Synthesesia (2020)

A new Digital Work Station (DAW) called Ableton 10 Live; a new computer; the addition of dozens of new Virtual Instruments (VSTs) including a fantastic symphony collection based on the performance of the BBC Orchestra recorded at the famous AIR studios built by George Martin – and a lot of spare time due to social distancing – has resulted in a flood of musical ideas that have been sitting on my hard drive waiting to come to life.

The point of this experiment was to stay from my guitar collection and learn more about the piano while trying to improve my keyboard skills. I’m not a great pianist but with the help of MIDI editing tools, I can get by.

BBC One – My first RECORDING using the BBC Orchestra symphonic collection.

Tick Tock – Love those vocal samples and the drums programmed with the classic MT Drum kit.

Blue Robot

Brandenburg Close

Dani’s Theme

Getaway – Need a theme song for a car chase?

London Symphony – Inspired by a recent trip to London and a collection of sound samples taken of the London Underground. Almost all of the percussion on this track is based on recordings made in the subway system.

No Strings Attached – It may sound like a guitar, but it’s not.

Sounds Like The 80’s – Think “Stranger Things” which is immersed in 80s nostalgia and flooded with analog synth sounds.

Whatever – this song was recorded in a little over 2 hours, the main riff the result of setting up my Strat after changing the strings. Yes, there is one track on here of an actual guitar, but the rest of the production is midi based. There is another version with my granddaughter adding some vocals here.

Kijiji People – Short and sweet. Inspired by one line of a vocal sampled across the keyboard.


Oakwood House – A new theme for a short horror film shot in Super 8mm in the early 70’s in Oakbank, Manitoba. The original super 8mm film has been remastered and color corrected and a new soundtrack added using sound effects and samples from the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

The Old Upright #1 – I love funky old pianos that are slightly out of tune and have wonky acoustics. With electronics, that can be hard to recreate until I found this great sample of an old upright.

The Old Upright #2

Unmoored – This song was started on BandLab (a great free online music site) and then developed further in Ableton Live. Listen for the ukulele breaks and the harpsichord near the end.

Tiny StepsGiant Steps was John Coltrane’s amazingly complex first song on his 1959 jazz album. Featuring over a dozen unique and complex chords, soloists talk about it as one of the hardest songs to play in Jazz. I took the dozen chords, wrote the names down on individual scraps of paper and randomly picked them out of a hat. I then scored the main theme with the resulting mix of chords and wrote a melody. Thanks, John.

Walking In The Woods

For Jeff – The Jeff in the title is the producer and writer Jeff Lynn. A huge influence. He is, as they say in Britain, brilliant.

Midieval – Sounds vaguely Midieval … and hey! There’s the word MIDI hidden in there. How could I resist?

John Wayne – Been watching a lot of John Wayne movies lately and the key instruments on this track are two guitars. Rio Bravo is still my favorite.

Wasteworld – Coming Soon! Inspired by the third season of Westworld.


Semper Ubi Sub Ubi

It’s Only Life (2018)
Burden (2018)
Clown Car / 35 Percent (2018)
Get It Right (2018)
More And More And More (2018)
Ten Feet Tall (2018)
You’d Do That For Me? (2018)
Just Try And Stop Me (2017)
When You Were Just A Kid (2018)
Tick Tock (2018)
Black & Blue (2018)
Don’t Look Back (2018)

All songs and production on Semper Ubi Sub Ubi by Russ Smith.
Production tools: Ableton Live, Dark Audacity, Garageband 10.3


alien-instagramEver wonder why intelligent life from other planets has failed to pay us a visit yet? It’s simple—they’re terrified of us. Here are just five obvious reasons why we won’t be getting any surprise extra-terrestrial visits in the near future.

  1. 12,000,000 humans voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 Presidential primaries. Sure, he’s entertaining. But these people actually got up off the couch and marched over to a polling booth to vote for him. That’s scary as hell. Who knows what else these people could be up to?
  2. Honey Boo Boo is being considered for another Reality TV series. Aliens aren’t stupid, but they’re just as confused as we are about what human TV viewers consider reality . . . and Reality TV. One which clearly is not the other. But we call them the same anyway . . . I’m confused just writing about it.
  3. Bush Meat. Think about it. We eat everything that moves—including fuzzy little baby monkeys. Aliens know they could be next on the menu. There must be better places than Earth for a sleep over.
  4. Kim Jong-un’s haircut. Not only is it brutally unfashionable —but the dictator of North Korea has required by law that all other males in the country adopt the same style, refusal punishable by imprisonment. I’m not making that up.
  5. Our obsession with smart phones. It’s a computer, a tool—but we can’t seem to take our eyes off those tiny stupid screens. Eleven teens a day die from texting while driving. Last year: 1.6 million car crashes caused by cell phone use according to the National Safety Council. When the aliens do come, we won’t even notice. We’ll have our heads down, checking our Facebook status.


This post was published by Theo Cage. Check out his latest thriller novel, GHOST OF A GIRL on AMAZON.  “Holy cow! I picked it up and started reading, and now I don’t want to do anything else! Great story . . .” Amazon reader.

Review of Number Seventy Five by Ashley Fontainne

Seventy FiveThe Story: Three years after the demise of her seventeen year marriage, Mandy Russell decides to jump back into the choppy waters of the dating world. With very little options available in her small town of Bainsville, Tennessee, Mandy lets her best friend Shawna persuade her into joining and online dating site.

Feeling she has met someone she can really connect with, Mandy decides it’s time to meet face to face with her new suitor, unaware of his true plans for her. Dark, sinister plans that will test Mandy’s physical strength, mental fortitude and will to survive.

Will Mandy prevail or will she become number seventy-five?

The Review: Never lets go of you until the end. The New York Daily News claims that one-third of couples today met online and that over 75% of singles, at some point, have tried a web-based dating service. And we’ve all heard the amusing stories from our friends and paid witness to countless reality TV dating experiences.

What are the hallmarks of on-line dating? Very similar to blind-dating in general – anticipation, awkwardness, relief, sometimes dashed expectations – and every once in a while, a powerful life changing experience. This short story includes all of the above.

Ashley Fontainne, bless her wicked soul, adds something else to the mix. A serial killer. And she doesn’t fool around. Seventy Five is as taut as a war drum – as fast as a fleeing victim. If you have never read Fontainne before, this will be a perfect introduction to her no-holds-barred style.