October Sessions: Out Now

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in General, Livestream, Music, October Sessions, Subscribers

October Sessions is my latest Bandcamp exclusive release. If you’re already a subscriber, you can download it immediately in the format of your choice. If you’re not, then I’d say with three albums, one single, and a ton of other exclusive goodies in the bag that now is a pretty damn good time to check it out! (this reminds me, I really ought to upgrade that crappy video at some point)

October Sessions is an album consisting of previously unreleased tunes written and produced entirely during October 2014.

I’m really happy with how this particular release turned out, though between PiecesObscurer, and The Broken Divide all coming out between 2014 – 2016, I never really felt like I had an opportune moment to release it… until now!

As with Traces, I’ve also put together a preview mix for non-subscribers if you want to get a feel for the album in general.

On a related note, I may or may not be continuing my October Sessions tradition this October due to some pretty big circumstantial variables (i.e. “I might be moving house & studio”), but it’s something I’d really love to re-visit again and see what pops out. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what the future holds 🙂

I’ve been focussing on writing a lot of production music this year, which has seen me trying out some heavier styles than I guess you’d typically associate with me – it’s been a ton of fun to work on those, and I’m looking forward to seeing where those tunes end up.

I’ve also had a few people asking me about my lack of live streaming lately – I haven’t given up entirely on those, but I’m afraid I’m going to have to give the usual “I’ve been quite busy” excuse with regards to why I haven’t done any for a while now. It’s definitely something I’d love to get back into – right now I feel like I should at least do one final live stream from my current studio before I move, but I’d like to get moved and re-settled before I really get back into those.

The Broken Divide: out now

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Music, The Broken Divide

The Broken Divide, my new solo album, is out RIGHT NOW. It’s completely free, and you can download it in the format of your choice from my Bandcamp page here.

UK-based musician & producer Adam Fielding returns with his latest solo album proper in the form of “The Broken Divide”, written & recorded during 2013-2016, and released in May 2016.

“The Broken Divide” is a riveting fusion of Fielding’s intricate electronic production style and deeply personal songwriting, with themes of wonderment and beauty contrasted against deep introspection and chaos. Based around a series of fragile memories and personal journeys, “The Broken Divide” makes for an emotionally charged and strikingly vulnerable listen as Fielding weaves his way through a wide range of musical styles and moods.

Opening with the contrastingly beautiful and frenzied layers of “The Beginning And The End”, the stage is set for moments of reverence and heady contemplation, such as the explosive “Defining Moments” and mournful “Time To Go”. As a whole, the album revels in emotion, atmosphere and expression, retaining Fielding’s signature blend of lush electronics and organic instrumentation.

With “The Broken Divide”, Fielding has crafted a uniquely expressive and intense work, sure to reward listeners seeking both substance and style.

Having been working on this for the past three years, it’s really quite amazing to finally be sharing this with you all. It’s been a long journey in more ways than one. Putting this record together really made me appreciate why I got into writing and producing music in the first place, and I channeled an awful lot of myself into this record. In many ways, this album represents a very particular snapshot of myself over the past decade or so.

I’m both thrilled and somewhat apprehensive about sharing this album with you, and I sincerely hope that – as I did – you find the journey to be a rewarding one.

Thank you so much to everyone who has supported me over the years, and to every single one of you who has ever listened to my music. It’s a hell of a thing to live in a world where I can freely share something so intrinsically linked to myself with people from around the world, and it’s too easy to slip into taking that kind of thing for granted. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your support.

The Broken Divide is available NOW through Bandcamp. You can listen to it in its entirety and download it from my Bandcamp page. Bandcamp subscribers also get access to an exclusive audiophile master, along with bonus tracks and instrumentals.

The Broken Divide: Release notes

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Distant Activity, Icarus, Lightfields, Music, Subscribers, The Broken Divide

With just one day to go until the release of The Broken Divide, I figured I should probably take a second to write about the actual release of the album itself and how it came together after I finished writing it (which you can read about in more detail in my previous TBD-related blog posts).

Before I talk about the release of The Broken Divide, I’d like to talk a little bit about the release of Pieces. Pieces was the first album/compilation thing that I had released independently in about four years or so, and so I decided to try something a little different with the release.

