strugglin' - dragons

Ha, when am I not? Got a new lyric I am wrestling with... think I'm trying too hard, actually, instead of just letting it be. I keep thinking about making sure it's good, which is usually the death of any good writing, hee hee. Fooled around the music for a possible instrumental reflecting my love for a certain island.

Then I put it all away and did other things, like wash dishes & floors. They say the best way to get inspired is to go for a walk. Or do mundane chores... something I usually avoid as much as possible. I feel a little unfocussed at the moment, but then it's 1 a.m. Still I feel like I go off in too many directions sometimes, and perhaps should sit more with the music that needs some completion. It's more exciting to have a new idea and talk about it, than to push through the doubts & despair to craft something you began a while ago.

Perhaps it's the silence & the time to myself, but I've sure heard my internal editor the past few days, shouting at me. In the midst of taking action, it will tell me I'm too slow, or not doing enough, or doing the wrong thing... no matter what, I'm wrong wrong wrong... Julia Cameron talks about this in the Artist's Way (great book). For me, in my experience of the creative process, just when things are shifting/changing is usually when the niggling editor becomes a fire breathing dragon. I know that if I just stay the course I will find myself in a new place. Easy words to say, hard to live some days. I have a big sign on my fridge that says "I promise myself I will never give up".

I see that Arthur Vance has put a link to my blog in his blog. His blog is enjoyable - and informative - reading... here's his link:

now, bed. No argument there.

still working away

Hey, I am still working away, although on holidays. I've written a 'a la Norah Jones' lyric, worked on my 'witchy woman' vocal tapestry, began a 'cat-scat' jazzy vocal tapestry, organized all my songwriting files.... submitted a tapestry to a 'Industry Resource' listing for an indie film... done some spring cleaning, too.

Free World Radio is featuring my music in its Talent Pool today

"Wilted Heart" bounced back up to #10 on the Soundclick country charts. Mixposure has given my experimental music an overall rating of 9.5 out of 10.

Now I'm working on a music business plan for the rest of the year. Plan to go to the Taxi Road Rally in November for sure!

Back to work. Or rest. :-)

works in progress

Spent this evening hatching up more ideas for my newest vocal tapestry... which I think is going to end up being named something like 'Witches'. It's cool & spooky sounding.

Also worked for awhile on my new country song... got the lyrics but still working on melody & chord progression. Got some decent work done on it.

Joined up with something called MusicLeague, where songs play against each other and earn points. Every play gets me credit on ArtistLaunch, I understand. I was also invited to enter my Alien vocal tapestry into Compo10, where 10 songs are enteried and then ranked. I thought it was cool I was invited to participate. I have to listen to and rank the other 9 entries. Wish me luck!

Now I am off to bed, too late as usual, but as am now officially on hols, who cares LOL

space motif

Today I spent about... 7 or 8 hours working on a 'full length' vocal tapestry I call "Alien". I call it full length because it's just over 3 minutes long, and the others I have worked on were all 1 min 30 secs. I wanted to see if I could create 'movements' like you would have in a symphony. I think I achieved that. I've uploaded it to Soundclick & Artist's Launch, and am now doing Broadjam.

I'm also up on Mixposure, but have discovered that everything on that site is hi-fi, which makes that site less user friendly for me... I'd love to review other people's music as they want you to do, but I'm not willing to sit & wait 1/2 hour for one song to download so I can listen to it.

The other piece I worked on today for quite a while is my new country mid-tempo ballad. I've come to the conclusion that, while some of what I have works, I need to look at creating a different setting because the words are getting lost.

Also managed to do a little housework & get organized for tomorrow (Monday), and talk to a couple of friends on the phone. So I guess I achieved a little!!

Hmmm... wonder if I will enforce that 'midnight - light's out - time for bed' promise I made myself. I've got 8 minutes :-)

age and work

Hmmm, interesting title that. I felt a little bummed out reading an article on Broadjam... the guy basically said, 'if you're over 35, forget about being an artist yourself, just pitch your stuff to the music industry - make artist pitches & try to get your music into film & tv.' Now, that's what I'm doing, but you know, it just really bugs me that the first 15 years of adulthood are considered to be the most important. You mean that 35 - 50, and 50 - 65, are to be considered wastelands? You mean that someone who is 25 won't listen to the music of a 50 year old? Then why are Tom Jones & Cher & countless other artists popular? Do we really think that people over 40 - with all that disposible income, want to listen to Britney Spears? Or do they want music with substance from someone who's lived a life? Just some retorical questions...

