Good evening! Well, there ain't much to tell today unfortunately. It seemed that forces were against us, resulting in us getting a grand total of about two hours work done today.
Couldn't be helped, sadly. After getting boxed in at the office and being more than half an hour late getting to the studio in the first place, we unfortunately had to wrap up early due to some unforeseen family stuff... But, we did get two more guitar tracks recorded and managed to even managed to squeeze in a cup of blackcurrant and blueberry tea. The remainder of the afternoon was spent eating toast and watching Futurama...
So, we'll get back to it tomorrow and kick the rest of these guitar parts in the butt. 'Til then, goodnight!
Well, as often is the case, I was worrying over nothing!
I had a great first day in the studio. There was a lot of planning and talking through how we're going to approach each track. You know, I think Stuart might be onto something with this "ground up" approach. Just taking the time to really think about each song and throwing around ideas of what the instrumentation of each one should be was really fun, and definitely time well spent. I think we now have a solid plan for each track - and I do love a plan! (I've also discovered that I love blackcurrant and blueberry tea. With honey. Who'd have known?)
And, I'm delighted to find that Stuart has arranged for a great drummer to come in to put kit on probably five or six out of the ten tracks. I've heard this chap's work a lot in the past and let's just say I'm very excited to have him involved. That's not until next week, though, so there is other work to be done in the meantime.
I'm having to get used to working with a click track, which is melting my brain a little bit. Anyone who has worked with me in the past will know that I find timing somewhat arbitrary - in other words, I'm all over the place! I like to say that my songs need space to breathe... ;) I'm going to need to reign that in if I am going to get my guitar parts down in any kind of shape for the drummer to work with next week. I reckon my main challenge keeping in time today, to be fair, was the sauna-like conditions of the live room... The heat together with the lovely ambient light courtesy of the "ghost from pac-man" lamp (I need one of those for my house...) was almost enough to send me into a trance as I ran through my guitar parts. Nothing like being in the zone! Stuart's keeping me in line, it'll be all good I'm sure. And I'll remember not to wear a jumper tomorrow...
So, I'm really looking forward to day two. I'd be looking forward to it even more if I didn't have to go into my day job beforehand, but needs must, I guess. It's going to be a loooong day - squeezing in a morning's work in the office before getting to the studio for midday. That's when the real work starts! Tomorrow, guitars and guide vocals. I'll let you know how it goes - bring it on!
Have a lovely night x
In a little over 90 minutes, I will be in the studio beginning work on album number two. In an attempt to make sense of the process, I've decided to keep a blog during the recording. I'll aim to share with you the ups and downs (hopefully mainly ups!) as the next two weeks unfold and hopefully come out at the end with something you will be as excited to hear as I am to have you listen to!
This morning, I have cast my mind back to the day I started recording my first album, Never Coming Home... That was October 2007. Yes, 2007. The album eventually came out in June 2011 - a little under four years in the making, me and the band were in and out of the studio, a morning or an afternoon at a time, just slotting in whenever the more important clients of the studio didn't need to use it. I can't blame the studio for that, they were the ones with the money, and I was lucky to even be there... But it did lead to a lot of frustration and a finished product that, although I love it and am very proud of it, didn't reflect a moment in time like I feel an album should. Nor does it accurately reflect what my music sounds like in real life, up there on stage with a mic and a guitar - generally what audiences tend to respond best to.
So this time, I decided to do it differently - book out two weeks in a studio, and just go in and do it as close to live as I could. Sounds simple. The spanner in the works, however, is that I appear to have haemorrhaged all of my fellow musicians. As I've performed pretty much exclusively solo and acoustic since the album was launched in 2011, the guys and girls that I had shared the experience of the first album with, and all of the shows leading up to and around it, found themselves with other things to do. Well done to them for staying motivated and keeping the music going... There were times when I seriously considered quitting for good, so poor was my experience after releasing the album. I felt like I'd poured absolutely everything into this record and due to restricted funds, wasn't in a position to arm myself with decent PR and so it basically sank. I had such high hopes, and my best efforts and meagre budget weren't enough to keep it afloat. So, my head goes down, my motivation to write and perform take a nosedive, and I neglect my pals to the point where they go and find their music elsewhere... I can't blame them for that.
Following early conversations with Stuart, my producer for album number two (who I am sure you will hear more about over the next few days), has suggested a more developmental approach - don't worry about other musicians in the beginning. Come in, start putting the skeletons of the songs down and then build around them, only adding in what the songs really need. We talked about what people say when they hear me play live for the first time, and tried to understand how we could capture that on record - it's always escaped me until now - and we came to the conclusion that it's my voice that people comment on the most, so let's see if we can bring that out as best we can and not swamp it in production and unnecessary instrumentation. Everything should be around bringing out the vocal, and we can call up and bring in musicians as we need them. He made it sound do simple! But in the few weeks since that conversation, I can't help but feel a sense of reticence that I am going in today to start putting down ten new songs that I am really, really excited about completely on my own. I am sad that my friends aren't here to share this with, but I accept that's down to me. But I am also scared I guess that I'm going to stumble at the first hurdle, that we realise straight away that every single song is going to need a full band, for example, and then where will we be?
I guess I will soon find out!
These things are rarely plain sailing, so I suppose this nervousness is only natural. It really does feel like a jump into the unknown and, for someone who likes to be completely in control, it's uncomfortable for me. But, with Stuart's steady hands steering the ship, here's hoping I don't fall overboard before we've even got started!
So, I'd better go and get ready! I will be back tomorrow with the first day's report - wish me luck!!
Love A xxx
I know it's been a while... I've been taking a bit of time over the summer to work on new material and take a bit of a break, but it's time to get back to it!
The first day of recording for album number two is fast approaching. I go into the studio on 28th September - I am excited, but feeling the pressure! About 6 weeks ago or so, together with my producer Stuart McLeod, we did a demo run of the first 8 tracks for the record. I'm really pleased with how it's coming together, but I still need to settle on the last 3 or so tracks... There are songs already in my repertoire which I could put on there, but should I keep it fresh and complete the listing with something new? I have at least 4-5 songs that are in development, so I guess it's time to get the skates on and get them finished - then see if they're pretty enough to get into the party!
Otherwise, there's not a whole lot going on - performing at the Go Rock festival tomorrow, which should be fantastic. It's a small new music festival and all the proceeds go to Teenage Cancer Trust and the Brain Tumour Charity, which is just brilliant. I'm on at 7pm, so it should be jumping! Need to get my set sorted tonight...
Anywho, I think the brain freeze is setting in again, so I will bid you adieu.
Speak again soon!
A little over two weeks on and I finally feel like I have recovered from That Week! It was an absolute delight to perform with Joan Armatrading for four nights. Aside from just loving every second that I was on the stage, I was lucky enouh to meet some lovely people - who knew that Joan's fans would be so welcoming and supportive? I had a flavour of this when I supported her back in October, but nothing could have prepared me for the, well, outpouring of support and praise from the crowds at Edinburgh, Arbroath, Aberdeen and Glasgow, in particular. I've never experienced anything like it before - suffice to say I was feeling the love!
I had planned to blog along the way during the four days on the road. Unfortunately, I was absolutely choked with man-flu and couldn't even bring myself to open my laptop. I'm sure anything I wrote would have been drivel anyway... If it wasn't for my Dad driving me around for the first two days, I doubt I'd have made it to Arbroath or Aberdeen - I'd have been upside down over an embankment somewhere up the A9. I could barely keep my eyes open or form a coherent thought. I managed to muster myself for my performances and just scraped the Glasgow show before I lost my voice completely. It was tough, but thanks to all of the audiences and the support of Joan and her amazing team, I did it and I reckon I rocked their socks, if I do say so myself! Such was the response in Glasgow, I took the liberty of snapping a quick photo of the audience for posterity...
