A Lot Has Happened Since Then / My New and Secret Lover…

It’s been a little while since I released the album, and longer still since I started the blog.

Many things happened in the interim.  I’ve made a lot of new friends.  I’ve done a bunch of interviews, and I’ve talked and written of many, many things.  But one thing I haven’t talked about yet is: what I have been up to whilst all this has been going on.

Some things have stayed the same.  But many more have changed.

Some things have been torn down.  Others have been rebuilt.  And some things, some things have been razed to the very earth.

I have been away, I have climbed mountains, and I have returned.  And, as of this week, I have a: New and Secret Lover (who is pictured later on in this post).

Are you ready?  Cos, shit’s about to get really real… 😉

A lot has happened

In the immediate aftermath of Album Release, mostly, I just did music.

Which may sound a little strange to you.  And a little underwhelming.  After all, had I not just almost broken myself in The Crush?  Did I not need A Break?  Well…yes. 😉  But the truth is, I don’t do that well with time off.  Not because I am a workaholic, just because: the practice of creativity, (combined with meditation) is one of the main ways that I process life.  It helps me deal with my junk, helps me wash myself clean of the accumulated dust, dross and detritus of living.  Deprived of it I am like a dog, locked in a basement without windows, food or even a mickey-mouse chew-toy…

During this time I also pondered

Whilst I was recording the album, I had became cognizent of a lot of things about: my space, my equipment, and my setup that could be improved.  I had a little space of time, so I thought about it and decided: before my next project I was going to fully upgrade the studio.  ‘A few tweaks here and there’, (I thought to myself).  ‘It will probably take no time at all‘…

It took: months.

The room itself was essentially taken back to bare walls.  Then taken back further.  Then built back up with wood and thick, thick plasterboard.  Shutters were custom made and installed to soundproof the windows (I no longer have to wait until midnight to do master recordings).  The walls were replastered, repainted, then hung with heavy cotton sheeting to deaden sound reflection.  I made an isolation booth from a crate and an old carpet to zero any disparate equipment noise.  I built a standing desk.  Then (because: ‘if a jobs worth doing…), I fixed everything that needed fixing, replaced anything that stubbornly refused it’s mandatory reincarnation, and invested in a slew of new and shiny gear.  The main recording station got a complete overhaul.  I obtained a beautiful new vocal microphone set up.  Everything has fresh batteries.  Everything purrs.

At job’s end I was tired.  And more than a little burnt.  So I took Lover and we headed north; to climb the mountains and breathe the air of some the high and wild places of the world.

Places, like this:

 (Click to Embiggen - You'll be glad you did.)
Click to Embiggen – You’ll be glad you did.

Then I returned, full of vim, (this is a real phase – if you don’t believe me go here) and re-entered the studio, curious to see what would happen.

I was not disappointed…

Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to hear cello in my music.  Why?  Well, because to me the sound of the cello is perfect.  A ragged razors edge singing blood in a black ocean.  It’s voice is an integral part of my internal sonic landscape and, over the years, I have written many, many pieces of music for it, never really knowing how I would get to hear them.

In truth, I had pretty much tried and discarded every way of bringing this idea into reality.

Save one…

Meet: My New and Secret Lover…

Before this week, I literally hadn’t even touched a cello.  So I borrowed one from a friend and played it for a day, (Mon – Aug 4 in case you were wondering).  The next day I played it again.  And the next.

On the fourth day, I began writing and recording.

And thus I settle, once again, onto the ocean floor of my musical life.  I get up  every day before dawn and head straight down to the studio.  I sing.  I write.  I record.

And now, I play cello. 😉

There are new things.  New things that are growing.  New music is coming.

When?

Soon.

Very, very soon.


My name is James Radcliffe and I am a 100% audience supported independent artist.  If you like what I do (and can afford it) then please consider buying some of my music.  Each purchase really makes a big difference to me and 10% of every sale goes to a charity which: houses, feeds, clothes, and educates orphaned children in Nepal.

Also, every month I send out a newsletter packed with Interesting and Exclusive Things.  If you sign up today you’ll also get 3 FREE tracks of my music as a welcome gift.

Get 3 Free Tracks Now.

And lastly, if you’d like to find out what I’m up to on a more day-to-day basis then here is my brain on Twitter:

133 Comments

  1. I’m really loving the theme/design of your website. Do you ever run into any internet browser compatibility problems? A number of my blog visitors have complained about my website not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Firefox. Do you have any suggestions to help fix this problem?

