Sunday, September 25, 2005

It's a beautiful day, the skies full of felines.

Ok so there has been not much from me here in sometime. Some of my friends have been kind enough to say (in person or on the phone) that they do actually look on here expecting updates and witty musings etc., and have been disappointed. The thing is that I haven’t actually been doing much of interest or having much in the way of thoughts worth putting down. At least I thought that, perhaps I shall now write lots and it will look like I’m just a liar – that bit is up to you, gentle reader.

So… Fife and we stayed in Pittenweem for a week. It was a lovely house across 3 levels and pretty much built on a rock so that when the tide came in we could look down on it from the windows. Mum and Dad seemed to have a nice relaxing time, which was the idea from their point of view. I set up my stuff on the top floor (2 bedrooms, and a toilet with a sink) and got quite a bit of stuff done for both “Dream On” and the Sons Of Thunder stuff. I think I mentioned both of these before briefly. For some more detail:

“Dream On.” The young people in Biggar Theatre Workshop (ranging in age from about 7/8 to about 15/16) are working on a show – they just had auditions last week. The way these things work is that the production company who own it send us scripts, a CD of backing tracks, a CD of the songs with people singing (more on that later) and a book of sheet music; the theatre workshop in turn send them money for all that, and for permission to perform the show. In August (not long after I got here from Leeds) I’d been asked if I could rework one of the songs to accommodate some changes – they were using a mixture of Barbie-style fairies and punk-style fairies so that the boys could be fairies too. Anyway. I heard the CDs and the backing tracks weren’t that great, and they liked that fairy song I’d done so now I’m reworking all the 27 musical pieces for the show. Since I started in August I’m about 10 songs in to it now – lots of them are short instrumentals or reprises so it’s not really as much work as it might sound. With a lot of the songs I’m changing the feel to try to make it more contemporary, once I’ve heard the song as it is on the CD I try to work out which kind of direction I should take my version in and that is almost the hardest part. That said, I rather like those moments where you wake up in the morning and think “Yes, song x should sound like song y.” I suppose you have to be there. The CD we were sent with singing is awful… it sounds as if it was recorded during a show and using microphones which were on the floor. Also some of the performers have some bizarre singing tics such as breaking one note up into several a la Mariah Carey or simply singing out of tune. For this reason, and given our improved backing tracks, it was suggested that we record a CD of the Biggar version of the songs and send it to the producers

Sons Of Thunder: this is a praise band with three family members in it (my Aunt, Uncle and cousin) who played a concert in Biggar last year and I recorded it. As I was working at Real World at the time, then went from Real World to final year university work in the space of about a week, I hadn’t had much time to work on it. For technical reason that I won’t go into just now (but they were my fault) the band, vocals and ambience recordings were out of sync with each other so I’ve recently managed to sort that out (synchronising the original recordings with my computer and playing all the songs into the computer again, if anyone is interested) and I spent some time in Fife making tempo maps of all the songs so making edits *should* be very easy. The mixing is pretty basic because there are only really 4 tracks to work with – it’s just a case of getting it done when Dream On is a more creative sort of project from my point of view – but it is something I’ve been working on. Moreover, I feel bad that I recorded it 19 months ago, it’s a pretty basic mix, and I’ve not done it yet.

Life has mostly been Pro Tools/ household stuff and stuff in the theatre. With additional projects coming up in Perth (plus one night doing lights for a production of “An Inspector Calls” in two weeks time), and a couple of other half-there favours I’d had asked of me I look like I’m in place until about November at the earliest. Meantime I’m sharpening my CV ready for use and using MSN and MySpace a lot to keep in touch with friends in Leeds and across the country/world.

Today has been my younger (of the two) Grandmother’s 80th birthday and we held a party for her in Dunblane which went well – it’s always nice to have a family get-together without it being for a funeral.

That’s about it for now… oh, thank you to a price mislabelling problem at PC World, a kind and observant brother and the wireless keyboard (with a numerical keypad!) which I am typing this blog entry. When you see something accidentally marked about £40 lower than it should, be sure to buy it. Unless it's still over £300 or so.

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