Monday, January 26, 2009

Double Book Launch - Countdown

Today is the day of the double book launch and my once-only performance of Shrek Rap (by Casdok) - I'm intending to update this Blog during the day, so do check back often.

I'm up and, coffee in hand, I've just listened to the three songs for the Shrek Rap one last time on CD and on my iPod. In all honesty I could fiddle around with the mixes for a couple more weeks, but there is no more time, so I've drawn the line in the sand and am about to start pressing the CDs for tonight's launch. In any case all three songs (Shrek Rap, The End Of The World Part I and After All) are very much "live" acoustic recordings, and I'm pressing them all myself - so there is very much a "handmade" feel to this release, which is good. This is very much a unique and limited pressing CD - so get ready to place your orders!

CDs burnt: 10 CDs Printed: 1

I've just had my version of the Little Chef Olympic breakfast - two free range eggs, British bacon, mushrooms, gluten free bread, baked beans (take note Heston!) and, of course, HP Sauce. Oh and a glass of orange juice too. CD burning progressing well. Time to catch up on some emails.

CDs burnt: 20 CDs Printed: 7

Have just worked out that I need to leave here at 4:45pm to get my train. The day suddenly seems really short!! Have loaded the route from the station to the venue into my iPod (fantastic gadget) - so I can't get lost on the way. CD burning halfway through: got to press on!

CDs burnt: 26 CDs Printed: 15

And my guitar is out of it's case. This is important as at some point this afternoon I will need to practice what I'm playing tonight. The guitar was actually tuned to an open D tuning. Not for me you understand, I only play in standard E tuning, but for the poor chap from Low-Fi Lung who was playing on the same bill as me at The Living Room, Islington last night. In one of those sickening moments that haunt all musicians of wooden instruments, his guitar slid off the piano it was leaning against and onto the hardwood floor - snapping the neck in the process. Total nightmare. I loaned him my guitar to finish the set, but it was hardly any compensation: it's a truly horrible thing to break your instrument. Listen and learn kids - put your guitar on a stand, or lay it flat on the floor - don't take risks!!

CDs burnt: 31 CDs Printed: 23

Hi DJ Kirkby! (see Comments below) - that sounds like quite a breakfast although perhaps more brunch at this time of day. A regular royal feast. Yeah, the walk to the station is 30 minutes from here, so hence the early leave. Let's hope the train isn't cancelled, as the next one is an hour later.

CDs burnt: 32 CDs Printed: 26

Coffee and Creme Egg break. I've also submitted the CD track listings to CDDB - so you if you have iTunes or similar loaded then you should get the track names automatically. Nothing more annoying than having to type in the track names yourself, especially as they are only written on the CD itself!

CDs burnt: 39 CDs Printed: 32

Point taken about lunch (see DJ's second comment below) - where has the day gone!? Very nearly there on the CD burning now. Oh, I should say that DJ Kirkby is the author of one of the two books being launched today - worth noting for those occasional Blog visitors. The heater is on in the rehearsal studio, so I'm close to the first run-through of the day.

CDs burnt: 40 CDs Printed: 40

That's it - the first batch of 40 CD Singles are ready to go. Time for a break from computing and have a bash at playing through the tune. See you in half an hour or so. Do leave a comment in the meantime. Even if it is only what you had for lunch.


Why is it, do you think, that I decided to compose the music for the Shrek Rap with my capo on the guitar at the second fret? I'm not actually singing it, so the key the music is in is not really relevant. How very odd. Oh well, too late to change now - have run through the Rap twice, and it's sounding just fine. Resting my voice now, as I wouldn't want to get any throat problems before tonight.


Just chilling out a bit now, starting to get a little nervous. I want to make sure I take everything I need... I usually forget something. Ham salad for lunch.


Just seen the website for Rosie's Vineyard (where the book launch is) - looks very nice indeed. I always enjoy that first cold glass of wine after I play, and this looks like just the place to drink it.


There are a few ritualistic elements to a music performance, and all artists are different. One of my small rituals is that I like to put on my stage clothes to do my last practice, to get into the right persona as it were. So I have changed and got myself into the right frame of mind. My outfit for tonight is the one that uber-stylist Jeffrey Bryant helped me pick out - it certainly make me feel both comfortable and more like an artist. Funny how clothes can do that. Right, last time to practice then it's time to pack.


Okay, that's it for now. I'm all packed. I don't think I've forgotten anything, but we'll see. Heading out in 15 minutes or so to walk to East Croydon and get the train. Just want to get on with it now really. The waiting before you play is really the worst bit of live work, but it's all part of the job. If there is Wi-Fi at the venue then I'll try and update the Blog from my iPod, otherwise, if you want to hear how it went, tune back here tomorrow morning. I should be home by about 1am, and will write up something then.

Wish me luck!

01:11am Tuesday

Back. Home. Safe. Too much to really express here right now, in fact it hasn't really sunk in yet. I met some great bloggers, had a fun (but very brief) time, learnt a little bit more about Autism (there is plenty more to learn) and even had the presence of mind to buy a copy of both books and get them signed by the authors (so unlike me).

Oh and the Shrek Rap went well (so I'm told) - I'm waiting now to see the videos to make my final judgement, but there were no big mistakes. So, phew. I'm so glad and grateful to have been part of a special evening - I only wish I could have stayed longer and talked to more people.

So thank you Denyse, Chris and Jen for your faith and trust to let me get involved in your creations. I look forward to seeing you again and finding more outlets for your writing and the Shrek Rap.

Night night all, see you tomorrow.



D..J. Kirkby said...

I can't believe you have to leave so early! Oh well the earlier the better, we'll be there early too. I've jsut eaten smoked oysters on ryevita with pumpkin seeds. I know, I know, weird...xo

D..J. Kirkby said...

That wasn't breakfast! Breakfast was yogurt and a slice of toast. The oysters were lunch. Going to listen to 'Shrek Rap' again now. I am glad I got to listen to it before the launch as I've gone and bought waterproof mascarasa now.

DJ Kirkby said...

Just listend to SR again and the other 2 songs on the CD. Love them. Feel strong enough to face the meeting at N3S's school now to discuss his behaviour. Well that will be a distraction from worrying about tonight at least...

DJ Kirkby said...

Looking forward to seeing you! I am starting to get texts and emails from people who are staying hotels to let me know they've arrived. I know 2 people who are travelling back tonight who would like to do so with your company on the train. You won't get this before then so I must remember to tell you tonight. Travel safe, see you soon. Oh and we will be buying you that post performance glass of white wine! xo

DJ Kirkby said...

You did a fantastic performance, the whole night was amazing. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Casdok said...

Wasnt it just!
Am so pleased for DJ and Chris - and you for doing such a wonderful performance. And i know i wasnt the only one moved by it.

Thank you :)