16. Happy Holidays and Rushing About!
I am in a bit of a fizzy busy state of mind at the moment - there seems to be SO MUCH going on!?!
Things always feel a bit more urgent when it gets dark at 4pm - I forget that every year!!
I spent 20th - 24th November in New York to do with a project that (frustratingly) I cannot talk about until 2020, so I found myself thinking of all the other balls currently in the air!
Here are some of the projects of the last couple of months or so, many ongoing:
Musically, I have been arranging and recording a lot of backing vocals for some brilliant songs by Laz Clements which Tom Toomey, (guitarist with the current line-up of The Zombies), is engineering and producing and weaving an enormous amount of ideas together into a great album called ‘The World Keeps Turning’ which will be released very soon. You will be able to find it by going to:
I have to thank my lovely Chris (White) who records all these vocal sessions that I do for other people. I can be quite ‘unpredictable’ during these sessions, doing a lot of improvisation that sometimes needs painstaking sorting out and tidying up - other times I have clear vocal plans in my head, all ready to go. Thankfully we have worked with each other long enough now to know that it always works out right in the end! We are also trying to finish writing a couple of our own songs that we have been working on for ages!
In October I did a one-off backing vocal session for Jamie White who has updated the lead vocal on an unknown Chris White song - ‘Killing Rose’. This for ‘The Chris White Experience’ CD volume 2 - which is available online and will soon be an ACTUAL physical product!
Visually, apart form my ‘under wraps’ project, I am continuing work on ‘The Chris White Experience’ (The ‘CWE’ project). I wrote about this before in blog 08 - there are four of us working on this massive back-catalogue and getting it out onto the airwaves. It is primarily Matthew and Jamie White’s project. It is demanding and acutely time-sensitive work for all of us.
I realise I am grateful for some visual decisions I made very early on in the CWE process - decisions made out of pure terror to do with the virtually impossible deadlines and knowing that I would be away for big chunks of time because of other projects I am involved with. My naïveté and panic actually really helped the process! Another time I will write about these visual decisions, but in short - the time restrictions forced me to simplify and ‘limit’ my work in a way that will actually unify the whole series. As they say, ‘Necessity is the Mother of Invention’.
Due to unforeseen events, after months of planned out visual content, we suddenly found ourselves minus the digital layout designer with whom we had been designing the 20 page CD booklet for the first ‘CWE’ CD release.
Then, for the whole of September Chris and I were in America - The Zombies were on tour (featuring ‘Odessey and Oracle’) with The Brian Wilson Band!! (What a fantastic experience that was!)
Fortunately for us (especially me!) Matthew - alongside all his other ‘CWE’ audio and organisational work - filled this digital layout design vacuum, quickly gaining knowledge of a number of design programmes and providing us with layout ideas we could print out and decide upon solutions as a team. Whilst doing so, we have simultaneously created a digital template for future booklets – all full of details you never knew!
I am very grateful for his talent in this area as I am, by nature, an ‘analogue’ artist and I recognise in myself an inbuilt resistance to learning visual computer programmes ... I am working on this too! It will be extremely gratifying to see a physical result of all this work. You can already visit the website www.thechriswhiteexperience.com to hear and download the songs. Physical CDs will be ready for the start of 2020 for you to spend all your Christmas money on!
Matt and Jamie’s ideas for the expansion of the whole ‘CWE’ project have blossomed into a multitude of possibilities in the world of music - recording new vocals alongside old recorded tracks, re-introducing scores of musicians, writers, engineers, recording song ideas found on Chris’ old cassettes, working with new artists to re-imagine old material - all sorts of magic is going on!
Seriously - Watch This Space!!
I forgot to say that of course Thanksgiving was coming up whilst I was in New York so the ‘full-on city vibe’ was heightened. Each time I visit though, I like to do something which is pure New York. This time I went to see the iconic Grand Central Station ... oooh! It is a cathedral!
So, as time gets busier towards the annual craziness of Christmas I wish you all a calm oasis ... somewhere in your mind!