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Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

Studio album by The Beatles

Released 1 June 1967

Recorded 6 December 1966 – 21 April 1967, Abbey Road and Regent Sound studios, London, England, United Kingdom

Genre Rock

Length 39:42

Label Parlophone

Producer George Martin

Professional reviews

Allmusic link

Blender link

Robert Christgau (A) link

Crawdaddy! Issue 1.11 1967

Pitchfork Media (10.0/10.0) 2009

Q link

Rolling Stone [1]

 

The Beatles chronology

Revolver

(1966) Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

(1967) Magical Mystery Tour

(1967)

 

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is the eighth studio album by the English rock group The Beatles, released in June 1967.

 

Recorded over a 129-day period beginning in December 1966, Sgt. Pepper sees the band exploring further the experimentation of their previous album, Revolver (1966).

 

Making use of orchestras, hired musicians and innovative production techniques, the album incorporates elements of genres such as music hall, jazz, rock and roll, western classical and traditional Indian music; its lyrics deal particularly with themes of childhood and everyday life.

 

Sgt. Pepper is a loose concept album that sees The Beatles performing as the fictitious band of the album's title.

 

The cover art, depicting the band posing in front of a collage of famous individuals, has itself been widely acclaimed and imitated.

 

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was a commercial success, spending a total of 27 weeks at the top of the UK Album Chart and 15 weeks at number one on the American Billboard 200.

 

A defining album in the emerging psychedelic rock style, Sgt. Pepper was critically acclaimed upon release and won four Grammy awards in 1968.

 

Often recognised by prominent critics and publications as one of the most influential albums in the history of popular music, Sgt. Pepper frequently ranks at or near the top of published lists of the greatest albums of all time. In 2003, the album was placed at number 1 in the Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

 

Background

 

When Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was being recorded, "Beatlemania" was waning.

 

The Beatles had grown tired of touring and had stopped touring in August 1966.

 

After one particular concert, while being driven away in the back of a small van, the four of them—including Paul McCartney, who was perhaps the most in favour of continuing to tour—decided that it was enough.[1]

 

From that point on, the Beatles became an entirely studio-based band.

 

For the first time in their careers, the band had more than ample time with which to prepare their next record.

 

As EMI's premier act and Britain's most successful pop group they had almost unlimited access to Abbey Road Studios.

 

All four band members had already developed a preference for long, late night sessions, although they were still extremely efficient and highly disciplined in their studio habits.

 

George Harrison, the lead guitarist of the Beatles, traveled to India to continue to develop his sitar playing at the invitation of Ravi Shankar. Harrison brought back with him Indian culture and music.[2]

 

Recording for the album began in late 1966 and early 1967 with two songs that were ultimately dropped from Sgt. Pepper, "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane".

 

When Beatles manager Brian Epstein decided that a new single was needed,[3] the two songs were issued as a double-A-sided single in February 1967.[4] In keeping with the group's usual practice, the single tracks were not included on the LP (a decision George Martin states he now regrets).[3]

 

They were released only as a single in the UK at the time, but were included as part of the American LP version of Magical Mystery Tour (which was issued as a six-track double EP in Britain).

 

The Harrison composition "Only a Northern Song" was also recorded during the Pepper sessions but did not see release until January 1969 when the soundtrack album for the animated feature Yellow Submarine was issued.

 

Concept

 

With Sgt. Pepper, the Beatles wanted to create a record that could, in effect, tour for them — an idea they had already explored with the promotional film-clips made over the previous years, intended to promote them in the United States when they were not touring there.

 

McCartney decided that he should create fictitious characters for each band member and record an album that would be a performance by that fictitious band.

 

This "alter-ego group" gave the Beatles the freedom to experiment with songs.[1]

 

The Beatles' fame motivated them to grow moustaches and beards and even longer hair, and was an inspiration for the disguise of their flamboyant Sgt. Pepper costumes.

 

McCartney was well known for going out in public in disguise and all four had used aliases for travel bookings and hotel reservations.

 

The album starts with the title song, which introduces Sgt. Pepper's band itself; this song segues into a sung introduction for bandleader "Billy Shears" (Starr), who performs "With a Little Help from My Friends".

 

A reprise version of the title song was also recorded, and appears on side two of the original album (just prior to the climactic "A Day in the Life"), creating a "book-ending" effect.

 

However, the Beatles effectively abandoned the concept after recording the first two songs and the reprise.

 

Lennon was unequivocal in stating that the songs he wrote for the album had nothing to do with the Sgt. Pepper concept.

 

Since the other songs on the album are actually unrelated, one might be tempted to conclude that the album does not express an overarching theme.

 

However, the cohesive structure and careful sequencing of and transitioning between songs on the album, as well as the use of the Sgt. Pepper framing device, have led the album to be widely acknowledged as an early and ground-breaking example of the concept album.

 

Before beginning work on Sgt. Pepper, the Beatles began work on a series of songs that were to form an album thematically linked to childhood and everyday life.[5]

 

The first fruits of this exercise, "Penny Lane" and "Strawberry Fields Forever", were released as a double-A single after EMI and Epstein pressured George Martin for a released single.[6]

 

Once the singles were released the concept was abandoned in favour of Pepper.[5]

 

However, traces of this initial idea survive in the lyrics to several songs on the album ("A Day in the Life", "Lovely Rita", "Good Morning, Good Morning", "She's Leaving Home", "Getting Better", and "When I'm Sixty-Four"), and, it could be argued, provide more of a unifying theme for the album than that of the Pepper concept itself.

 

Recording

 

Since the introduction of magnetic recording tape in 1949, multitrack recording had been developed.

 

By 1967 all of the Sgt. Pepper tracks could be recorded at Abbey Road using mono, stereo and four-track recorders.

 

Although eight-track tape recorders were already available in the US, the first eight-tracks were not operational in commercial studios in London until late 1967, shortly after Sgt. Pepper was released.

 

Like its predecessors, the recording made extensive use of the technique known as bouncing down (also called reduction mixes), in which a number of tracks were recorded across the four tracks of one recorder, which were then mixed and dubbed down onto one track of the master four-track machine.

 

This enabled the Abbey Road engineers to give the Beatles a virtual multi-track studio.

 

Magnetic tape had also led to innovative use of instruments and production effects, notably the tape-based keyboard sampler, the Mellotron, effects like flanging and phasing, as well as a greatly improved system for creating echo and reverberation.

 

The Beatles also used new modular effects units like the wah-wah pedal and fuzzbox, which they augmented with their own experimental ideas, such as running voices and instruments through a Leslie speaker.

 

Another important sonic innovation was the direct input (DI) technique, in which guitars could be recorded by plugging them directly into an amplifying circuit in the recording console.

 

While the still often-used technique of recording through an amplifier with a microphone sounds more natural, this setup provided a radically different presence in bass guitar sound versus the old method.

 

But the most frequently used method was to record the bass last, after all the other recording was done, by placing the amplifier in the centre of the studio and placing the microphone two or three feet from the source.

 

Several then-new production effects feature extensively on the recordings.

 

One of the most important was automatic double tracking (ADT), a system that used tape recorders to create an instant and simultaneous doubling of a sound.

 

Although it had long been recognised that using multitrack tape to record "doubled" lead vocals produced a greatly enhanced sound (especially with weaker singers), it had always been necessary to record such vocal tracks twice, a task which was both tedious and exacting.

 

ADT was invented specially for the Beatles by EMI engineer Ken Townsend in 1966, mainly at the behest of Lennon, who hated tracking sessions and regularly expressed a desire for a technical solution to the problem.

 

ADT quickly became a near-universal recording practice in popular music.

 

Producer George Martin, having a bit of fun at John Lennon's expense, described the new technique to an inquisitive Lennon as a "double-bifurcated sploshing flange".

 

The anecdote explains one variation of how the term "flanging" came to be for this recording effect.[7]

 

Also important was varispeeding, the technique of recording various tracks on a multi-track tape at slightly different tape speeds.

 

The Beatles use this effect extensively on their vocals in this period.

 

The speeding up of vocals became a widespread technique in pop production.

 

The Beatles also used the effect on portions of their backing tracks (as on "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds") to give them a "thicker" and more diffuse sound.

 

In another innovation, British pressings of the album (in its original LP form that was later released on CD) end in an unusual way, beginning with a 15-kilohertz high-frequency tone (put on the album at Lennon's suggestion and said to be "especially intended to annoy your dog"), followed by an endless loop of laughter and gibberish made by the runout groove looping back into itself.

 

The loop (but not the tone) made its U.S. debut on the 1980 Rarities compilation, titled "Sgt. Pepper Inner Groove". However, it is only featured as a 2-second fragment at the end of side 2 rather than an actual loop in the run out groove. The CD version of Sgt. Pepper's Inner Groove is actually a bit shorter than that one found on the original UK vinyl pressing.

 

The sound in the loop is also the subject of much controversy, being widely interpreted as some kind of secret message.

 

McCartney later told his biographer Barry Miles that in the summer of 1967 a group of kids came up to him complaining about a lewd message hidden in it when played backwards.

 

He took them to his house to play the record backwards to them, and it turned out that the passage sounded very much like ...........................

 

McCartney recounted to Miles that his immediate reaction had been, "Oh my God!"[3] It has also been interpreted as "Will Paul come back as Superman?", another clue for the Paul is dead urban legend.[8]

 

However, it seems that in reality it is nothing more than a few random samples and tape edits played backwards.

 

The loop is re-created on the CD version which plays for a few seconds, then fades out. Although most of the content of the runout groove is impossible to decipher, it is possible to distinguish a sped-up voice (possibly McCartney's) actually reciting the phrase "never could see any other way".

 

Played backwards, the last element of the original LP loop that is Sgt. Pepper's Inner Groove appears to be George Harrison saying "Epstein" (obviously missing from the CD version).

 

Some tension and discord took place during the recording sessions. One instance involved "She's Leaving Home", when an impatient McCartney, frustrated by Martin's unavailability, hired freelance arranger Mike Leander to arrange the string section — the first of only two occasions during the group's entire career that he worked with another arranger (the other was in connection with some backing orchestration used in the Magical Mystery Tour film (12 October 1967 session; see Lewisohn), which were also arranged by Leander).

 

Harrison also became alienated by McCartney's growing dominance in the studio, particularly when McCartney re-recorded the guitar solos for the album's title track.

 

The Beatles were present during the mixing of the album in mono and the LP was originally released as such alongside a stereo mix prepared by Abbey Road engineers led by Geoff Emerick; the Beatles themselves did not attend the mixing of the stereo version.

 

(The mono version is now out of print on vinyl, but was re-released on CD as part of the Beatles in Mono box set on 9 September 2009 worldwide)

 

The two mixes are fundamentally different.

 

For example, the stereo mix of "She's Leaving Home" was mixed at a slower speed than the original recording and therefore plays at a slower tempo and at a lower pitch than the original recording. Conversely, the mono version of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" is slightly slower than the stereo version and features much heavier flanging and reverb effects.

 

McCartney's yelling voice in the coda section of "Sgt. Pepper (Reprise)" (just before the segue into "A Day in the Life") can plainly be heard in the mono version, but is nearly inaudible in the stereo version. The mono version of the song also features drums that open with much more presence and force, as they are turned well up in the mix. Also in the stereo mix, the famous segue at the end of "Good Morning Good Morning" (the chicken-clucking sound which becomes a guitar noise) is timed differently and a crowd noise tape comes in later during the intro to "Sgt. Pepper (Reprise)".

 

Other variations between the two mixes include louder laughter at the end of the mono mix of "Within You Without You," a gush of laughter during the intro of the reprise version of the title track and a colder, echo-less ending on the mono version of "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!".

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4hip3wrEDY&feature=fvw

 

Music

Sgt. Pepper features elaborate arrangements — for example, the clarinet ensemble on "When I'm Sixty-Four" — and extensive use of studio effects including echo, reverberation and reverse tape effects. Many of these effects were devised in collaboration with producer George Martin and his team of engineers.

 

By the time the Beatles recorded the album their musical interests had grown from their simple R&B, pop, and rock and roll beginnings to incorporate a variety of new influences. They had become familiar with a wide range of instruments such as the Hammond organ and electric piano; their instrumentation now covered a wider range including strings, brass, woodwind, percussion, and even some exotic instruments such as the sitar. McCartney, although unable to read music, had scored a recent British film The Family Way (see The Family Way soundtrack) with the assistance of producer/arranger George Martin, which earned him a prestigious Ivor Novello award. McCartney came to be greatly influenced by the avant garde composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, whom he wanted to include on the cover.

 

Another example of the album's unusual production is John Lennon's song "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!", which closes side 1 of the album.

 

The lyrics were adapted almost word for word from an old circus poster which Lennon had bought at an antique shop in Kent the day the Beatles had been filming the promotional clip for Strawberry Fields Forever there.

 

The flowing sound collage that gives the song its distinctive character was created by Martin and his engineers, who collected recordings of calliopes and fairground organs, which were then cut into strips of various lengths, thrown into a box, mixed up and edited together in random order, creating a long loop which was mixed in during final production.

 

The opening track of side two, "Within You Without You", is unusually long for a 'pop' recording of the day, and features only George Harrison, on vocals, sitar and acoustic guitar, with all other instruments being played by a group of London-based Indian musicians.

 

These deviations from the traditional rock and roll band formula were facilitated by the Beatles' decision not to tour, by their ability to hire top-rate session musicians, and by Harrison's burgeoning interest in India and Indian music, which led him to take lessons from sitar master Ravi Shankar.

 

Harrison's fascination with Indian music is further evidenced by the use of a tambura on several tracks, including "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" as well as "Getting Better".

 

This album also makes heavy use of keyboard instruments. Grand piano is used on tracks such as "A Day in the Life", along with Lowrey organ on "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds".

 

A harpsichord can be heard on "Fixing a Hole", and a harmonium was played by George Martin on "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite". Electric piano, upright piano, Hammond organ, glockenspiel and Mellotron are all heard on the record.

 

The thunderous piano chord that dramatically concludes "A Day in the Life", and the album, was produced by assembling three grand pianos in the studio and playing an E chord on each simultaneously.

 

Together on cue Lennon, Starr, McCartney and assistant Mal Evans hammered the keys on the assembled pianos and held the chord.

 

The sound from the pianos was then mixed up with compression and increasing gain on the volume to draw out the sound to maximum sustain.[9]

 

Possible drug references

 

Concerns that lyrics in Sgt. Pepper referred to recreational drug use led to several songs from the album being banned by the BBC and criticised in other quarters.

 

The album's closing track, "A Day in the Life", includes the phrase "I'd love to turn you on".

 

The BBC banned the song from airplay on the basis of this line, claiming it could "encourage a permissive attitude toward drug-taking".

 

Both Lennon and McCartney denied any drug-related interpretation of the song.[10]

 

The song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" also became the subject of speculation regarding its meaning, as many believed that the words of the chorus were code for LSD. The BBC used this as their basis for banning the song from British radio. Again, John Lennon consistently denied this interpretation of the song, maintaining that the song describes a surreal dream scape inspired by a picture drawn by his son Julian.[11] However, during a newspaper interview in 2004, McCartney was quoted as saying:

 

“ "Lucy in the Sky", that's pretty obvious.

 

There's others that make subtle hints about drugs, but, you know, it's easy to overestimate the influence of drugs on the Beatles' music.

 

Just about everyone was doing drugs in one form or another and we were no different, but the writing was too important for us to mess it up by getting off our heads all the time.[12] ”

 

Album cover

 

Main article: List of images on the cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

The Grammy Award-winning album packaging was art-directed by Robert Fraser, designed by Peter Blake and his wife Jann Haworth, and photographed by Michael Cooper.

 

It featured a colourful collage of life-sized cardboard models of famous people on the front of the album cover and lyrics printed on the back cover, the first time this had been done on an English pop LP.[13]

 

The Beatles themselves, in the guise of the Sgt. Pepper band, were dressed in custom-made military-style outfits made of satin dyed in day-glo colours.

 

The suits were designed by Manuel Cuevas.[14]

 

Among the insignia on their uniforms are:

 

MBE medals on McCartney's and Harrison's jackets.

 

MBEs had been awarded to all four Beatles.

 

The Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom, on Lennon's right sleeve

 

Ontario Provincial Police flash on McCartney's sleeve

 

Art director Robert Fraser was a prominent London art dealer who ran his own gallery and sponsored exhibitions at the Indica Gallery, through which he had become a close friend of McCartney, and it was at his strong urging that the group abandoned their original cover design, a psychedelic painting by The Fool.

 

The Fool's design for the inner sleeve was, however, used for the first few pressings.

 

Fraser was one of the leading champions of modern art in Britain in the 1960s and after.

 

He argued strongly that the Fool artwork was not well-executed and that the design would soon be dated.

 

He convinced McCartney to abandon it, and offered to art-direct the cover; it was Fraser's suggestion to use an established fine artist and he introduced the band to a client, noted British "pop" artist Peter Blake, who, in collaboration with his wife, created the famous cover collage, known as "People We Like".

 

According to Blake, the original concept was to create a scene that showed the Sgt. Pepper band performing in a park; this gradually evolved into its final form, which shows the Beatles, as the Sgt. Pepper band, surrounded by a large group of their heroes, rendered as lifesized cut-out figures.

 

Also included were wax-work figures of the Beatles as they appeared in the early '60s, borrowed from Madame Tussauds.

 

In keeping with the park concept, the foreground of the scene is a floral display incorporating the word "Beatles" spelt out in flowers.

 

Also present are several affectations from the Beatles' homes including small statues belonging to Lennon and Harrison, a small portable TV set and a trophy.

 

A young delivery boy who provided the flowers for the photo session was allowed to contribute a guitar made of yellow hyacinths.

 

Although it has long been rumoured that some of the plants in the arrangement were cannabis plants, this is untrue.

 

At the edge of the scene is a Shirley Temple doll wearing a sweater in homage to the Rolling Stones (who would return the tribute by having the Beatles hidden in the cover of their own Their Satanic Majesties Request LP later that year).

 

The collage depicted more than 70 famous people, including writers, musicians, film stars and (at Harrison's request) a number of Indian gurus.

 

The final grouping included Marlene Dietrich, Carl Gustav Jung, W.C. Fields, Diana Dors, Bob Dylan, Marilyn Monroe, Aldous Huxley, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Sigmund Freud, Aleister Crowley, Edgar Allan Poe, Karl Marx, Oscar Wilde, William S. Burroughs, Marlon Brando, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, and controversial comedian Lenny Bruce.

 

Also included was the image of the original Beatles bass player, the late Stuart Sutcliffe.

 

Pete Best said in a later NPR interview that Lennon borrowed family medals from his mother Mona for the shoot, on condition that he did not lose them.

 

Adolf Hitler, Mahatma Gandhi, and Jesus Christ were requested by Lennon, but ultimately they were left out, even though a cutout of Hitler was in fact made.[4]

  

The gatefoldA photo also exists of a rejected cardboard printout with a cloth draped over its head; its identity is unknown.

 

Even now, co-creator Jann Haworth regrets that so few women were included.[15]

 

The entire list of people on the cover can be found at List of images on the cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

 

The collage created legal worries for EMI's legal department, which had to contact the people who were still living to obtain their permission.

 

Mae West initially refused — famously asking "What would I be doing in a lonely hearts club?" — but she relented after the Beatles sent her a personal letter.

 

Actor Leo Gorcey requested payment for inclusion on the cover, so his image was removed. An image of Mohandas Gandhi was also removed at the request of EMI (it was airbrushed out), who had a branch in India and were fearful that it might cause offence there.

 

Lennon had asked to include images of Jesus Christ and Adolf Hitler, though neither was included through fear of causing offence.

 

Nonetheless a cutout was made of Hitler and can be clearly seen leaning against the wall in pictures of the photographic session.

 

Most of the suggestions for names to be included came from McCartney, Lennon and Harrison, with additional suggestions from Blake and Fraser (Starr demurred and let the others choose).

 

Beatles manager Brian Epstein had serious misgivings, stemming from the scandalous U.S. Butcher Cover controversy the previous year, going so far as to give a note reading "Brown paper bags for Sgt. Pepper" to Nat Weiss as his last wish.

 

The collage was assembled by Blake and his wife during the last two weeks of March 1967 at the London studio of photographer Michael Cooper, who took the cover shots on 30 March 1967 in a three-hour evening session.

 

The package was a "gatefold" album cover, that is, the album could be opened like a book to reveal a large picture of the Fab Four in costume against a yellow background.

 

The reason for the gate fold was that the Beatles originally planned to fill two LPs for the release.

 

The designs had already been approved and sent to be printed when they realized they would only have enough material for one LP.

 

Originally, the group had wanted the album to include a package with badges, pencils and other small Sgt. Pepper goodies but this proved far too costly to realise. Instead, the album came with a page of cardboard cut-outs carrying the description:

  

The final bill for the cover was £2,868 5s 3d (equivalent to £37,531 today), a staggering sum for the time. It has been estimated that this was 100 times the average cost for an album cover in those days.[16]

 

Release and reception

 

Upon release, Sgt. Pepper received both popular and critical acclaim.

 

Various reviews appearing in the mainstream press and trade publications throughout June 1967, immediately after the album's release, were generally positive

 

. In The Times prominent critic Kenneth Tynan described Sgt. Pepper as "a decisive moment in the history of Western civilization".

 

Others including Richard Poirier, and Geoffrey Stokes were similarly expansive in their praise, Stokes noting, "listening to the Sgt. Pepper album one thinks not simply of the history of popular music but the history of this century."

 

One notable critic who did not like the album was Richard Goldstein, a critic for The New York Times, who wrote, "Like an over-attended child, "Sergeant Pepper" is spoiled.

 

It reeks of horns and harps, harmonica quartets, assorted animal noises, and a 41-piece orchestra", and added that it was an "album of special effects, dazzling but ultimately fraudulent"[17].

 

On the other hand, Goldstein called "A Day in the Life" "a deadly earnest excursion in emotive music with a chilling lyric", and that "it stands as one of the most important Lennon-McCartney compositions, and it is a historic Pop event."[17]

 

Frank Zappa accused the Beatles of co-opting the flower power aesthetic for monetary gain, saying in a Rolling Stone article that he felt "they were only in it for the money".

 

That criticism later became the title of the Mothers of Invention album (We're Only in It for the Money), which mocked Sgt. Pepper with a similar album cover.

