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… ;-)
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:
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.
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.
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.
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: