Grant has been composing electronic music for the last 15 years as a serious hobby, the last two years especially, which have seen the word hobby disappear. He is now a constantly active composer who does not want any #tags placed upon his work.
Disruption can be perceived as a lack of respect for established principles or accepted as it will happen anyway. Bending normality is a great way to spend time, taking instruments past their physical barriers through transfer to digital and then pushing further out. The physical form is Grants heritage as a brass musician playing his part in bands, but as a technologist he has different visions of where things will be and in his own compositions he allows some of what may be the future to enter the sphere.
He uses Virtual Artists to public face his compositions to fulfils his desire to be diverse. The image and attitude, arrest record and sexual preference of the presentation Artist are parameters that are an extension of the music. In the software industry, components that make up a product are built to specification. Grant sees that the differentials will only reduce as the technology of software application and entertainment collide.
Virtual Artists reference their human counterparts as organics. Any number of Virtual Artists can be made for any purpose, the audience has the right to reject or accept Virtual Artists as they do with organics. Any weirdness associated with this concept over organic artistry can be negated by the fact that Noddy Holder (MBE) from Slade, was knighted. This abstraction is precisely what happens in film where the actors have a design or specification and so does the music.
After years of producing works and placing (as opposed to releasing) them on Soundcloud using the moniker moron the flipside, Grant adjusted to the reaction he received and wanted to start spreading the concept of VA’s further. With moron the flipside, the goal and full expectation was that no one would ever press the like button. Sadly, Grant saw that there were people out there that actually got it and in a sincere manner and decided not to be disappointed, but learn and adjust further.
A new strategy emerged to create very nice music and a very nice artist to contrast mtf. In parallel a rumour that there may or may not be a small and well-hidden miniscule sinister element incase of a strategic backfire was launched. A new Virtual Artist who I so new his dials are mainly on empty or low so ready to be filled with fake experiences and knowledge that will better suit his middle age – enter mr gee sweet.
In 2019 Grant released his first full (by himself) composed work to the world: “Follow the sugar to the gee” as performed by mr gee sweet.
The track features the ancient trail blazers, initially the concept was an organ off pitting the Fender Rhodes up against several Hammond Organs, the latter is a favourite of Grants, so naturally won. The Hammond was pushed to oscillate outside its native ability, giving the impression that it was underwater. Follow the sugar to the gee was judged by APRA members to be one of three finalists in the 2019 APRA AMCOS New Zealand Jazz Composition Awards, there were around 50 entries.
Being a finalist has inspired Grant and he has just completed a new work for mr gee sweet – a work called “rhapsody for a new old queen” from a larger concept called “distressed overture”. The rhapsody is a digitally produced orchestral work inspired by Rimsky Korsakov’s Scheherazade. It is a 10 minute journey through the emotions of Scheherazade like experience, with a twist.
Grant was co-composer of all Miltown Stowaways Music which triggered his writer full member membership with APRA in 1982. The Miltown Stowaways was formed from members of the Newmatics as they split up. A lively soul funk band, contrasting the predominantly punk scene at the time played at Sweetwaters and toured New Zealand 4 times in 2 years. There were four Miltown Stowaways releases on vinyl, an album and 3 EP’s.
Classically trained on piano, flugel, then settling on the Cornet with the Hawera Municipal Brass Band. He played in Orchestra pits supporting repertory, opera including Dame Malvina, panto and wore gumboots to beer festivals. Hawera Municipal surprised New Zealand by becoming the Champion A Grade Brass Band with their strategy of importing top conductors from England. Grant was trained by Harry Farrington – ex Fairies Cornet player and the new conductor of HMBB after Tom Fox moved on. They recorded regularly for Concert Radio as a result of their elevated stature. This exposed Grant to the serious end of Brass Band music, ranging from highly technical with absurd levels of difficulty through to emotion provoking hymns.
Grant’s performance, aged 14 at the NZ National Brass Band Champs, won him 3rd place in the 16 and under cornet solo competition. An invitation to join the New Zealand Youth Brass Band followed. They toured New Zealand, released a double album and played the closing ceremony of the 1974 Commonwealth Games attended by the Queen.
Moving to Auckland, personal influence was adjusted to the Sex Pistols version of God Save the Queen. He jammed with musicians who were in the Gordons, Proud Scum, Features and the Newmatics.
Grant played on albums and toured with the Netherworld Dancing Toys, Peking Man, Not Really Anything and in horn sections including with Rick Bryant’s Jive Bombers, Wentworth Brewster and Midge Marsden.
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Listing Title: Grant Hughson