 

Ironically, Paul McCartney has said Sgt. Pepper was influenced by Zappa's 1966 debut album Freak Out!", considered by some as the first rock concept album.[18]

 

Within days of its release, Jimi Hendrix was performing the title track in concert, first for an audience that included Harrison and McCartney, who were greatly impressed by his unique version of their song and his ability to learn it so quickly[19].

 

Also, Australian band The Twilights — who had obtained a copy of the LP from London by air — wowed audiences in Australia with note-perfect live renditions of the entire album, weeks before it was even released there[citation needed].

 

(Release of the album in Australia was delayed by the Six Day War between Israel and Egypt.

 

The ship carrying the gatefold covers, printed in Britain by Garrod & Lofthouse, had to take a longer route when the war temporarily closed the Suez Canal.)[citation needed]

 

The chart performance of the album was even stronger than critical reception. In the UK it debuted at #8 before the album was even released (on 1 June 1967) and the next week peaked at #1 where it stayed for 23 consecutive weeks.

 

Then it was knocked off the top for The Sound of Music on the week ending 18 November 1967. Eventually it spent more weeks at the top, including the competitive Christmas week. When the CD edition was released on 1 June 1987, it made #3. In June 1992, the CD was re-promoted to commemorate its 25th Anniversary, and charted at #6. In 2007, commemorating 40 years of its release, Sgt. Pepper again re-entered the charts at #47 in the UK. In all, the album spent a total of 201 weeks on the UK charts.

 

The album won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year, the first rock album to do so, and Best Contemporary Album in 1968. U.S. sales for the album totalled 11 million units, with 30 million worldwide.

 

The album won Best British Album at the first Brit Awards in 1977.

 

Planned TV movie

 

On 10 February 1967, during the orchestral recording sessions for "A Day in the Life", six cameramen filmed the chaotic events with the purpose of using the footage for a planned but unfinished Sgt. Pepper television special.

 

The TV special was to have been written by Ian Dallas and directed by Keith Green.

 

The shooting schedule included all the songs from the album set to music video style scenes: for example; "Within You Without You" scenes would have been set throughout offices, factories and elevators.

 

There were even production numbers planned involving "meter maids" and "rockers". Although production was cancelled, the "A Day in the Life" footage was edited down with stock footage into a finished clip.[20]

 

This clip was not released to the public until the John Lennon documentary Imagine: John Lennon was released in 1988.

 

A more complete version was later aired on The Beatles Anthology series.

 

Legacy

 

It has been on many lists of the best rock albums,[21] including Rolling Stone, Bill Shapiro, Alternative Melbourne, Rod Underhill and VH1. In 1987 Rolling Stone named Sgt. Pepper the greatest album of the last twenty years (1967–1987).[22]

 

In 1997 Sgt. Pepper was named the number 1 greatest album of all time in a 'Music of the Millennium' poll conducted by HMV, Channel 4, The Guardian and Classic FM.

 

In 1998 Q magazine readers placed it at number 7, while in 2003 the TV network VH1 placed it at number 10;[23] In 2003, the album was ranked number 1 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[1]

 

In 2006, the album was chosen by Time Magazine as one of the 100 best albums of all time.[24] In 2002, Q magazine placed it at number 13 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever.[25] In 2003, it was one of 50 recordings chosen by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry.[26]

 

It also has inspired the 1978 feature film, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, as well as a number of tribute albums.[27] The American rock band Cheap Trick performed the entire Sgt. Pepper album live in New York and released the live recording in both CD and DVD formats in September 2009, with all proceeds benefiting prostate cancer research.

 

This recording was engineered by Geoff Emerick, the original engineer for the Sgt. Pepper album. In November 2009, the entire album was made available to download for The Beatles: Rock Band on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii.

 

The game disc already had the album's title track, "With a Little Help from My Friends", "Lucy in The Sky with Diamonds", "Getting Better", and "Good Morning Good Morning" - the download provides the remaining tracks from the album.

 

Charts

Year Chart Position

1967 US Billboard 200 1

1967 UK Albums Chart 1

1967 Australian ARIA Albums Chart 1

1967 Norwegian Album Chart[28] 1

2009 Finnish Albums Chart 9[29]

 

The album entered the UK Albums Chart on 3 June 1967 and has remained there for a total of 201 weeks as of 1 July 2007. In the USA the album stayed in the Billboard 200 chart for 175 weeks.

 

[edit] Awards

[edit] Grammy Awards

Nominated for seven Grammy Awards in 1968, it would win four, including Album of the Year, the first rock/pop album to receive the honor.

 

Year Winner Award

1968 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band Album of the Year

1968 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band Best Album Cover, Graphic Arts

1968 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band Best Engineered Recording, Non-Classical

1968 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band Contemporary Album

 

[edit] Grammy Award nominations

Year Nominee Award

1968 "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" Group Vocal Performance

1968 "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" Contemporary Vocal Group

1968 "A Day in the Life" Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)

 

[edit] Track listing

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was the first Beatles album to be released with identical track listings in the United Kingdom and the United States. The American release did not originally contain the side two runout groove and inner groove sound effects that were restored for the worldwide CD issue, released 1 June 1987.

 

All songs written and composed by Lennon/McCartney except where noted.

 

Side one

 

# Title Lead vocals Length

 

1. "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" McCartney 2:02

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkfqVhXtAhg

 

2. "With a Little Help from My Friends" Starr 2:44

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIKBq9TeFlw

 

3. "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" Lennon 3:28

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0MXXs_H7Do

 

4. "Getting Better" McCartney 2:47

  

www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCcU2xfvz0o&feature=related

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCcU2xfvz0o

  

5. "Fixing a Hole" McCartney 2:36

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=RL4RFBsfjTk

 

6. "She's Leaving Home" McCartney with Lennon 3:35

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7mh0PFGpKc

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=21NLsScZXN0

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyWMRNNCiZc

 

7. "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!" Lennon 2:37

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=59ahx9ckqIw

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=q24OJm8o-eY

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VOc8sgW2tw

 

Side two

 

# Title Lead vocals Length

 

1. "Within You Without You" (George Harrison) Harrison 5:05

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=GL-s6W9WZ6o

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gi8vsISJP7I

 

2. "When I'm Sixty-Four" McCartney 2:37

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=GL-s6W9WZ6o

 

3. "Lovely Rita" McCartney 2:42

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPxeICjjhWk

 

4. "Good Morning Good Morning" Lennon 2:41

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDfTsjPWvaE

 

5. "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)" McCartney, with Harrison and Lennon 1:18

 

6. "A Day in the Life" Lennon with McCartney 5:33

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=toMTAHsz26I

 

Personnel

 

According to Mark Lewisohn[9] and Alan W. Pollack[30]

 

The Beatles

 

John Lennon – lead, harmony and background vocals; lead, rhythm and acoustic guitars; Hammond organ and piano; bass guitar; handclaps, harmonica, tape loops, sound effects and kazoo; tambourine and maracas

 

Paul McCartney – lead, harmony and background vocals; lead electric and acoustic guitars; bass guitar; piano and Hammond organ; handclaps, vocalizations, tape loops, sound effects and kazoo

 

George Harrison – lead, rhythm, acoustic and bass guitars; sitar; lead, harmony and background vocals; tamboura; harmonica and kazoo; handclaps; maracas

 

Ringo Starr – drums, congas, tambourine, maracas, handclaps and tubular bells; lead vocals; harmonica and kazoo; final piano E chord

 

Additional musicians and production

 

Neil Aspinall – tamboura and harmonica

 

Geoff Emerick – recording and mixing engineer; tape loops and sound effects

 

Mal Evans – counting, alarm clock and final piano E chord

 

Matthew Deyell – tambourine

 

George Martin – producer and mixer; tape loops and sound effects; harpsichord (on "Fixing a Hole"), harmonium, Lowry organ and glockenspiel (on "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!"), Hammond organ (on "With a Little Help from My Friends"), and piano (on "Getting Better" and the solo in "Lovely Rita"); final harmonium chord.

 

Session musicians – four French horns on "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", (Neill Sanders, James W. Buck, John Burden, Tony Randall),[31] arranged and conducted by Martin and McCartney; string section and harp on "She's Leaving Home", arranged by Mike Leander and conducted by Martin; harmonium, tabla, sitar, dilruba, eight violins and four cellos on "Within You, Without You", arranged and conducted by Harrison and Martin; clarinet trio on "When I'm Sixty Four", as arranged and conducted by Martin and McCartney; saxophone sextet on "Good Morning, Good Morning", arranged and conducted by Martin and Lennon; and forty-piece orchestra (strings, brass, woodwinds and percussion) on "A Day in the Life", arranged by Martin, Lennon and McCartney and conducted by Martin and McCartney

 

See also

List of best-selling albums worldwide

List of best-selling albums in the United States

Top best-selling albums by UK Chart

List of Beatles songs

[edit] Notes

^ a b c Rolling Stone 2007.

^ Glass 2001.

^ a b c Miles 1997.

^ a b Miles 1998, pp. 231.

^ a b Everett 1999, p. 99.

^ Everett 1999, p. 87.

^ Martin & Hornsby 1994.

^ recmusicbeatles.com 2009.

^ a b Lewisohn 1988.

^ Associated Press 1967.

^ BBC News 2007.

^ MSNBC 2004.

^ Ingles 2007.

^ CNN 2006.

^ highbeam.com.

^ icons.org.uk 2008.

^ a b Goldstein 1967.

^ Its Influence 2007.

^ The Beatles Anthology: Episode 6

^ Lewisohn 1996.

^ Acclaimed Music 2007.

^ Rolling Stone.

^ VH1 2007.

^ Time 2007.

^ Q 2007.

^ Library of Congress 2007.

^ CoverTogether 2009.

^ Norwegiancharts.com 2007.

^ yle.fi.

^ Pollack 2008.

^ Rees 2008.

[edit] References

"List of Sgt. Peppers Accolades". Acclaimed Music. 2007. acclaimedmusic.net/Current/A92.htm. Retrieved 19 November 2007.

"Beatles' Song Nasty". Associated Press. 8 June 1967. beatles.ncf.ca/a_day_in_the_life.html. Retrieved 14 April 2008.

"The wonderful world of Sgt Pepper". BBC News. 1 June 2007. news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6709649.stm. Retrieved 20 July 2008.

"Transcript: Glenn Beck". CNN. 8 May 2006. transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0605/08/gb.01.html. Retrieved 15 March 2007.

"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (album)". CoverTogether. 2009. www.covertogether.com/album/sgt-peppers-lonely-hearts-clu.... Retrieved 15 October 2009.

Everett, Walter (1999). The Beatles as Musicians: Revolver Through the Anthology. New York: Oxford University Press US. ISBN 0195129415.

Glass, Philip (9 December 2001). "George Harrison, World-Music Catalyst and Great-Souled Man". The New York Times. New York Times. query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C01EED9163CF93AA.... Retrieved 24 June 2008.

Goldstein, Richard (18 June 1967). "We Still Need the Beatles, but...". The New York Times.

Haber, David (2004). "The Sgt. Pepper's Album". www.beatletracks.com/btsgtppr.html. Retrieved 26 October 2004.

Ingles, Paul (1 June 2007). ""Sgt. Pepper", an Album that Shaped an Era". www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=10634329. Retrieved 14 April 2008.

"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band: The first concept album?". Its Influence. 2007. www.icons.org.uk/theicons/collection/sgt-pepper/biography.... Retrieved 19 November 2007.

Lewisohn, Mark (1988). The Beatles Recording Sessions. New York: Harmony Books. ISBN 0-517-57066-1.

Lewisohn, Mark (1996). The Complete Beatles Chronicle. Chancellor Press. ISBN 0-7607-0327-2.

"The National Recording Registry 2003". Library of Congress. 2007. www.loc.gov/rr/record/nrpb/nrpb-2003reg.html. Retrieved 19 November 2007.

Martin, George; Hornsby, Jeremy (1994). All You Need Is Ears. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-11482-6.

Miles, Barry (1997). Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now. MacMillan. ISBN 0805052496.

Miles, Barry; Charlesworth, Chris (1998). The Beatles: A Diary. London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 0711963150.

"Paul McCartney got no thrill from heroin". MSNBC (The Associated Press). 2 June 2004. www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5121163. Retrieved 15 March 2007.

"The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". Norwegiancharts.com. 2007. norwegiancharts.com/showitem.asp?interpret=The+Beatles&am.... Retrieved 10 November 2007.

Pollack, Alan W. (2008). "Notes on... series". www.icce.rug.nl/~soundscapes/DATABASES/AWP/awp-notes_on.s.... Retrieved 10 March 2008.

"The 100 Greatest British Albums Ever". Q. 2007. www.rocklistmusic.co.uk/qlists.html#100 Greatest British Albums. Retrieved 20 November 2007.

Rees, Jasper (2008). A Devil To Play. Harper Collins. ISBN 9780061626616.

"The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. 2007. www.rollingstone.com/news/story/6595610/1_sgt_peppers_lon.... Retrieved 19 November 2007.

"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". Rolling Stone. www.rollingstone.com/artists/thebeatles/albums/album/2209....

Spitz, Bob (2005). The Beatles. Little Brown. ISBN 0-316-80352-9.

"The All-Time 100 Albums". Time. 2007. www.time.com/time/2006/100albums/index.html. Retrieved 20 November 2007.

"2001 VH1 Cable Music Channel All Time Album Top 100". VH1. 2007. www.timepieces.nl/Top100's/2001VH1MusicRadio.html. Retrieved 19 November 2007.

"Arts: Sgt Pepper: take two; In 1967, Jann Haworth co-designed the iconic cover for Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band with her then husband, Peter Blake. Now she has revisited the idea - and this time women get a proper look-in". www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-126338075.html?refid=hbw_jz.

"Creating the Cover". 2008. www.icons.org.uk/theicons/collection/sgt-pepper/features/.... Retrieved 14 April 2008.

"Paul is dead?!?". 2009. www.recmusicbeatles.com/public/files/faqs/pid.html. Retrieved 20 August 2009.

"Suomen virallinen lista". yle.fi. www.yle.fi/lista/listat/tuote.php?id=9561.

[edit] External links

It Was 40 Years Ago Today..., an April 2007 Parade magazine article

Recording data and notes on mono/stereo mixes and remixes from the English version of the Beatles Fanclub of Norway

40th Anniversary retrospective from The Age

Preceded by

Headquarters by The Monkees Billboard 200 number-one album

1 July – 13 October 1967 Succeeded by

Ode to Billie Joe by Bobbie Gentry

Preceded by

Going Places by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass Australian Kent Music Report number-one album

5 August 1967 – 1 March 1968 Succeeded by

Their Satanic Majesties Request by The Rolling Stones

Preceded by

The Sound of Music (soundtrack) UK Albums Chart number-one album

10 June – 17 November 1967

25 November – 1 December 1967

3–9 February 1968 Succeeded by

The Four Tops Greatest Hits

by The Four Tops

[show]v • d • eThe Beatles

 

John Lennon · Paul McCartney · George Harrison · Ringo Starr

Pete Best · Stuart Sutcliffe

 

Studio albums Please Please Me · With The Beatles · A Hard Day's Night · Beatles for Sale · Help! · Rubber Soul · Revolver · Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band · The Beatles · Yellow Submarine · Abbey Road · Let It Be

 

US albums Introducing... The Beatles · Meet The Beatles! · The Beatles' Second Album · Something New · The Beatles' Story · Beatles '65 · The Early Beatles · Beatles VI · Yesterday and Today · Magical Mystery Tour · Hey Jude

 

Canadian albums Beatlemania! With The Beatles · Twist and Shout · The Beatles' Long Tall Sally

 

Extended plays (EPs) Long Tall Sally · Magical Mystery Tour

 

Post-breakup albums Live! at the Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany; 1962 · The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl · Live at the BBC · Anthology (vol. 1 · 2 · 3) · Let It Be… Naked · Love · Solo albums

 

Compilations A Collection of Beatles Oldies · The Beatles' Christmas Album · 1962–1966 · 1967–1970 · Rock 'n' Roll Music · Love Songs · Rarities (UK) · Rarities (U.S.) · The Beatles' Ballads · Reel Music · 20 Greatest Hits · Past Masters · Yellow Submarine Songtrack · 1

 

Box sets The Beatles Collection · The Beatles Box · The Beatles Box Set · The Capitol Albums (vol. 1 · 2) · The Beatles in Mono · The Beatles Stereo Box Set

 

Filmography A Hard Day's Night · Help! · Magical Mystery Tour · Yellow Submarine · Let It Be

 

Videography The Beatles: The First U.S. Visit · The Beatles at Shea Stadium · The Compleat Beatles · The Beatles Anthology · All Together Now

 

Concert tours The Beatles' 1964 world tour · The Beatles' 1965 European tour · The Beatles' 1965 U.S. tour · List of The Beatles concerts

 

Discography List of The Beatles songs · The Beatles bootleg recordings · The Beatles outtakes

 

Beatle wives

and girlfriends Jane Asher · Barbara Bach · Pattie Boyd · Olivia Harrison · Astrid Kirchherr · Cynthia Lennon · Linda McCartney · Heather Mills · Yoko Ono · May Pang · Maureen Starkey

 

Related people Neil Aspinall · Tony Barrow · Peter Brown · Eric Clapton · Dave Dexter, Jr. · Lee Eastman · Geoff Emerick · Brian Epstein · Mal Evans · Horst Fascher · Nicky Hopkins · Dick James · Allen Klein · Richard Lester · Jeff Lynne · Magic Alex · Ken Mansfield · George Martin · Giles Martin · Jimmy Nicol · Harry Nilsson · Billy Preston · Ken Scott · Ravi Shankar · Tony Sheridan · Peter Shotton · Mimi Smith · Norman Smith · Phil Spector · Rory Storm · Alistair Taylor · Derek Taylor · Chris Thomas · Klaus Voormann · Andy White · Allan Williams · Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

 

Related articles Abbey Road Studios · Apple Corps · Apple Records · The Beatles Anthology · The Beatles' breakup · Death of John Lennon · Beatles-Platz · The Beatles: Rock Band · The Beatles (TV series) · Beatlemania · British Invasion · The Ed Sullivan Show · Fifth Beatle · Harrisongs · How I Won the War · In My Life · Lennon/McCartney · List of artists who have covered The Beatles · List of songs covered by The Beatles · List of The Beatles' record sales · Love (Cirque du Soleil) · Jeff Lynne and The Beatles · Northern Songs · "Paul is dead" · The Rutles · Startling Music · Plastic Ono Band · Wings · Traveling Wilburys · The Fireman · The Dirty Mac · The Quarrymen · Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band

 

The Beatles portal

 

[show]v • d • eGrammy Award for Album of the Year

 

1959

1960s The Music from Peter Gunn · Come Dance with Me! · The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart · Judy at Carnegie Hall · The First Family · The Barbra Streisand Album · Getz/Gilberto · September of My Years · Sinatra: A Man and His Music · Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band · By the Time I Get to Phoenix

  

1970s Blood, Sweat & Tears · Bridge Over Troubled Water · Tapestry · The Concert For Bangla Desh · Innervisions · Fulfillingness' First Finale · Still Crazy After All These Years · Songs in the Key of Life · Rumours · Saturday Night Fever

  

1980s 52nd Street · Christopher Cross · Double Fantasy · Toto IV · Thriller · Can't Slow Down · True Blue · Graceland · The Joshua Tree · Faith

  

1990s Nick of Time · Back on the Block · Unforgettable... with Love · Unplugged · The Bodyguard · MTV Unplugged: Tony Bennett · Jagged Little Pill · Falling Into You · Time Out of Mind · The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

 

2000s Supernatural · Two Against Nature · O Brother, Where Art Thou? · Come Away with Me · Speakerboxxx/The Love Below · Genius Loves Company · How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb · Taking the Long Way · River: The Joni Letters · Raising Sand

 

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sgt._Pepper's_Lonely_Hearts_Club_Band

App Store: itunes.apple.com/app/id311242073?mt=8

iPhone / iPod Touch App.

 

*

Pond:

Party (00'33)

Art Cartoon Artoon (03'16)

Pond Frog Plop (03'19)

 

Frog:

Aunt (02'16)

Uncle (01'45)

Password (03'54)

 

Plop:

Arrangement (01'48)

Chairly Blossom (05'05)

Art (00'26)

 

The mix of the sounds was conscious of japanese flower arrangement "IKEBANA". Please check it by headphones. At first, Delaware post centrally all the elements of the sound - base guitar, guitar, drums, four vocals. Next, they arranged depth and the angle of the sound, the pitch of the position, volume, echo and the reverb. And pursued the beauty of the asymmetry not symmetry. Pond Frog Plop is minimal English traslation of Basho's famous haiku.

 

*

****************************************************************** Art Cartoon Artoon

 

C a r t o o n, A r t, A r t o o n (voice application).........

 

Artoon toon artoon Artoon toon artoon

Artoon toon artoon Artoon toon artoon

Let's go artootoo artootoo artoon

Let's go artootoo artootoo artoon

 

Artoon toon artoon Artoon toon artoon

Artoon toon artoon Artoon toon artoon

Let's go artootoo artootoo artoon

Let's go artootoo artootoo artoon

 

C a r t o o n, A r t, A r t o o n (voice application).........

Louis Artoonstrong, Artoon Blakey, The Rolling Artoons,

Artoon,Wind and Fire, Paul McCArtooney

 

Ar......................toon Ar......................toon

Ar......................toon Ar......................toon

Let's go.....................................toon

Let's go.....................................toon

 

Artoon toon artoon Artoon toon artoon

Artoon toon artoon Artoon toon artoon

Let's go artootoo artootoo artoon

Let's go artootoo artootoo artoon

 

C a r t o o n, A r t, A r t o o n (voice application).........

  

****************************************************************** Pond Frog Plop

 

Pond Frog Plop:

A game by Delaware

This is a three words imagination game

For ages five and up

One or three players, usually one

You need no money no equipment

Let's Play the Pond Frog Plop!

 

Come on babe, Pond Frog Plop

Come on honey, Pond Frog Plop

Come on let's go, Pond Frog Plop

Come on come on, Pond Frog Plop

Come on baby, do the Pond Frog Plop

 

You need no money no tool

You need only three words

You can do it while swimmin'

You can play with yourself

Come on baby, do the Pond Frog Plop

 

Rainy day, Pond Frog Plop

Cloudy day, Pond Frog Plop

Foggy day, Pond Frog Plop

Sunny day, Pond Frog Plop

Come on baby, do the Pond Frog Plop

 

Yeah, let's play the Pond Frog Plop!

