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TopCat studio with Brad

Just back from a recording session at TopCat studio with Brad.We had about six hours and in that time I took in my new bass and re-did the bassline for Starlight - a contemporary/acoustic-rock story-song about a young lady called Sally and her journey away from abuse toward hope. Lot's of guitar in this one, and multi-layered vocals.

Another bass guitar

Guess what? I bought myself another bass guitar this week as my previous guitar - a Tanglewood 5-string bass - was very old and the action (the height of the strings above the fretboard) was way too high! I tried to adjust the neck truss rod, but there was just no more play in the truss rod available, and so the action remained VERY high (we're talking about 1 full centimetre above the strings! Basically unplayable!)

Had another session with Al today

Had another session with Al today. We had a final look through the string arrangements for Sweet Lady Life, a ballad which I loosely based on the Streets of London by Ralph McTell. The combination of piano and strings works well and I intend to couple this with multi-layered vocals, including a sort-of call and response harmony similar to that which Simon and Garfunkel use in their version of Scarborough Fair. It'll be lovely when we're finished with it!

Men Wot Sing at Blackheath

Last weekend myself and the boys from Men Wot Sing - my totally awesome blokey entertainment group - made our way via plane, train and automobile to the beautiful town of Blackheath, two hours west of Sydney, in NSW. The occasion was the annual Blackheath Choir Festival - a wonderful event, held over a full weekend, showcasing a collection of some of the best choirs around. It was our third appearance in this festival - although Men Wot Sing has not sung there for about three years!

Great session with Al Park

Had a great session with Al Park today, at Byron Bay, working on tightening the midi string and wind arrangements for Merlin's Song.

We incorporated the recorder and flute parts I recorded at Top Cat Studio on Sunday and overlayed them with the midi arrangements. The result was excellent! Great sounds, and a great feel. The midi samples and the recorded audio worked very well together, each complimenting the other and combining to create a wonderful accompaniment for the song.

I've started back recording in earnest!

After a couple of months away from the studio for holiday's, schoolwork, etc. I've started back recording in earnest! Last week I took a drive to the Coast and sat with Al Park to work on some of his wonderful midi string and woodwind arrangements for the songs - Merlin's Song and Seesaw Marjorie Daw. These songs are coming along so well - they are nearly ready for inclusion in the studio and any work we need to do on them now is basically just some minor tweaking!

My voice is LOVING it!

Since my last blog entry, I've been using a headset microphone for all my lessons and it's gong so well! My voice is LOVING it! The vocal fatigue is disappearing and I am able to sing those tricky higher notes that eluded me for so long when my voice was tired. I'm enjoying the newfound strength in my voice so much that I'm even writing and performing again! I've also decided to start up a new choir in my home town of Alstonville, and so Awesome Voices has recently been born!

Another great session

Had another great session last week. Daniel Muszynski took a few days away from his touring schedule with his band, The Glass Towers, currently touring with Neil Finn, and came into the studio to record a few more drum tracks.

Katoomba in March

While in Katoomba in March this year I purchased a new Cort 12-string guitar (I already have a Cort 6-string acoustic and love its clean, crisp tone!) and, once I'd taken it to Byron Bay Luthier Stuart Newton to be correctly set up, it's sounding fantastic! I went in to the studio about a month ago and recorded another six tracks - including some awesome lead acoustic 12-string work on my Medieval-based piece "The Sword in the Stone". This piece give a medieval flavour to the Arthurian legend, and gives King Arthur himself a voice.

Writing Songs

I have written many songs and pieces of music over the years and up till now they've been firmly buried in the filing cabinet of my brain. Well, at last I've decided to have a good spring clean and record my first album.

This process begain in May 2010 when I recorded some classical guitar tracks at Byron Bay's S.A.E. audio institute with Dirk Terrill. The first session was very productive and I managed to record six complete tracks - four songs and two instrumentals.

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