Over at Real Gone Rocks, a positive mention of my new ‘Strolling Early Morning’ video release. Read all about it at –
I want to say something about the wonderful watercolour painting that will feature on the new SUMIC album.
It’s by an artist based in North East England called Steve Port, and he has a real way with watercolour, capturing essence, but also using colour very expressively and sometimes to very striking effect, as is the case here.
I’d followed Steve’s work for a couple of years on the Facebook page for the group of artists that he is a member of, ‘The Pitmatics’. Finally I asked him to paint something for me, and in his deadpan way he said ‘I’ve done this, any good?’
It was only earlier this summer when I was giving artwork some serious thought, that I realised the ideal image was on my wall staring back at me. I asked Steve if he’d be ok with me using the painting as album artwork, and he said yes.
You check out Steve’s (and the other Pitmatic artists) work here –
‘Strolling Early Morning’ – single edit now on Soundcloud
I’ve put the ‘Single Edit’ (the album version is slightly different) of ‘Strolling Early Morning’ up on my Soundcloud page, so if you want to listen without watching then you can check it out here –
‘Strolling Early Morning’ video release
I did mention letting you hear something soon, although I didn’t mention the visuals.
This is the title track from my forthcoming album, ‘Strolling Early Morning’, of which I will have more details soon.
The song is something I wrote several years back, and have tried to record once before, but I didn’t do it justice at all. I feel like I have done it justice now though, and the video is in keeping with the happy vibe, which is an upbeat and sunny folk song.
I hope you all enjoy it – please feel free to share the link far and wide!
SUMIC News, August 2021
Can I finally announce that the new SUMIC album is in the can? Oh yes!
There were a few little things to tweak here and there, but nothing too drastic, and now it’s finished, which is a happy relief.
Now onto the production side of things, and to maybe letting you folks hear something very soon! Stay tuned!
SUMIC News, July 2021
The good thing about being your own man is that you can do things at your own pace, which is just as well, as I’ve got very little done over the last few weeks musically. It’s been a very busy time on other fronts.
That said, once an album is pretty much finished, I try to let things gestate for a while. The thing about making music the way I do is that you get SOOOO close to it, and you lose all perspective on it. A bit of time to leave it be and not hear it constantly makes it fresh again when you come back to listen to it.
I already knew I had a couple of small things I wanted to change. Reviewing the music again after a bit of a layoff has firmed up my thoughts nicely. Hopefully over the next few weeks I can make those final changes, and then it’s done.
A lot of the other decisions have already been made, about the album title, artwork etc, and I can’t wait to get started on the final run-in to getting another SUMIC album out there!
Hopefully the next update will have some very firm news! – until then folks, stay safe!
Over the weekend I decided to have a listen to the music that myself and Andrew Ciccone made, under the name ‘Inferno Weevil’ (strange name I know – it makes sense when you look at the titles of the two pieces of music!).
It was over two years ago now, an afternoon in January 2019, so sufficient time had elapsed for me to almost forget the music, and listen to it with fresh ears. It is without doubt the most ‘out there’ music I have been involved in creating, but listening to it, I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed every twist, turn and unexpected sound. I can genuinely think of no other music that it sounds like – I thought that at the time, and after listening again I still think the same.
For the sonically adventurous amongst you, it’s available from Bandcamp as a free download at https://infernoweevil.bandcamp.com/releases, so do yourself a favour and check it out, you’ll not hear anything else like it, I can pretty much guarantee that!
SUMIC news, May 2021
Hello everyone – a quick update on the new music front.
Work on what will be the next SUMIC album is almost complete. I’m working on the last few things on the final track, and that should be it finished.
I’m guessing this will take me a few weeks or so, as life is returning to whatever ‘normal’ is post pandemic, and then after that I’ve got the physical album production to sort.
On that note, there will be a CD edition of this next album as well as a digital download copy available, as lots of people still like the physical product.
I’ll keep you all posted as things progress!
SUMIC news, March 2021
It’s been a while since the last SUMIC news, but I’ve been hard at work on new music – new compositions and new recordings, and I can now happily commit to saying that there will be a new SUMIC album this year.
It will be later in the year, as there’s a bit of work to do yet, but it will happen.
In the meantime, I’d like to remind folks again about what I got up to musically last year, which was quite a bit. An improvised E.P. ‘Victories’, an album ‘Jupiter Wrens: Macrocosm & Microcosm’, and contributions to two compilations with proceeds going to charity, ‘Navel-Gazing’ (with proceeds going to the ‘MIND’ charity), and ‘Psych against Cancer Vol II’, with proceeds going to MacMillan cancer charity.
