Bill Norrie

Technics KN7000 Recordings by Willum: Bill is well-known to many of us in the Technics world. His website has been a mainstay of Technics Keyboards info for us for as long as I can remember and his input into our understanding of our instruments can not be underestimated. If you have learned something from someone, they probably learned it from Willum! I've said often, to anyone who will listen, that I play his music all the time... and so should you, so do pay a visit to Willum's website and download a few tracks. Bill has been so kind as to provide some recordings here for your pleasure, along with some valuable insights into their creation.

I Who Have Nothing (Shirley Bassey): KN7000

Converted from Technics files to mp3 and ogg format.

What Now My Love (Shirley Bassey): KN7000

Converted from Technics files to mp3 and ogg format.

Notes for Two Shirley Bassey Numbers:

'What Now My Love' and 'I, Who Have Nothing'.

I was asked by a KN7000 friend some time ago, if I could create a reasonably realistic backing style for two Shirley Bassey songs, So most times, up for a challenge I set about the job......

Having listened to an MP3 of the songs, I have tried to create a 'backing' as close as possible to the original recordings - this was the object of the exercise.

There is a lot 'going on' in the accompaniment to both songs and a simple repetitive style would not do justice to either song. So, I felt that the best approach was to use a kind of Hybrid of Composer and Sequencer, to produce an acceptable result.

However, using this method can sometimes create problems for players, who can only play from sheet music - if the written parts are in a different key. I don't read 'the Dots' and I compose the great majority of my styles in the key of C and then use the Transpose function of the KN7000, to move the song to the 'original' key if necessary.

Another reason for using this method in a 'Song Specific' style, is that it allows the little accompaniment nuances or 'figures', which are included within the Composer, to be reproduced correctly, and not be affected by the fingered chords in the Left Hand. Normally, when chords are changed in the Left Hand, all the parts - with the exception of DR1 and DR2 - of the APC are affected - i.e.Bass and ACP1 - ACP5. This is normally OK, in a basic Generic Style, where the 'harmonies' within the style, just follow the chord changes - it would sound strange if they didn't!
However, this is not necessarily desirable as far as these nuances within the Composer are concerned - if they followed the chord changes, it would totally change the nature of these nuances or 'figures'.

I create these kind of styles mainly for my own use, however, if others wish to use them, they are very welcome to do so, but need to recognise the limitation related to sheet music compatibility.

It's 'JUST' a Bolero!

When I first listened to 'What Now My Love', I thought AH! it's just a Bolero..... I've done one of these before..... (Ravel's Bolero) so perhaps I just need to build on that one....
The classic Bolero, as in Ravel's famous one, is actually in 3/4 time, but after closer examination, I found that this one ain't !!
It's in a 4/4 Time signature, so it was back to the proverbial 'Blank Sheet of paper' - or should I say - Blank Composer Memory.......

The other song - 'I, Who Have Nothing', had an added complication in that it included some measures of 5/4 tempo, within the normal 4/4 time signature. It is not possible to mix time signatures within a Composer Memory or Style, so I had to take a slight liberty within the 'style'. The parts of the song in question are the short breaks, where the accompaniment and vocal stops dead, toward the end of the 10 measure verse. Whilst I was experimenting with the song and playing along with the MP3 recording, I found it a bit difficult and unnatural coming back in with the melody notes at the right moment after this 5/4 break measure, so changing it to 4/4 made things easier to hit the notes at the right time, and in any case, as I mentioned, it is not possible to mix Time Signatures in a Composer style. I'm sure I would not be alone in this :)

If this doesn't make sense as you read this, it should become clear when you listen to the recording....... perhaps comparing it with the original Bassey recording - if you have a copy. I don't think this small 'liberty' actually makes a great difference to the performance, and I very much doubt, if anyone will notice! [Ed: I totally agree with you Bill]

Play any Chord you Like...

In order to ensure that the backings of both songs play correctly, all the chords in the APC part have been pre-programmed so it doesn't matter if you finger incorrect chords in your left hand - the accompaniment will play correctly. You can of course, choose to use chords in the KN7000 LEFT voice if you wish - the APC chords will appear on the screen as normal, as the sequence progresses, to guide you as to which chords are used in the Composer.

There are two way in which you can play the songs:

a. Use the Sequencer/Composer to provide the Total backing, turn off the RT1, RT2 and LEFT parts in the Sequencer screen and just play along with the recording, using Right and Left hand as desired. Just press the START/STOP button and all the Panel Memory, Style Variation, Tempo variations, Transpose operations and Voice changes will be carried out automatically for you, using the Control Track within the sequencer.

OR.....

b. Load the file, turn off the sequencer and then just use the Composer Style to provide the backing. Using this method, you will have to change Panel Memories Manually - at the right time of course ! I generally try to keep the Panel Memories set up to proceed sequencially (1, 2, 3, 4......) as the song progresses, but there are times when the same group of measures are repeated in a song and in this case, back-tracking through the Panel Memories can be used. If you have any doubt in which order the Panel memories should be used, for these particular songs, just play the entire sequence through and observe the Panel Memory changes........

When using this method, the APC chords will still change to follow the correct progression, within each 'Style' Variation, however, the Chord Symbols will not show on the KN7000 screen, unless you actually finger the chords in the Left hand.

Performing the Songs

Regarding songs which have a 'rigid' format, I find it best to use the Sequencer/Composer method since it makes for an easier performance. Apart from some Jazz numbers and others which I wish to play 'Freely', I generally use the Sequencer/Composer Hybrid backing when I play at gigs......

Should you wish to change the Voices used in the Right and/or Left Hand, then of course feel free to do so and just store them back into the appropriate Panel Memory locations and Re-Save the Song file.

Note that there is a bit of delay at the start of 'I, Who Have Nothing', since the Intro actually starts just before 'Beat 1' of a measure, so the preceeding beats 1,2 and 3 in the Intro, are silent.........

There is a key change in 'What Now My Love' - as in the original and this is implemented within the Sequencer using the Transpose function. If you play the song without the sequencer, and wish to impliment this key change, you will have to manually Transpose the key at the appropriate point, or you may choose not to change the key....... The song was originally recorded in Db - not one of my favourite keys - so I play it in C and Transpose to Db. If playing without the Sequencer, you can of course choose to make it SOUND in another key, but you must play it in the key of C, since all the backing chords are configured in that key.........

Tips for Sheet Music

If you are using Sheet music which is written in the original key (Db and probably Eb) then you may have a problem...... However, the melody line is very simple and I would expect that most players would be able to 'Busk' the melody in the key of C - all the chord changes are done for you anyway............

Have Fun !!

Bill Norrie

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