You can listen to my music releases on whichever of the following services you use…

Apple Music
Spotify
Audiomack
SoundCloud
  • Planets 2022 now on YouTube Music

    My Planets 2022 album is now available on YouTube Music

     https://music.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_n8GhIBi2jFomlpY2jEA4iP7SDIelHbRPw&feature=share

  • Planets 2022 now on Amazon Music

    My Planets 2022 album is now available on Amazon Music

     https://music.amazon.com.au/albums/B0BLSLZRY4?marketplaceId=A39IBJ37TRP1C6&musicTerritory=AU&ref=dm_sh_annli1clsDgNUyOgnVTn2DPrr

    Amazon Music
  • Planets 2022 album now on TIDAL

    My Planets 2022 album is now available on TIDAL

    https://tidal.com/browse/artist/30444487

    TIDAL
  • Planets 2022 now on Apple Music

    My Planets 2022 album is now available on Apple Music!

    Please favourite and share if you like it?

    Thanks so much!

    https://music.apple.com/us/album/planets-2022/1653551828

  • Planets 2022 now on Deezer

    My Planets 2022 album is now available on Deezer. Please favourite and share if you like it? Thanks so much! https://www.deezer.com/en/album/373626447

  • Planets 2022 album now available on Spotify

    My Planets 2022 album is now available on Spotify.

    Please favourite and share if you like it?

    Thanks so much!

    https://open.spotify.com/album/5lywt2irmPrh5GV4Z3GEgJ

  • Planets 2022 album now available on Audiomack

    My Planets 2022 album is now officially released. Here is the link if you are an Audiomack user: https://audiomack.com/stuartmealor/album/planets-2022

  • Planets 2022 – Pluto

    Gustav Holst did not compose music for Pluto – he wrote his Planet Suite during 1914-1917 and Pluto was not discovered until 1930.

    Pluto of course has been re-classified as a Dwarf Planet. For my generation Pluto WAS a planet(!) and so I’ve added this unique piece to Planets 2022.

    I’ve used Harp, Strings, Brass, and Choir, but also very purposefully counterpointed these with obviously electronic sounds.

    The repetitive drone sound is actually a lighthouse Foghorn. It made me think of isolation, distance, darkness, and loneliness, which all felt relevant to Pluto.

  • Planets 2022 – Earth

    Gustav Holst did not compose a piece for Earth in his amazing The Planets suite. I think largely because he took the theme for each planet from their astrological personalities. I feel quite impudent even trying to reinterpret these great movements, so felt it necessary to add Pluto and Earth to at least contribute something unique myself to this overall work in some small way.

    Earth starts with water. Of course it had to, because that’s how life on Earth started also.

    I focussed on orchestral instrumentation, with strings and brass taking the main themes.

    But I also added the human voice, because this is perhaps the most unique thing about Earth itself, humanity.

    Well, I’m sure it doesn’t deserve to site alongside Holst’s Planets in any way. But I think it does fit with my Planets 2022 interpretation, and that’s what I was aiming for.

  • Paths of Glory

    So before I left for my extended journey I looked around for lists of the 100 best movies of all time, and downloaded them to watch when I don’t have any internet connection.

    Paths of Glory is a 1957 American anti-war film co-written and directed by Stanley Kubrick.

    The film was banned in countries including France, the USA, and others for many years. But by 1992, the film was deemed “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

    It’s a stunning film, so bleak and frustrating, and grim. As I write this, during the days of the Ukraine invasion by Russia, it makes me feel that little has changed in the nature of man, and armed conflict.

    The other thing this film gave me is the realisation that I love the work of Stanley Kubrick. As you might expect I love 2001 A Space Odyssey, and A Clockwork Orange. But watching Paths of Glory, and reading about it, has helped me realise just how amazing Kubrick’s works are, and I’m going to revisit some of them now 🙂

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paths_of_Glory

  • Lest We Forget

    I had a moving experience in Atherton, Queensland in August. I happened to be camping in the War Memorial grounds at Rocky Creek, which council make available – awesome. By chance there was a memorial and dedication of new plaques happening on Sunday morning. It was a very nice event. For me events like this always remind me of my wife Haidee, who was in the British Navy. She passed away in 2011, and I will always remember her coffin draped in the Union Jack – something that I know she would have been quietly incredibly proud of. Anyway, I got chatting to an old guy who was there laying a wreath for his old platoon. Stan. As we were chatting I noticed his medals, and the fact he was an MBE, so I can only assume he had a highly distinguished service record. We chatted for 15 minutes or so. He re-lived some memories, shared some stories, and it was really nice. But the thing that affected me, was just as we left. We said goodbye, and turned, and just as we did, he half turned back and said “Thank you for listening.”

