Monday, November 29, 2010


Apologies, my music player is down on website - trial has expired - I'm going to get the bigger player (no Freudian comments or thoughts about this please - ha) but need to get code, embed etc... Been looking at other ways of doing my website - mocked up the corporate world - exciting to see things being spaced out into their areas that I plan. Had some web design input last week that really helped me develop this. I love the web. My web software has fallen over too so need to re-install before I can get stuff redone - all part of the process!?

Just sat at my Oasys - always have it set as a Grand Piano and it sounds wonderful. Eight am is practise time and then see what comes from that... I'm now capturing midi and audio tracks so i can see scores and has the Oasys' brilliant sound output. Brilliant to see the chords that i like noted and captured.

Just created a melody and counter that are in F and play around the hands being central around middle C. Robert on the last cruise we went on did some Bach or Rachmaninoff I think - (or something fancy... ) and played like that so I used it as an inspiration point. Interesting because you can only play certain notes in between and around the central chord so it frames what you can play for the melody. Quite gentle and in 15 minutes of improvising the base has come .... a film score / symphony one day...

Still can't get flipping DOI at of my head - arrgggh... May do an internet show around it but considering that may take up time and fill my head with stuff that gets in the way of my main goals... Need therapy!

Guitar next. Then the dreaded admin - which once I'm into will be fine - just getting started. And filming today methinks - snow on the ground... we visited some glorious parts of Suffolk over weekend so look to be out to catch some of that today with snow on the ground - low angled light from late afternoon is glorious here.

There used to be a time I did not know what to do with my Mondays... Not any more...

My mum - she has trained the current British Senior Champions, she is training the current Junior Champions and she has trained our Champions who were not able to compete through injury. Oh and she's off to hungary at the weekend - as you do for another comp with Josh and Charlotte.

Congrats Josh and Charlotte - Junior Champs second time and Louise and Owen for winning the senior...

Sorry I wasn't there - head down working and not feeling like being out and about with DOI gone - I'll get over it! Pull yourself together man! Yeah i hear you - read a Ben Elton book 'The First Casualty' over weekend - all about First World War - I don't know how lucky I am sometimes... Book is brilliant, superb twist at end. He captures the time.

Hope you're having a Happy Monday



Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I was up at 2 am - wrote two lyrics - back to bed at three then my son came and snuggled in as he has a bad cough and cold... Bless him he does ask first which for a two and half year old is great. I tried to take him back to his bed at 5 am but he was not having it.. C and I both didn't sleep that well with his kicking and turning!

But today I had a day in my studio - 8.30 am to 6.30 pm with 30 mins for lunch. It's been great. Part of the issue with Dancing On Ice was that it took head space - and it took admin time. To be free to get on and create this morning and sort production stuff re lighting and systems this afternoon is brilliant. I have made very good progress and created a melody line in D for the piano - which I treated as violins - really interesting to feel how that develops and a base melody on the guitar which I treated as an electric guitar in Logic.

I had some Tweets of don't worry about yesterday - thanks for those - much appreciated... I'm excited about what I could be seeing in a year's time if I get this much done every day I have free time to use...

Hope your day was productive too.



Tuesday, November 23, 2010


In the impact of loosing the DOI gig, got the official reason why today, and a friend, 42, died of cancer yesterday. So wrote a song simply called Hey. It's about when you get to the point when you have 'Nothing to say'... Did a lyric - Do you know your name... talking about purpose that has some base notes too.

Funny, Hey... could be the song that has everyone crying if there's someone or something that's gone.. I wrote it from the Oasys then sang over the base track. You never know until it's happened...

Anyhow, a few days with family has been super and back to the studio now. At the end of the day, for us, no one has died and loads of possibilities exist. But I'm going through a tunnel at the moment and kicking myself... Hey...

Love Nicky

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


As I get more into music I'm becoming more interested in it's history. Last night I was fascinated to watch
Roll over Beethoven - The Chess Records Saga watch

The way the Rolling Stones took CHESS artists songs - often wrote by their in house songwriter a Mr Dixon - and made them their own was an eye opener. I'm starting to understand the song structures and business structures more, great to see. I was reminded of one of my favourite films, Dreamgirls. It has the same storyline CHESS Records had - anyway, if you are interested in music this is definitely worth a look.

I did write a lyric afterwards 'Get Away' but it needs some work before I put it up.

Have a great day.



PS Website update... pls tell me if fonts look ok on your browser?

Monday, November 15, 2010


Christopher Biggins calls... his dulcet tones warming the heart as he passes condolences on Dancing On Ice goodbye to me and sends love to Christiane and Tiger. He is just back off the Aurora - been in the Caribbean... lovely.

I am reminded, and told him, that one of my fondest memories of the five years with the DOI show was on Tour with him, Kyran, Andy Peters and Andy Collins last year.

We had a great time. It's one thing to have the public face during a show quite another to enjoy the company of others in the changing room over a period - we had some great fun. Oh Andy Peters had his own changing room... of course! With his own juicer... must put that in my rider - in fact - must get a rider prepared...

Working on the web - updating website - on a mission to embrace Facebook and You Tube. You should see some changes in an hour's time...

So much to do?... But hang on - We all, the whole country, must go and see Biggins in Wolverhampton. It will be a hoot, can't wait. From 11th December onwards for eight weeks.

Love N


Thursday, November 11, 2010


This morning I came up with a lyric NOW'S THE TIME.

I've decided to start to publish what I write and compose rather than letting it sit in computer files.

So it's online at my site which now has a LYRICS page :)

NOW'S THE TIME - sounds like my first Album title...

Somehow I'm loving not being in Dancing On Ice - it's like a cork out of the bottle at present for me. Instead of being in someone else's show it feels like 'Now's The Time' to create my own. Need to get on as I need to support my family from that!

Scary, exhilarating, challenging and fun...

Have a great day.

Love N

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


My beautiful wife has just asked that I do shorter blogs - 'No one has the time to read all that." I suppose I do write an epic...

So here's a synopsis of my previous missive:

Oasys - expensive workstation keyboard bought 2007.
Been a nightmare to learn
Thought I'd made wrong choice was in 'Wo is me land'
Been learning about music production and to play piano better in last 2 1/1 years
Today had a breakthrough with Oasys
James Bond sounding music up online
Seeing potential for music arranging more clearly :)
Challenges still ahead but celebrating a win today





In May 2007 I bought a Korg Oasys. It was delivered on the Dancing On Ice Tour. I had played it in the shop and found it amazingly intuitive in following a lead I gave as it has Karma inside. Karma adds 'random seeds' as you play which feels and sounds awesome.

Now one of my goals was/is to write and produce my own songs and film and I thought this, very expensive, bit of kit could help.

Since then it has been a nightmare to learn for me. Whilst I can get great sounds out of it, it has been incredibly unfriendly to use in it's operating system. My Macs help me, the Oasys doesn't. You need to know how the Oasys, and sound engineering overall works, then it will work. It has no intuitive user interface and a handbook translated from Japanese that still has Japanese grammar - I swear some of it was written in Geek Japanese in the first place!

So, easy to use? No way. Not unless you are already conversant with Korg operating systems and sound recording overall. It's PC based in it's file structure has no - easy to use - PC interface. There's a reason for this, it doesn't want to waste anything on processing anything other than music, the result being it can process a phenominal amount of musical information. All that equates to great sound which is what you want.

Now I have battled and battled to try to get to grips with it. I suppose it would have helped if I knew more about sound recording as this is a complete music studio in it's own right oh yes and that I could play the piano!

I got sad. A waste of money? Maybe I will just use it as a piano and send some sounds over to Logic (my core audio software) in time. Oh yes and Korg stopped building it in 2009 so it's outdated now then... they have a lighter version that must be much better. Ah well, write it off to experience.

Two and a half years on and my journey sees me having a great morning with my lovely Oasys!? So good that I feel the potential this amazing machine gives me in composition and production and see that I didn't waste my money. So good that I felt the excitement you get when you jump out of a plane - Yes that good!

My story then: (1) Korg stopped making it because it was so expensive and only a few people bought it - thus it made no profit. They make cheaper ones because that is the market. It is a brilliant bit of kit, only a few thousand were made and I have one :) (2) I actually know lot more than I did two and a half years ago and it's starting to help me unlock routing patches and understand the audio engineering and file structures the Oasys has. (3) My piano is getting better so I can start to play it better - duh...

Bottom line. I play the Oasys, it records the sounds in to my Mac and I record the midi at the same time. I can then have Logic play back the Oasys and record a different instrument back into Logic. It is the sounds the Oasys makes that are superb added to Karma that make it amazing. Building o this I can do arrangements from the scores that are generated in Logic and I can back up onto the Oasys. Did you loose it there? Hee hee, little by little I'm becomming a sound engineer :)

So this morning a new vista opened up for me. A step change on my journey to make film and music combined. I played one Oasys Instrument - an orchestra - and thought it sounded a bit James Bond ish. You know - that time at the end of the film when it's going to be alright but then there's something else to sort out.

Christiane advised, "Keep the music short." So I improvised a piece to 1 1/2 minutes and I've popped it onto the net and click on James Bond.

For me to be able to do this blows me away and yet it's normal for so many and is the World I'm stepping into. The player is a baby one, the website in it's infancy, some of the tracks have duff notes as I find my way but hey the tracks are all intuitive and free form, played once, and composed on the fly. So that's my excuse at the moment. I've been waiting for everything to be perfect before putting anything out... Change of tack in the last week...

Somehow I can start to see what I have been working towards for so long coming more into focus. No doubt challenges will come - software conflict with midi driver after an update yesterday is a classic - for example.

But... but... I can feel a shift. The 'Magic's in the Music' and slowly it's coming. To hear the tracks back from the computer as it comes from the internet gives a different perspective for me. To hear my sub woofer sounding like the time in the movies when that deep deep note makes your insides wobble was also a first.

My, I have so much to do and to learn but today is a big step forward, so I wanted to share it with you...

I hope you manage to move your dream forward today.



Monday, November 8, 2010


In the last week Christiane and I have captured some fantastic film footage and I've been noodling with some music creations. I've always been waiting for everything to be perfect before putting stuff up... However - maybe it's a DOI gone thing - but there is a sense of everything has been taken out of my way and I need to just be doing it... as the adverts say.

So maybe notes and phrases not as pristine as they will be when published but, for improvisational works, I like some of what I'm hearing and hope you do too.

Film to music is one goal for this week.

Love N

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I will not be on the judging panel for DOI this year
Cut and paste link for statement