Fight The Rain

Apologies! It’s been well over two weeks since the last tune went up. I’m going to deny that it had anything to do with my ability to procrastinate, and instead place the entire blame on essays that were due in for uni. Yes. That’s definitely what it was.

Anyway, while nothing has been fully produced since the last track, (Listen to Where Have You Gone? here!) I have been writing still, and therefore a bunch of melodies are floating around, which will soon be fabricated into songs.

One of these has managed to surface – my latest tune, ’Fight The Rain’, can now be heard on YouTube and Soundcloud. As the name suggests, the track is about coming up against unbeatable odds, and the overwhelming feeling of giving up that accompanies it. Here’s the video, I hope you like it!

For those of you interested in how I write music and perhaps learning a few techniques, I have written the next article in the counterpoint series – First Species Counterpoint

On a more personal note, I am in hospital for an operation on my jaw this Thursday, meaning I may be out of action for a few weeks. Wish me luck! D:

Sam x

Bury Me With My Dreams

Hey guys! It’s been a while since I’ve posted to my blog, so I thought I’d better get back on the case. Everything is back in full swing now; videos, articles, practise… you name it.

My latest creation has been uploaded to YouTube baring the name ‘Bury Me With My Dreams’. The lyrics for this song were actually written in a lecture I had at ACM, in which we were asked to just write, continuously, about anything that came into our heads.

Considering this, the words that came out are actually kind of worrying! But later I placed the words to relate to the book I’m currently reading, 1984, in which the lead character illegally thinks the wrong thoughts, and is aware of his inevitable death for doing so. It’s well worth the read if you haven’t already read it! Anyway, here’s the video:

 

 

I was also approached this week by a business group here at ACM, who would like to use the band and myself as part of their ‘Discovery and Development’ project. This means I may have a few extra helping hands when it comes to marketing and promotion etc. Hopefully, as a consequence, I’ll be able focus more on writing songs and performing them well. Either way, I’m looking forward to working with these guys; they all seem very committed and motivated individuals. I’ll keep you informed on how this goes.

For any musos amongst you, a new article ‘An Introduction To Counterpoint‘ has been added to the site. It’s the first in a series of articles that will explain how to use counterpoint effectively. Each succeeding article will be added two weeks later than the previous. I hope you find them useful!

Well that’s it for now, folks. Stay safe!

Sam x

The Looking Glass

New fortnight, new song! I’m still managing to keep up with it, although this may actually be the penultimate video as I take a break for Christmas. This fortnight’s song is titled ‘The Looking Glass’. And yes, following on from the previous film-inspired topic, this song draws inspiration from the Harry Potter books/films.

Here’s the tune, I hope you like it!

So this week we were asked to bring in a song to our Social Media lecture. We were told that a representative from Radio 1 would be gracing our lecture room the following week and he would like to listen to some of the tracks ACM students are creating. Being the massive nerd that I am, I pounced on the opportunity. On Friday, we each listened to one minute of each song that was submitted and took a vote on which tracks should be given in. To cut a long story short, my track got picked! I’m absolutely buzzing to hear what he thinks of it next week :)

I also performed this week at the ‘Industry Performance Showcase’ at The Boileroom in Guildford. Three huge BBC cameras pointed my way as I performed two tracks in front of four ‘Industry Experts’, sat behind their desk like judges on a talent show. Their comments were mixed, some of them digged it, others not so much. However everything was received with open ears, and many comments I will certainly adhere to in the future. Besides, what a great experience it was!

I’m really looking forward to the holidays, mainly so I can have a proper meal, but also to see friends and family. Can’t believe I’ve only 2 weeks at ACM left!

See you soon

Sam x

Hope (The Human Delusion)

Well, it has been an amusing couple of weeks to say the least. I’m not sure which of my lectures was the most laughable. Perhaps when Ewan was interrupted by a lovers tiff on the front row at the odeon. Or when one lecturer (who I won’t embarrass) received an email mid-lecture from their favourite pornographic website.

Yes, people. You did just read that. Only at ACM would such a travesty occur.

But that’s kind of the appeal ;)

 

Anyway, before this becomes too journalistic. I have recorded a new song, in keeping with my one song per fortnight promise. This fortnight’s song takes inspiration (rather nerdily) from both The Matrix and The Lord of The Rings – two of the greatest trilogies known to man.

To quote The Architect:

‘Hope. It is the quintessential human delusion, simultaneously the source of your greatest strength, and your greatest weakness.’

