1. Hello! Who are you, where are you from and all that good stuff.
My name is Ian Benn and I am The Uncertainty Principle. I originate from the Lake District but now reside in South Yorkshire…..(it’s a long story). I wouldn’t purport to be a multi-instrumentalist but have played all instruments on what I have recorded so far.
2. Tell us a bit about the music you make.
Its all instrumental! There are the occasional voices, choirs etc but no lyrics to date. Writing tends to be very spontaneous and on occasion a new idea/song has evolved out of my attempts to create a change within a piece of music I have been working on. I would probably loosely place my music within the soundtrack genre but there are some dance/trance elements, rock, funk, jazz and also modular soundscapes.
I play everything but also use samples which are of course all royalty free. The one instrument I would say I can play consistently is the drums however, there is only a smattering of live drums on the songs recorded to date so its all machines, samples, keyboards and guitar.
I have opted for a big full sound with song mixes to date, it certainly not a minimalist approach.
I have a lot of different influences from 70’s rock, jazz rock and funk into techno and the occasional bit of selective pop. Recently went to see Stanley Clarke in Leeds which was quite surreal. I like to think I have a wide and varied taste in the music I listen too. I’m a big fan of radio 6 Music particularly Gideon Coe’s show.
Ideally, I would now like to work with a producer or another singer/song writer so please feel free to get in touch!
3. When did you start and what made you want to start making music?
I have been compiling bits of musical ramblings for several years but only recently been able to put together the pieces of equipment I need to structure and record my ideas as finished pieces of music. I suppose the driver for doing this was born out of the frustration of just being ‘the drummer’ in various bands I played in. It became increasingly more apparent that relying on others to create and produce material wasn’t satisfying my personal appetite to be creative. Bands also can be quite volatile, people come and go which then leaves a big hole in the line up. This invariably means looking for a suitable replacement so its like starting all over again which can be incredibly tiresome. Having said all of that, I feel that now would be a good time for some collaboration and feedback.
4. Stage or studio?
Studio definitely! I find the creative process to be incredibly satisfying and would love to work with a producer/arranger to really polish things off. I believe for the type of material I currently write that only an experienced producer could fully realise its potential. Mixing and production is a highly skilled art equally as important as the material itself but incredibly time consuming and outside my skillset.
Live would be great, but putting a band together to deliver these tunes would I imagine be extremely challenging. However, this isn’t something I’ve completely discounted as it would be an aspiration to deliver my music to live audience and I may explore this more if I find someone/others to work with.
5. What gear do you use to make your tunes?
Apple iMac, Logic X and the Focusrite Clarett 8PreX are the cornerstone of my current setup. As said earlier, I created several ideas over the years which came from recording on a Yamaha V50 and an old Kurzweil K2500. These bits were transferred into Logic and embellished and expanded upon. Other bits of kit include Elektron and Drumbrute drums, Matrixbrute an XTouch and Adam A7X monitors.
6. And what is your choice bit of gear and why?
I would have to say it would be the old Kurzweil K2500 even though I don’t use it anymore! It really opened up the world to me because of the sheer quality of its sounds and built in sequencer. It effectively allowed me to express myself which would have been impossible several years ago. The VAST synthesiser architecture is a little quirky though and I have to be honest and say that I probably never really got me head fully around it but, ultimately the K2500 whetted my appetite and got me going.
With regards kit that I currently use I would cite Logic X. I know it’s software but having flirted briefly years ago with Pro Tools, I find it much more intuitive and its ridiculously powerful.
7. Where can we check out your tunes?
A selection of tunes are available on Soundcloud for a limited time with a 12 track album available to purchase on Bandcamp. The song/tune titles I hope reflect something in the way the music sounds in particular with tracks such as ‘End of Times’ which was composed after the Brexit vote and Trump being voted in as US President (crazy World).
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