    He thanked me.

    This is a man who had maybe killed others in war. Likely seen friends die in battle. And the simple act of me taking 15 minutes to listen to his memories resulted in him thanking me. The thanks due was all mine. Lest We Forget actually means something very real.

  • My album “Over” is now on Apple Music

    My album “Over” is now available on Apple Music (iTunes would have sounded cooler eh?! lol)

    https://music.apple.com/us/album/over/1611329891

    If you are an Apple Music user please like it and share the link with other Apple Music users – thanks so much !

  • My album “Over” is now on Audiomack

    My album “Over” is now fully available on Audiomack 🙂

    https://audiomack.com/stuartmealor/album/over

    If you are an Audiomack user please like it, and share the album link with other Audiomack users – thanks so much !

  • My album “Over” is now on Deezer

    My album “Over” is now fully available on Deezer 🙂

    https://deezer.page.link/KpqjJAKmWP8eB1t1A

    If you are a Deezer user please like it, and share the album link with other Deezer users – thanks so much !

  • My album “Over” is now on Spotify

    My album “Over” is now fully available on Spotify 🙂

    https://open.spotify.com/album/24i3ztO20fhuhq9wvyTuD0

    If you are a Spotify user please like it, and share the album link with other Spotify users – thanks so much !

  • Queen – still having influence

    One of my favourite bands of all time was Queen.

    I was reminded just how much impact they have had on popular music while watching some NASCAR on TV last week.

    During a commercial break there were around 6 adverts. And 3 of these featured music by Queen !

    • We will rock you – being used by a car manufacturer
    • Don’t stop me now – insurance company maybe
    • I want to break free – used by a travel company I think

    I really can’t think of any other band that could have three instantly recognisable songs (across generations) that still seem so current. It’s interesting how these songs, now many years old, still translate and resonate, and it says a lot about the musical craft these guys had together.

    I thought about listing my top 10 Queen songs, … but quickly realised it would be a top 20 at minimum, and probably 30. What a legacy.

    Image from Wikipedia by EddieThomas Steffan, Compadre Edua’h and Carl Lender. Compilation by KPFC based on the idea of Fronteira. – {{Cc-by-sa-2.0}} by Eddie{{Cc-by-sa-2.5}} by Thomas Steffan{{PD-self}} by Compadre Edua’h {{Cc-by-sa-3.0}} by Carl Lender{{Cc-by-sa-4.0}} by Fronteira. Compilation of the four members of Queen: Brian May (2008), Freddie Mercury (1977), John Deacon (1979), Roger Taylor (2005).

  • Little Girl Blue

    Tonight I finally made time to watch Little Girl Blue, the film about Janis Joplin [Janis: Little Girl Blue – Feature length documentary, Dir. Amy Berg 2015]. I’ve really liked Janis since I was about 17. I can still remember the very first time I saw and heard her singing. What an impact. It was like nothing else I had ever heard. It was almost not singing, it was more like hearing the soul of another person.

    If you want to hear what emotion sounds like when singing then there is no-one better. Get past the fact that her voice isn’t pretty, or even in tune, and just feel her voice.

    So I’ve been crying for half an hour towards the end of the film. It’s so sad when we lose young people to drugs, and when fame and fortune bring such happiness, and yet such sadness too.

    I can’t imagine what music she would have given us in the past years, and the world has missed out on this 🙁

    What do I take from this? From Janis? I guess the main thing is about being true to yourself musically, and that music can be sometimes about technical skill, and precision, and perfection. And at other times it can be about feelings, and emotion, and passion, and truth.

    Thank you Janis. I will always wish I could have been around to give you a big hug 🙂 x

  • New album for 2022 – Love and Hate

    So this is now the working title for my new album in 2022.

    It’s essentially a progression of the material on the Over album, but I’m aiming for the songwriting and production to be another step up. I’m still learning lots about audio mastering, and of course continuing to improve arrangement and mixing.

    I’ve also pretty much worked through all the main aspect of Logic Pro (the Digital Audio Workstation I use for recording), and the native plugins.

    So I’ll be investigating 3rd party plugins, likely from Spitfire Audio (primarily for Orchestral instrumentation), and Native Instruments (primarily for retro and vintage instrumentation). Other things I’ll be working to improve are:

    • Lyrics (of course)
    • Vocals (of course)
    • Better and more ‘realistic’ guitars – both arrangements and processing
    • More varied sound canvas (through external plugins)
    • Using Logic Pro and iPad controller in an integrated way
    • More piano – if I can get the keyboard controller I’m after
  • Ella interview clips

    Someone asked me where I got the audio clips of Ella Fitzgerald talking for the Ella track.

