The Venerable Order of the Freudelheim »

Saturday 17th December 2011

Welcome to The Venerable Order of the Freudelheim. A fine upstanding organisation committed to - well, music, basically. As a member of said venerable order you may freely display our crest (as shown below) and share our secret handshake ... once we think of one. Apart from that and some pretty funky merchandise (everyone is clamouring over the Albino Teddy Bear) there are absolutely no benefits of joining ... but membership is free and we're not picky about who joins so no need for any rejection fears or anything like that! As a potential future member, you are probably wondering exactly who (or indeed what) is a Freudelheim? Well, basically it's just me ... with a little help from my friends (you). The name is just an invention - not anyone's surname, first name or carefully concealed middle name or even the name of a local café. Actually that's not entirely true - turns out it is Agda and Albert's surname although who these people are - I really have no idea. But actually it is a very cool name. For a start it contains a very subtle reference to Freud which is ideal for a DIY psychoanalyst such as myself. Apparently, in German Freudenheim means happy home so it's a happy name - although I changed the 'n' to an 'l' to make it sound softer and more cuddly in bed. As for pronunciation ... beats me, but most probably 'froid' (as in 'void') although 'frood' worked well for Bill and Ted. I think the 'el' is self explanatory and the 'heim' is a bit like "Hi, I'm ..." said really fast without the stutter. Anyway, far too much talk about the silly name ... lets talk about me!



Even when I was three years old, I've been told I couldn't toddle past a piano without having a wee go. I started piano lessons when I was seven. Went through some of the Royal Schools and Trinity exams but always found the pace of the lessons too slow. I started playing rock music as soon as I could - I photocopied the sheet music for Bohemian Rhapsody from a school friend and played that along with Deep Purple much to my mother's despair. When I announced I was giving up lessons she claimed that would be the end for me and music ... she was wrong! Around that stage I also started playing by ear - simple chords at first but quickly expanding when I discovered my left and right hands didn't have to agree on which key they were playing in. While at university I flatted above a chemist shop and with a piano I saved from the dump (stuck downstairs as it weighs a ton!) I entertained the staff and customers through the thin walls with my piano playing - sometimes attracting praise and applause from the other side of the wall! I also bought a second hand drum kit from a furniture store with bent and cracked cymbals at that time but restricted drumming to after shop-hours!

After uni I spent way too much money on synths and drum machines including a second-hand Korg MS-20 (which I still have) and a TR-808 drum machine (which I sold for a ridiculously small sum of money). Constrained by electronic music and MIDI at that time I was always frustrated by a lack of electric guitar and vocals. In the last few years I have fixed all that - the proud owner of a Strat and most recently (finally!!) starting to record my own singing.

My current setup has a brand spanking new M-Audio Oxygen 88 full size weighted keyboard which is a .. d r e a m .. to play into Pro Tools or GarageBand, an old Roland D-50 with dodgy keyboard, a very nice audio-technica ATM10 mic. There's also an acoustic guitar with a beautiful tone but a very severe action so I stay clear of that! I have a Mapex Jazz kit with four suspended toms, cheaper (pressed) cymbals except for the Zildjian Custom K Splash which is my pride and joy. The ATM10 does an excellent job suspended over the cymbals but I wish I had another mic for the kick drum.

When composing I start with a rhythm - from either drums or lyrics - then find the tune comes quite easily and naturally. I have a heap of tracks half recorded which I will upload to SoundCloud once they have enough polish ... I know what you're thinking! :-) While you're waiting, though, have a listen to Choral Sweet:


Nate
Why I love my Roland S550 Sampler The Venerable Order of the Freudelheim
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