Best of the first 100 days of “A Tune A Day”

tuneadayYesterday was a bit of a milestone, reaching day 100 of my tune a day project. I’ve not missed a day yet, and to mark that achievement, here’s a compilation of my 10 favourite tunes so far.

Of the 100 tunes so far, there are probably about 25 I really like, so getting the list down to 10 was hard.  They’re not necessarily the best tunes or the best recordings, but they either capture the spirit of the project or a particular type of sound I was trying to achieve. All of them would benefit from revisiting and recording properly, but that’s not going to happen until May 2014, as I won’t have time.

So here’s my top 10, and a brief explanation of why I like them.

5th May (“Water Pistol Jig”) very much reflects what I was hoping the project would achieve – a new tune written in the garden while the children were running around soaking each other with water pistols, and then recorded that evening. It captures the spontaneity I was hoping for.

29th May is the only one of the this top 10 to feature my 8-year-old son, Tom. I’ve really enjoyed getting him involved, and he’s played on 13 of the tunes. It’s been great practice for him to do it, but not all of the results bear repeated listenings. This one is my favourite, partly because of how it came about. He was really angry about something so went off and played his drums. I sneaked in and recorded it, and used two of the sequences as drum loops. He went to bed expecting me to create some angry, heavy, electric guitar-based noise, but we were both surprised that it ended up somewhere totally different. The Hammond completely changes the feel of it.

My main instrument is the Irish bouzouki, which I love playing, but it is perhaps a little less versatile than a guitar. I sometimes feel I’ve run out of different ways of playing it, but then something like 2nd June (named “Twisted Ankle” in honour of the trampolining injury Tom sustained while I was writing it) comes along that sounds completely different, and inspires me all over again.

21st May is a great example of the way a tune I already had (it was the middle section of a longer piece) ended up with a very different feel to how it had started.

I really liked the feel of 3rd July as soon as I’d recorded, and liked it even more when Fabric Lenny used it as the soundtrack for a stop motion video he recorded for the Sexy Peat project on the Isle of Lewis.

There are several quiet acoustic bouzouki tunes in the first 100 days (probably because they’re the easiest to do). 19th July is my favourite because of the interweaving of the acoustic and electric bouzoukis and the bass.

24th June is just silly, but continues to make me smile. Abba would have been a great heavy metal band.

17th June is probably my favourite of the lot. The combination of banjo, accordion and electric bouzouki captures the particular sort of sound I was looking for. The playing is a bit chaotic in places, but that sort of adds to feel of it.

25th June has a similar sort of sound. It started as a first attempt to record the harmonica, but what I like most about it is the accordion riff.

And finally, 13th June uses the Super Manetron app for a big, anthemic, Mellotron-fuelled ending.


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