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VAN STARREX Website
SOLO-GUITAR CDs: 1999-NOW
My major progression as a musician since 1997 has been in composing solo-arrangements of popular songs, which also led to a return to live performing from late 2000 to late 2001. The increase in diversity and complexity of these songs has been truly staggering, but my enthusiasm has started to level off of late. Still, of my available mp3 tracks on-line , these are by far the most popular.
Readers will note, from the "Multimedia" section, that I've put a lot of effort into making "CD-Extra" discs of my guitar-work - with audio, videos, graphics and text.
ORIGINAL MUSIC CDs
Any reservations I have about these discs are noted in italics. With the exception of "Acoustic Rock", all the following recordings use my Yamaha APXT1N travelling-size nylon string acoustic-electric guitar.
- Serenade: This is simply a soundtrack recording of the original guitar transcriptions from my intended "A Virtual Serenade - 40 Real Video Love Songs" website. The versions here are all short - playing 40 songs in 60 minutes means an average of less than 1.5 minutes per song (usually an introduction,plus one verse and chorus). The sound quality is poor. An update of this disc also features the 40 videos - see below.
- Guitar Medley No.1: This was recorded on December 16, 2000, after an abortive attempt to play the songs at my office Christmas party. It features the first 22 songs from my solo-guitar advertising flyer (here is the document in Microsoft Word format). This was recorded on MiniDisc, so the sound is quite exceptional. Unfortunately the Yamaha APXT-1N guitar sounds a little small and boxy.
- Live! The Official Bootleg: This CD features two recorded electro-acoustic sets of original guitar transcriptions at the Brass Monkey, Cronulla - on 18 and 25 June 2001 - in their entirely. I would have liked to record some more sets and do a "best of" CD - .
- 3 Nights at the Brass Monkey*: The CD replaces the above one - since I've managed to squeeze in a third set - 23 July 2001 - by deleting some superfluous songs from the other two. The playing was good, the (PA) sound was bad and the audiences were largely indifferent.
- Live at The Brass Monkey - 25 June, 2001*: Remixed version (re-mixed, re-equalised, with added reverb) of my best live concert to date. Featured at http://www.mp3.com.au/AlexVanStarrex/.
- Guitar Video Soundtracks - 2001*: the best soundtracks from my October/November 2001 videos- re-mixed, re-equalised, with added reverb.
- Yes Tales: I recorded 2 CD's worth of material for this - a compilation of original guitar arrangements of Yes songs - but had only memorised about 1 CD worth of material. The 1 CD version quickly became the preferred version of the session. Digital recording. Featured at http://www.mp3.com.au/AlexVanStarrex/.
- Plays The Beatles: Recorded April, 2002 - 24 Beatles songs, digitally recorded using my Yamaha APXT1N and Boss BR-8. Perfect to sing along with, but may be difficult to listen to in one sitting. Featured at http://www.mp3.com.au/AlexVanStarrex/.
- "Acoustic Rock": I bought a new amplified acoustic guitar in 2002 - a steel-string Cort SF1 - to present my guitar-arrangements "on the road" in a new way (and because my Yamaha APXT1N was too small for comfortable performance). To get used to it, I recorded a bunch of (mainly) old Rock'n'Roll songs from the 1950's and 60's. Though the results are mostly enjoyable, this is still a "demo" recording.
- "Classic Guitar": Another attempt to put together a collection of various progressive/rock sopngs for CD. This was "almost" successful, and is quite good in it's own way - but "Illusions" is better.
- "Complexity/"Impressions": I recorded this a few days after "Classic Guitar"- it's a better effort, but not great. "Complexity" is the 74 minute versions, while "Impressions" is the 80-minute version (with more tracks). I sent a copy of this to "Australian Guitar" magazine, before I realised that I could do much better - hence "Illusions".
- "Illusions": This may (or may not) be my final stab at a solo "Progressive Acoustic Guitar" album - Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Yes, etc. NOTE: many RealAudio extracts from this CD are on The Unofficial Yes 2003 Australian Tour Site.
- "Yes-Time": This was may big attempt to do a "proper" album of Yes songs, as a follow-up the "Yes Tales". The CD was recorded in two sessions - a CD of the complete first session (with rather bad/tired playing on the second half), called "Yes Works", found its way to a few people. I currently have very mixed feelings about this CD - the first half isn't as good as I thought it would be and the second is overwraught (who needs at 20 minute version of "The Gates Of Delirium"?), so I may do another CD sometime later in 2003.
- A Virtual Serenade: As mentioned in the "Serenade" notes, this "CD Extra" format disc features my 40 RealVideo love songs, plus player programs for PC and Mac, a HTML menu page to play the videos from and audio soundtracks for the 40 videos, which can be played on any CD player. The audio and video quality is quite poor (being recorded at the minimum size and maximum compression rates, respectively).
- Love Songs (in high-quality RealVideo and CD-Audio): This disc replaces my "(A Virtual) Serenade" CD-Extra (for the moment) as being most representative of my original guitar transcriptions. The 18 performances are better and longer, the videos are of better size and quality and the audio is improved. However the sound from my little Yamaha APXT-1N is quite thin and weedy (almost like an electric guitar).
- "Axeology" CD-Rom: This massive project contains virtually all the audio (converted to MP3) and video (in RealVideo and .mpg formats) recorded with my Yamaha APXT-1N guitar, from 1999 to 2002 - a total of 120 RealVideos, 62 .mpg videos and 143 audio MP3s! Featured at http://www.mp3.com.au/AlexVanStarrex/.
- There are many recorded versions of 1) my "Brass Monkey" gigs (some include my bass-jam on the 25/6/01) and 2) my late-2001 "video soundtracks". I have yet to decide what to keep and what to "lose".
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