THE ARTIST

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I can’t draw let alone alone paint. However, fellow blogger Ted Giffin can. Not just can, he’s actually a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Indiana University, the Herron School of Art, plus he’s a musician as well.


So, I get to see a pic of me (above) on his blog. I let my mother take a look and she says she want’s it for her birthday. Ted obliges. Not only that, he paints version two (below). She’s over the moon.

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I get speaking to the old man. He says, and I quote, “You couldn’t ask Ted to knock one out for Shirl could you? I’ll add it to her list of b’day presents.” Shirley = my mother. Once more, Ted obliges. Her birthday was a success all round. Her pic below.

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We were all in a Turkish restaurant on the big day. The old man reminds me that back in 2017 Ted did the artwork for the front and back covers for his book, ‘Notoriously Naked Flames’, so for good measure I’ve included these also, for no other reason than it shows, yet again, that Ted is a great talent.


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I recommend you check out the work of TED GIFFIN and, if you don’t know him already, see what you’re missing.


Time for some music. Here’s one from the new album available on BANDCAMP . It’s called ‘Melancholy Groove’. I hope you like it;

Guitar Jam, Vol. 1 – Zoolon Audio Backing Tracks

by Zoolon Audio


Apart from Ted’s art, Copyright © 2019 Zoolon Audio.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorised copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.

VICTORY & AN ARTIST

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I took this photo on Christmas Eve. The statue lives in the Western Docks of Dover Harbour. I read the girl the two soldiers are holding is called ‘Victory’. The statue is a memorial created in remembrance of the 556 employees who worked on the railways and who died in service during World War I. I’ve got to try the best I can to compose a piece based on this.

A less important, yet a problematic thing followed. So, it’s Christmas Eve late afternoon. The shops will be shutting soon. A random memory grabs hold. A couple of weeks back I ordered my mother’s Christmas present. To save paying postage and packing I’d opted to collect it from the store a couple of days later, but I forgot. In a panic I drive down town to the store. The song ‘Last Christmas’ by Wham is playing loud. I hate that song. There’s nothing in it or about it I like. Anyway, I get to the counter. “No can do,” says the girl, “I need proof of identity.” I’d left my phone and my wallet in the car.

I’d had to park a good distance away and closing time was closing in. I rush back to the car. Grab my phone and wallet. Back to the shop. The girl on the counter says, “Not again, please God, not again.” Thinking she was having a dig at me I point out that this is only my second visit and that’s it’s not like I’ve been in and out of the shop loads of times. She says, “Sorry, it’s not you, it’s this song. It’s mangling my mind. I’ve had to listen to it all day, every day for weeks. I can’t cope.” The song? ‘Last Christmas’ by Wham. It just had to be. I sympathise with her. Tell her I understand.

I go on to say, the first two lines of the lyric are the worst opening lines ever written. She asks me why. So, I give her the first two lyric lines, “Last Christmas, I gave you my heart, But the very next day you gave it away,” adding, “Think about it. Those words are definitely not Organ Donation friendly.”

She says, “Wot you mean?” I decided that elaborating might be a bit long-winded. I collect mum’s gift and leave the shop.

Come Christmas morning I remember I’ve forgotten to wrap mum’s gift in the sparkly paper I got last year but never used and couldn’t find anyhow. All the stuff my mum gave me were wrapped up dead neat.

Time for a song. The new album is a couple of weeks away, but for now my song plus instrumental, both in remembrance of just one person. A unique photographic artist. The song, ‘Francesca’, her suicide reflected in the instrumental, ‘Eastside 1981’. I hope you enjoy.

Last thing. On Christmas Day I was No. 1 artist on the ReverbNation UK Chart. 

Copyright © 2018 Zoolon Audio.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorised copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.

