Travelling Light

by Stephan Whitlan

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***Note: This is an 8 track album, nearly 70 mins in length. Only track samples are viewable - the full album tracks will appear as a bonus when you purchase the album (which is why you see 16 tracks not 8). Cover artwork is included.

Recorded at E-Live 17th October 2009.

"As a folk musician, I can usually travel anywhere with my accordian over my shoulder & some Guinness in my bag with a minimum of fuss. But as a synthesizer player, this is very much not the case. I know there are artists out there who are confident to take to the stage armed only with a laptop & a USB keyboard, but I can't bring myself to get that minimal. I think the trade off is that you would have to pre-prepare a lot of stuff & just trigger it as and when (this seems to be how Kraftwerk operate live). I like to think that I never quite know what I'm going to play next either the notes, or the sound - even which keyboard. For this reason, I have traditionally gigged a lot of gear. For live improv this is definitely the case - for the Narcosis gig & my Jodrell Bank appearances I brought almost everything I had in the studio which still worked.

It is not always practical to spend 6 hours setting up, and an alternative live format is to do 'greatest hits karaoke'. This would mean a small number of keyboards (say 6) and a backing tape of some kind.

When I travelled to Oirschot for the first time at easter 2009 as part of John Dyson's band (to headline Groove's e-day event) I took my smallest ever rig: D50, DW8000 and a PC running Arturia's MiniMoog. John had hired a mini van in Sheffield and we all travelled to the Netherlands together on the Hull ferry. All I had to do was get to Sheffield (which involved the ferry from Belfast to Liverpool in my own van). We had a great time, and my playing a short (but exciting) opening solo set for John lead to Groove asking me to play a full set at e-live later in the year.

So now the logistics were: van to Belfast, boat to Liverpool, van to Hull, boat to Rotterdam and van to Oirschot. It would be a long, arduous, and expensive haul. Then Ron Boots suggest that I just fly in & use his gear. I'd never considered that. How would it sound like me?

I've a Moog & a D50 says Ron - come and stay with me for a few days to settle into the gear. I admit to being worried, but realised that the other option was not tenable, so said 'yes', and packed a rucksack with a few effects pedals, a few memory cards & my iPod. As I later came to realise, by using backing tapes, my music already sounded like me, so all I needed was a fairly convincing 'icing' and it would be fine. I managed to get Ron to find me a DW8000 (thanks Bas) too, and I used Ron's Nord Electro for 'Tron, Hammond & Solina sounds. Rehearsals went really well, and it really was a no-stress gig. The only worry I had was that the Prophet 08 is no substitute sonically for my old Prophet 5 -and it is apparent on the second track of this disc. Apart from that, I had a ball! The reception from all was amazing and I found myself feeling a bit sorry for Brendan Pollard who had arrived with a removals van full of vintage museum pieces....."

Stephan Whitlan, October 2010

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released October 1, 2010

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Stephan Whitlan UK

Stalwart of the "UK Synth Scene", Stephan's multifarious involvement in anything and everything "UK Electronica", "Location", or "Hampshire" related belies the fact that in his own right he is a virtuoso synth performer without peer. Here on Stephan's "official" Bandcamp site you will find his definitive works. ... more

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