Grant has been a composer of music since 1982. He is a constantly active purposefully divergent composer.
Grant enjoys bending musical normality, taking instruments past their physical barriers through digital manipulation. The physical form is Grants heritage as a brass musician, but as a technologist he has different visions of where things will be. His compositions allow some of what may be; to enter the sphere.
He uses Virtual Artists to public face his compositions. This allows him to achieve 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 believes that the differential between composing music and creating software will only reduce as the technology of software 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 the music virtual artists perform or the values of the artist, as they do with organic equivalents.
This abstraction is precisely what happens in film where the actors have a design or specification.
Grant produced works and placed them on Soundcloud using the moniker; 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 even worse, they seemed to be genuinely fond of moron the flipside’s “music”. He eventually reduced his levels of disappointment and started a different journey.
In 2019 Grant released his first light Jazz work – “follow the sugar to the gee” which was performed by a new virtual artist – mr gee sweet. It 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.
Grant has subsequently entered the classical world with a new work for mr gee sweet – called “rhapsody for a new old queen” which is an initial offering from a larger concept called “distressed overture”. The rhapsody is a digitally produced orchestral work initially inspired by the beauty to be found in Rimsky Korsakov’s Scheherazade. It is a 10 minute journey through the emotions of a space age Scheherazade, with a twist.
Classically trained initially on the piano, he moved to brass, playing the Cornet with the Hawera Municipal Brass Band. He also played in Orchestra pits supporting repertory, opera, pantomime 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 who took over from Tom Fox. They recorded regularly for RNZ 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 rehearsed with musicians who were in the Gordons, Proud Scum, Features and the Newmatics.
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 very lively soul funk band, contrasting the predominantly punk scene at the time, they played at Sweetwaters and toured New Zealand 4 times in the 2 years they were together. There were four Miltown Stowaways releases on vinyl, an album and 3 EP’s.
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.