I have been composing music for a long time - in a sense, since I started playing the piano aged 7. From my teenage years onwards, I've tended to be drawn to music that is experimental, ambitious, and epic. My ideal body of work is something from rock or dance (by which I mean techno, trance, DnB ...) with an overaching theme and coherence, a unique sound, songs running into one another and often extended beyond the typical 3 minute pop song. I want to hear an artist who isn't afraid to mess with the form and surprise you; who knows how to use repetition - music repeating as long as it needs to, and no longer; and does all this while making sure the music feels great.
My own attempts to reach this ideal (!) have been:
Sub Machine (2017 - present) are a live duo playing Electro-Rock, Prog-Rock, Art-Rock ... Sub Machine are Mark Day on vocals/ keys/ bass, and Danny Spink on drums. (Danny replaced Nick Mather in 2019.)
I have been in many bands, from the good to the great, to the awkward to the ephemeral. I only include below those for which I wrote the songs, or had a big hand in doing so.
Demo: A Crashing Wave to Free the Slaves of Wasted Days (2017)
The Feral 3 were a short lived trio (2016-17), which morphed into the duo of Sub Machine. The Feral 3 were Mark Day on vocals, keys and guitar; Dan Johnston on drums; Nick Mather on bass. Some of the songs became Sub Machine songs. A couple that didn't are linked to below:
EP: Bone Rain (1995)
My Uni band was a Christian Folk/ Funk/ Prog outfit called Bone Rain. Despite having all that going against us, I still stand by the song writing.
John, Paul & Mark
This is one of those ephemeral bands that never came to anything, c. 1996. I later joined John Smith and Paul Galpin in other originals bands, including the appallingly named Better Ford Clinic.
And right back to my very first band, the 80s hair rock wannabes Elixir Vitae. I was invited to join the band by an older kid I knew, which was very exciting. I think I probably ruined their sound by playing synth-strings and piano all over their metal riffs.
Late 90s Electro
There's probably an album's worth of songs that I wrote during this period, that never got finished or cleaned up, but which listening back to I like a lot. This was my first brush with synthesisers, drum machines, sequencers, samplers, and all that stuff. All hardware at this stage - the computer revolution hadn't happened yet (in my studio, anyway). There's a rawness and joy in some of these songs that I'm really happy with.
The Unrepeatable and the Magnificent
Anger and Sadness
Down the Hole
Breakbeat 98 Part 1
Breakbeat 98 Part 2
Other Miscellaneous Music
Music for contemporary theatre
Between 2005 and 2013, I wrote music and designed sound for some really fun immersive theatre experiences, directed by my sister Katie Day for her theatre company The Other Way Works. The best, musically, I think is this dreamlike/ hallucinagenic audio tour of Lightwoods Park in Birmingham, created in 2013.
For a while, I put on workshops in using audio looping to create sonic landscapes for contemporary theatre. To support the workshops, I wrote a handbook to audio looping, which you can view here.
In 1997 and 1998 I was a worship leader at a Christian youth camp called Lee Abbey, in Devon UK. Although I'm no longer a Christian I can look back and appreciate what an amazing time it was, with an amazing group of people. I wrote a few worship songs as part of that: here's one.
This is one of my compositions submitted for my A-Level music. I was always proud of this one, an arrangement of the poem 'Anthem for Doomed Youth'. I only found out halfway through writing it that Benjamin Britten had already set the same poem to music, and I refused to listen to Britten's until I had finished mine. Probably a good move: they are completely different. The performance does let the song down slightly - mostly my fault, as I ended up singing the main part, and a trained classical singer I was not.