    They are taken from two short films available on YouTube:

    Both are worth watching, as Ella’s beautiful personality comes through in both of them 🙂

    Lyrics for the song Ella, from the album Over.

    A song inspired by Ella Fitzgerald. I didn’t understand until quite recently how amazing her voice is. I’m so glad I finally found her, at a time in my life when I needed something positive to give me joy.

    You lift me up,
    Raising my spirits, again
    You take my heart
    Up to the stars, again

    Your song will carry me
    Off to my happy place
    Ah ha ha
    Your voice; it soars
    Helps me find a better space
    Ah ha ha

    I wish, I wish
    Wish that I could sing, like you
    I wish, I wish
    Wish that I could sing, like you

    Your voice, it soothes
    Bringing me calmness, again
    Your words reach out
    Finding my smile, again

    Your song will carry me
    Off to a brighter place
    Ah ha ha
    Your voice, it soars
    Helps me find a righter space
    Ah ha ha

  • Recording Oxygène

    I just read that Jean-Michel Jarre composed and recorded Oxygène over a period of around four months during 1976, using limited equipment, in a make-shift studio set up in his kitchen.

    In some ways I think this inspired and enabled so many of us bedroom / garage electronic musicians. Even a modest laptop and sound card today is probably more powerful than what J-M had available at the time. But I was interested with what the album notes said he used:

    • ARP 2600 synthesizer
    • EMS Synthi AKS synthesizer
    • EMS VCS 3
    • RMI Harmonic Synthesizer
    • Farfisa Professional Organ
    • Eminent 310U
    • Mellotron
    • Korg Mini Pops

  • Red Rock EQ560 Free

    When I got my new Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT headphones I did some research so I could set them up for studio monitoring – which basically means endeavouring to get a totally flat frequency response with no colouration. These headphones are known for having a slight bass lift.

    I found a great technical reference page:

    https://github.com/jaakkopasanen/AutoEq/tree/master/results/crinacle/gras_43ag-7_harman_over-ear_2018/Audio-Technica%20ATH-M50xBT

    This gave me the frequency response profile for the headphones, and even the settings to use with a parametric or fixed band EQ to accurately correct this.

    Although I could use one of the standard Logic plugins, I found the EQ560 plugin by Red Rock Sounds:

    https://redrocksound.ru/products/eq560/

    This is a very nice graphic fixed band equaliser.

    So I now have this on the Logic master output, and can switch it in whenever I’m monitoring and mixing on these headphones.

  • Voxengo OldSkoolVerb

    When finalising the Over album I wanted to have at least one track that used no Logic native plugins at all. The quality of the Logic plugins are great, and it’s easy to reach for the familiar Channel EQ, Space Designer reverb, and other “go to” effects. But I wanted to see what I could using only found free Audio Unit plugin instruments, samples, and also only free Audio Unit FX.

    I found a couple of really good reverbs, including the Voxengo OldSkoolVerb:

    https://www.voxengo.com/product/oldskoolverb/

    This is an easy to use reverb, with an old school warmth.

    I highly recommend it !

    So the final track on Over, Talk, is created without any native Logic instruments or effects. Take a listen and see what you think?

  • Acon Digital – Verberate (free)

    Today I was hunting around for some (free) reverb AU’s (Audio Unit plugins) for Logic. I discovered this little gem. Very simple to use, but with four really high quality reverbs, and just enough easy controls to make quick and simple changes, perfect for quick demo tracks, or when inspiration suddenly hits. It’s so good I might have to set this up as part of my base Logic template. Highly recommended. Once I start making some money from music I’ll definitely be buying the full version.

    https://acondigital.com/products/verberate-basic/
  • My monitoring setup

    Monitoring for mixing and mastering is quite a challenge when you are mobile.

    It’s always good to use multiple sources for monitoring and mixing, so here are the various methods I use, with some details for each:

    • Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT studio headphones (Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT). Because I don’t have the space for proper studio reference speakers these are my main reference for mixing. I use an EQ to give these a flat response for mixing.
    • Apple Mac AirPods Pro. These are certainly not appropriate for use as reference monitors as they emphasise the bass quite a lot, and attenuate the very high end. However:
      • A lot of people listen to music on their ear pods these days, so this does provide a realistic environment.
      • I use a multi-bank equaliser to trim back the AirPod Pro bass boost, which provides a flatter sound for mixing.
    • Bose Portable Speaker. Anyone familiar with Bose will know that their speakers are quite heavily tuned to make the sound pleasant (Bose Portable Speaker). I can compensate a little by EQ’ing when playing to this device. However, it does provide me with a Mono simulation, which is actually quite useful.
    • Bose Frames. These are very cool sunglasses with bluetooth audio built in (Bose Frames). The sound is pretty amazing. They are not really suitable for reference monitoring, but they do provide another easy way for me to hear the mix, in a headphone like setting.
    • Car stereo. Yes, it’s a good test of a poor environment, especially relatively poor car stereo and speakers, plus the ambient and car noise.
    • Apple MacBook Pro. Well, I use Apple Logic as my DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) on my MacBook Pro to create and record my music, so now and again I just use the speakers on there. Obviously they are not designed for reference monitoring for mixers, but they do at least give me an idea how the mix sounds for other people using their computer speakers.
    • Apple Mac iPhone 13. Sometimes I just listen on my phone, like when going to sleep. Although this is a long way from a professional monitoring situation, it does provide one more method for giving a different perspective on the mix.

    Currently on my wishlist for monitoring are:

    • Beyer Dynamic DT770 Pro headphones. As an alternative to my Audio-Technica reference headphones. The DT770 are industry standard, and semi-open design, so better for long mixing sessions.
    • Mini portable studio monitors. I’m still reading about these, but there are a few pro studio quality bluetooth small portable reference monitors that could be a good solution here.
  • The Lighthouse

    I just watched the film: The Lighthouse.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lighthouse_(2019_film)

    Wow. It’s awesome. The photography, camera angles, lighting, acting, just all so good. So atmospheric. You can feel the harshness of the location, and the hard work.

    If I didn’t recognise the actors I would swear I was watching a 1950’s Hitchcock or outstanding contemporary. Being black and white, and shot in almost square format helps provide this dated feel. But it’s also the angles, the shot compositions, lighting, and other cinematic aspects that make this a true outstanding recreation of the genre.

    I didn’t actually know it was based (loosely) on an Edgar Allen Poe story, but as soon as I found that out it made total sense, even though the story is different.

    This film is classy, scary, humorous, disgusting, puzzling and engaging all at once. Highly recommended.

  • New headphones arriving soon!

    One of the challenges being a mobile musician is in the mixing and mastering area – now I don’t have my trusty Yamaha NS10 studio monitors (and no space for similar).

    So I’ve ordered a pair of Audio-Technica ATH-M50XBT headphones.

    https://directimports.co.nz/latest-product/ath-m50x-2/

    These are closed back (so good for recording vocals as they minimise sound leakage during recording), and also good for mixing and mastering.

    The reviews are generally very positive, and they have a fairly flat frequency response, so don’t colour the sound too much – just what you need for reference mixing.

    They are very reasonable at $349 (discounted from $499 RRP).

    I’ll write about my first thoughts when I get them 🙂

    Hopefully they will make a noticeable difference to the quality and consistency of my mixes … we shall see ?!?!

  • Donate button added

    I’ve just added a donate button to the site. It uses PayPal, so a donation can be made using a PayPal account, or a Credit Card.

    The Donate button is under the track list.

    Note that I expect to always release music here for free.

    However, if you like the music, and appreciate it, then you can donate a small amount that will go towards me improving and releasing new material in the future. You will also get a personal credit on the release notes 🙂

  • New song: It Is What It Is

    Lyrics for the song It Is What It Is, from the album Over.

    I never fully understood this saying. When someone looks at you and say “It is what it is” it’s like a non-statement. An excuse for not articulating what should really be said.

    Lyrics coming soon…

  • New song: To You

    Lyrics for the song To You, from the album Over.

    Trying to capture that feeling when someone doesn’t realise how completely dedicated you are to them, even though they don’t want you now. Maybe you didn’t make it obvious every day. Maybe they could not see or believe it for some reason.

    You, you, you,
    Always the pain
    Loneliness
    Forever the same
    Regrets
    Again and again
    I hurt you
    Now I live with the same

    Calling to a heart that is cold
    Missing holding a hand I can’t hold
    Sleeping now is all I wish for
    My hear dies so yours can soar
    Talking to un-listening ears
    Face the ghost that reappears
    Feeling sad over unanswered tears
    Looking back to misplaced years

    Confusion
    I don’t know how you feel
    The illusion
    Of a life that was real
    Sadness
    How we couldn’t talk through
    The problems
    That only one of us knew

    Faster now you speed away
    Ripping my heart out day by day
    But through this hurt and through this pain
    I’d dedicate my life again

    To you,
    To you,
    To you,
    To you.

