Since my return from America, my time has largely been spent working in my day job as a secretary/ assistant hence my reticence. I am also still sad over the state of myspace which was a platform once where I met many interesting musicians and of course David Baron, my writing partner.
The new album is sounding amazing. I am really proud of the new work. David has been sending me mixes on a nearly daily basis and it has been transformed thanks to all the musicians who have been involved in it which include Danny Blume, Sara Lee and Zack Alford, Daniel Goodwin, Pete Caigan at Dreamland Recording Studios none of whom I met except Danny so it is a huge honour for me that they have wanted to play on it! I am also very pleased that the tracks I recorded on the 16 track in London with Jude Rawlins are sounding ace and were a tiny part of the album I was doing in Oxford. I can’t believe I have so little to show for all that. However, a lot of the support from the BBC came from my initial two albums in 2008 and so I am not too despondent.
I have done two tracks with Anthony Phillips for Universal Publishing Production Music. I think we have done four now and I am really proud of our work. It’s also very nice to know that they seem to like my voice as Ben Cocks also writes for the same company bizarrely! Library music was always instrumental but there has been a change in recent years. I love doing this work as it’s very abstract and a good exercise and this time I’m writing and I notice there are hardly any female writers for library so I’m chuffed. It is a huge honour to work with someone as talented as Anthony.
Meanwhile in London, I have been doing some photographs with a photographer and academic called Brian Kavanagh who I happen to come upon his website quite by accident. It has been a wonderful experience to meet Brian and spend several days in his company. In his own words from his thesis titled ‘Analogue Signals and Digital Bits’.
“Recorded sound (digital and analogue recording are strictly identical here) is not a true representation of a specific ‘live’ sound created within particular environmental conditions. Something is lost in the recording process. Even the most advanced microphones fail to capture the true and complex nature of sound, even under the most controlled conditions; in this sense recorded sounds can never be ‘authentic’. ‘Authenticity’ is obviously a problematic term here but it is outside the brief of my current research to explore its ramifications.
For some, who grew up in the analogue world of vinyl records and magnetic tapes, it was difficult to adapt to the digital sound aesthetic that is CDs, when they became commercially available in the early 1980s. Many observed, for example that the sound was ‘cold’ and ‘sterile’, whilst others accused those who refused to surrender their attachment to vinyl of wallowing in nostalgia. In retrospect, however it would seem that at least some of those observations about CD sound quality were not simply born out of romantic, or nostalgic notions about the passing of vinyl. Perhaps some people simply yearned, consciously or unconsciously, for those frequencies that are removed during the process of converting continuous analogue sound signals to discrete digital data. Digital sound represents a very different sound aesthetic than analogue sound, not least because analogue signals are continuous in nature and digital sound is made up of samples, which are discrete.” (Brian Kavanagh as quoted from his website www.briankavanagh.com)
It has been fascinating talking about the future of music, and his experience in performing all over Ireland on Classical guitar. Not only is he an accomplished musician but he also makes films which has always been a huge passion of mine. However, his talent as a photographer is without doubt so it was in the bitter cold that he managed to take quite a few! He invited me over to a party to watch ‘Fanny and Alexander’ which is a very long Ingmar Bergman film but well worth the watch although I did have to leave after nearly six hours and missed the Epilogue.
Amongst the various locations we chose, I took him to my new favourite shop in London ‘Marchpane‘ (missing Jarvis Cocker apparently by 5 minutes!!) which actually has an original Darlek from Dr Who right in the middle of it. I have always been a visitor of the magic bookshop opposite Watkins but I was taken aback by the fantastic photographs of Vivienne Westwood as well as the antique childrens books of which I have my eye on one. I wanted to show Brian these photographs which is also quite incongruous but make sense when we spoke to the owner, Kenneth.
I am still trying to work out where to try and promote my music but I am hoping I will consolidate both my websites so I have one, and move over to Bandcamp as an alternative to myspace.
I am also collecting 16mm films which I am really excited about. I have very inspired by the few things I have seen in London lately, in particular Philippe Parreno at the Serpentine Gallery. I’ve been telling everyone to go I’ve been twice already and plan at least another couple of times. It’s on till 13th February.
A very Happy Christmas and all the best for 2011!
(Getting into my Tardis by Brian Kavanagh December 2010)