Today marks the official release of WolfSong, my second album. You can buy the album on download or CD from the AD website here. To mark the occasion, here is my second official video, produced by Graham of GB PhotoArt who also compiled Max the Pirate Cat. I hope you enjoy it, and please don’t forget to let me know what you think of WolfSong!
In which Carys remembers how to embed a video
Please enjoy the title track to WolfSong, now available to pre- order on CD and download from the AD music website.
Music ~ Carys
Lyrics ~ Carys, Tony Manning, Liz Oakley, Sue Purchase, Craig Cordiner, Leah Patricia, Juli Calver, Michelle Gibson, Chris Gibson, Kevin Ellis
Carys ~ Vocals and acoustic guitar
David Wright ~ Synths and rhythms
GB PhotoArt ~ Videography
Pictures courtesy of Pixabay.
7:30pm GMT+1 on my facebook page
Hope to see you there…well actually, I won’t see you, but you’ll see me!
Plus, look out for a new video release on my youtube channel tomorrow afternoon.
P.S. You can pre-order Wolfsong here.
It has now been the longest possible month in which I have seen almost nobody. I can count the number of times I’ve been out of the house on my fingers, and still have a few left over. Driving my housemate to the supermarket is now an exciting expedition.
But alongside all this, today I can honestly say that WolfSong is finally finished! It’s fair to say that under normal circumstances we would have finished a couple of weeks ago…BUT! In the past month, I’ve learned to use Omnisphere. I’ve played keyboards on my own songs, which I’ve never attempted before. In the past week I’ve been mixing (with a lot of help!) and I’ve done my own effects. I’ve listened to the tracks so many times that I could sing them backwards in my sleep (though I still lack the muscle memory to play everything without a chord sheet!)
I haven’t been working alone, of course. There’s no way I could have done any of this without David Wright, and of course he’s done all the fine mixing and mastering. Finally this afternoon though, we are satisfied with everything, and now I’m turning my attention to Saturday evening.
The Album Launch!
It’s not going to be what I planned. I won’t have a stage, or an audience unless you count Awesome Housemate. Right now I’m not even sure I’m going to be able to live stream it at all, because my upload speed is roughly the same as a small hamlet beside a seldom-travelled road in Outer Mongolia. I’ve already abandoned Plan A, to stream on youtube, because my 0.8mbps upload speed just isn’t going to cope! Plan B, streaming on my facebook page, is still looking hopeful with the aid of an ethernet cable, lots of luck and offering to reward the router with chocolate if it behaves itself. Oh, and if Awesome Housemate isn’t streaming Netflix at the same time that’ll probably help too..!
So in the meantime, my living room now looks like this. I’m having to carry Little Orange Dog from one place to another so she doesn’t walk into things… But it will be alright on the night, because even of none of the above works I need to tell you about Plan C!
Plan C: I will record songs individually and immediately upload them to my facebook page, so you can watch them as they are performed live for the first time! Obviously, I will mostly be singing tracks from WolfSong, but if anyone has any requests, please let me know on my facebook page…
Oh, alright then. I’ll play Max the Pirate Cat. Just for you.
Until next time,
Did I mention my album artwork? I seem to remember I did…there was a photo of me trying to draw whilst cuddling the dog, I think. Anyway, one of the frustrating parts of not going out is that I feel I’m repeating myself. That, and for some reason I’m struggling to remember what I’ve said and what I’ve just thought…
So I shall refrain from attempting to write anything at all and instead show you a draft of one of the pages of the digital album. This version of Gather In is a remixed version of the track on Gaia Dreaming. In case anyone is wondering, squirrels are much more difficult to draw than pirate cats! Also, some of the text might not be entirely sensible at this stage…
It’s been three weeks since I’ve been out for any reason other than to drive Awesome Housemate to Tesco.
Three weeks of album recording, mixing and mastering without physically being with another human being.
Three weeks of discovering that I really enjoy staying at home most of the time. I’ve had panic attacks, nightmares, and now the realisation that I’ve adapted to this all pretty well. And finding joy in tiny things, something in which I know I’m not alone. A Different Kind Of Normal is our new life now, I guess.
But today was Easter Sunday – Happy Easter, folks – and we’ve done our best to celebrate. I’d got some hot cross buns in the freezer which I defrosted last night, and I made a fruit cake three weeks ago. We each had an Easter egg, though I had to buy Awesome Housemate’s for her by handing her the cash and saying “pick whichever one you’d like”. Mine (the Thorntons one) still looks complete. However, if one were to remove it from the carton they might find that the entire back half of the egg has been mysteriously eaten..!
Technology not being my strong point, I’m working hard on figuring out how to stream my WolfSong album launch. Ideally it’s going to be on youtube and embedded here. To that end I realised that I get more account privileges if I’ve got 100 subscribers. Well, thanks to you wonderful people, I made a plea on facebook 2 nights ago and I’m now over 80 subscribers, so I’m almost there!
