Layne Greene: Live EP Review

Plus: Glen Hansard – The Song of Good Hope and music app Polyrhythm Lite byJork

Layne Greene-Vocals/Guitar
Alexander MacNeil-Guitar

Genre: Folk

Released  August 30, 2012

Personnel:
Layne Greene-Vocals/Guitar
Alex MacNeil-Guitar
Shawn Bisson-Mixing/Engineer
Andy Cunningham- Photography/crew

http://laynegreene.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/LayneGreeneFolk

Recording a crisp clear album impromptu takes a lot of skill to achieve. But singer/songwriter Layne Greene has been mixing and arranging music for years. So the live EP was conceived out of the desire to come up with songs that he recorded and arranged in the past but wanted a different take on them. This  Business Administration major from St. Francis Xavier University(now in his sophomore year) juggles between making music and seeing himself producing them in the future. He even jokes that :” If worse comes to worse, I can work a crappy, well

Blue Mountain Church
This is Knox Presbyterian Church located in Blue Mountain, Nova Scotia, Canada.Photo: H.R. Hatfield

paying, desk job”. Well I am sure it won’t come to that because he makes excellent songs that are well crafted.

One of the songs here called Working Man is dedicated to his grandfather who is a carpenter and builder of musical instruments. There are other songs that are biographical in nature. His lyrics show an introspective and philosophical nature. Although he admits that he isn’t much of a lyrics guy. He is more prone to think of songs like cathedrals with their intricate structures and designs.

Alexander MacNeil is a jazz musician who is also working with Layne on another recording. He adds his distinctive guitar style to this project. He  also did the backing vocals in Iron Town. He has his own jazz Trio and Quartet. You can tell that these two made a great tandem in this EP.

One of the things that I really appreciate about this EP is the atmospheric beauty of all the tracks.  I asked Layne if they used studio reverb and he said no. Everything in this project- especially the acoustic density -is through the interior of the  Knox Presbyterian Church located in Blue Mountain, Nova Scotia, Canada. Engineering/mixing credit goes to  Shawn Bisson who flawlessly captured the soul of the venue with such exquisite attention to detail.

 

Working Man

 

They say you’re a working man,

Through sweat and tears, and by your hands.

A man of few words,

Because people listen better when your hardly heard.

And you tear yourself away

What’s past is done and gone.

We live with it every day.

And now it’s time to move along.

An early day, a rough way out.

A turn of phrase, that leads to doubt.

A symbol of faith,

Because all you need is buried  in leaves.

And you tear yourself away,

What’s past is done and gone.

We live with it ever day.

And now it’s time to move along.

And we’re moving on.

Lyrics printed with permission from the composer.

***

Featured video: Glen Hansard – The Song of Good Hope

All ye young minds and sad hearts, listen to this track by Irish singer/songwriter Glen Hansard. Glen is that voice that pulls you out of the black hole …he knows the human condition..he knows suffering and beauty. But most of all he sings about our life and celebrates our complexities through his music.

***

Featured Music App: Polyrhythm Lite

Here is a cool toy that also proves to be useful to music makers. Check what it says:

“Polyrhythm is the simultaneous use of two or more conflicting rhythms, that are not readily perceived as deriving from one another, or as simple manifestations of the same meter.” – New Harvard Dictionary of Music.

This application teaches you polyrhythms. You can hear what they sound like and the application provides a score based on how well you perform them.

The polyrhythm is visualised using the beat circle shown at the centre of the screen. This circle contains two types of beats. The beats are represented by coloured shapes placed along the circle’s circumference, and are colour coded green or blue. When the green beat is heard you tap the screen on the word “Green”, and likewise when the blue beat is heard, tap the word “Blue”. When you are happy you understand the polyrhythm you just stop tapping and the application will tell you how well you did.

This application uses Adobe Air. This version is limited to a 4 beat subdivision, so you can do up to 4:4. The full version allows up to 8:8.

Here is the link to the site where you can download the app : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.com.jorkware.PolyrhythmLite

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