I'm a bassist and composer from Belfast. Decades of experience on the road & in the studio, just now finding the time to record rough versions of solo compositions.
I'm slowly creating a body of work with which I can be satisfied: that is my criterion.
Interested in the dark side, the quirky side, but mainly in that buttery biscuit bass.
Fancy a collaboration? Drop me a line NOW.
I am interested in Sonic Arts as investigation but I can't escape my faith and belief in the song form; in the composition being an end unto itself.
I'm also very interested in soundtrack work.
We are the music-makers and we are the dreamers of dreams. World-losers and world-forsakers.
- Screen name:
- Member since:
- Jun 08 2017
- Active within 1 week
- Level of commitment:
- Years playing music:
- Gigs played:
- Over 100
- Tend to practice:
- More than 3 times per week
- Available to gig:
- 4-5 nights a week
- Most available:
Black Sabbath, DJ Shadow, Photek, Jeff Wayne, Scott Walker, Faith No More, Chris Isaak, Minutemen.
- Bass Guitar:
- Acoustic Guitar:
- Upright bass:
- Rhythm Guitar:
- Lead Guitar:
- Electronic Music:
The Grunderhunter Track number: 51 Year: 2016 Album: WeeklyBeats Genre: Rock
Here's a high-energy song about a kids TV show.
An IntroductionDrum loops from Siggi Baldursson. Meaty glorious guitar solo in the coda by Stevie McKnight: https://soundcloud.com/steven-mcknight1 Other guitars & percussion by me. To combat dissatisfaction with life I'm gonna make a piece of music once a week for the next 53 weeks. This is my first piece. Download for free on The Artist Union
- Look Around You
Buffalo GodSAWFAY number 3. I tried to use as few guitars and as many basses as possible and this is the result. I'm still a bit shy about singing though.
Deliberate AffectationEntry number 4 in the ongoing compendium is a lovely floaty piece of acoustic art-pop. Should I feel a bit self-conscious in calling it art-pop? Nope! No prizes for guessing my references for the voice parts. And you can tell how flaky my guitar's alternative tuning is at a couple of points. Comedy gold!
This is the Great Void
This is the Great VoidI decided to play around with a couple of synths, a bit of MIDI, a handmade BEW pedal and see what happened. This is the result. In the process I taught myself a couple of new things about recording too. I got to the end of the lyrics and realised I really ought to have rewritten the first verse but time was not on my side. So have at thee. Guest vocals written and performed by Becca Allen.
The GrunderhunterHaha! This one was a painful gestation. I completely rewrote it three times and rerecorded it twice. I'm starting to see the full extent of my embarrassment about singing. I need a soundproof room!
The Overall Immobility of Things
The Overall Immobility of ThingsNumber seven. I took a slightly different approach with this piece, layering four or five sounds to make each gong strike and building up the drone from 15 channels of voice (Becca and I). Download for free on The Artist Union
- All the Places
Sump's Theme (reprise)
Sump's Theme (reprise)This week's work is the theme for the protagonist of a dystopian sci-fi movie. Sump is a lot like Rick Deckard. I'm not sure if the reprise is used for the trailer, i.e. for a montage, or for the final moments of the film as Sump stares into his melting ice-cubes recalling the details he hasn't shared with anyone.
Cortege (Sump Looks Down)
Cortege (Sump Looks Down)I'm returning to my sci-fi noir, and this piece covers a scene in which Sump watches one after another of his colleagues being placed into the earth, as he reflects on his own choices and on his reason for overlooking yet another clandestine event. Download for free on The Artist Union
WinternachtA floaty little number, this. I tried to keep everything simple, but allow each guitar part to have its own character. Number sixteen.
- March of the Insect Overlords
- Selected Ambient Work #2
- Quenelles, a Trio
Includes a Nude
Includes a NudeThis week, creative disagreements and technical problems mean that this is SAWFAY #20. It's a little bit like deconstructed pizza, for those familiar with the rest of my work on SoundCloud, because for my sources I revisited a number of my older pieces, resources and processes.
Blind (Full Version)
Blind (Full Version)I decided to assemble a track that has been sitting in bits & pieces gathering dust, and apply some of the things I've learned so far to the arrangement and production. I'd intended the song to have lyrics, but I've come round to the idea of it being an instrumental, using guitars & synths to highlight the vocal melody. Also my falsetto disappeared about 15 years ago, so my vocals were never gonna work ;)
Audrey RoseI watched the film Audrey Rose a few weeks ago and it immediately struck me as an amazingly quotable film - lots of really well recorded monologues. So this is my homage to that fairly awful movie. Song a Week for a Year #22 Download for free on The Artist Union
Trouble ComingThis started life as a slow post-rock style bass-led instrumental piece, all incidental noises, open strings and so forth. It kinda changed direction before I even started recording. Download for free on The Artist Union
That's the Message
That's the MessageThis piece, number 24, started off inspired by Black Heart Procession, but then traveled through Gravenhurst and latter day Nick Cave. Once again, it's a bit dark. Becca Allen joined in on backing vocals and autoharp. Download for free on The Artist Union
- Commer Knocker
TK MadrigalThis is much more sonically dense than it sounds, I think. Possibly the homogeneity of the background sound becomes all-consuming rather than deafening. Lots of people shopping, lots of people buying lots of things.