There are two great advantages to releasing music independently, as far as I’m concerned – the first is that it afford you complete creative control over what you put out. Pieces was something I’d been toying with for a while, and I knew I wasn’t in a rush to release it. This gave me plenty of time to sort out mastering, album artwork, and release formats. I’ve already talked at length about my approach to pricing (or lack of) and the “audiophile master” release of Pieces – both of which you can read about here and here. I mention this because it’s an approach I’m taking once again with the release of The Broken Divide.

Which brings me onto the second big thing I love about releasing music independently – the freedom to experiment with release methods. One thing I have been experimenting with recently is the Bandcamp subscription format. I still believe in making my major independent releases easily accessible to everyone, but the subscription system affords me the means to get bonus goodies across to people who might be more interested in checking this stuff out without necessarily “cluttering” my discography for those who just want to listen to my albums. It’s an interesting balancing act, but after releasing Pieces I had more or less decided quite early on that my next album release was going to be another pay-what-you-want release on Bandcamp.

Sorry guys, you're on your own.
Sorry guys, you’re on your own.

Alas, another similarity between these two releases is that there is no physical CD version. Back when I was releasing my first or second albums, this idea would have been kind of abhorrent to me – I love picking up CDs where I can, but the sad truth is that demand for physical copies of my music is nowhere near substantial enough at this point to warrant getting a decent run made and, as with many other people out there, I have no problem with my own musical purchases being digital… provided I can download it in the format of my choice. Maybe one day I’ll consider a limited run of CD copies for some of my more recent releases, but for the time being it’s not going to happen. That said, digital downloads of my music have skyrocketed in the past few years so, hey, there you go!

On a similar note, I have still in no way whatsoever been bitten by the vinyl bug. It’s a growing format but it’s one that I just don’t get – for me, it’s kind of a weird situation. There are many releases for which the “best” version is the vinyl release, simply because the most tastefully mastered version of an album is usually the vinyl version. Nothing to do with the format (outside of some physical constraints due entirely to the medium itself which go some way to preventing bad mastering practices), but because people who listen on vinyl tend to be more picky about this kind of thing. Which is great! But there is nothing stopping people from releasing tasteful masters of their albums digitally, and I find the lack of options kind of strange in that regard. Maybe in a few years I’ll be all over vinyl, but for the time being… not happening. It’s not something I’m interested in and it would be both disingenuous and financially bonkers for me to go down that route.

This is all kind of interesting to me because this will be my first “big” solo release since 2013 – I’m super happy with all of my interim releases (Pieces, AdFi, Obscurer), but this is the album that I would consider the “true” follow-up to Icarus. That album had a bit of a troubled release, to be honest. From issues with the artwork, digital outlets still not stocking it correctly (go ahead, try and find it on Amazon UK), payments and recoupable costs having to be chased up for about a year, and a general lack of post-release support… yeah, it was not pretty. Hell, for a few months I had no idea which label it was going to be released through thanks to a total communication snafu. Alas – due to the nature of it not being an independent release, this is all stuff that was generally outside of my control. Icarus really made me appreciate how much I’d taken full creative control for granted over the years, and how it’s something I’m not willing to relinquish for my own solo releases. The release of Pieces made me really, really appreciate how much I’d missed releasing music independently… the general feeling I got during both releases was completely different. I’d like to emphasise that this in no way somehow reflects my own personal feelings of both albums from a musical point of view – this is strictly from a release/logistical perspective.

ANYWAY. Bitching and moaning aside(!) – the point I’m trying to make is that returning to that mindset of retaining full control during the writing, production, and release process for a “big” solo release was a really wonderful feeling, and I think that feeling of releasing something completely on my own terms because I wanted to is something that runs throughout the entire album. In many ways the huge contrast between the release of Icarus and Pieces fuelled the direction I took with this album… knowing that it was probably going to be an independent release made me think “hey, that means I can pretty much do whatever I want!” which is, y’know, exactly what I did.

So. One more day to go. I hope you get some time to check out the album in its entirety once I release it into the wild, and I hope you like what you hear. Cheers!

The Broken Divide is available NOW through Bandcamp. You can listen to it in its entirety and download it from my Bandcamp page. Bandcamp subscribers also get access to an exclusive audiophile master, along with bonus tracks and instrumentals.

