Dec28

Preston

Daft Eddies, White Rock, Killinchy

I reckon I'll be playing here at this time, possibly for a birthday so you might not be invited so you didnae hear it from me, come anyway and you can be my roadie/hoe, whichever is preferable.

May17

Theodore St.

Duncairn Arts Centre, Antrim Road (ish), Belfast

This is the date where I get to play double bass for some flip hot trad lads from belfast, Francis McIlduff with a launch of his album but also there'll be some tunes of mine in the set which are totally mad compared to his beautiful trad, did I mention I'll be playing double bass? I will, unless I get fired, lose my db or have some terrible fate worse than death.

Tickets will be for sale and this will be a busy one I reckon if what the lads reckon means anything and it just might, they are half mcpeake so they know stuff like the lads in the other places.

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PRESTON - Artist

Musican David Preston's official website.

David resides in Northern Ireland and is a keen traveller.

His latest travels brought him back to mainland Europe where he travelled recording and performing in remote locations without audiences, or without any intention of an audience to attempt to tap into his own creative expression of the concept of freedom.  David writes songs and has performed with Acoustic Folk Rock duo Scorpion Jack for almost a decade, they toured throughout Europe and have released two studio albums to date.

Renowned for breaking strings on acoustic guitars playing intense sets to intense crowds David found great possibilities with his first purchase of an electric baritone guitar.  A keen bass player David found the Baritone a perfect hybrid of five string bass and acoustic guitar and when playing it, after becoming accustomed to the nuances, it held the qualities of a piano.  Perhaps the most famous track featuring a Baritone electric guitar is the theme tune to Twin Peaks but it's versaility, unique and complete sound are intoxicating.

It might be an obsession but David started to put together a custom rig to be able to play the Baritone outdoors.  This requires a power supply, transportation, amplification and a location.   Starting off David played at Harbours, on hills, at the beach, on top of the Ikea car park, quarries (though access and health and safety make that quite difficult), scrub ground and city streets.  The process becoming faster and more efficient each time.  The technical hurdles, once traversed, a triumph and celebration for performance.  When that one person stumbles upon a performance, oh to be a fly on the wall in their head.

Freedom comes at a price and it's always a balance.  Without an audience, there is little in the way of remuneration.  Without remuneration there is a chasm where money should be.  It's a chasm that is normal however within the modern music industry.  With the advent of the internet music consumption changed.  Dial up gave birth to MP3s, sales in music plummetted and each season saw the industry chasing the tail of the last digital phenomenon. Reinventing chance and perceived commercial success, an inbred safe bet but with an audience with broad and eclectic tastes and a hunger to consume music tailored to their desires, their needs, their mood, their very being.

David, with a legal background, takes great interest in developments of copyright and the application of intellectual property within a digital era.  The right to have your creation only copied with your consent, and that consent to then be rewarded for that intial spark of creativity, the blood, sweat and tears expelled in the craft.  Balance that with the freedom of information, privacy, right to hold property, to create a collage, a mix, a new entity, a nod to the past, a peek at the future.  The protection of the creative trait is essential to the development of cultural works, would the Beatles be signed or supported in today's modern music industry?

The amalgamation of ideas and culture and trends is ever increasing with the higher turnover of data created and processed in the last 30 years.  Archaeologists of the future won't be brushing soil carefully from ancient ruins but recovering hard drives or data storage farms, photo albums become external hard drives.  Gigabytes become Terrabytes in ever decreasing time frames.  How long until we have terrabyte smart phones with 1gb/s connection capabilities.  At that point large audio files for audiophiles will have the capacity to stream or be stored with ease.  Grandkids hoking through old data of deceased relatives and creativity will reimagine old imagery and footage, as before, but with a huge landscape to choose from for their palette.

Through the twists and turns of a fast moving world David has sought to create a connection between his voice, his guitar and his mind .  The faster the better for the removal of barriers for the expression of emotion.  From soft heart wrenching singing to entrancing etheral guitar straight into a drop in temperature and rise in intensity as the baritone doubles up as a rocket launcher.  The genre is folk rock but the parameters are further apart, open to heading off reservation.

On the road David programs the sat nav to avoid motorways instead opting for the lesser known routes, the bizarre errors in mapping that modern technological navigation throws up and then the  unknown results of where the path goes.  It's not easily possible to plan spontaneous improvised amplified in situ performances.  Questioning whether the police sirens passing by in the opposite direciton where intended to prevent such occasions but only a few minutes too late.  Down forest tracks, tight bramble lanes, loose gravel and steep hills the aging front wheel drive transportation continues one, the descent and return to normal roads a philosophical journey, the precious data captured and stored for another day.

Songs form, styles arrive and the swirling reply of the audience, trees, cliffs, animals, passersby, landowners, nothing gently direct the mood and the style.  A reflection of inner workings on outer interaction begins to sculpt the sound.

The summer passes and autumn leaves fall.  Temperatures drop and the work moves indoors taking the data mined from the field and distilling it into it's own potion.  2017 was a good year, a fine crop of data.

Plans to release an EP and some footage are forthcoming.

