Thursday, 14 April 2011

We've Got To Have Our Dreams

A year ago today I uploaded my first video to my YouTube channel tinkersong, just me with a guitar, a camcorder for both vision and sound (the intended overdubbing was thwarted by a dodgy camera mic lead!), singing a song, though written many years before in a room in Hounslow with Mike Meade, I’d never recorded before. 'You Make Me Feel Better' - a song about trying to move on - a bit rough and ready, but a start on this phase of my musical journey. The hits are steady and in due course it will hit 1000 views. Nothing exceptional but something...

In the meantime, with fits and starts, frustration and joy, doubt and elation, and some endeavour, I've added a further eight songs. There was the Boys Talk Lennon tribute, 'Mathew Street', with a video made from photos using Windows Movie Maker, put together with intricate care to match transitions to beat. I thought this would do a bit better than it has given its theme and the legions of Beatles fans; that said, it's from where most of my new online (Facebook) 'friends' have come.

The video shoot for 'Driven' came out well, editing for the first time with Sony Vegas; a video that matched the quality of the recording. So as I progress, I'm learning, surprising myself with what I can do with both the music and the video.

In choosing the songs to get done, a period when I lived in France, which was creatively prolific became a focus; these were songs I'd had written but had never recorded. In 'The Ballad of Christy Buck' - a tribute to my dad - I found a harmonising style; with a nod to the Talent Show machine, 'Danny (Superstar)', now with a newly added middle section came to life - I'm particularly pleased with how this came out. A pity about the problems with the YouTube upload conversions, which seem a bit hit and miss sometimes. An old favourite, 'Just In Case', has some nice harmonies on it… And still, there are probably another four or five songs from this period worthy of recording.

I snuck in 'Gillian' - an old 4-track recording made with Mike – significant personally, and will almost certainly be revisited.

Recently, two songs: 'Festooned With Love' and 'It's Alright With Me' have been added. 'Festooned' is a song I've lived with for many years, about a love that wasn't to be, the acoustic works quite well on it; its recording took me back to the moment of its inception. Love, hope and despair in 3½ minutes! As for the girl, reconciled a few years ago, we remain in touch, good friends. It must be quite cool to have a song written about you!

'It's Alright With Me' is quite a deep and philosophical song, optimistic (a bit like the first song), again from my French stay. (The room at Paul Langevin school should have a blue plaque on it!) It' a song that I've attempted to record a few times; this version sounds like it does in my head, and I'm very pleased with the result. The video I shot around a local lodge, with a degree of self-consciousness filming myself and singing along to the track being played on CD - it's tough not being a superstar! There is a certain irony about me singing a song called 'It’s Alright With Me' at this moment in life… there is a lot of turmoil around and music is providing a lift and some succour.

So, a journey has begun. It's fun. It feels as if I've achieved something. In the end it was down to me to get on with it. There have been a few disappointments along the way, some surprises, and progress is slower than I’d hoped. Nonetheless, there is momentum, and the songs are getting done. There is some good stuff in the wings (it says here), with many more original compositions and a few covers to come. The itch has been scratched, now we’ll see where this leads.