Thursday, 30 December 2010

New Images on Flickr

I had a mooch about an old graveyard on Rosary Road here in Norwich yesterday, some lovely old "momento mori" in varying states of repair were caught in the mist. I took advantage of the opportunity to try out some HDR processing and results aren't perfect, but I have seen worse :-)

Click HERE to go to my Flickr page and have a look below at a taste of what's in this new set:

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

NF website changes :-)

For those of you who have come here from the Neil Fellowes website, this IS the News Page!!!

Because of the many things that are going on at this time, I believe that it will easier for me to use a web log rather than a dedicated News Page for both my personal site and the recently up-dated Geigertek website.

This weblog will have everything from the music to the Urban Exploration to what I had my Christmas Dinner, as well as a bit of a platform to vent the spleen - you've been warned!!!

So, there's the news, I'm off to bed.

Nite nite :-)

Monday, 27 December 2010

David Wright Collaboration

Starting on the 4th January 2011, I'll be working on a new album of relaxing instrumental music in the best tradition of gentle space music with my Code Indigo chums David Wright and Nigel Turner-Heffer. This New Age style release will be called "Music For Angels" and we're hoping it will be the first part of a four part set of recordings released by us under the name of "The Trinity". It's expected that we'll have the first of these ready for release by June and will be aiming for at least two to released in 2011, maybe  more depending on how itn all goes. More updates as they happen will of course be posted here.

In need of some Urban Exploration!!!

Christmas is now past - thankfuly this year!!! We've had a nice few days in the peace and quiet, eating too much and watching too much T.V. - but it's been great.

That means the explorer in me has had another rest for too long a period, something I may have to do something about over the next couple of days.

Now, I'm obviously not going to discuss where I might go before I go there as these 'ere bloggy things are watched by the "you know who" companies. Suffice to say the Norwich area is replete with fine opportunities for a reasonable mooch.

A good explore comes though research and planning. The main tools for research are local news media, Google Earth and good old fashioned word-of-mouth. Also, keeping your eyes open as you walk/drive about can yield good foundations for a fine explore, after all, exploring your surroundings is an aspect of what urban exploration is all about.

So, this evening, the camera batteries are being primed and the torches prepped ready for some reconnaissance.



Saturday, 25 December 2010

The Queen's Speech 2010

Okay, I'm not anti-monarchy as such. They do serve a role in that they bring tourists in. Fair enough. I don't think they should receive any money from the tax-payer though, particularly in these difficult times, their wealth is sufficient as is their land-ownership. So, it was that I thought the Queen's Speech this year would serve to bolster the flagging spirits of her nation who are beset with debt, job losses, price rises and financial worries and give the average man and woman in the street a little something in a message born of hope and inspiration.

Boy was I disappointed.

For 10 minutes our monarch spoke without really saying anything at all. I'm not interested in the King James bible, like many in this country, I see religion the same as I see government - a seething cauldron of evil, hypocrisy and corruption. And going on about sport bringing the community together? I bet the bloke in the wheel chair or the bed-ridden child whole-heartedly agreed with that message!!! And talk about over-doing the PC thing on the "ethnic minority" issue - do we not have any white children in our schools anymore?

I'm sorry ma'am, but this year I wanted you to tell me that yes, things are tough, yes, times are hard and will get worse before they get better, but that we will all come through and we will all be okay. I wanted you to applaude your Armed Forces for the questionable war they are fighting, I wanted you to recognise the hardships people are facing at the moment. But no, you showed me sports halls and gyms - why is that relevant? How many of us can actually afford to use these type of facilities?

All I saw this year was an old lady gibbering on about irrelevant stuff, over-parading ethnic children in a vulgar display of political correctness and not showing any sign of interest in difficulties facing her subjects.

A very poor showing and something her father and the people of his generation would not have been proud of.

Christmas Day :-)

So, Christmas Day 2010.

We've had a quiet one this year. The kids are with their mother, so it was just the two of us and what a lovely lazy day we've had.

Spent the morning on the computer for aboutan hour, then watched "Family Film of the Decade" which was Shrek? I would have thought Harry Potter could easily have pinched that one.

We then watched 2 and a half episodes of season 6 of "Lost". We have BT Vision which is loads better than Sky and better value for money (we're not keen on giving our hard-to-come-by cash to greedy old corruptNew Zealander men - go Vince Cable!!!), and they have "box sets"! of TV series which you can watch at your leisure with no ads, and "Lost" was added at the beginning of December. I say 2 and a half because we were cooking our Christmas Lunch - a slow-roasted boned leg of lamb with garlic and rosemary, roast potatoes and parsnips (done in the lamb fat) with Yorkshire puds, Pigs In Blankets and stuffing balls.

Here's the leg of lamb, just out of the oven:


Here's the pot of Bisto I used to make the VERY thick gravy:



And here's the gravy in the pan, bubbling away nicely (with added lamb juice for all you veggies and health Nazies out there):




And the end result - a table of food, ready for "Top of the Pops" and the Queen's Speech:


Friday, 24 December 2010

Draft cover for next album

The third Geigertek album, "Soundtrack for City Living" is shaping up nicely and adopting it's own persona musically, but now it has an identity in the form of the first draft cover. AD Music's David Wright has been very creative and came up with exactly the type of look I envisaged for the CD cover.


What do you think?

