I'm a Music aficionado that paints with sound, the Guitar being the main medium and also bass, vocals aswell. Mixing multi-track recordings of music i create, these artistic expressions draw inspiration from a broad range of styles. you may find influences ranging from indie rock, soft rock , psyche, prog & alternative rock to blues, funk, jazz & ambient sounds in the mix. I enjoy finding interesting chords and fx pedals to colour the sound and decorate Britrock Compostitions i produce. To listen to more music from my Discography please visit:
I’ve been listening to music since childhood, growing up hearing all the classics as well as more obscure records as My parents played a lot of 1970’s progressive rock like yes, Pink floyd & Hendrix. I began my teenage years Influenced by 90’s Britpop. I remember my brother getting me in to 'The stone roses' when they relesed their secound album and loving it and then just a few months later him saying theres this great band called 'Oasis' they are simililar to the stone roses and we loved them they seemed so fresh. Supergrass were another memorable band from my youth as are british "hindi-rock" outfit 'Kula Shaker',I felt very passionate about Cripian Mill's & Co's music and at the time as though I had some heritage with it from another life via their brand of spiritual raga world music tinged psychedelic rock. From there on i wanted to be involved in music weather in a band or whatever. It felt very important that I start to learn an instrument of my own, at first this took form of playing a taking part in family folk jam evenings but later plucked up the courage to ask for guitar lessons. At first I Studied classical guitar taking part in local village hall guitar group recitals and Christmas concerts at high school.
I had always had ambitions to progress to the Electric Guitar however and it was in 1997 when I got the album ‘urban hymns’ by the verve and worked my way through their earlier albums, that I was captivated by the decorative, effects laden guitar work and sonic soundscapes achieved by Guitarist Nick McCabe and listening to music away in Cornwall ’98 I had a revelation and begun to believe that this is the type of beautiful guitar music I should be creating, I also thought that it would be a credible and respectable way in to the electric guitar as opposed to the usual rock cliché of slash for example. To get me started I got a hum-bucking Epiphone SG solid body guitar, a bullet 15w Amp, a Zoom 505 multi effects processor and a Cry baby Wah-wah pedal. my father taught me the basics of 12 bar and dominant 7ths to more complex jazz arrangements and to change new strings and to tune my instrument, as well as scouring guitar magazines and teaching myself with Tab books I began guitar lessons with one of the best local rock guitar tutors and went on to take part in local jams sessions.
In Summer 1999 I did a week’s work experience with a friend at Purple studio’s in Trowse, Norwich where I got to tour the studio, learn about the equipment, the desk and the Dat machines they were using then and helped set up a range of microphones and watch bands record. The Highlight however was meeting local rock hero and founder of purple studios Richard Hammerton, i was lucky to get to spend a few days in front of the recording desk with him and I was intrigued by tales he would tell us about when he and his early 90’s Indie rock band ‘Stare’ were on tour with The verve (a band which I greatly admired) during their early Shoegaze &Dream pop era (then known simply as ‘verve’) and how backstage they were really shy and quiet back in those days (we were) and about when he also helped record songs on Catherine wheels debut album ‘Ferment’ (another band i was already in awe of) like his band stare, The Catherine Wheel also hailed from the Gt. Yarmouth/Gorleston area and were successful in America and their album covers were designed by Storm Thorgerson who did Pink Floyd’s artwork.
(i thought he was surely having me on, it was a coincidence I loved the bands he was talking about but no it was all in fact very true & Richard Hammerton has since reformed ‘stare’ whom he had a string of successful singles with, in 1992 hailed by the music press as the two bands to watch for in ’92 along with ‘Verve’ but ‘Stare’ also recorded their debut album that year that was sadly never released, not until 2012, 20 years later on the Norwich label East Zone records that is, performing at the waterfront to promote it.)
At age 15 inspired by artists such as Yes, Pink Floyd, The Verve, Kula Shaker and Jimi Hendrix I joined a jam band with Pat Townshend (cousin of the Who’s Pete Townshend) and his son whom I had become good friends with whilst he was a class mate at Broadland high school. Pat Townshend had started his own Guitar, Bass and Drums Company during the early 1980’s called Staccato Guitars & Drums, a business he started with Mick Jagger’s Brother Chris Jagger who were designing instruments for the likes of rock giants Kiss, he designed unique for the time guitars in which you could change the six string neck and plug in a 12 string or 4 string bass neck in to the a carbon fibre body of the electric guitar between songs which also had effects built in and crystal Piezo pickups for acoustic simulation. In the late 90’s he refurbish some of his instruments which went on to be used as props in the Robbie Williams 1998 Music Video ‘Let Me Entertain you’ (also kiss inspired.) I learnt a lot about the music industry from people who know via these experiences.
Continuing to absorb a range of musical styles and hearing more traditional based music from Jazz and Blues artists such as B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaugan and George Benson and attending live performances such as blues and jazz evenings at the red lion in Thorpe, rock gigs at Norwich Arts Centre, The Waterfront and concerts at Blickling Hall, I then went on to be the Lead Guitarist in the High School Christmas concert that year which also helped me achieve a GCSE in music.
Inspired by all of this after I left school in 2000 I decided to go to college to study music, so I did a B-tec National Diploma in Popular Music and Performing Arts at City College Norwich which involved a whole range of different modules in which I developed keyboards skills utilising major and minor scales, the blues scale and how to build basic to more complex jazz chords, singing lessons where I really learnt to use my vocal skills with confidence, all the basics and much more in music theory, computer skills using notation programs such as Sibelius and recording skills using Cubase, Adobe Audition (known then as Cool Edit Pro) finding my way round the mixing desk, rack units patching, mic placement, mic types and got to record my first band demo using the facilities provided by the college.
I started collecting effects pedals and developed a great understanding of gain, distortion, fuzz, overdrive, compression, sustain, limiting and modulation time based effects such as chorus, flange, phase, reverb , tape echo and delay etc in both their analogue and digital forms. I also taught myself Bass transferring skills from guitar whilst also perfecting my rhythm and lead guitar chops. In performance classes I developed my live skills getting the opportunity to arrange and take part in a number of events including several gigs in and around the college itself as well playing at the Grand Opening of Norwich Forum Library in September 2001, the Summer Concerts at Norwich Arts Centre in 2002 and 2003, as well as at the Norfolk show for both of those years and in other local pubs and live venues with various college Groups playing in a number of styles ranging from blues, jazz, funk, rock and pop performing originals and cover versions setting up stages including Public Address Systems and Amplifiers to effects pedals and patch leads, selling tickets, arranging set lists and running orders and general development of events management. We also learnt about the History of Popular Music and Social and Cultural developments that caused these shifts in styles from the cotton field Blues of Robert Johnson to the post-war Rock n Roll of the ‘50’s to how the psychedelic Rock of the late 1960’s developed into 70’s Progressive Rock only to be destroyed by punk when their generation felt that ‘prog’ had gotten too over top. I Learned about Indian music in world music classes as well many other exotic styles and getting to experiment with stringed and percussion instruments such as Sitar, Tamboura, Tabla’s, Greek Bouzouki and Mandolin.
After completing the two year course I decided to continue my progress by studying Music at Degree Level, embarking on a Course at Anglia Ruskin University in Essex via Colchester Institute, the venue where the lectures were held. Guitar being my first study in which I learnt jazz and modal improvisation finding my love for the folksy Dorian Mode and Psychedelic Mixolydian 5th Mode of the Major scale (g-g in the key of c) I also saved up for a new guitar in the form of a fender Stratocaster by working a bar job in my spare time all the while continuing to hear more and more music and records in a broad range of genres and attending concerts held in the institute and arts centre as diverse as guitarists like Tommy Emanuel to Hindustani Sarod player Wajahat Khan. I met a range of other serious musicians which I learnt a great deal from. I also got the opportunity to get some work experience in my field in the form of paid gigs, first as a solo artist then as a working covers group playing rock and pop hits as well as throwing in a bit of the jazz stuff in I had been learning for good measure. I performed all around the east-Anglia area including Colchester, and Norwich. I continued to develop my recording skills booking one of the several recording studios available to me in the faculty as often as possible producing several professional demo and promo CD’s.
Throughout my time studying I gradually became more confident with my communication and teaching skills whilst presenting various presentations on personal subject investigations with programs such as PowerPoint. I also learned about the business skills as a musician and about the copyright agreements, dangers, controversy and legal loop holes of the industry such as for example trivia like how Richard Ashcroft sampled the chord sequence from orchestral rendition of The Rolling Stones ‘The Last Time’ in his song hit song ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ he was told either give 100% of the royalties to the owner of the stones back catalogue or don’t release it even though the stones had taken the chords from a band they’d been influenced by. So you have to be careful with using samples because they don’t always get clearing. Similar examples would include George Harrison’s ‘My Sweet Lord’. I have continued to be fascinated by trivia like this absorbing more from bbc4 documentary’s, books, Blog’s, magazines and have pieced together a good understanding of major developments of 20th century pop culture. Since completing my degree in 2007 my knowledge in all areas of music must have at least tripled as I continue to collect records and review archives of information. I have an eclectic taste in music I also have my favourites but have an open minded attitude and listen to genres ranging from Blues, Jazz, Funk, Hip-Hop, Indie, Alternative, Rock, and Metal, to folk, singer-songwriter, Psychedelic & Progressive music. I have continued to broaden my tastes recently exploring Electronic, Ambient, IDM, Krautrock, Fusion, Avant-garde and Classical Musical styles and have experimented with drones, loops, samples and electronics embracing new and upcoming technology available.
I continued performing with the covers band and then formed my own original band ‘The Firecrackers’ playing melodic rock in which I recorded two albums from 2006-2011. I have since experimented with a wide range of guitars, electric and acoustics from telecasters to Takamine electro acoustics to Gibson 335’s as well as dabbling with other instruments I have borrowed to use in overdubbing parts in my multi-track recordings such as ukulele, Harmonica, Synth, Hammond organ, Melotron and drum machine programming. I have also record under the pseudonym ‘The Melody Glow’ and have embraced online media using music hosting sites such as Myspace, Soundcloud, reverbnation and facebook to promote and sell downloads of my music and have a good understanding of independent distribution online. Also I Teach Guitar privately and have developed my teaching skills on a one to one basis as well as producing my own teaching materials including my own guitar book and also have a youtube channel where I have developed my demonstration skills reviewing Albums and various guitar equipment that I collect such as effects pedals and units by Electro-Harmonix, Boss and Korg. I have also started a small vinyl collection and have discovered that Vinyl sounds warmer, resonates better and feels more like listening to live music. I Learnt the reason for this could be because the vinyl record‘s groove mirrors the original sound's waveform. This means that no information is lost, the output of a record player is analogue and the waveforms from a vinyl recording can be much more accurate, producing a richness of sound. The downside, being any specks of dust or damage to the disc can be heard as noise or static. Also during quiet spots in songs this noise may be heard over the music and vinyl grooves tend to wear with repeated play overtime. CD’s are good as they sound slightly clearer, have the benefit you can listen to a whole album without getting up, are easier to rip to your computer, don't degrade in sound quality and if the recording contains silence, then there will be no noise. However CD’s are digital recordings and are not capturing the complete sound wave. Digital recordings take snapshots at points per second of the original signal at a certain rate and are approximating it with a series of steps. It won’t be obvious but your experience of the music may differ. Mp3’s take up much less space and are easy to upload online but to do this they are compressed twice as much and approximate with an even lower rate so you hear much less of the original recording therefore compromising quality of sound.
Through all of my experience I have realised the beauty of appreciating the therapeutic qualities learning music can have. I also believe that learning music also helps boost other areas of learning.
Main Influences on Rob Hunt & the fircrackers music
boards of canada,
the stone Roses,