It has been an exciting few days. The musical collective I have been working with for almost two years has finally started releasing its first few tracks. I play trumpet and “cybertrumpet” on quite a number of them, and it’s the first music I have been involved in for over a decade that I really love.
But I also produced the website for the group (www.soonripe.info). This was an experiment with the incredibly trendy parallax scrolling style, where one big page holds all the information, rather than multiple smaller ones, and the background moves at a slower speed than the foreground, creating a fake 3D motion effect. The site is also fully responsive, thanks to the Cool Kitten platform I used as the basis. There is also a simple jQuery slideshow courtesy Jon Raasch, embedded feeds from SoundCloud, Facebook and Twitter, a jQuery photo lightbox called Slimbox, and code to make the YouTube videos fit fluidly into the HTML elements they are in. I’m pretty pleased with the site, which works well on smartphones and tablets, and also benefits from the awesome graphic design of Levin Pfeufer (who happens to be the main musical composer behind SoonRipe, too).
I’ve been playing music semi-professionally for decades. This started off as the usual teenage rock, pop, punk, blues and progressive groups. Then I spent my three undergraduate years playing trumpet in a modern jazz group called Bastard Brass that performed at the LSE student union bar every fortnight for the whole time I was studying. When I moved to New York for my Masters, I played in a ska band called Mephiskapheles and recorded as a session musician with Mo Tucker, former drummer of the Velvet Underground. I’ve been in a few groups since returning to the UK a couple of decades ago, most notably a funk cover group called The Man from Funkle and another ska group called the Skatitians. But SoonRipe is music that blends most of the styles I love into one. So I’m pretty happy to be involved with the project, particularly as it has also allowed me to create something I have dreamed of for over a decade – the cybertrumpet, which converts my trumpet audio into a MIDI synthesiser I can play live (see the nearby picture). But more about that in another post.