The Broken Divide: Fragments

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Music, Neffle, Obscurer, Pieces, The Broken Divide

I started writing what would eventually become The Broken Divide towards the latter half of 2013. This was coming off of the back of the release of Icarus (which was released in April 2013) and a couple of other production albums. For the first time in a long time, I was working with a completely blank slate. Being in a similar situation right now (although, as of writing, I’m currently working on another project which is keeping me very busy and sounds amazing), that particular feeling of starting fresh and working on something completely new is both incredibly exciting and daunting.

Generally speaking, when I’m working on a production album or doing some other kind of freelance work, I’ll be working to a very particular specification or purpose. That’s sort of the whole point. Over the past several years I’ve taught myself to be flexible in the face of stringent specifications, and nowadays I actually find having a place to start to be hugely beneficial. I’ve never experienced a creative block while working on a job, and I think having that initial direction is a huge part of why that’s the case.

This was definitely not the case with The Broken Divide.

In a strangely similar fashion to Pieces, a lot of the writing process for The Broken Divide was fragmented into clusters of tracks. Over the course of writing the album, I stuck to the same general source of inspiration (which I detailed in a previous post) that drove me to write the title track way back in 2013, but it was a tough process.

When the ideas were coming, it felt completely natural to want to express these ideas and emotions. It’s also worth bearing in mind that I was working on a lot of other audio-related stuff during the creation of The Broken Divide… I knew I wasn’t tied to a particular deadline, so I wanted to let it all happen naturally. I experimented a lot with different ideas during the creation of the album, which is why I ended up with releases like Pieces and Obscurer. It was a real reminder of why I enjoyed releasing music independently so much – when you’re working with audio for a living, there’s a wonderful sense of freedom in having a completely open creative outlet.

When the ideas weren’t coming, it was frustrating. I knew I was onto something that I wanted to release and put my name on, and after writing what I would consider to be the second “cluster” of tracks, it was particularly frustrating because I knew for sure that, with what I’d already hit, there was at least an album’s worth of further exploration in the source material. The clusters were almost forming their own narratives, and that was something that really excited me.

Having a clear idea of what you want to do and knowing that you’ll get there eventually is fantastic from the point of view of having something to strive toward, but it’s creatively frustrating in the sense that you just want it all to be out there. Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely adore the creative process of writing music. I love it to bits, and when I’m really into it… I’m really, really, really into it. That’s why I do it! But there’s something incredibly satisfying about getting these ideas out, taking a step back and realising “yeah, that’s exactly what I wanted – and I made that”.

After completing this second “cluster” (which was around mid-late 2014 or so), things slowed down

This was nearly a thing.
This was nearly a thing.

for The Broken Divide. I did some more production work, was busy with sound design work, released Pieces, worked on the Neffle material… it was a fantastic time creatively, but during this break from The Broken Divide I started to doubt whether I would be able to complete it as an album. I started thinking about alternative release methods and, towards the end of 2014, gave serious consideration to releasing what I had as a series of EPs.

“So why didn’t you, then?”, you may be wondering. Well… for the past few years, I had an annual tradition of writing a load of music in October. I called these sessions “October Sessions” – original name, right? The idea was to write a load of sketches, and just see where it took me. It’s how I got started with Pieces, and in 2014 I had another really good burst of creativity during October. I started experimenting with the idea of mixing some of the ideas from these sessions into what I already had for The Broken Divide, and I liked the results… initially. I even sent this weird mish-mash of an album to a few people and said “hey guys, this is my album!”.

After a couple of months had passed and the new year had settled in, I realised this was a terrible idea. I love what I already had for The Broken Divide, and I loved what I already had for my October Sessions – but the two were not supposed to completely co-mingle, and it was tonally jarring to listen to it like that. But! It made me realise that I knew for sure that I could finish The Broken Divide, and that the parts that worked as an album worked really, really well for me from the point of view of continuity and narrative. It just needed one final push. Knowing that I wasn’t in a rush to release it, I made the decision to hang onto it until it was a complete album. As far as I’m concerned, that was a good idea. As a whole album, there was a really solid sense of coherence and progression that would have been missing from a series of EPs. That said, I still like the idea of releasing EPs while working on an album – I’m glad I held off this time around, but next time around it might be cool to release a series of EPs in advance of an album… as it transpires, albums take a really bloody long time to write!

