From a heap of stuff to a collection of songs…

I’ve just spent three days in Devon, in the recording studio with Michael Clarke, my co-writer and co-producer. I feel a bit weird about claiming a co-producer title though, as he does all the technical stuff, I am the one that has mad ideas from the sofa, and makes more tea. But there it is… they are my ideas and our ideas. 

A little recap… when I started filling in the ACE application and asked Mike if he would help me, we had a heap of “stuff”. We had already written a few songs together over the previous few years, that had just been parked. Some of these have made it into this collection. I had some bits of looping; a selection of half finished lyrics; some phone recordings of ideas, and a heap of recordings of sounds and humming, just waiting for the right time.

So having got the right time, and the money, I sent ALL of this heap to Mike and we started to listen to things and sift through them. What we have ended up with is the sound element for Drawing Songs. They have developed at first slowly, (Covid-19 restrictions prevented us spending studio time together at the start) then quickly, into 12 songs, joined into a vague but satisfying narrative that sits alongside, and is interwoven through the drawings. The sounds from the drawings sit in the recordings and have formed obscure and peculiar rhythms. The lyrics have set the moods and the culture for the drawings… there’s a back-and-forth, a cause and effect. There are occasional bits of text sat among the lines of ink too… these might make it into future songs.

We worked pretty constantly over the three days, straight into the studio after breakfast, a break for a quick lunch, then back until dinner. Then a chat over dinner about the next day’s priorities. We finished the last song on the last day, then after lunch we listened through them as a whole. To be honest there was a lump in my throat. I’ve left them all with Mike now, for him to trim and tidy, mix and master.

It’s only now that they all exist, as a whole piece, that I can begin to think about what I will do with them.

For the first exhibition (October 23rd to November 7th, General Office, Stourbridge) they will play into the gallery space with the drawings. I am thinking it would be nice to make a limited edition run of 50 CDs… and possibly a lyric book to go with them.

So this week I need to do this planning… images and words… 

There is always the question of the digital launch of music these days too. But I think that can wait a little time. I’m thinking if I have another exhibition in a different venue in 2022 I will use that as the digital launch event.

We had such a wonderful time creating this together, I think we will be making a date to write some more… maybe next year…

I’m feeling a little tired now. I have a great big push to get to the exhibition, then I can rest for a while.

Until I get bored and want to start again!

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