I have recently started listening to a musician called Dodie Clark. Her style is really really nice and she is a fantastic songwriter. Her songs always sound so clean. The mixing is brilliant. She's made me re-think a few of my songs and how I play them. I've been sat on a handful of songs that aren't really going anywhere, but listening to Dodie has helped me see some potential energy for them.
The idea of telling a story before singing the song as been done before by many artist, but it tends to be just the one if in a show or on the album. I'm still looking for more examples and inspiration so if anyone reading this has some, please let me know in the comments.
Ok, so I am back from my winter theatre job and have decided to create a to do list for this project.
1 - Content.
I desperately need to get some content out there. My creative work is just an old stagnant pool in the baron landscape of my underused and under utilised social media accounts! I have two main aims for content, firstly release a single and secondly release good quality footage of me performing a story.
2 - The Tour.
I need to start thinking more about which venues would be suitable for the show and start a dialogue with them.
3 - Tech/Staging
This is a biggie. How is the show actually going to look and work? I need to start thinking about the logistics of the performance and getting it from A to B.
4 - Marketing.
Photo shoot, podcast, videos, tidy up the website and social media pages.
"Why aren't people liking my music at the moment" I ask myself.
"Because there is nothing online to listen to. You are not on Spotify or Apple Music or anything." I replied, annoyed at myself.
"But... but I have some videos of me performing!"
"They're all very old and most of them are with your old band, so it's not even 'Araby'."
I slump, defeated.
I found that during my time at university, I would create something enthusiastically, record it in my bedroom and then release it all in the space of a few days. I would then go back and listen to it maybe a week later and delete it, realising that it is terrible quality mixing and just overall not very good.
Since university however, I have realised that I am now the complete opposite. I am never happy with anything and haven't released any 'serious' content in a long time, leaving my online content and presence stagnant.
So, I am planning on releasing some content imminently.
To start I will be shooting some promo shots of me with a tidy jumper on. I'm also in conversation with an illustrator who's work I really like. Hopefully we can collaborate for some tidy brand imagery.
- I will be releasing a standard EP with a few songs on it. I will be releasing this on Spotify.
- I will record a Podcast version of my songs to release in stages. Hopefully building up a nice audience for people to then come and see the full show.
Pablo will also be releasing some music. His music is very different to mine though.
Over my many conversations with Pablo, I have discovered that his story didn't end with that one song. There are now two more songs, forming a trilogy of Pablo's story-songs. Pablo would like to perform one himself, but he isn't often free due to the high demand of his work at the bus station. But there is a software from Adobe called 'Character Animation' that will allow Pablo to perform live and interact with the audience.
You may have seen the Deep Dive video that Pablo recorded for me, that was made using the same software. So as long as I have a good connection from my laptop to the projector, then there is no reason that Pablo cannot perform for everyone at a future salon event.
I was unable to make it into uni to present my recent work, but luckily my friend Pablo could.
This video was not only a way of presenting my work but also a way of testing the waters with the animation and character development of Pablo. This video felt like a prototype for what Pablo could achieve in film. It's hard for him to do much more than move his arms (one at a time), but the slight head moments, blinking, mouth movements and eyebrow wiggling is very easy.
I'd started recording the tracks in my usual acoustic way, but because I'm now picturing the visuals of the show and how the songs were written I thinking of mixing things up. I have always been an acoustic musician and rarely use anything 'electric' in my recordings other than maybe a keyboard sound, but there's been an image in my head of 'the lonely boy in his bedroom writing music' with an acoustic guitar and a little electric drum machine. So I've added some little beats to some tracks, which has changed the way I'm writing and recording now.
Here are some links to my attempts. The first are the 'normal' tracks, the next playlist has the newer versions in.
Which do you prefer? Please leave a comment...
(needless to say they are not mixed or mastered yet)