Posted by & filed under video.

Joe and I started filming for a new video. Here’s a break down of one of the shots.

I have no idea when we will finish this. I still have the pesky, quibbling need to earn a living so projects like this happen in the gaps between obligatory nonsense like going to work.

Stupid work.

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

TomI may have been a little quieter than usual for the last three or four weeks. That’s cos I got married.

Can you say ‘aaaaaaaah’?

Yup, after 9 years my better half and I decided to tie the knot and make public what had long been a private commitment.

Here are the readings we had:

[Inspired by] Carl Sagan: 

“The size and age of the Cosmos are beyond ordinary human understanding. Lost somewhere between immensity and eternity is our tiny planetary home. And yet our species is young and curious and brave and shows much promise. In the last few millennia we have made the most astonishing and unexpected discoveries. They remind us that humans have evolved to wonder, that understanding is a joy, that knowledge is prerequisite to survival. Our little planet floats like a mote of dust in the morning sky. All that you see, all that we can see, exploded out of a star billions of years ago, and the particles slowly arranged themselves into living things, including all of us. We are made of star stuff. We are the mechanism by which the universe can comprehend itself.  The sum of all our evolution, our thinking and our accomplishments is love. A marriage makes two fractional lives a whole. It gives to two questioning natures a renewed reason for living. It brings a new gladness to the sunshine, a new fragrance to the flowers, a new beauty to the earth, and a new mystery to life.”

 

Scientific Romance by Tim Pratt [We cut some of this in the ceremony - I bet you can guess which bit - but here's the whole thing]:
If starship travel from our
Earth to some far
star and back again
at velocities approaching the speed
of light made you younger than me
due to the relativistic effects
of time dilation,
I’d show up on your doorstep hoping
you’d developed a thing for older men,
and I’d ask you to show me everything you
learned to pass the time
out there in the endless void
of night.

If we were the sole survivors
of a zombie apocalypse
and you were bitten and transformed
into a walking corpse
I wouldn’t even pick up my
assault shotgun,
I’d just let you take a bite
out of me, because I’d rather be
undead forever
with you
than alive alone
without you.

If I had a time machine, I’d go back
to the days of your youth
to see how you became the someone
I love so much today, and then
I’d return to the moment we first met
just so I could see my own face
when I saw your face
for the first time,
and okay,
I’d probably travel to the time
when we were a young couple
and try to get a three-way
going. I never understood
why more time travelers don’t do
that sort of thing.

If the alien invaders come
and hover in stern judgment
over our cities, trying to decide
whether to invite us to the Galactic
Federation of Confederated
Galaxies or if instead
a little genocide is called for,
I think our love could be a powerful
argument for the continued preservation
of humanity in general, or at least,
of you and me
in particular.

If we were captives together
in an alien zoo, I’d try to make
the best of it, cultivate a streak
of xeno-exhibitionism,
waggle my eyebrows, and make jokes
about breeding in captivity.

If I became lost in
the multiverse, exploring
infinite parallel dimensions, my
only criterion for settling
down somewhere would be
whether or not I could find you:
and once I did, I’d stay there even
if it was a world ruled by giant spider-
priests, or one where killer
robots won the Civil War, or even
a world where sandwiches
were never invented, because
you’d make it the best
of all possible worlds anyway,
and plus
we could get rich
off inventing sandwiches.

If the Singularity comes
and we upload our minds into a vast
computer simulation of near-infinite
complexity and perfect resolution,
and become capable of experiencing any
fantasy, exploring worlds bound only
by our enhanced imaginations,
I’d still spend at least 1021 processing
cycles a month just sitting
on a virtual couch with you,
watching virtual TV,
eating virtual fajitas,
holding virtual hands,
and wishing
for the real thing.

 

 

 

Posted by & filed under Black Water, review, Seven Bells John.

Another review of Black Water

Tom Slatter’s music can be hard to get into, but he knows his influences of stories and influential backgrounds very well. As I’ve mentioned on the final composition, I can imagine Rod Serling has given the torch to Tom Slatter and for him by writing his own stories to capture and staying true to the late 1950s TV series of The Twilight Zone. What I hope that Slatter does, maybe in the future, is to make a Graphic Novel of the complete story and along with the music telling everything from start to finish.

I would love to make a graphic novel of the Seven Bells John story! Anyone know any comic book artists who work for free.

What I love about this review is that it mentions lots of ‘influences’ I didn’t know I had. I better get listening to them right away…

Posted by & filed under influences, Inspirations.

