When I Grow Up: Drake Music @ DaDa

In rehearsals today for DM’s evening at DaDaFest next week. DaDa is a leading organisation in disability arts, and I’ve had the pleasure of working with them before. Next week I’m performing my guitar/gloves piece, When I Grow Up (originally commissioned by Drake Music for the DM20 celebration, and supported by the PRSF’s Talent Development Partnership) at the Drake Music event at DaDa on the 28th in Liverpool.

Today I’ve been rehearsing the guitar part of the piece. I’m really aware of how far I’ve come to be able to share this. My guitar playing was on the scrap heap, so it’s a quite a journey to get to this point. It’s gonna a long series of posts unraveling my struggles as a guitar player, but for now, I’m just going to say this feels like a huge achievement, posting this. It’s only phone footage of a snippet from rehearsal – we’ll do something more Pro with it soon…

Tickets for the Liverpool performance on 28th are HERE!

Studio Diary #1

Wow. I finally started tracking today. The new studio sounds great; mixes sound crisper and clearer, and it’s a much nicer vibe. I started working on one of the Legacy songs, reimagined in a heavier arrangement that really works.

Back up. Legacy?

So there’s a decent pile of songs that date back to the mid naughties. Strong songs that due to the limitations of my production skills (and equipment) never got recorded properly. Revisiting them, they reveal themselves to really robust and still completely relevant. I just had the bad luck of writing them at a time when my recording options were severely limited. So, for future reference, these lost songs are being rebooted, and I’ll be referring to them as Legacy songs. Not sure if they’ll all stand up to being recorded, but the songs are:

  • That You’ll Never Know
  • Country Gothic
  • She Sings Your Songs
  • Ghostships (okay, that was recorded and released, but it never lived up to ambition for it)
  • Two Hours
  • Hold Your Kiss

There’s something really interesting about revisiting songs that I’ve had for years. Little charms reveal themselves, and themes resonate with the now. In a sense I’m stripping them back; the demos of these I did years ago were crude yet complex; far too many sounds clambering for the listener’s attention. I’m rebuilding them to be heavier, more muscular, more direct.

There’s loads of new songs on the way; there won’t just be old material. It’s just that this small handful of songs have never left me, and my abilities and the technology have caught up.

It’s also the first day I’ve tracked heavy guitars live for this project. I’ll dedicate a separate post to what that entails for me now, but I’m pleased with how it sounded today. Pain and discomfort were thankfully mostly at bay, and I played my longest serving, most well worn in guitar. It don’t look like much, but it sure is something; it feels like an extension of me. And today, it sounded like me too. I’ve missed that. 🙂