 

Pond Frog Plop game, Example one:

SPA...., Superman...., SPLASH........

SPA...., Superman...., SPLASH........Pond Frog Plop

Example two:

AMAZON...., PIRANHA...., ORDER........

AMAZON...., PIRANHA...., ORDER........Pond Frog Plop

Example three:

RIVER...., BILL...., FLOAT........

RIVER...., BILL...., FLOAT........

 

Pond Frog Plop

Pond Frog Plop

Pond Frog Plop

Pond Frog Plop

Come on baby, do the Pond Frog Plop

 

Rainy day, Pond Frog Plop

Cloudy day, Pond Frog Plop

Foggy day, Pond Frog Plop

Sunny day, Pond Frog Plop

Come on baby, do the Pond Frog Plop

 

Example four:

PARK...., LOVERS...., MOSQUITO........

Come on baby, do the Pond Frog Plop

 

Hmm..., that's funny, Pond Frog Plop

Just do it, Pond Frog Plop

You can change, Pond Frog Plop

Think different, Pond Frog Plop

Come on baby, do the Pond Frog Plop

 

Yeah, let's play the Pond Frog Plop!

Hmm..., that's funny!

 

Pond Frog Plop game example five:

SHADOW...., Chiwawa..., CHASE........

SHADOW...., Chiwawa..., CHASE........Pond Frog Plop

  

Pond Frog Plop:

For ages five and up

A game by Delaware

  

****************************************************************** Aunt

 

We can talk

We can dance

We can think

We can dream

 

Say it low, I'm human being and I'm proud

Say it low, I'm human being and I'm proud

Say it low, I'm human being and I'm proud

 

We can read

We can smile

We can imagine

We can do the tighten up, a-ha?

 

Say it low, I'm human being and I'm proud

 

White, brown, yellow & black,

All together now!

Say it low, I'm human being and I'm proud

Say it low, I'm human being and I'm proud

  

****************************************************************** Uncle

 

We can design

We can moonwalk

We can apologize

We can have patience, a-ha?

 

Say it low, I'm human being and I'm proud

Say it low, I'm human being and I'm proud

Say it low, I'm human being and I'm proud

One more time

Say it low, I'm human being and I'm proud

 

A-ha? a-ha? a-ha?

We can apologize

We can have patience, a-ha?

  

****************************************************************** Password (Four Digits).

 

"Password you entered was incorrect. Please try again."

 

"Please try again."... one two three four, one two three four

"Please try again."... one one one one, nine nine nine nine

"Please try again."... eins zwei drei vier, ● ● ● ●

"Please try again."... my girlfriend's birthday, my boyfriend's birthday

 

"Password you entered was incorrect...."

And try and try, try try try, try again, I can't get no, I can't get me no, hey hey hey!

 

"Please try again."... moja, mbili, tatu, nne

"Please touch again."... ichi ni san shi, go roku shichi hachi

"Please push again."... one two three four, go go go go

"Please try again."... My girlfriend's birthday, my boyfriend's birthday

 

"Password you entered was incorrect...."

And try and try, try try try, try again, I can't get no, I can't get me no,

And try and try, try try try, try again, I can't get no, I can't get me no,

I forgot my, password I can't, remember my my, password I can't

Pass word is my life, pass word is my wife

 

"Please try again.".

 

"Password you entered was not so good...."

And try and try, try try try, try again,

I can't get no, I can't get me no, go go go!

 

"Please try again."

"Please touch again."... en to tre fire

"Please push again."... one one one one, nine nine nine nine

"Please hit again."... Want chew tree fork, haiku sex heaven ape

"Please try again."... My girlfriend's birthday, my boyfriend's birthday

 

"Password you entered was incorrect...."

And try and try, try try try, try again, I can't get no, I can't get me no, hey hey hey!

 

"Please try again."... one two three four, un deux trois quatre

"Please don't tease me."

  

****************************************************************** Chairy Blossom

 

Chairy Blossom A and B:

 

Armchair

Baby chair

Balance chair

Barber's chair

Bar stool

Beach chair

Bean bag

Bench

Black chair

Blue chair

Bamboo, Bubble, Butterfly

 

Chairy Philosophy One:

"The Chair Is Not A Surfboard."

 

Chairy Blossom C D E:

 

Captain's chair

Chair bed

Chesterfield

Club chair

Corner chair

Couch

Deck chair

Dentist's chair

Dining chair

Director's chair

Easy chair, Egg chair

Electric chair

 

Chairy Philosophy Two:

"To Sit Or Not To Sit, That Is The Question."

 

Chairy Blossom F G H:

 

Fighting chair

Flexible chair

Folding chair

Footstool

Friendship bench

Glenn Gould chair

Healing chair

High chair

Hypnotize sex chair, Hypnotize sex chair

 

Chairy Philosophy Three:

"Chairlie Chairplin."

 

Chairy Blossom I to M:

 

Ice cream chair, Kneeling Chair, Lambing Chair

Lawn chair, Long chair, Lounge chair

Love chair, Massage chair, Mini chair

Chairy Blossom is so beautiful!

 

Chairy Philosophy Four:

"Supersitition!"

"Sitisfaction!"

 

Chairy Blossom N to R:

 

Nursing chair

Office chair

Organic chair

Pipe

Plastics

Planter's

Pod

Poofbag

Recliner

Red chair

Revolving chair

Rocker

Chair, Chair, Chair, Chair

 

Chairy Philosophy Five:

"The Chair Is Not A Dance Floor?"

 

Chairy Blossom S and T:

 

Shower Chair, Side Chair, Spinning Chair

Slumber Chair, Sling Chair, So! fa!

Sweetheart, Swivel, Swing, Table chair

Chairy Blossom is so beautiful!

 

Chairy Philosophy Six:

"The Chair Is A Double Bed, Isn't It?"

 

Chairy Blossom W X Y Z:

 

Wheelchair

White chair

Wing chair

Wire chair

Woo!d chair

Writing armchair

X-chair

Y-chair

Yellow chair

Zaisu

Zero-Gravity Chair

 

Chairy Philosophy Seven:

"One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Sit!"

 

Thank you, MELD.

 

We Are Delaware

Bye-Bye, Sayonara

See You, Mata-Ne!

 

******************************************************************

When Doctor Who was being developed in 1963, the production staff discussed what the Doctor's time machine would look like. To keep the design within budget, it was decided to make it resemble a police box. This was explained in the context of the series as a disguise created by the ship's "chameleon circuit", a mechanism which is responsible for changing the outside appearance of the ship in order to fit in with its environment. The Ninth Doctor explains that if, for example, a TARDIS (with a working chameleon circuit) were to materialise in ancient Rome it might disguise itself as a statue on a plinth. The First Doctor explained that if it were to land in the middle of the Indian Mutiny, it might take on the appearance of a howdah (the carrier on the back of an elephant). A further premise was that the circuit was broken, explaining why it was "stuck" in that form.

 

The idea for the police-box disguise came from BBC staff writer Anthony Coburn, who rewrote the program's first episode from a draft by C. E. Webber. Coburn is believed to have conceived the time machine's external form after spotting a real police box while walking near his office on a break from writing the episode. In the first episode, An Unearthly Child, the TARDIS is first seen in a 1963 junkyard. It subsequently malfunctions, retaining the police box shape in a prehistoric landscape.

 

At the time of the series' debut in 1963, the police box was still a common fixture in British cities. It provided a direct telephone link to the local police station; the telephone was located behind a small, hinged door, making it possible to use it from the outside, while the box itself was used as a temporary office containing a desk. In "The Empty Child" (2005), the Doctor stated that the telephone is not connected to a telephone line, and in Logopolis (1981), the Master materialised his TARDIS around a normal police box while a police officer was using the telephone, causing the line to go dead. With approximately 700 (then) in London alone, the police box was a logical choice for the time machine's camouflage.[citation needed]

 

While the idea may have begun as a creative ploy by the BBC to save time and money on props, it soon became an in-joke genre convention in its own right, as the old-style police box was phased out of use. The anachronism has become more pronounced, since there has been only one police box (at Earl's Court) of that style left in Britain for some considerable time. Despite changes in the prop, the TARDIS has become the show's most consistently recognisable visual element.

 

The type of police box that the TARDIS resembled was constructed of concrete. However, the props for the television series were originally made of wood, and later on of fibreglass, for easy transportation and construction on location as well as within the confines of a studio set.

 

The dimensions and colour of the TARDIS props used in the series have changed many times, as a result of damage and the needs of the show, and none of the BBC props has been a faithful replica of the original MacKenzie Trench model. This was referenced on-screen in the episode "Blink" (2007), when the character Detective Inspector Shipton says the TARDIS "isn't a real [police box]. The phone's just a dummy, and the windows are the wrong size."

Police box mounted with a modern surveillance camera outside Earl's Court tube station in London

 

The production team conceived of the TARDIS travelling by dematerialising at one point and rematerialising elsewhere, although sometimes in the series it is shown also to be capable of conventional space travel. In the 2006 Christmas special, "The Runaway Bride", the Doctor remarks that for a spaceship, the TARDIS does remarkably little flying. The ability to travel simply by fading into and out of different locations became one of the trademarks of the show, allowing for a great deal of versatility in setting and storytelling without a large expense in special effects. The distinctive accompanying sound effect – a cyclic wheezing, groaning noise – was originally created in the BBC Radiophonic Workshop by Brian Hodgson. He produced the effect by dragging a set of house keys along the strings of an old, gutted piano. The resulting sound was then recorded and electronically processed with echo and reverb. When employed in the series, the sound is synchronised with the flashing light on top of the police box. The comic strip feature of Doctor Who Magazine traditionally represents the ship's distinctive dematerialisation sound with the onomatopoeic phrase "vworp vworp". River Song informs the Doctor in The Time of Angels that it only makes this noise because he leaves the brakes on, and the Doctor defensively responds that he likes the noise. The sound itself was heard during a segment of the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony in London as rock band Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody was played to the stadium.

 

In 1996, the BBC applied to the UK Patent Office to register the TARDIS as a trademark. This was challenged by the Metropolitan Police, who felt that they owned the rights to the police box image. However, the Patent Office found that there was no evidence that the Metropolitan Police – or any other police force – had ever registered the image as a trademark. In addition, the BBC had been selling merchandise based on the image for over three decades without complaint by the police. The Patent Office issued a ruling in favour of the BBC in 2002.

When Doctor Who was being developed in 1963, the production staff discussed what the Doctor's time machine would look like. To keep the design within budget, it was decided to make it resemble a police box. This was explained in the context of the series as a disguise created by the ship's "chameleon circuit", a mechanism which is responsible for changing the outside appearance of the ship in order to fit in with its environment. The Ninth Doctor explains that if, for example, a TARDIS (with a working chameleon circuit) were to materialise in ancient Rome it might disguise itself as a statue on a plinth. The First Doctor explained that if it were to land in the middle of the Indian Mutiny, it might take on the appearance of a howdah (the carrier on the back of an elephant). A further premise was that the circuit was broken, explaining why it was "stuck" in that form.

 

The idea for the police-box disguise came from BBC staff writer Anthony Coburn, who rewrote the program's first episode from a draft by C. E. Webber. Coburn is believed to have conceived the time machine's external form after spotting a real police box while walking near his office on a break from writing the episode. In the first episode, An Unearthly Child, the TARDIS is first seen in a 1963 junkyard. It subsequently malfunctions, retaining the police box shape in a prehistoric landscape.

 

At the time of the series' debut in 1963, the police box was still a common fixture in British cities. It provided a direct telephone link to the local police station; the telephone was located behind a small, hinged door, making it possible to use it from the outside, while the box itself was used as a temporary office containing a desk. In "The Empty Child" (2005), the Doctor stated that the telephone is not connected to a telephone line, and in Logopolis (1981), the Master materialised his TARDIS around a normal police box while a police officer was using the telephone, causing the line to go dead. With approximately 700 (then) in London alone, the police box was a logical choice for the time machine's camouflage.[citation needed]

 

While the idea may have begun as a creative ploy by the BBC to save time and money on props, it soon became an in-joke genre convention in its own right, as the old-style police box was phased out of use. The anachronism has become more pronounced, since there has been only one police box (at Earl's Court) of that style left in Britain for some considerable time. Despite changes in the prop, the TARDIS has become the show's most consistently recognisable visual element.

 

The type of police box that the TARDIS resembled was constructed of concrete. However, the props for the television series were originally made of wood, and later on of fibreglass, for easy transportation and construction on location as well as within the confines of a studio set.

 

The dimensions and colour of the TARDIS props used in the series have changed many times, as a result of damage and the needs of the show, and none of the BBC props has been a faithful replica of the original MacKenzie Trench model. This was referenced on-screen in the episode "Blink" (2007), when the character Detective Inspector Shipton says the TARDIS "isn't a real [police box]. The phone's just a dummy, and the windows are the wrong size."

Police box mounted with a modern surveillance camera outside Earl's Court tube station in London

 

The production team conceived of the TARDIS travelling by dematerialising at one point and rematerialising elsewhere, although sometimes in the series it is shown also to be capable of conventional space travel. In the 2006 Christmas special, "The Runaway Bride", the Doctor remarks that for a spaceship, the TARDIS does remarkably little flying. The ability to travel simply by fading into and out of different locations became one of the trademarks of the show, allowing for a great deal of versatility in setting and storytelling without a large expense in special effects. The distinctive accompanying sound effect – a cyclic wheezing, groaning noise – was originally created in the BBC Radiophonic Workshop by Brian Hodgson. He produced the effect by dragging a set of house keys along the strings of an old, gutted piano. The resulting sound was then recorded and electronically processed with echo and reverb. When employed in the series, the sound is synchronised with the flashing light on top of the police box. The comic strip feature of Doctor Who Magazine traditionally represents the ship's distinctive dematerialisation sound with the onomatopoeic phrase "vworp vworp". River Song informs the Doctor in The Time of Angels that it only makes this noise because he leaves the brakes on, and the Doctor defensively responds that he likes the noise. The sound itself was heard during a segment of the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony in London as rock band Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody was played to the stadium.

 

In 1996, the BBC applied to the UK Patent Office to register the TARDIS as a trademark. This was challenged by the Metropolitan Police, who felt that they owned the rights to the police box image. However, the Patent Office found that there was no evidence that the Metropolitan Police – or any other police force – had ever registered the image as a trademark. In addition, the BBC had been selling merchandise based on the image for over three decades without complaint by the police. The Patent Office issued a ruling in favour of the BBC in 2002.

When Doctor Who was being developed in 1963, the production staff discussed what the Doctor's time machine would look like. To keep the design within budget, it was decided to make it resemble a police box. This was explained in the context of the series as a disguise created by the ship's "chameleon circuit", a mechanism which is responsible for changing the outside appearance of the ship in order to fit in with its environment. The Ninth Doctor explains that if, for example, a TARDIS (with a working chameleon circuit) were to materialise in ancient Rome it might disguise itself as a statue on a plinth. The First Doctor explained that if it were to land in the middle of the Indian Mutiny, it might take on the appearance of a howdah (the carrier on the back of an elephant). A further premise was that the circuit was broken, explaining why it was "stuck" in that form.

 

The idea for the police-box disguise came from BBC staff writer Anthony Coburn, who rewrote the program's first episode from a draft by C. E. Webber. Coburn is believed to have conceived the time machine's external form after spotting a real police box while walking near his office on a break from writing the episode. In the first episode, An Unearthly Child, the TARDIS is first seen in a 1963 junkyard. It subsequently malfunctions, retaining the police box shape in a prehistoric landscape.

 

At the time of the series' debut in 1963, the police box was still a common fixture in British cities. It provided a direct telephone link to the local police station; the telephone was located behind a small, hinged door, making it possible to use it from the outside, while the box itself was used as a temporary office containing a desk. In "The Empty Child" (2005), the Doctor stated that the telephone is not connected to a telephone line, and in Logopolis (1981), the Master materialised his TARDIS around a normal police box while a police officer was using the telephone, causing the line to go dead. With approximately 700 (then) in London alone, the police box was a logical choice for the time machine's camouflage.[citation needed]

 

While the idea may have begun as a creative ploy by the BBC to save time and money on props, it soon became an in-joke genre convention in its own right, as the old-style police box was phased out of use. The anachronism has become more pronounced, since there has been only one police box (at Earl's Court) of that style left in Britain for some considerable time. Despite changes in the prop, the TARDIS has become the show's most consistently recognisable visual element.

 

The type of police box that the TARDIS resembled was constructed of concrete. However, the props for the television series were originally made of wood, and later on of fibreglass, for easy transportation and construction on location as well as within the confines of a studio set.

 

The dimensions and colour of the TARDIS props used in the series have changed many times, as a result of damage and the needs of the show, and none of the BBC props has been a faithful replica of the original MacKenzie Trench model. This was referenced on-screen in the episode "Blink" (2007), when the character Detective Inspector Shipton says the TARDIS "isn't a real [police box]. The phone's just a dummy, and the windows are the wrong size."

Police box mounted with a modern surveillance camera outside Earl's Court tube station in London

 

The production team conceived of the TARDIS travelling by dematerialising at one point and rematerialising elsewhere, although sometimes in the series it is shown also to be capable of conventional space travel. In the 2006 Christmas special, "The Runaway Bride", the Doctor remarks that for a spaceship, the TARDIS does remarkably little flying. The ability to travel simply by fading into and out of different locations became one of the trademarks of the show, allowing for a great deal of versatility in setting and storytelling without a large expense in special effects. The distinctive accompanying sound effect – a cyclic wheezing, groaning noise – was originally created in the BBC Radiophonic Workshop by Brian Hodgson. He produced the effect by dragging a set of house keys along the strings of an old, gutted piano. The resulting sound was then recorded and electronically processed with echo and reverb. When employed in the series, the sound is synchronised with the flashing light on top of the police box. The comic strip feature of Doctor Who Magazine traditionally represents the ship's distinctive dematerialisation sound with the onomatopoeic phrase "vworp vworp". River Song informs the Doctor in The Time of Angels that it only makes this noise because he leaves the brakes on, and the Doctor defensively responds that he likes the noise. The sound itself was heard during a segment of the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony in London as rock band Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody was played to the stadium.

 

In 1996, the BBC applied to the UK Patent Office to register the TARDIS as a trademark. This was challenged by the Metropolitan Police, who felt that they owned the rights to the police box image. However, the Patent Office found that there was no evidence that the Metropolitan Police – or any other police force – had ever registered the image as a trademark. In addition, the BBC had been selling merchandise based on the image for over three decades without complaint by the police. The Patent Office issued a ruling in favour of the BBC in 2002.

When Doctor Who was being developed in 1963, the production staff discussed what the Doctor's time machine would look like. To keep the design within budget, it was decided to make it resemble a police box. This was explained in the context of the series as a disguise created by the ship's "chameleon circuit", a mechanism which is responsible for changing the outside appearance of the ship in order to fit in with its environment. The Ninth Doctor explains that if, for example, a TARDIS (with a working chameleon circuit) were to materialise in ancient Rome it might disguise itself as a statue on a plinth. The First Doctor explained that if it were to land in the middle of the Indian Mutiny, it might take on the appearance of a howdah (the carrier on the back of an elephant). A further premise was that the circuit was broken, explaining why it was "stuck" in that form.

 

The idea for the police-box disguise came from BBC staff writer Anthony Coburn, who rewrote the program's first episode from a draft by C. E. Webber. Coburn is believed to have conceived the time machine's external form after spotting a real police box while walking near his office on a break from writing the episode. In the first episode, An Unearthly Child, the TARDIS is first seen in a 1963 junkyard. It subsequently malfunctions, retaining the police box shape in a prehistoric landscape.

 

At the time of the series' debut in 1963, the police box was still a common fixture in British cities. It provided a direct telephone link to the local police station; the telephone was located behind a small, hinged door, making it possible to use it from the outside, while the box itself was used as a temporary office containing a desk. In "The Empty Child" (2005), the Doctor stated that the telephone is not connected to a telephone line, and in Logopolis (1981), the Master materialised his TARDIS around a normal police box while a police officer was using the telephone, causing the line to go dead. With approximately 700 (then) in London alone, the police box was a logical choice for the time machine's camouflage.[citation needed]

 

While the idea may have begun as a creative ploy by the BBC to save time and money on props, it soon became an in-joke genre convention in its own right, as the old-style police box was phased out of use. The anachronism has become more pronounced, since there has been only one police box (at Earl's Court) of that style left in Britain for some considerable time. Despite changes in the prop, the TARDIS has become the show's most consistently recognisable visual element.

 

The type of police box that the TARDIS resembled was constructed of concrete. However, the props for the television series were originally made of wood, and later on of fibreglass, for easy transportation and construction on location as well as within the confines of a studio set.

 

The dimensions and colour of the TARDIS props used in the series have changed many times, as a result of damage and the needs of the show, and none of the BBC props has been a faithful replica of the original MacKenzie Trench model. This was referenced on-screen in the episode "Blink" (2007), when the character Detective Inspector Shipton says the TARDIS "isn't a real [police box]. The phone's just a dummy, and the windows are the wrong size."

Police box mounted with a modern surveillance camera outside Earl's Court tube station in London

 

The production team conceived of the TARDIS travelling by dematerialising at one point and rematerialising elsewhere, although sometimes in the series it is shown also to be capable of conventional space travel. In the 2006 Christmas special, "The Runaway Bride", the Doctor remarks that for a spaceship, the TARDIS does remarkably little flying. The ability to travel simply by fading into and out of different locations became one of the trademarks of the show, allowing for a great deal of versatility in setting and storytelling without a large expense in special effects. The distinctive accompanying sound effect – a cyclic wheezing, groaning noise – was originally created in the BBC Radiophonic Workshop by Brian Hodgson. He produced the effect by dragging a set of house keys along the strings of an old, gutted piano. The resulting sound was then recorded and electronically processed with echo and reverb. When employed in the series, the sound is synchronised with the flashing light on top of the police box. The comic strip feature of Doctor Who Magazine traditionally represents the ship's distinctive dematerialisation sound with the onomatopoeic phrase "vworp vworp". River Song informs the Doctor in The Time of Angels that it only makes this noise because he leaves the brakes on, and the Doctor defensively responds that he likes the noise. The sound itself was heard during a segment of the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony in London as rock band Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody was played to the stadium.

