Photo: Sandra Brown
Sometimes it is difficult to see the wood for the trees. The last few months have been no exception. Everytime I near the end of an album my mindset goes into overdrive worrying about the 'details'. Making music is the easy part. Mixing it down, adding meta data and mastering to get it ready for manufacture seems to raise my stress levels considerably. Ironic really, when you consider I am making relaxation music and don't get me wrong, the album has some really nice relaxing music in it, but my recent stress has caused me to stop for a minute and review what is happening for me.
I've been travelling all over central and northern NSW for the last few months looking for some beautiful sounds of nature for my next meditation album. What a journey it has been - from the tranquility of the Myall Lakes and Lake Forbes, I have witnessed the transformation of many waterways into raging floodways. The common theme of my journey was water! Water has its own journey and it is a journey of peace, majesty and power. Most of my trip was spent checking weather forecasts and dodging inclement weather wherever possible, but I have collected some amazing sounds and I can see my next album reflecting the journey of water from the hills to the ocean. Many of the sounds are too powerful for a meditation album and I was feeling disappointed. Where would I find those beautiful relaxing sounds that were unadulterated by the sounds of humanity - cars, planes, generators, mowers... Ironically, I found the sounds I was looking for in South Australia, in the little hamlet where I lived as a child, and the final resting place for my parents. As I sat by the tree where we had scattered their ashes, I could feel their presence and was comforted in knowing that they rested to the sounds of a tiny brook with hundreds of birds cheerily serenading nearby! I sat for many hours recording this symphony. Several days later I was hastily leaving South Australia as the State was about to experience one of the worst storm/flood events in decades. Returning home to more rain, I slipped and fell on wet cement, my injuries keeping me still for quite a while. The universe has sent me a very clear message: I must be still and start my new album - and I'm listening :-) I have started editing the sounds to remove clicks, pops, cars and other sundry undesirable sounds and in the process came across this gorgeous footage of Boundary Falls that I filmed on the Waterfall Way, very early in my journey. I've quickly put together some music and just had to share it with you. I hope you enjoy it and remember that although water can be intimidating and dangerous, it is foremostly life giving and a thing of great beauty.
I am experiencing great sales of Songs of the Darling and am pleased to say that sales are mostly for the physical CD. Many people don't realise how little an artist will receive for digital downloads. I know when I have purchased downloads I have felt very pleased with myself for supporting the Artist but it turns out from first hand experience, I can now say that the only entity I am really supporting is the distributor and iTunes is one of the worst offenders. They have everything their way. iTunes has set my CD download at $16.99 for the entire album. Of that I might end up with $6.50 - all for something that is costing iTunes very little - oh yes, and by the way, I had to pay to have the album distributed online. Google on the other hand is only charging $12.99 (no idea why but hey!) The physical album is available online for $15 + P & H. For that, I can rip a copy to my computer and share across all my devices - Apple, Android, Mac, PC - and I get to see all the great album artwork. It is a reflection of the times but in future, where possible I will buy a music from the Artists website at least knowing they will get most of the benefit.
It is a reflection of the times. I was in the Roads and Maritime Service the other day to get a replacement boat rego sticker, and they had one staff member on. I overheard them saying it was because most people go online. Fair enough - online is convenient - but it has put someone out of work. The original sticker arrived in the post 2 weeks after the rego had expired. If I had gone personally to the RMS in the first place I would have received the sticker immediately then gone and put it on the boat. Instead, I went online, lost the sticker when it arrived very overdue then had to go and get a replacement sticker at the storefront, that cost $20! The worst thing though, is that I helped to put someone out of work!
I'm a bit of a tech head and I love technology, nevertheless, I will be thinking twice before I use the automatic checkout or make digitial purchases.
photo: By Marlith (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
I often pop into Dee’s studio to see what she is up to or discuss our latest respective projects. Imagine my delight opening the studio door to a vision of a woman with 1/4” thick glasses, earplugs and a surgical mask. The aliens have nothing on Dee :-). She had just taken delivery of some specially made spectacles to replace her jeweller's loupe, which was proving uncomfortable .The resulting effect is HUGE eyes. Still, it is good to see that my nagging about OH&S hasn’t fallen on deaf ears (although she is pretty deaf with the ear plugs in!)
The latest gourd design is shaping up to be another incredible work of art. Dee has burnt eagles into the wood and then created a filigree design to complement that. It is by no means finished but shaping up to be gourdgeous. I just had to share its progress with you!
Now I know I can be a bit of a nag, but I adore Dee’s tree pendant designs – they are so unique compared to the run-of-the-mill trees usually seen on jewellery, so I am very excited to see Dee has heard my pleas with nearly a dozen designs sketched in her note book, waiting to be cut into sterling silver.
The ongoing battle with the tinny has been resolved with our dear friend John Bond gifting us some 'you beaut' spark plugs that apparently run hotter, which is ideal for old outboard motors. Well, they worked a treat and we have been zipping up and down the Darling with gay abandon ;-)