17th – 23rd March 2013

Journal update: My week in music (17–23 March) which included: My first session musician job at Bonafide Studios, attending the production of Pilgrim’s Progress, Hiccups band reunion, & attending a dinner/lecture event about creativity & success at Christ Church, Mayfair.

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Session Musician Job, Bonafide Studio (Sunday 17th March)

On Sunday, I set off with my two ukuleles (concert & soprano) for my first session musician job. I felt a mixture of excitement & nerves. Excitement – as I was really looking forward to the recording session. But also nerves – as I didn’t really know what to expect as I’d never been hired for session work before. I have a lot of recording experience, but previously had only worked on my own songs.

The session was so much fun to do. Music producer Francis Sevier put me at ease immediately and was very calm and encouraging. The song Go and Shine is a very cheerful, bouncy song, and I think we definitely captured the upbeat vibe. I can’t wait to hear the track once it is complete, and I hope I’ll work with Bonafide Studios again. It was a great opportunity & a fantastic experience. 🙂

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Lecture by Simon Ward of the British Fashion Council, Christ Church, Mayfair (Wednesday 20th March)

I had a lot to think about following a fascinating lecture on ‘the success that comes through failure’ at Christ Church in Mayfair. My table was full of artists, musicians and actresses, so I think between us we all had plenty of experiences of failure & knock-backs to share!

Simon Ward, the Chief Operating Officer of the British Fashion Council, discussed some of his personal experiences, and addressed key themes that are relevant to many industries, but particularly creative fields. Also the question of priorities and what really brings contentment was addressed. Fantastic evening, so nice to catch up again with singer-songwriter Rachel Elliot, and actress Kate Steel who invited us to the event. Plus the wine flowed, and the food was amazing, including the most delicious chocolate brownie for pudding!

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Hiccups Reunion, Soho (Thursday 21st March)

It’s nearly 2 years since the Hiccups played their last gig at the Spice of the Life in the West End, but the energy & fun vibe of the band still lives on.  🙂 Clare Brown (guitarist & bassist) now lives in Brighton, so rehearsing regularly is sadly not an option at the moment, but we had a great reunion at Pho, a Vietnamese restaurant in Soho. Where, in addition to much reminiscing, we also discussed some new Hiccup adventures! We hope to perform at some acoustic shows in Brighton this summer. Personally I’m very excited by the prospect of rehearsing on a sunny beach during the day & playing live in the evening!

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hiccups

Pilgrim’s Progress, St James Church, Muswell Hill (Saturday 23rd March)

Lets hope that St James’s production of Pilgrim’s Progress tours throughout London & beyond, as it is utterly fantastic. It would be a real shame if more people did not to get the opportunity to see such a captivating and original interpretation of John Bunyan’s narrative. Everything from the acting, live music, to the lighting and the costumes, etc, is truly impressive.

I took my camera with me with the intention of taking lots of live photos for my photography blog, but I was so enchanted by the drama that I hardly took any images at all! Oops! I enjoyed it so much I’m heading back again this eve to take some decent photographs of the production & I can’t wait. An amazing show, which not only illustrates the depth of talent that can be enjoyed locally, but is also a testament to the way hard work & focus can turn an initial artistic idea into a solid reality that has the power to affect many.

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Please check this link from Thursday 28th March when my photoblog about the Pilgrim’s Progress will be online: http://www.besidetheseeside.blogspot.co.uk/

10th – 16th March 2013

Journal update: My week in music (10–16 March) which included: DJ Lady Kamikaze at the National Portrait Gallery, The Courteeners at Brixton Academy, sound engineering at St James’ and band rehearsal.

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Sound Engineering at St James Church, Muswell Hill (Sunday 3rd March)

This was my final shadowing session at St James’. The next time I sit behind the desk I will be completely responsible for the sound quality/mix. Consequently, I wanted to soak up every piece of knowledge that I could from Christiane this week. I definitely feel that things are sinking in and making more sense (and being mainly responsible for the sound a few weeks ago certainly speed up the process). However, the real test will be in a fortnight. Bring earplugs just in case there’s some screeching feedback! Haha! 😉

Post Viral Fatigue

Well, post viral fatigue made an unwelcome appearance again at the start of the week which unfortunately meant that I had no choice but to cancel some fun musical plans which I’d really been looking forward to. 😦 I had intended to catch up with a previous band mate, bassist Wout, who I’d been in a rock band called Leisurama with a few years ago. Wout now lives in Belgium  but was back in UK for a few days, I was so disappointed to miss out on catching up again. Also, I had to put off playing an open mic, and attending Tricity Vogue’s Ukulele Cabaret because I was poorly. I guess it is just something I will have to accept, but it makes it hard for me to be as reliable as I’d like to be, as a relapse of the condition just knocks me right off my feet. Thankfully I was feeling much more human again by the end of the week.

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Lady Kamikaze DJ Set, National Portrait Gallery (Thursday 14th March)

If you like a range of retro music from the 20s to the 60s then you’ll love Lady Kamikaze’s collection of 78rpm and 45rpm records. Kamikaze provided some vintage glamour with a DJ set at ‘Late at the National Portrait Gallery’ this week, and created the perfect musical accompliment for an evening of art appreciating!