Just finished a new vocal tapestry, I've uploaded it to Mixposure & and currently uploading to Soundclick. Next I will do 'Artist's Launch'. Yes, believe it or not, I am now on 3 different sites. Just trying to get my stuff out into the public ear... :-)

Am working on a new ballad, I've got the lyric & I've laid the musical tracks, will try putting the vocals on it after I've had some SLEEP.... as usual it's 4 am... gotta stop having coffee after dinner... zzzzzzzzzzzzzz


Spent today working on two vocal tapestries, one I started yesterday, & completed this afternoon... the other took me a few hours this evening. They sound pretty good but I've learned to go away for a day or two & then listen again to be sure everything is well balanced.

Finally heard from John Braheny on my critiques, one song needs a ton of work, the other just some lyrical adjustments.

I didn't win a scholarship to Aloha songwriters conference.

I've got 9 songs submitted to Taxi since the beginning of March, but probably won't hear anything until April.

Got a big list of music I want to work on... but feel like taking a day or two off to refresh my muse.

Pretty much it for tonite... time for BED.

ack, et al

Feel frustrated because Soundclick has been down for more than 12 hours!! Hope we all get a credit on our monthly fee.

Spent a couple hours working on a couple of pieces of music - a new ballad, which may be too slow & needs some tightening up, but I think (hope) will be quite beautiful. I am a balladeer - sometimes I think I should push myself to write something uptempo... but it doesn't come as easy (not that the ballads are easy). The other piece is an instrumental, which I think is pretty good, between guitar & flute. It may be too long as well.

Well, I am off to bed, since I can't listen to any music on Soundclick, which has become a nightly ritual of exploration into what other people are writing & producing :(

At the moment I feel like I couldn't write anything else to save my life... but perhaps I just need a day off from music. Hmmmm, I will try that and see how successful I am.

off to bed


Learned a lot this week about songwriting, patience, and allowing. I left the recording studio last Sunday thinking we had another one in the bag. Then when I got the final mix... I realized that it was very good... but not complete. I had to struggle with myself to allow that additional money & time would need to be spent to get a quality product. Today MK and I went back to the studio, and in about 1/2 an hour, we had a final version of the song that has more vocal texture and more softness in the background vocals.

As MK said, 'it's worth it.'

There's no point sending out anything that is less than your very very best. The bar is too high.

reworked & uploaded

This evening I worked on 'Forever More' (formerly 'My Sweet Boy') and am now uploading it to Soundclick. I added what I think is some neat harmonies... I'll ask for some feedback and see what folks have to say. I think it's ready to submit to Taxi, so I'll probably do that once it's activated, there's a listing that would likely work for it.

I also worked adding another guitar track & balancing the vocals & harmony in 'Wilted Heart', I think it's a bit better than it was. I'll have to upload it as well.

I started brainstorming the lyrics for a possible new song, too.

Tomorrow I need to do some catch up around the house and with my client's work... and then I'm heading out to the recording studio to add some harmony to the ballad that MK & I recorded last week. We need broadcast quality for this one.

I did get out in the sun today, took a nice long walk - it's amazing to see all the blossoms and flowers out this early - was quite warm out today. I think our southern West Coast 'pre-spring' season has turned into spring!

I'm sure grateful to see that quite a few people have stopped by my soundclick page & had a listen to my music - almost 100 in one day! It's pretty amazing... before the advent of the internet, it would have been pretty impossible for an indie artist to have over 1200 people listen to their music in one month.

Now, I should get off to bed :)

not much to report

Yeah I didn't do much yesterday musically, except work on my Soundclick page. Hope it looks cool to people! I'm sure enjoying making connections with other musicians on-line, listening to their music... there seems to be as many points of view and ideas for songs as there are people. It shows the diversity and creativity of the human spirit.

I did submit my two country ballads to a Taxi listing... so wish me luck. Someone advises I need a pop filter for my recording mike & that I should use live musicians... yeah, I know, but that's $$$. Will try to get there!

