In rekindling this blog, I’ve been going through and cleaning up some recent posts.
I came across this one, Reconnecting with music, and reading it felt like I could have written last month, not 4 years ago!
Well kinda… it’s been a journey since then, but a slow one.
To some extent progress can be measured by the demos that have been posted to a Soundcloud profile I set up a little while back, for a project I dubbed The Forgotten Lights. I just wanted a place where I could post things and get back into experimenting with recording, and also to have some material to point people to, with view to doing some solo shows.
The solo shows never really eventuated, but it has been nice to have a place to put up the demos of songs as they’ve come along, and it’s helped me build my recording chops. So this was a good “first step” in my creative recovery.
Following on from that I had the opportunity to jam a few times with some folks my good friend Kristian Jackson introduced me to: Hayden Chee and Matthew Nelson. It was a tonne of fun (as were the shows we have played for Kristian’s solo material.) We were jamming in Penrith though, and unfortunately the travel time + “adulting” made it difficult to get momentum behind things.
What feels like a “step change” kicked off from the support and active encouragement I’ve received from my partner, Juliette. In so many ways, both big and obvious, as well as small and subtle, she has helped me reconnect with, and built my confidence in, music as an important part of my personal and spiritual journey. One of those ways is as the inspiration for some new (as yet unrecorded) songs, that broke a long-ish drought in my writing…
And then more recently I connected with friends Deb Shaw and Bo Evans. Over beers at first, where we all noted how we were keen to have a safe space, free from expectations, just to play music in a room with others. So we arranged a jam at my house. I came into the sessions expecting to just jam, but found that over the space of the first two times together I had 3 new song ideas bubbling away. We’ve using the working title the “Dearly Beloveds,” and while it’s still early days—with that damn adulting still getting in the way of regular meetups and building momentum—it has been a really important part of me re-finding my voice.
So I’m feeling, 4 years on, that I’m starting to make ground and feeling more free and more creative than I’ve been in a while.
One of the songs that emanated from those early sessions, Bones, has started to take a more tangible shape, and I posted a work-in-progress version last week, in response to the recent Global Climate Strike. The student-led movement is the inspiration for the song lyrically, so it seemed fitting to get it to a point to share after attending the Sep 20 protests.
I was chuffed to have my Fuzu compadre Dominik Malzacher, who’s now living in the UK, contribute some additional guitar to that track. It was a blast to hear his parts added into the mix—I love the way it snakes through and around the other parts, especially in the chorus. Really fired me up to get stuck in and refine the mix some more.
I’ll post a bit more about the process and some of the personal learnings I’ve had pulling that together in the near future. But I’m happy with how it’s shaping up, and am continuing to tweak and refine, to get it to the level of “polish” to call it a “release” (whatever that means nowadays.)
Lyrics are over at the Soundcloud page if you’re interested…