Updated: Apr 23
Hello there ,
A very Happy Easter to you. Hope you are all coping as best you can in these times that are far from easy. I feel the website blog is still the best way for me to check in and put a few words out there. I tend not to use social media as an outlet for my private thoughts. If my day is not going so well you would be unlikely to read about the reasons why on your daily feed. Many people are struggling as it is. Or simply just feeling overwhelmed. They certainly don’t need my woes on top of their own. Perspective for me, has been important. in that despite everything, if you look hard enough there are always reasons to consider yourself fortunate. For those currently feeling devoid of hope, I can appreciate why it can be difficult to arrive at that thought. Life is not a bowl of cherries. Sometimes there is no justice for inherently good people.
2021 has been a year of anniversaries, firstly with mum's passing and also laying her to rest on February 7th. 2020 was a year spent trying to cope. Not just with the huge loss in my life but to the unfolding new world. 2021 is definitely 2020 with a wig on (not my line). I have to admit that I have lost a big bit of heart since losing my mum. I have nothing to compare it to. It is amazing though, how the darkest period in your life can also bring about the most clarity. Which in many ways is not always a bad thing.
I have been thinking a lot about music, probably more now than I ever did. I’m sure anyone in music currently wonders how feasible it is these days, not that it ever was! I don’t know if it is because the live music industry is currently being suppressed to the point of extinction. Maybe in part this is why the determination to achieve feels greater. Maybe it is more to do with the fact that a new album has also been a long time coming or perhaps it is because there is still something in me to give before throwing in the towel. There are always barriers, cost for one. The few funding applications I ever put in for financial help towards music always turned out to be unsuccessful. It wasn’t a deal breaker by any stretch but it would have been helpful in making more progress at the time. There was a certain vibe and momentum in the studio a few years back which I would have loved to have been able to run with. It didn’t happen for me. I think I can tap into that ‘vibe’ again as more recently I’ve felt and found a similar optimism about new recordings and where they can work alongside the existing and unheard. I have to do this. Even if it never happens again but it has to be done and in a way I would like. It's not 'if' it's 'when'.
The material is of course a very important part of the process. Over the years I have worked on numerous songs, some stand-alone songs and one or two of my own that didn’t see the light of day. I have always been a keen interpreter of the works of other songwriters, particularly those unknown. For the most part I always felt that even if it didn’t come from your own pen, the message might ignite something and you could still lend something of your own identity to it. When you take it on, It becomes a personal thing. I still believe that to be true. Magic can happen when you sing the right songs, regardless of whether or not you wrote them yourself. Connections are sometimes meant to happen.
In recent times of reflection, I am acutely aware now of the people that are actually in my life. Musically or otherwise. It’s clear to me now from certain experiences over time, that quite often, when you are no longer serving a purpose for someone else, you can be discarded easily. That is not uncommon in life. In music, sometimes there is no loyalty in return for the investment of time in the promotion of unknown songs that you have performed on, which are not your own. You are not always thought of any more for trying your best to help bring the songwriters songs to prominence. If anything, all it has done is show me that some of my perceived musical ‘friendships’ in truth, were never real in the first place. A hurtful reality to arrive at. It just highlights the need for being selective about the people you work with. The best you can do is learn to be more respectful of what you have to offer and offer where it is deserved. I daresay that there are those who might have their eyes opened to the challenge that is self promotion, particularly in the pursuit of radio airplay - It's a different ball game when your music is not being pushed for you. I'm fortunately in the frame of mind of being a little more wiser rather than soured by experience.
The real solution has always been to pick up the pen more. I never could write purely for the sake of it and I’m certainly not prolific. The moment it all feels forced, the pen goes down. For me a good thought can be ignited as I’m standing over a sink full of dishes. (This happened once but was never recreated) Putting an album out consisting of mainly all your own work is risky and I see that more now. It will be new territory for me. I suppose there is a degree of safety in recording a song by another because there are certain criticisms that won’t apply to you. I hadn’t thought about it that way before. This was never the reason for the inclusion of any song that wasn’t my own. I believed in the work I was doing. Always. I’m looking forward to the next album having much more of a personal stamp on there. Since September I started sending out my song ‘The Dreamer’ to a few stations/shows that had never been sent the song before. It was initially aired on the FATEA showcase sessions and played on 'Celtic Music Radio'. This acoustic demo version of the song was never officially released and has now been played quite a few times. The positive reaction to the song has left a lot of hope in my heart to say the least. This song will be taken to the studio in it's current form and I'm really looking forward to it's development.
When will recording happen? I’m not too clear what the current ‘rules’ are for recording but I will figure it out. We are certainly looking at a song at a time. Thanks for keeping the faith that new songs will materialise. I hope you will keep watching. I’m surprising myself. Sometimes for your own sanity (at least for mine) you have to start thinking of what can go right.