‘Between a Disillusion and Resolution’


My debut solo album ‘Between a Disillusion and Resolution’ is out now!

After spending the last three years writing, recording and painstakingly agonising over the post-production of this record, I am really pleased to be now be able to share it with you.

Here are links to the album:

Spotify Music link
https://open.spotify.com/album/2qB0C1v9vqey8CqMNY3iP2…

Apple Music link: http://itunes.apple.com/album/id/1501313612

The album is also available on many other streaming platforms.

A huge thanks to the following talented people involved with making this record.

Andrew Bishop – Co producer, recording and mixing engineer

Ben Elliott – Bass Guitar

Aled Lloyd – Drums

Jiffy Griffiths – Percussion

Emma Davidson  – Vocals

Darlee Urbiztondo – Artwork

Bethan Miller – Photography

Steve Kitch- Mastering Engineer

Additionally I would like to thank:

Will and Jane Mackie and Rob Reed – For the mentoring and moral support!
George Soriano – For his generosity with additional gear.
My family for their moral support and the help with transport!

The album was written over the course of what was a very interesting period of time for me. As a result, a lot of the album was written in Dubai and subsequently recorded in Wales.

I will be sharing the stories that inspired each of the songs over the coming days.

For those of who do enjoy this record, please feel free to share it with someone else you think will also enjoy it. It would be greatly appreciated.

Stay safe during this strange and unprecedented time,

Ryan

Ryan Mark Elliott – Solo album ‘Between a disillusion and resolution’ – release date 27th March 2020.

After many years of writing and recording, I am proud to be sharing the news with you that I will be releasing my debut solo album on Friday 27th March 2020.

Between a Disillusion and Resolution

1.) Dreams to Ashes

2.) Half Notion

3.) Grey Day

4.) Myopia

5.) The Upside Down

6.) Kaleidoscope

7.) Continents Away (Feat. Emma Davidson)

8.) Anything is Possible

9.) Exiles

After the release of Eden Shadow’s 2016 album ‘Melodies for Maladies’, a totally grand, ambitious and heavy concept album, I wanted to write a collection of more individual songs. Eventually it became clearer that this was a perfect stepping stone to start releasing music under my own name.

My debut record is influenced by a broad range of artists who have and still use the full album as a full artistic statement, including Rush, Steven Wilson, Tool, Kate Bush, David Bowie, King Crimson, Tears for Fears, Bjork and Mew (to mention but a few). Despite releasing singles and being in an increasingly singles driven business, it was my full intention for this to be an album experience from start to finish.

Lyrically, the album explores and tackles many themes that veer between disillusion and resolution including unrest and uncertainty across the globe, identity, mental health, high profile scandals, climate change, family and long distance relationships, and the transformations and revelations of travelling or moving somewhere new.

For now, the album will be released in stream only format, with the plans for a limited physical release at a later date this year.

Anything is Possible Lyric Video

Grey Day Lyric Video

Creating a catalogue

I don’t really listen to playlists.

I still listen to records chronologically.

That may mean I’m a bit of an oddity in my generation, but I love listening to and appreciating the journey that has endeavoured to make a 40-60 minute musical journey that is sophisticated from start to finish.

When I find an artist I really like, I then start to explore the catalogue, I want to know all of the work they’ve made from their greats, to their goods to their not so good stuff.

The evolution of artists is fascinating and usually the ones I really like have kept on changing direction and exploring creative facets. Peter Gabriel’s career from Genesis to his solo material is fascinating.

I love the idea of creating a catalogue of work that I myself have done it and thus far have five to my name, with many more planned for the future.

To anyone reading this who is creating their body of work in any discipline, you have my respect and admiration.

And if you haven’t started yours yet and want to, today is a good day to start!

Preparation Faffing

Whenever I used to have a gig pre covid era, I was an incredibly good at faffing.

I would be up the stairs, down the stairs about a dozen times, ensuring I had everything I need to perform at said gig.

