The body clock thing is completely confused. Circadian rhythms have become a cacophony to be likened to that outside Farmfoods on a Saturday afternoon.
The rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle has its ups, but this is most definitely a down for a woman of a certain age.
I have to admit, the spaced out feeling has been exacerbated this weekend by my husband and son going to Wembley, then having to get my son back to Liverpool airport at 6am, with the M6 closed for a big chunk. He had to get back to the Isle of Man for his teaching practice. So today I got up twice.
But having working days that sometimes go from 2-10, or 6-12 in the evening, and then maybe 9-5 just to throw a normal spanner in the works, plays havoc with my already wonky sleep patterns, and trying to get a balanced diet.
I try to have a bowl of fruit in the studio, and a pot of instant porridge, but when you’re cold and hungry and there’s a man in a van doing bacon and sausage…. It’s tempting. I try not to give in too often.
So that’s the bad bit… The good bit is this…
I don’t have a clock in my studio, and I usually pop my phone in my coat pocket while we are working. To be free from time is liberating. To not have a bell ring after 20 odd years in education, to not have a family to cook for, to have a retired husband that’s willing to go with the flow is great. I have 100% focus on the job in hand, at least while I’m doing it, and a lot of the time when I’m not!
I have a sense of euphoria after yesterday (although it may be sleep depravation).
We finished off “Reputation”. This was the last song of the 12 we will work on, that I have a demo/sketch for. It is constructed entirely from my vocals… Patched… Pieced…. Overlaid… Manipulated… Altered…. It’s taken us hours to do, but I think it sounds great. I’m doing that thing where every song we finish, as I finish it, is my favourite.
So we sit back, listen, save it and back it up to various devices, and put it away for a few days. Once you do this, then listen afresh, it is easier to be objective about any changes that might be needed.
Cup of tea, trip to the weirdest pub for lunch…(“it’s not bad, it’s just……..WEIRD”) then back to the studio to look at what’s left of the 12 songs: “Delicate”, “Someone”, and “Cautious”.
“Someone” is just about ten lines, and I have a bit of melody in my head for the first two of them. “Delicate” is more like a piece of prose. I hear no obvious rhythms when I read it aloud. I have embroidered all these words onto a bra, so I don’t feel they all need to be sung, in this way, or even in a way that they are discernible. I wonder about it being spoken rather than sung.
“Cautious” is five, four-line verses, standard formation you might say. But no melody ideas. We put that on one side for a while.
Starting with “Someone”, I sing the bit of melody, Dan noodles about a bit on his guitar, and in no time we have a decent thing going for verse. A couple of the lines turned into a chorus. To me this is magic. When I got home, and listened again, I remembered what had inspired the song, and I shed a little tear or two. Overtired and overwrought perhaps. This song is my favourite!
“Delicate” is about my son, born a few weeks prematurely. Dan said he had a few delicate riffs we could try… I have to say, he is a generous and caring, supportive and encouraging collaborator. He played, allowing me to explore my words, humming, singing, adjusting words as I go… When it seems I’ve found something that fits, he plays it repeatedly, and I sing it over and over till I’m sure, then he hits the record button just to capture the thought before it evaporates, then move on to the next section. This one’s my favourite!
I’m never quite sure how it has happened afterwards… He played an enormous part in the creation of these songs, he guided and suggested, but while it was happening, I felt it was all about my ideas… That has to be a true gift doesn’t it?