In any case – the final push came in 2015. I ended up with a mixture of vocal and instrumental tracks during this final push, and once I slotted those into the existing collection of tracks it just brought everything together in a ridiculously satisfying way. I started sending out this pre-mastered version to a few friends, and I knew this was it. At the end of the year, I set myself a release date that would give me plenty of time to get things finalised – after all, I still needed to sort out mastering, artwork, bonus materials…

The Broken Divide is available NOW through Bandcamp. You can listen to it in its entirety and download it from my Bandcamp page. Bandcamp subscribers also get access to an exclusive audiophile master, along with bonus tracks and instrumentals.

The Broken Divide: Instrumentation

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Music, Subscribers, The Broken Divide

Something I’ve always been quite keen on in electronic music is the fusion of organic instrumentation with electronic instrumentation. There’s an oddly humanising feel or grounded sensation to be had when combining precisely sequenced synths with recorded/performed instrumentation. It’s something I’ve really strived for since Lightfields in particular – in that instance, I was fusing live instrumentation with electronics to give a more energetic, spontaneous feel to the album. With The Broken Divide, I thought it’d be interesting to use some non-traditional instruments and sound sources to aid with the sound of something recognisable and inviting, yet unusual and kind of unfamiliar at the same time.

The first track (“The Beginning And The End”) is a good example of this. There are guitars buried in the mix, about 2/3rds of the track make use of a piano – which is heavily processed at times, the percussion is formed from a mixture of drum synths and odd recordings, and there are field recordings all over the track. Even the frantic synth-type sound used during the crazier part of the track (you’ll know which part I mean if you give it a listen) was based on a recording of me sticking my finger on the end of an amped up cable. The recorded percussion is a mixture of rubbing hands, clicking batteries, scissors, shakers… I really wanted to give the percussion a strangely loose, human feel to it underneath the precisely timed electronic kit.

Of course, this is just one track. Although there are plenty of guitars and pianos across the album, I decided to avoid using strings and orchestral elements. Although I’ve used orchestral elements extensively in my work before (and still do!), I felt like there’s such a strong automatic association between orchestral instrumentation and “cinematic” music that wasn’t really representative of what I was shooting for with this particular album… I didn’t really want to invite that comparison through my choice of instrumentation, so I decided to avoid it entirely for The Broken Divide. I was incredibly tempted to use some strings in the penultimate track (“Time To Go”), but decided against it in the end. I think it was the right call, as the fusion of sparse electronics and piano/vocals complements what I was going for with the track on an emotional level. The only time I decided to use anything approaching orchestral instrumentation was in the title track, which uses a heavily processed and frantically bowed (read: abused) violin layered up with a stretched version of itself to give an ethereal-yet-familiar sound to it.

I guess one of the key reasons for my decision to avoid orchestral instrumentation was that I wanted the instrumentation & production to be in service of the music and emotional component itself, and not the other way around. There’s one track on the album where I used the sound of rattling keys to signify a transition, running with the theme of travel and unfamiliarity I was basing the song around. There’s another track that makes use of my first acoustic guitar (which is an old, battered thing I picked up from a charity shop that I’ve been meaning to give away for years) which tied in quite nicely to the memory referenced in that particular track, which really complements the personal connection I was going for.

There was a certain point during the creation of the album where I started to think “this is probably going to be an instrumental album. I need to focus on writing some vocal tracks to round it out, or just add vocals to the stuff I’ve already got written”. In hindsight, this was a really stupid idea. I started to make the mistake of comparing The Broken Divide as it was with my previously released albums, trying to fulfill some kind of audience-expectation quota with regards to vocal tracks rather than just letting it happen naturally. The vast majority of the instrumental tracks on the album just didn’t click when I started experimenting with adding vocals to them and, consequently, took away from the underlying memory or emotional state that I was trying to convey. That said, as I started working on the final third of the album or so, I ended up writing a few vocal tracks that fit the overall mood of the album pretty much perfectly. I also ended up writing one vocal track that didn’t fit the mood of the album, but I thought it was a really nice track… so I decided to include that with the extended version of The Broken Divide (which is exclusive to Bandcamp subscribers). In fact… thinking about it, the main hurdles I seemed to encounter when putting the album together were when I started to do things that went against the nature of the album as it was shaping up, or other things that simply didn’t fit the natural flow that ran throughout the production process. Lesson learned!

I guess that’s quite indicative of the album in general, really. The entire production process seemed to come quite naturally once I stopped trying to force it. Although I wanted to keep things interesting from a production and sound design point of view, trying to force it toward a particular direction was distracting at best, and contradictory to the album I wanted to write at worst… and I think the instrumentation is quite indicative of that. Every layer has a particular purpose and a particular role to play, and it was nice to be able to serve the emotional flow and theme of the album through the instrumentation itself.

The Broken Divide is available NOW through Bandcamp. You can listen to it in its entirety and download it from my Bandcamp page. Bandcamp subscribers also get access to an exclusive audiophile master, along with bonus tracks and instrumentals.

The Broken Divide: What’s in a name?

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Music, The Broken Divide

The Broken Divide is something I’ve been working on for a few years now, and it’s an incredibly personal body of work. I thought it would be kind of interesting to talk a bit about what exactly I mean by that, and where the name itself actually came from… sort of.

In keeping with tradition, the first track I worked on and had in a more-or-less complete state for The Broken Divide was the title track. The title track was written and produced in October 2013, and was my first proper foray back into writing solo material since the release of Icarus earlier in the year. There’s something very refreshing about working with a completely blank slate, and – as happy as I was (and still am!) with Icarus as a musical work – I knew I wanted to try something different. So that’s exactly what I did.

The Broken Divide, v1
The Broken Divide, v1

I had been thinking a lot about events and memories from the past decade or so when I started writing The Broken Divide. The more I worked on it, the more I seemed to get sucked into this mindset of drawing strong emotional connections to events and places that I hadn’t really considered for an awfully long time. Even the very act of developing an album focussed primarily around memory and nostalgia began to feed back into the album itself. I’ve frequently thought of nostalgia as a means of looking back without really getting a true sense of how the pieces fit, and – as things panned out – there are certain parts of the album that explore how beautiful-yet-disparate that kind of fixation can be.

As for the actual title track itself – and, by extension, the name of the album – it was written about a very particular place, close to where I grew up. I never really thought much about it as a kid, but in recent years when I’ve gone back to this place I’ve realised that it’s both an aesthetically wonderful and conceptually bizarre place – at times calm and peaceful, and at other times loud and terrifying… and often times both at the same time. I thought it was interesting that I’d have such a strong nostalgic connection to a place like that, and it really got me thinking about how our own recollections and experiences alter our interpretations of the world around us. The Broken Divide is a reference both to that particular place, and the divide between recollection and reality. Memory is a fragile thing, especially in a constantly shifting world. Without really realising it back in 2013, I’d found my underlying concept. It’s a concept I’ve flirted with before now, but never to such a direct extent.

Now… I realise that a lot of this probably sounds more than a little self-indulgent and, hey, I guess you’d be totally correct in that observation! Generally speaking, when I’m working on a new track or solo project, I’ll tend to come up with a vague idea of a scene or story while I’m working on a particular musical idea. Sometimes I’ll come up with an idea beforehand. These “scenes” can range from quite detailed ideas to a somewhat more abstract playing-out of events. The Broken Divide is the first collection of music where all of these “scenes” and ideas came entirely from my own personal experiences, along with the memories and frequent mental gymnastics associated with them.

I must admit to being incredibly tempted to posting a detailed explanation of where all of the track ideas and names came from, along with the particular thoughts and memories associated with them. I actually ended up typing up the inspirations associated with each track once the album was completed, but the more I thought about it, the more I realised how counter-productive it would be to post that. In retrospect, putting this album together was almost an attempt to make some sort of sense out of some of my memories and recollections – the things that make me who I am. That said – while I might have a particularly strong connection to these memories and “scenes” – the emotional connection and recollection of these memories is something I wanted to express in the music itself, rather than the exact “scene” associated with it… and the wonderful thing about music is that it’s generally completely open to interpretation.

I understand that for some people that this might seem like a complete cop-out, but I don’t want it to seem like there is only one “correct” way of interpreting this album. Despite it being an incredibly personal work, I don’t really feel like it would benefit the album in any way for me to explain the story behind each individual track in detail. In fact, in some cases, having these particular ideas associated with the individual tracks might even take away from your own interpretation and enjoyment of the music. And that’d be kinda crap, right?