Now I have to get myself out of this chair and go enjoy some sunshine!

what a day....

I think I started the day grumpy. But I struggled, barring a few hours other work, from 7 am Thurs morning until now to get a decent version of Wilted Heart happening. I tried two different set-ups, then threw everything away and just got out the old guitar and did it that way. And then recorded some two and three part harmony. Just uploaded it to Soundclick. Hope it cuts the mustard!! I'm going to submit it to the 'a la' Shania listing, I'm sure that with it's sweet melody & harmony that it's in that sort of style.

I'm takin' the day off tomorrow (famous last words) and spendin' some time with me mom.

Time for some zzzzzz's

one down, two to go... or maybe four...:)

Okay, well... I went back and listened to the country ballad I worked on yesterday and so proudly uploaded to Broadjam... and realized there was some uneveness in the production (harmony track very faint in first chorus)... so I spent an hour listening to it and adjusting the levels - it's much much better now. And I upload it as I write this.

I've got two other ballad-type country-pop songs, I was going to just get one ready but I figure I've got the time now... I will work on getting both of those ready to submit as well... deadline's not til the 14th... so I'll aim to be uploading one or both of them by the 12th.

I also worked today on adjusting a uptempo fun country rock song that I wrote with MK, my songwriting partner. I needed to work on straightening the verses out and having more repetition in the music. I've got the arrangement and melody worked out, now just need to work on organizing the lyrics to fit the music. I've even worked out some harmony for it. I spoke to our male demo singer(DA) today, and plan to get him out a week Sat to lay down a rough for us.

I also have on my desk a ballad that MK and I are working on... we've got the lyrical ideas, I've just got to work on the setting and the meter of the verse. Be great if I could get both the MK-VF songs done and get DA to lay the lead vocal tracks down for both of them when he comes out.

I plan to spend any free time on the weekend working on these 4 songs & getting them ready to demo...

one more.... whew

Hate to tell you this... but I figured, what the heck... started fiddling around with the harmony on that country tune... just improvising... ended up with something that sounds pretty cool - and I'm uploading it to Broadjam right now.

I know I seem prolific, but you have to realize that I've been sitting on some of this stuff for a couple months, with no way to put it into an acceptable form. I found it extremely frustrating to be working on a song and have no way to record it. Now I can lay down a rough and listen to it, add harmonies, etc... figure out the whole arrangement, all by myself. I'm lucky enough to be able to find several hours a day I can spend working, too.

I'm hoping all this work will pay off... and I will get a publishing contract here or rights-to-record-a-song purchase there. Keep your fingers crossed!

Hmmmm... past midnight... best start trying to pry myself away from this computer & head off to bed!!

uploading as we speak

Yep, got another one laid down. This is a Spoken Word piece I did a little work on a few days ago. I have a 'to do' list of songs to complete by mid-month, this was one of the pieces. I just said to myself... 'okay, there's a few things to be worked on, which one excites you the most'? So I did this humourous little piece for a Taxi listing. I think it's funny, anyway - be interesting to see if I get a forward... there's no critiques on this one, so I won't get any feedback either way. [I guess if they forward it, that's a good sign, huh?]. I'm uploading it to Broadjam and will submit in a day or two.

Also worked a little on my 'a la' Shania & Martina (yep they have those two singers in the same listing... hmmmm) country ballad, redid the main vocals and am now fooling with harmony. I have another ballad I need to clean up the production on, I'll likely submit both.

I was trying to come up with some ideas for an 'a la' Josh Groban/Amy Grant... but my mind is blank at the moment.

Oh yeah... heard back from Tipperary Peace Song Contest... well, I don't have to worry about finding the money to go to Ireland and sing my entry in the finals. Sigh. Just as well... need to be here writing and submitting, rewriting and submitting, reworking and submitting, hee hee.

You might not hear from me tomorrow... I'm going to karaoke with my friends... and I'll probably show off, too.

a songwriter's work is never done :)

Just spent the evening revising my one of my newer country ballads... laid down rough guitar tracks and a main vocal just to see how it feels. It has potential, needs a lot more work - like most of my stuff!

I was glad to get that children's song submitted on time. There's 3 or 4 opportunities with deadlines next week that I want to make sure I meet... so I figured I better start now.