Using a Casio VL-Tone on the new album

I was recently having a listen to some sounds from Spectrasonics Trilian bass synthesizer and their awesome Omnisphere synthesizer recently at my good friend David Wright's Planet Studio when I heard a patch that I am sure had a Casio VL-Tone on it!!! Remember the little VL-Tone - it was a white glorified calculator with a button keyboard and a few dodgy sounds. The Human League used one of these little blighters on the "Get Carter" track on their "Dare" album.

I knew that I once had one and I believed I knew where in my store of junk, collected over the last 40 years, it was - and it was, right where I thought I had seen it :-)

Well, I'm not exactly best-placed to buy either Omnisphere or Trilian at this moment in time, so I thought about how the sound was made up. Can't be that difficult surely? And you know what? It isn't. A little of jiggery-pokery and some significant layering and processing brought me close to the sound I liked. What's more, when I applied it to the track I had in mind, it sounded great - to my ears of course!!! Time will tell once the album is released if I did indeed pull it off.

So, with that little success in mind, I'm going to try and do a little more with the VL-Tone - recording the rhythms etc into a sampler and then cutting the resulting .wav thing up is easy, so please do expect some VERY vintage tones from me in the future.



Geigertek Website

The Geigertek website has had a bit of a face-lift!!! And one thing that has been changed is the News Page, because this blog is to be the new News Page. It's far easier and quicker to update a blog than it is to change HTML coding etc. So, as from now, this is the place for Geigertek and Neil Fellowes related stuff :-)

Nothing new to report just yet, other than the plans for 2011 which are in the previous entry to this one.

Time for lunch :-)

Neil

Thursday, 23 December 2010

2011

Well it's coming to that time of the year when we start to make plans for new one. I don't count myself out of that pastime :-)

Musically speaking, it's going to be quite a full year, certainly for the first half. Top of the pile is "Soundtrack For City Living" which will be the third Geigertek instrumental electronic music album - that's well underway now and is taking shape nicely. I'm doing collaboration with David Wright and Code Indigo guitarist, Nigel Heffer-Turner, on a series of new-age style albums. Calling ourselves "The Trinity", the first of these will be called "Music For Angels". Alongside these I'm putting together a track for a forth-coming "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (yes, the movie) musical tribute album. A number of U.K. electronic music artists are involved, including Gary Hunter, Neon and Soulless Party. I'm also doing a collaboration with a well-known electronic music artist (who shall remain nameless at this time) - this is exciting as it is someone outside of the AD Music family and something I'm certainly looking forward to.

Live performance-wise, not too sure about anything solid as yet. There is talk of an AD Music bash in June or July, that's yet to be confirmed and there is also murmurings of an electronica gig (similar to the Artificial gig I played at last August) to be held in Nottingham, probably during March. And of course, after a series of set-backs during 2010, work will be defintiely be starting very soon on the Code Indigo album - something else I am seriously looking forward to.

Gear-wise, I think I'm there at the moment with no plans for anything new to be added to the set-up. The studio is now running lovely and I can now properly enjoy it's potential.

The old Urban Exploration list of places to go is looking quite long at the moment - lots of very promising potential sites. Let's hope access and weather play ball :-)

So, now it's time for a coffee and maybe a quick razz on the Nintendo DS that my gorgeous daughter gave me Christmas X-)

Thursday, 9 December 2010

All Change In The Geigertek Studio :-)

Once again the winds of change blow fortuitously over the Geigertek Studio.

My trusty Evolution MK449C MIDI keyboard controller is about to be replaced by a Novation SL61 Mk I MIDI keyboard controller, thanks to my good friend, the UK electronic music composer and founder of AD MusicDavid Wright. He's currently having a clear-out and updating his amazing Planet Recording Studio, so various bits and pieces are up for grabs and I got first refusal on the Novation. I've been wanting this controller for some time and whilst it isn't the new MK II, I'm happier to have the MK I - I'm not sure I would like the Mk II having read the reviews and checked out the images. This is a good studio upgrade with a very definite professional piece of equipment.

Progress is being made with the third Geigertek album, titled "Soundtrack For City Living". I already have 5 tracks well and truly underway now, but still a long way before completion. There is a lovely laid back feel to the pieces, nice crunchy/glitchy rhythms and lashings of reverb (of course). I'm hoping to really kick back the boundaries of my previous releases with the inclusion on the album of a cover of a famous electronica piece from the early 1980's - not going to say what it is at this stage as I want to wait for the copyright/publishing permissions to come through first. Once I've got those, I'll be completing the piece in a way that still retains it's feel, but will present it with a 21st Century sound. I'm also including a some vocal tracks as well, one of which has a very "James Bond"/John Barry feel to it. I'm waiting to hear from a young female vocalist whose voice would be perfect for the piece.

I'm using some new (to me) software from U.K. based Minimal System Instruments - a great reverb called "Airwalker" and "Moogi" which is a vintage Moog filter emulation. Both pieces are really good and give the music a certain character which is very appealing to me at the moment.

I've also been using some sample packs from another U.K. company called Hollow Sun run by the rather friendly Steve Howell. The "Crumar Performer" and "VP330" both sound incredible and bring quality vintage synth sounds to the modern musician.

I don't want to sound like an ad campaign here but, I have to say that both Minimal Sytem Instruments and Hollow Sun offer some fantastic products at incredibly low prices (a great reverb for £2.99???!!!) and a friendly service as well - aside from the sound, these are big factors for me.

So, time to clear the desk ready for the new keyboard. I may be very sad and post a few pictures ;-)

N xxx