Hence the song title – Hope (The Human Delusion). Despite a potentially depressing name for a song, it’s probably one of the most optimistic sounding songs I’ve ever written, although that in itself is no great feat. But take it with your own interpretation. You can listen to it here:

As always, any comments/likes/shares/subscriptions are much appreciated!

 

Also, for the musos amongst you, a couple of new articles have been posted, this time concerning the modes of the minor scales. If you’re comfortable with Major Modes already, these might tickle your fancy:

 

Harmonic Minor Modes Made Easy

Melodic Minor Modes Made Easy

 

If you find them useful, please let me know. I’m going to open the floor to article requests, so if there’s anything you’d like me to cover in the future then tell me!

This may also happen with videos too. Perhaps a topic to write about? A song to cover? Lyrics to accompany? I’m not sure yet, but if you have any ideas then I’m all ears.

 

Stay safe folks!

Sam x

YouTubers, Beware!

That’s right YouTube users, be very aware. You’re about to be hit with some of the biggest news since the days you began watching funny cats fall off tables. Brace yourselves. Are you ready? Here it is!!!

I’ve given the green light for this ’1 song per fortnight’ idea.

Please, people. Contain your excitement!

Ok, enough of the sarcasm. But, jokes aside, I will be writing a new song every 14 days and uploading the results to YouTube, regardless of its integrity. So if you’re on YouTube, please take a second to click this link – Sam Dawson On YouTube, followed by the subscribe button towards the top of my channel. This will make us internetz friends! Huzzah!

The reason for me doing this is to keep myself on the ball when it comes to writing, as well as hopefully entertaining you guys, even if only for a few minutes. So be grateful!

Enough talk. This fortnight’s song is called ‘Breathe’, and you can give it a listen right here:

I promise not to bug you again, but please do subscribe if you’re on YouTube!

In early preparation, I’ve just started work on the next fortnight’s song, and I can’t see me nailing it before the remaining 12 days are up! I’m struggling to just get one section down at the minute. Here’s a little preview of what’s managed to find it’s way out of my guitar:

I’ve also posted a new article on the site, ‘Suspended Chords Are Underused‘. I admit, it’s a rather bold statement, and a controversial title to say the least. But I hope the songwriters amongst you may find some use in it. It’s semi-inspired by a lecture we had the other week based around suspended chords, along with my own take on how they can be used/how I like to use them.

Speaking of articles, they too will becoming much more of a regularity – again I’m looking at writing every fortnight, but that will depend on the workload *how much sleep I would like* for now.

Anywho, I guess it’s back to practising for me. This assessment’s ‘Live Performance Practice’ is Britney Spears’ Toxic. (Score!) So I’m currently trying to play my acoustic as robotically as possible for the satisfaction of my lecturer, Frankie Tontoh. I’m wondering if we’d be able to put a ‘Guitar Pro’ version of it on in the background for some super-metronomic playing.

I’m not sure Frank would allow it though.

Sam x

An Overdue Catch-Up

Wow! What amazing months August and September have proven to be. August has had me playing gigs and festivals constantly, including Humber Street Sesh, Yum!, and Galtres festival, which played host to bands such as The Stranglers, Maximo Park, and Reef! Every gig was absolutely amazing to play, but a personal highlight was surely The LinDhu Gathering Festival. It may be a lesser known festival (they even call it the ‘esoteric’ gathering!) but it’s full of awesome people and has the most lovely vibe.
Just a quick thank you to all the organisers/promoters/etc. who have allowed me to play some of my tunes to their music hungry attendees. I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did!

Later that month I also held my second masterclass, again kindly hosted by RJS Music, but this time accompanied by the very talented Sam Arkut (check him out here!). Again, thank you to everyone who bought a ticket and attended, hopefully you all found value in what Sam Arkut and I had to say, and are still sticking at it!

And then finally September arrived, at which point I grabbed my two favourite guitars (amongst a whole host of other gear) and made the move down to Guildford, where I am currently studying Music Performance at the Academy of Contemporary Music. There’s some amazing musicians down here that I am humbled to be amongst, and I’m very excited to get to know them all.

And that’s basically where I’m at now! There’s one gig lined up so far with more to come. The EP work is back on track, and even some writing is making it’s way back into the picture. Here’s the latest addition to my repertoire – Behind Closed Doors.


Please let me know what you think!

