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Turbulator is the working title for my current musical endeavours. Ample material has not been my difficulty for a long time, instead it's the means to produce a final consumable form to my satisfaction.

The first stage began in April 2018, and it involved honing my craft and has so far been, and will continue to be, a solo pursuit, until I feel my skill levels are ready to involve other musicians on a professional level that I can match, or at least not inconvenience.

It is important to understand that I'm not a late starter, having some kind of mid life crisis, as I've been playing guitar since age twelve and started composing not long after that and have spent significant periods of time since, studying the art of composition and playing various instruments. There have been previous periods where I've been totally absorbed in it, but I've never been this committed to it before. None the less, composition has been a life long passion of mine.

I had kept it to myself all that time and was mostly content with using synthesisers to supplement my voice and guitars to produce tracks of arrangements of my compositions, because I couldn't see a way, that suited my temperament, to work out a fundable music career. So, I made a living teaching maths, computer science and physics, which was not a compromise, because I enjoyed that immensely and it helped the development of many of my core values.

The first stage was a five year plan. That may seem arbitrary or even ambitious, but a UK composer I met back in my twenties was of the opinion that a person who'd only dabbled in music so far would have to spend ten years full time to become a decent practicing composer. I didn't base myself on that strictly, but I'd had enough experience to understand how long it took to get certain skills to a competent level and between the ages of twelve and sixty two I had already built a substantial base of many aspects of music composition and performance to make an educated guess.

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Finishing those five years in April 2023, after much angst and soul searching, I concluded that I was very happy with my progress, because the experience gave me a much more realistic perspective on what I could expect. I felt that at least another year was still required and now, after that year, I'm almost totally absorbed in finishing my first album.

I've been drawn in to doing some full blown Zappa covers. It was not my original intention to do so and I had previously only published videos on YouTube playing solo instrument covers of FZ's music that I play for practice. But, having been under the gun to produce covers to a deadline on two of Andrew Greenaway's Cordelia Records projects, has had nothing but positive effects on my process. I've now decided to create a Zappa tribute album. I've got a title and a concept worked out and I'm close to finalising the track list. None the less, it takes second place to finishing my first album.

Some of the detail

Basically, the work of my first album is more than three quarters finished. I'm not yet ready to divulge what it's about publicly. I've now honed the concept and title. I have several albums worth of compositions and have now settled the final tracklist for the album's content, which was a significant part of the process. There are already some clues on YouTube, but all of those are demos, not all are even final arrangements, or will end up on this album, and my production skills have come a long way since posting even my last track on there. I haven't posted anything for a while due to a focus on skills building and now this album.

Significantly developed ideas for other albums are already coming together. I cannot artificially hold that back and I do get unavoidably sidetracked following the muse, but I am trying to be disciplined about it, as far as that's even possible for someone like me.

Without reference to any particular track or album I might be working on, I've been calling this current stage One Thing At A Time, for obvious reasons. Aside from the possibilities of multi tasking, that's what I have to do at the moment to put productions of my compositions together, but, as I say elsewhere it's also invigorating and I'm actually coming to really like working this way. So far this section has been brought up to date, but I've kept the following two pages for historical reasons.