Category Archives: Mission

The impossible may take a little longer …

Since putting out the call for support at the beginning of October, you lovely people have been amazing! One person offered to put up the money for a new soundcard, another funded a stock of CDs and cases and someone else has offered to pay for the covers. I have also been offered the loan of several bass guitars. Not to mention passing donations, general kindness and people actually buying CDs! Thank you all for your support.

I am by no means out of the woods yet, but I am able to survive and get on with making music for the time being. So I’ve created backing tracks for four songs over the last month Certain Things, Nothing Serious, Who But I? and The End of Words. Only ten more tracks to get started. If I carry on at this rate the album will be finished about Spring Equinox next year!

I have been struggling with the bass parts slightly because my old fretless is not really up to the job, several people have now offered the loan of fretted models, so I all I have to do is play the bass-lines right now. I have several wonderful musicians lined up to add instrumental and vocal parts, it’s all about finding / making time to do it.

Carols for Solstice CDI’m in process of redesigning my CD covers and generally tidying up the contents. I’m planning on doing another run of Carols for Solstice very soon, so get your orders in if you haven’t yet got a copy. I hope to have Charm, Born With Masks and The Isle of The Dead back in stock asap. Once that’s done I will set up some means on buying them on-line – I currently do it via email , but that’s not ideal for everyone. I apologise for the temporary inconvenience – this too shall be remedied asap.

I am also slowly trying to fix some of the website weirdness, thanks for all your feedback. I’ve started fixing the font issues, hopefully the site will look a bit better in your browser and started to tackle the CSS for mobiles and print, so you can print off pages cleanly without a whole load of extraneous guff.

Isle of the DeadI have started blogging about songwriting techniques. It’s something I frequently get asked about, so I thought I’d share my experiences and understanding with a view to possibly leading a course next year. The first article is on the subject of Clichés and how to avoid them. In future articles I intend to look into the rudiments of Melody and Harmony from a modal perspective to try and answer the question of How do you find the right notes?, setting words to music, rhythm and possibly a 101 on how to read music. What would you like to know more about on the songwriting front? Let me know.


You said I should be myself …

I think that neatly sums up both the problem and the potential solution. I’ve spent the last week ( / all my life ) being music obsessed. I can’t really do anything else; ok, I’m quite good with computers and designing websites and all that, but ultimately I love melody and everything that goes with it. The trouble is that the financial equation doesn’t work, in theory it should but in practice busking keeps me alive. I live hand to mouth and have absolutely no capital to invest in turning what I do into a sensible business. I so am not a businessperson.

People have different definitions of skintness, for some it means only one holiday this year, or we might have to think about selling the boat; for me it means not having enough money to buy an onion or packet of Rizlas. We all have our own levels and definitions.

So the Elephant In The Room is Where can I get hold of your album?. Tricky question to answer that. It is closely followed by well, have you got anything on youtube then?. It would almost be better if I just answered No, but even that isn’t true.

So this blog is the next stage in the process to rectify that. Answers to these questions and more will come if you continue reading. Yes, of course I’m teasing you, fun isn’t it?

I have blagged a multi-track recording device and a decent microphone (Don’t ask me for technical details, they are not my concern) and I have started work recording a second busking album, which will contain acoustic guitar and vocal versions of all the songs not included on Charm. So far I have put down versions of Certain Things, Maro eo ma Mestrez (beautifully sad trad Breton tune), Robb Johnson’s Overnight and Who But I? that I am happy with. So that leaves another 16 tracks to complete.

Beyond that I have a huge backlog of material, involving collaborations with various musical allies and several bands that all needs recording, releasing and getting out there. So here’s the crunch: I need your help and support. This could be anything from Marketing, Agenting, Publishing or business advice to pre-ordering albums, loaning / gifting equipment, shooting a video, cooking me dinner or passing on a spare packet of Rizlas. Or you could have a go on the Donate button on the right –>

Over the coming weeks I will be putting together a wishlist (because I expect you have more important things to focus your psychic powers on) and I will also be compiling a ‘Benefactors’ list, which some of you are already on – although I might call it something a bit more imaginative (suggestions please) – so please let me know how you would like to be credited or not.

That’s probably enough for one post. So here’s to transforming being a spaced-out penniless musician into a coherent business model. This approach is all Amanda Palmer‘s fault. She does stuff like this: