Turbulator is the working title for my new musical endeavours.
The first stage began in April 2018, and it involves 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. I'm not really a late starter, 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. What was a private pursuit for me and only shared with family and friends, is now a full time, public pursuit, a career.
Stage one is a five year plan. This 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 composer. I'm not basing myself on that strictly, but I've had enough experience to understand how long it takes 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. Five years is, at the very least, not an overestimation and after nearly four years, I'm very happy with my progress and I feel that at least another year is still required, and I'm fairly confident that it won't be much longer than that.
As a measure of my progress so far, I now have two published Turbulator tracks out there on Zappa tribute albums!
So, 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 these two pieces to a deadline 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 the following.
Basically, I'm working towards my first album, and I'm not yet ready to divulge what it's about publicly. I've had a pretty good idea of the concept and title for some time. By now, I have several albums worth of compositions and isolating an appropriate subset for the album's content, is a significant part of the process, so the exact track list is not yet finalised. None the less, there are already some clues on YouTube. And, significantly developed ideas for other albums are already coming together. I cannot artificially hold that back.
Without reference to any particular track or album I might be working on, I'm 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.
From the start of a new composition there'll be a significant amount of investigation on guitar or piano until it has reached the stage of a near complete development, when I will then work out an arrangement. Then I have to practise playing most of the parts and eventually get them to the recording stage where they can be polished and brought together in a final mix along with programming new or existing sampled instruments that I've been creating.