I thought I’d share a brief history of my musical background. So why not get comfortable and listen to my instrumental keyboard piece, “A Trip to Nowhere” while reading?
At junior school, we pretty much all learned to play the recorder. I was always much more interested in figuring out the tunes on the piano that accompanied our tooting and blowing, but I picked up quite a few tunes and learned to read music via the Dolmetsch recorder book. By the time I was ten, I was keen to move on to the piano or organ, and I began popular music lessons on my father’s Hammond C3 (pictured top right) followed by classical piano lessons up until age 16.
By that time at school – around about when Nirvana’s “Nevermind” album was released – everyone wanted to play guitar, including me. So I got an electric guitar for my birthday and a bit later my Mum managed to get hold of a Spanish style classical guitar for me. The chord theory I had learned in organ lessons held me in good stead to pick up the guitar quickly, and by the time I left for university I was playing Hendrix, Nirvana and Clapton on the guitar, as well as Billy Joel and Elton John on the piano.
Pianos and organs are not the most portable of instruments, and I didn’t own a keyboard anyway. So I went to university with my electric guitar and met Paul, who I’m still in touch with and is a member of the band The Rosco. Back then as a student holidays were plentiful and we spent quite a bit of time messing around in my parent’s garage, where my Dad had an 8 track home studio setup : a 1/4″ reel-to-reel 8-track tape recorder and a big 12-8-2 mixing desk. I have a lot of recordings preserved from around that time, but the quality of some isn’t too hot. For example the track “A Trip to Nowhere” that I’m featuring here only exists on regular cassette tape (the original 1/4″ tape being lost or recorded over) and has been captured back onto my PC via Goldwave, a highly recommended and inexpensive audio editing program.
I’m still playing guitar and keyboard, and when Nathan gets a bit older I hope to get back into recording. In the meantime I’ve got a lot of stuff available, so I can come back and write some more soon. I hope you enjoy listening to the track. All feedback is most welcome and much appreciated.
A Trip to Nowhere
I don’t remember exactly when this was written and recorded, but it was around 1995. The entire track is just me (bar the sample of Richard Burton from Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds at the start), a keyboard, a guitar, and some drum programming. Even at the time, a couple of the synths used were pretty vintage (a Krumar Performer and a Yamaha DX7S) but I love their nostalgic sound. I really wanted to play with the idea of creating a simple musical structure on which to overlay different sounds and effects, and I was actually very pleased with the results. Click to hear
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“A Trip to Nowhere” © Simon White. Feel free to share the original file only.