22 June 2010

Mark Tranmer - Scoop of Ice-Cream Moon

Mark Tranmer - Scoop of Ice Cream MoonMark Tranmer (Gnac)

'Scoop of Ice-Cream Moon'

Kookydisc017

CD only

Tracklisting

1. Again [4:36]
2. Ghost Intersection [5:15]
3. Smile Like June [4:02] [mp3]
4. Juxtaposer [1:02]
5. Scoop Of Ice-Cream Moon [7:34]
6. Find Out For Yourself [2:28] [YouTube audio]
7. By Association [2:01]
8. Hypercrystal [3:02]
9. Bird Song [2:08]
10. Change Harmonic [0:46]
11. Sawdust Desert [2:08]
12. And Again [1:17]

Notes by Mark Tranmer

Scoop of Ice-Cream Moon is a guitar-based instrumental album, recorded at home in the Winter of 2003/2004. Kooky released the record as a CD in summer 2004. I was very happy to work with them again, having done a black vinyl / racing-green vinyl 7" single with them in 1999 - a double A side 'A tangle with…' / 'The Broken Fall'.

All preceding GNAC albums to 'Scoop of Ice-Cream Moon' had guitar-based tracks amongst keyboard-based, and often programmed, music. For guitar-based tracks on preceding GNAC albums, see, for example, 'Continental Balcony Twilight' and 'Fin' from debut album 'Friend Sleeping'; 'VES004', 'The Broken Fall' and 'A tangle with …' from singles compilation 'Sevens'; and the title track and 'Constraints' from 'Biscuit Barrel Fashion'.

Mark Tranmer is also known as gnacHowever, I felt that "Scoop of Ice-Cream Moon" tipped the balance considerably in the other direction, being very guitar-based, with 'By Association' and 'Chance Harmonic' the only keyboard-based instrumentals on the album. That was one of the reasons I decided to release 'Scoop of Ice-Cream Moon' under my own name, rather than as GNAC. It was curious that when they found out about the change of name, the distributors persuaded me to have a sticker on every album, proclaiming that "Mark Tranmer is also known as gnac".

The main instrument on the 'Scoop of Ice-Cream Moon' is Fender Stratocaster guitar, alongside samples of electro-acoustic guitar (e.g. "Smile Like June"), and occasional Roland GR33 guitar synthesiser (e.g. 'Hypercrystal'). I also played bass on the album, either using a real washburn bass guitar (e.g. 'Again', "Smile Like June") or by playing, rather than sequencing, a Novation K-station as a bass synthesiser (e.g., on the title track). As well as this, I played real time piano on the record (e.g., on the title track, and on 'Again'). The artwork featured on the front cover is a shot of the winter moon taken in East Yorkshire, where I grew up. The photos elsewhere are shots of a dry-stone wall and grassy hillside in West Yorkshire, close to where I live now.

In 2009 I decided to re-release the album as a digital edition. Because of the greater prominence of the name at the time, and the ease of making changes to a digital edition, I credited it to GNAC rather than to Mark Tranmer. It is currently on release on iTunes, eMusic and so on, and can also be found on Spotify. This digital edition is in expanded form with 5 extra tracks. The original, and longer, version of "Ghost Intersection", which has a third part to it ('Ghost Intersection Deluxe'), 'Creaky Door' (from an extremely limited self-release 3" CD-R I did in 2003; Only 20 copies, I think). The Garageband version of 'Smile Like June' is actually a slightly fuller version of a track I used as a backing track for a couple of Mark Tranmer gigs I did, supporting The Durutti Column in Shrewsbury and Liverpool, in 2004.

The Durutti Column with Mark Tranmer live in LiverpoolFor those gigs, Otto Smart and me each played guitars. 'marktranmer.com' is the music that is heard when visiting my website, and the demo of 'Smile Like June' is self-explanatory - and as far as I recall, the first thing I did towards making this album. All that said about the digital edition, I still very much like the CD edition of the album as a concise collection of the original 12 songs with the printed artwork, and I still sell copies on eBay via my website!!

Additional tracks on digital edition

13. Ghost Intersection Deluxe [8:32]
14. Creaky Door [4:40]
15. Smile Like June - Garageband Version [4:43]
16. marktranmer.com [0:40]
17. Smile Like June - Demo [2:22]

I am still making records - see www.marktranmer.com - most recently, a clear vinyl 12" album + CD entitled 'How Scarlet The Leaves' [->] (official release date 1 October 2012, on my own label: Vertical Features (VF007)). This new album is very much a played record rather than a programmed one, featuring Alessandra Celletti on piano, and me on a multitude of guitars and other instruments. All songs are written and produced by me. I have hence reverted to releasing the album in my own name: Mark Tranmer!

I am also still working with Roger Quigley and Otto Smart in the Montgolfier Brothers (we recently toured Spain) and with Ian Masters in Wingdisk. I expect to work with Alessandra Celletti again, too.

Mark Tranmer, 29 August 2012

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