Year: 2013

The Headless Horseman and other miscellaneous musings

I’ve just had a wonderful early Hallowe’en weekend exploring New England, involving apple picking and fruit wine tasting in Massachusetts (somewhere between Boston and Salem), and a trip to Sleepy Hollow for a look around and a fright night ghoul walk around Philpsburg Manor. It was surprisingly scary and extremely well put together. I whole heartedly recommend it! It was a great way to have a break from work to mark the end of my prolonged summer push and the beginning of (a hopefully more relaxed) autumn.

As I mentioned in the last entry, J. W. Greenwood and I worked very hard and very closely together over the summer. In case you missed it at the start of the month, one of our performance videos was released online. It is part one of a three part series which was performed and recorded in the same beautiful forest that provided the setting for my “Over, Under” video. Have a look and see what you think…

Part two, “Liquorice Root”, will be released very soon.

I also mentioned The Rodeo Falls’ new live EP, which has now been released via their bandcamp for a tiny donation of £1. Head over to the discography to read a little bit about my role in the project.

More recently I received a rather beautiful review of my Storm Petrel EP in ThisIsNotAScene – 8/10, being marked down simply because it was too short. What a compliment!

Overall, I found “Storm Petrel” to be a worthwhile listening experience … one that stirred the heart whilst entertaining the mind with vivid word-pictures. I could quite happily listen to the music on its own … the instrumentation contained within being something of wonder. However, with the addition of Lawrie’s vocals, something beautiful is formed … something magical and unique … something it is hard not to love.

– read more at original source

Whilst I continue to work on more solo material, I am also currently working on a few different production projects, about which I shall let you know more in due course, but for now I must crack on.

See you around the corner.

Music From Hotel Rooms

I’m currently in a strange bed in room 672 of one of the airport hotels in Manchester. Tomorrow morning (early) I will be flying, once again, to New York to work on new material and produce with some great artists, whilst being surrounded by the beautiful New England Fall.

Right now, though, I felt it an opportune moment to look back on what I have experienced and achieved during my English summer (and what a beautiful summer it has been).

I suppose the most prevalent accomplishment of recent months has been the release of my Storm Petrel EP on 7″ vinyl and digital download. I was very fortunate to have been awarded an Emerging Excellence award by The Musicians Benevolent Fund, which meant that I was able to release the EP independently. It has had some lovely reviews from lots of different sources, and I hope some more people will be able to publish their feedback. The best reviews, however, have been from the wonderful people I have met after shows. I can honestly say that my confidence has never been boosted in such a concentrated time-frame, so thank you all for your support. It means such a great deal, as always.

To coincide with the release I endured two nights of filming in the hottest two days of August to create the video for “Feline”. I am really pleased with how it came out, and Dom Smith from Soundsphere Magazine must have liked it, too. He made it one of his videos of the week!

I am currently working with a small team to create the music video for the actual song “Storm Petrel”, which I hope to be able to release later in the autumn. You can expect some more audio-visual delights before then, too! I’ve been quite busy with cameras and microphones this summer, and I have enjoyed (nearly) every minute of it.

Another project that I am excited about is one I started earlier in 2013. The promotional single for The Children’s Fire Movement has finally been released, and it is already receiving some generous support. All of the profits from the sale of the single are going back into the organisation, and therefore to the the charitable initiatives it supports. It’s a really great movement and I hope you’ll take some time to investigate further. You can get to the website HERE.

I also worked with good friends, The Rodeo Falls, to engineer and record a live EP in their rehearsal space (which is, incidentally, the same space we recorded the Meantime EP). I am not sure about the release date yet, but I’ll be sure to pass on the announcement when the band have officially made it.

I have played quite a few live shows this summer, and I am thrilled with the feedback I have received. J W Greenwood has become quite a fixture in my live ensemble, so much so that he has wormed his way into the studio to add guest instrumental performances on “Feline” and “Liquorice Root”.

