So, I decided to call it ‘Hey up Ryuk!’…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s ancient Egyptian deity is the scarab beetle, or the man with a scarab beetle for his head, the god Khepri – he is the creator, and his attribute is solar. (K)

Dear reader, as I’m sure that you know by now, I dabble in quite a few different visual art forms, a jerk of all trades me! Drawing, painting (sort of), print making (linocuts and decalcomania) and of course photography.
I wonder sometimes if I spread myself too thinly… But, never mind that, it’s great now we have the internet, you can show your creations to complete strangers, or even incomplete ones… Oh, I forgot to mention sculpture in my list of pastimes, oh yes, and my mail art postcards too, they have been going a very long time… See, even I forget what I do!
But, hold hard, there is music too! I have always played guitar and have been in various low-level bands over the years, but I don’t really engage in that any more. I’d really like to be in a band again, but then, who wants to go and see an old guitarist playing in a band composed of old people? The answer is – other old people! Oh dear, standing there on stage playing my little heart out, in front of a bobbing sea of over-weight over-sixties dancing in the flamboyant styles of the hippy years… No, no, no…
But several years ago with the advent of synthesisers, drum machines, and Atari computers to link them all together you could have your own ‘band’ at home. I started ‘writing’ or ‘composing’ (these words don’t seem quite right) my own music with ‘virtual’ instruments; it was great! I used to get a few of my ‘tunes’ together and make an album of them, not a vinyl record, but a cassette tape, and later when the technology became available for home use, a cd. What fun! I’m still doing it, but with more up to date equipment of course.
My latest ‘tune’, ‘piece’, ‘composition’, (you see, I’m still not sure what to call them) was started in the summer of 2015, but I only finished it a couple of days ago. It didn’t really take that long to do, but there were very long gaps in between the sessions of working on the thing – the reason for the gaps might employ the words: apathy, lack of enthusiasm and oh dear, the ultimate pointlessness of it all – hey ho! The usual excuses for not doing stuff…
Anyway, my new piece has some electric guitar in it. In a little book on scales for guitar, I found one they called the ‘Japanese Scale’ – it’s great, just play a few notes and you find yourself in a black and white Kurosawa film with samurai running about, waving swords, sneering, and laughing at each other. Aren’t scales fantastic? Just a some simple intervals, but they can evoke anything you like, if you pick the right ones. Anyway, I made up some phrases using that scale and added some drums and synthesiser sounds to them.
It is not really a very ‘serious’ work, so I decided to call it ‘Hey up Ryuk!’ – ‘Hey up!’ being a northern English dialect greeting, and ‘Ryuk’ being a character in Death Note, a manga I enjoyed reading last year – he is a shinigami, a god of death, with a liking for apples. I photographed a packet of Yorkshire Tea with the book propped up behind it to use as the picture to accompany the music when I put into onto SoundCloud to share it with the world. You should easily spot Ryuk, he’s the cute one on the right.
If you’d like to hear my new tune, please click here.


About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
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14 Responses to So, I decided to call it ‘Hey up Ryuk!’…

  1. Oh I do like that! Makes me want to lie in a hammock and daydream, ha! Also “cassette tape”??? Gosh, I used to record the Top 40 every Sunday night and splice mine to get rid of the DJ chatting all over it. Oh those were the days…now where can I find a hammock…hmm.

    • Dave Whatt says:

      Yes, I think that it’s a ‘dreamy’ piece too.
      I hear that cassettes are coming back with the young folk – it must be because they are ‘real’ – and you can see the wheels going round.
      And today’s instruction is: Go out first thing tomorrow and buy a hammock!…

      • Oh I will! In fact I have just spotted a lovely one on Amazon, and they also have a cute retro cassette player with a record function. Oh my life is complete! šŸ˜€

      • Dave Whatt says:

        Ho ho! That sounds marvellous! – Enjoy your hammock – I hope you have something sturdy to fasten it to, or does it have its own frame?

  2. Dana Doran says:

    Of course I went to Sound Cloud to check out your tune! You have so many hats! I do like the tune….I really like the part at about 1:56 where it becomes sort of a refrain and felt familiar for some odd reason.

  3. I liked it. I felt it had a nice sense of suspense or menace. Dramatic.

  4. junkmonkey says:

    I didn’t get on with Death Note at all – Number One Daughter loved it and Cosplayed as L at a Con a couple of years ago – but we both agreed that the movie is best avoided.

    • Dave Whatt says:

      Death Note: I discovered the films (the Japanese ones) first, then I slowly bought the manga series, and then saw the anime. I was hooked!
      The new US remake film looks really coarse and awful, as you might expect!

  5. ktz2 says:

    I like it ! The Japanese-y tone, pleasantly hypnotic.. and also with the guitar a hint of ‘spaghetti’ western movies, where the 2 gunman face off in the middle of the dusty little town, ready to draw.. the suspense, like High Noon

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