    1. A little off-topic, but no – I have a ‘responsive theme’ built into my site, meaning that it works well on all devices and browsers. If your site is experiencing issues I’d recommend looking into that.
      Hope that helps,
      – J

  2. With so many great comments I’m a little inhibited, but, having not heard from you for a while, my fault because I missed your last post, just thought it was time to get a hold of you and find out what’s happening. I’m looking forward to the next instalment of music. I absolutely love cello music. If you can make it sing! Keep well my friend, there are people out there who admire your work and want to hear more of it – the curse of a successful musician! Tony

    1. …Possibly the greatest curse in the world. 😉
      It is good to hear from you again Sir. How was the trip? Good I hope.
      I am indeed doing an awful lot with the Cello. I start recording proper next week, and am going to put up a post announcing new music very soon so, not long to wait. 😉
      Thanks so much for the encouragement, it is golden to me.
      Hope you are well,
      Best wishes,
      – J

      1. Still on the trip; had a very busy time in India and Czech Republic, now doing very little in a small Swiss village, great rest time, and time to make a little of my own music, very out of practice, so just enjoying that. The next month will be hard – relatives and visiting in the UK and Ireland, then the long trek home. I played your Cd last night with friends who appreciate your music. Keep us posted on the new one! Tony

        1. Will do. 😉
          Still on the trip huh? That is pretty cool. It sounds idyllic.
          Why will it be hard? The travel? Or do you have hard relatives? 😉
          Either way, I hope it goes as smoothly as possible. As ever, it is lovely to hear from you.
          Be well, Sir,
          – J

  3. Good grief! That’s a LOT of progress on a lot of very significant fronts. Fabulous! Congratulations all ’round. And I love your description of the sound of a cello: spot on. Long may you wave!
    Cheers,
    Kathryn

  4. Hi James,
    Thank you for dropping by my blog and liking my post. I love this one because it’s so authentic, and it makes me want to go check out your music RIGHT NOW.

    Best,
    Robn

    1. Hey there Robin,
      You are very welcome, Thankyou in return – I’m really glad you stopped by. 😉
      Feel free to let me know what you think of the music / writing.
      Hope you are having a great day,
      – J

    1. Hey there,
      First, Thankyou very much, your words are very kind and I appreciate them. 😉
      I haven’t made it to Aus yet, it is on the list. I take it that’s where you are from?
      Hope you’re having a great day,
      – J

    1. It is a mighty undertaking (soundproofing that is).
      I totally know how you feel tho. Whilst I was making the first album, I had to record at night, because I didn’t yet have a soundproof space. So I would record from 12 – 6 in the morning then get to sleep around 9AM. Day noise is craziness.
      Thanks a lot for stopping by. (I’m glad you like her) 😉
      – J

  5. This is fantastic to read. Only been blogging since the beginning of August and have achievement so much but this is amazing to read and look forward to reading more and finding your music x

  6. Hey James. Thanks for the like and add. For some reason some of your singing reminds me of something dessert/Arabian or maybe a safari. Which is totally cool. I also like your nature themes, gives it a nature vibe. I love the piano, guitar and cello. They can go pretty well together.. pretty soon with lover and all you’ll have a one man orchestra. =) gl with that.

    1. That would be cool wouldn’t it? 😉
      I am glad you like the music – thanks for your kind words there.
      You are fully welcome for the like – keep up the good work!
      Hope you are well,
      – J

    1. The voice of the cello is, indeed, an incredibly beautiful thing.
      I have started recording with it – it’s sounding rudimentary. And Perfect. 😉
      Thanks for getting in touch, hope your day is going well,
      – J

  7. Firstly – Mr. Radcliffe, thank you for visiting, supporting and following my blog yayyyyy. Secondly, it’s such a beauty to read about your passion and your joy found in music and though I’m new to your blog, I’m surely looking forward to learning so much more about your music and all the wonders you share. Your new and secret lover – she’s a Beauty. Lol. The cello, my friend, is one of the most respected and beloved musical instruments I’ve ever listened to. There’s something absolutely unique and spiritually fulfilling about the cello, I can certainly understand why she is your new and secret lover. Lol. Congratulations on your newfound love!

    1. Why, Thankyou Ms Moore. 😉
      The cello is SO beautiful. It cannot be overstated. I have started recording sessions with her and, yesterday, found the first little spark of something that could be really beautiful. So yes, very, very happy with my new love and I couldn’t agree with you more.
      Your words are very beautiful – keep up the good work you.
      Hope you’re having a great day,
      – J

      1. Why thank you, I most certainly will, you keep up the excellent work too and your music – Joy to our world! Keep it going wellllllllll!

