This post is the very first in a series entitled: ‘Notes From The Studio’ which will chronicle the process of creating my next piece of work.
Secrets will be shared, questions will be answered, and things will be revealed; all of which will culminate in the Release of the next Finished Thing.
I’m doing quite a lot of things differently with this one.
Welcome to: Notes From The Studio #1
At any given time, I usually have quite a few nascent ideas for projects in mind. I actually wrote about the genesis of this one here. But that was before I was in the deep of it. Before I was well and truly mired in the thick. At this point, it is pretty much all I can think about, which is how I knew that it’s time to get to work.
When a project has taken hold of me this deeply my experience becomes one of a perpetual groundhog day. I wake, shower, make coffee, sit, then I get to work usually for around 4 to 5 hours straight, after which I workout, eat, and try and relax whilst I do the rest of my work before crawling into the warm-dark and starting the cycle over. If you follow me on Twitter, you will have noticed that, recently, a lot of my tweets start with things like: ‘Studio day, time for cello’, or: ‘Time to make coffee and get to work’, or: ‘mixing tracks today’ etc etc.
(I want to stress the fact that my twitter stream is also replete with knowledge and inspiration. For example: Did you know that if you mix ultra-strong espresso with liquorice tea you get something that tastes amazing AND smells like feet? You’re welcome.)
There are four main pieces I am working on. They all have names and solid identities. The whole collection has a title and a front cover – all of which will be revealed in the coming weeks (tho, for the puzzle minded among you there are more than a few clues in the photograph at the head of this post…). There is voice, there is cello, there is piano, ukulele and organ; there is darkness, there is light, there is shadow, and there is thunder.
Usually there are a series of discrete and separate stages that musicians go thru to make a record. Typically, they write the pieces first, then make demos, rehearse until the pieces are tight, book studio time, do some recording sessions, get someone to edit and mix their sounds, and then hand the whole package off to a different someone for mastering.
Not so with yours truly.
Because I do everything myself everything happens all at once, in a kind of messy sex cuddle-puddle of creation. I can write while I record, and mix whilst I am writing. I can do draft masters each night and listen to them as I drop off to sleep. The pieces and what they need come first, and everything else can be relegated to a distant second place, including arbitrary deadlines. When these pieces are finished they will be as true and real as I can make them to the absolute best of my ability. They will have flaws, they will have shining moments of glory, and both will be absolutely and unequivocally my own.
I can tell you one thing for certain tho: this music is by far the best thing I have ever made.
So, when will you be able to hear it?
This is another thing that I am doing differently. There is no hard release date. On the day that this piece finished, I will release it, whenever that day is. You’ll just have to keep your eyes and ears open. Maybe I’ll send out a Newsletter to the faithful on my Mailing List, maybe I’ll just tweet about it, or maybe I’ll hire a 50 piece marching band to play the pieces from the new record all thru Edinburgh town (unlikely, but… not totally out of the question) ;-)
I am releasing this record in the same way I make my art: organically, and with no other agenda than: to get the stuff that I make, to the people who will get the most from it, as soon as I can.
If you have any questions, thoughts, or relevant responses, hit me up in the comments section.
Thankyou for reading this; Thankyou for your support.
Big Love, Speak 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.
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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: