2011…a fresh start

I had a massive clear out today. Purge, catharsis, etc. And you know what? It feels great! There’s so much more physical space and I know where everything is.

The next step is to do the same in my ‘digital space’ but that’s another blog!

2010 was varied, 2011 is already looking interesting. My wife and I are planning our homeschooling and events schedule for the year, my eldest will be 10 this year, my youngest will be 1, and there are 5 other birthdays in the house!

There are a number of music releases planned, as well as some new business ideas rattling around in my head… I’m excited!

So until my next post, enjoy a short video quote from Eddie Murphy


A Photocopy of a Photocopy

Ever noticed how poor a photocopy of a photocopy looks?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Simulacrum (plural: -cra), from the Latin simulacrum which means “likeness, similarity”, used to describe a representation of another thing, such as a statue or a painting, especially of a god; by the late 19th century, it had gathered a secondary association of inferiority: an image without the substance or qualities of the original.

It’s a similar thing in music…”that reminds me of…”, “have you heard that new track by Cliche? It sounds just like Blah, Blah, Blah!”

Or in life in general, where we can often try to imitate or emulate those that inspire us, but fall short.

I’ve been listening to some really good ‘old’ music, and some really, really bad ‘new’ music and come to the conclusion that a lot of bad and/or boring stuff comes from trying to copy or keep up with the latest trends.

You can only get a decent copy from the original source,  so you have two options; go back to that source, or create an original yourself.  Better still, ask The Original Source to inspire you to create something unique!

Do you know anyone that can create something out of nothing?  Someone that can speak something and it happens?

I do…

You were born an original.  Don’t die a copy.  ~John Mason

Metamorphosis pt.2


I saw a quote on Twitter recently “Every caterpillar can become a butterfly, but not every one does”

It made me think about my current situation. I have just been made redundant (for the third time. That’s another blog in itself. Ever get the feeling God is trying to tell you something?)
Rather than a sense of panic, I feel a sense of freedom. I feel like I’ve been that caterpillar for too long, eating the leaves of the corporate world, working extra hard to make sure I eat plenty, yet trying to camouflage and make sure I merge into my chosen surroundings, a good little employee.

Yes, by God’s grace I have pretty much been in full-time employment since I left Uni (many, many years ago) but again like the caterpillar, metamorphosis must come.

You know, in that delicate time of preparation nothing is added to the cocoon, everything that it takes to make that massive change is already in there, it just takes a massive internal re-arrangement.

Watch out. A change is coming. I’m emerging from the cocoon and I’m ready to fly, baby!

Anyone wanna join me?

By the way, I wanted to capture a spectacular photo of a butterfly, but they just don’t keep still for long, do they? I’m going to have to visit the London Butterfly House one day 🙂

Metamorphosis pt.1

A butterfly is an example of transformation in God’s time. It takes a while but once it has changed, there’s no going back!

TRANSFORMATION or METAMORPHOSIS – Can life imitate nature?

Metamorphosis is a biological process by which an animal physically develops after birth or hatching, involving a conspicuous and relatively abrupt change in the animal’s body structure through cell growth and differentiation. It is usually (but not always) accompanied by a change of habitat or behaviour.

Hmmm, changes of habitat or behaviour…sounds like what might happen after some kind of renewal, re-birth or crossroads in our life…anyway

The word “metamorphosis” derives from the Greek meta (change) and morphe (form).

So the humble caterpillar. Not much to look at, spends its life eating and avoiding predators, until God says it’s ready to undergo a massive change – a time away from everyone, hidden away from everything else. No-one else to hold your hand, you go through this alone…anybody been there?

During this time the insect is very vulnerable because it cannot run away, and this is why insects try to choose somewhere safe to hide away when they are going through this incredible change.

Look at that. God makes a safe place for us to hide while we are at our most vulnerable, to wait safely under His protection as the changes take place.

But what’s happening during this change? Because from outside it doesn’t look like anything is happening at all!

In the pupa, there is little movement and no feeding as its body is liquified and the materials in the cells are broken down and then completely reorganised.

Oh my. So while it looks like nothing is happening, inside I’m being completely broken down, liquified, and reorganised! I don’t like the sound of that! Lord, is there an easier way for these changes to take place?

Well yes there is, but there comes a time when turning over new leaves just won’t do anymore. Ask anyone who’s ever tried dieting. Is it better to crash diet, or change your lifestyle over the long haul? New Years Resolutions anybody? Or maybe that same struggle with sin that you’ve prayed about hundreds of times already…

I guess sometimes we all need to be broken down and re-built from scratch. Ouch.

The good news is the Master Craftsman who is putting us back together knows exactly what He is doing, so while we are perhaps imagining a mosaic of broken fragments, He has a masterpiece in mind.

Part 2 is coming soon, but feel free to comment below!

Producer Tips #2

Ok, I tweeted this tip earlier…
“If a vocal take is not good enough to be upfront in the mix, it’s not good enough”

I say this because whether you are singing or rapping, there is always some kind of message you want to get across to your audience.

There are a few common mistakes in this area.
– Letting an artist do a weak vocal and hoping you can tune it/edit/mask it with effects

– Making an instrumental so full, there is no room for the vocals

– Placing the vocals too low in the overall mix.

Personally, I’d rather get a good vocal take with lots of feeling, than a pitch perfect one with little emotion. By the way, don’t be afraid to give guidance on how vocal phrases should be approached for the best end result.

Making a beat without a song is ok, but once there are vocals on it, again don’t be afraid (or too proud) to strip stuff out to make room for the vocals.

Lastly, once you’ve got the vocal ready, make 2 or 3 final mixes of your tracks, where the lead, and possibly backing vocals are brought a bit forward in the mix and see which one ‘sits’ best.

There’s a lot more of these tips coming, so feel free to comment here, ask questions or let me know what other tips you’d like to see!

Producer Tips Series

I promised I would update my blog with some producer tips. Not sure how many tips there will be in the series, but here is number one…

Producer Tip #1: Learn another instrument, even if it’s a shaker, and use it to spark ideas, or add to your tracks

[Note, most of my tracks have a shaker in them!!]


Oh My! After about almost 2 yrs on the market, nearly 100 viewings [edit: my wife says it’s about 50!], we have finally exchanged contracts!!

My House

This has been the longest trial of my life! But not just one that affected me. I think it was hardest for my family, and I’d still have to be positive whilst it didn’t feel like we were moving at all. “It’ll all happen in God’s time” was one of my most overused phrases during this time, but most of the time I just didn’t comprehend what his timing was. Either that, or didn’t want to accept that many times throughout scripture He would bring people to the end of themselves, when they can no longer trust in the things they can see, before performing a miracle…

The term “kairos” is used in theology to describe the qualitative form of time. In rhetoric kairos is “a passing instant when an opening appears which must be driven through with force if success is to be achieved.”[2] In the New Testament kairos means “the appointed time in the purpose of God”, the time when God acts (e.g. Mark 1.15, the kairos is fulfilled). It differs from the more usual word for time which is chronos (kronos). [via wikipedia]

Even after accepting the offer, it still seemed to take forever.

But through it all, I’ve learnt a lot about trusting God, and as we go into this new season of our lives, I’m excited for all the other stuff He is going to do on this journey of faith…

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