 

In 1996, the BBC applied to the UK Patent Office to register the TARDIS as a trademark. This was challenged by the Metropolitan Police, who felt that they owned the rights to the police box image. However, the Patent Office found that there was no evidence that the Metropolitan Police – or any other police force – had ever registered the image as a trademark. In addition, the BBC had been selling merchandise based on the image for over three decades without complaint by the police. The Patent Office issued a ruling in favour of the BBC in 2002.

Ménard salutes his baby

The Spectrum's co-founder has dedicated half his life to the hallowed venue

BILL BROWNSTEIN, The Gazette

Published: Saturday, August 04 2007

It's only a hunch, but knowing

 

André Ménard's spirit, sense of musical history and sense of humour, the evening will end with a real slow song. Thus it will truly be the "last waltz" for the Spectrum as the lights go down and the curtain falls for the last time tomorrow night on, unarguably, the city's funkiest concert hall.

 

The Spectrum's last hurrah-cum-bash tomorrow will be a moving affair for Ménard as well as the scores of Montrealers who spent many of their formative years getting their minds and eardrums blasted there.

 

For the last 25 years, the Spectrum has been the home concert space for Équipe Spectra, which runs the Montreal International Jazz Festival and Les FrancoFolies. Formerly the Alouette Theatre, the venue, across from Place des Arts on Ste. Catherine St., doesn't look like much on the outside. Then again, it doesn't look like much on the inside, either. It's no one's notion of high architecture or high tech. And yet there is no other place in the city where so much musical magic has transpired. And hijinks, too. If the Spectrum walls could talk, what tales they could tell - and what busts they could have triggered.

 

The Spectrum is, well, earthy. Think San Francisco's famed Fillmore. The sightlines are swell. So is the bar at the side of the concert hall. And what to make of those trippy curtain lights that have been mistaken for the Milky Way by more than one soused client?

 

Ménard, 53, the Équipe Spectra and jazz-festival co-founder, has spent almost half his life in the place. It is, obviously, with a heavy heart that he bids adieu to the establishment.

 

"So much has gone on here - the hard disk is overflowing with information," Ménard relates as he meanders about the venue. "There are just so many memories. Only in the years to come will I be able to recollect it all clearly. It's like a death in the family. We've all been anticipating it, but it really won't sink in until the doors are boarded up for good next week. The place has such a personality, forged through 25 years of worrying and caring. And the list of performers who have played here is as endless as it is impressive."

 

That it is. The Spectrum served a unique function in the city. It showcased the very best international acts and provided a base for hot Québécois talent. There were so many memorable concerts there: the Police, Miles Davis, Clarence Clemons, Smashing Pumpkins, Astor Piazzolla, Brian Setzer, Marianne Faithfull, George Thorogood and the Destroyers, James Brown, Radiohead, J.J. Cale and R.E.M. On the Québécois side, Claude Dubois, Michel Rivard, Daniel Bélanger, Richard Desjardins, Richard Séguin, the Musical Box, Marjo, Paul Piché, Plume Latraverse, Éric Lapointe and Jean Leloup.

 

"When we started, the Spectrum was the perfect solution," Ménard recalls. "It was so hard to bring bands for one-night stands to the city. We had to rent big theatres like Place des Arts for big money. The risks were high. But by mixing the local and international talent, the Spectrum reduced those risks, even though we were in the midst of a recession back then."

 

In fact, one of the first series of concerts to take place at the venue was CHOM's Rock Against the Recession. This would have had to mark the first and last time Montrealers could catch Stevie Ray Vaughan for the recession-beating price of $2.97.

 

"We never ran the place as a bar. We never forced people to buy drinks or use the checkroom. This was a rock 'n' roll concert hall in the purest sense," Ménard says. "I remember the day Bill Graham (the Fillmore founder) walked in here. He was trying to help relaunch Procol Harum. I said to him: 'Sir, welcome to Fillmore North.' He smiled, and did not disagree."

 

Those were heady times for Ménard. "When we set up shop, it was not quite the destiny for an east-end kid like me to have a theatre downtown in the heart of the entertainment district. Sure, it wasn't exactly a pretty place. And Club Montreal, which it was briefly before the Spectrum, had a terrible reputation for its sound, because its walls were naked. So we put in curtains, which wasn't the most scientific thing to do, but at least it killed the bad reverb. Then we put lights in the curtains, and we created that incredible aura."

 

Ménard plans to take down those curtains and store them, along with a few other mementoes like some doors, stools and posters. Though the Spectrum is destined for a date with the wrecking ball - after which an industrial complex is slated to rise from the ashes - Ménard is a little hopeful that a new Spectrum might spring up across the street in the anticipated Balmoral project, which would house the proposed Quartier des Spectacles. But Ménard the pragmatist recognizes the harsh economic realities of building a new venue. Also, the refurbished Metropolis, a few blocks to the east of the Spectrum, is poised to become Équipe Spectra's principal home concert space.

 

Backstage at the Spectrum, Ménard is gazing at the signatures on the door of some celebs who have graced the place: Miles Davis, Billy Bob Thornton (in his roots-rock phase), Roger Hodgson, Dan Bigras. This, in turn, reminds Ménard of the time a famed rocker was caught in the curtains to the side of the stage, canoodling with a female fan. Undaunted at being uncovered, the performer simply finished his business, then went to the bar, ordered a beer and promptly knocked it back in one gulp. "I don't think his lips ever touched that bottle," Ménard says.

 

Ménard has much more the soul of an artist than that of a businessman, certainly when compared to this city's other festival directors. Yet he confesses he has never sung, has never played an instrument. He can't write music, much less read it.

 

"That's all a mystery to me. But I don't have to know how it's made or what it's made of. I just love music and love what it does to me. It's magic. It's pure. It's my life. Now, a part of that life will die with the passing of the Spectrum."

 

bbrownst@thegazette.canwest.com

  

When Doctor Who was being developed in 1963, the production staff discussed what the Doctor's time machine would look like. To keep the design within budget, it was decided to make it resemble a police box. This was explained in the context of the series as a disguise created by the ship's "chameleon circuit", a mechanism which is responsible for changing the outside appearance of the ship in order to fit in with its environment. The Ninth Doctor explains that if, for example, a TARDIS (with a working chameleon circuit) were to materialise in ancient Rome it might disguise itself as a statue on a plinth. The First Doctor explained that if it were to land in the middle of the Indian Mutiny, it might take on the appearance of a howdah (the carrier on the back of an elephant). A further premise was that the circuit was broken, explaining why it was "stuck" in that form.

 

The idea for the police-box disguise came from BBC staff writer Anthony Coburn, who rewrote the program's first episode from a draft by C. E. Webber. Coburn is believed to have conceived the time machine's external form after spotting a real police box while walking near his office on a break from writing the episode. In the first episode, An Unearthly Child, the TARDIS is first seen in a 1963 junkyard. It subsequently malfunctions, retaining the police box shape in a prehistoric landscape.

 

At the time of the series' debut in 1963, the police box was still a common fixture in British cities. It provided a direct telephone link to the local police station; the telephone was located behind a small, hinged door, making it possible to use it from the outside, while the box itself was used as a temporary office containing a desk. In "The Empty Child" (2005), the Doctor stated that the telephone is not connected to a telephone line, and in Logopolis (1981), the Master materialised his TARDIS around a normal police box while a police officer was using the telephone, causing the line to go dead. With approximately 700 (then) in London alone, the police box was a logical choice for the time machine's camouflage.[citation needed]

 

While the idea may have begun as a creative ploy by the BBC to save time and money on props, it soon became an in-joke genre convention in its own right, as the old-style police box was phased out of use. The anachronism has become more pronounced, since there has been only one police box (at Earl's Court) of that style left in Britain for some considerable time. Despite changes in the prop, the TARDIS has become the show's most consistently recognisable visual element.

 

The type of police box that the TARDIS resembled was constructed of concrete. However, the props for the television series were originally made of wood, and later on of fibreglass, for easy transportation and construction on location as well as within the confines of a studio set.

 

The dimensions and colour of the TARDIS props used in the series have changed many times, as a result of damage and the needs of the show, and none of the BBC props has been a faithful replica of the original MacKenzie Trench model. This was referenced on-screen in the episode "Blink" (2007), when the character Detective Inspector Shipton says the TARDIS "isn't a real [police box]. The phone's just a dummy, and the windows are the wrong size."

Police box mounted with a modern surveillance camera outside Earl's Court tube station in London

 

The production team conceived of the TARDIS travelling by dematerialising at one point and rematerialising elsewhere, although sometimes in the series it is shown also to be capable of conventional space travel. In the 2006 Christmas special, "The Runaway Bride", the Doctor remarks that for a spaceship, the TARDIS does remarkably little flying. The ability to travel simply by fading into and out of different locations became one of the trademarks of the show, allowing for a great deal of versatility in setting and storytelling without a large expense in special effects. The distinctive accompanying sound effect – a cyclic wheezing, groaning noise – was originally created in the BBC Radiophonic Workshop by Brian Hodgson. He produced the effect by dragging a set of house keys along the strings of an old, gutted piano. The resulting sound was then recorded and electronically processed with echo and reverb. When employed in the series, the sound is synchronised with the flashing light on top of the police box. The comic strip feature of Doctor Who Magazine traditionally represents the ship's distinctive dematerialisation sound with the onomatopoeic phrase "vworp vworp". River Song informs the Doctor in The Time of Angels that it only makes this noise because he leaves the brakes on, and the Doctor defensively responds that he likes the noise. The sound itself was heard during a segment of the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony in London as rock band Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody was played to the stadium.

 

In 1996, the BBC applied to the UK Patent Office to register the TARDIS as a trademark. This was challenged by the Metropolitan Police, who felt that they owned the rights to the police box image. However, the Patent Office found that there was no evidence that the Metropolitan Police – or any other police force – had ever registered the image as a trademark. In addition, the BBC had been selling merchandise based on the image for over three decades without complaint by the police. The Patent Office issued a ruling in favour of the BBC in 2002.

When Doctor Who was being developed in 1963, the production staff discussed what the Doctor's time machine would look like. To keep the design within budget, it was decided to make it resemble a police box. This was explained in the context of the series as a disguise created by the ship's "chameleon circuit", a mechanism which is responsible for changing the outside appearance of the ship in order to fit in with its environment. The Ninth Doctor explains that if, for example, a TARDIS (with a working chameleon circuit) were to materialise in ancient Rome it might disguise itself as a statue on a plinth. The First Doctor explained that if it were to land in the middle of the Indian Mutiny, it might take on the appearance of a howdah (the carrier on the back of an elephant). A further premise was that the circuit was broken, explaining why it was "stuck" in that form.

 

The idea for the police-box disguise came from BBC staff writer Anthony Coburn, who rewrote the program's first episode from a draft by C. E. Webber. Coburn is believed to have conceived the time machine's external form after spotting a real police box while walking near his office on a break from writing the episode. In the first episode, An Unearthly Child, the TARDIS is first seen in a 1963 junkyard. It subsequently malfunctions, retaining the police box shape in a prehistoric landscape.

 

At the time of the series' debut in 1963, the police box was still a common fixture in British cities. It provided a direct telephone link to the local police station; the telephone was located behind a small, hinged door, making it possible to use it from the outside, while the box itself was used as a temporary office containing a desk. In "The Empty Child" (2005), the Doctor stated that the telephone is not connected to a telephone line, and in Logopolis (1981), the Master materialised his TARDIS around a normal police box while a police officer was using the telephone, causing the line to go dead. With approximately 700 (then) in London alone, the police box was a logical choice for the time machine's camouflage.[citation needed]

 

While the idea may have begun as a creative ploy by the BBC to save time and money on props, it soon became an in-joke genre convention in its own right, as the old-style police box was phased out of use. The anachronism has become more pronounced, since there has been only one police box (at Earl's Court) of that style left in Britain for some considerable time. Despite changes in the prop, the TARDIS has become the show's most consistently recognisable visual element.

 

The type of police box that the TARDIS resembled was constructed of concrete. However, the props for the television series were originally made of wood, and later on of fibreglass, for easy transportation and construction on location as well as within the confines of a studio set.

 

The dimensions and colour of the TARDIS props used in the series have changed many times, as a result of damage and the needs of the show, and none of the BBC props has been a faithful replica of the original MacKenzie Trench model. This was referenced on-screen in the episode "Blink" (2007), when the character Detective Inspector Shipton says the TARDIS "isn't a real [police box]. The phone's just a dummy, and the windows are the wrong size."

Police box mounted with a modern surveillance camera outside Earl's Court tube station in London

 

The production team conceived of the TARDIS travelling by dematerialising at one point and rematerialising elsewhere, although sometimes in the series it is shown also to be capable of conventional space travel. In the 2006 Christmas special, "The Runaway Bride", the Doctor remarks that for a spaceship, the TARDIS does remarkably little flying. The ability to travel simply by fading into and out of different locations became one of the trademarks of the show, allowing for a great deal of versatility in setting and storytelling without a large expense in special effects. The distinctive accompanying sound effect – a cyclic wheezing, groaning noise – was originally created in the BBC Radiophonic Workshop by Brian Hodgson. He produced the effect by dragging a set of house keys along the strings of an old, gutted piano. The resulting sound was then recorded and electronically processed with echo and reverb. When employed in the series, the sound is synchronised with the flashing light on top of the police box. The comic strip feature of Doctor Who Magazine traditionally represents the ship's distinctive dematerialisation sound with the onomatopoeic phrase "vworp vworp". River Song informs the Doctor in The Time of Angels that it only makes this noise because he leaves the brakes on, and the Doctor defensively responds that he likes the noise. The sound itself was heard during a segment of the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony in London as rock band Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody was played to the stadium.

 

In 1996, the BBC applied to the UK Patent Office to register the TARDIS as a trademark. This was challenged by the Metropolitan Police, who felt that they owned the rights to the police box image. However, the Patent Office found that there was no evidence that the Metropolitan Police – or any other police force – had ever registered the image as a trademark. In addition, the BBC had been selling merchandise based on the image for over three decades without complaint by the police. The Patent Office issued a ruling in favour of the BBC in 2002.

When Doctor Who was being developed in 1963, the production staff discussed what the Doctor's time machine would look like. To keep the design within budget, it was decided to make it resemble a police box. This was explained in the context of the series as a disguise created by the ship's "chameleon circuit", a mechanism which is responsible for changing the outside appearance of the ship in order to fit in with its environment. The Ninth Doctor explains that if, for example, a TARDIS (with a working chameleon circuit) were to materialise in ancient Rome it might disguise itself as a statue on a plinth. The First Doctor explained that if it were to land in the middle of the Indian Mutiny, it might take on the appearance of a howdah (the carrier on the back of an elephant). A further premise was that the circuit was broken, explaining why it was "stuck" in that form.

 

The idea for the police-box disguise came from BBC staff writer Anthony Coburn, who rewrote the program's first episode from a draft by C. E. Webber. Coburn is believed to have conceived the time machine's external form after spotting a real police box while walking near his office on a break from writing the episode. In the first episode, An Unearthly Child, the TARDIS is first seen in a 1963 junkyard. It subsequently malfunctions, retaining the police box shape in a prehistoric landscape.

 

At the time of the series' debut in 1963, the police box was still a common fixture in British cities. It provided a direct telephone link to the local police station; the telephone was located behind a small, hinged door, making it possible to use it from the outside, while the box itself was used as a temporary office containing a desk. In "The Empty Child" (2005), the Doctor stated that the telephone is not connected to a telephone line, and in Logopolis (1981), the Master materialised his TARDIS around a normal police box while a police officer was using the telephone, causing the line to go dead. With approximately 700 (then) in London alone, the police box was a logical choice for the time machine's camouflage.[citation needed]

 

While the idea may have begun as a creative ploy by the BBC to save time and money on props, it soon became an in-joke genre convention in its own right, as the old-style police box was phased out of use. The anachronism has become more pronounced, since there has been only one police box (at Earl's Court) of that style left in Britain for some considerable time. Despite changes in the prop, the TARDIS has become the show's most consistently recognisable visual element.

 

The type of police box that the TARDIS resembled was constructed of concrete. However, the props for the television series were originally made of wood, and later on of fibreglass, for easy transportation and construction on location as well as within the confines of a studio set.

 

The dimensions and colour of the TARDIS props used in the series have changed many times, as a result of damage and the needs of the show, and none of the BBC props has been a faithful replica of the original MacKenzie Trench model. This was referenced on-screen in the episode "Blink" (2007), when the character Detective Inspector Shipton says the TARDIS "isn't a real [police box]. The phone's just a dummy, and the windows are the wrong size."

Police box mounted with a modern surveillance camera outside Earl's Court tube station in London

 

The production team conceived of the TARDIS travelling by dematerialising at one point and rematerialising elsewhere, although sometimes in the series it is shown also to be capable of conventional space travel. In the 2006 Christmas special, "The Runaway Bride", the Doctor remarks that for a spaceship, the TARDIS does remarkably little flying. The ability to travel simply by fading into and out of different locations became one of the trademarks of the show, allowing for a great deal of versatility in setting and storytelling without a large expense in special effects. The distinctive accompanying sound effect – a cyclic wheezing, groaning noise – was originally created in the BBC Radiophonic Workshop by Brian Hodgson. He produced the effect by dragging a set of house keys along the strings of an old, gutted piano. The resulting sound was then recorded and electronically processed with echo and reverb. When employed in the series, the sound is synchronised with the flashing light on top of the police box. The comic strip feature of Doctor Who Magazine traditionally represents the ship's distinctive dematerialisation sound with the onomatopoeic phrase "vworp vworp". River Song informs the Doctor in The Time of Angels that it only makes this noise because he leaves the brakes on, and the Doctor defensively responds that he likes the noise. The sound itself was heard during a segment of the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony in London as rock band Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody was played to the stadium.

 

In 1996, the BBC applied to the UK Patent Office to register the TARDIS as a trademark. This was challenged by the Metropolitan Police, who felt that they owned the rights to the police box image. However, the Patent Office found that there was no evidence that the Metropolitan Police – or any other police force – had ever registered the image as a trademark. In addition, the BBC had been selling merchandise based on the image for over three decades without complaint by the police. The Patent Office issued a ruling in favour of the BBC in 2002.

When Doctor Who was being developed in 1963, the production staff discussed what the Doctor's time machine would look like. To keep the design within budget, it was decided to make it resemble a police box. This was explained in the context of the series as a disguise created by the ship's "chameleon circuit", a mechanism which is responsible for changing the outside appearance of the ship in order to fit in with its environment. The Ninth Doctor explains that if, for example, a TARDIS (with a working chameleon circuit) were to materialise in ancient Rome it might disguise itself as a statue on a plinth. The First Doctor explained that if it were to land in the middle of the Indian Mutiny, it might take on the appearance of a howdah (the carrier on the back of an elephant). A further premise was that the circuit was broken, explaining why it was "stuck" in that form.

 

The idea for the police-box disguise came from BBC staff writer Anthony Coburn, who rewrote the program's first episode from a draft by C. E. Webber. Coburn is believed to have conceived the time machine's external form after spotting a real police box while walking near his office on a break from writing the episode. In the first episode, An Unearthly Child, the TARDIS is first seen in a 1963 junkyard. It subsequently malfunctions, retaining the police box shape in a prehistoric landscape.

 

At the time of the series' debut in 1963, the police box was still a common fixture in British cities. It provided a direct telephone link to the local police station; the telephone was located behind a small, hinged door, making it possible to use it from the outside, while the box itself was used as a temporary office containing a desk. In "The Empty Child" (2005), the Doctor stated that the telephone is not connected to a telephone line, and in Logopolis (1981), the Master materialised his TARDIS around a normal police box while a police officer was using the telephone, causing the line to go dead. With approximately 700 (then) in London alone, the police box was a logical choice for the time machine's camouflage.[citation needed]

 

While the idea may have begun as a creative ploy by the BBC to save time and money on props, it soon became an in-joke genre convention in its own right, as the old-style police box was phased out of use. The anachronism has become more pronounced, since there has been only one police box (at Earl's Court) of that style left in Britain for some considerable time. Despite changes in the prop, the TARDIS has become the show's most consistently recognisable visual element.

 

The type of police box that the TARDIS resembled was constructed of concrete. However, the props for the television series were originally made of wood, and later on of fibreglass, for easy transportation and construction on location as well as within the confines of a studio set.

 

The dimensions and colour of the TARDIS props used in the series have changed many times, as a result of damage and the needs of the show, and none of the BBC props has been a faithful replica of the original MacKenzie Trench model. This was referenced on-screen in the episode "Blink" (2007), when the character Detective Inspector Shipton says the TARDIS "isn't a real [police box]. The phone's just a dummy, and the windows are the wrong size."

Police box mounted with a modern surveillance camera outside Earl's Court tube station in London

 

The production team conceived of the TARDIS travelling by dematerialising at one point and rematerialising elsewhere, although sometimes in the series it is shown also to be capable of conventional space travel. In the 2006 Christmas special, "The Runaway Bride", the Doctor remarks that for a spaceship, the TARDIS does remarkably little flying. The ability to travel simply by fading into and out of different locations became one of the trademarks of the show, allowing for a great deal of versatility in setting and storytelling without a large expense in special effects. The distinctive accompanying sound effect – a cyclic wheezing, groaning noise – was originally created in the BBC Radiophonic Workshop by Brian Hodgson. He produced the effect by dragging a set of house keys along the strings of an old, gutted piano. The resulting sound was then recorded and electronically processed with echo and reverb. When employed in the series, the sound is synchronised with the flashing light on top of the police box. The comic strip feature of Doctor Who Magazine traditionally represents the ship's distinctive dematerialisation sound with the onomatopoeic phrase "vworp vworp". River Song informs the Doctor in The Time of Angels that it only makes this noise because he leaves the brakes on, and the Doctor defensively responds that he likes the noise. The sound itself was heard during a segment of the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony in London as rock band Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody was played to the stadium.

