Sunday, 15 January 2017

Do you need a change in thinking?

Sometimes in life we can't change our circumstances. When there is a situation we can't control and we feel helpless there is still one thing we CAN do. We can change our THINKING, the way we look at things. This has saved me on many occasions from sinking into a dark place. Take music for example and your perception of how well you are doing with your craft. Some folks get upset over not being seen enough, not getting enough views on you tube, or even facebook. I admit early on these things used to trouble me and I would take it personally. I totally don't now. If no one whatsover made a comment or said they liked what I did it wouldn't change how I view myself. Dont get me wrong I love the comments I get and I get some great comments, but when I dont, it doesnt get me thinking I'm past it or maybe I'm not worth anything, It would be no indication to me as to how well I was doing. I've mentioned before that I saw a 5 year old on you tube who's father was trying to get to sing.....she didn't...not a word. That video got 500,000 views. This is how fickle the whole numbers game can be. Conversely you will see many talented people getting 35 views or less.
    I spoke to a woman this week who told me "I didn't sleep at all last night"...I asked her "Are you worried about anything?"
She said "Yes, trouble in the family"...I said "Can you change anything?" She said "No its out of my hands"....So I said "Maybe you should keep yourself strong by being ready to support your family whatever the outcome is" If you cant change a situation, you have to change your thinking.
Modern life can screw you up if you let it. Whether its the media's perception of what "beautiful" is or its perception of what passes for talent or what doesn't. The celebrity world is NOT the real world, its tinsel, its glitter, its glam, and although there is nothing wrong with those things in the right setting, they dont represent whats real. Whats real is what YOU are doing. If you can see advancement in relation to yourself, that you are progressing, getting better at what you do then you are a success.
    There's one thing that no one can be, and that's you. If you want to survive the negativity, sometimes the invisibility, or the urge to stop in your quest for betterment, it may well involve changing your thinking, to survive.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Your song, Your Canvas.

Anyone who knows me well knows how often I draw comparisons between Art and Music. To me they are parallel worlds with lots of similarities. I came across a great artist by the name of Alexandr Onishenko who is from the Czech republic.
Alexandr Onishenko is an artist based in Prague, Czech Republic. Well known for his vibrant impressionist paintings, his work is exhibited throughout Europe and the United States. 
  On one of his exhibition videos someone said that the great appeal of Onishenko was that he always left something for the viewer to imagine, so that they could make that particular painting their own.
 What a cool idea that is! To actually create a work that not only connects with the person but also involves the person making it in a sense belong to them too!
   As singer songwriters we can do the exact same thing.  How?
 One of the key ways we can do this is by writing Lyrics that leave room for the imagination.
 That means not spelling things out exactly by being too specific but by leaving room for personal interpretation. One of my most popular songs is a song called Mr Angel. Mr Angel is about a specific person and also a specific event and whilst you can still close your eyes and imagine the song the very fact that the song tells the story you have to follow along. 
       The course I am currently enjoying conducted by Michelle Lockey who is a successful submitter to TV and Film Sync opportunities has been highlighting the need for universal lyrics, lyrics which are not specific but conveying feelings and emotions rather than facts such as places and names.
     Here are some of my Lyrics to a song I wrote called Drownin' I think you will see how this conveys a mood and feelings that leave a lot of room for imagination.


Whispering shadows on the wall,
They seem to know it all,
Every single little thing
And the moments that they bring

And when I lie awake,
The pictures that they make
Stay in my mind

Hanging lantern twirling round
Shifting patterns with no sound
And the voices in my head
Remind me of the things I said

And when I close my eyes
It makes me realise
I was so blind…I was blind

Aint nobody gonna save me from this place
That wraps me in delusion..there aint no saving grace
Aint nothing gonna take away the fear
That locks me in this bed
Keeps me lyin here……..slowly drownin without you.

        As songwriters we need to keep learning and branching out in our development. Michelle's course is making me re think things but also helping to polarise what I need to do as an artist but also someone who writes for Film and TV. For me at least I dont have a problem writing in different modes. If I see a guy in the street with a story that needs telling I will do that with my artist- singer songwriter head on. If a producer is looking for a certain something? Then I will write a song with a certain something in mind. It really isnt a problem.

      I hope you all have a great weekend and enjoy your growth and development as Singer songwriters if that's what you do, and if not, thanks for reading this article. Life is fascinating and I hope this article meant something to you.

   Speak soon, and feel free to leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.  :)


Friday, 5 August 2016

Keep moving forward!

I decided it was about time I said a few words about this.....Moving Forward.
I guess it sounds like a completely obvious phrase but its so easy to just slip into a pattern of sideways comfort zone steps. When we have goals it is important to see them as short term and long term. We might have a long term goal in our heads but it usually takes a lot of short term goals to achieve it.
So how are you doing right now with your goals?  Do you feel that you really are moving forward?
Even small steps in the right direction are getting you there.
   The Internet is great for finding courses that suit us if we need to advance at something in order to achieve our long term goals. Check out what is on offer, see what you can afford (Some training is actually free!) Check out any reviews to see just how good thay are. Commit to it, see it through and then advance to your next step. Its all about being forward moving.
   My main goal which is a constant and runs parallel with the short term and long term goals is to perfect my craft at being a singer-songwriter. That means being concerned about the quality of what I do as well as the quantity, in fact the quantity of my songwriting isnt an issue for me, so obviously the quality is what I am always aware of. I have both short term goals which involve studying and learning from courses with the aim to fulfilling my long term goal of writing for Film and TV and Ads. . I am confident that I will do well at this and am therefore doing what it takes.
    So how about you?  What are your plans? and how is it going?
    I hope you have a great weekend and wish you all the best with your short and long term goals!