“So why bother with this post, then?”, you might be wondering. Fair question! While I might not think it necessary to explain in detail what the story is behind every single track, the fact is that it is still an incredibly personal body of work (I might have mentioned that once or twice, you know). Having a vague idea of the concept behind the album might give you a better sense of what I was shooting for without force-feeding my own interpretations and expectations of the music itself.

…plus, y’know, I thought it’d be kind of cool to explain where the name came from.

The Broken Divide is available NOW through Bandcamp. You can listen to it in its entirety and download it from my Bandcamp page. Bandcamp subscribers also get access to an exclusive audiophile master, along with bonus tracks and instrumentals.

“The Broken Divide” – the new album, out 5th May

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Music, The Broken Divide

UK-based musician & producer Adam Fielding returns with his latest solo album proper in the form of “The Broken Divide”, written & recorded during 2013-2016, and released in May 2016.

“The Broken Divide” is a riveting fusion of Fielding’s intricate electronic production style and deeply personal songwriting, with themes of wonderment and beauty contrasted against deep introspection and chaos. Based around a series of fragile memories and personal journeys, “The Broken Divide” makes for an emotionally charged and strikingly vulnerable listen as Fielding weaves his way through a wide range of musical styles and moods.

Opening with the contrastingly beautiful and frenzied layers of “The Beginning And The End”, the stage is set for moments of reverence and heady contemplation, such as the explosive “Defining Moments” and mournful “Time To Go”. As a whole, the album revels in emotion, atmosphere and expression, retaining Fielding’s signature blend of lush electronics and organic instrumentation.

With “The Broken Divide”, Fielding has crafted a uniquely expressive and intense work, sure to reward listeners seeking both substance and style.

As it says – on the 5th May I’ll be releasing my newest album, The Broken Divide, over on my Bandcamp page and through all major digital music retailers. I’ll be updating this site with samples and information leading up to the release. As has been the case over the past two years, The Broken Divide will be available freely via Bandcamp, with exclusive bonuses available to Bandcamp subscribers. In a similar manner to Pieces, these bonuses are…

  • An extended version of The Broken Divide containing additional tunes cut from the main release and instrumental versions of all vocal tracks. The removal of these bonus tracks from the main release is no reflection of my own perceived quality of the tracks, but I felt that they didn’t really fit the overall feel of the album itself. The instrumental versions provide an interesting alternative to their more vocal-centric counterparts.
  • An “audiophile” master of The Broken Divide. This was an idea I had while releasing Pieces, and some people really seemed to appreciate the additional choice of an alternative master… so I decided to do it again! If you are unfamiliar with the concept, then it’s a similar idea to Nine Inch Nails’ Hesitation Marks audiophile release. For most people, the regular master of The Broken Divide will be the preferred listening experience. For those with high-end equipment and a dedicated listening space, the audiophile master of The Broken Divide may offer a preferable listen. Although the regular master is compressed to what I feel is a tasteful level, the audiophile master eases up on the compression (resulting in a less “loud” master) quite considerably, features slightly altered mixes, and has a wider perceived dynamic range across the board for those who are into that kind of thing.

Again, as was the case with Pieces, although I think these bonuses are really, really (really!) neat for subscribers, I’d like to re-emphasise the fact that the main free release of The Broken Divide was written, produced, mastered, and compiled in exactly the way I wanted it to be. The free release is in no way compromised from my original vision of this album… but I felt that this was a nice way to thank people for supporting me by subscribing.

Updates will come throughout the month, including a series of posts related to the creation and release of The Broken Divide. I’m really, really looking forward to finally being able to share this album with you as it’s been quite a long time coming, and it is without a doubt my most personal record to date.

You can pre-order The Broken Divide from Bandcamp and get immediate access to two pre-release tracks.

http://adamfielding.bandcamp.com/album/the-broken-divide

Live-streaming and trailer placements, ahoy!

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Livestream, Production music, Reason, Tutorials

So – about that live-stream I mentioned last time? Well… I had a blast! Thanks so much to everyone who turned up, and for those of you who missed it… here’s a link to the archived version on Youtube.

Unfortunately, due to some encoding issues on my end (at least, I’m presuming that’s the case), the video gets pretty garbled at points during the second half. The audio remains fine throughout, but I hope to have this problem sorted for next time.

