roland Boss DR-880 .ins file for Cakewalk Sonar, I've created an Excel spreadsheet containing the preset data from the DR-880 manual - this has taken a good few hours of my time and is supplied here without any form of warranty that it is 100% accurate or of any use to anyone, but I can personally promise that it's damned close! If you want to download a copy, then you may feel free, but this little exercise is far from complete and the next step is to try and map all of the instrument and bass tones across to the kits (6,100 mappings by my reckoning), and in doing so ensuring that the appropriate midi note numbers are assigned to them. On the off chance that I go completely mad, I may even try to map out the various settings of each instrument in each kit, but that's only if I can work out whether that has any form of usable value to it. Anyway, here's the file and feel free to let me know if you spot any errors along the way.

File Can Now Be Found Here

PS. This is not getting me any further practice with the guitar

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