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It’s happening fast, now we’ve started, so it is hard to know where to start!

Two days of recording then…

I want to try to get down what I’ve learned as I go along. This funding is to enable me to learn, so, it is important after such an intense couple of days, before any more time goes on, I should try to itemise it in a proper list… ish…

You only need a decent mic for your macbook… is almost true… in fact, I have got a new mic, and a little red box, and these things, hooked up to GarageBand, will give me enough capacity to do what I need to do, in terms of creativity, but when it comes to production for either publication or exhibition, I will need something more.

I know what a midi file is. A midi file stores the music as the raw data, so it can be more easily manipulated, note by note…

The software to do this, is, at the moment, mostly incomprehensible to me, and possibly always will be. At some point I will make the decision whether I need to learn this. At the moment, I am too far away from it to even think about it

I now know the difference between the speakers we have with our home stereo and monitor speakers. Home speakers boost various aspects of the recording, and make it sound fuller, warmer, whatever. Monitor speakers tell it how it is… flat notes and all… every little murmur…


The list above is a list of “things”…. facts…. there will I’m sure be a longer list of learning that is more difficult to itemise in such a way… for instance….

Much of this weekend has been a discovery of my voice. I’m under no illusions that it is a great voice, but I can do the things with it that I want to. And I’m writing to my own range, so that shouldn’t be the problem. This project is about ordinary women’s lives, and I’m an ordinary woman, so it’ll do the job required. I want to get it as good as it can be for the recordings, but I’m not going to be too precious about it. I’m going to try hard and do my best, but not beat myself up about not being Aretha Franklin. At the moment, my aim isn’t true. I oversteer it, which is the best analogy I can come up with… Dan says “stronger!” and I go too strong, “softer!” and I go too soft. Subtlety therefore, is not my middle name! I am hoping that over the length of the project I can become more accurate, know where and how to get it to behave itself. Occasionally this weird squeaky thing happens, and occasionally I sound a bit nasal… which I hate! Part of this process are the practical issues: do I wear my headphones over both ears, or have one “in the room”? How loud do I want the monitor to be? Do I do better sitting or standing? I need to expand my vocabulary to include the technical terms, the technology aspects, and some musical terms too. Waving my arms about or drawing pictures won’t cut it much longer. I also need to learn the bloody words! I wrote them for goodness sake, so why don’t they stay in my head?

Today, in addition to listening back to the work we have done, I am attempting to learn the words for a song I’m thinking of singing unaccompanied. It is the first session of the Songwriting Circle tonight, and I’d like to be able to do it without my security blanket lyric sheet (Bo Jones would be proud!)


My hair is a mess, she’s said it before
It’s like a bird’s nest by the end of the fall
It always needs combing but that makes it worse
I’m not a winner, I’ll never come first.

But I’ll not get drunk, and lose my composure
Because I never had any to start

The mascara will be down my cheeks by ten
I’m not coming out with her again
I always feel lesser, never the star
I’ll sit in the corner, adjusting my bra

I’m not well groomed
I can’t hold the pose
My make-up’s not smooth
and nor are my clothes

But I’ll not get drunk, and lose my composure
Because I never had any to start
I’ll not get drunk, and lose my composure
Because I never had any to start