I mentioned that my Dad joined me for the first couple of days. He is retired now and so free to do frivolous things like driving his ditzy daughter around the country to sing in front of strangers. It's funny, I don't think he had ever heard me sing in what he would consider a "proper" venue before. Of course, he's been there loads of times when I have sung in pubs and clubs, but so rarely do I get to take to stages of the calibre of those I got to play on with Joan, this was a real eye-opener.
Even with all the big shows I have played in the past, until now, my parents haven't really seen first hand the reaction I can get from an audience. I doubt my Mum ever will - she admits that she just gets too nervous when I perform. Which is fine, I completely understand - and she is always pleased to know I am doing well and hear about it afterwards. But Dad does like to be in the thick of it and it was a joy to see his wee face light up when he saw the venues, sat through the soundchecks, was able to walk about backstage and be part of the whole operation. Not one to shirk hard work, Dad set about looking after my merch for the first two nights, which was a great help considering I felt like a burst couch. I think I might have to pay him next time!
So now that is over, I need to keep the momentum going and focus on moving forward. I am working on securing some festival performances for the summer - watch this space! I also have shows coming up with Kevin Montgomery and Eleanor McAvoy, details coming soon. All this, and finishing off the last couple of tracks for the new album. Time is marching on, September (and studio time!) will be here before I know it... And I can't wait!
Anyway, that's all for now - look at the time! My Easter Monday is nearly over and not a dish washed... Happy Easter, folks!
Love A x
Well, it's not exactly Jools Holland, but recording for my first proper TV appearance was certainly fun. I was asked on Thursday afternoon if I would be interested in recording for STV Edinburgh's flagship programme The Fountainbridge Show. Of course I would, I replied. So, yesterday afternoon (no, there wasn't a whole lot of notice) I ran the gauntlet of roadworks along the M8 to share four songs with the lovely guys at STV Edinburgh. This is me in the studio...
So, we recorded four songs - The Same Drum, Don't Recognise Me and that new song that doesn't really have a name yet (titled "The Fall" for these purposes), all from the new album, and Jeannie's Song from Never Coming Home. Well, it is coming up on Mothers' Day after all, and that'll tickle my Gran no end to hear her song on the telly. I'm not sure as yet when the recordings will be shown. The likelihood is that they will spread out the recordings and play them across different shows, maybe weeks apart. The first is probably going to be this week ahead of the Edinburgh show with Joan Armatrading on Thursday. They're going to email me when they know it's getting shown, so I'll be sure to let you know when it's coming!
Anywho, time to get some rest I think. It's going to be a busy week - can't wait!
I'll be posting from the road with Joan, come back soon for more ramblings. In the meantime, have a great weekend and speak soon.
How are you all today? Things are very busy here at Spina Towers, just getting everything organised for the gigs with Joan next week, whilst still trying to fit in all the usual boring day to day stuff. It's a bit like spinning plates, but it'll all be worth it!
Just spent the last hour trying to overcome my general lack of tech savvy and trying to get my old web address (www.adriana-music.com - don't click it!) to point at this shiny new one... It's harder than it looks! But, I think I have finally cracked it, so hopefully soon if you enter my old web address you'll be sent straight through here. Phew!
In other developments today, it looks like recording for album number two will start in September this year. VERY excited! I have a whole bunch of new songs, but will keep writing in the run up so I have plenty to choose from. I plan to demo some more of them over the coming weeks, so I might share some sneaky peeks here on the website. So, keep your eyes peeled. I'm delighted to be working again with Mark Fleming who will be wielding the bass once more on the new record. This is fantastic, Mark's a great player and human being in general, and has been a great support to me for years now, so I am really pleased that he will be involved. Just need to find some equally great human beings to fill the rest of the roles before September! The hunt for a drummer and guitarist have begun...
Blimey, is that the time?? I'd better get back to it!
Take care for now!
Isn't this fancy? It has taken me long enough, but I have finally got around to giving my website a bit of an overhaul. I hope you like!
The content is still in progress. There will be a more comprehensive bio, and I will add in reviews and other content as we go along. In the meantime, keep stopping by - I really, really appreciate your support.
Right, back to it! :)