Thursday, August 17, 2017

Once these things really get started it's jolly hard to stop them again

What with working first making things that I wasn't allowed to talk about until they were released, and then in education where I'm not allowed to talk about my work very much at all, I haven't really had much use of this blog in recent years.

Due to some reasons this is probably going to be last post I put up here, if not the last blog post I ever write.

This is a slightly edited e-mail I wrote to my colleagues earlier this week. It's probably the thing most-similar to a blog update I've had cause to write in a while.


I think I’ve spoken to most of you in person about this (sorry if I haven't: it's not personal), but to summarise: I have for the last year or so been planning to do one of those gender transitions.

That sounds frivolous but this isn’t something I’ve arrived at easily by any means.

I might have vaguely said to you that I’m progressing towards things. For lots of reasons it makes sense to do this during the summer break. Some of you will have seen that I came out on social media last weekend.

What happens next for me is that at some point in the next few months I will begin attending appointments at the Nottingham Gender Identity Clinic to begin medical treatment – this is likely to involve hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and vocal training. I've already been having counselling and facial electrolysis privately.

It speeds things up in terms of the NHS pathway if I’ve changed my name and am “presenting as female” full-time before I get that first appointment at the clinic. So part of that is starting this week.

As of tomorrow my name will legally be Thea Cochrane, and I’ll be doing the admin to get everything sorted around that (bank, passport, etc) moving from there. That obviously means my e-mail address and so on here will have to change. I’m hopeful we can arrange a redirect so that e-mails don't get lost.

I'm also going to start following the female uniform policy as much as possible, and there may be some makeup and stuff. I know I’m going to get some stuff wrong as I start, but I have to start somewhere. To be honest I'm more worried about getting the bus than how things are with you all here at work.

Thanks for reading this far. After years and years of not telling people about this stuff it feels quite odd to be writing it.

TL;DR - I’m changing my name to Thea and there’s a strong chance that by Christmas I might work up the courage to wear a dress to work.

I've set this to send to you all on BCC, so if you reply it just goes to me.

If/ when I blog more, I'll put a link here and then that'll be that. Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wedding Playlist

My friend Claire also recently married and posted her wedding playlist. I thought that seemed like ta neat idea, so I'm doing the same thing but without youtube. I might try doing a Spotify playlist at some point, but then you won't get all the things I shortened or cut together tidily.

Aleks entered the Church singing "When a Merry Maiden Marries" from Gilbert & Sullivan's "The Gondoliers." It feels like a spoiler saying that, but it's already happened, and there wasn't a video, so if you didn't already know that it's because you missed it. So this is me being properly informative.

Music playing whilst we did the signing of the register and so on was a compilation I'd mixed together from Volume Alpha (recognised instantly by some as "the music from Minecraft"), and playing when we left the Church was "I Can't Take It In" which was Imogen Heap's contribution to the soundtrack for "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe" film.

We talked about having a band, and we talked about having a DJ, and we talked about a wedding reception we went to where the DJ wasn't great and a tiny bit embarrassing in a cringe-inducing way (if you are reading this: it wasn't yours, it was someone else's). Then we talked about how there wasn't really a lot of space anyway, and maybe no one would be dancing.

So the way the music worked at the wedding reception was that during dinner there was a playlist with about 3 hours of music, set to shuffle songs with a crossfade of about 6 seconds. The upshot of that was that this played whilst people were having dinner

Leo Abrahams - Control
Sarah McLachlan - Witness
Lamb - Gorecki (instrumental)
Regina Spektor - Eet
Leo Abrahams - Rise
Paul Anka - Lovecats
Leo Abrahams - Seeking Stars
Nouvelle Vague - A Forest
Lemon Jelly - Nice Weather for Ducks
Nouvelle Vague - Guns of Brixton
Pizzicato Five - The Girl from Ipanema
Kirsty MacColl - In These Shoes
Joshua Radin - Only You (Imogen Heap Mix)
Van Morrison - Have I Told You Lately
Steeleye Span - London
Jim White - Bluebird
Regina Spektor - On the Radio
Magnetic Fields - The Book of Love
Nouvelle Vague - Teenage Kicks
Paul Anka - It's a Sin
Imogen Heap - Just For Now (Live Lounge in Toronto)
Björk - All is Full of Love
The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain - Le Freak
The Pierces - You'll Be MIne
Leo Abrahams - Plaground
Imogen Heap - Just For Now (Instrumental)
The Divine Comedy - In Pursuit of Happiness
Leo Abrahams - Kristiansand
Leo Abrahams - The Distance
I Monster - Daydream in Blue
BT - Childhood Montage (Title Sequence from "Monster")
A Fine Frenzy - You Picked Me
Air - Alone in Kyoto
Nouvelle Vague - This is Not a Love Song
Wax - Bridge to Your Heart
Leo Abrahams - Footprints
Leo Abrahams - In Doubt
Leo Abrahams - Spider
Peter Gabriel - Down to Earth

Quite a lot of Leo Abrahams there, but I basically dropped most of his album Honeytrap into the mix there (it's brilliant).

After speeches and cake-cutting was the first dance and an actual playlist I'd been working on in my spare time using proper editing software to get all the transitions working properly. In fact some songs are just in this order because they fitted well together.

First Dance:
Jim Moray - Magic When You're Near *

More dancing encouraged:
Arctic Monkeys - I Bet You Look Good on the Dance-floor
Chuck Berry - Roll Over Beethoven
Beyonce - Crazy in Love
Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston - It Takes Two
Stevie Wonder - Signed, Sealed, Delivered
Blondie - The Tide is High
Mary Wells - My Guy
The Temptations - My Girl
James Brown - I Got You (I Feel Good)
Jackson 5 - ABC
The Proclaimers - Let's Get Married
Muse - I Can't Take My Eyes Off You
The Flaming Lips - Do You Realize?
Jason Mraz - I'm Yours
Joshua Radin - Only You (Imogen Heap mix)
Nina Simone - My Baby Just Cares For Me
Etta James - At Last
Frank Sinatra - Love and Marriage
Bobby C TV Sound - Jelly Belly
Lazlo - Honey Pie IV (Beatles Electro Swing remix)
Cee-Roo - Don't Mean a Thing
Smokey Joe and the Kid - The Monkey Song
The Avalanches - Frontier Psychiatrist
Malcolm McLaren - Double Dutch
Abba / Madonna  Gimme Hung Up *
Kylie Minogue - Can't Get You Out of My Head
Tegan and Sara - Everything is Awesome
Daft Punk - Harder Better Faster Stronger *
Daft Punk - Get Lucky
Body Rockers - I Like the Way You Move
They Might Be Giants - Ana Ng
Elton Jojhn - Crocodile Rock
Little Eva / Kylie Minogue - The Locomotion *
Corona - The Rhythm of the Night
SL2 - On a Ragga Tip *
Deee-Lite - Groove is in the Heart
Janelle Monae - Tightrope
Outkast - Hey Ya
Four Tops - I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey bunch)
Kool & the Gang - Celebration
Huey Lewis & the News - The Power of Love
I Monster - Daydream in Blue
Afro Celt Sound System - Lovers of Light
Imogen Heap - First Train Home
John Lennon / Van Halen - Imagine a Jump
Tegan and Sara - Everything is Awesome (yes, again)

* = something I have in some way messed with (mostly making things shorter or cutting one song into another in the middle of the song)

You can call me green bean

I started this blog in 2004 as a means to basically rant about frustrations whilst researching my dissertation (we didn't have Twitter or Facebook then and my parents weren't on myspace).

I wasn't able to much blog about the details of work I was involved with because those are secrets that aren't mine to give away, though I could do stuff about recording specific things (pasta! all the doors in a museum! dropping a chandelier in a theatre! * ) although I could promote the heck out of things after they were released.