        Melissa

  8. Hey J, I just heard you singing, that was pretty cool my man. It reminded me at first sort of like Nirvana but mixed with a little more “tecno”(probably spelled that incorrectly)? I don´t exactly know the name of the word that is floating through my mind, but you know that music where you use the sound table I guess to mix different noises. Anyways, if I get a credit card(I know it´s hard to believe but yes I do not have one) I´ll definitely buy it when I do. Pretty cool music.
    Now your playing the cello? I don´t know how you songwriters and musicians do it. Remember my first time with a guitar when I was 12, I thought it would be easy until I saw all the notes I had to learn, then I said to hell with this. Plus after seeing a documentary by the leading guy of the foo fighters about a record studio I was thinking to myself, man o man incredible the knowledge these dudes have about that craft and I thought they just showed up and screamed a couple of things off the mouth and hit some buttons and all works magically. Quite a work you have to put on it. Anyways, just dropping by to see what was going on here. Didn´t disappoint.

    1. You are very kind Sir, 😉
      It is a lot of work to be sure. You have to love it and pretty much want to do it 24/7 but, if you do, it is the greatest thing in the world. Truly.
      Thanks for all your kind words and twitter love, it means a lot to me.
      Hope you have a great day and, if you do pick up the record, let me know what you think.
      I’d love to get your thoughts on it.
      Be well,
      – J

  9. It has been my experience to never underestimate the power of ‘pondering’ 🙂 And there is nothing more perfect that a cello. I don’t play, but an old school friend of mine did. And I fell in love. With the cello not her. No not her

    1. 😉
      Pondering can be the key to a room full of wonders. I hope that your story with the cello was a happy one, mine certainly is. I have been recording with it today and have found the first spark of something new. 😉
      Have a great day,
      – J

        1. This part by ‘Pieces of Bipolar’ – “And I fell in love. With the cello not her. No not her” – wondering why he repeated that he didn’t fall in love with her, it made him sound ‘guilty’ 🙂

                1. Well, you should visit Lagos and other beautiful cities in Nigeria. On Fela, I might not be his biggest fan, but he spoke truths through his songs and those songs made (still making) a lot of sense.

                  1. I would like that very, very much.
                    I only asked about Fela because that was the way I was introduced to your city. How are things there at the moment?
                    I hope you are well, and thankyou very much for getting in touch, it is really nice to connect with you,
                    – J

                    1. Woah! The person that introduced you to Lagos with Fela must be an artist who is fun-loving and full of life. We are okay and life goes on even as we try to contain the Ebola scourge. But trust Nigerians to find laughter in the midst of everything. Thank you for checking up on me. How’s your lover doing? Any songs yet?

                    2. You know, I can’t remember how I found Fela… Maybe thru some jazz artist or other.
                      I am glad you are OK, and my heart is with you for a quick end to the Ebola scourge. It is so great to find laughter, laughter is a beautiful thing, and can help even in the darkest of days.
                      I really like both your blog and your writing, you do it very well and I am also glad for this conversation.
                      😉 I am working in the studio on a new piece with my lover 😉 I hope to share it with you very, very soon.
                      Thanks so much for dropping by, and keep up the good work!
                      Best wishes,
                      – J

        1. LOL…I’m glad you don’t like divided attention like I don’t! Wow! Imagine sharing your love with the Cello. It would have been great if both of loved each other and the Cello. *wink*

    1. Why, thankyou very much. I am glad you got something from it.
      My new lover is very, very interesting indeed. 😉 I am working on new music with her – it’s sounding beautiful.
      Thanks for stopping by – really glad to meet you,
      – J

      1. In my country just little community playing cello, I like string very much, and for now i am just playing guitars. Have you been heard about Krinding music from indonesia? I think you must try to played that traditional music instrument.

        -md

        1. Guitar is beautiful all the way as well.
          I have NOT heard about Krinding music from Indonesia. Is Indonesia where you are from?
          I will do my best to try and check this new music out. Maybe I will hit some more traditional musical instruments after the cello but, for now, cello is keeping me very occupied. I have been recording today, and have found the first little spark of something new. 😉
          Hope you are having a good one, be well, and thanks for getting in touch,
          – J

          1. Thanks James for your nice post. Yes i am from indonesia. for now i feel little bit curious about your new project. keep going and i hope you can make better and better music from her.