 

 

Back in the North 

Arrived into Rosslare last Thursday and the weather was pure stinkin'.  The drive home was a challenge, not to mention my unhealthy reliance on my Tom Tom which decided to take me through Dublin city centre at rush hour as the fastest way home.  I cursed it and I was reminded of the passage in the Art of War, never challenge an Army on it's way home, that is what it felt like and I was initially a very polite driver iin Dublin but soon realised it was a dog eat dog world out there and the knock on effect of one poor driving manoevure by one person was taken out on a another innocent party driver in another.  I was glad to get back on the road and get up for some Fish Pie and a sleep.  Met a very interesting man on the ferry and we hit it off immediately, he told me all about his life, his daughters, his passions and we managed to while away the journey no time, there is really very little to do on that ferry at that time and the "Cinema is running on Irish Time" had some irony in that it didn't seem to be open at all.  I bought a roll mat and had a much better sleep than any seat could afford, the price of a cabin is not worth it, I'm happy to rough it if the savings are justified.  So far since I've been back I've had the chance to pop in to the new Matchetts in Belfast, played a gig in Newcastle in the Anchor with all of my favourite guitars and got the chance to catch up with lots of people and then had a family get together yesterday after a swim and catch up with my Nephew who is full of beans.

Now I am organising a recording space and also going to edit the video footage from the Drone from over the last few months and hopefully also get some recordings organised so that I can release in January which would be great. 

Playing next week in Bangor with Scorpion Jack, the week after we are playing for a Yoga workshop in Ormeau Baths and then the week after that at a Boat for a birthday party in Killinchy but that will be a solo gig, I like the name Canon Preston but maybe I should really be looking at calling it something different, even though I would like to be a character in 2000AD with a dog collar calld Canon Preston and my White Rhino Gibson Baritone SG by my side.

Ed, from the boat was telling me all about different auctions where they sell some pretty nifty bits and pieces such as, fire engines, trailers, cars, heaters, all manner of things.  I was looking up some of them last week and they are looking fairly excellent, I wonder if I will buy any of them, I know I shouldn't but a fire engine for 1500 is a tempting option, even if the storage space at the back isn't that great.  I should look up fire engine conversions and see what comes out.  I totally dreamt about it but it is the last thing I was looking at before I went to sleep.

Going to head out to late night art in Belfast next Thursday and possibly do something this Thursday in Belfast as well, maybe bump into you then.

D

Sunday 20th August 2017 

20.8.17 

Stopped off at the beach the last few days and had a nice break from what could be termed a break on Friday and hung out with some old friends and some new friends. Always plenty to do on the journey, keep up to date with the maintenance and check the goals of which there are many, in no particular order:- 

1/. Play music in new surroundings and see what happens; 

2/. Spend some time looking at what has been created and then work with that material; 

3/. Keep up to date with world affairs and affairs at home; 

4/. Surf, rollerblade and develop personal fitness and wellbeing, read, listen to music, eat and cook and find wonderful food and people, learn some French building on existing abilities; 

5/. Clean, pack and look after my vehicle which contains many elements, normally there is some fixing needed and so far that has not been too taxing but it is early days, I think it is safe to say that I will be on this journey for a while longer but it is probably a third through and it’s nice to take stock of things; 

6/. Relax and leave myself open to new opportunities and if I see something that is of interest be able to have some time to be able to delve into that; 

7/. Watch and listen to my environment and see where that takes my thoughts and what sort of creations that develops; 

8/. Edit videos and learn more about that as I go along at the pace that is the speed of French life; 

9/. Consolidate songs written, songs in development and also to learn songs as they are a catalogue of wonderful delights. 

10/. Update things as I go forward and keep ample records as are necessary to be able to analyse my activities and ponderings. 

I’ve been reading Rob Roy by Walter F. Scott the last few days and it is excellent, the turn of phrase is superb and it starts and doesn’t have a breath to stop whilst putting the essence of the story at the forefront. I’ve been reading quite a few different books, dancing, singing, cooking, sleeping, running, surfing, swimming, talking, sunbathing, discovering and playing guitar and the sea air is quite acceptable. Always something going on which is always nice to observe. My muscles are a little sore today from some weekend dancing which was good fun. I enjoy a good sweat after a dance and I never think of dancing as something that is strenuous as it is such good fun but it certainly is given the state of my core and leg muscles. DOMS, delayed onset of muscle soreness I think and it is about 48 hours when it is most noticeable. Have been meeting nice people along the way and keeping up with long term friends and enjoying chatting and seeing how everything is in their worlds whilst I am in mine in this ever changing world. Have been enjoying reading the news even if it is distressing and I think, even if the facts are dependent on so many things, that it is important to be able to do this, I am just too curious not to and since it’s the type of information that the majority of people are able to be a part of it is I feel important to consume to be able to understand each day’s turn of events. 

