Sunday Spotlight: Duncan Murray

spotlight-duncanmurrays

1. Hello! Who are you, where are you from and all that good stuff.
Hi – I’m Duncan Murray, a session guitarist/composer from just south of Edinburgh. Outside of the ‘day job’ I mix my time between writing instrumental / soundtrack music and doing occasional session guitar work for other artists.

2. Tell us a bit about the music you make.

My background is mostly lead guitar type roles in indie/rock bands, where I was often the main or co-writer of the music. Because I have a young family, I decided 3-4 years ago to finally step away from the commitment of bands and start writing my own material.

In December 2016 I released my debut indie rock EP called ‘Power of Suggestion’, which was my first experience writing entirely solo and working with a producer to refine and master a debut release.

Having gotten my first mid sized project over the line and having adapted to the solo writing mentality (not to mention the relief at finding out that people didn’t hate it!) I embarked on a slightly new direction, which was writing instrumental music. I always loved the challenge of creating mood and atmosphere with music alone, where the dynamics are a bit different to writing music as part of a song with vocals.

 

As I started to develop my first tracks, I decided I wanted the music to ultimately soundtrack something. And that ‘something’ quickly became Edinburgh! I’ve always loved the blend of new and old within the city and the echoes of the past that you see everywhere. With the theme decided, the mood of the record quickly took shape and the project became my attempt to soundtrack the city by capturing its mood in music.

The record, called ‘Edinburgh Ghosts’, has a contemporary sound and was released on October 15th. I’ve loved writing it and really hope it captures people’s imagination.

3. When did you start and what made you want to start making music?

I’ve been playing for around 20 years, starting guitar lessons at the beginning of high school. I had a really cool teacher who struck a good balance between all styles – electric, acoustic, Spanish etc – which meant I developed an eclectic approach, which I try to maintain even today.

I’ve always loved writing music and can’t ever remember not doing it one capacity or another. I’ve not always done it as seriously as I do now, obviously, but it’s always fascinated me for as long as I can remember.

4. Stage or studio?

In the past I might have said stage but given what I do now, I’d say studio. I love the building process in the studio, hearing an idea come to life.

I’m fortunate at the moment to also be doing some live acoustic session guitar work for a singer-songwriter, who’s currently performing her new material in/around Edinburgh. That helps me keep my hand in on the live side and avoid any laziness creeping in when it comes to practising!

5. What gear do you use to make your tunes?

On the electric front, my go-to guitar is my Fender Elite Telecaster, which I love. I used it extensively on Edinburgh Ghosts, given its flexibility. A close second is my Fender American Professional Strat, which I use for the heavier, richer tones. These are often run through my Boss ‘Waza Craft’ DM-2w delay pedal for a warm analogue style delay.

On the acoustic side, I use Takamine for steel strung and classical guitars, which record really well.

6. And what is your choice bit of gear and why?

It’d have to be my Fender Elite Telecaster because of the great tones and adaptability. It can pretty much be used for anything. I’ve also recently bought a Marshall AS50D acoustic amp, which is stunning with acoustic and even electric guitars running through it!

7. Where can we check out your tunes?

‘Edinburgh Ghosts’ is now available on Apple, Spotify and all other major platforms. If any of this sounds up your street, please give my Facebook page a like (@duncanmurrayguitarist) and let me know what you think of the record once you’ve heard it!

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