Checklist

Amp

Guitar

Guitar Stand

Pedalboard

Jack cables

Kettle Plug

Speakon lead

Mic

Mic Stand

XLR

Mic Clip

Spare Strings

Guitar cleaning cloth

The list goes on and there are all sorts of things you need to ensure the gig can go smoothly. It is worth the time making sure you have all of this equipment to run things smoothly because if you don’t, all chaos breaks loose.

I currently spend my time faffing when preparing to cycle. Helmet, bike, tyres pumped, spare small pump, puncture kit (you do not want to be 20km from home when your tyres go flat!), water, snack.

It is good to make sure you have everything you need.

It is even better to have it all in the same place.

Something I could do with reminding myself occasionally as it would save me twelve trips back upstairs!

P.S. I wrote a song inspired by me and my bandmate’s proclivity for faffing. It is called the Almighty Faff and features a brass trio. I’m releasing a video with the accompanying score for it this week.

The pitfalls of media’s superficial obsession with age.

People lie about their age.

Furthermore, there is an unhealthy obsession with tagging the age of someone with their achievements

Forbes 30 under 30 list is designed to make 30 people feel good about their successes and then make thousands of people feel inadequate.

The music industry’s major labels seem hellbent on plugging and thrusting up careers of younger artists in their teens. No surprise that a lot of the music in the top 50 whilst to some extent, well crafted is also juvenile.

With age comes the virtues of maturity and experience, and more of an understanding of who you are and what kind of creative statement you want to make.

How old you are shouldn’t ever matter when it comes to your journey and what you are doing. It isn’t really anyone’s business to know what exact age you are anyway.

Shun the noise.

Reference points

It’s good to have reference points when you’re creating something beyond your specialisms.

I’m not a pianist or string player but I’ve been composing for both instruments over the last few months. I use my knowledge and expand upon it to get fundamentals right, namely instrument range, harmony, rhythms and idiomatic features.

When I want to take things further, that’s when I do my research.

An abundance scores from previous show the possibilities of extended techniques, engraving and ways to approach writing that you may not have previously considered.

Being creative involves listening and referring to other past works that can inspire you and influence you towards new directions.

To do list into the weekly routine.

I am very good at writing to do lists.

I’m also very good at not achieving half of the things I write down.

That is unless I timetable it in.

I’m lucky to have a few projects going on. Some self led, some collaborative amongst my teaching.

Every Sunday I write down things that are specifically scheduled in for the week.

I then decide how I’m going to use the rest of my time and what I specifically focus on.

The process of scheduling in the things I want to achieve has really helped because it psychologically sets me up for engaging with a certain thing at a certain time.

I’m always at risk of saying I’ll do it later when it comes to a to do list. Scheduling the to do list into my week means that later isn’t available to me anymore.

Corruption in COVID Contracts

When the BBC decides to make the main headline a nothing story about Harry and Meghan, whilst Matt Hancock’s lack of transparency over COVID contracts has been deemed unlawful, we have a problem.

The handling of public money over COVID contracts and test and trace has been appalling. As highlighted by George Monibot, Millions of pounds went to unqualified friends, teenagers were left running distressing calls and lives that could have been saved, ultimately weren’t.

The fact that this has not been properly covered leads to the plain sighted fact that the U.K. has a problem with elite corruption, both within the way news media operates as well as the severe lack of accountability when things have gone devastatingly wrong due to incompetence across central government.

The general public is being done a disservice and we need to create new systems that are more just and have more representative, transparent and active democratic processes.

In the meantime, we are dealing with a dangerous level of corruption, cronyism and inequality.

Things have to change.

Presets

I like presets. I tend to use them as a reference point for the kind of things I’m looking for.

The new record I’m making includes new timbres I’ve never worked with before but I’ve spent hours sourcing sounds from plug ins trying to find the right one for the particular passage or song. If I tried building every sound from scratch, I’d release my next record in a decade’s time!

With the amazing technology out there, it’s easy to get a sound you’re after, even close to artists you love. I’m always jumping for joy when I make a synth sound like Boards of Canada.

However, it’s worth reminding myself I’m not them and whilst influences are fine, it’s good to dig deeper, customise, explore and ultimately, find that which can make you unique.