I stay in so many wonderful places, not everywhere is perfect but some places are at least that. I wake up and heard splashing one night and when I inspected it was the fish going crazy splashing just past a waterfall, they seem to be more awake at night. I couldn’t believe it and thought that a fishing rod would be useful but really I wouldn’t know what to do with one and even less with a fish if I caught it. Saw a fishing boat laying nets just past the wave line today at the beach, but it was nearly full tide and I was wondering if there would be an issue with the surfers and the nets once the tide went out and the nets were by default closer to the shore. A jet ski went out to meet the boat and it disappeared but didn’t pick up the nets, could have been some representative of the life guard or harbour or coast line officials, I imagined some dialogue over the sound of the sea and the engines of the fishing boat and jetski, a lot of words can be said in ten minutes and at the moment if it were in French, which I am sure it would be then I wouldn’t be able to follow it fully never mind the sublte nuances or use of French, ahem, that perhaps fishermen would have a better grasp off than most. 

Parked up near the beach and set up an editing suite this afternoon, think I have either been sitting too long or I maybe got some sun on the backs of my legs but happy with my afternoon’s work and listening to an extended jazz playlist I downloaded at one of the wonderful but rare free wifi spots I came across. I have data now that they have managed to stop that racquet but don’t use too much. 

In cultural news watched Baby Driver at the cinema and although it was in French it was understandable and the music certainly enabled me to be able to follow it, I do feel that there is quite a bit of market research goes into films these days, or any consumable product which is a created directly from algorithms of the activities of online activity, say the facebook mafia, of which I am certainly a use to include Instagram and whatsapp as part of their media analysis farming community, I suppose this was always the case as far as what is in vogue but it could be just too much, leading us to run around in circles following our tales, who knows, all worth contemplating to be duly ignored and noted. 

Monday tomorrow so will sort a few things then look for a place to play and start to go through some of the footage and recordings I have gathered, a farmer of random crops. 

Made a draft video with some new audio with old footage of me moving logs around which was really just to get a grasp on the software but was fun and rewarding, will use my skills for more later, that one is probably going to go in the library of stuff I’ve made for the future but perhaps not now since it is really just an amalgamation of ideas using a log castle idea with a new song called Night & Day which I improvised the other day. I realise now that releasing improvised material that would do well from some after work and analysis is either a capture of something spontaneous and flowing or material for a new album of music. I like EP’s also so maybe I’ll do one of those in the interim with some of the new material. 

Very happy with my cases, they are all mostly hardcore sturdy and so far have stood up to the test of the road and rumbling around in my transportations. I did however put a hole in my surfboard but that was in the water on a reef so that hardly counts and it is now fixed, as far as I know anyway, I am fixer now Daddy, I got tools for fixing broken stuff, bout time. 

Chat soon

7.8.17 

David’s Log 

I’ve decided to keep a log of the events, like the captain of ship but with more complaints about my rights and some technical information on the rig overall and how recording and travelling has been going. 

I’ll just dates and general locations as general information. 

7.8.17 

Stayed in a nice quaint town last night and slept well after dinner and some reading, went for a walk in the morning and even did a pull up on one of the machines that entice exercise, all before breakfast.  Had some black Russian earl grey tea for breakfast (some fruit and cereal also), it was pretty good but not notably different from regular earl grey but having just finished Napoleon’s 1812 espacpades I like anything Russian.  After breakfast decided to go record and went looking, sometimes it is harder than others and but today after talking to a representative at Antares, who make split charge relay’s (he was very helpful) I went off looking and after not that long came across a few secluded lakes down a road that I was just about able to drive down.  There are quite a  few elements to making music in the way that my spirit animal has chosen,  I am not sure if it is my spirit animal but it is something that I have little control over and it is how I want to do things and so for now that is how I am going to think of it.    Setting everything up so that it works is one of the elements, allowing the electricity required to actually function and allow for the engine to start afterwards also is nice, given that I am usually in remote locations.  Then when everything technical works there is the actual human being element of being able to sing and play guitar in the place that has just been found, and for that music to have some connection with an emotion or merit on its own account, I have disregarded thinking of things in terms of good or bad as they are a judgement that requires objectivity and it is so very subjective in that moment.  I also use a drone, loop station, record everything through a bizarre array of settings and that is that.  The set up went well, fast and relaxed given that at any moment I am expecting someone to come and say, hey, what the filipino are you doing, which actually never happens.  Loop station wasn’t working that great, some repetive buzz of the amp which was exacerbated by loop station but could be all kinds of things.  Turned it off and played, I felt a bit stale despite my good sleep and maybe a bit reserved, I wasn’t wearing my regular 20db earplugs which maybe makes me not realise just how loud I am.  Other than that drone was fun and didn’t fall in the water or crash into megalithic stones.  Think got a bit too much sun but didn’t realise it at the time but was overall a great spot and a decent session, levels on loop were low and haven’t listened to the recording or watched the footage yet.  Recording from Saturday didn’t make it somehow, which was bummer since I played my wee heart out for at least an hour but it is part of the process, meant to set up a back-up recording device today just in case, have a zoom hd which could do the soundcard and also an audio of it as a record, interesting to have new songs come out as often as they do.  Beautiful birds of prey circling today when I was playing, fresh mint in the air and also maybe sewage, it may have been a sewage works, I thought of it as a beautiful lake area, eye of the beholder. ;p