Australia

eBook 4 available now in the ToKshop...

Harmony for Engineers. A simplified approach to the concepts and structures governing Diatonic Harmony. Vsn 1.1 now published with an extra chapter on Minor Scales structures and Harmony.

Special introductory price. Any purchaser receives a life-long free update to future versions and revisions. Head on over to the ToKshop

Yes, eBook #3 (Mixing Techniques) is still ongoing… as is the discipline of Mixing. But in the meantime :)

the Beatnik Preachers...

2019 will see the launch, inaugural performances and recordings of my newly formed quartet, the Beatnik Preachers. A twist on Jazz and Beat Poetry combining my love for improvisation and the spoken word. The project is not an attempt to re-invent ‘the wheel’ but it is indeed fitting some White-Wall Tyres to the Jazz-mobile.

The project will be launched at a private event (invitation only) in late February 2019. The quartet features: Tony King (double bass), Robbie Mercer (drums), Joel Smithard (piano) and yours truly on Trumpet and Spoken Pictures (poetry).

the Beatnik Preachers - musically evocative, lyrically provocative… Stay tuned

Changing of the Guard...

In my fourteen (!) years teaching and lecturing at RMIT University’s Sound Production program in Audio Engineering I have had the pleasure to meet many wonderful people. But the time comes when creative choices begin to outweigh the financial decisions made prior to meet the needs of parenting and raising two children. In 2020 there will be a Changing of the Guard so to speak as I reduce my teaching tenure to a few days per week allowing more time for making records and playing jazz. Academic life has regrettably supported a focus on narrower and narrower aspects that underly our creativity, so I now yearn to address this imbalance. Over the next year my graduate from many years ago and now colleague, Mark Kelson will be gradually prepared to take over the duties I shall step away from. This gives me great pleasure to know the program I have developed with a wonderful team of others will remain in hands that are inspired and engaged in the art of engineering… whilst I again focus upon actual creativity. I need to acknowledge and pay utmost respect to my fellow team members at RMIT who have been absolute stalwarts in the success of this program: Michael “Smasha” Pollard, Timothy Johnston, John Phillips and Paul Thomas. Previous program managers Jen Anderson and Bruce Jacques were also instrumental in both developing this program but importantly assembling this particular team of awarded engineers and creators; all of whom are still fully engaged outside of their teaching roles. Thank you x

Mark Kelson and I in Studio One, featuring the 1st NEVE Genesys console in AUST.

Mark Kelson and I in Studio One, featuring the 1st NEVE Genesys console in AUST.

Confirm your sources...

We live in a time of information overload. There’s never a lack of “news” available should we ever get bored, but not all information is correct or reliable.  

If we are to move through our current state of uncertainty in the world with conflicting opinions on climate, immigration, politics and more, then our decision to follow a particular viewpoint needs to be thoroughly investigated.  

Dont be lazy when it comes to informing yourself. Don’t believe the most seemingly supported news but rather be prepared to dig deeper and avail yourself with accurate information so our viewpoints can be both educated and considered.

As humans we have evolved to require stories, which provide us with meaning to our existence. These stories give each of us a role to play upon the stage of life but in order to believe these stories they have to extend beyond our current horizons. I’m all for storytelling but perhaps your imagination of being capable of mastering after reading a post on the Book of Faces is not all that informed - nor correct? 

Confirm your sources... 

Clifford Brown - Continuously Humbled

I grew up through my 20’s idolising the great jazz trumpeters. None more so than Clifford Brown. He died in a car accident at only 25 yet left an incredible legacy of recordings, through which I am still working. Revisiting some transcriptions of his solos today and the humility is once again profound; 1953 until his death a few years later he was on fire! If I get to play even a portion of the voice leading, rhythmic interest and harmonic outlines that Clifford did then I’ll be very grateful. Until then, the humility continues… Thank you Clifford x

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History & Humility

A request to study our human history; properly. Any religion, educational guru or nation who considers itself the omnipotent source of knowledge is an imagined construct. All morals, art, spirituality and creativity are embedded in our species’ DNA and began in Africa 100,000 years ago

I am asking everyone who reads my Blog to adjust their attitudes to others who may share a different belief, imagined construct or cultural perspective. 

Humility is grossly undervalued.

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Rebellious Bird: HORNS Tracking

A massive day in Studio 1 NEVE yesterday tracking Horns for the Rebellious Bird debut release. Editing and mixing these today before dropping the Horns into the main mix sessions for final tweaks tomorrow; mastering Thursday… Friday onwards… REST!

My absolute gratitude to engineer Mark Kelson for driving whilst I was performing alongside Ellie Lamb on Trombone and Jeff Mead on Tenor Sax. Beautiful section.

the VANITY of TREES: Padma Newsome

Absolutely delighted to support the release of this sonic tapestry by dear friend and colleague Padma Newsome. The album is a collective of works featuring the wonderful artistry of this beautiful man. I am thrilled to have been involved in bringing this to life. Best wishes and congratulations Padma x. https://padmanewsome.bandcamp.com/album/the-vanity-of-trees

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It's All in the Timing...

This week and next I am completing the debut release for Erin Downie and Rebellious Bird. 
This EP has been over two years in the making during which we have endured: Moving homes (twice), Full Time Study, Floods, Single Parenting and Broken Hearts.

But we persevered.

I am incredibly proud of this upcoming release and consider it some of my best work. Erin sings beautifully on these tracks and the band is wonderful. Horn section will be dropped in next week. 
Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard and at times sacrificed part of themselves to complete this project.

This EP is testament to the gift of love and the privilege of sharing music. Not an opportunity to be taken for granted.

I will deliver the masters to Erin before the end of September and sincerely hope something is done with this recording, for a debut release of this quality is a very rare gift indeed.

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Julia Messenger @ the Melbourne Recital Centre: Sept' 22nd

I'll be very proudly performing trumpet with the wonderful Julia Messenger later this month at the Melbourne Recital Centre, Sept' 22nd. The band behind Julia is seriously awesome: David Jones (Drums), Mark Fitzgibbon (Piano) and Craig Newman (bass). Event is apparently SOLD OUT but rumours of a few still at the door on the night. SO looking forward to this one...

https://whatson.melbourne.vic.gov.au/Whatson/Music/gigs/Pages/7b6bfae6-c437-4b46-aa9d-a540ea8b9b1b.aspx

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Grand Baxter ... No Beans - Sorry!

A previous post of mine contained incorrect information, largely due to the fact Ben Langdon and I never actually discussed it. So I listed his latest SOLO EP incorrectly as a release by the Bean Project (Ben's other project). So...

Ben Langdon's SOLO project Grand Baxter has recently completed a four-track EP, mixed and mastered here at ToKwerX. CORRECT ;)

No Beans!

No Beans!

A Boy Called Sailboat Soundtrack: Grigoryan Brothers

ToKwerX this weekend is welling in the sounds of the Grigoryan Brothers. Their superb classical guitars have been the centre of the soundtrack for upcoming film “a Boy Called Sailboat.” Mixes by my graduate Mark Farrell through my matched pair of AVALON 737sp hardware units. Mastering chain is: Audient SUMO VCA Compressor, Avalon AV747 Compression and EQ, Harrison 32C Filters and EQ, Quad Eight CL22 Limiter - all captured in DSD @ 5.6MHz sampling rate. Release of the soundtrack will be shortly.