It’s why as a guitarist, I’m ambivalent about digital amp profilers, I know they sound amazing, but I like the unpredictability of microphones and valve amps.

Presets are a good reference point for that which you are after. But good becomes greater when you can tweak, customise and innovate.

Avatar The Last Airbender

This show is a triumph.

I’m of course talking about the Animated TV series from Nickelodeon and not the film adaptation from M Night Shyalaman who took every misstep possible and may have even hindered the series from getting the credit it deserves.

The series came out in 2005 to 2008. I was a teenager at the time who was driven by music and the only TV show I remember watching was Fresh Prince and I was more into movies anyway. The TV series passed me by and I never watched it…until Netflix distributed it last year.

My girlfriend insisted that I must watch it. Being an animated series, I was slightly ambivalent towards it, and didn’t think I might enjoy it as much as Better Call Saul which I had just finished after spending lockdown 1 rewatching Breaking Bad.

A few months later, and I’m not only hooked. I watched it twice and now a fully fledged fan! I would say it’s one of the best TV series ever made.

Where to start with my praise!?

First and foremost, the premise is undeniably intriguing to any family member, a world torn apart by war. And every episode you see the devastating impact that war has laid upon communities, of course in a child friendly way but it’s message is nevertheless profound. There’s also excellent takes on authoritarianism and censorship that are cleverly embedded in the plot.

Secondly, the characters are detailed, rich, and outright adorable. Even the antagonists are likeable! Every character has idiosyncrasies, hang ups and back stories that are well thought out and without giving too much away, there are several character arcs…one of which is just incredible. There’s a celebration of characters who are able to showcase their strengths despite disabilities and there’s a diversity and respect for a variety of Asian cultures.

Thirdly is the sense of humour and adventure tied in with wider themes. This show has proven to be an absolute tonic for me during a long drawn lockdown through winter and if you’ve not yet had the chance to see this show yet…I cannot recommend it enough.

Also you won’t be able to get this bop out of your head.

SECRET TUNNEL! SECRET TUNNEL!

Through the mountain…

Secret secret secret secret TUNNEL!!!

Behavioural Economics

When I visit Germany, one of the things I admire about the country is of course, it’s stunning forests and natural beauty, but also the fact it’s left so untarnished by human litter.

The same cannot be said for the U.K. and the act of littering is something I’ve always despised and have vowed never to do myself.

Unfortunately though, the culture appears to be riddled with apathy or even worse, a false sense of pride in leaving crap everywhere and anywhere. Over 2 million pieces of litter are dropped in the U.K. every single day.

I walk up and around the mountainside regularly, and cycle the trail to Cardiff and I find it hard to recall any time I don’t see litter at all in what is otherwise, an ultimately beautiful part of the world.

Nature is suffering and all for the sake of human laziness and stupidity.

Pleas, making a post on social media post, the aggressive posters threatening to fine you, don’t seem to do the trick either.

And part of problem is people don’t like being told what to do.

But there are ways to tackle this.

One thing that Germany has that the U.K. doesn’t is machines in supermarkets which allow to recycle bottles and in return receive a small receipt to spend on groceries.

You even spot a few folk going out of their way with bags of bottles they’ve picked up to cash in!

This is one simple solution that involves behavioural economics. A way to incentivise not littering. Something that can and should be implemented.

The issue is of course massive and challenging and my respect to those working hard to fight against it.

In the meantime, we should all ask ourselves what kind of place we want to live in. South Wales deserves more than us fly tipping and throwing cigarettes out of the car window.

A change in environment and process.

I got up this morning and cycled into town after booking a room in my college.

I’m currently working on my new album and the process has been quite different to my previous works, particularly with lyric writing.

It occurred to me that most of the lyrics I wrote for my first solo album were written when I was travelling or when I was in a cafe.

Being robbed of the opportunity to experience both of late, writing lyrics has actually been a struggle and a slog.

But then, I changed my working space and environment. I also had the mic ready to lay down ideas there in the moment as opposed to writing it down and it worked a treat. As of today, I finally have a full set of lyrics for one of my new songs.

A new environment, a new approach are sometimes all that are needed for you to crack that thing you’ve been inhibited from creating.