Martyn the... Artist?
(Restored: Original date: May 2, 2022)
There's a saying that goes along the lines of “Some people collect things, like stamps or fridge magnets, and that's their hobby, but geeks collect hobbies”. That's pretty true of me, here's a bit of a non-exhaustive list :
- Computer Gaming
- Programming & Infrastructure (that's my dayjob – SRE/Devops/Platform Engineering/latest buzzword...)
- 3D Printing / Laser Cutting / CNC
- Home metal casting (bizmuth)
- Airbrush painting stuff I've printed
- Home automation
- Singing and Songwriting
To that last one, lately I've decided I want to put some of my songs “out there” on music platforms so I can say “oh yeah, look me up on spotify, apple music etc. if you want to hear my stuff”. That requires having a bit of a bio, which is what this post will serve as the basis of.
So, to paint a picture with words artist Martyn looks like this :
Always been surrounded by music my whole life, Dad is a Bass player and producer, Mum sings and writes lyrics. I'm named after “John Martyn” and my middle name means Harmony (thanks mum!) so early on, I had the right stuff in alignment. I played Cornet in a brass band and also a “Big band” in my teens, picked up and never got great at saxaphone in my 20s, don't have the callouses or muscle memory for guitar and can kinda “plinky-plonk” on a keyboard to make melodies or chord progressions in my daw.
Some people like to see a list of influences, and who am I to blow against the wind*? It's a very long list so I'll just list a few here : Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, The Police, Pet Shop Boys, Propaganda, Pulp, Placebo... Okay, it's not just Ps, that's just a start, let's add some more : Alan Menken, Blue Oyster Cult, The Carpenters, David Bowie, Elvis Costello, Fleetwood Mac, George Michael, Heart, Imagine Dragons, Janis Joplin, Kate Bush, Limp Bizkit, The Mamas & Papas, Nightwish, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Paramore, Queen, REM, Sting, Trent Reznor, Ultravox, Vivaldi, Wagner, XTC, Yazoo, ZZ Top and MANY more. *If you know the song, you know.
Like my parents, music isn't my dayjob, it's a passion, not a grind for me. My muse strikes and a song is in my head, and has to “get out”. Sometimes it's a lyric, sometimes it's a beat, sometimes it's a funky bass line.
In 2021 I attempted “Songtober” which was to write and record a song a day, from a set of prompts. I didn't manage 30 songs (31st was a day off!), but I did manage 25, of varying quality.
I have two “Personas” for music :
“LycanSong” – that's me, my DAW and so many plugins (instruments), and sometimes now my producer, his DAW and many more plugins! This is the name I compose music under, and in general I don't stick to a Genre. If you had to pin me down it would probably be Folk/Pop/Rock but that doesn't cover it all and is already three!
“AcapellaWolf” – that's me, my DAW as effectively a loopstation, and no instruments. Think Pentatonics but only one person, or aspiring to be like Jared Halley, Peter Hollens, Smooth McGroove or Mike Tompkins. I don't “write” music under this persona, but I might cover LycanSong tracks this way. This is also my streaming persona when I do stream on twitch, and I also mod for (currently) one other Music streamer, and help out in the Twitch Music and associated discords.
Am I looking to be “discovered”, well, not really, I'm not after fame, and I'm fairly certain fortune is not on the cards for me with music either (should probably have “pursued” it earlier in life).