I was thinking today that I'm waiting to hear on a bunch of things I just put out there to see what would happen: two entries to the Tipperary International Song of Peace contest, an entry for a scholarship to the Kauai Songwriters Festival, 3 Taxi submissions, my producer has two songs he's finishing off for me... a film audition I did Sunday (don't think I got it, I was pretty bad - out of practice)... also waiting to hear from John Braheny - he's critiquing a couple of songs for me... I do like to keep myself busy!

Anyway, it is now time to hit the sack, I think.

two recordings, one day

Today we went to the recording studio and spent 3 or 4 hours with a session singer and our fantastic producer... and laid down a beautiful country/pop, pop/rock ballad with harmony. Can't wait to get the master.

Came home and totally revamped & rebuilt my own recording of the children's song... I'm uploading to Broadjam right now. I needed to get it done as it has to be 'activated' before you can submit it... and the deadline is Tuesday. Whew.

I think that's enough for one day. And, as always, I totally planned to go to bed early... ha ha hee hee.

rewriting = morphing

Been struggling with 'my sweet boy' since I got home around 5:30 tonight. I rewrote most of the lyrics and worked on the verse melody. It sounds much nicer. I laid down a draft vocal track - I have to redo it to make it solid - but just so I could hear what it sounds like. I'm loading it to Soundclick right now... I wasn't happy with what I'd posted yesterday. And, it's got a new name (for now anyway): 'Forever More'. Ya, a bit of a cliche... but I got to thinking today... in songwriting, what isn't cliche? LOL.

Got some nice feedback on my two vocal tapestries + Wilted Heart. I am working on another vocal tapestry... but gotta get that children's song completed first. And need to work on the harmony part for the recording session I'm doing Sunday.

I'm going to take the rest of the night off and go to bed by midnight -- no 3 am's this night!!!! LOL

wayyyy past my bed time (as usual)

Hi .... spent... ummmm about 6 hours redoing 'My Sweet Boy'. It's not perfect, but there's some good stuff in it. I'm uploading to Soundclick as I write this. I felt I had to replace the 'sketch' that I had posted there... it was just a rudimentary idea recorded on an MP3 recorder... and it went up to #13 on the Soundclick country-pop charts! And got played on the Len Amsterdam show, too.

It needs more work, but at least I have something better up there now. Next I need to concentrate on a song I'm recording in a pro studio this weekend - get my part down! And get those children's songs done.

Well, my famous last words: 'off to bed'. Ha.

rewrite rewrite rewrite

Actually, it should be 'remix, remix, remix'. I just spent several hours going over Wilted Heart. I think my fancy (cheap) recording software has latency issues. Now that I am aware of them, I went back to this song and corrected it... the vocals had lagged behind the percussion, not because I didn't sing in time, either. I cleaned that up, and then went through the harmony track and made sure that was in time too. Then I did several mix-downs, trying to get the instruments to feel 'full' without drowning out the lead vocal. After several tries, I think I have something fairly good - I'm uploading it to soundclick as I write this (I like to multi-task).

I also completed remix of my second vocal tapestry 'Let Me Fly'. I thought it was done yesterday and I'd uploaded it to Broadjam for submission to a Taxi listing... but then I listened to it today and decided it wasn't completed. I added some more texture, I think it's much hotter now (if I do say so myself).

I also listened to the children's song I laid down yesterday... it's funny how a few hours gives you perspective... I'm not satisfied with it either... there seems to be a long pause in the vocal line between the end of the first verse and the chorus... how that got in there I am not sure... I will have to go back to the beginning and start from scratch to fix that. Oh well.

I also started a new vocal tapestry... as a possible backing for a spoken word piece. Just an idea.

And I worked for a few hours on the things that actually earn me money at the moment. That was my day! I'm off to bed now... too late, as always.

Finished the children's song

Today I managed to find the time to lay down the vocal tracks for the children's song I started working on yesterday, and spend some time trying to figure out how to make it sound as good as possible given my limited skills. I think the final result isn't too bad. I've uploaded to Broadjam and will be submitting it to Taxi soon.

I have one more kid's song I have a little bit of an idea for... I'll work on that later this week. Also have two or three country songs I want to get going on as well, need them ready by mid-month. I best go to bed now - I promised myself I'd hit the sack by midnight and it's 12:30 (as usual).