What I did today: 2nd Feb

Back to writing and therefore finishing Grimly Tales. Over 1000 words today. A couple more paragraphs on one story and then I have to decide whether or not to work on the ‘writer’ short story idea I have.

FAWM is going well. I have one song complete and another well on the way and I am only on day two.

I have decided to change the lyrics and vocal tune for Light from a Dark Star. I have never been happy with them and now I have some fresh ideas that work.

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The musical muse seems to be hanging around

You keep hanging round me and I’m not so glad you found me

 

Lou Reed wasn’t too happy with who was hanging around him when he wrote his song. I, on the other hand, am very glad that my muse seems to have set up camp in my little room.

I am part of a journaling group, and each week we have a simple prompt. The grand idea is to improve ourselves and each week the prompt gives us a little focus. I am journaling, but also using the prompts to write music… so far, four prompts and four songs.

February last marks February Album Writing Month I am hoping to take part again, depending on time commitments. I have several ideas already so it’s looking good.

In addition to this I have several other musical tracks on the go. All in all, the muse has returned, the muse is hanging around… and I am very glad that she is. Now time to record.

Opening Logic

Time to record

February Album Writing Month Challenge Complete

I finished my creative challenge for February. The wonderful FAWM (February Album Writing Month) inspired me to write 14 songs in 28 days. I managed it with a few days to spare, and I even managed to record demos of all the songs. If you have a moment you can listen to them all below.

I hope you enjoy listening to them as much as I enjoyed creating them.

You Can Love Me

I have spent quite a bit of the last week finishing up my music project. I wanted to write, record and distribute a collection of songs composed on the ukulele in just one month. I didn’t make the one month bit, but deadlines always need to be extended… don’t they.

The current state of play is that I have 8 ukulele songs and 2 re-workings of old songs. They are all at the rough demo stage now. I am listening to the mixes and will then tweak them and then… all will be ready for release.

One of the things I am doing while listening to the tracks is work out the running order. It is something I hadn’t thought about before, so it is probably about time.

Oh, and this whole project has been great fun.

Musical challenge a successful failure?

For those who haven’t noticed the calendar now says October. For those who have read any of the recent blog posts you should also know that I set myself a public challenge to release a collection of songs by today.

Well, I have failed… but only in the release date. The tracks are all on their way and I am really excited about them. They have pushed me musically. I have tried to write in a completely different style and way. They have pushed me technically. Playing some of the chords on the ukulele has been difficult, and been too much at times. I have learnt how to play, albeit in a tiny way, my harmonica. I have also learnt more about Logic Pro X than is probably good for anyone in just one month.

I suppose I didn’t push myself enough early on in the month and that is the main reason why I haven’t hit the deadline. There have been one or two personal issues that have taken a little time, but nothing that I couldn’t have dealt with. Perhaps the deadline was a little ambitious, thinking that I could write and record all the tracks. 

One decision I have to make is whether to ‘release’ them under This Temple Eden. I think I will, as I am planning to add two ‘old’ songs to the collection, that the band used to play. 

You Can Love Me: 8 songs written on the ukulele

!coming soon!

Halfway through the musical creative project

Untitled Blog Post Name

Eek, yes it is halfway through. This means that I have less than 15 days to have it completed. So let’s see where I am. 

The project has its title and currently has seven songs. All but one of the songs has a project folder and initial recording of the track in Logic. I mean very initial at the moment, but just getting that far is good. 

Some of the lyrics are completed while others are a long way off. There are also a couple of ideas that are bubbling around that I hope to add to the list. 

I will be happy, well more than happy, if I can get to ten songs by the end of the month. That’s currently my goal and that’s what I am aiming for.

Currently the list looks like this…

You Can Love Me

  • It’s just a crush
  • Maybe one day
  • If I dream
  • Everyday
  • Gigi Rainbow Sparkle
  • Just After The Lightning
  • I’m Looking At Stupid Things That Make Me Smile Because Of You
I have decided that there will be something of the ukulele on each track, but it may not be the main instrument on them all. As the songs have developed and grown they have taken on their own identities, as songs often do, and to limit them to just four strings seems such a shame.
So a quick update, just to show that I haven’t quietly forgotten about the challenge and gone off and done something else… like I frequently do.

Ukulele love songs taking shape

Here’s the first update with regard to the collection of songs that I will make available by the end of September. Things are going well and I have already got 6 songs in various stages of completion. A couple are almost ready for recording and I will start that aspect of the process as soon as possible.

All the songs have originated while strumming and jamming on the ukulele and, having made the decision, the lyrics will all be love related, or love songs as we say in the trade. As I am writing the songs I am also writing background, or commentary, notes on them. A sort of cathartic process that charts the angst ridden existence of the singer songwriter – ha. Well at least they may be of interest to anyone listening to them.

Some of the songs have been around for a while, but it is only now that they are really taking shape and becoming real pieces of music.

One thing that I am pondering is how ukulele based the final versions will be. I don’t want to restrict the songs and so I am wondering how far I can go with adding other instruments, or even not having the ukulele on the final version at all. I think that may be a step too far, although it may make for some interesting bonus versions.

I mentioned before that the inspiration for this came from Gal Musette, who was in turn was inspired by The Magnetic Fields. I managed to buy the Magnetic Fields’ CD, 69 Love Songs, the other day. I don’t think I’ll get anywhere near 69 songs, but 6 is a good start.

A new collection of songs coming soon

I have set myself a challenge, and so I am publicly holding myself accountable here. By the end of September, I will make available a collection of my songs. Details are sketchy at the moment, but they are a collection of songs I have written on the ukulele.

I have been inspired by the simplicity, creativity and gorgeous sound of Gal Musette. They have been inspired by The Magnetic Fields. So in great musical tradition I am keeping the tradition going. I don’t think there will be 69 or 70 songs in my collection though. 

The working title of the collection is ‘You Can Love Me’ and I’ll explain why in a later post. But for now, I need to do a little songwriting.

A little musical sort through

I admit that I am supposed to be working on something else. I have a long list of things that need to get done, but I have made the fatal mistake of going through the songs I have in the SongWriter app on the iPad.

I am a habitual starter. I begin a lot of things, but often struggle to see them through. It is part of my creative personality, and is often due to me getting bored and then struggling to find the motivation to complete things. Knowing this I make the effort and although some things make be a truffle and take a while, I do get them done.

One of the surprises as I went through the songs was how many I had. I am pretty close to having a good 20 new songs in various stages of completion. The other things that I found interesting was the style. I appear to have entered an acoustic folk period. I suppose it does reflect what I have been listening to, but it is also reflecting a change in my lifestyle and attitude to things. 

So, it seems I have a few songs to finish. And I am motivated to do it too!

Drifter, adrift and drifting

I always know when I have a lot to do. My muse decides to show up, grab my hand and dance intricate steps with me. On cue, in the middle of trying to work out how I will survive the next few months, she whispered sweetly in my ear and I found the guitar in my hands. This time she wanted to push me, take me beyond my comfort zone. 

So we plucked, moaned and created something. 

My vocal lines are normally clearly defined but so far this new song is more like a road trip without a clear destination. The words meander around a the tune rather than stick to it. It will be interesting to see where it ends up.

Currently the working title is Drifter, based on a title and some lyrics I already had. But it is clear that the creation process is drifting and we are both, still very much adrift.