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27 December 2010

I've just uploaded some videos to YouTube - a range of subjects, might be useful in the same way that we often use YouTube at Credo Cafe - our monthly cafe church meeting at WLBC. Feel free to explore and use. They are embedded on this page HERE

24 October 2009

Nearly two years since an update - where have I been? Never mind the good news is that I've recorded an album with Emma Lewis to raise funds for her trip to work in an Orphange in Cambodia. Listen to the taster HERE but if you want a copy you need to buy a real CD (copyright stuff) from me or Emma. You HAVE to hear her voice though - wonderful stuff!! I hope the CD captures it for you.

23 November 2007

Christmas Nursery Rhymes from Leigh on Sea is now available. Very quick recording sessions for this, mostly done in one take. Nevertheless I'm really pleased with the way the kids singing has come out, rough round the edges but to my ears better than sanitising it and getting them to sing it 'perfectly' which loses some of the cuteness (and I'm sure would bore them rigid!)

14 September 2007

Just added a CD page for 'Your Call' - the five songs recorded with Jon Tosh. Now starting work on a Christmas Nursery Song CD for the Burnham Preschool who meet on the premises at West Leigh Baptist - will it be ready by this Christmas? Who knows!

28 March 2007

Way back last Summer I had a recording session with Jon Tosh drumming. It's taken me ages to finally mix these tracks, but the results are now available under downloads. There's 3 new songs and two new versions of older songs. Let me know what you think? feedback welcomed.

24 November 2006

A new collection of songs from Keith McCullough has just been finished - titled Awake the Dawn. CDs will be available shortly, or check it out on the albums page.

8 August 2006

Offering is now available - an ideal Christmas present for friends and family (thought I'd get in there early!) All proceeds go to West Leigh Baptist Church Building Fund, £5 plus £1 P+P - order via email HERE

14 July 2006

The new album has gone to the duplicators, so not long now. The mp3's from the album that are on this site are NOT the final versions, and there are extra tracks on the album. You can buy it from me at church, or home or email me and I'll post a copy. Basic price is £5 (thats five pounds sterling) plus a quid for postage and packing if you want me to send it to you. All proceeds to the church building fund.

6 July 2006

Almost finished the new album, to be called 'Offering'. But my computer has developed a rather alarming noise on boot up. It sounds like something expensive and electrical is going to need replacing soon, I wonder if anyone at Sound on Sound can give me any pointers to the likely culprit. You can hear it HERE for all fans of abstract electronica.

20 May 2006

Been busy trying to revamp the church's 'tape ministry'. Neil and Anita have been faithfully providing this much valued service, but their efforts have been hindered at times by the poor quality of the recordings they get sent. Never one to pass up an excuse to buy a new toy I got hold of an Alesis Minimixer with firewire output, changed the ambient mics, and now we can record the services to a much higher quality, in multitrack that can be mixed afterwards. I also conducted a survey exploring what folks want out of the tape ministry, it seems lots of people might want access to some services, fewer people use it regularly. Some still want cassette tapes, others would be happy with CD, VHS or DVD. Foolishly I didn't ask about MP3's - which are probably the easiest format for me to distribute. So now we've got a whole new page devoted to storing the MP3's. These will just be the 'sermon' part of each service, putting up the worship as well probably contravenes copyright, though the existing tape ministry and new CD lending library will be a copy of the whole service including worship. This is allowed under copyright law, providing it's a lending library of limited copies which aren't sold.

So if you're on holiday and miss a service, you can download the sermon as MP3 from this site or borrow a CD from Neil and Anita.

What about video you say? Give us a chance!!!

Two other changes, firstly I've removed the PayPal stuff, no-one used it, and it sends the wrong message about the purpose of the site. It's not about money, but don't forget the church building project, please consider ways you can support this worthwhile endeavour financially.

Secondly I've uploaded the Video to 'See it Thru', a few years old now but still a lot of fun!

21 April 2006

Mercy triumphs over justice - these words from James have rattled round my head concerning conversations I've had over recent weeks. There's a song in there, but I don't want to preach. There is an inherent weakness in liberalism, that to be liberal, I must adopt a less combative position about what I believe, than those with whom I might disagree. Then again perhaps His strength is made perfect in our weakness, our willingness not to 'win' may be what is required.

23 February 2006

Teenagers - what are they like! Well we think they can be pretty amazing sometimes, and I've just uploaded three songs all written by teenagers at WLBC. You are my brother was written by Elizabeth for her baptism, and it truly blew me away when I heard her cassette demo. She'd simply used a cassette recorder to record her singing the song unaccompanied. Apart from tape hiss it would have been fine left at that, the groove was all there in the singing, the tuning was perfect and when I copied it into Cubase as a rough outline to play with, I discovered it even stayed in time from start to finish. And the lyrics are original and superb - precociously talented.

