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 :)

Bumper-Sticker Intellectuals

I noted a bumper sticker yesterday and likely my latest reading has contributed to my inability to let it go uncommented: 

”What caused the Big Bang? God spoke and it just happened.” 

Hmmm. I am going to emphatically suggest it was somewhat more complicated than that! 

the Jazz of Physics

the Jazz of Physics

FOMO HOMO

Weird and Fomo - Sapient Homo
Not the only strain
The race is on for fame

Click me Click me
How many Likes How many Likes

Western Educated Industrialised Rich and Democratic

That’s so WEIRD

FOMO HOMO Fear of Missing Out

FOMO HOMO Fear of Missing Out

Can you concentrate - For long enough

Have a conversation

Forget the distraction - No more infractions

Look me in the Eye

Western Educated Industrialised Rich and Democratic

That’s so WEIRD

FOMO HOMO Fear of Missing Out

FOMO HOMO

© 2018 ToKwerX

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

Clifford.JPG

Truth or Power?

Years ago during a sabbatical in Tasmania I wrote the following prose and wrote in on the wall of the old farmhouse we were staying in: 

“Do I truly love thee, or do I merely covet? For if I truly love I can come to accept even that, which I do not understand.”

As I approach another defining chapter in my life the reflection reveals a pinnacle truth, that we as humans often opt for power rather than absolute truth. We spend so much time trying to control the world as opposed to understanding it, and more often than not the understanding is a prerequisite for somehow attaining better control.  

Surrendering to what we don’t know is always difficult and likely takes significantly more time than choosing to believe in something we have no proof of in order to make more sense of the world and our place in it.  

And so I choose to accept the multitude of things in life that are likely never to be understood and embrace the humility and magic of that fact... to be continued...