Here are the links to these projects – please do check them out if you’re new to my music or you’ve not heard these works yet, thanks!
I’ll update you all with further news about the new album in due course!
Psych Against Cancer II
This is the second charity compilation that I’ve contributed to in the last couple of months. The first, ‘Navel-Gazing’, is raising funds for the MIND charity, and can be found at https://navelgazers.bandcamp.com/album/navel-gazing
This Psych Against Cancer II compilation is so big it comes in two volumes, and is an incredible compendium of modern psychedelic music, to which I have contributed a new recording which I had literally just finished when news of this upcoming compilation reached me.
My contribution is a new version of the old English folk song ‘Death & The Lady’ – old traditional lyrics with new music written by me, and very psychedelic it is too.
All money raised by this mammoth compilation is going to Macmillan Cancer Support. The music can be found at https://psychlovers.bandcamp.com/ – please do check it out!
2020 so far, in pictures…
The year is not over yet, but prior to yet another announcement at the end of this week (stay tuned!), I’d like to gather up the strands of 2020, musically at least. All of these events are covered in more detail further down this very blog, but in summary –
It started with my ‘Victories’ E.P. released at the end of January – three guitar-heavy improvised pieces.
Summer saw the release of the ‘Jupiter Wrens: Macrocosm & Microcosm’ album – initially improvised electronic music that was worked on and developed further into an album.
A couple of months ago, the ‘Navel-Gazers’ blog released their first compilation – mostly at the jazz and improvised end of music, (https://navelgazers.bandcamp.com/album/navel-gazing) to which I contributed a track.
And most recently of course (see the post below) – there was award-winning praise for SUMIC and the ‘New Paeans’ album, that I released towards the end of 2019, from the Friday Night Progressive radio show and progressive rock community (https://fridaynightprogressive.com/home/).
As I mentioned at the top of this post, 2020 isn’t quite over yet, but for anyone wondering what I’m about musically, 2020 has got just about all of my bases covered. All of this music, and more, is available to listen to and buy at https://vincentcarrssumic.bandcamp.com/ – I have physical CDs available as well as downloads, so please do head over there and give some of it a listen, there’s a lot to choose from!
‘New Paeans’ wins IPA 2020 Award!
In what is shaping up to be a pretty eventful end to 2020 for SUMIC, the ‘New Paeans’ album has won the ‘multi instrumentalist’ category at this year’s ‘Independent Progressive Awards’ at Friday Night Progressive, https://fridaynightprogressive.com.
I’d like to extend my thanks to the hosts, judges and listeners at FNP for their support over the last few years, it really does mean a lot.
The show is available to listen to on Mixcloud here – FNP 437 IndeProg Awards 2020 on Mars by FRIDAY NIGHT PROGRESSIVE | Mixcloud – please check it out!
Navel-Gazing charity compilation released!
The wonderful Navel-Gazers blog (https://blog.navelgazers.co.uk/ – which produces a monthly interview with a musician who interests the interviewer, and covers a lot of ground!) is now one year old, and to celebrate, each of the twelve artists interviewed in the first calendar year have donated a piece of music to a Bandcamp compilation release, to benefit the MIND charity.
I have contributed a new piece especially for this release, entitled ‘Must I Never Dream?’, and together with twelve other pieces, it makes up what can only be described as a uniquely varied collection of music.
Anyone wishing to hear (or give) some new music can find the album at https://navelgazers.bandcamp.com/album/navel-gazing – you can pay whatever you want, and all proceeds go to MIND, so it’s a great cause!
Vincent Carr’s SUMIC nominated for an award
This isn’t the sort of thing that happens often to me, but the U.S. progressive rock institution that is http://fridaynightprogressive.com has their own annual ‘IPA – the Independent Progressive Award’, and my ‘New Paeans’ album has been nominated in the ‘Vocal’ category.
So thanks so much to the guys at FNP and their listeners – it really is nice to know that people are listening!
There’s a show for each the individual categories, and the ‘vocal’ show will be featuring SUMIC and a whole host of other excellent artists. There’s a show every Friday night at 9pm New York time – I’ll post more information soon, or you can follow yourself at https://www.facebook.com/groups/fridaynightprogressive
The new SUMIC album, ‘Macrocosm & Microcosm’
The new SUMIC album will be out in a week or two! The new album is probably best described as an ‘ambient’ work – it’s is very atmospheric (and a little bit cosmic), but it also has a large element of melody, as just about all of my music does. It also features quite a bit of improvisation.