Rachel's song Show me how arrived as beautifully written sheet music (Sibelius) and a MIDI file of the tune. Somewhere along the line it has aquired a Tandoori feel - which Rachel hasn't objected to and I rather like! Again, fantastic lyrics, ridiculous levels of talent for one so young.

And finally, Living for your purpose by Tom M'Clelland - check out his Spirals EP here. This is another excellent offering, a strong devotional song, with an upbeat optimistic attitude that we older fogies sometimes lose touch with. We need the young to remind us of these essential truths sometimes. Thanks Tom.

5 February 2006

Finished tweaking the website for West Leigh Baptist Church- more of a radical rewrite if truth be known. West Leigh is 92 today - to celebrate here's a song Grahame has written which we recorded a few weeks ago. ALL YOU HAVE FOR ME. It goes down well with a congregation this one, they can't resist letting rip after the quiet section!

webmaster@ackworthstudio.co.uk

27 January 2006

MY FIRST LOVE. This one's a new song from Kezia M'Clelland. She's written some great stuff which we're just now getting round to recording. I couldn't resist doing this one myself (sorry Kezia!) 'cos I love singing it, it just seems to flow off the piano.

22 January 2006

RING OF TRUTH. Thought I'd add this track, it's not new, I wrote it about 8 years ago for a friends wedding, but it's 'never previously released' as they say in the real music business! It was my attempt at writing a 'proper' piece of music - lack of formal musical education being no barrier to ego. It's taken me ages to get round to recording it properly because when I broke my pinky a few years ago it made the tricky middle section even trickier! The photo on the left (which is my god-daughter BTW) doesn't show that my left fifth finger has a 45-degree fixed flexion deformity, that's what comes of treating your own finger dislocation without bothering to get it x-rayed! Those that know my day-job will enjoy the irony!

Part of the idea behind this site was that I could upload songs as they were completed. The burden of trying to do a whole album at once was proving excessively time consuming, and as you will have noticed, the albums we've done so far are all a bit of a mish-mash. That's not meant as criticism of the talented and generous people that have made them, but mixing childrens songs, hymns, secular love songs, current affairs and poetry is always going to feel a bit muddled. This way we can focus on each song individually without worrying how it fits into a bigger project.

In fact I already have a handful more songs completed - but I'm going to tease you and release them to this site bit by bit, so add us to your favourites and be sure to check back in a few days.

17 January 2006

Getting some helpful feedback from users/artists/composers so far. Soon be ready to publicise the site in earnest. I'm rather nervous of that as I sincerely don't want to become an insufferable self-publicist, but on the other hand I want this site, and the contributions of the many friends it represents, to reach the widest possible audience. It probably will involve emailing 'everyone who knows me' and I hope I can do that in a way that isn't too annoying.

15 January 2006

Rejigged the navbar to add this BLOG and another page for expansion after I realised it wasn't very expandable in it's old form.

It's also a bit gentler on the eye, the old nav bar was a bit strong. Need to find a way to make this blog interactive, maybe a shoutbox? Or link it to a proper blog site? For now you can email me:

webmaster@ackworthstudio.co.uk

14 January 2006

Heard back from Tom so I've added Spirals to the albums. I mentioned the site to Barry and discovered his amazing site at www.huntertraining.zoomshare.com which is HUGE and very successful. Well worth a look for you outdoor types.

13 January 2006

Friday the 13th and after spending an entire weeks annual leave learning Dreamweaver, I've finally launched this website. Over the last week there's been 3 radically different incarnations, and I've opted for this layout - hope you like it. As with any project I can immediately see a dozen things I'd like to change, but I'll live with it for a bit and get some feedback before I change anything too drastic - I'll also see what my friends at the Sound-on-Sound forum can come up with as suggestions.

Alan

Based in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, this small friendly project studio produces a wide range of work. We are closely linked to West Leigh Baptist Church and much of what we produce comes from within the church family. On this website you will find MP3s which you are welcome to download for free.
Our philosophy is based on two fundamental beliefs.
Firstly that music is something you PLAY, like you PLAY a game, or PLAY a sport, it should be free, fun, and you don't have to be a professional to enjoy it. I was having just this discussion with someone recently, and the next week, Peter Gabriel said the self-same thing in Sound-on-Sound, so it must be true!
Secondly I believe that as far as worship is concerned, what happens on a Sunday Morning (or whenever we meet together as worshippers) can be much more immediate, more disposable, and yet more valuable than something we may take several weeks to record. Worship is a burnt offering, when it's gone it's gone, and I hope that spirit of free offering informs our approach to this website - it's all free.
There's no substitute for live worship, so please join us on a Sunday if you're in the area - West Leigh Baptist Church. Keep worship alive!