If anyone is wondering why the tense has changed amongst these posts, it is because I will now be using this news section as more of a blog. Hopefully that means updates will be more frequent, possibly a little less self indulgent, and I’d like to think it shows more of myself instead of this ‘third person’ baloney. We’ll see how it goes.

Hope you’re all doing ok! Please feel free to leave a comment on here/facebook/twitter/whatever, and I will endeavour to get back to you.

Sam x

Humber Street Sesh – It Doesn’t Get Much Better

Sam Dawson at Humber Street Sesh 2013

If there’s one thing Hull has to be proud of, it was surely the happenings that took place down Humber Street on 3rd August 2013. The entire area was open from 10am through to 1am to play host for over 160 bands and artists across 11 stages, in the second event that is known as Humber Street Sesh. For any of you who missed this event, we feel truly sorry.

Humber Street Sesh 2013 Sam Dawson

Sam Dawson performing at Humber Street Sesh 2013. Photo by Chris Wilkinson

Staying sober until 12:40pm to ensure a decent performance was a challenge in itself, with so much going on and so many quality bands to listen to. But, rest assured, we pulled through and managed to consume enough alcohol by the end of the night. This was accompanied by amazing performances from Adam Davison, Lucy Marshall, In The Company of Wolves, We Are Carnivores, Counting Coins… The list goes on! Finally, still in the mood for some more great music, we managed to get to Spiders before 1am for some early morning boogying!

If you weren’t able to attend Humber Street Sesh, we have created a short video of Sam performing his song, ‘A Matter of Time’ Live on the Hull Bid Acoustic Stage. (You can thank us later!) We hope you enjoy!

All of this would not be possible if it wasn’t for Mark Page and his team of organisers, for which we will take this apt opportunity to thank for their efforts and improving exponentially on Humber Street Sesh 2012. We look forward to Humber Street Sesh 2014, if not to perform, then to experience another magical day.

Onwards and Upwards!

Looking ahead, Sam is performing at the Yum Food Festival (Hull) on Thursday 8th August, and at this year’s Lin Dhu Gathering Festival (Lincolnshire Wolds) on Friday 9th August, 22:15pm. Tickets are available at http://www.lindhuesotericgathering.co.uk/tickets.html.

Hope you are all well, and we’ll see you soon!

Overload

This last month has been rammed. No joke. Songs have been mixed, articles have been published, you name it. Even the site has been reworked! Without going into too much detail, here’s a quick update on the main events:

Gigs have been added to the Live Page and, most notably, Sam will be playing again at this year’s Humber Street Sesh. Last year was epic, with a bevy of musical talent, and this year promises to be even bigger and better. This event will take place on 3rd August down Humber Street, Hull, and is absolutely not to be missed!

Sam will also be performing another masterclass on Percussive Guitar Techniques on 25th August. This event will be a joint class with Sam Arkut, an exceptional acoustic guitar player, who will also be sharing an insight to his percussive guitar playing style. Details on tickets TBA.

Fingerstyle – Part 2 has been published for the guitar players amongst you. More articles are to come shortly. To receive free updates on new articles, be sure to join the mailing list!

See you soon!

A Little Taster

While the preparation and production of My Disease have been at the forefront of our minds for some time now, an esoteric side-project, Seed of Self, was launched almost one year ago. Seed of Self was an 11-track compilation album comprising of original music from around the globe. Limited to 1000 copies, the CDs were recently dispatched and distributed to several various countries. Lo and Behold! Yesterday, the finished product arrived on the doorstep…

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As the first ‘official’ release, we’re obviously stoked about these bad boys! They’ll be for sale at future gigs for a mere £5, or are available at The Store for a similar price. Alternatively, there is also a digital download available for just £3, also at The Store. Huge thanks to everyone involved in the creation of this CD, and to all of you lovely people who purchase a copy!

Stay safe!

A Change Of Path

As some of you may know, Sam is also involved in a Punk Rock band ‘In The Company Of Wolves’. We have known the guys in the band for years now, but unfortunately, a change of path has occurred and Sam has had to leave due to other commitments. There are no hard feelings, and we wish them all the best of luck. In fact, they have gone on to get their song ‘The Girl Who Waited’ on the Humber Street Sesh compilation album. Well done guys!In light of all this, Sam has temporarily joined a rock band ‘The Chamberlains’ to replace their lead guitarist Andrew Bayford, who’s jetting off to Thailand. To get a sample of their stuff, head over to http://www.facebook.com/hullchamberlains

In addition, new gigs have been added to the Live page, so please check them out. We hope to see you there!