I’ll not waffle on too much about the music though, I’d rather you had a listen to it! I’ve made a little video featuring one of the pieces from the album, ‘Microcosm 9’, you can watch and listen here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=payJCdAJ4HM
The album will be available as a download from my Bandcamp page very soon. In the meantime check out the video. Stay tuned for further information about the album release!
Something new is coming…
I’m hugely pleased to announce that there will be a new SUMIC album coming soon!
Given my previous timelines, I’m sure this will come as a major surprise, but this is something different – stay tuned, all will be revealed!
New unplugged performance of unreleased SUMIC music
http://www.realgonerocks.com have inaugurated a new ‘Sessions’ feature in light of the current virus lockdown.
Bamburgh is a village on the Northumberland coast, known for its spectacular castle and it’s beautiful beaches. ‘Bamburgh Sands’ is an (as yet) unreleased piece of music, here performed on solo guitar –
2020 New Music!
We’re still in the first month of the new year, and I can happily announce some new music already!
I am a keen listener and performer of improvised music, and I’ve been keen to make some more improvised music for a while, but the idea stayed on the backburner whilst I was finishing ‘New Paeans’. The Christmas holidays provided me with the opportunity to tackle an idea that had been hanging around in my mind for a while, and so my third E.P. of improvised music is going to be released as a digital download next Friday, 31st January.
The ‘Victories’ E.P. comprises three pieces and 19 minutes of improvised music, and it will be available on my Bandcamp page. As a taster, I have uploaded a piece, ‘Hollow’, to my Soundcloud page at https://soundcloud.com/vincent-carr-2/hollow-g-mixolydian – please give it a listen!
SUMIC 2019 end of year round-up
2019 feels like a long year musically, as two albums were released. The first one really does seem like a long time ago now – a duo project with my good friend Andrew Ciccone (https://omphalopticon.bandcamp.com/) of wholly improvised music recorded on one Saturday afternoon in January. We then both used the raw improvisations to go away and edit together the music in our own ways to create something new. ‘Inferno Weevil’ is unique music, and is available as a free download at https://infernoweevil.bandcamp.com/releases.
Eventually, 2019 also saw the release of the long-awaited follow up to 2016’s ‘Rekindled’ album. The ‘New Paeans’ album has been way more successful than I could have imagined, and even made it onto a few people’s ‘Best of 2019’ lists, for which I am eternally grateful. ‘New Paeans’ was a bit of a slog to realise in the end, and the fact that people want this music in their lives makes it all worthwhile and fills me with renewed energy for the creation and recording of new music.
On that note, I can tell you for certain that you will hear some new music in 2020, though at this point that’s literally all I can tell you. I am always working on my music, and 2020 will prove no different.
Thank you all so much for your support during 2019 and going forward into next year.
I’m over the moon with the response to ‘New Paeans’, and the CDs have flown out of the door, so thank you all so much for your support!
There’s still plenty of copies available if anybody wants one! – listen and purchase here at https://vincentcarrssumic.bandcamp.com/
New Paeans CDs available – finally!
At last! – the ‘New Paeans’ CDs have landed! A couple of weeks late, but better late than never eh?
They’re up on the SUMIC bandcamp site now at https://vincentcarrssumic.bandcamp.com/
Great album review for ‘New Paeans’ from Realgonerocks!
http://www.realgonerocks.com have put out a fantastic review of the ‘New Paeans’ album, which you can read here –
It’s so good to read a review like this, where the reviewer clearly understands the music and the musician making it, so thank you very much Real Gone Rocks!
The trials and tribulations of creating albums!…
On the eve of the release of my new album, some bad news. I have the CDs from the manufacturer – the sleeve art looks fantastic, really superb print quality, the image on the CD looks great too – only one small problem… these aren’t audio CDs!
I’m not sure what’s gone wrong, and neither is the manufacturer at this point. This isn’t going to be a ‘name and shame’ exercise, I know they don’t want this to happen as much as me, but it’s happened, and it’s going to delay the availability of the physical CD by a week or so.
I’ve decided that the album release will go ahead tomorrow as planned. For folks wanting a digital copy of the album, it will be available on Bandcamp tomorrow. Once I have the correct CDs I will make them available on Bandcamp too, probably some time next week.
