Jork – Andy’s Song

According to Jork, Andy’s Song was written a long time ago but was never published. He added that it is a very special tune

Lee Tobin a.k.a. Jork

Lee Tobin a.k.a. Jork

with special meaning. I did not ask further as I plan that for future post. I think it fits the mood to the day:stormy, uncertain and reflective. I love his compositional skills. I followed this guy for years now and I am always enthusiastic with every new material from him. I can rarely say that to other artists as I listen to LOTS of music and you know how that is.

Jork is Lee Tobin and he plays many musical instruments. He has done many collaborations and dabbled with different musical styles including chiptune. Looking forward to more from him.

Arp Music

Featuring: B3nny, Lee Tobin, Oxx and Dead Can Dance

New composition from B3nny and something about the upcoming “The Festival of Good Music.”

Arpeggio:The notes of a chord played in rapid succession, either ascending or descending. Origin: Italian, from arpeggiare ‘play the harp’, from arpa ‘harp’ Taken from Oxford Dictionaries Online.

B3nny(Benny Bomstærk) listened to a lot of Jean Michel Jarre and Kraftwerk while growing up. With an adequate  dose of Liszt, Ligeti, Stockhausen, Morton Feldman and John Cage, what do you get? A kind of sophisticated style interspersed with his own self taught techniques which are hard to pigeonhole. Up the north in the Scandinavian nations where musicians tend to mix the interesting musical landscapes with the burgeoning new wave of electronic musicians, his sound sticks out like an array of northern lights is spastic movements.

“Regular irregularities” is the title of his new composition. His other works will be  showcased in the upcoming music event called “The Festival of Good Music”. It will be held in the campus of the Southern Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts  in Esbjerg Denmark. His group’s performance is under the subheading of Nordborg. The time will be 5:45 in the afternoon.  Description: Electronic music, visuals, sound bites in the tension between crisp synth basses and magnificent events. Venue: The cafe and the concert hall of the conservatory. This concept was kind of blurry to me so I asked him to explain.

Here is a little Q & A :

B3nny: I guess you could call it electronic improvisation. So we have a rough idea of what we’re going to do, but to call it a composition would probably be a stretch. It’s more like a scaffold.
Sphere Music: Hmmmm.  So things happen  as you go along.. is that it?
B3nny: Well that, and we have some certain “modes”  for lack of a better term; mood.
Sphere Music: Ok
B3nny: Like differing levels of tension, different expressions.
Sphere Music: Is it like bringing a canvas with a rough sketch and then applying the colors later?
B3nny: Right. And we paint the rough pic live.
Sphere Music: I see … and that live thing  becomes a group composition?
B3nny: I guess you could say that.  It becomes the composition when it’s played.
Sphere Music: I see.  So it is spontaneous.
B3nny: To a degree.  We have prepared some stuff obviously. So the preparation isn’t spontaneous.

Don’t miss it if you happen to be nearby. Here is the link site to the music event. The site has an English version. Please refer to the upper right portion  that shows the British flag.

Date : 27thSeptember at.16:00
Organizer: SMKS
Location: Café ØrstedChurch Street 61 Esbjerg
Admission: Free admission

These days he is making more Arp music-he is doing a sequence programming with an arpeggiator. He calls it a generative sequencer, the thing he built. He has wild ideas like making music out of chat dialogues. Totally wild stuff in which he will expound in days to come. What he does gets totally self-indulging. He commented today that he was supposed to get groceries (he likes to bake bread as a hobby by the way)  but didn’t realize the time until it’s almost four in the afternoon.  His flat is a few blocks away from where he studies. Below are examples of his work in progress. The one on soundcloud is  his recent composition. This is further supported by the two youtube videos below.

This video is taken from their first practice.

Improvised electronic music with most notes and beats triggered by max/live

There will be more from this musician so stay tuned!


Lee Tobin: Polyrhythms

If you can’t get enough or electronic music or chiptune related music then you better check out the notelable Ubiktune. This is where I discovered the music of Lee Tobin who is now part of the Undjentlemanly blog collective. Lee is pushing for the new mobile app he created called Polyrhythms. Here is the what he wrote the unDjentlemanly website:

What are they and why should you care? According to the New Harvard Dictionary of Music:

“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.”