Anyway, in the last year a lot of what I've been doing has been teaching and I really can't blog too much about that as it would be a violation of all sorts of trust, even whilst my students are putting their best work on SoundCloud. I'll come to some decision about what I do with that in due course, there's a social media policy I need to read carefully and then endeavour not to violate.

ANNNYWAY, I also got married recently. Last Saturday, in fact. So there's some stuff I should probably say about that. I'm off this week so I'm going to whiz through that just now in the name of content and I'll see how I feel about trying to write in this regularly again.

Whilst we were busy getting married, College Humor posted this handy guide to planning a wedding

* I dropped it about 15 cm (half a foot), don't get too excited.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Maxwell, jump!

Right, so it's been a while since I blogged hasn't it?

I did, a few months before Christmas, write two new posts to put up here and never quite got around to it. So now I have been here, noted that Blogger has probably changed at least twice since I posted anything much with it, and have checked that most of the important links still seem to work.

I've also removed the link to my Twitter feed (which was actually a Yahoo! Pipe that removed all the replies to people before posting my Tweets here) because my Twitter feed is now set to be secure.

Stuff has been happening. I'll try to summarise.

After Clearning Up came Revealing Diary (music by me) and The Plotters (admittedly quite minimal music by me). Sometimes being able to turn around the sort of music the director wants in less than six hours seems to be better than getting something deep and technically amazing that takes two weeks to do. I've done work on a fourth short film by The Guerrier Brothers, but in this case it was finishing off sound effects and a mix that somebody else had already start. Once it is online I'll be posting a link here for it.

There have been further Big Finish projects: Binary, The Many Deaths of Jo Grant and House of Cards in the Companion Chronicle range; and two of the three stories on Legion and a few scenes of Many Happy Returns in the Bernice Summerfield range.

I should say more about that last one: Many Happy Returns is a special release to celebrate twenty years of Bernice Summerfield and all the money from it is being donated to an ME charity ( All the writers, actors and production team worked for free, and it's download-only to save on costs of producing a run of CDs and packaging. Do check it out if you have any interest in that sort of thing because it is for a very worthwhile cause.

Needing The Money, I took a job part-time at a hospital where I heat and serve the food. I also do a tea-round which I quite enjoy because of the human interaction. There is something to be said for a guaranteed monthly income from a job where you don't have to worry about it when you aren't there. Also it means that in the eyes of perspective mortgage lenders I'm not as much a drain on my girlfriend's finances as I would be otherwise. This is the way of being freelance.

I went to college to do a European Computer Driving Licence (exactly as exciting as it sounds - I can now prove my ability to use the Internet, Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint). I quite liked that so I went on to study for a qualification called Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector, which teaches the basics of teaching Further Education. The qualification is frequently abbreviated to PTLLS (pronounced: "petals"). It went quite well so now I am studying for a Certificate in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (abbreviation pronounced "ketals"). As part of that I have to do thirty hours of actual teaching at an actual college, and asking around to see if anyone would be happy to let me do that I found a college that was actually willing to pay me to do that regularly. So I am now also a part-time lecturer. Not sure if I can say much more about that here, but I start tomorrow and am a tiny bit nervous. We'll see how that goes.

I also did some music for the news section of a audio newspaper for the blind and partially sighted, and it looks like I'll be doing some volunteer stunt editing for a hospital radio station too.

That would seem to be all the main things for now. Keeps me busy, eh?

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Cleaning Up

As I'd subtly hinted before, I've done some music for a short film.

Cleaning Up - Official Trailer from Guerrier Brothers on Vimeo.

Trailer and lots of info can be found here. Also there is a Cleaning Up presence on Facebook and Twitter as @cleaningup_film.

