Emerald City Productions


Hols over…………….?

by Paul on October 2, 2010

in General

Hi All,

I return refreshed and ‘eager to go’ from hols in Scotland, also having dined on a Haggis caught in the hills….?  We had a Stag wander nonchalantly through the garden in front of the car coming up the drive!  Its a new season and a bit of software needs to be purchased to keep up to date-Wavelab 7 for the Mac, and an update to Native Instruments Komplete 6 to 7.  Also got to do final mix on Electronic piece…..at last!…..and start to next work on the EP.  Looking forward to the new sounds from Komplete 7 set of synthesizers…..this will help with my obsession of the particles…..and getting them into music….?




Going to Scotland for a week to get yet more inspiration-got to mix on Electronic track when I get back…………..hoping for more inspiation for when I get back-fortunately got stuff recorded to dictaphone if short.

Inerested in how to ‘warm-up’ my more harsh digital recordings-there are plugins, but are analouge units better?  I have one outboard gear-SPL viatlizer MKII, which is good for polish.  Wavelab 7 is just out and I will have a look for what ‘warmers’ it has……..



Dogs Charity-PLEASE GIVE!

by Paul on September 15, 2010

in General

Please will you consider giving to this charity for dogs-they are tortured/Burnt/Beaten to death-Picture below is of Merrie our dog  http://www.justgiving.com/Davidwil26 Family is doing dog walk for the Dogs Trust-please sponser using the website…..Please click on link to donate…..



I am currently working on an area which I have never touched on in seriousness, but enjoyed others works in.  I used to be challenged by Tangerine Dream, Michael Nyman, Philip Glass and other German Ilk composers such as Ian Boddy. I am working with a Mac computer and using the Komplete 6 by Native Instruments.  This gives me the vast batch of synthesizers they give with the their package.  You are able to create almost anything you think of-and that’s a fantastic!  I use the Kore 2 synthesiser/controller which I mix the sounds with and create the atmospheres and leads.  I love it.

On the 3rd piece in the EP-Starting with the sounds imagined, I created a beautiful background phasing grunge sound, by mixing on the Kore 2-loading in selected sounds.  A sort of a Moog type lead sound was selected and twisted/EQ’d and came out wonderful.  One or two more synthy lead sounds were selected/altered.  Turning next to Drum/Aux sounds was fun, but needed extensive editing.  I pulled the sounds from all over the place from Ultrabeat in Logic Pro and Absynth/Battery/Kontakt.

I not sure what counts for experimental Electronic music, but what has been created in track 3 is not exactly where I thought I would be going in.  I seem to drift as so many do-but drifting is fun sometimes when there is no pressure from record companies or TV demands!  I know how to react to pressure and write to brief-difficult but true.  I am now at the point of the mix, and thats going to fun…..


Internet Promotion of Music….

by Paul on September 10, 2010

in Electronic Music, General, Music

Had brilliant night out with the 3 stooges (us 3 composers) Ian Boddy/Marcus Howarth +me!  We discussed how the Internet is full of content already, and how to get the message across-although Ian has a 20 year track record, how do other composers get their work known so they can make a living??  The Internet method doesn’t bode well for starters.  Apparently though the word still is content, content and more content!!!!-so here’s some………….


Worldwide Bee death…..

by Paul on September 8, 2010

in General, Science

I find it tragic that the world’s Bee population is threatened with extinction unless something can be done about the death of complete hives.  They can apparently suddenly disappear, vacating the hive. Scientists are trying to solve the problem, and there seems to be several factors, but they cant find the main cause, though currently they think that pests parasite and other diseases may be the cause.

Einstein postulated that if the world Bee population were to die, that the worlds human populations would die. When you look at what they pollinate, everything in the food chain is threatened. Perhaps this should be more popular subject than Global Warming-it’s a more immediate threat. Further, it seems that as usual everything other than the most important issues are attended to. Should NASA be closed down until this issue be solved.  The truth is that many people do not believe the predictions of scientists, as it would possibly impinge on their own finances so there is no commitment.

