Beginning the year well

Each year I start with the best of intentions. And, like the proverb hints, I end on a path to destruction (or eternal torment if that is your particular brand of the afterlife). I often have a list of goals I want to achieve. This year is no different, but so far I am progressing well.

I wonder if part of that is down to a slow start. I didn’t hit the year running. In fact I was barely upright, but little by little I have got into the zone. Creatively I am beginning to push myself, break through some barriers and see some results.

One exciting project is on Patreon. I am releasing music every month to supporters who have joined the temple. For as little as $1 everyone gets at least one piece of music to download and keep. Take a look and if you like it do sign up. It’s a great way to support creative people and keep me in tea.

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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.

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.

When I stopped thinking every sad song should make you cry
When I realised that a chorus didn’t have to make you sing along
When I gave up trying to speak to your heart:
that’s when you cried as I played, joined in with the melody and felt the words I sang!

It’s summertime, new song and is this the year?

Following on from the last update when I mentioned recording a song called ‘Freeze’ I felt a pang. This pang led me to finally getting my proverbial backside into gear and begin the recording of a song that I think many people will like. And it’s called ‘It’s summertime’.

No more excuses for wallowing in the murky gloom of winter the concept behind this song is to make you feel happy. In the next few days I hope to have a demo available.

Watch this space.

Freeze, a new song, not the weather

With spring in the air, what better time to begin recording a song called ‘Freeze’. It was a working title and one of the songs I wrote for FAWM, but the title seems to be sticking. It’s currently a fairly up-tempo rock/pop song. It was fun laying down the basics today, although I got distracted and started playing with the soft synths… it’s the geek in me.

Still here are the current lyrics, most likely they’ll change when I finally get to record them, but posting them here for the memory. I’ll try to update here as soon as I have a demo.

Freeze

You’re like a subtle sound
Directionless but all around
Salt water to the drowned
But here I dive right in

You arrived as I wanted to leave
Dropped the bomb, I couldn’t believe
I saw a sign and felt my need
For there I stood the same

Chorus
And when I think the time has come
I freeze and let my drive succumb
I stumble with my words and deeds
As I approach your warm heart watch mine freeze

But in limbo nothing’s changed
I await and feel estranged
Hands tied, a dance deranged
Chess pieces waiting to play

Brief moments raising hope
Sharp intake, slippery slope
feel the words in my mouth choke
It’s too soon but inertia she calls

Day 22 FAWM update

I am ahead on the ideas front so today and yesterday and tomorrow will be days of finishing lyrics, or at least moving the songs on a little. If I don’t catch up on that front there’ll be more instrumentals than I really wanted.

I now have three completed songs, that I have posted on my FAWM profile. As more are finished I’ll add the information here and also update my profile.

I am enjoying this challenge. I am finding it easier than NaNoWriMo, so wondering whether this is what I really, truly love doing. I think I know the answer but I also love to write stories, they just seem like harder work. Still back to the guitar I go.

Day 20 on FAWM

Well I have really been great at updating this haven’t I? Don’t answer. But I do have a really, really valid reason. I now have 11 song ideas and these ideas are slowly winding their way to completion, well musically and lyrically at least. I was, and still am, hoping to record at least rough versions of them but that may be the beginning of next week, when I have a few days away from the office.

One thing that has helped is the time limit. Knowing that I have to write a song, or formulate an idea every two days, I have accepted almost the first idea that has come to mind each time. This has then been developed in to the song. Without the time limit I know that I would have rejected many of the ideas before I could work them through. So perhaps that is something I will try to keep up. Having a to do action to write a new song every two days could be an ongoing challenge… well perhaps a break first.

So I’d best get back to the lyrics otherwise I’ll get to the 29th February with a lot of verses being hummed!