All very frustrating, but I’ll roll with it. I know some folks are really looking forward to this release – I can only apologise and say that you won’t have to wait much longer!
‘New Paeans’ album released Friday 15th November, plus radio play bonanza!
It’s official – the new album will be available from Friday!
The CD edition has had a couple of teething problems getting produced, but that is hopefully sorted, and both the CD and download will be available from https://vincentcarrssumic.bandcamp.com/ on Friday.
Obviously I’m delighted to be finally sharing this labour of love with you, I hope you all enjoy it as much as ‘Rekindled’.
In addition, SUMIC music seems to be all over the digital airwaves at the moment –
Tomorrow (Tuesday 12th) at 5pm UK time, John Conlan will be playing something from the new album on his ‘The Rocky Road to Dublin’ Celtic show, links here –
Friday not only sees the album release, but also something from the new album will feature on the mighty ‘Friday Night Progressive’ show, along with a host of other fabulous progressive acts, 9pm New York time, 2am Saturday morning UK time, links here –
And last but certainly not least, next Wednesday (20th November) Mark Burnell will be featuring the new album on his epic ‘This is not a Prog Show’ on Prog Rock Radio, 8pm UK time, links here –
All three shows feature fabulous music, so do check them out if you can!
New track ‘Parrish Blue’ now online!
Here’s the first taste of my new album ‘New Paeans’, a song called ‘Parrish Blue’ – over twelve minutes of epic, melodic, pastoral progressive rock.
As my previous album ‘Rekindled’ ended with a piece inspired by a painting (Turner’s ‘Norham Castle Sunrise’), so my new album starts with a song inspired by American artist Maxfield Parrish and his most famous work, ‘Daybreak’.
Parrish painted ‘Daybreak’ in 1922. It is reportedly the most popular art print of the 20th century. The title comes from the rich blue skies which featured in most of his works, and acquired the name ‘Parrish Blue’.
Like the painting, the song is a piece of pure escapism. It goes through different sections and moods throughout its twelve minute duration, three minutes of short and snappy it ain’t!
The song is up on my soundcloud page at https://soundcloud.com/vincent-carr-2 now, so please give it a listen, then give it another listen, and another etc…
The next update will hopefully be to give you information about the availability of the album, which is currently in production now. In the meantime, I hope this rather large taster will keep you engaged!
New SUMIC Album announced!
Well, I did promise that the new album announcement wasn’t too far away, so I thought I’d better make that announcement sooner rather than later!
The new SUMIC album is called ‘New Paeans’, and will be released in the next few weeks. As previously mentioned, it’s taken a long time to get here, but I’m extremely happy with the new music, and I hope you all enjoy it. There’ll be more to say about it over the next few weeks, but I can reveal the cover artwork (below), and also tell you that I will release the first track in the next few days so that you can get a taster (quite a big taster as it happens…) for the new album.
There’ll also be further updates after the first track release to let you know when the album will be available, as both a CD and a download, so watch this space!
New album updates
Hey folks – you’ll notice graphic updates occurring across all of my platforms – http://www.vincentcarrssumic.com, Facebook, Soundcloud and Bandcamp, in preparation for the release of the new SUMIC album. I’m not going to give away anything else just yet… (sorry), but a full album release announcement is not too far away – stay tuned!
Announcement! – New SUMIC album!
Well – what have we here?
It’s been four months since my last announcement about a previous project, but I’ve been very busy with this since then. Even super-optimistic me was starting to wonder if this day would ever come again, but happily, over three and a half years later, here it is – the NEW SUMIC ALBUM!
I’ve got a lot of work to do to get the album out there, and I want it available before this year is out, so there should be plenty more information coming your way over the coming weeks. Stay tuned!
Update: June 2019 – new music, new project!
There’s been a deafening silence around here of late, but I have been busy with the latest SUMIC album project, and I’m also pleased to announce the first recordings by a new project, to which I hope you will all lend an ear – ‘Inferno Weevil’.
I got together with fellow improviser and musical adventurer Andrew Ciccone (https://omphalopticon.bandcamp.com/) for a day of improvising in January of this year, and we recorded it. We then both took the resulting three hours of music and selected the bits we liked, then mixed them together in our own individuals ways. The result is music which I think it’s fair to say you probably haven’t heard the likes of before!