 

In 1996, the BBC applied to the UK Patent Office to register the TARDIS as a trademark. This was challenged by the Metropolitan Police, who felt that they owned the rights to the police box image. However, the Patent Office found that there was no evidence that the Metropolitan Police – or any other police force – had ever registered the image as a trademark. In addition, the BBC had been selling merchandise based on the image for over three decades without complaint by the police. The Patent Office issued a ruling in favour of the BBC in 2002.

When Doctor Who was being developed in 1963, the production staff discussed what the Doctor's time machine would look like. To keep the design within budget, it was decided to make it resemble a police box. This was explained in the context of the series as a disguise created by the ship's "chameleon circuit", a mechanism which is responsible for changing the outside appearance of the ship in order to fit in with its environment. The Ninth Doctor explains that if, for example, a TARDIS (with a working chameleon circuit) were to materialise in ancient Rome it might disguise itself as a statue on a plinth. The First Doctor explained that if it were to land in the middle of the Indian Mutiny, it might take on the appearance of a howdah (the carrier on the back of an elephant). A further premise was that the circuit was broken, explaining why it was "stuck" in that form.

 

The idea for the police-box disguise came from BBC staff writer Anthony Coburn, who rewrote the program's first episode from a draft by C. E. Webber. Coburn is believed to have conceived the time machine's external form after spotting a real police box while walking near his office on a break from writing the episode. In the first episode, An Unearthly Child, the TARDIS is first seen in a 1963 junkyard. It subsequently malfunctions, retaining the police box shape in a prehistoric landscape.

 

At the time of the series' debut in 1963, the police box was still a common fixture in British cities. It provided a direct telephone link to the local police station; the telephone was located behind a small, hinged door, making it possible to use it from the outside, while the box itself was used as a temporary office containing a desk. In "The Empty Child" (2005), the Doctor stated that the telephone is not connected to a telephone line, and in Logopolis (1981), the Master materialised his TARDIS around a normal police box while a police officer was using the telephone, causing the line to go dead. With approximately 700 (then) in London alone, the police box was a logical choice for the time machine's camouflage.[citation needed]

 

While the idea may have begun as a creative ploy by the BBC to save time and money on props, it soon became an in-joke genre convention in its own right, as the old-style police box was phased out of use. The anachronism has become more pronounced, since there has been only one police box (at Earl's Court) of that style left in Britain for some considerable time. Despite changes in the prop, the TARDIS has become the show's most consistently recognisable visual element.

 

The type of police box that the TARDIS resembled was constructed of concrete. However, the props for the television series were originally made of wood, and later on of fibreglass, for easy transportation and construction on location as well as within the confines of a studio set.

 

The dimensions and colour of the TARDIS props used in the series have changed many times, as a result of damage and the needs of the show, and none of the BBC props has been a faithful replica of the original MacKenzie Trench model. This was referenced on-screen in the episode "Blink" (2007), when the character Detective Inspector Shipton says the TARDIS "isn't a real [police box]. The phone's just a dummy, and the windows are the wrong size."

Police box mounted with a modern surveillance camera outside Earl's Court tube station in London

 

The production team conceived of the TARDIS travelling by dematerialising at one point and rematerialising elsewhere, although sometimes in the series it is shown also to be capable of conventional space travel. In the 2006 Christmas special, "The Runaway Bride", the Doctor remarks that for a spaceship, the TARDIS does remarkably little flying. The ability to travel simply by fading into and out of different locations became one of the trademarks of the show, allowing for a great deal of versatility in setting and storytelling without a large expense in special effects. The distinctive accompanying sound effect – a cyclic wheezing, groaning noise – was originally created in the BBC Radiophonic Workshop by Brian Hodgson. He produced the effect by dragging a set of house keys along the strings of an old, gutted piano. The resulting sound was then recorded and electronically processed with echo and reverb. When employed in the series, the sound is synchronised with the flashing light on top of the police box. The comic strip feature of Doctor Who Magazine traditionally represents the ship's distinctive dematerialisation sound with the onomatopoeic phrase "vworp vworp". River Song informs the Doctor in The Time of Angels that it only makes this noise because he leaves the brakes on, and the Doctor defensively responds that he likes the noise. The sound itself was heard during a segment of the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony in London as rock band Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody was played to the stadium.

 

In 1996, the BBC applied to the UK Patent Office to register the TARDIS as a trademark. This was challenged by the Metropolitan Police, who felt that they owned the rights to the police box image. However, the Patent Office found that there was no evidence that the Metropolitan Police – or any other police force – had ever registered the image as a trademark. In addition, the BBC had been selling merchandise based on the image for over three decades without complaint by the police. The Patent Office issued a ruling in favour of the BBC in 2002.

When Doctor Who was being developed in 1963, the production staff discussed what the Doctor's time machine would look like. To keep the design within budget, it was decided to make it resemble a police box. This was explained in the context of the series as a disguise created by the ship's "chameleon circuit", a mechanism which is responsible for changing the outside appearance of the ship in order to fit in with its environment. The Ninth Doctor explains that if, for example, a TARDIS (with a working chameleon circuit) were to materialise in ancient Rome it might disguise itself as a statue on a plinth. The First Doctor explained that if it were to land in the middle of the Indian Mutiny, it might take on the appearance of a howdah (the carrier on the back of an elephant). A further premise was that the circuit was broken, explaining why it was "stuck" in that form.

 

The idea for the police-box disguise came from BBC staff writer Anthony Coburn, who rewrote the program's first episode from a draft by C. E. Webber. Coburn is believed to have conceived the time machine's external form after spotting a real police box while walking near his office on a break from writing the episode. In the first episode, An Unearthly Child, the TARDIS is first seen in a 1963 junkyard. It subsequently malfunctions, retaining the police box shape in a prehistoric landscape.

 

At the time of the series' debut in 1963, the police box was still a common fixture in British cities. It provided a direct telephone link to the local police station; the telephone was located behind a small, hinged door, making it possible to use it from the outside, while the box itself was used as a temporary office containing a desk. In "The Empty Child" (2005), the Doctor stated that the telephone is not connected to a telephone line, and in Logopolis (1981), the Master materialised his TARDIS around a normal police box while a police officer was using the telephone, causing the line to go dead. With approximately 700 (then) in London alone, the police box was a logical choice for the time machine's camouflage.[citation needed]

 

While the idea may have begun as a creative ploy by the BBC to save time and money on props, it soon became an in-joke genre convention in its own right, as the old-style police box was phased out of use. The anachronism has become more pronounced, since there has been only one police box (at Earl's Court) of that style left in Britain for some considerable time. Despite changes in the prop, the TARDIS has become the show's most consistently recognisable visual element.

 

The type of police box that the TARDIS resembled was constructed of concrete. However, the props for the television series were originally made of wood, and later on of fibreglass, for easy transportation and construction on location as well as within the confines of a studio set.

 

The dimensions and colour of the TARDIS props used in the series have changed many times, as a result of damage and the needs of the show, and none of the BBC props has been a faithful replica of the original MacKenzie Trench model. This was referenced on-screen in the episode "Blink" (2007), when the character Detective Inspector Shipton says the TARDIS "isn't a real [police box]. The phone's just a dummy, and the windows are the wrong size."

Police box mounted with a modern surveillance camera outside Earl's Court tube station in London

 

The production team conceived of the TARDIS travelling by dematerialising at one point and rematerialising elsewhere, although sometimes in the series it is shown also to be capable of conventional space travel. In the 2006 Christmas special, "The Runaway Bride", the Doctor remarks that for a spaceship, the TARDIS does remarkably little flying. The ability to travel simply by fading into and out of different locations became one of the trademarks of the show, allowing for a great deal of versatility in setting and storytelling without a large expense in special effects. The distinctive accompanying sound effect – a cyclic wheezing, groaning noise – was originally created in the BBC Radiophonic Workshop by Brian Hodgson. He produced the effect by dragging a set of house keys along the strings of an old, gutted piano. The resulting sound was then recorded and electronically processed with echo and reverb. When employed in the series, the sound is synchronised with the flashing light on top of the police box. The comic strip feature of Doctor Who Magazine traditionally represents the ship's distinctive dematerialisation sound with the onomatopoeic phrase "vworp vworp". River Song informs the Doctor in The Time of Angels that it only makes this noise because he leaves the brakes on, and the Doctor defensively responds that he likes the noise. The sound itself was heard during a segment of the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony in London as rock band Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody was played to the stadium.

 

In 1996, the BBC applied to the UK Patent Office to register the TARDIS as a trademark. This was challenged by the Metropolitan Police, who felt that they owned the rights to the police box image. However, the Patent Office found that there was no evidence that the Metropolitan Police – or any other police force – had ever registered the image as a trademark. In addition, the BBC had been selling merchandise based on the image for over three decades without complaint by the police. The Patent Office issued a ruling in favour of the BBC in 2002.

When Doctor Who was being developed in 1963, the production staff discussed what the Doctor's time machine would look like. To keep the design within budget, it was decided to make it resemble a police box. This was explained in the context of the series as a disguise created by the ship's "chameleon circuit", a mechanism which is responsible for changing the outside appearance of the ship in order to fit in with its environment. The Ninth Doctor explains that if, for example, a TARDIS (with a working chameleon circuit) were to materialise in ancient Rome it might disguise itself as a statue on a plinth. The First Doctor explained that if it were to land in the middle of the Indian Mutiny, it might take on the appearance of a howdah (the carrier on the back of an elephant). A further premise was that the circuit was broken, explaining why it was "stuck" in that form.

 

The idea for the police-box disguise came from BBC staff writer Anthony Coburn, who rewrote the program's first episode from a draft by C. E. Webber. Coburn is believed to have conceived the time machine's external form after spotting a real police box while walking near his office on a break from writing the episode. In the first episode, An Unearthly Child, the TARDIS is first seen in a 1963 junkyard. It subsequently malfunctions, retaining the police box shape in a prehistoric landscape.

 

At the time of the series' debut in 1963, the police box was still a common fixture in British cities. It provided a direct telephone link to the local police station; the telephone was located behind a small, hinged door, making it possible to use it from the outside, while the box itself was used as a temporary office containing a desk. In "The Empty Child" (2005), the Doctor stated that the telephone is not connected to a telephone line, and in Logopolis (1981), the Master materialised his TARDIS around a normal police box while a police officer was using the telephone, causing the line to go dead. With approximately 700 (then) in London alone, the police box was a logical choice for the time machine's camouflage.[citation needed]

 

While the idea may have begun as a creative ploy by the BBC to save time and money on props, it soon became an in-joke genre convention in its own right, as the old-style police box was phased out of use. The anachronism has become more pronounced, since there has been only one police box (at Earl's Court) of that style left in Britain for some considerable time. Despite changes in the prop, the TARDIS has become the show's most consistently recognisable visual element.

 

The type of police box that the TARDIS resembled was constructed of concrete. However, the props for the television series were originally made of wood, and later on of fibreglass, for easy transportation and construction on location as well as within the confines of a studio set.

 

The dimensions and colour of the TARDIS props used in the series have changed many times, as a result of damage and the needs of the show, and none of the BBC props has been a faithful replica of the original MacKenzie Trench model. This was referenced on-screen in the episode "Blink" (2007), when the character Detective Inspector Shipton says the TARDIS "isn't a real [police box]. The phone's just a dummy, and the windows are the wrong size."

Police box mounted with a modern surveillance camera outside Earl's Court tube station in London

 

The production team conceived of the TARDIS travelling by dematerialising at one point and rematerialising elsewhere, although sometimes in the series it is shown also to be capable of conventional space travel. In the 2006 Christmas special, "The Runaway Bride", the Doctor remarks that for a spaceship, the TARDIS does remarkably little flying. The ability to travel simply by fading into and out of different locations became one of the trademarks of the show, allowing for a great deal of versatility in setting and storytelling without a large expense in special effects. The distinctive accompanying sound effect – a cyclic wheezing, groaning noise – was originally created in the BBC Radiophonic Workshop by Brian Hodgson. He produced the effect by dragging a set of house keys along the strings of an old, gutted piano. The resulting sound was then recorded and electronically processed with echo and reverb. When employed in the series, the sound is synchronised with the flashing light on top of the police box. The comic strip feature of Doctor Who Magazine traditionally represents the ship's distinctive dematerialisation sound with the onomatopoeic phrase "vworp vworp". River Song informs the Doctor in The Time of Angels that it only makes this noise because he leaves the brakes on, and the Doctor defensively responds that he likes the noise. The sound itself was heard during a segment of the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony in London as rock band Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody was played to the stadium.

 

In 1996, the BBC applied to the UK Patent Office to register the TARDIS as a trademark. This was challenged by the Metropolitan Police, who felt that they owned the rights to the police box image. However, the Patent Office found that there was no evidence that the Metropolitan Police – or any other police force – had ever registered the image as a trademark. In addition, the BBC had been selling merchandise based on the image for over three decades without complaint by the police. The Patent Office issued a ruling in favour of the BBC in 2002.

When Doctor Who was being developed in 1963, the production staff discussed what the Doctor's time machine would look like. To keep the design within budget, it was decided to make it resemble a police box. This was explained in the context of the series as a disguise created by the ship's "chameleon circuit", a mechanism which is responsible for changing the outside appearance of the ship in order to fit in with its environment. The Ninth Doctor explains that if, for example, a TARDIS (with a working chameleon circuit) were to materialise in ancient Rome it might disguise itself as a statue on a plinth. The First Doctor explained that if it were to land in the middle of the Indian Mutiny, it might take on the appearance of a howdah (the carrier on the back of an elephant). A further premise was that the circuit was broken, explaining why it was "stuck" in that form.

 

The idea for the police-box disguise came from BBC staff writer Anthony Coburn, who rewrote the program's first episode from a draft by C. E. Webber. Coburn is believed to have conceived the time machine's external form after spotting a real police box while walking near his office on a break from writing the episode. In the first episode, An Unearthly Child, the TARDIS is first seen in a 1963 junkyard. It subsequently malfunctions, retaining the police box shape in a prehistoric landscape.

 

At the time of the series' debut in 1963, the police box was still a common fixture in British cities. It provided a direct telephone link to the local police station; the telephone was located behind a small, hinged door, making it possible to use it from the outside, while the box itself was used as a temporary office containing a desk. In "The Empty Child" (2005), the Doctor stated that the telephone is not connected to a telephone line, and in Logopolis (1981), the Master materialised his TARDIS around a normal police box while a police officer was using the telephone, causing the line to go dead. With approximately 700 (then) in London alone, the police box was a logical choice for the time machine's camouflage.[citation needed]

 

While the idea may have begun as a creative ploy by the BBC to save time and money on props, it soon became an in-joke genre convention in its own right, as the old-style police box was phased out of use. The anachronism has become more pronounced, since there has been only one police box (at Earl's Court) of that style left in Britain for some considerable time. Despite changes in the prop, the TARDIS has become the show's most consistently recognisable visual element.

 

The type of police box that the TARDIS resembled was constructed of concrete. However, the props for the television series were originally made of wood, and later on of fibreglass, for easy transportation and construction on location as well as within the confines of a studio set.

 

The dimensions and colour of the TARDIS props used in the series have changed many times, as a result of damage and the needs of the show, and none of the BBC props has been a faithful replica of the original MacKenzie Trench model. This was referenced on-screen in the episode "Blink" (2007), when the character Detective Inspector Shipton says the TARDIS "isn't a real [police box]. The phone's just a dummy, and the windows are the wrong size."

Police box mounted with a modern surveillance camera outside Earl's Court tube station in London

 

The production team conceived of the TARDIS travelling by dematerialising at one point and rematerialising elsewhere, although sometimes in the series it is shown also to be capable of conventional space travel. In the 2006 Christmas special, "The Runaway Bride", the Doctor remarks that for a spaceship, the TARDIS does remarkably little flying. The ability to travel simply by fading into and out of different locations became one of the trademarks of the show, allowing for a great deal of versatility in setting and storytelling without a large expense in special effects. The distinctive accompanying sound effect – a cyclic wheezing, groaning noise – was originally created in the BBC Radiophonic Workshop by Brian Hodgson. He produced the effect by dragging a set of house keys along the strings of an old, gutted piano. The resulting sound was then recorded and electronically processed with echo and reverb. When employed in the series, the sound is synchronised with the flashing light on top of the police box. The comic strip feature of Doctor Who Magazine traditionally represents the ship's distinctive dematerialisation sound with the onomatopoeic phrase "vworp vworp". River Song informs the Doctor in The Time of Angels that it only makes this noise because he leaves the brakes on, and the Doctor defensively responds that he likes the noise. The sound itself was heard during a segment of the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony in London as rock band Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody was played to the stadium.

 

In 1996, the BBC applied to the UK Patent Office to register the TARDIS as a trademark. This was challenged by the Metropolitan Police, who felt that they owned the rights to the police box image. However, the Patent Office found that there was no evidence that the Metropolitan Police – or any other police force – had ever registered the image as a trademark. In addition, the BBC had been selling merchandise based on the image for over three decades without complaint by the police. The Patent Office issued a ruling in favour of the BBC in 2002.

guitardoom.com/7983.

First, a disclaimer. Im Suzannes husband. I own a black one but obviously this review applies to the red and white versions of the Power Slide as well. I havent found a lot written about the Peavey Power Slide by users, though a fair amount can be gleaned from the videos. So, Id like to contribute my experiences for those of you who are interested in this unique instrument. Ive had mine for about a year. I play classic rock, country, blues, folk and pop (just about everything) on it so my needs may be a bit more diverse than most. While a lap steel wouldnt seem to be a natural instrument for all songs in all these styles, Ive found ways to incorporate it into most of them. The Power Slide adds an emotional dimension to any kind of music that nothing else quite matches because of the way you play this kind of guitar, but partially because the musician is free to move around. Here is my setup, which is very simple because Im on a limited budget. Tuning Open D (low to high) D, A, D, F, A, D. Strings DAddario XL Nickel Wound 60, 48, 36, 26, 17, 15. Bar ShubbPearse SP2 (Im still playing with the chromed brass model and havent tried the stainless version yet). Capo Golden Gate Squareneck Dobro Capo. Amplifier Fender Frontman 25R with Fender footswitch. Pretty hard to beat this setup for about four hundred all together. I like the Open D tuning for several reasons. The tonic D note is on both the high and low strings and I can make the tuning minor by lowering just the 3rd (F) string. When playing a blues in key of E the D note is easy to play, just play an open 1st, 3rd and 6th string. In country music twostring chords progressions are easy on the 1st and 3rd strings (about half are straight bar and half are singlefret slants), and many of the dobro licks can be played on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th, strings since the intervals are the same as the first 4 strings on the dobro. I use the capo very rarely, but it comes in handy for dobrostyle playing and in songs when you want a drone string in a key other than D such as "I Can See For Miles" by The Who, which uses open E and B strings in standard tuning. The SP2 bar is unique in that it has a rounded "bullet" end as well as a sharp end. Also, being a bit heavier than most Stevensstyle bars it has good sustain. The rounded end makes it easier to simulate a bullet bar on a pedal steel, and to stop just two strings in the middle of chord by pointing the nose between the strings. The sharp end works for pull offs, but for intricate single note passages the bullet end works well because you can slide from string to string without getting hung up. When playing rock and blues I add varying amounts of distortion using the amps drive channel. The Power Slide can make some great, surging power chords as you slide into a chord position in songs like "Born to be Wild" or "LA Woman", or sweet, ethereal sounds in moody songs like "Miss You" or "Wish You Were Here" (pickup split half way between single coil and humbucker). For folk style I usually finger pick like a banjo or folk guitarist. The sound can be almost harplike. I get a nice country steel guitar sound with pickup set on single coil with a generous amount of reverb on the amp. Whenever I play with someone new they always comment on how such a "modest" rig could sound so good. I almost always play standing up. It is bad enough to have to be looking down most of the time so standing lets me feel like Im more part of the action. The provided strap works well, though a buckle broke after about 9 months. Fortunately, it is a standard size and was easy to fix. The gigbag, as is often stated, is functional but minimal. It would be nice to have one with more padding...or a hardshell. The instrument itself is well built in all the places it needs to be. The finish on my black guitar is perfect. All the hardware is solid and well made. The tuners could be heavier, but they stay in tune just fine. My only real criticisms are The "belly cut" portion of the body which rests against you belly when you are playing standing up isnt wide enough to allow me to comfortably reach the higher "frets." An extra inch or two there would have made a big difference. I may try to make a piece to fit in there, just to see how much it helps. And, I wish they had raised the fretboard above the body, just a quarter of an inch. I do a fair amount of behindthebar string bends so it would be nice to have something to brace against all the way up. Finally, my nitpick is that Im not crazy about the weird design on the fretboard. I got used to it pretty quickly, but they could have made the design helpful instead of distracting. What would I do differently if I were to do it again...nothing really. With more money to spend I would have bought a bigger amp and Id have a case made for the guitar. My wish list for Peaveys future versions would be a 7 or 8string model. All things considered, for any amount of money this is a

guitardoom.com/754.

