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

IMG_0826At 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.

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.

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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:

80 thoughts on “ Notes From The Studio [#1] ”

                1. I did. It was an experiment – when I recorded it I had only been playing cello for 6 weeks.
                  Hope your day is going well. Did I already tell you I like the name of your blog? Because I do. It may be the coffee. I am a little in love with all things coffee… ;-)
                  Keep up the good work, be well, see you soon,
                  – J

                  Liked by 1 person

                    1. What is ‘Romanian style’? I am intrigued. Point me at it if you write about it?
                      I have been playing music ever since I can remember – but literally hadn’t touched a cello 6 weeks on the cello before making this.
                      Thanks a lot, and don’t forget about the coffee beta ;-)
                      Have a good one,
                      – J


                    2. Oh! It’s a climbing thing (I used to teach rock climbing). ‘Beta’ just means information so, if someone had climbed a certain route before you, you would say ‘What is the beta on that?’.
                      And yes, totally do. I am trying beans from a new roaster today – they are dark and good. ;-)
                      Be well, see you soon,
                      – J

                      Liked by 1 person

                    3. Even if it is only a few minutes, there can still be energy and love.
                      Coffee and pancakes – breakfast of champions ;-)
                      Big love, have a great night,
                      – J


                    4. That is totally cool. I used to make coffee like that when all I had was a saucepan and no kettle.
                      Little did I know that I was adhering to Romanian tradition. ;-)
                      I have also covered that song, tho I do it with flamenco guitar, so.
                      Have a good night you, big hug,
                      – J


                    5. But I still enjoyed the post immensely – so it was time well spent ;-)
                      I would like to hear your country style version – at the moment it is just something that I do live every now and then.
                      Hugs back, and a good night to you too ;-)


  1. While I love most musical instruments, the cello is my favorite voice. It is so versatile and beautiful. The past few weeks, I’ve repeatedly seen her body in my mind’s eye. Initially, I thought it had to do with my rediscovery of Zoe Keating. Now, I’m starting to see the cello represents part of my process of releasing my voice and singing my truth…her body reminds me of my own.
    There is also the realization that I often still sit as if holding her body between my knees. Oh, how i desire to return to playing her strings. I stopped playing the cello in high school, a choice I regret. There’s no time like now. I know, I know, I get it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fascinating post. Cranberries smell like feet, or on a more positive viewpoint feet smell like cranberries. So combining coffee and licorice tea gets you cranberry beverage of a dubious origin. Meanwhile, Liquorish tea is another concoction of dubious origin, whose effects have yet to be fully tested in the bars or courts. :)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Potato roots are used to produce vodka of various shades of flame – put a match to a loving spoonful and you get the Slavic blues. I have had elder relatives who succumbed from time to time to our ethnic disposition. :D

        Yes to the aroma of cranberries, at least at a certain stage of processing – one of my aunts pointed it out to me when I was much younger than I am now. Cranberries in cheese makes for a powerful force of nature and it will be, no doubt, an alternative fuel source one day. :)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Seriously excited about what is going to be! And hey, if music is the best you ever did than I am sure you did pretty high-standard art of living too;-). Love your t-shirt btw ! All the best x

    Liked by 1 person

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