Interestingly  Australia has banned all import of foreign Hives to protect against transfer of possible viruses etc to their populations.

When will this world act wisely and with responsibility-this is more serious than we can imagine?


Hi There,

Being a Composer of Library and Production music, you would think that I have everything to hand legally and finger on the pulse of all that’s Music. Err no!  Not working close to the Capital, all music composition commissions are largely on the Internet or through it.  Production Music Libraries or Library Music portals have gone the way of licensing their music at a meaningless price for the composer-a matter of pence per track-which means that ‘a living’ can no longer be made from music composition, unless you are fortunate enough to have the time and persistence that needs super-human endurance-and as someone has said ‘near genius’.  I remember one composer for Film & TV who was famous commenting that there are many of composers around like him and just as good or better, but they were not in the right place at the right time unfortunately!

I have a family to run and the job of being a composer in today’s market demands more time than a family tolerate-end of story-apart from making a living through it.

License  terms from libraries such as Q-music, itunes, CSS Music and the like all run business models that favour themselves rather than the composer.  Slightly different are companies like mediamusicnow.co.uk whose pricing structure is fairer than most where they charge more than the others per track from £4.95 to £24.95  believing they choose professional services and quality music with fair pricing structures.  They also interestingly unlike most give 1000 licenses at the base price for the track, then increment up to  several million copies covering most needs-and the composer still gets 50% of the incremental charge-that’s what I call fair!  Good tracks deserve appropriate reward.

I believe the Royalty Free companies need to show respect to their composer base more than they do, and show this in fair remuneration!  Just because there are a large number of composers, doesn’t mean they should reduce the reward for work done.  The pricing structure that exists with Royalty Free Libraries relies on the thought that at least something is being sold and we should be thankful for that!-and we composers have to live with that disastrous philosophy whilst they line their pockets making a good living!  As composers we are at the mercy of a pyramidal business model-us at the bottom-that’s the only way it can work.

I believe the only fair way is for enforcement of the Music Licensing system, which balances the requirements of both sides fairly-but we don’t live in a fair world.  Generally the pursuit of wealth at the cost of what is ‘fair’ in life is always the way of man.  Man will always design systems for wealth at the expense of the man with the weaker hand-competition always has a loser.  There are other ways that business’s can be run and models that don’t work on the winner/loser systems.  To be brave enough to adopt them, would take something else! The capitalist model seems to be the only ‘functioning’ one here in the West.  There are other working models that work elsewhere in the world that I know of, but they demand a different philosophies which are difficult to swallow by the majority.

Therefor we carry on in the same old vein, until perhaps a miracle happens and someone has the guts to make something work that is sensible and fair for all.  Until that day, perhaps this little ‘insight’ might stir you?


Imagination Album…..

by Paul on July 21, 2010

in Electronic Music, General, Music

Why not try my latest Album ‘Imagination’-an Instrumental Electronic album-laid back & Cool www.downloadplatform.com/paul_stokes/


Hi There,

Re-evaluating 18m 38s Electronic work. Question: does artistic artistic license need to be preserved against what is the musical norm or must we experiment at the expense of being accepted musically or financial success?  I go for the second as that leads to progress in art forms.  There is something to be said for both camps though.

As a practising musician, I think there is something to be said for the restraints of learning form and structure which give a form which can be understood by the masses.  If there is no form or structure which a human being can ‘put a coat onto’, there will be no understanding of the art work or anything which can be understood.  It would be like sending out a radio message in prehistoric times where there was no radio set with which to decode the message.  Similarly, music or art would be nothing if it was not there, even if someone said it was!  This argument does impinge a little on the modern thinking where I recently saw an example.  I do not decry the artist or his thinking in this example.  In MIMA (Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art) where 70 white canvasses had a very very faint almost translucent wash of ‘colour’ such that it barely could be said to be a painting.  No form, no structure-but the canvass.  The work had a discussion about a field of daises which put into the mind that it was meant to be that, however there was nothing to suggest it except imagination!  Was this art?  Is the mere projection of words into the mind ‘the work of art’ or can art be said to images projetced into the mind through whatever means are?  See (www.thisistomorrow.info/viewArticle.aspx?artId=358&Title=Felix%20Gonzales-Torres%20and%20William%20McKeown:%20A%20certain%20distance,%20endless%20light)

This was also previously done with music in the classic attempt by the composer John Cage (1912–1992) in his infamous piece 4′ 33″ where not a note was played!  Discussions still ‘rage’ about that.

