Monday, December 29, 2014


I am currently hard at work on the Transient ambient guitar album.
It reminds of how the album is ever evolving. Having listened to a rough demo of recordings the other night I realised how some of the old works are very different to what I'm recording now. Some are more elaborate with synths and strings and beats, while the more recent works are much more stripped back and minimal.
Over the process of 12 months quite a few other things have changed. Firstly, the recording process. Recording using a audio interface into my Mac was fine, until I realised I was spending all this time working with the plug-ins and software in my DAW.  I spent more time wrestling with the technology than actually playing.  I purchased a 8-track recorder and even dug out the old 4-track recorder that I initially recorded Heartland on.  I even recorded a version of Silent Night on that using a Strymon Big Sky that made it to the Strymon Happy Holiday Sounds list this christmas
I sold a guitar, bought new ones and spent time actually playing again without being attached to recording everything.  This has allowed songs to develop as well as morph into new ideas for other songs.
I've had a multi-effects pedal that I haven't really used a lot and recently I've been learning the art of looping (not that I expect any looping on this album).  I also started picking up some stand-alone effects pedals and I started to find a sound for the album, as well as paying more attention to notes, after-tones and the spaces in between notes. I don't believe in the cut & paste theory for building a song, I like to record the performance and work with that instead of taking a verse from one version, the intro from another etc.
This is the second time I thought I was close to finishing the album, but I've realised I'm probably only 40% of the way through.  And that's ok.
Although I expect Transient to be released in the first half of 2015,  for the time being I'm focusing on the journey and not the destination.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


A track can be an experiment, a happy accident or a moment of inspiration. An album is a commitment. 2 albums... well that's also a happy accident.
So while tinkering away on my Transient album I noticed that some of the tracks just didn't quite fit, however they did start to take on a life of their own.
While having the intention to create music that was primarily guitar based, there ended up being  some quite top-heavy synth tracks.
And so the decision has been made to release Phases before the end of year. A companion as such to the upcoming Transient album (possibly now due early 2015).
Expect more ambient, soundscape moments on the album.  Very much a continuation of the styles I'd explored on The Lightness & The Quiet Landscape albums.
The other thing that has happened is that I intend to release all future works under B J Boyd, as opposed to bjb for synth based works and Brendan J Boyd for my guitar based works. The reason for this is that slowly I'm finding my 2 styles are merging.
Here's a peak at a cover idea.

Monday, October 13, 2014


Hi. Welcome to my new blog.
I thought I’d talk about my new album “Transient” (due late 2014).  The process of recording a new album is a daunting but rewarding process. In this case it also means returning to guitar (after many years) as opposed to my last few releases which have been completely synth/plug-in based.   So instead of hitting keys for effects and sounds and then tweaking and manipulating them, this time around I’m creating tracks based around guitar chord structures.
As I’m dealing with ambient music I have found using long delays or changing the tempo of a recording useful tools.  The technique of reversing a track is a common amongst ambient music so I’m looking to use it in a minimal and effective way.  Often simply changing the particular sound and speed of track based on what I’m using or experirmenting with results in quite dramatic changes or ideas for new tracks.  In addition to this there have been a variety of influential videos on youtube that have inspired new ideas and techniques.  I can’t understate the value of learning from others.
The other thing is being open to happy accidents. Sometimes I’ve been playing a song and then I go to a different chord or note by mistake and that will also trigger a new idea for the song (or a new idea for another song).
The biggest change I’ve found is using guitar effects pedals, a recent addition to my lot. While I have a variety of software plug-ins that I can use to mould, shape and manipulate a variety of guitar sounds, to actually use pedals allows me to concentrate more on actually playing instead of editing music software.
The other thing is I can actually just play without being hooked up to any software.  It sounds obvious but often I talk to musicians and more time is spent dealing with software than creating music.  I’ve had time where I may have been playing the same song over and over for 45 minutes and yet it only seems like a few moments, so often it allows me to get into quite a zen place with the music just enjoying the sounds and tones and just being in the moment.
Transient (blue:green cover0