A verbose way of saying two or more pulses that start and finish together. I prefer their explanation. Rather than try to explain it, the wiki link for polyrhythms and a nice intro tutorial.

Not only do they sound great as rhythmic patterns in their own right, they are found everywhere in music, from Chopin to Meshuggah, ABBA to Planet X. Polyrhythms can be a pain, as the concept is quite simple but performing them isn’t. It’s the old, pat-your-head-with-your-left-hand-and-rub-your-belly-with-your-right-hand-at-the-same-time thing.

And here comes the plug…

A free Android app on Google Play that helps you learn and understand polyrhythms.

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.

There’s also a paid version ;)- Lee Tobin

Here is one video where Lee plays the guitar with Irish Jazz band Fuzzy Logic Ensemble.

Fuzzy Logic Ensemble is probably the most ambitious jazz group currently based in Ireland. With 10 of the finest young Jazz and Classical artists from Ireland and England coming together to perform the music of composer Dylan Rynhart. Since it was formed in 2002, this hard working group that has developed a style of their own, setting them apart from most Jazz bands with the flexibility and sonority of their unique instrumentation, and the orchestral harmony and rhythmic Balkan influence obvious in their music.

Sue Brady voice
Bill Blackmore trumpet
Cathal Roche soprano sax
Nick Roth alto sax
Brian Wynne tenor sax
Kate Ellis cello
Derek Whyte bass
Dylan Rynhart hammond organ
Lee Tobin guitar
Phil MacMullan drums


Oxx : You got to listen to this band!


Alexander Bossen – Guitar

Lasse Enøe – Baritone Saxophone

Martin Aagaard – Drums

Oxx is an Experimental Thrash/Metal/Mathcored Power Trio based in Aerhouse  which is the second largest city in Denmark(Copenhagen being the first). What I find exceptional about the band personally is the use of a baritone saxophone which sometimes acts as a bass. You couldn’t really tell it at first unless you listen again and if someone who knows the band tells you about it. B3nny whom I wrote about up

Oxx At Musikhuset Aarhus.

there is a friend of the saxophonist. He’s the one who sent me a link to the band’s bandcamp site.  Things like this changes your perception about music. I jokingly told him that instruments do get typecast issues the way actors do. I mean there are instruments that are expected to play just certain kinds of music. Saxophone is associated with Jazz while bagpipes with Celtic music. These days the line has been skewed and you get more and more musicians doing unconventional things. Oxx is one of these new wave of Danish bands creating fresh approach to music. Have a listen and spread the word around.


Dead Can Dance-Opium

Here is a video taken from their American tour:

Return of the She-King is actually the second to the last song of their new album Anastasis. If I am not mistaken this song is in reference to the life of Grace O’Malley the Irish pirate Queen. Ok I just checked and yes it is true. Here is a link to the Brendan Perry forum where it is discussed:

I am one of those who signed up for a Dead Can Dance newsletter so I also get freebies once in a while. This time I got a radio edit of their new single Opium plus an accompanying video. I recognize this as taken from the venue of their previous concert.


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

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

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 :

Metamorphobro by Jork

Elder studio performance for RTE digital radio
— with Jork on drums. Photo courtesy of Alexis Nealon

Hellloooo indie fanatics. Today is another great day for music. I want to bring this great guy to your attention. He has a new track out called Metamorpho bro. Jork  explores musical realms very few artists would. I mean just listen to this track and you will know what I am talking about. It will rearrange the way you think and listen to music. I love how he puts so much effort in the production of his tracks. But let us be honest here. This isn’t something that anyone who is into mainstream would really dig. It takes repeated listens until it grows on you. And when it does, expect roots and branches…and even flowers. I know I am hearing two musical ideas in this track but I just want to be sure. So I asked Jork a.k.a Lee Tobin.

According to Jork:

I wrote two melodies and two harmonies. I wanted to make the two work together, or at least change a little to fit together.

Bingo!That explains why I think I am hearing two tracks at the same time. Clever.

New Track from Jork

Chinese Whispers for Drunk Assholes…kind of a tasty name for a track that combines elements of Jazz-very progressive though and scales that approach atonal elements. Jork has mastered the sense of atmosphere and textural beauty. Is this going to be the new direction for a new album after the two offers: Uneasy Truce and Superanuated? In terms of the revolutionary chiptune genre,  Jork a.k.a. Lee Tobin is the man!