In other news,
now that I’ve got the time to do it, I decided that some of my album artwork should actually be…well, artwork. Here you can see me working on that, with a little help. Little Orange Dog-shaped help, to be precise… I should point out that dachshunds are not good art critics. In fact, I had to cuddle her whilst working so she wouldn’t stick her head under my board and try to flip it off my lap!
I hope you’ve all had a good day, however you chose to celebrate this year. Happy Easter.
- The Old Straight Track
- Silver Lady
- Gaia Dreaming
- Child of Green
- Black Dog Rides Tonight
- Gather In
- Freyja’s Embers
- WolfSong (full version)
In which, amazingly, Carys actually talks about music!
It’s a weird experience working on my album at home. While I’ve got the equipment, I haven’t got the mixing or mastering software, nor do I have a second pair of ears on hand to tell me when something sounds ‘off’. Well, technically I have, but Little Orange Dog doesn’t really understand music. Awesome Housemate, being the other half of Celandine, does, but she is convinced she’s going to infect my headphones. With what, I have absolutely no idea because she’s been working from home for the past fortnight. We went to Tesco earlier. That is to say, I drove us to Tesco and she did the shopping, because she’s the one without chronic asthma. She returned triumphant with Cadburys’ Creme Egg cakes! I suspect they were supposed to be for Easter, but we’ve eaten half the box already, Ah well.
Now, back to the music! A bit later than if I’d been working in the studio, today I recorded the final vocals for the final WolfSong track. This is “Calling” and it’s the only song on the album entirely written by other people. A few months ago I heard Bards of the Heath perform it and I couldn’t get it out of my head. At this point I thought my album tracklisting was finalised, but you can guess the rest! So, a big thank you to John Goodluck and Sheila Haskins for letting me record their song. I hope they – and you – are going to like it because I got a bit overexcited recording the vocals… Thirty two tracks of vocals, to be precise!
You may be wondering why I recorded in sections rather than singing the whole song at once.
Here is the reason:
Little Orange Dog doesn’t understand why Mummy keeps putting headphones on, singing loudly, and ignoring her.
So she joins in.
I get about two minutes of singing done each time before she realises she’s being ignored… Just enough for three rounds of a verse or chorus! After that, we get a human-canine chorus and I dissolve into giggles. She clearly thinks she can add something to the album. I keep telling her that it’s WolfSong, not DogSong…
Once I’ve finished recording, I then get to pick out the best takes while an enthusiastic dachshund repeatedly shoves her head into my armpit…
BUT! I have one small section of guitar left to record, and then we’ll just have the mixing left on the final 3 tracks. And then… I will have an album ready for you all!
Tomorrow, I’m going to share the final tracklisting. Watch this space!
Week three begins! How are you coping out there? No, don’t answer that, because I’ve got a useful little quiz so you can check for yourselves. Here goes…
1. What time are you getting up?
a) My usual time
b) About an hour later than my usual time
2. What are you having for breakfast?
a) Inhale a cup of coffee as I rush into the spare room to start work
b) Cereal, toast; maybe a fry-up on Sunday
c) Any combination of the following: cake, last night’s chips, leftover cold curry, half an Easter egg.
3. What have you achieved today?
a) 8 hours of work with half an hour for lunch
b) Some of the housework, a bit of DIY and I cooked dinner.
c) I’m wearing clean pants.
4. Have you had any low points?
a) Waitrose had run out of organic quinoa last week.
b) I hate not seeing my family and friends
c) Two nights ago I stood at my housemate’s bedroom door at 11pm singing Blackadder’s “See the Little Goblin”, complete with improvised dance. Then I cried for no apparent reason.*
5. What’s your sleep schedule like?
a) Disrupted. I seem to be staying up later because I’m reading the news or spending more time on social media.
b) What sleep schedule?
c) Last night I went to bed at 6:30am, shortly after I’d finished breakfast.
Mostly a) You clearly have a handle on this whole situation. Any advice for the rest of us?
Mostly b) This sounds entirely normal. Welcome to the New World.
Mostly c) You’re a musician, aren’t you…
I hope you’ve found this useful.
Until tomorrow…stay safe
*autobiographical? Whatever makes you think that?!
How To Feel Accomplished: The Carys Way
Apparently it is Sunday today. It got to 1pm and I realised I had achieved nothing on today’s List. So I retroactively added the following items:
- Get out of bed
- Wear clothes
- Feed dog
- Switch laptop on
- Let cat out
- Make coffee
- Scroll mindlessly thorough facebook
- Reply to messages friends have left overnight
- Let cat in
- Attempt Harry Potter quiz shared by sister-in-law
- Look at wall
- Remember to administer dog’s eye drops
- Read text message from friend
- Let cat out
- Complete Harry Potter quiz shared by sister-in-law
- Proudly take screenshot
- Message sister-in-law thanking her for quiz opportunity
- Realise haven’t eaten all day
- Let cat in
- Make cheese on toast with worcestershire sauce
- Eat same
- Consider whether colon or semicolon is preferable in blog post title
There! See how much I’ve achieved today, and it’s not even 1:30 yet!