Plus, for the first time ever we have a collaboration track on one of our albums – while we have done several collaborations in the past, we felt that ‘Quiet Me’ (a song originally written by songwriter Ken Peschell) really worked with the flow of Meditations Vol. 2. We are thankful to have been able to work with him on this – and if you subscribe via Bandcamp, you can hear the full vocal version as an exclusive bonus track.
Finally, we would love to know what you think – do get in touch by leaving a comment below.
It was last year that I posted about the importance of SUSDAT – Show Up, Sit Down, & Type (or paint, or compose… or whatever). Having a regular rhythm is especially important as an independent… well, anything! I think so many artists, bloggers, musicians would agree – the practice of regularity provides focus, inspires creativity and most importantly becomes a useful tool in developing as a musician, writer or creator.
A few weeks ago, Ben and I decided to take this idea of regularity and turn it into more than just writing or composing – which is normal practice for us. Instead, we set ourselves a challenge to release a live cover version of one song each week on Youtube, which we release every Monday.
There are lots of reasons behind why we chose to do this. The main one being – we want to continually challenge ourselves to develop and improve on what we are doing, and singing live cover songs in one take, in our own style – with no room for mistake-fixes or autotuning(!) – is quite a challenge (for me anyway). So here I am – embracing this challenge fully and in doing so, also feeling quite vulnerable…
Here are our the tracks from the last 3 weeks – all different in genre, style and well… see for yourself…
There you have it!
If you have any suggestions for songs we should cover – let me know by leaving a comment below! I’d love to hear your suggestions. Oh…and if you follow us by subscribing on Youtube – you won’t miss a single #MondayCover!
What a year 2016 has been so far! Since my last post, we moved all of our stuff from our apartment into storage at my in-laws, went travelling for 5 weeks to East and South-East Asia, got the keys to our new apartment and subsequently moved everything in, went on tour in the UK with Salt Of The Sound and now we are in the final renovation stages of our new apartment in Stockholm.
We like to keep ourselves busy – that’s for sure.
I had every intention of writing blog posts for each of the 4 countries we visited in Asia, but internet access was limited in some areas, making this a little tricky – but I do still intend to post some short articles on here about those experiences. Here are a few pictures in the meantime…
Great Wall Of China
Ben’s dislike of the Durian Fruit in Singapore
Sunrise at Borobudur, Java, Indonesia
We’re still in Stockholm – in a slightly bigger place – it means that we have a dedicated studio space so can work more comfortably from home – recording and producing new music. We (well, Ben mostly) even found a way of creating our own, cost-effective and aesthetically-pleasing soundproofing for the home-studio:
I have also been busy re-upholstering our sofa, chairs and dreaming up design ideas for our new home. The renovations have been happening and here are a few of my favourite parts…
Display of fabrics collected from around the world
Now all that is left to happen is our new kitchen and I am hoping that it will be finished by the end of the week(!).
Salt Of The Sound On Tour
We were contacted last year and asked if we would come over and play for an event in Cambridgeshire at the start of July and so we set about organising our first mini-tour. We played 5 events and were hugely encouraged by the response of people who came out to hear our music. Here is a short video of our week on the road…
Technology. What a wonderful thing! Without a doubt, we live in a world is a world of instant gratification.
24 hour helplines. Extended store opening hours. Next day delivery. A world of entertainment, news, opinions, education and inspiration at our fingertips… if you need or want something, there’s a high possibility that you won’t need to wait long to get it.
And this works so well for today’s consumer! So where’s the problem?
Well, as this cycle becomes part of our daily routine, we also come to expect an instant response from others too – from messages to our friends to contacting and posting on social media platforms. Are we becoming wired to expect these immediate responses?
Take a look at this screenshot I took from our Facebook Page:
See a problem? While we might be able to expect large corporations to respond in super-human time, individuals and independent start-ups aren’t quite the same. It seems, Facebook can ‘reward’ me with a badge if I respond quicker to people’s questions and comments. What a great idea…in principle.
When people communicate with you from different time zones all over the world, reality seeps in. You see, in order for us to respond instantaneously would require me to not be present in so many of life’s moments:
During time spent with friends and family, my mind would be elsewhere.
Imagine what a songwriting or recording session would be like if I had to stop at the sound of a notification just so that I could get the ‘responds in under 5 minutes’ badge.
And timezones… What do I do when the other side of the world is awake and active online? Interrupted sleep? Or maybe I should just forego this night time luxury…
Precious evenings that I spend with my husband, when we don’t work, would be compromised and constantly interrupted.
In fact, my life would be more focussed online than everything around me and that isn’t really where I want to be.
Don’t get me wrong – I love to get messages of encouragement and questions from people but Facebook, I don’t think you’ve got it right in this case. It’s not about haste. I’d rather spend time on a more personal reply when I have set aside time to be fully present.
So, if it’s ok with you, I might do things differently.
Rest assured I will look forward to reading comments and to replying but if it’s ok with you world… I might reply later.
Many changes have taken place for us over the last week. Not least, we sold our apartment and bought a new one (well, contracts have been exchanged and the process is underway). We’ll still be living in Stockholm – in a different area of the city called Helenelund. As we work from home 50% of the time, we felt that we needed more space to be able to have a home-studio setup to allow us to work more efficiently and effectively.
The whole thing happened rather quickly, (and might I say in a very un-Swedish fashion). I shall elaborate: The housing market (as I have come to know it) in Sweden nearly always operates on a bidding system – apartment viewings are at very fixed times and following these open-house shopping experiences, potential buyers begin a ‘bidding war’.
With a housing shortage in Stockholm and changes coming into effect regarding mortgages in the summer, it seems that there is more competition than ever when it comes to apartment listings and we have heard so many first hand accounts of people losing out during the bidding process.
So… last Thursday I received a phone call from our estate agent with an offer from a potential buyer who wanted to bypass this whole system (she wasn’t Swedish) and just make a fair offer. After a little negotiation, it seemed that everyone was happy and we accepted her offer – bearing in mind she hadn’t even seen the apartment at this point!
Inspired by our buyer’s forward thinking, now knowing our flat-hunting budget and not wanting to miss out ourselves, we took the same daring step and reached out to the estate agent of an apartment we were keen to make an offer on and asked what price the seller would accept.
Thankfully for us, it all worked out… By Friday afternoon we had viewed the new apartment, signed the contract to sell our home and buy our new one. And by Friday evening we were ready to crash on the sofa!
But it feels good. The new flat will need a little renovation but it will be great to put our own stamp on it.
So… if you need me, you’ll find me browsing colour schemes, upcycling projects and home decor ideas on Pinterest for the next few months.
Oh and our current flat is no longer the ‘tidy show-home apartment’ that we managed to create for the one-client viewing… that only lasted for about half a day!