Monday, April 2, 2018

Just for Fun - Robot Dance 2

I've had my head down, working hard on a large, serious choral work, a choral arrangement and an instrumental commission. All three received their world premiers in 2017.  I received a Canada Council travel grant to attend the premier in Vancouver.  I was a guest speaker at a music conference, and have just finished writing a short article for a music magazine.  It's been a whirlwind!

It was time for a little fun, writing something completely different.  The Auxy app on my iPad was just what I needed to write a sequel to Robot Dance #1.  Let your imagination go as you visualize Robot Dance 2!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

New Album In The Works!

I've been chipping away at two new albums, writing and recording as I get the chance.  I have released a few singles on iTunes, Amazon & GooglePlay from the upcoming albums.  I am also posting sneak previews of work in progress on SoundCloud.

More news soon!


Friday, August 22, 2014

My New Composer Website

I live a dual musical life.  I spend some of my time working on alt.pop/singer-songwriter/electronic music.  I spend some of my time writing serious choral and classical music.

My classical composer website and mobile site are up and running!  You are invited to take them for a test-drive at:

Happy listening!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

New Official Geoffrey Bell Website!

I've spent recent weeks trying to consolidate all of the music I have written and recorded, to get it "out there" so people can hear it.  I'm reaching way back to the 1970s to dust off old recordings, and organizing more recent work, putting it where it can be heard.  If a songwriter writes songs that nobody hears, do the songs really exist? 

So, warts and all, I have created the New Official Geoffrey Bell website and mobile site. It has six samples of my songs, spanning a range of genres.  It has links to iTunes, Amazon and Google Play, where more songs are available.

There is more to organize, more music to make public, and there are so many more songs waiting to be finished.  Happy listening!

The New Official Geoffrey Bell Website

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Electronic Rock - 1978

Amongst the reels of tape that were digitally restored, we recovered three pieces of electronic rock.  I wrote and recorded all three in the Electronic Music Lab at the University of Calgary.  Each instrumental part was recorded one track at a time, built layer upon layer until I ran out of tracks. 

"What?" is a solo instrumental piece of electronic rock.  The studio Moog was monophonic, meaning it could only play one note at a time.  It took forever, but I had fun!

"You and I" features Pat Tufts doing vocals with me.  "Look Around" is my call for positive action in the world.

If you enjoyed electronic rock in the late seventies, you might enjoy a blast from the past with these!

This link might take you there:

Otherwise, search iTunes for Geoffrey Bell, then click "Geoffrey Bell Archive: Electronic Songs - 1978".

Happy listening!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Recordings Found

In March I wrote about recordings that are most likely lost for good.  I know they existed at one time, but it's unlikely I'll ever hear them again.

Happily, I have been able to recover some other old recordings of mine that were on reel-to-reel tape. Thanks to the kindness and hard work of Keith Smith and Rob Bartlett, I have recovered a number of recordings that go back as far as 1975.  Through their combined magic, the music can be heard again.
I will be gradually releasing tracks as I work through them.  The first collection is ready today!

I was 18 years old when I recorded four songs for piano and flute at Sound West Recording Studio in Calgary.  I recorded each piano track first, then improvised flute tracks over three of them.  These pieces are being released on an EP this week on iTunes, Amazon & Google Play.  Just search for Geoffrey Bell.  The EP is called Geoffrey Bell Archive: Piano & Flute.

I have also put together a slideshow on YouTube using one of the tracks.  Happy listening!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Lost Recordings

As I rummage through my collection of songs I have written and recorded over the years, I have started to think about recordings once made, now lost.  I know that most of these recordings are long-gone, never to be heard again.  Some part of me wishes I could travel back in time to get one copy of each, just so I could listen to them again.

"Bed" performing on Sun Tree Stage - Calgary Stampede - July 10, 1974
In 1974 I was playing keyboards in a rock group called "Bed".  We covered songs by Led Zepplin, Jethro Tull and the Allman Brothers, and created new interpretations of blues standards, such as "Stormy Monday".

Eugene Chadbourne, the music critic for the Calgary Herald, wrote about the performance:
"Bed plays rock and roll, and it tries to play the music as hard and as energetically as possible."
"The members of this group were all much younger than the average band featured so far at Sun Tree."
"...the group's Sun Tree performance revealed seeds of the kind of potential Calgary's music scene needs badly.  These guys should keep playing."

From the stage, I could see the technicians in the sound booth, and a reel-to-reel tape recorder recording our show.  We were never offered a copy.  It sure would be fun to hear that recording now!

"Lassiter's Third Herd" - studio recording of five blues standards - Ida Banks' studio in Edmonton, 1976
In the summer of 1976 I played keyboards for Art Lassiter's blues band.  We recorded five blues standards.  The band was tight, and we played well.  Money was tight, and I didn't pay for a copy of the recording.  I wish I could hear it again.

"A Certain Kind" - 30 min. TV special - April 9, 1976
In 1976 I also played keyboards in a Calgary Jazz/Rock trio.  We were invited to record a 1/2 hour TV special in the SAIT television studio, and the production won the 1976 SAIT Television Production Award.  It was broadcast on Friday, April 9th.  Sadly, this was before people owned VCRs.  We have other studio recordings, but chances are that a recording of the TV special no longer exists. 

Where does that leave me?  Looking at a box of reel-to-reel recordings, wondering if I can find anyone with a good-quality reel-to-reel tape recorder in good condition.  Amongst these, there is my first professional studio recording of flute and piano music I recorded when I was 17.  I'd like to hear it again, and share it with sympathetic ears.

There is more music to be heard in my archives.  And there is so much more new music waiting to be recorded!
Performing at Calgary Stampede, age 17