Like many of you, I started making music when I was a kid.

For me, my piano teacher was the Reverend Aspinall’s wife. Old wood panelling smell and repeated instructions to “arch your fingers” are etched into my memory. My grandfather was a church organist. These facts created a link between music and religion, leaving an impression of serious and deep purpose.

Fortunately, it was the early 80s. It wasn’t possible to take music too seriously when the chief concerns of the musicians in the public light wasn’t making music. 80s music is more famous for the large hair and questionable neon fashion than the chord progressions or experimental syncopation.

While the synthy bands were some of the most guilty of unforgivable fringes, they at least made interesting noises and played the instruments themselves. Pulsing bleeps and mutating pad sounds transfixed my ten-year-old self. For a small boy whose favourite TV shows included Tomorrow’s World, the mixture of cool indifference and technology displayed by many synth artists was too much to resist.

Music This Year

Fast-forward to 2019, and these influences are obvious in the two albums that I’ve released. Borderless and, especially Lines, contain a mixture of atmospheric piano, dry organ sounds and crafted electronic synthesizer.

Borderless was a collection of tunes which had been slowly put together over the last ten years. This included a tune which began life as a piece I wrote for my wife to walk down the aisle to at our wedding.

I released it online through a service called Distrokid. That’s how it works if you want to put your music onto things like Spotify, iTunes, Google Music etc. You have to register with an aggregator service. I chose Distrokid because they had a deal to allow me to put music online under two different names (Grant J Robson, and some dubious dance music as McSlzy) for a reasonable price.

It came out in May, with a single called Winter preceding the album release. This is Winter:

After that came out, I found myself continuing to make music far more frequently. Creative types will back me up when I say that sometimes inspiration comes from the simple act of doing. Lines came together in three or four months. I listened to the tunes on a daily basis, then tweaked them at night. Then listened again the next day.

After a couple of weeks, the list of tweaks grew smaller until I realized that it was all tweaked out. Lines was finished.

Lines feels, to me, like a collection of similar pieces. Borderline was a group of songs created over a longer period of time which had little in common other than the fact that I’d made them. It’s successor, however, contained tunes with a commonality of feeling throughout.

Title track from the album ‘Lines’

So, they’re all out there. They’re on Spotify here, Apple Music, Google Music and all the other usual streaming sites. I’ve also got a site just for the music stuff at where you can buy the tunes a bit cheaper.

Piano photo by Jordan Whitfield on Unsplash