            1. My new project is going to be awesome. Really really awesome. I am very excited for it.
              The music is getting better everyday. Everyday, we dance a little closer. 😉
              Hope your day in Indonesia is beautiful,
              – J

  10. 😉 … c´mon, admit it, it´s the sexy seductive CURVES that made you fall in love with the cello, no? And didn´t I say that J. ´s talents go much further than just 2 instruments…? In my latest post I also implied another new area in where his musical genius is put into fantastic use 😉
    I do hope to read some day you´ll grab your Trombone to play again, too, because that sure is another real cool instrument. Funny – when I think of Cello music I think of dramatic sensual and somehow intellectual kind of music that “fits” with it, and the Trombone is for loud fun childlike-joyfulö and a-bit-chaotic music…but that´s the great thing about music / great musicians, they can surprise you with a completely unheard combinations, no? For instance I recently listened to a fantastic harpist who played absolutely amazing cool modern funky tunes sounding like guitar-fingerpicking. SO – I cannot wait to hear what you do with your new lover 😉

    1. The curves ARE very sexy, there is no way around it. 😉
      I’m not sure about the trombone, but never say never. If this turns out well, I could just go for learning every instrument in an orchestra, then recording massive orchestral pieces of music – one instrument at a time.
      The music is coming along well, I can’t wait to hear it either. It’s a pretty crazy thing to be doing, but definitely right for right now. 😉
      It is very nice to hear from you again, Beautiful Cris. I am very glad to know you.
      Hope you are well and are having a kickass day,
      Kisses,
      – J x

      1. 😉 your charming words are highly appreciated, my friend, and it was nice to see you came by and liked some of my recent posts. It sure sounds like a fantastic idea to play and record a whole bunch of instruments to get a bombastic booming orchestral sound …and bringing pictures like free running horses or gigantic ocean waves or beautiful endless rolling green hills to one´s mind…ah I really like that idea 😉
        Many hearty week-end-hugs-and-kisses,
        Cris
        P.S. I am very glad to know you, too …. even despite some of your views on the VERY FITTING artistic use of music in certain filmtrailers ;-D

        1. I am GLAD you like that idea – I will get right on it.
          *runs into studio* 😉
          – J
          P.S. – You think ‘very fitting’, huh? Interesting… You and Jennifer Marsh should speak about this. 😉

              1. 😉 😉 😉 you said it , Jennifer, you said it, he´s hiding behind your strong Yeti-shoulders, haa! No I just wanted to tease James a bit, and I know & fully respect your reasons for not liking the use of Pippin`s song. For me it was – again – a matter of not thinking/reasoning “is ist correct in terms of the original story” but just feeling “I like it / I don´t like it”……and the second I saw and heard it in the teaser I got shivers down my spine of delight, not of despair ;-).

                I just think James likes us two strong minded and Hobbit-haired women to have a bit of a word-battle, no? 😉

                1. Totally. I am like: FIGHT to your DEATH!
                  But actually, no.
                  I am much more like: Let Us Have Peace in the Shire ForeverMore – Can’t we all just Get Along?… 😉
                  And it’s interesting, I feel like I am straddling, on the edge somewhere in your veiwpoints.
                  Loved the ‘Rings’ movies – don’t hate the Hobbit movies – but also, do not love them.
                  Actually, would have much preferred to see a Guillermo Del Toro version of The Hobbit.
                  Now THAT would have been BADASS. 😉
                  Love to both, play nice now,
                  – J x

                  1. 😉 yees of course we play nice and we definetely get along, never doubted it (did you?!), just partly differing opinions, that´s all, and yes – a G. del Torro version sure wold have been VERY intersting that´s for sure, wonder how his Beorn would have looked like ?!?! Probably bonechilling scary ;-o
                    Have a great week
                    Cris

  11. Loved this post James – and your description of making your studio… mmmmm… nice work. My daughter plays the Cello… she started with Piano, attempted Violin, but was perfectly in tune with Cello. She has played in orchestra’s now, for some years. She now studies plankton – you know, the building blocks of the ocean’s food chain – as she pursues her Marine Science degree. But always, her friend the Cello remains with her.

    1. Hey there,
      I really liked the video, and the piece of music (Which I thought was well recorded/mixed also).
      I also couldn’t help but notice that your daughter has a very beautiful name.
      So well done – both 😉
      Thankyou very much for getting in touch – your message, and your daughters music was an unexpected pleasure in my day.
      – J

      1. Awww.. that brightened MY day! Skye, my daughter, is a real jewel.. a sweet and pure heart, and always will be. Glad you enjoyed the music, made with TLC. I am waiting to hear your Cello pieces… can’t wait. ~~ JCD.

