OK, so the answer to the question of whether I work on Sunday was “yes, kinda”.
There’s a reason for the sabbath. At a practical level it’s about unwinding and connecting with people we care about. Today was my son’s birthday and I’m glad I had a good long chat with him.
But I did pull a card and it was “Music” and so I was thinking about it most of the day even if I didn’t make anything that I can share here. Obviously this can’t be about me making a totally finished product every day and it won’t even be something small and unpolished. Today’s one of those days. I didn’t make anything new that I’m willing to share, but I am willing to share what I went through.
Firstly I wrote something to my friend Steve Lawson. He’d posted something about people who sing and accompany themselves needing to put effort into both the singing and the instrument they play rather than just letting one carry the other.
This is how I feel about my music. I’ve put hours into both singing and ukulele playing, but ultimately I see myself as a singer who accompanies himself rather than a ukulele player who sings (and the latter is how I think I’m mostly perceived).
I subscribed to Steve’s music on bandcamp last year and that got me his whole back catalogue and regular new music that he makes that he doesn’t release more widely. Steve’s stuff is very experimental – he plays solo bass and pushes in all sorts of directions what playing solo bass might mean.
Anyway, I said:
“I feel at the moment like I’m on the edge of something new. I’m getting a lot from listening to your subscription releases and thinking about how to make new music. And it’s something about using my voice as an instrument for experimentation in the same way you use your bass, rather than only trying to refine the voice and uke. I still work on making my strumming and fills more interesting, but I also need to do something that stretches the dominant instrument without being held back by my lack of technique in the accompaniment… I think.”
I’m not sure what this means. I’m not going to be suddenly making free jazz dooby-dooby biddly-bop experimental electronica stuff, but I am experimenting with what is possible, both in terms of recording and performance. And I made a start on that today – my time included playing uke and banjo, singing solo and singing with uke and recording bits of all of them, exploring some ideas – it’s sketchbook stuff, which is an important building block, I now have a bit more of an idea of what I’m aiming for and a process for getting there.