What I’m Working On
Long time, no update! It’s because i have been super busy! Have now produced 4 tracks for Susan Muranty with more scheduled in the calendar.
Been sooo busy these last 29 days (last day is tomorrow!) of the 30 day challenge that I created the site for. At the last minute, I decided that I should try and rank my site for the keyword Video Marketing Queen, which sounds a bit wanky but if you visit the site and read the backstory you’ll understand!
Anyway, my results are going well, with page #1 listings in google for 5 out of my 6 keywords. The last one is sitting at #14 so there’s still time for that to bubble up by Friday. Stranger Google things have happened!
This week, I got to write with the amazing Lee Groves. I just googled him trying to find a picture I could put in, and found his website, and I am glad I didn’t go there before our cowrite, cause he’s worked with goldfrapp, gwen stefani, the black eyed peas, depeche mode, marilyn manson, craig david, the dave matthews band, janet jackson, vanessa carlton, shaggy, natasha bedingfield, Spice Girl melanie C, kirsty maccoll, aqualung, bassment jaxx, enya, nsync, iron maiden, garbage, britney spears, madonna….and er, now he can add barbara griffin to that list. Er. Gulp.
Like I said, lucky I didn’t read that list before I went to cowrite cause I might have got nervous or something. As it happened, we were really flowing and I actually took some video footage of the ‘on the coalface’ day in the life of a cowriting session.
what was great for me was to work with ‘the track guy’ instead of usually I’m ‘the track guy’, so it was sort of like a holiday to me, but at the same time a little out of my comfort zone because I had to be the ‘topline guy’ i.e. melody and lyrics.
When I am normally working as a music producer i do all the track stuff, and I am generally working with a vocalist who needs help with their production, but more often than not I defer to the vocalist in terms of lyrics and melody, simply because they have to be able to sing it, and feel it, cause it’s going to be their name on the front of the record in big letters and mine on the back in small letters.
however working with Lee, there was no singer to defer to, I was just writing random hooks and melodies and lyrics to a 4 or 8 bar chord progression or ‘vibe’ – like, 4-8 bars of the instrumental version of a song, awaiting the top line.
my god, it was fun. I said to Lee – I know it was a good day because I felt energised at the end of it like ‘I could go again right now!’. That just means it was a great first day which I knew it would be cause we had a great meeting with Richard Clapton the other week and it was apparent that we were just both full of ideas and it would be worth a shot to spend a day writing. Oh yeah! So our next day is 3rd June, I am hoping my subconscious will come up with some more fantastic lyrics to hook onto my tunes before then so we can finish some or all of the 5 ideas we started.
18 MarchClare O’Meara on violin (as featured in the film Australia) and mandolin, lending that authentic sound to it.
I have really enjoyed working with Susan and we’ve already started track #2. Yay! Clare is coming to play acoustic guitar on track #2 on Friday, can’t wait!
Today I wrote another song for the TV show that needs lotsa music, with the incredible Elia Bel. I am sure they will love this one as much as they have loved the last three I submitted!
23rd Feb, 2010
Another productive week (it’s good for me to have so many productive weeks in a row…specially after signing for another term with Sony/ATV recently!) – I finished two more songs for the Channel 7 new kid’s show in production at the moment. I’m writing them with Louise Perryman. We’re on a roll!
(Actually, originally Louise was coming over to write songs for her – she’s an accomplished jazz kinda singer – but I said, Gawd, I gotta write some songs for this kids show and I’ve been putting it off! Wanna try some just for fun and to break the ice? – and seriously, I must be a born cowriter or something, but it’s just SO much more fun writing with someone else, bouncing ideas around, having fun, and having the feedback.
What usually happens is I might start with either a drum loop at a crackin’ kids tempo, or a piano riff or bass feel or some chords, and then something comes out straight away. While I Edward Scissorhand like mad trying to layer up a quick bed before the arrangement ideas in my head go away, let alone the middle 8 chords or whatever that I just must record before I forget! – Louise is sayin ‘what about this’ and suggesting lyrics or melody ideas.
So by the time I’ve done my thing Louise has worked up a decent lyric and then we just dictaphone it so we don’t forget. And then sometimes, instead of just continuing and finishing the demo by recording vocals and mixing, we just save, close, and start a new song so that way, last time we wrote two songs in the one day instead of one. I am so happy with that ratio!
Then over the next couple of days I record vocals, add harmonies (lots of ‘em!) – and even some extra dialogue thinking ‘what would the characters say or do in between the verses?’ – and even give them some cool things to do in the song. It’s very fun writing for kids, I have to say, because they are innocent and not jaded, and so not like a sort of….grumpy adult audience ready to diss anything as ‘uncool’.
you can be uncool, happy, go, “Whee!” and “Yaaaay!” and “Let’s have some fun!!!” in a kid’s song. Like you could ever do that with adult songs? It’s usually always trying to be ‘edgy’ which usually means angst in there.
No angst in sight writing for littlies. I tell you, it’s refreshing. Like a holiday!
Tiaan’s coming tomorrow, I wonder what we’ll feel like writing? I wonder, a dance kinda thing could be cool.!
17 Feb, 2010
Yay, finished the song ‘The Vicious Cycle’ with Tiaan. I’m VERY excited about this one. It sounds a bit like if Christina Aguilera collaborated with the Fray!
Writing more tunes for Beyond for the Channel 7 show.
Knocked out two today with ‘Geeze’ Louise Perryman (love her!) and loved the very good McLaren Vale wine she bought and gourmet salads, which we got stuck into late afternoon for the last few hours of the session.
11 Feb, 2010
Yay, last week was very productive. Finished ‘See you in the morning’ with Tiaan, and started a new killer ballad with Tiaan called ‘The Vicious Cycle’ – it’s a bit The Fray-ish, but of course with her honey vocals!
Today I met with a new major label artist, the drummer, and her manager re: doing some showcases and gigs for the record release. This is gonna be FUN!!!!!!!!
Tomorrow, writing with the amazing Louise Perryman. Yiaaaaa!
Also over the next month, I’ll be writing songs for a new Channel 7 TV show. 75 episodes in production and they need songs! I wrote for the last two series made by the same Director and Executive Producer, and they’ve asked me to submit, so I need to fit some time in to write some material for them.
Jan 23, 2010
oop. Still got a bit of a backlog goin’ on.
Have three songs to finish.
#1 – The lovely Tiaan Williams is coming over again next week, to finish the cute-as-a-button song we started called ‘See you in the morning’.
#2 Have to also finish the Kate DeAraugo song we started…
and #3 the Michael Peter song I’ve got on the boil. that Pete played guitars on last week….
be a busy week, sorry neighbours…. LOL
Jan 16, 2010
Fabulously pleased with my output of the last week. Finished the recording and mix of Annie Crummer’s new single for NZ, a song called ‘Let it Fly’ that I co-wrote (more about that in my previous update further down the page).
It was SOO AMAZING having Annie C. in da house. She’s singing sooo well, just ‘in the zone’. It’s a real pleasure for me to work with singers of a high calibre. I’ll blog/debrief ‘the making of Let if Fly’ in due course, as i got some excellent video footage and a few pics as well.
This weekend I’m doing a seminar called ‘Create your Year’ (ooh! it’s so good so far!) and next week i will mix off the song i wrote with Kate DeAraugo called … umm… I don’t know what it’s called yet! the chorus goes, ‘I’m gonna take the pain of losing you away, away….’ so, hmm, ‘Away’, I suppose it could be called… tricky one that! I’ll keep you posted!
Still gotta edit up all the guitars on it that I recorded with Pete the other week. And then, there’s the Michael Peter song and the Tiaan song to finish, too.
Having a meeting with the lovely Joe Dadic next week re: writing with an artist. Yay!
Jan 5, 2010
busy at the moment! doing sound mix, post production, and ADR (automatic dialogue replacement), music supervisor/ composer (bit of everything, as required!) – on two short films for Tropfest.
the deadline’s Jan 7th, so I’ll be head down until then.
Guitars were recorded in New York by the legendary session player John Bertsche. Drums were recorded by the amazing Ian Jones AKA KillMeDJ (my former band mate in Alex Lloyd and Amiel, currently drumming for Supergroove).
more soon homies! x x x
PS – latest updates on what I’m working on are to be found here.