Were it not for the economics, music would have played a much bigger part in my life. I chose this website’s username Shredecon partly because I think much of what mainstream economists write needs shredding and partly because of my love of a genre of guitar playing known, of all things, as ‘Neoclassical Shred Metal’. Like neoclassical economics this style involves considerable technical proficiency, but in the hands of its best exponents, such as Vinnie Moore and, in his concerto suite for electric guitar and orchestra, Yngwie J. Malmsteen, it can be very melodic, exuberant and full of feeling. I’ve been playing guitar since 1970, originally much influenced by blues players such as Rory Gallagher and Roy Buchanan, progressive rock players such as Steve Howe and Robert Fripp, as well as Allan Holdsworth, Jan Akkerman and Al Di Meola. Over the years I have accumulated over thirty instruments, some of them quite unusual. Photographs of these instruments can be viewed by clicking here for synth-accessing guitars and unusual Statocasters, here for other solid-body electric guitars, here for bass guitars, and here for jazz and acoustic guitars. I also play Yamaha MX61, PF80 and DGX-640 keyboards and a Roland TD7 electronic drum-kit.
Over the years I have played a wide variety of music. As a student in Cambridge, I played in several bands and was guitarist for the Cambridge University Light Entertainment Society’s 1976 and 1977 Rag Revues at the ADC Theatre (that were written by and featured Andy Hamilton). Whilst working at the University of Stirling I played bass in a jazz quartet and guitar in a progressive rock band called Trancemacabre: the band’s bass player and vocalist, Alan Reed then becamae lead singer in the excellent Scottish progressive rock band Pallas and lately has been a solo performer touring as support act for Steve Hackett. During my period in Tasmania, I did classical and jazz choir singing, played bass in an adult education concert band (the second photo below left was taken at at an outdoor performance in Hobart’s Salamanca Place in summer 1988) and began exploring multi-track home recording. Since then my equipment has grown but lately I have focused on improving my playing and writing music scores with Guitar Pro 6, rather than on doing music with others or home recording. I’ve not played live since 1998, when I played guitar/guitar synthesiser for a band in Christchurch. Currently, I’m working on assembling a new prog-rock band (see its Bandmix page and listen to some of my music (scored on Guitar Pro 6) here), and (in rehearsal) on YouTube at https://youtu.be/_MJ4_wbXs9o.