As we want to encourage people to listen to the first fruits of our labours, we are making the album available as a FREE download through our new Bandcamp page – https://infernoweevil.bandcamp.com.
Please give it a listen, and feel free to share it around as much as possible!
There’s also a short promotional video with our tongues firmly in our cheeks – you can watch it here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpRHjZIG7-s
Again – please feel free to share it around!
SUMIC Update – January 2019
Somehow it’s 2019!
I remember as a kid that the year 2020 seemed an impossibly long way off – not any more it would seem!
I’m not exactly sure of the timeline at the moment, but, with the album 80% finished, even I would have to be stealing a defeat from the jaws of victory to fail!
So what can I tell you about it? Well, it breaks new ground for me in a couple of ways. Firstly, it will feature a cover version, though I’ll keep you in suspense as to what it is for the moment. Secondly, it builds upon what I learned in the making of my previous album in terms of how I’ve gone about making it, and thirdly (and doesn’t every artist say this?) – it really is the best album so far!
There’ll be more updates as the year progresses where I’ll be able to let more information slip, so stay tuned!
http://www.realgonerocks.com have written a spot-on review of one of my many favourite 70s prog albums, Greenslade’s ‘Spyglass Guest’ from 1974 – and yours truly gets a name check with a link to a review of my ‘Rekindled’ album from 2016. You are all cordially invited to listen to them both and discuss the similarities…
SUMIC Update – September 2018
I’m not quite sure how we’ve got to September and I’ve not updated anyone since the beginning of the year!
BUT – I’m pleased to announce that the follow-up to ‘Rekindled’ is making progress again after quite a bit of stop/starting over the last year or so. I don’t think there’s any way it will make it out before the year’s end, so I’d say it’s a release for 2019.
There’s still lots to do, but I know what I’m trying to do so it’s just a case of doing it and getting it finished. Without getting too long winded, after ‘Rekindled’ and then the improvised E.P.s I had lots of possibilities flying around, and it’s taken a while to work out what it was that I was going to try and achieve with the next album.
As well as the two E.P.s, I’ve also written 15 new songs and tunes since the release of Rekindled, so a lot has happened, it’s just nobody has heard any of it yet. Some of this new music will feature on the new album however.
Still – three years between albums? Oops…
…and it looks like I’ve done nothing. Well that’s sort-of true. The end of last year was so busy that music had to take a bit of a back seat. Hopefully I’ll have a bit more time going forward now, and happily, any enforced downtime like this usually gives what I’m doing a bit of gestation time, which is sometimes useful when coming back to something after a bit of time away from it.
In the meantime, there’s still plenty of SUMIC music available already, so I thought I’d remind everybody –
To listen to a selection of my music from various releases (and some older stuff too) you can listen on Soundcloud here –
To listen and to buy my music go to Bandcamp here –
And finally, here’s a review of my last album proper, ‘Rekindled’, from a year or two ago from the brilliant Real Gone http://www.realgonerocks.com/
Everyone loves ‘The Hippogriff’s Dream’
A big thank you to everyone who has listened to, shared, liked or bought a download of my new ‘Troglodytes Troglodytes’ EP, or the track ‘The Hippogriff’s Dream’, which seems to be particularly popular!
For those of you who haven’t heard it yet, head over to Soundcloud –
or Bandcamp –
where you can hear this and more of my music.
Next up – work continues again on the next SUMIC album proper, which hopefully will appear some time next year.
October 9th 2017 – New SUMIC release!
I’ve been so busy these last few weeks that this has almost escaped my own attention! 🙂 – but here it is, at last, a new SUMIC release!
September 26th 2017 – ‘The Hippogriff’s Dream’ (SUMIC news for September #2!)
Two updates in one month? – surely not? Oh yes. As promised, here (finally) is some new SUMIC music!
From my forthcoming new E.P. ‘Troglodytes Troglodytes’, I have uploaded a piece to Soundcloud called ‘The Hippogriff’s Dream’. This piece is one rhythmic guitar, one melodic guitar and two organ tracks, and was all done in about two hours, literally.
You can check it out here –
And feel free to share it around please!
The E.P. will be available on Bandcamp at
very soon, and of course, I’ll keep you all informed when it arrives.
September 13th 2017 – SUMIC news for September
Somehow another three months has gone by! It’s been quite a productive time though. I’ve made good progress on recordings for my next album. It’s still a long way off yet, but it really is starting to take shape now.
Happily, I’m going to have some new music available before that. I mentioned previously some more new improvised music that I’d recorded earlier this year – in a similar fashion to last year’s ‘Jupiter Wrens’ E.P., this will also be an E.P. length release, and is entitled ‘Troglodytes Troglodytes’.
I’ll be putting a track onto Soundcloud – http://www.soundcloud.com/vincent-carr-2,
and releasing it on Bandcamp – http://www.vincentcarrssumic.bandcamp.com
So watch out for it in the next couple of weeks, please do have a listen, and support independent music.
I’m putting together a mailing list too, so if you want to be informed of future releases, and you’re not a SUMIC customer (yet!) then contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you the odd email now and then. Don’t worry, there won’t be a constant stream of spam, I’m all about quality, not quantity…
June 21st 2017 – SUMIC news for June
It’s been a while since the last update, not because there’s been nothing happening, but because it’s been a bit busy on all fronts – but I do have some news to report.
In my last update I mentioned some new improvised music – this is completed and will be made available at some point, maybe later this year, so keep an ear out for that.
Also, I’m pleased to say that, apart from a couple of finishing touches, a good chunk of my next album is almost complete. Listening to the pieces in question, I find it a little hard to believe how many hours have been dedicated to them already, sometimes it really does take an awfully long time to create a few minutes of music. On the other hand, I’m really pleased with them. In many ways it’s been a bit of a frustrating time (when is being a musician NOT frustrating?) but when you finally get to see progress and the end result, it does make it all worth it.
Hopefully my next update won’t take quite so long.
March 20th 2017 – SUMIC news for March
So here I was trying to stay focussed on the follow-up to ‘Rekindled’. No chance!
Another new composition has been penned and scored, and I now find myself neck-deep in some fresh improvisations. After a VERY busy month with my day job, I was looking to pick up where I left off, but no, some very insistent thoughts kind-of forced my hand and I find myself in the world of improv again.
You may recall my EP from late last year, ‘Jupiter Wrens’. There had been plenty previous practice but no worthy results in my opinion, then something just ‘clicked’ and there it was. I then found myself mulling over a couple of thoughts regarding trying to channel the same energies, but this time with a much clearer picture of how to approach it. So I’ve made a start, and it’s working just the way I hoped it would. The same approach, which is no prior musical thoughts whatsoever, just start playing until I find a start point that I like, then start to record and then multi-track record more layers as necessary until it feels finished, reacting to what I’ve previously just played in the next layer of the recording. This is composition on-the-fly, starting with nothing and finishing with a piece of music. It’s a very exciting and immersive experience, so no wonder it’s dragged me back!
I hope that these recordings will see the light of day eventually, but in the meantime, if you’re wondering what I’m talking about, and if you’ve not heard ‘Jupiter Wrens’, then head over to:
and treat your ears to something a little bit different!
February 13th 2017 – SUMIC news for February
Well, to say that things have been a bit hectic on the personal/non-musical front would be a slight understatement, so I thought there wouldn’t be too much to report. Not so it seems.
Clarinet player and composer extraordinaire Andrew Ciccone and myself have been working up a few pieces since late last year. Once we’d got as couple of the simpler tunes together we went up to the Oxford Folk Club http://www.oxfordfolkclub.com to play them live and it went really well. That was in November (and is a feature of an earlier blog entry further down this page). Since then we’ve spent a bit of time working up some more material and now we’re at the stage of wanting to go and play a bit more. So this Friday, 17th February, we’re going back up to the Oxford Folk Club to play, and we’re really looking forward to it.
Here’s a still from one of our rehearsal videos.
As well as this, work is (of course) continuing on the follow-up to last year’s ‘Rekindled’ album. I’m very pleased to report that a way forward is revealing itself, and so far things are progressing nicely. I think (though truly you never can tell) that there’s going to be enough things happening in the new recordings to be familiar to fans of ‘Rekindled’, and yet there’s going to be new things happening too. When it comes to composing and recording, my ultimate aim is to not repeat myself, so I’m looking to take things on to the next stage (whatever that may be) but not lose the parts of the process that make what I do unique to me. It’ll be a fine line to walk for sure.
SUMIC – Year in review 2016
What a good year it’s been for SUMIC, and I really mean that. It’s only when I’ve stopped to look back and take stock that I realise just how much has been achieved.