(For anyone interested: I was streaming to Twitch using OBS – I decided to try using the Apple Hardware x264 encoder (because hardware encoding = better, right? RIGHT?!), only to realise that hardware encoding with an integrated video processor was a really dumb choice. I’ve since switched to the “vanilla” x264 encoder and set the profile to “veryfast”, and tested it under a similar CPU load which performed without any hitches… so hopefully that’ll do the trick)

For anyone who just wants to check out the result of this two hour music making session – look no further!

Also – I was careful during the creation process not to use a huge amount of external samples or protected sounds, outside of some lovely free drums from Samplephonics and a patch from Tom Pritchard’s Vast Refill (which is an outright STEAL for $9.99, in my honest opinion). I got in touch with both guys to double-check that I’d be ok to post the project file, and they both gave me the go ahead so… if you’re a Reason 8 user, here’s the project file! Please note that it uses a few Rack Extensions, so you’re likely to end up with at least a few RE placeholders in there.

I fully intend to make live-streaming a regular thing, and I’ve got a few ideas in mind for what I’d like to do next. I won’t be writing a new song live every week (because, yeah, realistically that might be a bit much), but I’d love to dive into some old songs to examine techniques, talk about sound design, and generally open the floor up to discussing stuff while I’m in my studio. I’m tentatively slating the same time next Wednesday (24th Feb, 7pm GMT) for a “dissection” session (where I’ll examine one or more old tunes, open to requests), so we’ll see how it goes! I’ll post a confirmation once I’ve had some time to think about it.

If you want to join me for the next session, head over to my Twitch channel and be sure to subscribe!

SO. While I was busy waffling on and insulting my audience during my live-stream (still not entirely sure what possessed me to insinuate that part of my audience may have been dicks but, hey, there we go), I got a rather interesting e-mail confirming that one of my trailer cues from last year had been placed in a trailer for a film called Identicals. You can check out the trailer below – my music starts right around the studio logo at 0:24, and continues throughout.

So… yeah, you know. No big deal.

*shakes uncontrollably*

Live stream tonight, new Neffle, and new subscriber goodies!

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Apparitions, Collaboration, General, Music, Neffle, Reason, Subscribers, Tom Pritchard, Traces, Tutorials

Hey all, just figured I’d post a quick update here to let you know that I’ll be doing a live-stream TONIGHT (17th Feb) at 7pm GMT over on Twitch. My plan is to write a quick & rough song, so come on over and feel free to pester me in the chat while I’m making some noise 🙂

Watch live video from adfielding on www.twitch.tv

Also, there’s another Bandcamp subscriber-exclusive goodie out there – ApparitionsApparitions is a series of abstract ambient sketches written during January this year, and I’m really happy with how it turned out. Always nice to start the year off in a productive manner, I feel! You can listen to a few tracks from Apparitions here:

If you like what you hear, feel free to susbcribe to my Bandcamp page. There are currently TWO releases (Apparitions and Traces) available exclusively to subscribers, with more to come later in the year.

….aaaaaaand there’s a new Neffle release, called Assistance which is available to download RIGHT NOW. Neffle, as you may or may not know, is my ongoing hardware jam-collaborative project with Tom Pritchard, and we’ve been sitting on this one for a little while now. After much deliberation, we finally agreed to release Assistance in its current form. I hope some of you enjoy it!

Hopefully I’ll see some of you over on Twitch later on. Should be fun!

Traces: Origins

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in General, Reason, Subscribers, Traces

Thanks to everyone who’s been listening to Traces, and thanks to everyone who’s decided to subscribe! I just hope that you’ll enjoy what else I’ve got in store for the rest of the year 🙂

I figured now would be an opportune moment to go into a little bit of depth as to the origin of each of the tracks, both for my own sake (I think getting everything down in one place would be a good thing) and so you can have a better understanding of where all of these tracks came from.

I’m normally a little loathe to talk about the exact meaning behind my music, but in this case – being primarily made up of production tracks – I think it makes sense to talk a bit about each track individually.

So, let’s start from the beginning- track 1!

You Can See The End From Here (2014)
This is actually the newest track on the record, and was written for a pretty charged pivotal moment in a short film with a sci-fi twist. I actually wrote a couple of revisions, but this is the one I preferred. Unfortunately, it didn’t click with the film-makers for whatever reason and it went unused… hence its appearance as the opener here.