I say this all the time, but here I go again I give reviews sparingly, usually only when a product is extremely good, or extremely poor. I started using Cakewalk products as a hobbyist musician since they started back in the mid 80s, and Ive always been pleased with their software. They went from just "Cakewalk" to "Cakewalk ProAudio" before they became "Sonar". The interface of this product is excellent and extremely well designed, so well that even Apple copied it to make their Apple Logic Pro. How do I know Because Sonar started back even before Apple Logic Pro was created, and their user interface is uncannily similar (i.e., Inspector pane on the left, track pane on the center, browser at the right, dockable views on the lower half of the screen, even the transport pane looks very similar). Being a hobbyist, composingarranging music has been an on and off thing, and Ive made about 5 complete fully orchestrated songs with Cakewalk products, and Sonar X2 Producer is simply the best to date. In 2012, I thought Id give Apple Logic Pro a try and spent a lot of money buying the necessary hardware and software (i.e., an iMac, Logic Pro, compatible plugins, etc). Featurewise, Logic Pro actually beats Sonar in loopediting, BUT it has egregious bugs. More specifically, project files get corrupted, and this could happen anytime. Their technical support people are mostly arrogant diehard nontechnical Apple fans. When faced with a corrupt project file, their attitude is "this kind of thing happens". NO IT SHOULD NOT! I put up with Logic Pros bugs for about 3 months when I decided I couldnt take it anymore and moved back to the PC platform and bought Sonar X2 Producer. Also, Cakewalks technical support is FREE, while Apple charges either per incident or $500 for an annual support contract. My beef with this is that Apple will only help you if you encounter a "technical issue" or bug in their software. And they want me to pay $500year to bring bugs to their attention As Ive already mentioned, Sonars interface is excellently designed, and this cannot be overemphasized. While creating music, you will be doing a LOT of editing of notes and continuous controller data (like CC11 for Expression, which I use a LOT), and Sonar allows easy editing. It has a step sequencer specifically suitable for drums where you can enter beats to the appropriate drum components while listening to the drum loop playback, multiple sound modules"tone generators" (e.g. Dimension Pro, Session Drummer, and more), reverb modules, and their ProChannel module is great and easy to use for my mixing needs. Oddly, what I really love is the Cakewalk Analyst which shows me visually and graphically the frequency ranges of any given sound; this takes the guesswork out of mixing because youd know which frequency range to boost or subdue for any given instrument or synthesized sound. Well, Im not going to expound too much on the technical details since this is not a book, but I hope I touched on the salient points. This is a software made for PROFESSIONALS, so I guess thats why an amateur like me finds this product more than adequate. Even though it has chockfuls of features, it was designed so as not to unnecessarily overwhelm an amateur. I have recently been creating a new song, and I have not been impeded by bugs (except for one minor issue with the Piano Roll view, but closing it and reopening another instance of it takes care of the problem, which wasnt showstopping at all), and Im extremely pleased with how this product has allowed creativity to flow out of me unimpeded by technical distractions like bugs or lack of features. Very very stable product, highly recommended.

At age 9, I became totally fascinated by radio and everything to do with it. One of best stations in Connecticut was a HOT, high energy Top-40 out of New Haven. Only 1,000 watts but it sounded better than most major market stations I've ever heard and had a much broader playlist as well. (Where else could you hear "When I Die" by Motherlode, Donny Elwood's version of "Where Did Our Love Go" and "Funky Worm" by the Ohio Players on a regular basis?).

 

They made 77 WABC down in New York City sound like rank amateurs with its stodgy, slow format and reverb audio that was a throwback to the early 1960s. Not to mention a playlist of about 15 songs interrupted by endless commercial breaks.

 

WAVZ was consulted by Paul Drew, known in the industry as a total perfectionist who would call and berate the on-air jock for the slightest mistake or format deviation. The DJs were amazingly good and the locally produced commercials, station promos and contests were incredibly clever and had slick production values. "CashCade", "The Money Pool", "High Stakes", "Don't Say Hello", "The Summer Beach Patrol", "Goldfinger", "The Phrase That Pays", "Diving for Dollars", "The Tantalizer" and so many more contests in a never ending array.

 

I recorded hundreds of hours of their programming between 1972 and 1976 on cassettes. Fifteen years ago, I transferred all this material to CDs as a labor of love and enhanced them using Adobe Audition. This was the station that heavily influenced my decision to go into radio (at least as a weekend DJ). It's still SO cool to drive around in 2016 and listen to WAVZ from the early 1970s blasting out of my car radio. Who needs oldies stations? This is the REAL deal!

Ryan Keen

Magazzini Generali - Milano

09 Marzo 2014

 

“I have much to say,” sings Ryan Keen on his track Orelia, and it’s true: he does have plenty to communicate, but then, he’s packed quite a lot into his first quarter-century. And now he’s coming to tell you his stories. The singer-songwriter with the warm, breathy voice, technically virtuosic guitar playing style and armful of confessional and/or observational material is about to become your favourite new bard.

He was born in 1987, in Totnes, to a speech therapist mother and deep sea diver dad. Growing up, he listened to an eclectic mix of music and learnt various guitar styles. He studied Commercial Music at Westminster University with the intention of pursuing a career in the music industry, either in law or management – he did work experience at a Music Management Company, who looked after Zero 7 and David Holmes – when a couple of major events had the galvanising effect of turning his dream of an alternative future as a musician into a reality.

 

“I lost a friend in my final year at University,” explains Ryan. “He died suddenly from heart failure. He was fit and healthy and it came totally out of the blue. That really rattled me. But that’s what got me started as a singer-songwriter. I realised how fragile and short life is. I had been nervous and shy about performing but now I really wanted to do it. It struck a chord, the realisation that anyone can go at any time, so you might as well have a go.”

 

It was while still at Uni that he began performing and writing songs for other musicians. His first professional gig was playing for an artist called Lily Mckenzie, and his next was for rising urban star Delilah. His first solo show was in a pub in Stockwell to a crowd of no more than 20.

 

“I was unbelievably terrified,” he recalls. “It was the most nervous I’ve ever been. I haven’t had stage fright like that since!”

 

After a period on the open-mic circuit, Ryan began writing and recording his first EP – with Josh Friend of North London dubstep heroes, Modestep – for early 2010 release. Entitled Aiming For The Sun, it featured Thank You, Chasing Shadows, Primrose Hill and the title track.

 

“It was completely self-released,” he explains. “I sold a few hundred copies at gigs and it helped me get to the next level.”

 

The next level was winning a competition that took him to annual industry new-artist showcase, South by South West in Texas, where Ryan performed in March 2011. Soon afterwards, he signed a deal with Imagem, the world’s largest independent music publishers, and he found management, enabling him to give up his day job with hip shoe company Author.

 

That October, he was invited to go on tour with new acoustic sensation Ed Sheeran, an opportunity that would, Ryan admits, provide him with his “first decent exposure”. The trouble was, three weeks before the dates, Ryan severed the tendons in his right hand when he tried to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew.

 

“It went massively wrong, the bottle shattered and the glass severed my wrist, cutting down to the bone,” he recounts with a shudder. “It couldn’t have gone much worse. I got rushed to Homerton A&E. Ironically, I’d been sofa surfing for a year because I couldn’t afford rent and, after signing with Imagem I had a bit of money and could afford to rent my own place. It was the first night in my flat in Dalston and I was due to go into the studio the next day to work on my next EP. Instead I had to go to hospital. They had to stop the bleeding, because it was ridiculous – like a horror film, spraying everywhere. I had investigative surgery and then the day after I had surgery to stitch up the tendons. They put me in a cast and once the morphine wore off I was allowed out.”

 

Luckily, Ryan had an expert physiotherapist who helped him to play guitar with a modified cast still on his right hand. Against all the odds he was able to go on the Sheeran tour, which helped grow his fanbase considerably.

 

Finally, in January 2012, he finished the Focus EP and the tracks Orelia, See Me Now and In My Mind. The title track was accompanied by a stop-motion video courtesy of his friend Andy Shackleford, who had done similar work for Postman Pat and Fireman Sam. The resulting promo won Best Music Video at the Limelight Video Awards.

 

The Focus EP effectively served as an invitation to appear at many of the major festivals that summer. There, Ryan would not just perform but also spend the night in his pimped-up VW van with the sound-system and fold-out double bed. But then, he’s a hardy type who grew up surfing down in Devon and learning martial arts.

 

By 2013, Ryan was supporting Plan B at the iTunes festival and was the only unsigned act appearing on the whole month long bill. He also recorded a live EP and another called Back To The Ocean which featured a duet with Newton Faulkner called Reflections In The Water, which led to an invitation to join him on tour as his special guest. He embarked on his own headline tour and supported Leona Lewis, which saw him playing arenas as well as the Royal Albert Hall in London.

 

“That was pretty outrageous,” he laughs, “playing such a prestigious venue where a lot of my heroes have played.”

 

Today, after furious gigging – 260 shows in the last 14 months – Ryan has accrued a sizable fanbase. He’s been remixed by Modestep and made a cameo on a single by rapper Benny Banks. His Twitter followers include everyone from Ed Sheeran to Harry Styles and he’s got the crucial support of Radio 1. He’s also collaborating with some of the scene’s key writers and producers: The Nexus (Lana Del Rey), Craze ‘n’ Hoax (Emeli Sandé), Fink (John Legend, Pro Green) and Dan Dare (Maverick Sabre, Wretch 32). Life couldn’t be better, even if his music is often deliciously sombre and downbeat, with lyrics torn from the pages of his diary and written as a form of therapy.

 

“My songs can be introspective,” he agrees. “I came to this from a pretty dark place, with my mate dying. That hit me pretty hard. But I always try to write with optimism.”

 

He cites as an example his song Aiming For The Sun and its lyric, “I’ll keep aiming for the sun so that my shadows fall behind.” “I’m always looking for the silver lining,” he says, “even if the subject matter is dark.”

 

On his forthcoming debut album, Room For Light – which was self-funded and recorded, largely in a small shed with jazz pianist and producer Patrick Wood – Ryan explores the light and shade of life and love, with a series of songs that are remarkable for their subtly rich arrangements and his intimate style of playing and singing – you can hear him draw breath and feel the scrape of his fingers on the fretboard.

 

The songs are quietly varied. Opening track Know About Me showcases Ryan’s unusual guitar style and his husky, comforting baritone. Fans of artists from John Martyn to Ray Lamontagne will find much to enjoy here. The song increases in richness as it proceeds, the guitar enhanced by keyboards and strings. Skin And Bones is another fully arranged tune, almost Coldplay-ish, positioning Ryan less as a troubadour and more as a potential band frontman with arena appeal. You can imagine this being sung by big crowds in big venues. See Me Now opens with ambient electronic effects, and has a catchy, textured chorus. Old Scars marries a personal lyric with an infectious melody and a layered arrangement, with guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and backing vocals serving a song exploring memory and loss.

 

Trouble would have made a perfect way into side two of the vinyl edition of the album: it’s an uptempo, bluesy, Clapton-esque number. By contrast, All This Time is haunting, echoey, the reverb expressing Ryan’s palpable sense of anguished isolation. Body Over Mind has an unusual structure and a jazzily linear rhythm over which Ryan free-associates with shades of Tim Buckley circa Greetings From LA. When The Day Breaks finds him declaring, “I’m haunted by trouble”, and although there is a key change halfway through that strikes a note of caution, the song closes the album in an optimistic way.

 

The title of the album, Room For Light, was lifted from future single Skin And Bones: “A darker place has more room for light”. With a highly prestigious London show coming up at The Scala as part of his October tour, and the album due the month before, Ryan Keen has good reason to look on the bright side.

Ryan Keen

Magazzini Generali - Milano

09 Marzo 2014

 

“I have much to say,” sings Ryan Keen on his track Orelia, and it’s true: he does have plenty to communicate, but then, he’s packed quite a lot into his first quarter-century. And now he’s coming to tell you his stories. The singer-songwriter with the warm, breathy voice, technically virtuosic guitar playing style and armful of confessional and/or observational material is about to become your favourite new bard.

He was born in 1987, in Totnes, to a speech therapist mother and deep sea diver dad. Growing up, he listened to an eclectic mix of music and learnt various guitar styles. He studied Commercial Music at Westminster University with the intention of pursuing a career in the music industry, either in law or management – he did work experience at a Music Management Company, who looked after Zero 7 and David Holmes – when a couple of major events had the galvanising effect of turning his dream of an alternative future as a musician into a reality.

 

“I lost a friend in my final year at University,” explains Ryan. “He died suddenly from heart failure. He was fit and healthy and it came totally out of the blue. That really rattled me. But that’s what got me started as a singer-songwriter. I realised how fragile and short life is. I had been nervous and shy about performing but now I really wanted to do it. It struck a chord, the realisation that anyone can go at any time, so you might as well have a go.”

 

It was while still at Uni that he began performing and writing songs for other musicians. His first professional gig was playing for an artist called Lily Mckenzie, and his next was for rising urban star Delilah. His first solo show was in a pub in Stockwell to a crowd of no more than 20.

 

“I was unbelievably terrified,” he recalls. “It was the most nervous I’ve ever been. I haven’t had stage fright like that since!”

 

After a period on the open-mic circuit, Ryan began writing and recording his first EP – with Josh Friend of North London dubstep heroes, Modestep – for early 2010 release. Entitled Aiming For The Sun, it featured Thank You, Chasing Shadows, Primrose Hill and the title track.

 

“It was completely self-released,” he explains. “I sold a few hundred copies at gigs and it helped me get to the next level.”

 

The next level was winning a competition that took him to annual industry new-artist showcase, South by South West in Texas, where Ryan performed in March 2011. Soon afterwards, he signed a deal with Imagem, the world’s largest independent music publishers, and he found management, enabling him to give up his day job with hip shoe company Author.

 

That October, he was invited to go on tour with new acoustic sensation Ed Sheeran, an opportunity that would, Ryan admits, provide him with his “first decent exposure”. The trouble was, three weeks before the dates, Ryan severed the tendons in his right hand when he tried to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew.

 

“It went massively wrong, the bottle shattered and the glass severed my wrist, cutting down to the bone,” he recounts with a shudder. “It couldn’t have gone much worse. I got rushed to Homerton A&E. Ironically, I’d been sofa surfing for a year because I couldn’t afford rent and, after signing with Imagem I had a bit of money and could afford to rent my own place. It was the first night in my flat in Dalston and I was due to go into the studio the next day to work on my next EP. Instead I had to go to hospital. They had to stop the bleeding, because it was ridiculous – like a horror film, spraying everywhere. I had investigative surgery and then the day after I had surgery to stitch up the tendons. They put me in a cast and once the morphine wore off I was allowed out.”

 

Luckily, Ryan had an expert physiotherapist who helped him to play guitar with a modified cast still on his right hand. Against all the odds he was able to go on the Sheeran tour, which helped grow his fanbase considerably.

 

Finally, in January 2012, he finished the Focus EP and the tracks Orelia, See Me Now and In My Mind. The title track was accompanied by a stop-motion video courtesy of his friend Andy Shackleford, who had done similar work for Postman Pat and Fireman Sam. The resulting promo won Best Music Video at the Limelight Video Awards.

 

The Focus EP effectively served as an invitation to appear at many of the major festivals that summer. There, Ryan would not just perform but also spend the night in his pimped-up VW van with the sound-system and fold-out double bed. But then, he’s a hardy type who grew up surfing down in Devon and learning martial arts.

 

By 2013, Ryan was supporting Plan B at the iTunes festival and was the only unsigned act appearing on the whole month long bill. He also recorded a live EP and another called Back To The Ocean which featured a duet with Newton Faulkner called Reflections In The Water, which led to an invitation to join him on tour as his special guest. He embarked on his own headline tour and supported Leona Lewis, which saw him playing arenas as well as the Royal Albert Hall in London.

 

“That was pretty outrageous,” he laughs, “playing such a prestigious venue where a lot of my heroes have played.”

 

Today, after furious gigging – 260 shows in the last 14 months – Ryan has accrued a sizable fanbase. He’s been remixed by Modestep and made a cameo on a single by rapper Benny Banks. His Twitter followers include everyone from Ed Sheeran to Harry Styles and he’s got the crucial support of Radio 1. He’s also collaborating with some of the scene’s key writers and producers: The Nexus (Lana Del Rey), Craze ‘n’ Hoax (Emeli Sandé), Fink (John Legend, Pro Green) and Dan Dare (Maverick Sabre, Wretch 32). Life couldn’t be better, even if his music is often deliciously sombre and downbeat, with lyrics torn from the pages of his diary and written as a form of therapy.

 

“My songs can be introspective,” he agrees. “I came to this from a pretty dark place, with my mate dying. That hit me pretty hard. But I always try to write with optimism.”

 

He cites as an example his song Aiming For The Sun and its lyric, “I’ll keep aiming for the sun so that my shadows fall behind.” “I’m always looking for the silver lining,” he says, “even if the subject matter is dark.”

 

On his forthcoming debut album, Room For Light – which was self-funded and recorded, largely in a small shed with jazz pianist and producer Patrick Wood – Ryan explores the light and shade of life and love, with a series of songs that are remarkable for their subtly rich arrangements and his intimate style of playing and singing – you can hear him draw breath and feel the scrape of his fingers on the fretboard.

 

The songs are quietly varied. Opening track Know About Me showcases Ryan’s unusual guitar style and his husky, comforting baritone. Fans of artists from John Martyn to Ray Lamontagne will find much to enjoy here. The song increases in richness as it proceeds, the guitar enhanced by keyboards and strings. Skin And Bones is another fully arranged tune, almost Coldplay-ish, positioning Ryan less as a troubadour and more as a potential band frontman with arena appeal. You can imagine this being sung by big crowds in big venues. See Me Now opens with ambient electronic effects, and has a catchy, textured chorus. Old Scars marries a personal lyric with an infectious melody and a layered arrangement, with guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and backing vocals serving a song exploring memory and loss.

 

Trouble would have made a perfect way into side two of the vinyl edition of the album: it’s an uptempo, bluesy, Clapton-esque number. By contrast, All This Time is haunting, echoey, the reverb expressing Ryan’s palpable sense of anguished isolation. Body Over Mind has an unusual structure and a jazzily linear rhythm over which Ryan free-associates with shades of Tim Buckley circa Greetings From LA. When The Day Breaks finds him declaring, “I’m haunted by trouble”, and although there is a key change halfway through that strikes a note of caution, the song closes the album in an optimistic way.

 

The title of the album, Room For Light, was lifted from future single Skin And Bones: “A darker place has more room for light”. With a highly prestigious London show coming up at The Scala as part of his October tour, and the album due the month before, Ryan Keen has good reason to look on the bright side.

Ryan Keen

Magazzini Generali - Milano

09 Marzo 2014

 

“I have much to say,” sings Ryan Keen on his track Orelia, and it’s true: he does have plenty to communicate, but then, he’s packed quite a lot into his first quarter-century. And now he’s coming to tell you his stories. The singer-songwriter with the warm, breathy voice, technically virtuosic guitar playing style and armful of confessional and/or observational material is about to become your favourite new bard.

He was born in 1987, in Totnes, to a speech therapist mother and deep sea diver dad. Growing up, he listened to an eclectic mix of music and learnt various guitar styles. He studied Commercial Music at Westminster University with the intention of pursuing a career in the music industry, either in law or management – he did work experience at a Music Management Company, who looked after Zero 7 and David Holmes – when a couple of major events had the galvanising effect of turning his dream of an alternative future as a musician into a reality.

 

“I lost a friend in my final year at University,” explains Ryan. “He died suddenly from heart failure. He was fit and healthy and it came totally out of the blue. That really rattled me. But that’s what got me started as a singer-songwriter. I realised how fragile and short life is. I had been nervous and shy about performing but now I really wanted to do it. It struck a chord, the realisation that anyone can go at any time, so you might as well have a go.”

 

It was while still at Uni that he began performing and writing songs for other musicians. His first professional gig was playing for an artist called Lily Mckenzie, and his next was for rising urban star Delilah. His first solo show was in a pub in Stockwell to a crowd of no more than 20.

 

“I was unbelievably terrified,” he recalls. “It was the most nervous I’ve ever been. I haven’t had stage fright like that since!”

 

After a period on the open-mic circuit, Ryan began writing and recording his first EP – with Josh Friend of North London dubstep heroes, Modestep – for early 2010 release. Entitled Aiming For The Sun, it featured Thank You, Chasing Shadows, Primrose Hill and the title track.

 

“It was completely self-released,” he explains. “I sold a few hundred copies at gigs and it helped me get to the next level.”

 

The next level was winning a competition that took him to annual industry new-artist showcase, South by South West in Texas, where Ryan performed in March 2011. Soon afterwards, he signed a deal with Imagem, the world’s largest independent music publishers, and he found management, enabling him to give up his day job with hip shoe company Author.

 

That October, he was invited to go on tour with new acoustic sensation Ed Sheeran, an opportunity that would, Ryan admits, provide him with his “first decent exposure”. The trouble was, three weeks before the dates, Ryan severed the tendons in his right hand when he tried to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew.

 

“It went massively wrong, the bottle shattered and the glass severed my wrist, cutting down to the bone,” he recounts with a shudder. “It couldn’t have gone much worse. I got rushed to Homerton A&E. Ironically, I’d been sofa surfing for a year because I couldn’t afford rent and, after signing with Imagem I had a bit of money and could afford to rent my own place. It was the first night in my flat in Dalston and I was due to go into the studio the next day to work on my next EP. Instead I had to go to hospital. They had to stop the bleeding, because it was ridiculous – like a horror film, spraying everywhere. I had investigative surgery and then the day after I had surgery to stitch up the tendons. They put me in a cast and once the morphine wore off I was allowed out.”

 

Luckily, Ryan had an expert physiotherapist who helped him to play guitar with a modified cast still on his right hand. Against all the odds he was able to go on the Sheeran tour, which helped grow his fanbase considerably.

 

Finally, in January 2012, he finished the Focus EP and the tracks Orelia, See Me Now and In My Mind. The title track was accompanied by a stop-motion video courtesy of his friend Andy Shackleford, who had done similar work for Postman Pat and Fireman Sam. The resulting promo won Best Music Video at the Limelight Video Awards.

 

The Focus EP effectively served as an invitation to appear at many of the major festivals that summer. There, Ryan would not just perform but also spend the night in his pimped-up VW van with the sound-system and fold-out double bed. But then, he’s a hardy type who grew up surfing down in Devon and learning martial arts.

 

By 2013, Ryan was supporting Plan B at the iTunes festival and was the only unsigned act appearing on the whole month long bill. He also recorded a live EP and another called Back To The Ocean which featured a duet with Newton Faulkner called Reflections In The Water, which led to an invitation to join him on tour as his special guest. He embarked on his own headline tour and supported Leona Lewis, which saw him playing arenas as well as the Royal Albert Hall in London.

 

“That was pretty outrageous,” he laughs, “playing such a prestigious venue where a lot of my heroes have played.”

 

Today, after furious gigging – 260 shows in the last 14 months – Ryan has accrued a sizable fanbase. He’s been remixed by Modestep and made a cameo on a single by rapper Benny Banks. His Twitter followers include everyone from Ed Sheeran to Harry Styles and he’s got the crucial support of Radio 1. He’s also collaborating with some of the scene’s key writers and producers: The Nexus (Lana Del Rey), Craze ‘n’ Hoax (Emeli Sandé), Fink (John Legend, Pro Green) and Dan Dare (Maverick Sabre, Wretch 32). Life couldn’t be better, even if his music is often deliciously sombre and downbeat, with lyrics torn from the pages of his diary and written as a form of therapy.

 

“My songs can be introspective,” he agrees. “I came to this from a pretty dark place, with my mate dying. That hit me pretty hard. But I always try to write with optimism.”