People always talk about the bands that influenced them. I could give you a list of bands I like, but maybe it’s more interesting to talk about the music educators that have had a big impact on me.
First up is a gentleman I never met, but who’s work was a big influence. Reginald Smith Brindle was a musician and composer from Lancashire. He created some really interesting works for classical guitar, particular this one written for Julian Bream.

A really interesting piece, but his main influence on me was his writing about music.
Musical Composition, his book from 1986, is pretty much a must read as far as I’m concerned.  In particular its chapters on melody writing, accompaniments and more interesting modern classical ideas. The stuff on melody writing, really looking at how to use and when to repeat ideas, was very useful.
This book had a big influence on my instrumental work at Uni, which resulted in various pieces of which I still rather proud including ‘Two’ from my first album.

Posted by & filed under Gigs.

conviv

On September 28th I’ll be performing at the Crossness Engines.

I got to have a look around them the other week. I had my own little private tour by a lovely bloke called Dave.

Now I’ve performed at Kew Bridge Steam Museum and at the Markfield Beam engine, and both are impressive Victorian waterworks buildings, but Crossness is something else. Bigger, better, beautiful. If you’ve any interest in steampunk or Victoriana you need to be there.

Plus I’ll be playing and I’m great.

Here’s the link and here are the details:

“Supplement your visit with a free guided walk from the Ancient Lesnes Abbey ruins to the front door of the Pumping Station. Assemble at Abbey Wood Station by 10:45am. Startle Thamesmeaders with your fancy apparel as you promenade through!
Come and join us for
- Electrifying Tesla Coil demonstrations in the Eastern Engine Room
- Trader’s market
- Exhibitors
- Tea duelling
- Umbrella fencing
- Shark racing
- Costume appreciation
- Promenading
- Finest music from Tom Slatter
and a multitude of other eccentric escapades!:
April 1865
The culmination of the great Metropolitan Board of Works’ epic civil engineering project devised and led by Sir Joseph Bazelgette. The Crossness Pumping Station is a lasting testament to the genius, craftmanship and foresight of the great Victorian engineers and notables. A gargantuan project that saved London from disease and decline, the benefits of which we still enjoy today.
Experience this magnificent 150 year old building with its 1,000 tons of cutting edge Victorian construction hailed in its day as a modern wonder of science and engineering. Decorated in the highest of Victorian design the architecture of the building is a feast for the eyes. The multi coloured wrought iron interior is both beautiful and practical.
A hidden gem in the hinterland of Erith & Thamesmead, it is rightfully described as the ‘Cathedral of the Marshes’. This is a rare chance to experience this beautifully restored Grade 1 building and grounds.

Enjoy our facilities: a lovely cafeteria, modern toilets, wheelchair access to the Visitor Centre and Engine House floor.

Ample parking with disabled spaces. Riverside walk. Wildlife Garden and a treasure trove of old engines.”

Posted by & filed under Album 4.

So on my next album the wonderful Jordan Brown of The Rube Goldberg Machine fame is gonna play some bass. To facilitate this, I just sent him the following:

 

“Imagine that you are adrift on the salt baked remains of what used to be your ship. The last fresh water ran out days ago and there’s no land in sight. You started hallucinating at some point in the last few hours. The sun has beaten and burned away what’s left of your reason, but you’re happy because you know at some point soon you will slip beneath the waves and breathe through the new gills you have grown.

Play the bassline you dream of, before you begin to swim”

Posted by & filed under Black Water, Seven Bells John.

So I’ve put up the Pay What You Want version of my new EP Black Water.

What’s that then?

It’s Black Water, but without the bonus track or the short story that comes with the £3.00 version.

Pay what you want? Can I get it free?

Absolutely, I would love you to get it for free, but you can pay any price you want. If you can pay great, if you can’t download it anyway.

How are you going to make money with this sort of attitude?

Well most people pay, but plenty don’t and that’s cool. I’m trying to build a sustainable long term audience of people who enjoy my music, so I want people to hear the music and enjoy it most of all.

I want if I can’t pay, what should I do?

Download it for free of course. If you enjoy it, I would appreciate if you told your friends about it. I hope you enjoy.

PS. EXTRA pay-what-you-want news.

My last EP, and The Steam Engine Murders and the Trial of Seven Bells John are both also available pay what you want. YOu have only one week left to get these however. So if you want ‘em, get downloading.