Thursday, 14 July 2016

Under A Spell

A lot of the music I am working on has been around a long time – though part of the reason is the time it takes me to complete projects! – however, when something brand new comes along and falls quickly into place, it is both welcome and a pleasant surprise.

There is always music on the go, recently I have been giving my 14-year old nephew, and Justin Bieber fan, a recording experience, and I'm hopeful something will come of this. We came up with one new song together, and dusted off an old 'Boys Talk' song; both have potential, and benefit from a fresh voice and some contemporary youthfulness.

New Song
'Under A Spell', started off with me setting out to re-record a song I had; brought into Cubase, I did a bassline, then suddenly I was singing something else over it! Things to say... The 'magic' was happening… an idea… the bass, a melody to play with, some strings… then it turned out I could 'play' a saxophone. The verses evolved, and a middle 8 added. Finally, I brought in some percussion. Within a few weeks (very quick for me), a brand new song was created. A jazzy feel; something a bit different. My tale of inescapable, bewitchment; a bitter-sweet romance told in just over two-minutes.

Video
In my other life I am do community engagement, part of which involved me organising some entertainment for a 'Yarn Bombing Festival' to 'bring the community together'. Whilst not formally on the programme, there was always the possibility that I would do a turn, and amongst the Beatles songs, I do like to at least throw in a couple my own humble efforts… I did a backing track from my recording, and was able to try out the song at this event.

Under A Spell

The video is of the very first performance of the song – needing the lyrics, the words still not fully embedded in my head. It was an awful day weather-wise, blustery… there were hardly any people about, so not much thought about the presentation, just me on stage 'getting up to sing'. My talented nephew, Luke, who earlier had made his singing d├ębut, helping by holding the music stand in the wind. Later embarrassed that he got some ribbing from his mates at school for the dancing when the video was put on Facebook with him tagged (I explained: "You were only getting into the music!" Reassuring him that he would soon be the talk of the playground for his talent at singing.) Not sure what do with myself during the sax solo, I'm doing a bit of 'dad dancing', but what the heck!

One comment I got on the day, which as a songwriter means a lot… (talking about a past relationship) "You said exactly how I feel." That is the magic of music – you capture moments and feelings, and if you get it right, they resonate.

I performed the song again the next day, looking a bit smarter, but the camera batteries failed, so this video without any airs or pretensions will have to do for now.

The audio track is the studio version overdubbed onto the video, in case you are missing the sound of the wind!