Author Archive | nick cody

Norwegian Uke

I started playing the ukulele in April 2015, and since then I have gone on to play in a norwegian band called Pierre and had the pleasure of playing solo instrumental ukulele at a few different venues. My original music is without lyrics and the focus is on showcasing some of the possibilities of this beautiful instrument.

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Johi

Songwriter and ukulele player in Finnish Ukulele band Old Man´s Tale ( https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVdhopx4CCLeW3iKGIwNVbg )
Also composing original songs and covers on my own channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEbsltNog-bRdl08rxtHN_A
I´m a former guitar player gone nuts for ukulele ! I prefer 8 -string tenor ukulele and currently i´m using Lanikai LU – 8E . Been playing 1,5 years.

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Cyriel

Cyriel discovers the artistic universe child. Once gone on stage, she will never come down from it again.

She is an actress, a singer and professional dancer today. During her career she learnt, discovered and worked with numerous artists and companies of the whole world (Ariane Mnouchkine and Théâtre du Soleil, Simon Abkarian and Catherine Schaub, Albert Dupontel, Vidhya Subramania, Jean-Jacques Lemêtre, Louis Fortier, …).

Multi-purpose artist, her fed by the various forms of artistic expressions (the theater, music, dance, the circus, the writing, …) and so creates a dreamlike and committed universe.

Since 2010, she writes, stages and interprets her own theatrical realizations (“Strange People”, “Le Voyage du Korrigan”, “Fleur de Trottoir”), mixing theater, song and dance.

Lover of the ukulele, in 2015, she learns the practice of this instrument in self-taught. From then on, she occurs in concert in a style mixing bluegrass, blues, rock, jazz and French songs.
She writes and composes her own songs, besides the numerous occasions of her directory.

Her texts invite in the journey and on second thought on our humanity. With poetry, she evokes important themes such as the war, the death, the domestic violence, …

His EP album “Cyriel – des histoires…” is available in download since September, 2018, in association with the label FLIP the Industry.

After numerous years on the French scenes, Cyriel is installed from now on in the beautiful city of Montreal. You can discover her on stage through Quebec.

website : www.cyriel-artist.com/musique
ReverbNation : www.reverbnation.com/cyrielartist
soundcloud : https://soundcloud.com/cyrieltardivel
fanpage FB : www.facebook.com/Cyriel
youtube videos : – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGtu3XSaFtI
– https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHm4iurLbr4
– https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=274EBomqwFA
– https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cS8ELBZc5_Y
– https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wjdJTY5xhA
download EP album “Cyriel – des histoires…” : https://cyrielflip.bandcamp.com/

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Working on the BIG project – “Music for the Head & Heart”

To be revealed in 2019…

I set up Original Ukulele Songs three years ago and its been quite a ride bringing together many amazing artists. I originally had the idea to sponsor stages for uke based music and did actually do this for a UK event back in 2016. However it taught me that much as I love uke based original songs, this sector is far too niche and I needed to think much bigger. Also as with niche music genres there tends to be a lot of unhelpful politics and status seeking, so I started working on what I call THE BIG PROJECT, with a few like minds.

OUS was always a beta tester for what will be known as “Music for The Head and Heart” This will be an international platform which will operate by invitation only and grown organically. There will be a strong web presence as well as live events and collaborations. We already have 12 artists involved, but its a lot of back-end work, so it won’t launch until later in 2019. It’s a big undertaking and as with all worthwhile projects, requires a lot of attention to detail, especially on the back end. 

The focus is on the love of music in all forms and what inspires artists to create and perform music. I’ll gradually be giving out more details and inviting artists to the platform. It’s NOT uke based, and quite deliberately more expansive in reach and content. 

Regards

NC

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What to watch out for in 2019 

2018 is almost concluded, so we thought we’d highlight a few things in “Uke world” to watch out for in 2019

Phil Doleman original album due 

Phil Doleman

Phil Doleman has been one of the leading lights in the ukulele world and has produced some excellent teaching materials essential for all ukulele players. In 2019 he is releasing an original album and we recommend  folks to watch out for it here

MUMF Festival 

There are many ukulele festivals around the world and especially in the UK. MUMF is a breath of fresh air in doing something different rather than repeating the same formula. Bravo and check out the festival HERE 

Geraldine Festival in NZ

I have been watching Fi and Hugh Mc Cafferty’s work from afar and blogged on Geraldine earlier this year. Without doubt they are pushing the boundaries in entertainment. Check them out HERE  

Matt Stead Workshops ukulele store

Matt Stead has been key to creating some great learning opportunities with his Uke retreats. He also has an excellent store for instruments that makes him my number one choice in the UK with great quality and selection of instruments

Check him out HERE  

 Best Regards

Nick Cody

Founder of OUS

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Ukulele skills development anyone?