  • New song: Talk

    Lyrics for my song: Talk, from the Album Over.

    This is a very simple song, with the minimal arrangement intended to allow greater focus on the lyrics.

    I guess the obvious musical influence here is 1980’s Phil Collins, both in terms of the lyrics and subject matter, and the arrangement.

    Probably one of the saddest songs I ever wrote, because I had to accept that sometimes love itself is not enough, and if people cannot talk and be honest then love cannot always overcome that.

    You can’t talk
    You can’t talk
    When there’s something hard to say
    The words will just get in the way

    You can’t talk
    You can’t talk
    When emotion is too strong
    You just choose to play along

    You can’t talk
    You can’t talk
    When I needed that from you
    The simple one thing you can’t do

    You can’t talk
    You can’t talk
    Keeping feelings down inside
    Convince yourself that you have tried

    You can’t talk
    You can’t talk
    Live a life where you pretend
    And that brought us to the end

    You can’t talk
    You can’t talk
    If you could you would be free
    You can always talk to me
    Talk to me

  • New song: Too close

    Lyrics for the song Too close, from the album Over.

    Such conflict when a partner leaves you. A feeling that they are still too close. And you don’t want them to be. Or maybe you do. Such conflict.

    I don’t care, where you came from
    But now you’re still too close to me
    A piece of my heart, I never wanted
    You broke this up, so easily

    I don’t care, how you’re feeling
    Or when you still seem close to me
    Now we’re apart it just don’t matter
    You cut me out, so clinically

    You, are too close to me
    But I don’t care
    You, are too close to me
    But I don’t care

    I don’t care what you’re doing
    And I don’t want you close to me
    Don’t need to know; Don’t need to see you
    But have to call, infrequently

    I don’t care, where you’re going
    Or how you feel too close to me
    A scar on my heart, I never asked for
    You fucked this up, so needlessly

    You, are too close to me
    But I don’t care
    You, are too close to me
    But I don’t care

  • New song: Drive

    Lyrics for the song Drive, from the album Over.

    Sometimes you just want to go for a drive, to think, or to not think, or just to simply be in a different and isolated space. It’s basic. Simple. Hypnotic.

    Hit the road again
    Push the pedal down
    Turn the music to ten
    Turn the music to ten

    Drive
    Drive
    Drive
    Drive

    Hear the engine roar
    Put the window down
    Turn the music to ten
    Turn the music to ten

    Drive
    Drive
    Drive
    Drive

  • New song: Here comes the sunset

    Lyrics for the song Here comes the sunset, from the album Over.

    This is basically about those times you are all alone with your thoughts, on a beach, and watching an amazing sunset.

    Here, comes the sunset
    Pulling me closer
    Wrapping around me
    Holding me gently

    Hear, the waves breaking
    Rushing towards me
    Carries my thinking
    Washing my memory

    Here come the stars now
    Shining to guide me
    Warming inside me
    But cold and as bright as can be

    Feel, the world turning
    Time slowly passing
    Enjoying the spaces
    Feeling the places
    This sunset is just for me

  • New song: Ella

    Lyrics for the song Ella, from the album Over.

    A song inspired by Ella Fitzgerald. I didn’t understand until quite recently how amazing her voice is. I’m so glad I finally found her, at a time in my life when I needed something positive to give me joy.

    You lift me up,
    Raising my spirits, again
    You take my heart
    Up to the stars, again

    Your song will carry me
    Off to my happy place
    Ah ha ha
    Your voice; it soars
    Helps me find a better space
    Ah ha ha

    I wish, I wish
    Wish that I could sing, like you
    I wish, I wish
    Wish that I could sing, like you

    Your voice, it soothes
    Bringing me calmness, again
    Your words reach out
    Finding my smile, again

    Your song will carry me
    Off to a brighter place
    Ah ha ha
    Your voice, it soars
    Helps me find a righter space
    Ah ha ha

  • WordPress mobile app test

    This is just a quick post to test the WordPress mobile app on my iPhone connecting to this site.

  • Reflection on being famous

    I used to think I wanted to be famous.

    But now I realise that I want to be happy.

    I also realise how easy it is to take happiness for granted, and to lose it.

  • And here we go…

    Today I setup this new site, using WordPress, as a central location for my art, music, and creative ideas.