Videos

Recording update – Part 2

Well at last I’ve come out of the studio and it was such a great 2 weeks. So starting where I finished on my last update we continued to work everyday and all the final tracks were put down. Luke did some wonderful violin work, Toby did some work on my ‘secret track’ and Jezz Moondog did some harmonica, Myles came in to do some vocals and I finished all the vocals. Finally Tony put down all the backing vocal harmonies.

I have taken video snippets of the tracks being done and for all those who aren’t aware of the recording process I’ll give you a bit of a run down of what I know about it. There are a couple of options when you decide to record a song or album. You can either do a live studio recording which is where the whole band set up and it is all recorded live and usually it takes a few takes or it could take heaps of takes. It’s a great way to do it because you can often catch the spirit of the song and the people involved in it but the down side is it can be really difficult to get a take that is perfect and you often get bleeding through the mic’s….so sound from the guitars might come through on the drum mic’s or sound from the vocals might come through on the guitar mic’s so it makes it very difficult to mix evenly.

The more standard form of recording is in the studio one track at a time. So this means putting down a guide track first to a click (metronome). The next stage depends on the producer everyone has their own way of doing it and some would say do drum track first and others would say guitar and so on. We put down the guitar tracks first, then the drums and when Tony did guitar and drums he either used my guide vocal track to get the essence of the melody and song or I just sat and sang it in front of him but of course I could only do that when he was doing the electric guitar and bass not drums and acoustic guitar. The bass and electric guitar are plugged in so we can talk and make noise when recording is happening but when the drums and acoustic guitar are being recorded we have to be super quite because a condenser mic’s is being used.

I thought I was just going to give a simple explanation but it’s got a bit lengthy so if you already know all this sorry ;o) I also have to reiterate that everyone has their own way of doing things so this is just the way we did it and I quite like this process. In the videos you can see that each person is doing their take and they have either very small ear plugs in or headphones. They can hear the guitar and vocals through the headphones so they just play along…..it always sounds a bit funny when you hear the other instruments separately but once it’s mixed it sounds awesome. I didn’t manage to get Jezz on harp unfortunately but I got everyone else.

Here’s Jezz putting down harp track and Myles doing some vocals and Luke putting a violin track down

I have put these on youtube and they are unlisted which means not open to public and only available if you click on the link here. So you should be able to access them.


The next stage of the process is for Toby to edit and mix all the tracks and then they will go for mastering. Claire has already done the artwork and Peter Caron is going to photoshop the album cover which I need to write all the words for.  Then once I get back from my Sydney tour in April I will get them cut and send out a pre release to a bunch of allocated Radio presenters.

The next exciting thing happening is my NSW tour so I’ll give you an update on that very soon.

 

“Coffee my Dear”

This is a video I put together for a song I wrote in 2014.  The song is called Coffee my Dear but it isn’t actually anything to do with coffee really.  I was watching the news one day and there were reports of people starving in African countries and talk about climate change causing heavy rain in India which caused severe landslides.  I felt helpless as I always did when I used to watch TV and see these tragic stories and situations.   So I started writing a song and after writing the verses I put it away for 6 months or so and then one day I was at my local coffee shop Mrs Jones and I heard these two older ladies complaining about their coffee and it brought me to the thinking about the things that we take for granted.  It’s not that I have a problem with complaining about things, I mean I do it to but on this particular day I was feeling sensitive and frustrated with these two ladies and felt the need to express my concerns in a way that was not too confrontational.  So I put my thoughts into words and that’s where the chorus came from “How do you take your coffee my dear, would that be straight frothy or clear?”. So in essence the song expresses my concerns about climate change and the stark reality of how we can get caught up in the finer details of day to day living.

“Break of the Day” Album Launch

My Album Launch at the Golden Hill Steiner School was a very special afternoon.  I was terrified and the days preceding the launch were very tense in my home but I did it and that’s what this whole journey is about.  Each time I choose a task that I feel is beyond my capabilities and ability I go through the same process which is absolute fear for days preceding the event, and then I do the gig, and moments after I criticise myself to the max. I go through the usual self talk like “what the hell was I thinking”, “what am I really doing this for?”, “they’re not interested in my music” and the list goes on and on and then the next morning I feel absolutely fantastic!  It’s a crazy journey but an incredibly fulling one. Here’s a video  of one of the songs I did at the launch, Cathy Fotios joined me on percussion and backing vocals.

Women of War video

This song was a response to the Anzac commemorations that occur every year during April in Australia; the movies, stories, events based around the diggers who fought in the wars. My intention was to highlight the “Women of War” the ones left behind to hold “the fort”, work in the munitions factories and on the land etc. The ones who had to evacuate their kids far away from home. I have spent half my life in the UK and the other half in Australia so this project is a mix of the stories from the UK and the stories heard here in Australia. Thank you for viewing and listening. If you want to see more please check out my YouTube page.