Insignificance (2009)
In late 2009 I had only recently finished university and I hit a bit of a creative funk. To counter this, I started a practice which has become a regular trend for me. I decided to try writing one “sketch” per day, just to run with any idea as it formed regardless of my own perceived satisfaction. This is the first such sketch, written after a night of stargazing and feeling a little insignificant (hence the title).

Midnight Spirit (2011)
I’d only recently started working on music as a full-time venture at this point, and was in the process of writing production music as a means to sharpen my skills a bit. I was trying lots of different ideas and genres, and figured I should have an attempt at something with a more atmospheric, almost dubstep-y feel to it. I liked the idea of pitching my vocals down a bit to see what would happen, and was delighted with how un-cheesy it sounded!

Survival (2013)
An acquaintance of mine was studying video game design at university and needed to make a pitch of his game concept to some industry heads. It was a cool idea, and I thought it’d be a unique way to get my music heard by some people in the gaming biz (and I love me some video games), so I decided to write some music for it. I ended up with two tracks – this is the first…

Beneath The Surface (2013)
…and this is the second. While Survival was more of a thematic piece, I wanted this track to be a more atmospheric/background piece. In retrospect, it’s a little more overbearing than I had first anticipated, but I was really happy with both of these tracks. They never really found a home outside of the initial pitch – and now they have. Nice!

Behold (2011)
This was written during the same burst as Midnight Spirit. After writing a fair amount of downtempo/atmospheric music to try and beef up my output a bit, I figured a change was in order. I wanted to write something production-friendly with a more dramatic flair to it, and this is what popped out.

Tread Carefully (2009)
An unusual one, this. I had recently finished my university degree and was due to graduate in a month, so I decided to visit my parents at the other side of the country. I’d brought my laptop with me and this popped out while goofing around in the living room one day. I seem to recall playing quite a bit of F.E.A.R. at the time, so I guess that explains the ominous mood.

The Old Tower (2012)
I was working on a production album with a focus on really chilled, downtempo numbers – all of the tracks I wrote for that project were picked up, except for this one. I suspect it may have been a little too ominous for their tastes, but it’s always been one of my favourites from that project so it’s nice to give it a bit of attention here.

Sweeping Junk (2011)
Yet another track from my 2011 production music binge, I’d recently picked up some nice acoustic drum loops and thought it’d be fun to chop them up and play with silence in my music a little bit more… hence the stop/start/stuttering nature of the drums. This one was a lot of fun to work on!

Counterbalance (2012)
In 2012 I wrote a lot of music with a view to using it as production music, though a good chunk of it would later end up on what would become Pieces. This track didn’t really sit well with me in either camp – it was too scatter-shot to work as production music, and didn’t seem to fit the flow of Pieces… but I really liked it, so I thought it deserved a proper place on Traces.

Traces (2009)
Ahh yes, the title track – and a continuation from my sketch-a-day session which spawned Insignificance. I really felt like I hit upon the central theme of my 2009 sketches with this particular track, which is why I thought it was particularly fitting for the title of the entire release. The entire sketch-a-day sessions form a very personal diary-of-sorts for me, as it was written at a particularly pivotal moment in my life. In many ways this track represents the introverted precipice before a particularly joyous point in my life.

Picking Up Where We Left Off (2010)
This is another continuation of my sketch-a-day exercise started in 2009 with Insignificance. I had a break over the Christmas season, and came back to it in 2010 for a brief spell. This was the first track from the second session, hence the title – I was trying to re-connect with the feeling I had during the first session, despite a lot of things having changed for me in that interim. It was nice to re-connect and, well, to pick up where I left off.

Communication (2009)
This is an odd one. A friend of mine was running for student union president at university at the time, and was focussing on a neat digital campaign. He asked me to write a track and overlay some audio from an interview over it, and this sort of popped out. After the campaign was over I removed the speech, sent it to a few non-exclusive libraries and it got a bit of use. Which was rather nice, actually!

Another Yesterday (2011)
The final track written during my great 2011 production music writing binge. Structurally it’s very simple, but I wanted something that just built up to a really nice finish, and I think this is a nice showcase of a lot of my habits (good and bad) of late 2011, so I thought it would make a fitting end to Traces.

…and that’s it! If there’s anything you’d like me to explain in more detail or anything, feel free to drop me a comment or send me a message 🙂 Don’t forget that you can still grab Traces by subscribing to my Bandcamp page here.