 

THE THREE WISE PEOPLE

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Still frame from ‘The Shape of Water’

‘The drowning shoe’ 

Listening to the old bloke in front of me in the inevitable post office queue having a bit of a rant I was thinking, ‘that’s not entirely accurate’. What he was saying to the even older bloke in front was, “I’ve heard it all now.” The other bloke says, “What?” The original bloke says, “Bloody feminists. They’ve even had ‘Gingerbread Men’ renamed ‘Gingerbread People’ in Scotland.  It’s the law there now.” I could have intervened and corrected him as what actually happened was that the Scottish Parliament staff have been banned from saying gingerbread ‘man’ at their Holyrood coffee shop because it’s not gender neutral and that they have renamed them ‘Gingerbread People’. I said nothing because I wasn’t that interested until it all went surreal.

The old bloke upping the rant level says, “They’ll stop at nothing.” The even older bloke says, “Who?” causing Mr Rant to add – again – “The bloody feminists,” then back on his rant, “Mark my words, they’ll ruin Christmas for me. Stuff the three wise men, it’ll be the three wise people following yonder bloody star. I know that as a fact. Next on their list will be Manchester United. ‘Man U’ will become ‘People U’ soon enough. A ‘manhole cover’ will be a ‘peoplehole cover’, even the bloody ‘paperboy’ will be called ‘paperpeople’” – pause for thought then he corrects himself – “More like ‘paperperson’ probably. Anyway, I’m sick of it.”

Wow, a ‘paper person’. People made out of paper! Just hearing that concept made my listening in to the conversation worthwhile. My random thought process kicked in. Living beings made out of paper by the magic of origami, then off they go delivering newspapers. Big concept. Rainy day concerns.

Whatever, Mr Rant hadn’t finished yet. “We’ll get them back. I’m going to rename Ladybirds as Peoplebirds and bloody Custard Tarts can be Custard People. That’ll learn them.” The other bloke says, “Who?” indicating to me that his attention span wasn’t all that. Mr Rant, after a massive sigh of despair says, “The bloody feminists, that’s who.”

When he got there, the cropped hair muscular lady who never takes prisoners who sits behind the counter lasered him with her eyes.

It’s a pity the bloke didn’t come to the boil talking about all the serious stuff 2018 has thrown at us. It’s a long list of tragedy as we all know.

~

New subject. I’ve been checking the stats for my music across all platforms for 2018. It’s been a good year and lately some good offers have come my way. Anyhow, I ended up with a list of the most popular numbers in terms of listens and downloads. This one, ‘Dream Rescuer’ from the album of the same name was number 4 in the list. Here’s a taster of the lyric, underneath that is the song itself. I hope you enjoy;

DREAM RESCUER

You rescued dreams

And nightmare schemes

Spinning around inside your head

You kept them in your diary

A book you said you never read

Come morning

Come daylight

You’re lost in time

A dream you dared to dream…..

No. 3 was ‘Rexie Believes in Magic’; No. 2 was ‘Tick Tock’ and No. 1 ‘The Sunlight & The Dust’.

By the way, if you get bored of the rubbish Christmas TV I avoid like the plague then have a watch of the movie ‘The Shape of Water’ if you can. Amazing. It’s got everything. Film noir flavour; great acting – especially Sally Hawkins who left me wanting to be the alien under water with her; a story that builds like a good song should; clever retro soundtrack; weird love/romance; a chunk of Sci-Fi. Can’t say anymore without ruining it.  It is a work of art.

Thanks for your support. Have a great Festive Season & New Year. Enjoy ~ Zoolon aka George

Copyright © 2017/ 2018 Zoolon Audio.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorised copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.

THE NIGHT WATCHMAN & PLANET MARS

night watchman2 (2)‘The Night Watchman’ by Zoolon

Recently I’ve had a few songs ‘curated’ on ReverbNation. At first it sounded to me like it meant they pickled them in a jar, then realizing songs are nothing like gherkins I checked it out and a ‘curated’ song is a very good song that gets put in front of a panel – luckily that’s a panel of influential music industry type people as opposed to the dictionary definition ‘a flat or curved component, typically rectangular, that forms or is set into the surface of a door, wall, or ceiling’. A proud moment, for sure, even accepting whether a song is any good is a subjective thing.

Anyway, one such ‘curated song’ was RED PLANET I wrote a while back. It’s about the human race giving up on a dying Earth and resettling on Mars – no doubt to ruin Mars one day like we have Earth.

So, I get asked what would be the three most important things I’d pack in my suitcase before boarding the spaceship to Mars. A guitar and gravity defying clothes a given, so they don’t count on my priority list. After a bit of deep thought I came up with these crucial items;

No. 3 – A VR Headset because Mars is pretty bleak so it would be handy to have access to a virtual reality.

No. 2 – A Manual Hand Drill because I’ve heard there’s water just below the surface on Mars. It could come in handy if I want a drink or a bath.

No. 1 – A pack of Chicken & Mushroom Pot Noodles, for emergencies and just in case I fancy a bit of junk food.

Amongst other important things that would be in my suitcase but didn’t make the top three cut were a garden Swingball tennis set; my Metallica collection, an Arsenal FC flag (a red flag for a red planet); a healthy stock of Macaroni (because I’m addicted to Macaroni cheese), my anti-allergy pills (just in case) and photos of Trump, Rees-Mogg, Farage, Gove and Boris to throw darts at as they’re one of the best reasons I can think of for moving to Mars.

zoolon3‘Eric the Seagull & Me’ curtesy of Rachel Carrera – note the shop name in the background!

Time for a song. One from my ‘Rainbows End’ album called ‘Silent Films’. I hope you enjoy;

Lastly, and following on from the track for their new album I posted a couple of weeks back, an older Villagers number called ‘That Day’. A lyric telling a love story is so hard to write without it ending up slushy. Not this one. It’s on my all-time favourite song list;

The Villagers aside – Copyright © 2014 Zoolon Audio.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorised copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.

GOOGLE EARTH, A BUS RIDE & A BALLERINA

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Ballerina Art by Shelby McQuilkin-abstract figurative artist

 A couple of posts back I mentioned a mate of mine asking the most stupid question anyone has ever asked. It went like this, “How many times am I allowed to drive round a roundabout?” Although not a question this time, he’s been at it again on the stupid front. A couple of days back – this is all true by the way – I’m talking to him and he says what a horrible time he’s had on Google Earth trying to work out the directions to a town just 3 miles away from where he lives. He said he had to visit the place and he desperately didn’t want to get lost on the way. Given that he’s lived all his life in the same place, it’s hard to believe he didn’t know how to get to a town so close by.  I pointed out that he didn’t need Google Earth as it’s a straight road from his place, and that there’s no way he could get lost.

Next thing, I say, “Are you walking or are you on your bike?” He says, “I’m taking a bus.” I say, “Why are you checking Google Earth if you’re taking a bus?” He says, “I never thought of that.” He shouldn’t be allowed out.

 

Anyway, 2012 seems a long time ago.  I was 19 then, and that’s when I wrote this song, ‘Ballerina Dancing’. It was another number for my Liquid Truth concept album and is very much a ‘demo’ made for a uni songwriting module. I produced the whole thing from my bedroom in the days when I didn’t have much in the way of kit. It’s not that the sound’s rubbish with a ‘demo’, it’s just sound undressed. I hope you enjoy. 

BALLERINA DANCING

I’ve never known love

And I’ve never known hate

And charcoal letters on the wall

Help seal my fate

 

Ballerina dancing

And she’s just a silhouette

An offer to the condemned man

Of one last cigarette

 

All I know is all I know

And all I know is real,

Like a scarecrow on the gallows

It is no big deal

 

I’ve seen the writing on the walls

In shadow land today

Telling of another place

A place of night and day

 

I’ve never known love

And I’ve never known hate

And charcoal letters on the wall

Help seal my fate

 

Ballerina dancing

Just a silhouette

An offer to the condemned man

Of one last cigarette

 

All I know is all I know

And all I know is real

Like a scarecrow on the gallows

It is no big deal

 

Ballerina dancing

 

I’ve never known love

And I’ve never known hate

And charcoal letters on the wall

Help seal my fate

 

Ballerina dancing

Just a silhouette

An offer to the condemned man

Of one last cigarette

 

One last cigarette

https://soundcloud.com/george-blamey-s/03-ballerina-dancing

Here’s one from Imogen Heap called ‘Earth’. If you haven’t heard her music, I can report that Imogen is an amazing composer and sound artist. A unique performer.

Imogen & Shelby McQuilkin aside, Copyright © 2012 Zoolon Audio.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorized copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.

OLDER AND WISER

TURNING A POEM INTO A SONG

I recently had the privilege to be commissioned by the gifted poet, lovely lady and WordPress blogger, Vivian Zems, to turn one of her poems she’d written called ‘Older and Wiser’ into a song. Vivian decided on the genre for the composition and that was all I required. I got to work on this collaboration project and not long after I sent Vivian her completed song. I was well and truly chuffed to bits when she told me just how much she loved the final product. Since then Vivian has produced a brilliant music video to accompany her song (see/hear above vid).  Vivian’s blog can be found at https://smellthecoffeeweb.blog/ and I strongly recommend a visit.  Thank you for the commission, Vivian.

It was back in August 2017 I posted ‘When a Poem Becomes a Song’. The object of the post was to introduce my new, seriously affordable product.  I’d thought for some time that there are some great poets and writers out there on WP who may not be musicians, who would like to see their creations produced as songs. Better still, the songs would become the royalty free property of the writer. I explained in that earlier post (https://zoolonhub.com/2017/08/16/when-a-poem-becomes-a-song/) how the whole process works.

The reason I can produce my material at a cost massively less than others in the market is simply because I handle the whole process myself. I keep my overheads low. There’s no individual fees for a composer, musicians or vocalist hire, studio hire, production, mixing and mastering or other third-party charges involved as I do all the work myself. It is because of this my charges are a tiny fraction of what otherwise would be the case.  To back up my credentials I can advise that I have a 1st Class Degree in Creative Music Technology plus a number of albums (including one of sound art) to my name, plus I play a number of different instruments and work from my own studio – low overheads!  The writer gets to approve the final product before parting with any money.

If anyone out there is interested and wants more information, then simply email me at zoolonaudio@gmail.com and I’ll get back to you.

As another example of how words written by another can become a song, one that ended up on my Dream Rescuer album called ‘Sunlight and the Dust’;

If any of you are tempted to see your work become a song you know where I am.

Happy New Year, Vivian; Happy New Year to everyone.

Zoolon aka George

ALL WINTER LONG

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There’s always something random, surreal even, to be seen if you keep your eyes open. I got up at silly o’clock yesterday to go the cinema to catch the new Star Wars movie. The older, large bloke behind me in the queue to buy tickets got himself a triple scoop strawberry ice cream cone…really! It was 7.30am. I got to wondering how he’d cope with it when the lights went out in the cinema. I needn’t have worried, he scoffed it in just the two major chomps on the way to the screening. Impressive in an unimpressive way. It reminded me that I’d forgotten to eat any breakfast, but I passed on the idea of ‘Ice Cream at Dawn’. Also yesterday, I found my rubbish handwritten notes of some ‘maybe lyric’ words I’d forgotten I wrote. It’s something I wrote two summers ago. I never did get around to a title.

There’s a carnival in the square tonight

Fireworks, a carousel

Clowns, a helter-skelter

A street market where the tortured buy and sell

 

From the window of a high-rise

We can watch the world go by

And from within our secret hideaway

We’ll watch a tired sun die

 

We can make up stories

Of what’s going down in the street

The punches and the kisses

The high-flown and deadbeat

 

Rest with me a minute

Watch the scene unfold

Stay a while, I’ll prove to you

All that’s precious isn’t gold

 

And all along the riverside

Where the lost and beaten lay

The flap of wings disturbs the quiet

Of the moon and stars at play

Time for some music. Here’s a song, All Winter Long, from my newly released album, ‘Rainbows End’. This one starts out acoustic then builds itself a whole new platform. I hope you like it;

Click here for ‘Rainbows End’ album link if you wish to just listen or buy 

Copyright © 2017 Zoolon Audio.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorized copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.