Thank you to everyone who came to the EP launch on August 15th at The Duchess in York. I really hope you had a great time. It was wonderful to share the stage with a group of bands and musicians – all of whom I have some kind of connection to. Afternaut is an old friend who remixed “Over, Under” and he opened the night. I have obviously worked very closely with The Rodeo Falls throughout this year (with Marck being a friend for a long time now). They played a stripped down set of original material. White Firs were the main support and I used to work in the Music department of the school at which he studied. This what I love about music as a profession – it is comprised of small communities of artists working together to create exciting things!

I would really like to write more, but I should probably sleep before my flight tomorrow. I will no doubt write some more in another bulletin soon, but for now I bid you all goodnight.

Goodnight.

Storm Petrel is OUT NOW

Gosh. These update articles are manifesting at later and later times. It is now 4.10am and I find myself in a state of (possibly self induced) insomnia. The last month and a half has been outrageously busy, which has made it difficult to update the website regularly. The last two days have been the first proper break I’ve had since landing back in England and I have quite a bit to fill you all in on!

Firstly, the Storm Petrel EP I have been mentioning over the past couple of months has finally been released on limited edition 7″ vinyl and digital download. I am so grateful for the Emerging Excellence grant that Musicians Benevolent Fund awarded me in order to fund the release. The EP was released on 15th August alongside a launch show at The Duchess in York.

Thank you so much to all who either came to the show, ordered an EP, or both. Your support, as always, keeps me going.

To coincide with the EP I also released a video for the AA side, “Feline”.

Thanks to Dom Smith at Soundsphere for making it one of the videos of the week!

I have lots more audio-visual delights to share with you over the coming weeks and months, so please stay tuned!

In other news, I can also announce another exciting show for September. I shall be performing two shows at The Little Festival of Everything in the sleepy North Yorkshire town of Easingwold on 8th September. On will be a stripped down set with just hammered dulcimer, spanish guitar and voice. The other performance will be a full show on an outdoor stage. I will fill you all in on more details closer to the date.

My next show is on 26th August at Oporto in Leeds as part of Gaslight Club. Click on the LIVE section of the website for more information.

On Friday I had a wonderful day off exploring the “Over, Under” forest with my live guitarist, J W Greenwood, with whom I am also working on his solo music. He has just set up his official Facebook Music page, so please head over there to share some love by clicking HERE.

That’s all for now. I think I need to get to sleep!

Everything is busy. Everything is new.

It’s 2.02am and I find myself with a night off for the first time in over a month. Props for a video shoot were supposed to arrive today, but the Royal Mail seems to be taking its time. Normally I would be very annoyed, but I am quite thankful for this respite.

I’m half watching Peter Chung’s Aeon Flux, whilst in bed. I’ve seen every one of these episodes countless times, so they are simply serving their purpose as comfort food for the soul.

You’ve probably noticed that the website is a little, well, a lot different. This is in preparation for my next EP, Storm Petrel, which will be released on 7″ vinyl/digital download, along with a launch show at The Duchess in York on 15th August. Supporting on the night will be White FirsThe Rodeo Falls (acoustic) and Afternaut.

Click for launch show information

I’m really excited about this release. As you may know, It has been funded by Musicians Benevolent Fund. I’m honoured to have been chosen to receive the award. It has meant that I have been able to be a little more extravagant with the release and I can announce that there will be two videos over the coming months. The first will be, oddly, for the AA side of the vinyl, “Feline” and then the other, for “Storm Petrel”, will follow at a later date. Due to the delay with the props, the “Feline” video might be released later than the actual EP, but I’m doing everything I can to make everything be as synchronous as possible. Please click on the image below to check out some of the great things that MBF is doing.

…well, I fell to sleep and woke up with the DVD title screen on repeat – surely a sign of this pace catching up with me.

Anyway. The main props for the “Feline” music video arrived today. Two black scleral contact lenses. I must say, I’m very happy with them and I can’t wait to use them properly! I was very surprised at how comfortable they are to wear, even if it took me about twenty minutes to insert them on my first attempt! Here’s a taster:

I wish I were able to write more now, but I have to press on with preparations for the videos, the show and productions on which I am working for/with other artists.

I hope you can all make it on the 15th. Thank you to everyone who has already pre-ordered a copy of Storm Petrel. The records will be shipped out on or before 15th August. If you haven’t already pre-ordered, please head over HERE to see special deals!

Expect bigger updates after the launch night!