Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Bad & Beautiful

This is another track from the archives that I put together with some recent photographs. The string pad sound you hear is the Roland GR-1 synthesizer which allowed me to play my guitar with a MIDI pickup, triggering a synth. I was one of the clinicians for Roland on the GR-1 when it came out. The lead guitar is a Strat through a Marshall JMP-1 preamp. If you like certain Jeff Beck stuff, you might like this.


Anonymous said...


cOOOOOlll I like this a lot, does remind me of some Jeff Beck work. I fell in love with the sounds that the Roland guitar synthesizer made available to John Mcglaughlin and Al Di meola and Holdsworth and that they used so well for there CD's in the 80's and to this day I still listen to those CD.

So you did clinics for them must have been fun and probably frustrating also :0)

David Burge said...

Yeah, fine, clean playing there Nick!
I actually imagine you playing a Fly on this. Shameful of me really, seeing as I became partially deaf due to a Strat through a 1974 JMP 100!

Sandy said...

I haven't a clue on the technicalities of this beautiful music but I certainly appreciate both the music and the wonderful images. You are indeed multi talented Nick.
I also thought what a co-incidence ... that yesterday, I was painting and playing the cd you sent me a few years back...then, I opened up your blog and here was your latest masterful presentation!

wayne said...

Hi Nick,
..a great sound track and visuals! - especially like the guitar 'clean playing' as David mentioned.
As you prob know, an Australian company Fairlight Industries were the first to develop sampling keyboards in 1979 (later, the CMI-3), and were among the first to also develop MIDI-trackers (the Fairlight Voicetracker) through which an analog audio signal (such as voice, guitar, etc) could literally control a MIDI instrument (such as a synth). Fairlight Voicetracker, and CMI-3. I bought a Fairlight Voicetracker but later sold it ('other priorities' arghh), >> I wish I'd been able to keep it because it was in mint condition and these things are getting very rare now! It performed well too!!
(Anyhow, hope you don't mind that I give a plug for these Aussie geniuses in music Analog>MIDI conversion, true pioneers in these technologies.

As regards Roland, they're a deserved household name in the music world for sure. And that's to understate it! My only amp is a Roland.

Nick said...

Paul - I did my own thing in the clinics, so enjoyed them. The Roland was the first gtr synth that really sounded good and worked well at a reasonable cost, on your own axe.

Dake - do you also have to ignore the tinnitus? Best, or you'll go insane !

Sandy - this particular guitar sound is usually employed in the context of louder more racous music...but you can hear that it is also incredibly expressive in the right setting. The guy mentioned above, Jeff Beck, did some solo instrumental pieces ('Cause We've Ended As Lovers, The Final Peace, Where Were You)that sort of set a standard for that type of playing.

Wayne - the Fairlight was a landmark, should have known that was an Aussie contribution. I think you're going to be interested in Pat Metheny's wild new endeavor- Orchestrion. http://www.patmetheny.com/orchestrioninfo/

Nancy Lee Galloway said...

As a clueless layperson I think the synthesizer is very sexy and I really like this piece but as far as the technicalities go all I can say is: huh?

Nusret Topuzoğlu said...

Nick,you are amazing!
I can't believe how you are so good at playing guitar.Which one do you think you are better at,guitar or painting?

Deb Townsend said...

Really love this. Don't know squat about the guitar or synth, but you make it sing. Thanks for sharing it.

Nick said...

Nancy - sorry I missed these posts...no worries on the technical part, that's the stuff you're supposed to forget about

Nusret - I suppose that's a matter of opinion, but I put 10,000x more work into the guitar because music is much more difficult IMO. But also a much more powerful medium. I never had to work at painting for some reason...as Joseph Zbukvic says, "a child could do it!"

Deb - as long as you like it, who cares?! thanks for stopping