 

He cites as an example his song Aiming For The Sun and its lyric, “I’ll keep aiming for the sun so that my shadows fall behind.” “I’m always looking for the silver lining,” he says, “even if the subject matter is dark.”

 

On his forthcoming debut album, Room For Light – which was self-funded and recorded, largely in a small shed with jazz pianist and producer Patrick Wood – Ryan explores the light and shade of life and love, with a series of songs that are remarkable for their subtly rich arrangements and his intimate style of playing and singing – you can hear him draw breath and feel the scrape of his fingers on the fretboard.

 

The songs are quietly varied. Opening track Know About Me showcases Ryan’s unusual guitar style and his husky, comforting baritone. Fans of artists from John Martyn to Ray Lamontagne will find much to enjoy here. The song increases in richness as it proceeds, the guitar enhanced by keyboards and strings. Skin And Bones is another fully arranged tune, almost Coldplay-ish, positioning Ryan less as a troubadour and more as a potential band frontman with arena appeal. You can imagine this being sung by big crowds in big venues. See Me Now opens with ambient electronic effects, and has a catchy, textured chorus. Old Scars marries a personal lyric with an infectious melody and a layered arrangement, with guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and backing vocals serving a song exploring memory and loss.

 

Trouble would have made a perfect way into side two of the vinyl edition of the album: it’s an uptempo, bluesy, Clapton-esque number. By contrast, All This Time is haunting, echoey, the reverb expressing Ryan’s palpable sense of anguished isolation. Body Over Mind has an unusual structure and a jazzily linear rhythm over which Ryan free-associates with shades of Tim Buckley circa Greetings From LA. When The Day Breaks finds him declaring, “I’m haunted by trouble”, and although there is a key change halfway through that strikes a note of caution, the song closes the album in an optimistic way.

 

The title of the album, Room For Light, was lifted from future single Skin And Bones: “A darker place has more room for light”. With a highly prestigious London show coming up at The Scala as part of his October tour, and the album due the month before, Ryan Keen has good reason to look on the bright side.

Ryan Keen

Magazzini Generali - Milano

09 Marzo 2014

 

“I have much to say,” sings Ryan Keen on his track Orelia, and it’s true: he does have plenty to communicate, but then, he’s packed quite a lot into his first quarter-century. And now he’s coming to tell you his stories. The singer-songwriter with the warm, breathy voice, technically virtuosic guitar playing style and armful of confessional and/or observational material is about to become your favourite new bard.

He was born in 1987, in Totnes, to a speech therapist mother and deep sea diver dad. Growing up, he listened to an eclectic mix of music and learnt various guitar styles. He studied Commercial Music at Westminster University with the intention of pursuing a career in the music industry, either in law or management – he did work experience at a Music Management Company, who looked after Zero 7 and David Holmes – when a couple of major events had the galvanising effect of turning his dream of an alternative future as a musician into a reality.

 

“I lost a friend in my final year at University,” explains Ryan. “He died suddenly from heart failure. He was fit and healthy and it came totally out of the blue. That really rattled me. But that’s what got me started as a singer-songwriter. I realised how fragile and short life is. I had been nervous and shy about performing but now I really wanted to do it. It struck a chord, the realisation that anyone can go at any time, so you might as well have a go.”

 

It was while still at Uni that he began performing and writing songs for other musicians. His first professional gig was playing for an artist called Lily Mckenzie, and his next was for rising urban star Delilah. His first solo show was in a pub in Stockwell to a crowd of no more than 20.

 

“I was unbelievably terrified,” he recalls. “It was the most nervous I’ve ever been. I haven’t had stage fright like that since!”

 

After a period on the open-mic circuit, Ryan began writing and recording his first EP – with Josh Friend of North London dubstep heroes, Modestep – for early 2010 release. Entitled Aiming For The Sun, it featured Thank You, Chasing Shadows, Primrose Hill and the title track.

 

“It was completely self-released,” he explains. “I sold a few hundred copies at gigs and it helped me get to the next level.”

 

The next level was winning a competition that took him to annual industry new-artist showcase, South by South West in Texas, where Ryan performed in March 2011. Soon afterwards, he signed a deal with Imagem, the world’s largest independent music publishers, and he found management, enabling him to give up his day job with hip shoe company Author.

 

That October, he was invited to go on tour with new acoustic sensation Ed Sheeran, an opportunity that would, Ryan admits, provide him with his “first decent exposure”. The trouble was, three weeks before the dates, Ryan severed the tendons in his right hand when he tried to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew.

 

“It went massively wrong, the bottle shattered and the glass severed my wrist, cutting down to the bone,” he recounts with a shudder. “It couldn’t have gone much worse. I got rushed to Homerton A&E. Ironically, I’d been sofa surfing for a year because I couldn’t afford rent and, after signing with Imagem I had a bit of money and could afford to rent my own place. It was the first night in my flat in Dalston and I was due to go into the studio the next day to work on my next EP. Instead I had to go to hospital. They had to stop the bleeding, because it was ridiculous – like a horror film, spraying everywhere. I had investigative surgery and then the day after I had surgery to stitch up the tendons. They put me in a cast and once the morphine wore off I was allowed out.”

 

Luckily, Ryan had an expert physiotherapist who helped him to play guitar with a modified cast still on his right hand. Against all the odds he was able to go on the Sheeran tour, which helped grow his fanbase considerably.

 

Finally, in January 2012, he finished the Focus EP and the tracks Orelia, See Me Now and In My Mind. The title track was accompanied by a stop-motion video courtesy of his friend Andy Shackleford, who had done similar work for Postman Pat and Fireman Sam. The resulting promo won Best Music Video at the Limelight Video Awards.

 

The Focus EP effectively served as an invitation to appear at many of the major festivals that summer. There, Ryan would not just perform but also spend the night in his pimped-up VW van with the sound-system and fold-out double bed. But then, he’s a hardy type who grew up surfing down in Devon and learning martial arts.

 

By 2013, Ryan was supporting Plan B at the iTunes festival and was the only unsigned act appearing on the whole month long bill. He also recorded a live EP and another called Back To The Ocean which featured a duet with Newton Faulkner called Reflections In The Water, which led to an invitation to join him on tour as his special guest. He embarked on his own headline tour and supported Leona Lewis, which saw him playing arenas as well as the Royal Albert Hall in London.

 

“That was pretty outrageous,” he laughs, “playing such a prestigious venue where a lot of my heroes have played.”

 

Today, after furious gigging – 260 shows in the last 14 months – Ryan has accrued a sizable fanbase. He’s been remixed by Modestep and made a cameo on a single by rapper Benny Banks. His Twitter followers include everyone from Ed Sheeran to Harry Styles and he’s got the crucial support of Radio 1. He’s also collaborating with some of the scene’s key writers and producers: The Nexus (Lana Del Rey), Craze ‘n’ Hoax (Emeli Sandé), Fink (John Legend, Pro Green) and Dan Dare (Maverick Sabre, Wretch 32). Life couldn’t be better, even if his music is often deliciously sombre and downbeat, with lyrics torn from the pages of his diary and written as a form of therapy.

 

“My songs can be introspective,” he agrees. “I came to this from a pretty dark place, with my mate dying. That hit me pretty hard. But I always try to write with optimism.”

 

He cites as an example his song Aiming For The Sun and its lyric, “I’ll keep aiming for the sun so that my shadows fall behind.” “I’m always looking for the silver lining,” he says, “even if the subject matter is dark.”

 

On his forthcoming debut album, Room For Light – which was self-funded and recorded, largely in a small shed with jazz pianist and producer Patrick Wood – Ryan explores the light and shade of life and love, with a series of songs that are remarkable for their subtly rich arrangements and his intimate style of playing and singing – you can hear him draw breath and feel the scrape of his fingers on the fretboard.

 

The songs are quietly varied. Opening track Know About Me showcases Ryan’s unusual guitar style and his husky, comforting baritone. Fans of artists from John Martyn to Ray Lamontagne will find much to enjoy here. The song increases in richness as it proceeds, the guitar enhanced by keyboards and strings. Skin And Bones is another fully arranged tune, almost Coldplay-ish, positioning Ryan less as a troubadour and more as a potential band frontman with arena appeal. You can imagine this being sung by big crowds in big venues. See Me Now opens with ambient electronic effects, and has a catchy, textured chorus. Old Scars marries a personal lyric with an infectious melody and a layered arrangement, with guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and backing vocals serving a song exploring memory and loss.

 

Trouble would have made a perfect way into side two of the vinyl edition of the album: it’s an uptempo, bluesy, Clapton-esque number. By contrast, All This Time is haunting, echoey, the reverb expressing Ryan’s palpable sense of anguished isolation. Body Over Mind has an unusual structure and a jazzily linear rhythm over which Ryan free-associates with shades of Tim Buckley circa Greetings From LA. When The Day Breaks finds him declaring, “I’m haunted by trouble”, and although there is a key change halfway through that strikes a note of caution, the song closes the album in an optimistic way.

 

The title of the album, Room For Light, was lifted from future single Skin And Bones: “A darker place has more room for light”. With a highly prestigious London show coming up at The Scala as part of his October tour, and the album due the month before, Ryan Keen has good reason to look on the bright side.

Ryan Keen

Magazzini Generali - Milano

09 Marzo 2014

 

“I have much to say,” sings Ryan Keen on his track Orelia, and it’s true: he does have plenty to communicate, but then, he’s packed quite a lot into his first quarter-century. And now he’s coming to tell you his stories. The singer-songwriter with the warm, breathy voice, technically virtuosic guitar playing style and armful of confessional and/or observational material is about to become your favourite new bard.

He was born in 1987, in Totnes, to a speech therapist mother and deep sea diver dad. Growing up, he listened to an eclectic mix of music and learnt various guitar styles. He studied Commercial Music at Westminster University with the intention of pursuing a career in the music industry, either in law or management – he did work experience at a Music Management Company, who looked after Zero 7 and David Holmes – when a couple of major events had the galvanising effect of turning his dream of an alternative future as a musician into a reality.

 

“I lost a friend in my final year at University,” explains Ryan. “He died suddenly from heart failure. He was fit and healthy and it came totally out of the blue. That really rattled me. But that’s what got me started as a singer-songwriter. I realised how fragile and short life is. I had been nervous and shy about performing but now I really wanted to do it. It struck a chord, the realisation that anyone can go at any time, so you might as well have a go.”

 

It was while still at Uni that he began performing and writing songs for other musicians. His first professional gig was playing for an artist called Lily Mckenzie, and his next was for rising urban star Delilah. His first solo show was in a pub in Stockwell to a crowd of no more than 20.

 

“I was unbelievably terrified,” he recalls. “It was the most nervous I’ve ever been. I haven’t had stage fright like that since!”

 

After a period on the open-mic circuit, Ryan began writing and recording his first EP – with Josh Friend of North London dubstep heroes, Modestep – for early 2010 release. Entitled Aiming For The Sun, it featured Thank You, Chasing Shadows, Primrose Hill and the title track.

 

“It was completely self-released,” he explains. “I sold a few hundred copies at gigs and it helped me get to the next level.”

 

The next level was winning a competition that took him to annual industry new-artist showcase, South by South West in Texas, where Ryan performed in March 2011. Soon afterwards, he signed a deal with Imagem, the world’s largest independent music publishers, and he found management, enabling him to give up his day job with hip shoe company Author.

 

That October, he was invited to go on tour with new acoustic sensation Ed Sheeran, an opportunity that would, Ryan admits, provide him with his “first decent exposure”. The trouble was, three weeks before the dates, Ryan severed the tendons in his right hand when he tried to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew.

 

“It went massively wrong, the bottle shattered and the glass severed my wrist, cutting down to the bone,” he recounts with a shudder. “It couldn’t have gone much worse. I got rushed to Homerton A&E. Ironically, I’d been sofa surfing for a year because I couldn’t afford rent and, after signing with Imagem I had a bit of money and could afford to rent my own place. It was the first night in my flat in Dalston and I was due to go into the studio the next day to work on my next EP. Instead I had to go to hospital. They had to stop the bleeding, because it was ridiculous – like a horror film, spraying everywhere. I had investigative surgery and then the day after I had surgery to stitch up the tendons. They put me in a cast and once the morphine wore off I was allowed out.”

 

Luckily, Ryan had an expert physiotherapist who helped him to play guitar with a modified cast still on his right hand. Against all the odds he was able to go on the Sheeran tour, which helped grow his fanbase considerably.

 

Finally, in January 2012, he finished the Focus EP and the tracks Orelia, See Me Now and In My Mind. The title track was accompanied by a stop-motion video courtesy of his friend Andy Shackleford, who had done similar work for Postman Pat and Fireman Sam. The resulting promo won Best Music Video at the Limelight Video Awards.

 

The Focus EP effectively served as an invitation to appear at many of the major festivals that summer. There, Ryan would not just perform but also spend the night in his pimped-up VW van with the sound-system and fold-out double bed. But then, he’s a hardy type who grew up surfing down in Devon and learning martial arts.

 

By 2013, Ryan was supporting Plan B at the iTunes festival and was the only unsigned act appearing on the whole month long bill. He also recorded a live EP and another called Back To The Ocean which featured a duet with Newton Faulkner called Reflections In The Water, which led to an invitation to join him on tour as his special guest. He embarked on his own headline tour and supported Leona Lewis, which saw him playing arenas as well as the Royal Albert Hall in London.

 

“That was pretty outrageous,” he laughs, “playing such a prestigious venue where a lot of my heroes have played.”

 

Today, after furious gigging – 260 shows in the last 14 months – Ryan has accrued a sizable fanbase. He’s been remixed by Modestep and made a cameo on a single by rapper Benny Banks. His Twitter followers include everyone from Ed Sheeran to Harry Styles and he’s got the crucial support of Radio 1. He’s also collaborating with some of the scene’s key writers and producers: The Nexus (Lana Del Rey), Craze ‘n’ Hoax (Emeli Sandé), Fink (John Legend, Pro Green) and Dan Dare (Maverick Sabre, Wretch 32). Life couldn’t be better, even if his music is often deliciously sombre and downbeat, with lyrics torn from the pages of his diary and written as a form of therapy.

 

“My songs can be introspective,” he agrees. “I came to this from a pretty dark place, with my mate dying. That hit me pretty hard. But I always try to write with optimism.”

 

He cites as an example his song Aiming For The Sun and its lyric, “I’ll keep aiming for the sun so that my shadows fall behind.” “I’m always looking for the silver lining,” he says, “even if the subject matter is dark.”

 

On his forthcoming debut album, Room For Light – which was self-funded and recorded, largely in a small shed with jazz pianist and producer Patrick Wood – Ryan explores the light and shade of life and love, with a series of songs that are remarkable for their subtly rich arrangements and his intimate style of playing and singing – you can hear him draw breath and feel the scrape of his fingers on the fretboard.

 

The songs are quietly varied. Opening track Know About Me showcases Ryan’s unusual guitar style and his husky, comforting baritone. Fans of artists from John Martyn to Ray Lamontagne will find much to enjoy here. The song increases in richness as it proceeds, the guitar enhanced by keyboards and strings. Skin And Bones is another fully arranged tune, almost Coldplay-ish, positioning Ryan less as a troubadour and more as a potential band frontman with arena appeal. You can imagine this being sung by big crowds in big venues. See Me Now opens with ambient electronic effects, and has a catchy, textured chorus. Old Scars marries a personal lyric with an infectious melody and a layered arrangement, with guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and backing vocals serving a song exploring memory and loss.

 

Trouble would have made a perfect way into side two of the vinyl edition of the album: it’s an uptempo, bluesy, Clapton-esque number. By contrast, All This Time is haunting, echoey, the reverb expressing Ryan’s palpable sense of anguished isolation. Body Over Mind has an unusual structure and a jazzily linear rhythm over which Ryan free-associates with shades of Tim Buckley circa Greetings From LA. When The Day Breaks finds him declaring, “I’m haunted by trouble”, and although there is a key change halfway through that strikes a note of caution, the song closes the album in an optimistic way.

 

The title of the album, Room For Light, was lifted from future single Skin And Bones: “A darker place has more room for light”. With a highly prestigious London show coming up at The Scala as part of his October tour, and the album due the month before, Ryan Keen has good reason to look on the bright side.

Ryan Keen

Magazzini Generali - Milano

09 Marzo 2014

 

“I have much to say,” sings Ryan Keen on his track Orelia, and it’s true: he does have plenty to communicate, but then, he’s packed quite a lot into his first quarter-century. And now he’s coming to tell you his stories. The singer-songwriter with the warm, breathy voice, technically virtuosic guitar playing style and armful of confessional and/or observational material is about to become your favourite new bard.

He was born in 1987, in Totnes, to a speech therapist mother and deep sea diver dad. Growing up, he listened to an eclectic mix of music and learnt various guitar styles. He studied Commercial Music at Westminster University with the intention of pursuing a career in the music industry, either in law or management – he did work experience at a Music Management Company, who looked after Zero 7 and David Holmes – when a couple of major events had the galvanising effect of turning his dream of an alternative future as a musician into a reality.

 

“I lost a friend in my final year at University,” explains Ryan. “He died suddenly from heart failure. He was fit and healthy and it came totally out of the blue. That really rattled me. But that’s what got me started as a singer-songwriter. I realised how fragile and short life is. I had been nervous and shy about performing but now I really wanted to do it. It struck a chord, the realisation that anyone can go at any time, so you might as well have a go.”

 

It was while still at Uni that he began performing and writing songs for other musicians. His first professional gig was playing for an artist called Lily Mckenzie, and his next was for rising urban star Delilah. His first solo show was in a pub in Stockwell to a crowd of no more than 20.

 

“I was unbelievably terrified,” he recalls. “It was the most nervous I’ve ever been. I haven’t had stage fright like that since!”

 

After a period on the open-mic circuit, Ryan began writing and recording his first EP – with Josh Friend of North London dubstep heroes, Modestep – for early 2010 release. Entitled Aiming For The Sun, it featured Thank You, Chasing Shadows, Primrose Hill and the title track.

 

“It was completely self-released,” he explains. “I sold a few hundred copies at gigs and it helped me get to the next level.”

 

The next level was winning a competition that took him to annual industry new-artist showcase, South by South West in Texas, where Ryan performed in March 2011. Soon afterwards, he signed a deal with Imagem, the world’s largest independent music publishers, and he found management, enabling him to give up his day job with hip shoe company Author.

 

That October, he was invited to go on tour with new acoustic sensation Ed Sheeran, an opportunity that would, Ryan admits, provide him with his “first decent exposure”. The trouble was, three weeks before the dates, Ryan severed the tendons in his right hand when he tried to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew.

 

“It went massively wrong, the bottle shattered and the glass severed my wrist, cutting down to the bone,” he recounts with a shudder. “It couldn’t have gone much worse. I got rushed to Homerton A&E. Ironically, I’d been sofa surfing for a year because I couldn’t afford rent and, after signing with Imagem I had a bit of money and could afford to rent my own place. It was the first night in my flat in Dalston and I was due to go into the studio the next day to work on my next EP. Instead I had to go to hospital. They had to stop the bleeding, because it was ridiculous – like a horror film, spraying everywhere. I had investigative surgery and then the day after I had surgery to stitch up the tendons. They put me in a cast and once the morphine wore off I was allowed out.”

 

Luckily, Ryan had an expert physiotherapist who helped him to play guitar with a modified cast still on his right hand. Against all the odds he was able to go on the Sheeran tour, which helped grow his fanbase considerably.

 

Finally, in January 2012, he finished the Focus EP and the tracks Orelia, See Me Now and In My Mind. The title track was accompanied by a stop-motion video courtesy of his friend Andy Shackleford, who had done similar work for Postman Pat and Fireman Sam. The resulting promo won Best Music Video at the Limelight Video Awards.

 

The Focus EP effectively served as an invitation to appear at many of the major festivals that summer. There, Ryan would not just perform but also spend the night in his pimped-up VW van with the sound-system and fold-out double bed. But then, he’s a hardy type who grew up surfing down in Devon and learning martial arts.

 

By 2013, Ryan was supporting Plan B at the iTunes festival and was the only unsigned act appearing on the whole month long bill. He also recorded a live EP and another called Back To The Ocean which featured a duet with Newton Faulkner called Reflections In The Water, which led to an invitation to join him on tour as his special guest. He embarked on his own headline tour and supported Leona Lewis, which saw him playing arenas as well as the Royal Albert Hall in London.

 

“That was pretty outrageous,” he laughs, “playing such a prestigious venue where a lot of my heroes have played.”

 

Today, after furious gigging – 260 shows in the last 14 months – Ryan has accrued a sizable fanbase. He’s been remixed by Modestep and made a cameo on a single by rapper Benny Banks. His Twitter followers include everyone from Ed Sheeran to Harry Styles and he’s got the crucial support of Radio 1. He’s also collaborating with some of the scene’s key writers and producers: The Nexus (Lana Del Rey), Craze ‘n’ Hoax (Emeli Sandé), Fink (John Legend, Pro Green) and Dan Dare (Maverick Sabre, Wretch 32). Life couldn’t be better, even if his music is often deliciously sombre and downbeat, with lyrics torn from the pages of his diary and written as a form of therapy.

 

“My songs can be introspective,” he agrees. “I came to this from a pretty dark place, with my mate dying. That hit me pretty hard. But I always try to write with optimism.”

 

He cites as an example his song Aiming For The Sun and its lyric, “I’ll keep aiming for the sun so that my shadows fall behind.” “I’m always looking for the silver lining,” he says, “even if the subject matter is dark.”

 

On his forthcoming debut album, Room For Light – which was self-funded and recorded, largely in a small shed with jazz pianist and producer Patrick Wood – Ryan explores the light and shade of life and love, with a series of songs that are remarkable for their subtly rich arrangements and his intimate style of playing and singing – you can hear him draw breath and feel the scrape of his fingers on the fretboard.

 

The songs are quietly varied. Opening track Know About Me showcases Ryan’s unusual guitar style and his husky, comforting baritone. Fans of artists from John Martyn to Ray Lamontagne will find much to enjoy here. The song increases in richness as it proceeds, the guitar enhanced by keyboards and strings. Skin And Bones is another fully arranged tune, almost Coldplay-ish, positioning Ryan less as a troubadour and more as a potential band frontman with arena appeal. You can imagine this being sung by big crowds in big venues. See Me Now opens with ambient electronic effects, and has a catchy, textured chorus. Old Scars marries a personal lyric with an infectious melody and a layered arrangement, with guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and backing vocals serving a song exploring memory and loss.

