I want apologise for not writing of late. When I returned to Edinburgh at Christmas,
much of my time was spent preparing to move over permanently to the USA in early
So, here I am and
I’m now delighted to tell you all that’s been going on and what is about
to take place.
The New Album
We have recorded eight songs for the new album ‘Book,
Cover, Judge’, two songs are in production and one is near completion ‘pre-production’.
There is a special song for the last song on the album. ‘Simply That’
is the kind of song that needs to be recorded in one take. Once all the other songs
are polished and completed in the studio, we’ll record the song, and possibly
film the session. This will be a challenge, but a good one, so I’m really
looking forward to it.
For the next few weeks we’re taking a break from recording
the album. The reason for this is that Markus Innocenti of Red Dog Logic, is flying in from
Los Angeles to film two music videos in and around Stamford, CT. I’ll cover
these exciting new projects a little later in the newsletter.
Nevertheless, I will
be in the studio to record a special unplugged set of recordings. ‘You and
Me Both’ is taken from the forthcoming album. I don’t ordinarily
sing cover songs, but Nina Simone’s ‘Feeling Good’ is a singer’s
dream and I have enjoyed making it my own. What is even more exciting is that Markus
will film the recording session. As some of you may know, Markus has worked on the
last five videos from the Far From Entirely album and I’m excited to have
him come to the East Coast and enjoy the fares that Connecticut and its denizens
The Videos – Far From Entirely
Speaking of videos,
next week sees the penultimate release of five videos we filmed for the Far From
Entirely album. ‘The Piano Plays a Melody’ was shot on location in Edinburgh’s
Voodoo Rooms and features Harry Whalley on piano. Please
look regularly on Facebook this week if you
want a free mobile version of the video, before the HD version goes up on You Tube.
Videos – Book Cover Judge
I mentioned Markus coming over from Los Angeles. Now I can
tell you why. We’ll be filming a music video for ‘Head Down’.
This is one of my rockiest songs on the next album. Markus and I have had lengthy
discussions about the style of the song, the interpretation of the lyrics and where
we envisage the filming to take place. He and I will be scouting Stamford on the
weekend to finish up deciding on locations. There are some great places!
Seattle Mornin’ (The Painter)
The second video is
the most challenging and exciting concept, one that has never been done before
in this manner.
I wrote a song called
‘Seattle Mornin’ (The Painter) in a Seattle hotel room last April. The
song has many thematic layers, the main one dealing with Picasso’s style and
how it became more abstract over time. When I completed the song in the recording
studio, I hoped to find a cubist painter who could represent the song pictorially.
Although a distinctive idea, creative mediums – photographers, singers, artists,
sculptures etc. - have often collaborated over the decades. After all, it’s
what artists do.
However, what makes this different is that I wanted to
film the artist in session, the artist actually painting about the song. These
sessions would then form the basis of the music video. As the song unveiled, so
too would the painting.
Finally, certain lyrics would be etched onto the canvas,
thus truly weaving together both compositions. In short, Picasso’s painting
style inspired me to write the song; the song inspired the painting, and both the
painting and the song inspired the video. Pretty damn interesting in my mind.
After seven months of searching in Europe, Indonesia and America, I
found the painter who could represent my vision. His name is Paul Larson and is home-grown
Connecticut. Paul is a wonderful cubist painter and is currently exhibiting his
work at the Loft Arts Gallery in
his exhibition entitled 'Another View'. It truly is an exhibition worth.
Markus will be filming Paul in session each day. I’ll
post photographs on Facebook and Twitter of our adventures and hope you enjoy the
progress as it unfolds.
Tavern, Stamford, CT
If that is not enough, I am playing a 45-minute live set at
the Seaside Tavern, Stamford, CT on 20th February at 9pm.
Markus will film the
show but we’ll also attempt to Ustream the performance at www.ustream.tv/channel/theleens. If you can’t
catch the live performance, the footage will remain up there for a while longer.
Thanks for reading
this newsletter and write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any suggestions
or ideas. Or just to say ‘hi’ would be nice.
I think that’s a wrap!