The fact that there is a physical suggestion whether the paint or audible notes or sounds is important in my thinking.  An external input must be made that has form or structure of some kind otherwise there is nothing happening in front of you apart from your imagination!  Is imagination art?-categorically no-otherwise we would all be called artists.  Art must involve construction on the part of the artist to ‘direct’ the onlooker or hearer in some method to change perception. Art must encompass change in perception or direction otherwise nothing happens in the mind.  I would argue the ‘Field of Daises’ canvasses in MIMA relies only on what is already in the mind of the observer, and is therefore not art in reality.  John Cages piece 4′ 33″ only has audience noise and outside noise which are already perceived and been allocated to their respective memories in the brain with appropriate association-i.e. an eggcup is used for eating eggs-the ‘field of daises’ is only a field of daises till it is painted  in purple for example, changing perception.  In that way true art must alter the mind image whether visual or aural.

I move….


Is music more powerful than Art?  Is there anything that music can achieve that Art cannot?

The link between Music and Art is Man.  Man creates both and there is no true meaningful Art or Music without Man, although a singing bird or a mountain range inspires us to use the terms of Art and Music interchangeably.  Perhaps there is truth in the Christian view that God created it all for our pleasure and enjoyment, and in that sense there would be a mind behind it all.

Take the case where a Man/Woman is in love.  They have certain feelings that surface which accompanying their experience of unity.  However, their feelings may change during a period of disagreement and they find themselves in a different place emotionally that day.  One of them may choose to listen to the radio which plays a piece of music which brings a sense of forgiveness into the situation.  Reconciliation follows directly as a result of the Music.  You hear of this type of encounter all too often.

In 1830  HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Auber” \o “Daniel Auber” Daniel Auber –  HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Muette_de_Portici” \o “La Muette de Portici” La Muette de Portici (opera — sparked the  HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belgian_Revolution” \o “Belgian Revolution” Belgian Revolution) as an example of the power of music on a gathering of people.  Was it the message or the combination of music and message?  Music here moved a nation into revolution.

Similarly in Art there are examples where the influence has moved nations as in the violent riots of the depiction of the prophet Muhammad (2005-2006).

What is going on in these examples?  The influence of both is monumental and can affect the direction of civilizations!   The Arts have been a touchstone as in the depiction of Muhammad in the opera La Muette de Portici where the opera is loosely based on the historical uprising of  HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masaniello” \o “Masaniello” Masaniello against Spanish rule in  HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naples” \o “Naples” Naples in 1647.

Clearly the Arts act as a centerpiece or focus, engaging both the critical faculties of the mind and the creative/emotional responses of the brain.  The two together seem to unite in an explosive mix that is able to have far reaching effects.

Recently scientific evidence has emerged where cows that are played classical music produce more milk and also students played classical music have higher marks during exams.   It has also been found that some music lowers the blood pressure, some affects the frequency and amplitude of the brain waves measured by EEG, and some lowers breathing rate and affect the electrical resistance of the skin!

Combine some of these effects with an Opera that has political connotations or Art that informs the sub-conscious or haves some Psychosocial effect, and there can enormous implications or results in the environment or the history of Man.

This is a short excursion into a whole area which partly science is trying to unify with experience and that can be measured to some degree, but there are areas that science will not address as real that I believe that are just as real and measureable, being the whole areas of the supernatural and God in the unseen (other dimensions) realms.