A little trip to New Hampshire

August 17, 2014 Leave a comment

Just got back from a long weekend, camping in New Hampshire. What a great time! Some thoughts and reflections on the experience.

We were camping just outside Lincoln-Woodstock in the White Mountains region, so the first day was spent visiting a couple of river gorges.

First off, my favorite place of the weekend: Lost River Gorge – a long descent to the bottom of the gorge, then back up via caves and remarkable geology. The girls had a great time going through the cave formations and, when the cave permitted someone of my width to get through, so did Dad!

A bite to eat and then on to Flume Gorge – a longer trek here, less fun for the kids but with many more significant geological formations – vertical canyon walls, rushing waterfalls, vertiginous drops. Here are a couple of pics from the gorge itself:

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Also, I now officially know where the treasure is buried:

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I also wondered how much HR Giger was inspired by nature when he designed the original face-hugger for Alien:

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Next morning, we were up early to take the kids to the Thrillsville Aerial Park at Alpine Adventures in Lincoln. Fantastic times

[highly, highly recommended]

and both kids proved themselves to be willing to face whatever fear they had and keep going:

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That afternoon, we drove over to Mount Washington, the highest peak in the north-east of the US – an 8 mile drive up the Auto Road proved that I’m still able to pull up some adrenaline when I need to! Of course, the summit was swathed in clouds, but we can at least say we’ve been there! And, continuing a trend involving t-shirts and mountain tops, I made sure that my Spindrift Guitars t-shirt went with me :)

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All in all, it was a lovely weekend, though I do have to say that the region as a whole appeared to like Bro-country a little too much for my tastes… Despite that, I look forward to returning in the coming years – at a little over  3 1/2 hours drive away, it’s more than earned some more of my time!

As always with camping, I look forward to my own bed tonight, appreciate the wonder of rock, wood, water, fire and air,  and value the sense of having disconnected from the machine even if just for a few days.

Love-peace-trust,

Vince Sig 131x89

 

Categories: General, Oddness, Possibilities

Thursday Insight – Interesting times indeed

July 31, 2014 Leave a comment

Those following along at home will know that I’ve been fairly quiet of late

[aside from lots of posts linking songs and videos]

There’s a good reason of course: this artistic  life doesn’t keep the roof over our heads, nor food on the table and, frankly, I needed to get some paying work. Which I did. But to do so, I took a very structured choice to put all

[pure]

creative projects on hold. I couldn’t give myself fully to growing my business while also diving deep into the pool. Neither effort would be successful – and, while my soul needs creativity to be successful, a LOT more rides upon my ability to put food on the table. It was a weird time all right, and I can’t say I fully enjoyed the sensation of constraining my creative energies.

But it is what it is

[and I still played the guitar throughout!]

Business done, and can now turn my attention back to those projects that have been lingering:

  • Grope – the record progress well, some vocals to retrack and mixing, but it’s sounding pretty much as I wanted it to.
  • Vincent Tuckwood Band – I’ve recorded and performed my original music in a band setting as Monkey68 for a number of years. With the release of Sparse, and my solo work under my own name, beginning to get some traction, like my recent public access television appearance:

    it doesn’t make sense to maintain two separate brands – so Monkey68 will be retained for more esoteric recording excursions, but the band will now be under my own name.

  • RUFUS – this novel was about 30,000 words in when I put things on hold, I like what I have, and Rufus (and his journey) is pretty cool, though I admit I have some story arcs to refine before I can take it much further, not least of which is the presence of a very dangerous, yet passive suite of bad guys – they’re bad all right, it’s just that a lot of it’s under cover – I have to figure them out before I can go much further.
  • ASYLUM – originally a short film project (that got to about 1/5 of its funding target via KickStarter), I always knew that Sol’s journey was more than the short film, and over the last few months, the expanded story has been tickling at me – too early to share specifics, but I have begun mapping out the book. Like ESCALATION, I believe it’s going to be a quick write. One thing I do know is the title of the novel, which won’t be Asylum, but I’m not sharing it just yet

[yes, I am a real tease]

It’s interesting to dive back into these pools, and their welcome embrace. Like many artists, I wish I could do so without the constraints of considering where the next buck is coming from, but I’ve managed

[so far]

to balance things out. For a long time now, I’ve been putting faith into building a body of work that folk can dive into  when they become interested. With 4 novels, a handful of screenplays, a poetry collection and one record out, that faith is beginning to feel justified now. With what’s coming it’ll feel even more justified.

Interesting times indeed!

Love-peace-trust,

Vince Sig 131x89

Vincent Tuckwood – Public Access Television Appearance 7-26-14

July 27, 2014 Leave a comment

Last night, I performed a short acoustic set on Gramma’s Attic Music Review, a local public-access television show. Alongside an extended interview

[which I need to edit down before posting]

I played:

  1. Be Still
  2. Magpies and Mongrels
  3. Side-by-Side
  4. Blaze
  5. 2 Pieces
  6. Over The Moon, Brian
  7. The Lights Are Out
  8. For Granted

Here are the vids of those songs:

Why I gave the National Association of Broadcasters, DiMA and CCIA the Shirt off my Back during Congressional Panel

July 22, 2014 Leave a comment

Vince:

Because it, like, toooootally makes sense that, in the digital era, songwriters are governed by a temporary law passed in 1947!

Originally posted on The Trichordist:

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Diverse group of Washington DC lobbyists.