Summary check list

    1....Determine what your long term Goal is.
    2....What are the short term goals needed to reach it? (Establish)
    3....Get the help needed. (Search for courses, check reviews)
    4....Commit. (Just do it!)
    5....Have a strong work ethic.
    6....Dont give up.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Female Mixing Engineers

Female Mixing Engineers is a great blog where Females who are interested in mixing their own or others music can get some great advice and hot tips!
    Darcy Jeavons the founder of F.M.E, has passionately wanted to do this for some time now and is   looking forward to sharing any information which can aid in a great mix!
   Here's a snippet from her opening blog to whet your appetite:
          So, you love mixing music, and you have no Y chromosome. You are in the right place! Mixing, mastering, recording, producing, audio editing — these skills are not accomplished with anything below our belt line. We use our ears, our minds, and our hearts. The fact that most mixing engineers are males is just one of those things. Like the gender dynamics that existed in the medical field decades ago, when the term “doctor” produced an image of a middle-aged male with a smile and a stethoscope. But times keep on changing. Although we may still visualize a music producer or mixing engineer as a male in the framework of our mind, the access of affordable home recording and mixing technology is in the hands of everyone who wants to create music. Everyone. And I have a feeling that there are females out there who are rockin’ the Auralex off of their home studios. Ladies, this blog’s for you!
        Here are some links to get you started:
          There will also be podcasts.
          You can subscribe from the web page for regular updates.
           Have a great week!

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Words have power

I have been analysing things recently, mainly about words, be they complicated or very simple.
For many years Music has been a driving force for me when it came to songwriting, so much so that even very well known songs were lost on me as to what they were about.
      I would hear people discussing things like what the meaning was of "Lucy in the sky with   diamonds" a Beatles classic. I quite frankly didnt give a hoot what it meant, I loved the sound.
It must have been about five years ago now when I got in touch with my "words" side, which is odd to say the least because I wrote lots of poems very early on as a child and well into my teens.
     Words have power, and if you combine that power with music that moves you, you then have a   double enlightenment.
     I recently saw a post on a chat box regarding one of my songs being played on the radio (Barefoot), and he specifically wrote out a particular line he liked when the song ended and I instantly knew what it was that affected him.
                            What about all the comments we dont hear or see written down?
I have now made a point of reviewing my lyrics for even the most subtle of changes that might make a good song a great song, and I am amazed always at how often just one word can change the whole flavour of the song.
   I sang a song for a dear friend recently and she misheard my lyrics. We laughed and then I realised that what she misheard was in fact a big change to the song. That was the line I had repeated back to me on the chat box. Instead of the original intention being "I want everything that we can ever be" It was changed to "I want everything that we can NEVER be"  The whole song was now about a yearning for what you cant have as opposed to wanting everything you could have.
  There's no real point in being over analytical, after all we are songwriters not scientists, but giving your lyrics a bit more attention at the end might well be worth the time.
   Words have power....Music has power....together they can affect individuals lives and also the world.

    Oh and when I said making a good song into a great song ? That doesnt mean neccessarily a song that becomes a world wide hit. There are many great songs that dont get heard enough because they aren't commercial enough. I have been moved to tears by songs with very few views on You Tube and at the same time yawned at yet another copy of a copy of a clone.
    Have a great week !  :)

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Glen Frey

Well, no sooner we lose David Bowie, we then go and lose Glen Frey, two artists who I have admired for different reasons. David Bowie I admired for his huge creativity and ability to re invent himself and Glen I admired for being the founder member of what I would consider one of the best bands of all time. I was a sixtees child and The Beatles were the ones who made me want to be a Singer songwriter. The Eagles however was the band I used to dream of being in. They taught me many things as an artist, and at the outset I want you to know that I have never idolised anyone or felt that anyone was so "up there" that they were out of are all human beings with talents and Glen showed me things just by being Glen who was a big part of the skillfully woven fabric known as The Eagles.
                        I remember purchasing the "Hell Freezes over" DVD, and I have to admit I wore the thing out. I watched, admired, learned and fell in love with the fact that a group of guys could completely "Own" a stage without any gimmicks and sat on stools. They were just themselves
but they were themselves playing well worked, meaningful songs and with that great Eagles sound.
                       The Eagles touched me deeply and Glen was a driving force in the set up.
In a recent interview (2012) Glen was asked "If you had five minutes left in your life which song would you play"?................He said "One of these nights" and then continued to give the varied chord progression, instruments involved, Don Henleys vocal.
                       As a Singer songwriter I will always have an affinity with singer songwriters.
 Glen Frey was one of those examples who helped to make me sure that this is what I want to do with the rest of my life.  Thank you Glen  R.I.P. and thanks for the inspiration.