 

Trouble would have made a perfect way into side two of the vinyl edition of the album: it’s an uptempo, bluesy, Clapton-esque number. By contrast, All This Time is haunting, echoey, the reverb expressing Ryan’s palpable sense of anguished isolation. Body Over Mind has an unusual structure and a jazzily linear rhythm over which Ryan free-associates with shades of Tim Buckley circa Greetings From LA. When The Day Breaks finds him declaring, “I’m haunted by trouble”, and although there is a key change halfway through that strikes a note of caution, the song closes the album in an optimistic way.

 

The title of the album, Room For Light, was lifted from future single Skin And Bones: “A darker place has more room for light”. With a highly prestigious London show coming up at The Scala as part of his October tour, and the album due the month before, Ryan Keen has good reason to look on the bright side.

Ryan Keen

Magazzini Generali - Milano

09 Marzo 2014

 

“I have much to say,” sings Ryan Keen on his track Orelia, and it’s true: he does have plenty to communicate, but then, he’s packed quite a lot into his first quarter-century. And now he’s coming to tell you his stories. The singer-songwriter with the warm, breathy voice, technically virtuosic guitar playing style and armful of confessional and/or observational material is about to become your favourite new bard.

He was born in 1987, in Totnes, to a speech therapist mother and deep sea diver dad. Growing up, he listened to an eclectic mix of music and learnt various guitar styles. He studied Commercial Music at Westminster University with the intention of pursuing a career in the music industry, either in law or management – he did work experience at a Music Management Company, who looked after Zero 7 and David Holmes – when a couple of major events had the galvanising effect of turning his dream of an alternative future as a musician into a reality.

 

“I lost a friend in my final year at University,” explains Ryan. “He died suddenly from heart failure. He was fit and healthy and it came totally out of the blue. That really rattled me. But that’s what got me started as a singer-songwriter. I realised how fragile and short life is. I had been nervous and shy about performing but now I really wanted to do it. It struck a chord, the realisation that anyone can go at any time, so you might as well have a go.”

 

It was while still at Uni that he began performing and writing songs for other musicians. His first professional gig was playing for an artist called Lily Mckenzie, and his next was for rising urban star Delilah. His first solo show was in a pub in Stockwell to a crowd of no more than 20.

 

“I was unbelievably terrified,” he recalls. “It was the most nervous I’ve ever been. I haven’t had stage fright like that since!”

 

After a period on the open-mic circuit, Ryan began writing and recording his first EP – with Josh Friend of North London dubstep heroes, Modestep – for early 2010 release. Entitled Aiming For The Sun, it featured Thank You, Chasing Shadows, Primrose Hill and the title track.

 

“It was completely self-released,” he explains. “I sold a few hundred copies at gigs and it helped me get to the next level.”

 

The next level was winning a competition that took him to annual industry new-artist showcase, South by South West in Texas, where Ryan performed in March 2011. Soon afterwards, he signed a deal with Imagem, the world’s largest independent music publishers, and he found management, enabling him to give up his day job with hip shoe company Author.

 

That October, he was invited to go on tour with new acoustic sensation Ed Sheeran, an opportunity that would, Ryan admits, provide him with his “first decent exposure”. The trouble was, three weeks before the dates, Ryan severed the tendons in his right hand when he tried to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew.

 

“It went massively wrong, the bottle shattered and the glass severed my wrist, cutting down to the bone,” he recounts with a shudder. “It couldn’t have gone much worse. I got rushed to Homerton A&E. Ironically, I’d been sofa surfing for a year because I couldn’t afford rent and, after signing with Imagem I had a bit of money and could afford to rent my own place. It was the first night in my flat in Dalston and I was due to go into the studio the next day to work on my next EP. Instead I had to go to hospital. They had to stop the bleeding, because it was ridiculous – like a horror film, spraying everywhere. I had investigative surgery and then the day after I had surgery to stitch up the tendons. They put me in a cast and once the morphine wore off I was allowed out.”

 

Luckily, Ryan had an expert physiotherapist who helped him to play guitar with a modified cast still on his right hand. Against all the odds he was able to go on the Sheeran tour, which helped grow his fanbase considerably.

 

Finally, in January 2012, he finished the Focus EP and the tracks Orelia, See Me Now and In My Mind. The title track was accompanied by a stop-motion video courtesy of his friend Andy Shackleford, who had done similar work for Postman Pat and Fireman Sam. The resulting promo won Best Music Video at the Limelight Video Awards.

 

The Focus EP effectively served as an invitation to appear at many of the major festivals that summer. There, Ryan would not just perform but also spend the night in his pimped-up VW van with the sound-system and fold-out double bed. But then, he’s a hardy type who grew up surfing down in Devon and learning martial arts.

 

By 2013, Ryan was supporting Plan B at the iTunes festival and was the only unsigned act appearing on the whole month long bill. He also recorded a live EP and another called Back To The Ocean which featured a duet with Newton Faulkner called Reflections In The Water, which led to an invitation to join him on tour as his special guest. He embarked on his own headline tour and supported Leona Lewis, which saw him playing arenas as well as the Royal Albert Hall in London.

 

“That was pretty outrageous,” he laughs, “playing such a prestigious venue where a lot of my heroes have played.”

 

Today, after furious gigging – 260 shows in the last 14 months – Ryan has accrued a sizable fanbase. He’s been remixed by Modestep and made a cameo on a single by rapper Benny Banks. His Twitter followers include everyone from Ed Sheeran to Harry Styles and he’s got the crucial support of Radio 1. He’s also collaborating with some of the scene’s key writers and producers: The Nexus (Lana Del Rey), Craze ‘n’ Hoax (Emeli Sandé), Fink (John Legend, Pro Green) and Dan Dare (Maverick Sabre, Wretch 32). Life couldn’t be better, even if his music is often deliciously sombre and downbeat, with lyrics torn from the pages of his diary and written as a form of therapy.

 

“My songs can be introspective,” he agrees. “I came to this from a pretty dark place, with my mate dying. That hit me pretty hard. But I always try to write with optimism.”

 

He cites as an example his song Aiming For The Sun and its lyric, “I’ll keep aiming for the sun so that my shadows fall behind.” “I’m always looking for the silver lining,” he says, “even if the subject matter is dark.”

 

On his forthcoming debut album, Room For Light – which was self-funded and recorded, largely in a small shed with jazz pianist and producer Patrick Wood – Ryan explores the light and shade of life and love, with a series of songs that are remarkable for their subtly rich arrangements and his intimate style of playing and singing – you can hear him draw breath and feel the scrape of his fingers on the fretboard.

 

The songs are quietly varied. Opening track Know About Me showcases Ryan’s unusual guitar style and his husky, comforting baritone. Fans of artists from John Martyn to Ray Lamontagne will find much to enjoy here. The song increases in richness as it proceeds, the guitar enhanced by keyboards and strings. Skin And Bones is another fully arranged tune, almost Coldplay-ish, positioning Ryan less as a troubadour and more as a potential band frontman with arena appeal. You can imagine this being sung by big crowds in big venues. See Me Now opens with ambient electronic effects, and has a catchy, textured chorus. Old Scars marries a personal lyric with an infectious melody and a layered arrangement, with guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and backing vocals serving a song exploring memory and loss.

 

Trouble would have made a perfect way into side two of the vinyl edition of the album: it’s an uptempo, bluesy, Clapton-esque number. By contrast, All This Time is haunting, echoey, the reverb expressing Ryan’s palpable sense of anguished isolation. Body Over Mind has an unusual structure and a jazzily linear rhythm over which Ryan free-associates with shades of Tim Buckley circa Greetings From LA. When The Day Breaks finds him declaring, “I’m haunted by trouble”, and although there is a key change halfway through that strikes a note of caution, the song closes the album in an optimistic way.

 

The title of the album, Room For Light, was lifted from future single Skin And Bones: “A darker place has more room for light”. With a highly prestigious London show coming up at The Scala as part of his October tour, and the album due the month before, Ryan Keen has good reason to look on the bright side.

Ryan Keen

Magazzini Generali - Milano

09 Marzo 2014

 

“I have much to say,” sings Ryan Keen on his track Orelia, and it’s true: he does have plenty to communicate, but then, he’s packed quite a lot into his first quarter-century. And now he’s coming to tell you his stories. The singer-songwriter with the warm, breathy voice, technically virtuosic guitar playing style and armful of confessional and/or observational material is about to become your favourite new bard.

He was born in 1987, in Totnes, to a speech therapist mother and deep sea diver dad. Growing up, he listened to an eclectic mix of music and learnt various guitar styles. He studied Commercial Music at Westminster University with the intention of pursuing a career in the music industry, either in law or management – he did work experience at a Music Management Company, who looked after Zero 7 and David Holmes – when a couple of major events had the galvanising effect of turning his dream of an alternative future as a musician into a reality.

 

“I lost a friend in my final year at University,” explains Ryan. “He died suddenly from heart failure. He was fit and healthy and it came totally out of the blue. That really rattled me. But that’s what got me started as a singer-songwriter. I realised how fragile and short life is. I had been nervous and shy about performing but now I really wanted to do it. It struck a chord, the realisation that anyone can go at any time, so you might as well have a go.”

 

It was while still at Uni that he began performing and writing songs for other musicians. His first professional gig was playing for an artist called Lily Mckenzie, and his next was for rising urban star Delilah. His first solo show was in a pub in Stockwell to a crowd of no more than 20.

 

“I was unbelievably terrified,” he recalls. “It was the most nervous I’ve ever been. I haven’t had stage fright like that since!”

 

After a period on the open-mic circuit, Ryan began writing and recording his first EP – with Josh Friend of North London dubstep heroes, Modestep – for early 2010 release. Entitled Aiming For The Sun, it featured Thank You, Chasing Shadows, Primrose Hill and the title track.

 

“It was completely self-released,” he explains. “I sold a few hundred copies at gigs and it helped me get to the next level.”

 

The next level was winning a competition that took him to annual industry new-artist showcase, South by South West in Texas, where Ryan performed in March 2011. Soon afterwards, he signed a deal with Imagem, the world’s largest independent music publishers, and he found management, enabling him to give up his day job with hip shoe company Author.

 

That October, he was invited to go on tour with new acoustic sensation Ed Sheeran, an opportunity that would, Ryan admits, provide him with his “first decent exposure”. The trouble was, three weeks before the dates, Ryan severed the tendons in his right hand when he tried to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew.

 

“It went massively wrong, the bottle shattered and the glass severed my wrist, cutting down to the bone,” he recounts with a shudder. “It couldn’t have gone much worse. I got rushed to Homerton A&E. Ironically, I’d been sofa surfing for a year because I couldn’t afford rent and, after signing with Imagem I had a bit of money and could afford to rent my own place. It was the first night in my flat in Dalston and I was due to go into the studio the next day to work on my next EP. Instead I had to go to hospital. They had to stop the bleeding, because it was ridiculous – like a horror film, spraying everywhere. I had investigative surgery and then the day after I had surgery to stitch up the tendons. They put me in a cast and once the morphine wore off I was allowed out.”

 

Luckily, Ryan had an expert physiotherapist who helped him to play guitar with a modified cast still on his right hand. Against all the odds he was able to go on the Sheeran tour, which helped grow his fanbase considerably.

 

Finally, in January 2012, he finished the Focus EP and the tracks Orelia, See Me Now and In My Mind. The title track was accompanied by a stop-motion video courtesy of his friend Andy Shackleford, who had done similar work for Postman Pat and Fireman Sam. The resulting promo won Best Music Video at the Limelight Video Awards.

 

The Focus EP effectively served as an invitation to appear at many of the major festivals that summer. There, Ryan would not just perform but also spend the night in his pimped-up VW van with the sound-system and fold-out double bed. But then, he’s a hardy type who grew up surfing down in Devon and learning martial arts.

 

By 2013, Ryan was supporting Plan B at the iTunes festival and was the only unsigned act appearing on the whole month long bill. He also recorded a live EP and another called Back To The Ocean which featured a duet with Newton Faulkner called Reflections In The Water, which led to an invitation to join him on tour as his special guest. He embarked on his own headline tour and supported Leona Lewis, which saw him playing arenas as well as the Royal Albert Hall in London.

 

“That was pretty outrageous,” he laughs, “playing such a prestigious venue where a lot of my heroes have played.”

 

Today, after furious gigging – 260 shows in the last 14 months – Ryan has accrued a sizable fanbase. He’s been remixed by Modestep and made a cameo on a single by rapper Benny Banks. His Twitter followers include everyone from Ed Sheeran to Harry Styles and he’s got the crucial support of Radio 1. He’s also collaborating with some of the scene’s key writers and producers: The Nexus (Lana Del Rey), Craze ‘n’ Hoax (Emeli Sandé), Fink (John Legend, Pro Green) and Dan Dare (Maverick Sabre, Wretch 32). Life couldn’t be better, even if his music is often deliciously sombre and downbeat, with lyrics torn from the pages of his diary and written as a form of therapy.

 

“My songs can be introspective,” he agrees. “I came to this from a pretty dark place, with my mate dying. That hit me pretty hard. But I always try to write with optimism.”

 

He cites as an example his song Aiming For The Sun and its lyric, “I’ll keep aiming for the sun so that my shadows fall behind.” “I’m always looking for the silver lining,” he says, “even if the subject matter is dark.”

 

On his forthcoming debut album, Room For Light – which was self-funded and recorded, largely in a small shed with jazz pianist and producer Patrick Wood – Ryan explores the light and shade of life and love, with a series of songs that are remarkable for their subtly rich arrangements and his intimate style of playing and singing – you can hear him draw breath and feel the scrape of his fingers on the fretboard.

 

The songs are quietly varied. Opening track Know About Me showcases Ryan’s unusual guitar style and his husky, comforting baritone. Fans of artists from John Martyn to Ray Lamontagne will find much to enjoy here. The song increases in richness as it proceeds, the guitar enhanced by keyboards and strings. Skin And Bones is another fully arranged tune, almost Coldplay-ish, positioning Ryan less as a troubadour and more as a potential band frontman with arena appeal. You can imagine this being sung by big crowds in big venues. See Me Now opens with ambient electronic effects, and has a catchy, textured chorus. Old Scars marries a personal lyric with an infectious melody and a layered arrangement, with guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and backing vocals serving a song exploring memory and loss.

 

Trouble would have made a perfect way into side two of the vinyl edition of the album: it’s an uptempo, bluesy, Clapton-esque number. By contrast, All This Time is haunting, echoey, the reverb expressing Ryan’s palpable sense of anguished isolation. Body Over Mind has an unusual structure and a jazzily linear rhythm over which Ryan free-associates with shades of Tim Buckley circa Greetings From LA. When The Day Breaks finds him declaring, “I’m haunted by trouble”, and although there is a key change halfway through that strikes a note of caution, the song closes the album in an optimistic way.

 

The title of the album, Room For Light, was lifted from future single Skin And Bones: “A darker place has more room for light”. With a highly prestigious London show coming up at The Scala as part of his October tour, and the album due the month before, Ryan Keen has good reason to look on the bright side.

Ryan Keen

Magazzini Generali - Milano

09 Marzo 2014

 

“I have much to say,” sings Ryan Keen on his track Orelia, and it’s true: he does have plenty to communicate, but then, he’s packed quite a lot into his first quarter-century. And now he’s coming to tell you his stories. The singer-songwriter with the warm, breathy voice, technically virtuosic guitar playing style and armful of confessional and/or observational material is about to become your favourite new bard.

He was born in 1987, in Totnes, to a speech therapist mother and deep sea diver dad. Growing up, he listened to an eclectic mix of music and learnt various guitar styles. He studied Commercial Music at Westminster University with the intention of pursuing a career in the music industry, either in law or management – he did work experience at a Music Management Company, who looked after Zero 7 and David Holmes – when a couple of major events had the galvanising effect of turning his dream of an alternative future as a musician into a reality.

 

“I lost a friend in my final year at University,” explains Ryan. “He died suddenly from heart failure. He was fit and healthy and it came totally out of the blue. That really rattled me. But that’s what got me started as a singer-songwriter. I realised how fragile and short life is. I had been nervous and shy about performing but now I really wanted to do it. It struck a chord, the realisation that anyone can go at any time, so you might as well have a go.”

 

It was while still at Uni that he began performing and writing songs for other musicians. His first professional gig was playing for an artist called Lily Mckenzie, and his next was for rising urban star Delilah. His first solo show was in a pub in Stockwell to a crowd of no more than 20.

 

“I was unbelievably terrified,” he recalls. “It was the most nervous I’ve ever been. I haven’t had stage fright like that since!”

 

After a period on the open-mic circuit, Ryan began writing and recording his first EP – with Josh Friend of North London dubstep heroes, Modestep – for early 2010 release. Entitled Aiming For The Sun, it featured Thank You, Chasing Shadows, Primrose Hill and the title track.

 

“It was completely self-released,” he explains. “I sold a few hundred copies at gigs and it helped me get to the next level.”

 

The next level was winning a competition that took him to annual industry new-artist showcase, South by South West in Texas, where Ryan performed in March 2011. Soon afterwards, he signed a deal with Imagem, the world’s largest independent music publishers, and he found management, enabling him to give up his day job with hip shoe company Author.

 

That October, he was invited to go on tour with new acoustic sensation Ed Sheeran, an opportunity that would, Ryan admits, provide him with his “first decent exposure”. The trouble was, three weeks before the dates, Ryan severed the tendons in his right hand when he tried to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew.

 

“It went massively wrong, the bottle shattered and the glass severed my wrist, cutting down to the bone,” he recounts with a shudder. “It couldn’t have gone much worse. I got rushed to Homerton A&E. Ironically, I’d been sofa surfing for a year because I couldn’t afford rent and, after signing with Imagem I had a bit of money and could afford to rent my own place. It was the first night in my flat in Dalston and I was due to go into the studio the next day to work on my next EP. Instead I had to go to hospital. They had to stop the bleeding, because it was ridiculous – like a horror film, spraying everywhere. I had investigative surgery and then the day after I had surgery to stitch up the tendons. They put me in a cast and once the morphine wore off I was allowed out.”

 

Luckily, Ryan had an expert physiotherapist who helped him to play guitar with a modified cast still on his right hand. Against all the odds he was able to go on the Sheeran tour, which helped grow his fanbase considerably.

 

Finally, in January 2012, he finished the Focus EP and the tracks Orelia, See Me Now and In My Mind. The title track was accompanied by a stop-motion video courtesy of his friend Andy Shackleford, who had done similar work for Postman Pat and Fireman Sam. The resulting promo won Best Music Video at the Limelight Video Awards.

 

The Focus EP effectively served as an invitation to appear at many of the major festivals that summer. There, Ryan would not just perform but also spend the night in his pimped-up VW van with the sound-system and fold-out double bed. But then, he’s a hardy type who grew up surfing down in Devon and learning martial arts.

 

By 2013, Ryan was supporting Plan B at the iTunes festival and was the only unsigned act appearing on the whole month long bill. He also recorded a live EP and another called Back To The Ocean which featured a duet with Newton Faulkner called Reflections In The Water, which led to an invitation to join him on tour as his special guest. He embarked on his own headline tour and supported Leona Lewis, which saw him playing arenas as well as the Royal Albert Hall in London.

 

“That was pretty outrageous,” he laughs, “playing such a prestigious venue where a lot of my heroes have played.”

 

Today, after furious gigging – 260 shows in the last 14 months – Ryan has accrued a sizable fanbase. He’s been remixed by Modestep and made a cameo on a single by rapper Benny Banks. His Twitter followers include everyone from Ed Sheeran to Harry Styles and he’s got the crucial support of Radio 1. He’s also collaborating with some of the scene’s key writers and producers: The Nexus (Lana Del Rey), Craze ‘n’ Hoax (Emeli Sandé), Fink (John Legend, Pro Green) and Dan Dare (Maverick Sabre, Wretch 32). Life couldn’t be better, even if his music is often deliciously sombre and downbeat, with lyrics torn from the pages of his diary and written as a form of therapy.

 

“My songs can be introspective,” he agrees. “I came to this from a pretty dark place, with my mate dying. That hit me pretty hard. But I always try to write with optimism.”

 

He cites as an example his song Aiming For The Sun and its lyric, “I’ll keep aiming for the sun so that my shadows fall behind.” “I’m always looking for the silver lining,” he says, “even if the subject matter is dark.”

 

On his forthcoming debut album, Room For Light – which was self-funded and recorded, largely in a small shed with jazz pianist and producer Patrick Wood – Ryan explores the light and shade of life and love, with a series of songs that are remarkable for their subtly rich arrangements and his intimate style of playing and singing – you can hear him draw breath and feel the scrape of his fingers on the fretboard.

 

The songs are quietly varied. Opening track Know About Me showcases Ryan’s unusual guitar style and his husky, comforting baritone. Fans of artists from John Martyn to Ray Lamontagne will find much to enjoy here. The song increases in richness as it proceeds, the guitar enhanced by keyboards and strings. Skin And Bones is another fully arranged tune, almost Coldplay-ish, positioning Ryan less as a troubadour and more as a potential band frontman with arena appeal. You can imagine this being sung by big crowds in big venues. See Me Now opens with ambient electronic effects, and has a catchy, textured chorus. Old Scars marries a personal lyric with an infectious melody and a layered arrangement, with guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and backing vocals serving a song exploring memory and loss.

 

Trouble would have made a perfect way into side two of the vinyl edition of the album: it’s an uptempo, bluesy, Clapton-esque number. By contrast, All This Time is haunting, echoey, the reverb expressing Ryan’s palpable sense of anguished isolation. Body Over Mind has an unusual structure and a jazzily linear rhythm over which Ryan free-associates with shades of Tim Buckley circa Greetings From LA. When The Day Breaks finds him declaring, “I’m haunted by trouble”, and although there is a key change halfway through that strikes a note of caution, the song closes the album in an optimistic way.

 

The title of the album, Room For Light, was lifted from future single Skin And Bones: “A darker place has more room for light”. With a highly prestigious London show coming up at The Scala as part of his October tour, and the album due the month before, Ryan Keen has good reason to look on the bright side.