Tag Archives: recording

The dead cat and the return of the man who…

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Hello. It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted on here.

Sometime just before the summer I got into a rut which isn’t a rut. I get these periods of time where I am busy and just don’t have the inclination, time or energy to make or perform music. I do other things – live, love, go out, have fun, work, be deliberately lazy because I can, shop, sleep, watch Game Of Thrones. Problem is, I then pause and realise I haven’t been doing one of those things which I feel is a purpose in life for me – music. And then I beat myself up about it.

But this time I’ve decided not to do that. I’ve had a great summer, done loads and had lots of fun and, hey, we all got a summer didn’t we, which is a minor miracle in itself for this country.

I have been playing live so I kept connected but in the last few weeks I’ve felt that pressure, that creative constipation that won’t stop nagging at me and I felt there were signs that pointed to me having to get back to it.

I was getting into my friend’s car to go to work and I saw a cat laying by the fence alongside the car. I soon realised it was dead and it became a potent reminder of all mortality. Everything dies, nothing lasts forever, seize the day!!!

Still I didn’t get back to it!

But fittingly, in the end, it was music that begat music!

I heard Travis on the radio – new single, album to follow. Exciting, hope I like it…

I did. Like all of their best music, I liked it on the first listen, I couldn’t stop humming it on the second listen, and I’ve loved it ever since with every listen after that. Same with the other two songs they released and with the album which I’m listening to right now…

I think my music has a connection to their music in some way – the emphasis on melody and something catchy that snares the listener. Where You Stand has tingly moments all over it, and it keeps making me feel something that’s just a little elusive, that point between the notes that tugs at your heart, which you can’t quite grasp and makes you need to play the song again.

And then, this Sunday, I’m walking across Charing Cross Road with my friends and Fran Healy walks past us. Another sign!

I wanted to communicate all this to him but, of course, he was just another person walking down the street and very quickly gone. Still, I felt the burning again – I realised I wanted people to feel about my music how I felt about Fran’s. And that ain’t gonna happen without getting back to it!

I wrote my first songs of the summer a couple of weeks ago and they’re good and last night I started recording Without Words, a song that gets asked after wherever I play it. So I’m back in the game, and it feels gooooood! 🙂

Thanks Fran.

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On the road again

Opened computer: no piano, no sound; read lots of internet forum advice about software instruments; eventually realised I had to load Garage Band sounds; loaded Garage Band sounds; piano worked; realised I didn’t need internal speakers to work as sound went through interface; rejoiced; made music; sang; was pleased with result – back on the road again! Woo Hoo!

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Music Saves, Bowie Scores

00167 4BlogIt’s been a while since I’ve written and that’s probably because December overwhelmed me with many things to do (half of which are still to do) but here I am, still singing, still fighting.

Last year, in musical terms alone was, for me, extraordinary. I played a lot of gigs (23 of them in September), got paid for making music (does that make me a professional musician, I reckon so) and for a brief issue, became a poster boy.

ImageThis is Upraw Magazine Issue 3. One Monday night at Camden a couple of people took loads of photos of the people playing. The guy was called Toby, I seem to remember, and he was friendly and pleasant. I don’t remember either of them taking photos while I was playing but was very pleased to discover this, courtesy of Mr Tim Wilson. I think that might be the good Mr Wilson’s thumb in the photo.

I met lots of people on my musical travels which was great. Some great musicians and some great people.

For the first four or five months of the year I wasn’t working and I spent a lot of time with another Tim. This Tim was one I went to school with and managed to get back in touch with thanks to the magic of a certain social network. He was quite taken with some of my music and we spent our time re-producing it, sometimes going back to basics on the songs. We got through one album and started on three further songs. We also dabbled with the songs I’m currently working on. Such is Tim’s talent and expertise that he made my music sound incredible. He soaked it with a depth and space which lifted it to a place that is very exciting. Given no restraints I would spend much more time making much more music with him. You will hear it soon.

Which brings me to the stuff I started again early this month. Seven songs, one or two of which I started last year. I’ve been plucking and clunking and warbling and tinkering and have got to a point where I have no computer to record audio into, no monitors to hear the music out of, no independent set of genius ears to hear what I’m missing, and no way out of the daily grind and into a world with a soundtrack of my making. And you think that’s going to put me off?? HA!