Five years ago I first picked up a ukulele, having bought a wonderful Collings pre production concert uke in New York. After 18 months of playing around with it, I decided to get some proper instruction. I eventually found a local teacher, but I was amazed at the lack of available teachers for a 1 – 1 basis.

I have often blogged about how the uke can be mostly a focul point for social meet ups and strum alongs and there’s definetely a place for that. In fact this Friday I’ll be sound engineer for a local uke group playing an evening of cover versions. I’ve done this many times before and its a fun night.

I also read today that Sore Fingers were struggling to get more than four people to attend their skills development workshop in 2019. They need a minimum of ten people to make a class viable and so far only four have shown definate interest. In a country where there seems to be a “uke festival” every few weeks, this seems like a terrible response but it does confirm my theory that many who pick up the uke, do so just to learn a few chords and strum along with friends. Most festival acts play cover versions and some attempt the comedic quirky route which personally I’m not a fan of, but there seems to be a real appetite for that. Yes, there are some workshops, but these are usually 60 minutes only and at the last one I attended the presenter commented “I really thought we be a lot further on than we are” during his slot, clearly surprised at the lack of musical skills from the audience.

There’s a lot of uke discussion online and an abundance of questions asking for advice. Many seem to think that watching youtube videos is the way to go, but I would always advise seeing a live human being. Phil Doleman remains a beacon of hope for ukulele education and wrote an article for the site here – http://www.originalukulelesongs.com/thoughts-learning-play-uke-internet-phil-doleman/

Matt Stead also is a driving force in teaching the uke in the UK and his Uke Room is a great place to learn and develop skills. You can find him here https://theukeroom.com/

Overseas James Hill has been a driving force in showing people the possibilities for the instrument and is once of the few ukulele players that crosses over to attract wider publci appeal.

Personally I think the ukulele is a brilliant instrument, and my hope is that the UK ukulele community can generate enough enthusiasm so a 2019 Sore Fingers workshop can take place. I guess we’ll know by the Friday deadline…

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A Great new platform for Musicians – Drooble

I generally don’t recommend platforms or services unless I’m impressed, so this does not happen often! That said, for the last week I have been trying out a new platform for musicians called Drooble

This is proving to be a really interesting space for musicians to interact. The main plus points are that in order to showcase material artists need to contribute in some way and generate “karma points” This means over enthusiastic folks can’t just blast out endless material and monopolize the platform. Also you can just buy exposure like on some platforms where folks just crank their visa cards to get attention. Instead you get rewarded for various interactions including inviting other members.

Its possible to upload songs (once you have enough points) and my own experience to date is that its a friendly place and crucially on topic rather than a medium for people to rant about all manner of thinking that is often not that interesting!

There’s a Drooble chart which shows how diverse the interest actually is and it looks like the platform is getting good momentum and crucially great customer engagement.

Go check it out HERE 

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What If No One Listens? by Mike Turner

Recently, a social media friend and fellow songwriter posted a general question: how important is it that anyone listens to the songs we write?

I’ve been reflecting on this a lot lately, and I can say this: I am compelled to write. Each of my songs tells a story about something that matters to me, be it an emotion like love or sorrow; or a human condition like poverty or homelessness; or an issue like the environment or the tragedy or violence; or the glory of God and our world; or even just having a bit of fun. I write because I want to express my thoughts on the subject matter. Because I have to. Because I can’t not write.

Certainly, I hope that my completed songs are heard – that someone actually listens, and connects with what I’ve said. That they hear the story I wanted to tell, feel the emotion I wanted to convey and evoke, are inspired to take action on issues that matter to us as people. That’s why, even though I’ve never felt compelled to perform, I have and do – live, and recording and posting to YouTube, my webpage, social media and elsewhere around the Web. Because I do hope that the connection might be made.