  12. I love the cello; such a gorgeous instrument in both sound and body. The notes it can produce are all at once earthly and celestial. Its one of my favorites and I could listen to it all day. I can only imagine what its like to play one. Especially like the lovely one you’re using.

    1. It is amazing. You should totally try it.
      I literally never get tired of practicing with it. It is like everything I love in music, wrapped up in one instrument. 😉
      Thanks for stopping by,
      Have a great day,
      – J

    1. Hey there 😉
      Thanks a lot, I’m really glad that you enjoyed the writing about it. I am so glad now to have it done, and also to be playing cello. I am a lucky boy. 😉
      Hope you’re having a great day,
      – J

        1. The writing genre? (I suspect so), or just fantasy in general? (also cool. Daydreaming is the awesome).
          Have you seen the ‘…Five Armies’ trailer? What do you reckon?
          Big love,
          – J x

          1. Both! Imagination is beautiful. At the moment, I am really appreciating my own imagination for the first time. But indeed, the fantasy writing genre has always been my love. It is the king of freedom and creativity.

            Oh, yeah.. Well, I hate the Hobbit films, soo.. 😛 Meh. I mean I’ll still see it but… I’m not expecting much. Also, why did they use ‘The Edge of Night’ song Pippin sang in RotK?? Are they incapable of creating new music?

            *whispers* Psssttt! I have plans to soon(ish) share a creative post on my blog. I feel you may enjoy it. Keep your eyes open 😉

            x

            1. I will of course keep my eyes open, and really enjoy your blog.
              And love your creative writing. I’m like, a total fan. 😉
              I know what you mean about the song – didn’t seem to fit. I guess they’re trying to tie the first trilogy with the second.
              Or something.
              Kisses,
              – J x

              1. Aha, aw well is that not lovely to hear ^^ And I am a total fan of your writings and musics 😉

                It’s annoying. I wish they’d stop cramming every possible link to LotR in. It’s NOT LotR. It’s The Hobbit. Same world, different story. Understand this.

                People, honestly 😛

                YETI HUG 🙂 x

                1. Hey beautiful Yeti,
                  If you like, you should take a look at the most recent comment on this thread. Cris of the Nemeths seems to think that the musical choice for the trailer was Pure Awesome…
                  I, however, am firmly with you on this. 😉
                  Hope you are having a great day, miss your crazy emails,
                  – J x

                  1. Haha, well I’m glad we agree! We’ve got each other’s backs 😉
                    I was SO going to email you other day actually, but obviously I didn’t. What was I going to tell you..? I can’t even remember now. You’re too busy to email back anyway, Mr. DragonflyBee 😉 I’ll email you at some point! I feel there are things I must share with you.

                    ANTICIPATE 😛 x

  13. This is a beautiful post and such authentic sharing. First of all, congratulations on the studio! It sounds fantastic and what freedom it has given you with the soundproofing! Also, the cello is such a beautiful instrument; it will lend a rich quality to everything it interacts with. Keep moving forward, creating, and loving.

    1. I’m really glad you liked it. 😉
      I am in love with the cello. I literally cannot wait to play it every day, and when I’m finished playing, I want to play more.
      Thanks so much for stopping by,
      Have a great one,
      – J

  14. What a beautiful new love you have!!!!!!!!!!! As when I picked up a paint brush a year ago, the passion exploded. It is so envigorating discovering yet, something else, that brings and keeps us “in tune” while feeding our hungry soul. 🙂 Piano, guitar for me…parents made me toss the violin already in the 3rd grade…I was terrible 😉

    1. Why, thankyou very much. 😉
      I love piano and guitar too, haven’t tried violin (yet). 😉 You are so right about the unbridled joy of discovery.
      Thanks for reaching out and sending this – really made me smile,
      Take care,
      – J

  15. Fantastic posting! Welcome back and congrats on the new love! I have always loved strings so I’ll be keeping an ear out for your cello! I have only recently rediscovered my musical genes and have seriously gotten back into the art of making music. I’ve got one song I’m itching to upload to my site, I’m even daring to believe again in the album I put on hold oh so long ago (in favor of living/stressing/being).

    Posts like yours really do inspire so keep it up!

    1. First: Thankyou very much for you super kind words – they are appreciated and I’m really glad you liked the post.
      If you feel like you have an album in you, do it! I’m sure it will be great. 😉
      Cello music coming soon!
      Have a good one,
      – J

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