Wednesday, 11 April 2012

The band novel and other bits of this and that.

Th Band Novel Progresses....
Hi Folks

How have you all been? Nice to be relaxed at the moment. I'll be heading off to Japan shortly for some R&R and some more inspiration. "Memoirs of a Vending Machine" just keeps on going with Kindle, being downloaded daily and attracting some favourable reviews recently. Seems the copy edit has paid off and won me over thousands of new readers. I'm also happy with 'Bug'. I've had it sitting there on Kindle for $0.99 for quite some time, attracting some great reviews from the UK but little in the way of sales. Not surprising really as it is a 3000 word short story. Well... Kindle did some price matching and made it free and the downloads have surged exponentially. Still waiting on some reviews from the US but I'm sure that someone will chime in quite soon. 

Speaking of reviews, I am becoming a little cynical about the reviewers on Barnes and Noble. One reviewer rated 'Memoirs Low' and commented that the author had confused two of the characters. This is the first time I've had this one levelled at me and it made me wonder - did the reviewer misread? Did this reviewer just get it wrong and blame the author for a lack of basic comprehension skills? I couldn't be bothered at this stage trawling through the text and double check this but 'me thinks' this reviewer could do with a review and a comprehension test.

In other news, you may have noticed that I have posted some links to 'soundcloud' and to CDbaby on my blog. The 'Keitai Freinds' post hasn't resulted in any more hits than if I hadn't posted but the melody itself has had hundreds of hits. The Kids song. ' A Mouse On The Table' has had more and so I uploaded it to CDbaby where the mp3 can be purchased. Hundreds of downloads from the soundcloud link but no sales. Oh well, better get around to writing the kids story that I have in mind and the education materials that go with it. 

So... to the new novel. I've been experimenting of late and wanted to write about the experience that a musician goes through on stage when a performance explodes and an audience is won over. I tried to write it from the perspective of the muso, going through the technicalities of actually playing the part on stage. The result is the following excerpt from my up and coming yet-to-be officially named novel about the band. Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

Adding to the apprehension, there were a few moments of silence as the band members settled into position and then, with a consensual cascade of affirmative nods from each of the band members Scott, the drummer began the four clicks of the drumsticks, signalling the point of no return. Game on… the gig had begun.

The four clicks heralded the band's first statement. The combination of guitar, drums and horns created great body and  depth as they all came in together in perfect unison. The sound shot out of the front-of-house speakers, melding sight with sound as the surging power of the first chord shattered the stale atmosphere of the room.

The audience were listening.

After eight bars of intro, the horns dropped out and Adam came in with the vocals. This was the final test. If the vocals were good, the audience could be convinced.
“I’m not sitting on the fence,” sang Adam. It was good. Although Adam was short, he had a powerful voice. It was masculine and confident with a good quality and an excellent range. Adam had it down – a good microphone technique, good breathing and a good sense of phrasing. The audience looked pleased and so did the band.

The sense of enjoyment fed the egos of the band members. It was synergy – the two main components in the equation, the audience and the band were combining to become bigger than the sum of the parts.

“No, no. no not my world,” the front line of Ken, Adam and Jack chanted in harmony as Jim launched into a raging high pitched solo that lifted the dynamic, testing new ground for this original. This was one of Jim’s better solos, encouraged by the approving expressions of the other band members and the desire to prove himself to the world at large. The fever fed back to the others until the dynamics of the band could go no higher – then it lifted again.

End of solo - Adam was back in again. The song was on the homestretch and the horns were readying themselves for what would be the ending to end all endings. The anticipation showed in the faces of the crowd as the horns were lifted to the mouths of Jack and Jim. They had the honour of finishing this one – the final round of attention. The expectation was palpable.

A stoke of the snare drum disturbed the equilibrium, switching the mood to high as the rhythm became more complex. The horns began the repetitive phrase that would lead the song out. Louder and more frantic it became. - again but louder then again but higher. And then again and again until finally with a high-pitched trumpet note punctuating a final chord from the entire band including what seemed like all of the drum kit, the song ended.

The crowd were stunned.  The sudden empty void of space that seemed to silently echo in their minds filled slowly with reality as their senses began to descend and normalise. This lasted for what seemed like minutes but in all probability lasted less than a second and the crowd spontaneously whistled, cheered and clapped while stamping their feet in a primitive ritualistic dance of approval. The mood was electric and people would have paid just to enter the room and feel the atmosphere.

I hope you enjoyed reading that as much as I did writing it. I'll be working on this one over the next couple of weeks and will post some more excerpts as I go.



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