Musical Stuff

Music is such an incredible thing. Who can honestly say that they haven't experienced a rush of sheer pleasure when hearing a favourite piece of music? It's interesting how sounds that can induce a sense of ecstacy in one individual can induce a severe bout of nausea in another. I particularly like music that can take you away (man) as performed by Spiritualized, or maybe some Radiohead, or The Beatles, or indeed many others. On the classical front, my favourite piece is Symphonie Fantastique by Berlioz and has been for many years. Chopin's Nocturnes are also required listening for a true "lets get out of here" experience. Please email me with your musical viewpoint. I'd also be very grateful for your comments on what you make of the musical bits and pieces below.

Here's One I Prepared Earlier...

This section contains "bits" - geddit? - of my own musical efforts. In a massive technological leap forward, The Towers has binned the RealAudio and WAV versions and moved into the realm of the new-fangled wax cylinder - sorry - mp3 format. The files should stream ok over a dial-up connection. If you have problems, try downloading the file instead. You can read some download advice now. Alternatively, on JavaScript-enabled browsers, the first time you click any download link, the advice will be displayed automatically. It will not be repeated again while you remain on this page.

The streaming versions are set to use RealPlayer. Don't be fooled by later versions of Windows MediaPlayer which claim that the file doesn't exist or cannot be opened. The very lovely Mr. Gates has removed support for RealMedia formats because he wants us to use his formats instead. Resist Resist!!

mp3 stream mp3 download
Indie Music twangy guitar over indian percussion. Stream Download
Indie Music Mk.II from an alternative take with "extra added bounce". Stream Download
Guitar Music acoustic guitar music. Stream Download
Jungle Music see why after 57 seconds, with real elephant and lion! Stream Download
Mystical Music best played when very relaxed ;-) turn up treble to taste. Stream Download


Musical Groups...

Dale Ashman...

dale ashman

The odds are that you will not have heard of this talented singer-songwriter. He paints evocative word-pictures, usually writing from his own experiences. The songs tend to highlight the darker side of life but often have a humourous (if ironic) tinge to lighten the load. The Towers must declare an interest, having been present when Dale recorded the four tracks that constitute his unplugged "Stroll On" CDEP. Visit Dale's website to listen to an mp3 sampler consisting of excerpts from the four tracks. You can also watch a two minute streaming video compiled from scenes taken while the recordings were being made. For those with fast connections or who have to go and make a cup of tea, a higher quality mpeg version of the video may be downloaded (7.46Mb). When playing it back, be sure to use the zoom controls for optimal picture size.

Spiritualized...

For a long time, I could never understand certain aspects of Spiritualized. There are tracks like "Cop Shoot Cop" and "The Individual" from the album "Ladies and Gentlemen, We Are Floating In Space" which either consist of a cacophony of noise or degenerate into one. My reaction had always been to put up a mental barrier to protect myself from this assault, knowing that some semblance of normal service would be resumed again - at least, as normal as Spiritualized ever gets.

I learnt what it was all about for me at the Royal Albert Hall, London in October 1997. I was seated at the top of the auditorium, directly opposite the stage. As the evening progressed, the breathtaking music, sometimes hauntingly beautiful, sometimes violent, was accompanied by dazzling laser displays that were projected onto the walls and domed ceiling of the circular auditorium. Towards the end of the concert, the band started to play "Cop Shoot Cop". I knew that in approximately seven minutes time, all hell would break loose. The moment arrived. I was hit by a blizzard of lights and lasers coming full force from the stage and ceiling. All points of reference were completely wiped out. Nothing could be seen except for this amazing astounding visual white noise. At the same time, the cacophony of sound meant that there were no auditory points of reference either. The effect was absolutely extraordinary. With nothing recognisable to hang on to, it must have been similar to experiencing sensory deprivation - a complete whiteout. There was no realisation of sitting in a seat in an auditorium, just a sensation of floating and being enveloped in something warm and safe. It is almost impossible to convey the effect in words. It continued for what seemed like an eternity but was actually about five or six minutes. Finally, the lasers and lights dimmed and recognisable elements became audible over the wall of noise. A gospel choir materialised in the background as I returned to the objective world once again.

So what does this mean? What is the lesson to be learnt? It seems to me that the thing to do when confronted by a Spiritualized White-Out is not to resist in any way, but instead to close your eyes and allow it to sink into you, to become wrapped up totally in its embrace. Ladies and Gentlemen, I hope you will try it in the comfort of your homes and maybe float awhile in your own inner space.

If you are a Spiritualized fan, a good site is to be found here with news, videos, sound and discussion. There is also the Official Site of course...

In 1999, Jason Pierce got drummer Damon Reece, bassist Sean Cook and guitarist Michael Mooney to sign contracts of employment and promptly fired them on thirty days notice with no explanation. The three set themselves up as Lupine Howl so be sure to take a look at their official website.

Other...

If you like your music with a mystical twist, try listening to Kula Shaker. Their first album 'K' was released in 1996 to widespread critical acclaim. In September 1999, following the release of their second album, "Peasants, Pigs and Astronauts" earlier in the year, singer / songwriter Crispian Mills decided to pursue a solo career so the band is unfortunately no more. Their official website has now closed down but this list of Kula Shaker Links is a good place to start looking for more information.

Musical Jokes...

Two jokes for anyone in a band or with friends in a band...

  • How do you know when there's a singer at the front door? - He doesn't know when to come in!
  • What's the difference between a drummer and a drum machine? - You only have to beat the rhythm into a drum machine once!


send comments/feedback to nigel skinner-simpson