Word SongI thought I'd give up using instruments and see how that went. Not too badly, it turns out. Obliquely, I believe this piece may also be part of the spy-noir movie soundtrack, 'cos Sump is definitely in this one and he's definitely on the pointed end of the stick. Download for free on The Artist Union
- It Came From Below
- Cheesecloth Redux
The InteriorThis is another piece from the dystopian noir. In the scene that features this music Sump is driving, it is dusk, it is still too hot and he is having difficulty coming to terms with the lives he has taken. Download for free on The Artist Union
- Tiny Monsters (1000 FM)
Annerton PitI'm not sure what to say about this piece; I wanted to wrong-foot the listener then leave them feeling uncomfortable in the dusk in a vaguely familiar place. Download for free on The Artist Union
Doctor Swagger and the Diary of a Coconut
Doctor Swagger and the Diary of a CoconutI had a big dirty groove, then I found a bass patch called The Ox. It all seemed propitious. My good friend Steven McKnight gave me the story, an excerpt from his Diary of a Coconut, and some tasty guitar solos.
A Hand in the Dark
A Hand in the DarkAiming for a little horror, a little of the Electrician. Vocals by Rebecca Allen, nylon guitar by Steven McKnight. I'm calling this genre "creepy-little-girl-core" Download for free on The Artist Union
Notes on Paper
Notes on PaperInspired by an article about completing a synthesizer designed by Daphne Oram, I started playing with a couple of pieces of software I've been neglecting, Phonopaper and Audiopaint. Both of them work in similar ways and on similar sources, but each is subtly different, especially since Phonopaper can work on live video input. The image for this piece includes the images I used as generative sources. The article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-36651270
Rained OffRain - it's what's for dinner.
Demo ModeI made a collection of field recordings at EuroCraic, a Eurorack users event in Dublin last weekend. I pieced this track together from the various bits of gear being put through their paces by owners and visitors alike.
IntractableFor the big four-0, I started with a 3-track vocal line, then this happened. I thought I was building the basis for a double-bass improvisation, but adding anything else felt like overkill.
In My Golden Chair
In My Golden ChairThis is a further section of soundtrack for my sci-fi noir movie. Things have taken a surreal twist and all is revealed to Sump, just when he's reached the point where none of it matters to him at all.
Colour Out of Space
Colour Out of SpaceKeeping it simple, keeping it spacious.
Eyes Like Walls
Eyes Like WallsVisiting themes of loss, resignation and out-of-body experiences for week 44.
Their Plan for Us
Their Plan for UsAm mad or going mad.
The Click and Rattle of the Abacus
The Click and Rattle of the AbacusI have the strangest feeling that I'm writing either a trilogy, a song cycle or a concept album, and that this is part of it.
- Exit Theme: Slowly Walk Away
The Cave of Pianos
The Cave of PianosThis week's piece is a collaborative work with the group A.R.C.; drums, home-made electronics, euro-rack synths, C-Sound, electric bass and double bass. We performed this on the evening of Wednesday 21st September. A.R.C. features Saul Rayson, Barry Cullen and me.
Platonic SandsEnjoying the learning curve using a tracker while channelling Krautrock.
Holy FoolI decided to strap them on with this tune. There may be a slight Horslips reference and possibly a slightly less subtle 'DC reference at the end. Plus me getting all stentorian on it. One of my favourite choruses, it turned out.
Going for a Pint with Sandi Toksvig
Going for a Pint with Sandi ToksvigI recorded an improvisation, cleaned it up and edited it a bit then went to work with some extracts from previous weeks' pieces in order to build up the drone. Guitar by Steve McKnight and vocals by Becca Allen.
Trenton, New Jersey
Trenton, New JerseyI pushed the boat out this week, since this piece sees the completion of my Song a Week for a Year challenge. I reached towards realisation of that apocalyptic vision I've always had and I'm satisfied that this song approaches it. Vocals were very kindly performed by Martin Byrne https://soundcloud.com/djmcflymo
The Handmade Arpeggio
The Handmade ArpeggioI created a database of keys and wrote a script that outputs a note and octave value for a given key and interval, then I generated three sets of sixty four random numbers between 1 and 28. I used SunVox to create each arpeggio, the Cubase to build the sequence, add FX and master.
The SkitteringMoar processed double bass.
Isolation Tank Blues
Isolation Tank BluesHaving a morbid week? Me too. I processed the vocals a little to try and bring some seasickness and oppressive atmosphere to the fore. Funny thing, though, as I was concentrating on getting the two vocal parts just slightly mismatched in their phrases, I forgot a number of key lyrics. So - another one for the "let's fix that when I rerecord it for the album" pile.
They Return to Claim What is Theirs
They Return to Claim What is TheirsI have finally completed my trilogy.
Loaded DiceThis track I blame entirely on a new guitar and playing with reverbs...
The Grunderhunter (Slight Return)
The Grunderhunter (Slight Return)New rhythm guitar parts for the verses, a complete new bass part, a completely new drum module and a new mix. Playing through an amp again is like falling in love with guitar all over again! The original version is here: https://soundcloud.com/mysterioso/the-grunderhunter