The major webcasters and broadcasters decided to convene a nearly secret last minute congressional panel to urge Congress and the DOJ to keep in place the 73 year old “temporary” consent decree that forces songwriters to let companies like Clear Channel, YouTube, Sirius, Pandora, Amazon and Spotify use our songs without any negotiation whatsoever.  The consent decree also empowers a single appointed-for-life federal judge to arbitrarily decide what a “reasonable” rate  is for songwriters.   In effect we have been forced by federal courts to provide  subsidy to corporations that have a combined market cap of more than a trillion dollars.

As I demonstrated in this an earlier post  as a songwriter I received less than $17 dollars from Pandora for over a million spins of my song Low. 

http://thetrichordist.com/2013/06/24/my-song-got-played-on-pandora-1-million-times-and-all-i-got-was-16-89-less-than-what-i-make-from-a-single-t-shirt-sale/

How is this a “Reasonable” rate?

The panel was hosted by Greg Barnes of…

View original 845 more words

Categories: Uncategorized

25 Songs-25 Days – Day 25: A song you could listen to all day without getting tired of

June 26, 2014 Leave a comment

Aside from the grammatical nastiness in the category, I’m quite relieved to get to the last day of the 25 songs in 25 days challenge.

Not that it hasn’t been fun, but I do feel like it’s been a little pedestrian – I’ve had the odd day where I’ve been forced to think, but by and large the prompts just didn’t encourage me to look far beyond myself.

I love the music I’ve shared, don’t get me wrong, but just for one day I would have liked to have been asked something like:

A song you would suggest a sniper should listen to

or

A song that could possibly unfreeze Congress

or

A song that should be the only one that survives the human race

[It's Oh So Quiet by Bjork, Don't Worry Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin, and All You Need Is Love by The Beatles, respectively]

instead of

A song you listened to while painting your nails with your BFFs

Ah well, it’s the last day, so let’s go out on a doozy.

A song I could listen to all day – that isn’t one of mine and I haven’t shared already.

Hmmmm…

I haven’t shared any Godspeed You! Black Emperor yet and, as my original connection to this challenge came from Goldfish, it’s only apt that I amplify her 25th day song, because it’s mine as well – I am going to go one further and share two pieces, but as they flow together, I’ll count it as one.

I could listen to GYBE’s Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada all day, all night, all week, all year – quite happily. It has two movements, Moya and Blaise Bailey Finnegan III.

As I always say when recommending GYBE – take the time to drop into this ocean fully – you will find it dark and beautiful.

Onward!

Love-peace-trust

Vince Sig 131x89

Centre of gravity and playing the guitar

June 25, 2014 Leave a comment

Warning – this is a guitar geek post – go no further if you’re not interested in such matters.

I recently spent some time back on my Fender Stratocaster, a guitar I wrote about here, and that feels so incredibly comfortable. I was trying to work out why my strat (a long scale guitar), felt small to me, while my Telecaster (same scale length) felt much longer.

There are a number of factors that go into it, of course:

  • neck width – my tele neck profile is thicker
  • color – my strat has a rosewood neck, my tele’s is maple – as I look down, the lighter wood is more visible
  • radius – my strat has (I think) a 9.5″ radius, where my tele has a compound radius fretboard, which looks wider at the body, because it flattens out

But, of all the variables, I think it comes down to how each guitar hangs on the strap.

Believe it or not, I’ve spent the past few days paying a lot of attention to how I stand and hold each guitar.

On a strat, the strap button is above the 13th fret, on a tele it’s above the 16th fret. And because it has a longer body, my strat hangs kind of diagonally, putting the pickups in front of my right hip, so I tend to pick/strum closer to the neck pickup. Here’s Stevie Ray Vaughan and his strat (no picture credit, unfortunately), showing how the strat’s neck often ends up more diagonal and in front of the body.

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The tele, however, hangs more horizontal and puts my picking hand closer to the bridge pickup. Take a look at this picture (credited to Laurie Paladino) of The Boss

[who has been known to play a tele just a few times!]

to see how the telecaster hangs more horizontally and away to the side of the body:

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Angling the tele the same way as the strat feels really, really odd. Similarly, angling the strat to the horizontal feels just WRONG!

And, it turns out that the reason these guitars feel so markedly different in size, isn’t down to size, but instead to the fact that my left arm has to extend further out to reach the end of the fretboard on the tele – no matter what height I have the guitar on my body. Interestingly, I also notice that I ‘hunch’ over the strat more when I’m playing, like I’m coiling around it. This isn’t an uncomfortable feeling, it’s kind of warm and centered. I don’t get the same sensation playing the telecaster – it’s a great guitar, but just doesn’t have that mojo I get with the strat.

As I think about spiritual and physical centre, and striving to remain in balance with the energies within me and around me, this all seems to make sense – and perhaps explains why I feel like I’m coming home when I play my strat – or indeed why the guitar seems to have a life of its own.

Either way, it’s just another reminder of how blessed I am to have these instruments in my life, and how grateful for the music they help me channel.

Love-peace-trust

Vince Sig 131x89

25 Songs-25 Days – Day 24: A song that you have danced to with your best friend

June 25, 2014 Leave a comment

Well, today makes the 25 songs in 25 days challenge makes things easy.

My best friends

[note: plural]

and I danced to One Step Beyond by Madness whenever we got the chance – and still will whenever we get the chance. So, with a quick

Hey you
Don’t watch that, watch this
This is the heavy, heavy monster sound
The nuttiest sound around
So if you’ve come in off the street
And you’re beginning to feel the heat
Well, listen buster
You’d better start to move your feet
To the rockingest
Rocksteady beat
of Madness

One… Step… Beyond!

Love-peace-trust

Vince Sig 131x89

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