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What on earth are you doing?

Well, I’m working in a room where I can look out onto a garden so I get all the seasons as soon as they happen as well as up to date island weather. I’m watching, and adoring, Wes Anderson films.

I’m composing loads of music, they are just tumbling from me, more tunes than words which is unusual, it’s normally the other way round. That’s what comes of being happy (I’m not complaining, it just means I have to use more grey matter to get the words out there but refreshingly it means I might write about subjects other than being heartbroken, melancholy or horny!)

One thing that’s bugging me, maybe I should look it up, is when you use brackets (or parentheses if you want to be clever) and put a full stop or exclamation mark at the end of a sentence, which comes last?

)?

).

or

.)

?)

What I do know is this looks like a pair of quizzical, perhaps annoyed, eyes:

).

).

Where was I? Oh yes, whilst I am composing a lot, I have nothing to release or play you and it’s annoying me, like this:

).

).

I had a conversation with someone who suggested I should release things as I finish them regardless of whether they are produced to a standard that is professional enough as it gives a snapshot of where I am at the time, but I couldn’t get along with this idea. When I ‘finish’ a piece of music, it is often not at the point I want it to be and having a fresh pair of ears in the form of someone else playing with it, mixing it differently is, for me at least, kind of essential especially since currently I have neither the actual physical tools or the abilities to get the songs to that point I need them at, hence the fact that D-Songs, Weapon of Love and the other collections of songs I’m on are currently unavailable. Weapon of Love is in the works, I am happy to report, as well as a new collection of songs. I hope it won’t be too long before I can play them to you.

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I may be a lover, but I ain’t no dancer

It doesn’t matter what I do, if I’m not doing music, something just feels wrong, disconnected. My machine is broken.

At the moment I am busy with other stuff but I know it won’t be long before I have to be musical again. So I’ll be out gigging again soon and recording too and hopefully, before long, I’ll have something to play you.

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Everything Changes When The Red Light Goes On

During the first week of January, I spent three days with a friend making music. We started to mess around with stuff that I had done preliminary recordings of and we composed a new track together. That was really exciting. Also, when we played a small segment of the new composition, we got what could be a second track too. Each of the days was a fairly intense 10 – 13 hour stint during which we managed to attack 4 or 5 songs which is amazing and they sound incredible already. I had a vision of these songs being very acoustic but when we started to put down electric guitars, everything came to life. It’s been a very exciting start to the year.

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Trying Times

This year has been fun. More playing out than I’ve done in a while, a finished album and new songs being recorded which has left me with a warm and fuzzy optimism.

I keep thinking of the currently popular cliché ‘it’s not the destination, it’s the journey’. Well, my take on this is in the trying of things. The times you try is the times that something actually happens. I’ve had plenty of times when I’ve sat and thought about doing something and then done absolutely nothing and then sunk into a fug as I realised I should have got off my lazy ass. Whether you’re a success, well, it would be nice but first you have to try and the hurdle is finding the courage to try as opposed to not. This year proved that trying things – facing occasional blind terror at the thought of singing in front of people and still doing it, trying a different approach to recording, meeting people that make you feel like you’re not completely alone in what you’re doing – makes you high, makes you hope, makes it all worthwhile.

I can think of five specific people who were instrumental in making this year a really great one for me in terms of the trying times. A couple who got married and asked me to sing at their wedding. Without that catalyst, I wouldn’t have played live for the rest of the year so I owe them big. A friend that I hadn’t been in touch with for many years who made me think and so much more, and another couple of friends who shared all of the fun, variety and occasional insanity of the Camden Open Mic Nights. To them I am very grateful.

I’ve also met loads of people or watched in wonder as they did their fabulous thing (something I wasn’t really accounting for, I just was going to go and play a bit) – Tim and Lauren, Lucy and Andy, Nick, James, Jams, ‘The Chief’, Zoe, Don, Santiago, Leo, Si Genaro, Nacho Jase, Harry, the Bob Dylan fan, lots more people whose names I will get sometime, I’m sure, like the two girls who sing really gently and sweetly (one of which is a huge Neil Young fan and insisted one week that everyone should be familiar with Wish You Were Here, quite right) as well as that girl!

So, here’s hoping for more trying times to come next year.

Until then, Merry Christmas y’all.

Love from G @ Coosticks HQ

x

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