At the start of the year I was putting the finishing touches to the ‘Rekindled’ album, preparing the artwork and then getting it printed up and getting it out there. The response to the album has been so good, it really has, and so I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me this year by buying the album, it really does mean a lot to me to have this kind of support for what I do.
On top of that, later on in the year I also put out some improvised music, the ‘Jupiter Wrens’ EP. Three pieces of music, played and recorded over three days, it’s a bit different to ‘Rekindled’ but still very much SUMIC music, so if you’ve not heard it yet, check it out on my Bandcamp page.
Somehow, I’ve also managed to write almost an album’s worth of new material, which is more than I’d anticipated given the other activities previously mentioned, and of course a very busy job which naturally takes up a lot of my time.
I also managed (finally!) to get the SUMIC website up and running. This is still a bit of a work in progress, and I intend to keep adding to it as time goes on, but the basics are now in place at least. And to cap it all, new recordings for the next SUMIC album are also underway. It’s very early days for the new album and the release is a long way off, but already some things are starting to take shape.
So 2016 has been a busy year, and if 2017 is anywhere near as good then I’ll be a very happy man. So thank you again, and let me wish everyone a happy and fulfilling 2017.
December 19th 2016 – SUMIC News for December
Well, I’d love to say that I’ve been very busy musically and that I’ve achieved a lot this month, but that would be a total lie! It’s the busiest time of year for me at work, so not an awful lot has been achieved in truth.
That said, I have started work on a new composition, which (typically) I was intending to be something quite specific, but it somehow ended up heading off in a completely different direction. It sounds good so far though!
I have just finished reading the biography of Robert Wyatt, one of the most distinctive musicians ever, and what an excellent book it is, well recommended.
There’ll be another update here before the end of the year, when I’ll write a little ‘year in review’ to sum up 2016, so stay tuned!
November 21st 2016
Some thoughts on the weekend’s two live performances I attended during the London Jazz Festival.
In particular I’m intrigued by the similarities of the performers Mike Westbrook and Carla Bley.
Both are now into their eighties, both play piano and both are rightly regarded as great composers. Watching Carla conduct the Liberation Music Orchestra last night, and watching Westbrook’s solo piano performance on Saturday afternoon, I have been filled with a renewed sense of the benefits of purpose and living a creative life – clearly Mike and Carla love doing what they do just as much as they ever did. It’s something I’ve endeavoured to do for a considerable part of my life now, and watching these guys just re-affirms it.
In other news, work is progressing on new recordings for the next SUMIC album. It’s a slow process, and I’m never 100% sure how things are going to turn out, but that just adds an edge to the process. I have to say that I’m very pleased with what’s happening so far. As ever, I’m looking to take what I’ve learned a step further and make a better album than the previous one. Given how well ‘Rekindled’ has been received this year, it adds a nice bit of pressure to ‘deliver the goods’, which is relatively new territory for me, but I’m up for the challenge!
November 10th 2016
I started writing a new score, but the brain isn’t up to it this evening – it’s a particularly tricky combination of rhythm and a very idiosyncratic melody. At least I’ve worked out some of the bits that DON’T work though!
So it’s time for some reading instead. I was about to start on Alan Moore’s new epic ‘Jerusalem’ this week, but then the new Ben Aaronovitch book ‘The Hanging Tree’ dropped through my door, so I HAD to read that straight away. It’s a real page-turner and I’ve polished it off in no time, so now it’s time for ‘Jerusalem’.
I must say – the text is formidably small, and it’s a HUGE book (three books actually) – this is going to be a big effort.
November 4th 2016
A first public outing for a new musical duo, as I headed out to play a few SUMIC tunes at the Oxford Folk Club this Friday night with the clarinetmeister Andrew Ciccone.
We’ve not been working together long, and we’ve been working at figuring out how we can perform our respective outputs with a smaller musical palette. Naturally, we’ve started with the simpler material (mine! – Andrew’s musical output is often significantly more complex), so last night we performed ‘The Hall of the Bright Carvings’ and ‘Starlight’ from my ‘Rekindled’ album, and ‘The High Hoose’ from ‘(all things) bleak and beautiful’.
We also got to hear a great range of material from the other performers – Scottish, Scandinavian, American and much more. It’s a very nice performance space, so we’ll look forward to getting back there at some point soon.
Hopefully I can source a picture or two at some point too!
November 1st 2016
To all of you reading this, welcome to the SUMIC website, where you’ll find details of all of my musical activities, and to this, my blog, which will be kept regularly updated, so please check back regularly!