Hacking and harping

Health update: cough, cough, cough, cough, cough, cough, cough, cough, cough, cough, cough, cough, cough, cough, cough, cough … sigh.

Other news: I have two ongoing musical projects for this year. I expect both of them to be realised slowly and simultaneously. The first is the voice/music project which is now just a few anecdotes short. I have to ask one person to re-record their contribution and I have a little, subtle nagging to do to get the remaining voices. This is a project that’s been stopping and starting for years now but, as far as I can tell, this won’t hurt it. The big completed section still sounds good and the remaining parts are sufficiently written out that there should still be a workable sense of coherence. If there isn’t and it all ends up sounding like a horrific hodgepodge then we’ll have to see if it needs a re-think or simply a quick trip to the rubbish bin.

The second project is the supposedly more straight-ahead next Spingere album. This has a title, track names and enough completed music for a full album. The problem is that I’m not convinced the music suits the project. I had a clear idea about the overall shape and sound for this one and what I have so far belongs too much to what I’ve already done. It would provide a nice consistent Spingere feel, but it wouldn’t be right. So, for the first time (for me) I’m keeping everything except the music and starting again.

On another level I’m having huge fun learning to play the harmonica. My guess is that, if I’m to avoid the usual harmonica pitfalls (always sounding like I’m just breathing through the instrument, not really playing it) I’ve got to get a lot better at playing individual notes. I can do this quite well but want to be a lot better at it before learning the mystic art of bending notes. This seems to be the key to playing in a blues style. I’ve been trawling YouTube videos for hints on bending notes but all I’ve found so far is a selection of people explaining how to do it, but not being able to demonstrate that they can do it, or people demonstrating they can do it, but not being able to explain how. Advice and top tips always welcome.

This will be a lot easier when my stupid cough goes away.


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