But, what if no one listens?

In thinking about it, I’ve come to realize that, even if there was never any chance anyone would ever hear my songs, I’d still be compelled to write them. For me, the drive to speak, to create, is the primary motivator. The hope that someone will listen, and hear, and respond, is surely there – but if that possibility did not exist, I’d still write.

Because I have to. Because I can’t observe and experience the world around us, and not comment upon what I see and feel and believe.

Because I can’t not write.

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MUMF 2019 – Breaking the mould for uke festivals

I have regularly lamented the fact that many events described as “ukulele festivals” are essentially the same acts playing the same sets often to the same audiences. The lack of new thinking has in my view resulted in a decline in some of these events and so its good news that MUMF is returning in 2019 and is an event that bucks the trend with new thinking and a great opportunity to see up close many great ukuleles from some excellent builders

Here’s some info from Helen Howlett who is the organiser of the event

Meet The Ukulele Makers Festival 2019 (MUMF) Friday 31 May to Sunday 2nd June.

See a varied collection of boutique ukulele. Try before you buy!
Gentle strumming or some dynamic jamming?
Join the open mic, sing/strum along and jam sessions or pre-book a slot for a solo, duo or band on the afternoon ‘no-mic acoustic stage’.

Workshops for all levels from beginners to intermediate and advanced. Also Song Writing, Gig Bag Making, Designing Painted Rosettes and a Guided Walk of the grounds at the venue: Plas Tan y Bwlch.
For this year we have commissioned Richard Durrant to write a piece, especially for the finale of the Meet the Ukulele Maker Festival 2019 Saturday evening concert. You can sign up to perform with him.
Also, watch Pete Howlett build a concert ukulele throughout the weekend to be won by a lucky ticket holder.
All this set in beautiful Snowdonia near Portmeirion, castles, beaches and narrow gauge railways.

See the website for more details http://mumf.co.uk/index.php and our Facebook Page: Meet The Ukulele Makers Festival 2019

 

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A Recommended Ukulele Festival next month

 

The Isle of Wight’s second ukulele festival is coming up in November (9th to 11th).  We have a fabulous range of artists, from the more ‘traditional’ sounds of Pete Moss and Matthew Quilliam, through elements of classical music with Opera-lele and Danilo Vignola (amazing ukulele instrumentalist from Rome).  We’ll also have brilliant original music from Plastic Jeezus, a trio of ukulele and vocals, bass and drums; Simon Fernand’s blend of witty lyrics and lively tunes is truly not to be missed. 

A D Cooke’s a northern girl whose performance at our fringe event last time was so engaging we just had to have her back on our main-stage this year; we’re all going to be smiling and tapping toes when she does “her thing”!  We’re really fortunate that the Hedge Inspectors (Krabbers and Caroline) have stepped in at the last minute with more original songs, as well as running an unplugthewood open mic on Friday evening.  JC Grimshaw and Jukebox Jazz are some of our favourite local artists who do a wide range of jazz and similar classics; and we’re really looking forward to JC’s group, the Dance Preachers, who’ll be taking the lead at our post-mainstage ‘Dance the Night Away’ party.

We’ve still got a few spaces available on our fringe stage on Saturday morning, which will be running alongside the Saturday workshop programme, with another round of workshops and a WW1 commemoration event on Sunday morning.  New acts are invited to contact us if you’d be interested in performing.  There will also be loads of jamming, led on Friday by Martyn ‘Eek’ Cooper and the Yoko Mainwaring Experience.  We’re just putting the finishing touches to the festival songbook!

Workshops will cover all sorts of things, from vocal technique and harmony, flamenco instrumental ukulele, songwriting for all those budding original songsters, rock ‘n roll, plucking techniques…and even beginners hula dancing!

Based in Newport, all our venues are a short walk from the town centre, and it’s only a single bus ride from any of the island ferry terminals – and we’ve negotiated a fabulous discount on ferry tickets with Red Funnel.  Newport has a wide range of great cafes and restaurants, and some lovely local shops (plus the amazing shop at Quay Arts, our main venue), ideal for finding original and beautiful Christmas presents We still have weekend tickets available, and now have on sale a limited number of day and event tickets – you can find all the details on our website at www.iowuf.com, or contact us at wightukefest@gmail.com.

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