The first showing of this film will be at the Cambridge Film Festival on Saturday 17 September (with some other short films under the title "Wrong Place, Wrong Time"). There's another showing at the Branchage Film Festival in Jersey on the Sunday the 25th of September.

More showings will be happening in the near future, and will likely be announced first on Twitter and Facebook.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Come the armchairs of hell

Lots of things have been happening.

Work-wise there have been my first work on the Big Finish Dark Shadows range (which was technically something I started in December, and I've done sound editing on two plays now), which I keep having to explain to friends but they'll hopefully be pleasantly surprised when the film (in which I have no involvement) comes out and they have some knowledge about it.

My contributions to the highly mysterious and exciting "Cleaning Up" are also completed (and you can bet I'll be going on about that lots more when I'm allowed to, in the meantime look at this). I got to visit an exciting audio post-production studio and have other people bring me cups of coffee, it was great.

Home life has been busy too: in the last couple of months there have been 3 funerals, a wedding and a memorial service, but things seem to be heading back to a semblance of normality (have I been here long enough to achieve a baseline for normality yet? I'm not sure.)

I've been on Twitter quite a bit, so if I'm not blogging enough for your liking here then I can only suggest you find me on there too, though I am prone to spouting some nonsense when the mood takes me. Still, the joy of Twitter is that it's not really supposed to be deep and thoughtful all the time.

Next I'm doing some Doctor Who related thing which I'm not sure I can talk about just yet, and a few other bits and bobs as time allows.

I'm going to try to get more happening on here too, because I know I've been a bit lax in the last year and a bit.

Monday, March 21, 2011

You may find yourself living in a shotgun shack

(For new people reading, I use misheard lyrics for blog titles. I don't actually have a good reason for doing it any more, it's just a thing I do).

So, just over four weeks ago I moved house.

The original plan, the plan when I was leaving university, was to go back to the parents for a while to sort through stuff then move somewhere and get a job quickly to pay bills and eventually a career would happen. Then for a while the plan was that the stay at home would grow to include my doing some music for a kids am-dram show, and it's more or less around this time that the prices of houses started to go more mental than usual.

So, job-hunting from home. Writing to a few people and companies, exploring various options (some of which I had forgotten about until I was clearing things up for the move), all of which turned into my starting to do work for Big Finish Productions and working freelance from home. One thing didn't so much as lead to another as overlap and the cycle of Big Finish stuff and theatre stuff. At one point I was actually sound editing an audio play on a laptop between sound cues during a show.

Anyway, having talked about moving for ages I finally got around to it and it's a bit different. For one thing I've moved from quite a rural place to somewhere decidedly suburban. The move was actually delayed slightly whilst I finished off setting up the equipment at the theatre following a refit. Having had a say in the specification of the equipment and wiring up quite a bit of it, it's a little annoying that I'll probably never get to use it all after setting it up and making sure it works. I'm hoping that others will make good use of it all.

Work lately has been primarily some music for a short film, which I haven't been talking about but it's been announced here and here so I can probably direct you there without saying anything I'm not supposed to.

Otherwise I've been unpacking boxes, cowering behind a small new rack full of old-ish equipment, and doing normal domestic things. And that's where I"m at just now.

Oh, during my period of being quiet on the blog I uploaded a song to SoundCloud which was recorded in the summer of 2004, and may be notable for being the only recording ever (so far as I know) that was started in the Writing Room at Real World and finished off in the student recording studios at Leeds Metropolitan University. It's also a cover, and I'm hoping I won't get into trouble for putting it on SoundCloud.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Still Aten't Dead

(I don't need to explain the spelling mistake do I?)

So there's been all sorts, further work on Benny stuff, Christmas, Dark Shadows, helping to sort out a sound system in a theatre, and moving house. But I'm still here.

I'll hope to be doing more with this blog again soon, hopefully I'll be doing things that are actually worth blogging about.

Anyway, just to let you know I'm not dead.

Oh, also, look at this:
"Guerriers and BF Produce Short Film"