 

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ZOOLON’S NEW ALBUM – ‘RAINBOWS END’

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Cover art ‘Not What I See’ by Zoolon

‘Rainbows End’, released today, is my second album following in the footsteps of ‘Dream Rescuer’ although this time I have added more percussive and the electric guitar elements. As ever, reflections of life, love and the surreal also play their part in the album’s construct. This album consists of a mix of 10 tracks, 8 original songs plus 2 meditative, ambient piano pieces.

Although, unlike most of the other songs on the album, the title track, ‘Rainbow’s End’ is an acoustic number, this song is about a subject that is important to me, namely Planet Earth and the damage humans are doing to the environment. I hope you like it;

The album is now on sale at Bandcamp for just £4 (or the equivalent in other currencies). The download comes with a lyric booklet included.

Click here for Rainbows End album link

If anyone checking out the new music on Bandcamp could find a little time to hitting the ‘Follow’ button it would be appreciated.

Zoolon aka George

 

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LEAVING CAMELOT

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(me in the days before I morphed into a frozen statue outside a pet shop in the High Street)

LEAVING CAMELOT

My past is in my pocket

My future still in my hands

I’ve thrown Excalibur into deep waters

I’ll settle for time’s shifting sands

Save your prayers for the others

Don’t kill time waiting on me

I don’t need your wasted words

I don’t need them, let it be

I’ve spent too long in the shadow of King Arthur

I’m sick and tired of playing the part of Lancelot

When all I ever needed, was my guitar and any song

‘Goodbye, farewell’ I’m leaving Camelot

 

I’ll try and forget how cold it is outside. A good time for a song about dreams, ‘Dream Rescuer’ by Zoolon aka George;

Next a song, ‘At the end of the Day’ by Amon Tobin from the truly amazing sound art album ‘Foley Room’;

Amon Tobin aside – Copyright © 2013 Zoolon Audio.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorized copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.

EYES

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(A view of France from England I took yesterday including my mother who ended up paying for my breakfast a little earlier – she should have realized I don’t carry cash or remember pin numbers)

Walking around town today looking at people just getting on with their different lives it reminded me to give this one an outing. I’ve a new song to post soon that is based on this, although the lyric version has been adapted for the melody. This is the raw version.

EYES

Bare lightbulb poverty

Barefoot, no ambition

TV, PC, stolen acquisition

Earth mothers and open mouths

Kentucky Fried Central

Finger food romance

Staffie, no name tag, no leash

Move on, nothing to see here

Love in a gravy stained tracksuit

Life in a gravy stained tracksuit

Street fighting stained tracksuit

Move on, nothing to see here

Friday’s coke snorting genius

World News? Brain in gear news?

Who? What? When? Where?

Never ask Why? Never why

Indifferent indifference

Move on, nothing to see here

Really is, nothing to see here

Move on

Just go

 

If I could change the world

I’d unlock the poison door

Give people eyes that see

Not eyes that just look

Not eyes that turn away

Not eyes that can’t speak

Better blind than that

Nothing to see here 

 

Time for some music. With the new album on the way, and new videos for my YouTube channel also on the way, a last outing for the time being of my classical music vid, ‘Requiem for a Ghost’. If you’ve not heard it before, I hope you enjoy – if you have heard it already I hope you don’t mind this reprise;

Time for one from the ‘Sacred Hearts Club’ album from favourite musician, Foster the People. A song called ‘Sit Next to Me’.

This doesn’t apply to Foster the People, just my stuff – Copyright © 2016 Zoolon Audio.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorized copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.