Inspired to play by: 

Tori Amos, J S Bach, Badfinger, Bebop Deluxe, Jeff Beck, Bjork, David Bowie, Bill Bruford, Kate Bush, Cinematic Orchestra, Crowded House, Deep Purple, Del Amitri, Elbow, The Enid, Fink, Pink Floyd, Focus, Free, Funki Porcini, Peter Frampton, Genesis (1972-1976), Allan Holdsworth, Gustav Holst, Joni Mitchell, John Martyn, Mike Oldfield, Arvo Pärt, Tom Petty, Procul Harum, Maurice Ravel, Simon & Garfunkel, Dmitri Shostakovich, Martin Simpson, Supertramp, James Taylor, Roger Waters, Wishbone Ash, Chris Wood, Stevie Wonder, Yes (1971-1974), Frank Zappa, Led Zeppelin.

Martin Giles first fell in love with the guitar at age twelve.  Mum and dad warned him right then he'd never make a living as a musician, so he'd better find himself a proper job when he left school.  It (probably) wasn't that they lacked faith in his ability to master the instrument, but even back then, you had to be incredibly lucky to be in a successful band. 

Good advice of course, so after school, off he went to college to get a qualification in something useful.  He ended up in a crappy job in a company run by a crappy boss who seemed to have stepped out of the pages of a Dickens novel.  All the while in his spare time, he'd been using what little technology was available to a poor boy in the 1970s, to record the music he was creating.

Eventually it occurred to him that he should be working in a recording studio. So off he went to London where pretty much all the studios were in those days, to get a job as a tea boy. 

Four months later he was assisting on his first ever session in a professional recording studio. (The artist was Jona Lewie, about a month after 'Stop the Cavalry' had hit the UK charts - ah the romance of it all).  More importantly, he got to use the studio in downtime.  All that luvverly gear!  A massive console, two inch, 24 track tape machines, Steinway grand piano... he was in heaven. 

He progressed over a few years from the tea/sandwich gofer to engineer, and then freelanced for a while at a bunch of studios that are probably all gone by now.  One day, a guy he knew phoned him up and asked if he fancied getting into mastering.  He did (more regular hours being a major incentive to his permanently jet-lagged body). Ultimately, he spent about twenty years in that role, making CD masters and cutting master lacquers for artists as diverse as The Cinematic Orchestra and Run DMC.

Finally though, he'd ‘had enough out of the music business, and the business had had enough out of him’ (apologies to Wishbone Ash).  He left, but he never lost his love of creating music and playing guitar (and mandolin).  Just as in his youth, he still spends a lot of his spare time recording music at home, but has so much better technology available these days.  He would have given his legs for this gear as a kid, but then he would never have thought to go work in professional recording studios, and would probably never have learned the skills he now has. 

It’s even harder to make a living as a musician in 2020 - as a wise man has said, 'There are literally pennies to be made in the music business'.  When you get paid around 1/3rd of a penny for a play on Spotify... well you can do the arithmetic. 

But he didn't make this music to make money.  He did it because he needed to say something.  Something about all the things we've got wrong and seem determined to continue to get wrong.  What we're doing to each other and to the world at large.  Now it's finished, it would be silly not to share it with the world.  With you. 

Inspired to write this album by: 

Eukaryotes and the universe, all horrors and heroes.

Listen to the music, buy the CD, or download here.

1970s home recording technology. An Akai GX4000D 'Sound-On-Sound' open reel tape deck.

1970s home recording technology. An Akai GX4000D 'Sound-On-Sound' open reel tape deck.

1970s recording technology.This HH IC100 amplifier served as guitar amp, but also my mic amp. I could use the tone controls to EQ each overdub on the way in to the tape deck.

1970s recording technology.This HH IC100 amplifier served as guitar amp, but also my mic amp. I could use the tone controls to EQ each overdub on the way in to the tape deck.

21st Century recording technology. Samplitude Pro X for all my recording, mixing and mastering needs.

21st Century recording technology. Samplitude Pro X for all my recording, mixing and mastering needs.

My trusty axes. A 1970s Ibanez Musician MC300 - bought new, still going strong. Used for the lead solos on The Sibylline Books and Suit. And a much more recent purchase, my Fender Strat. Lead guitar on Panopticon / Rome Burns. Gotta love that neck pickup sound!

My trusty axes. A 1970s Ibanez Musician MC300 - bought new, still going strong. Used for the lead solos on The Sibylline Books and Suit. And a much more recent purchase, my Fender Strat. Lead guitar on Panopticon / Rome Burns. Gotta love that neck pickup sound!