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Band Rehearsal (Friday 15th March)

Guitars, banjo, ukulele, percussion, drinkypoos, pizza, great company and catchy tunes.  Another fun band rehearsal!

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Courteeners, Brixton Academy (Saturday 16th March)

If you regularly read my musical journal then you may remember that I posted a review of the Courteeners fantastic new album ‘Anna’ last month. As much as I enjoy their records, I have to say they are even better live! This was my first Courteeners gig, and I thought they were outstanding. The crowd definitely agreed. Brixton Academy loved them! Thanks Courteeners for a brilliant evening, and also to my housemate Jen who introduced me to the band in the first place!

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Thanks for reading this weeks blog. Please visit next Monday for details of my first ever session musician job at Bonafide Studios!

Ta!

Samantha x

www.soundcloud.com/samantha-edgley

www.facebook.com/samantha.edgley.music

http://www.dj-ladykamikaze.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/thecourteeners

3rd – 9th March 2013

Journal update: My week in music (3–9 March) which included: Preparing for session musician job, rehearsal with band, & songwriting.

Preparing for Session Musician Job – Ukulele

I was really excited to receive confirmation on Sunday 3rd March, that I had been hired to play ukulele for a recording session! 🙂 The song is very upbeat and catchy and the ukulele should really provide the cheerful vibe the client is hoping for.

I’ll be recording the song at Bonafide Studios, and I’ve been in communication with the music producer and studio manager over the past week to finalise the style & approach we will be aiming for during the session. I dedicated a fair amount of time this week to practicing my ukulele parts and I can’t wait to get into the studio and record my first song as a session musician! Watch this space for details of the recording.

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Songwriting

It’s no secret that songwriting is my favourite musical activity. Another week and there are two new tunes! The influence of playing so much ukulele this week has lead me to complete a song Supposed To Do that I started over a year ago on my uke! I also finished composing my song Worried which is fast becoming one of my favourites already! Expect to hear it live soon.

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Rehearsal (Saturday 9th March)

Ed, Enda and I had our first rehearsal for over a month on Saturday. It was earlier than usual (so croissants & strong coffee rather than drinkypoos) and was very productive. We tried out a new arrangement for Place A Bet. Last time we performed it I played mandolin & Ed played guitar, but we tried a new version with me playing ukulele, Enda playing banjo and Ed on percussion. We also ran through The Watchmaker and Far Away and a few covers.

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Personally, I feel music should be a shared experience, which is why I enjoy rehearsing with others so much. When I listen to music, I am sharing the story-telling and artistry of the recording artist that I’m listening to, so there is a relationship there. When I play live (regardless of whether I am performing solo) there is a powerful interaction with the audience, which really affects my performance. And studio work always has a collaborative element to it.

Even songwriting never feels like a lonely pursuit to me, despite the fact that I write totally on my own – because I am always thinking of the people and places that inspire me when I’m composing. Sometimes I hold a specific person in my mind whilst creating a song, so although it is a solitary activity, it never feels like it is. I spent a lot of time rehearsing on my own though, and definitely prefer playing music with others. Next group rehearsal/jam session is Friday evening. I’m looking forward to it already!

Thanks for visiting my blog

Samantha x

www.soundcloud.com/samantha-edgley

www.facebook.com/samantha.edgley.music

24th February – 2nd March 2013

Journal update: My week in music (24 Feb – 2 March) which included: Mixing the sound at St James Church, Performing at the Kings Head Theatre Pub, Songwriting.

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Sound Engineering, St James Church, Muswell Hill (Sunday 24th February)

I had been expecting to shadow the soundman this Sunday, but after Steve & I did the soundcheck together those plans got changed! At the last minute Steve was required to cover the AV/projector duties, and so I ended up manning the mixing desk! Eeeek! Luckily Steve was still near enough for me to consult if need be, but overall I think it actually did me a favour. Being thrown in at the deep end is often the best way to learn anything. I hope it sounded ok to everyone else too!

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Kings Head Theatre Pub, Islington (Monday 25th February)

My friend Rachel & I had such a good time when we played at the Kings Head Theatre Pub a fortnight ago that we decided to return to the open mic again this Monday. I played four songs this week, including a cover of The First Cut is the Deepest. I very rarely play covers as I feel I can express myself more clearly through my own melodies and lyrics. However, performing another artist’s song with conviction and originality is a skill that I’d like develop further. I was really pleased to be joined on stage for two of my songs by Ed. Ed provided percussion for The Watchmaker and Far Away. 

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It was great to see Rachel playing a couple of her songs again. I really hope she starts to play a lot more gigs this year. One of the most memorable moments of the evening was Steve Counsel (who also runs the open mic) playing an amazing harmonica solo which united the bar and had everyone clapping along. It was also great to see singer/guitarist Simon Lawrence, who performs regularly as a jazz singer. He grabbed our attention with some Rodriguez covers before taking to the stage again later in the evening to play some of his own songs.

It was a fun evening – loads of good music, positive vibes and feedback. It created a good balance to some of the negative feelings that had been haunting me a little bit lately. Proof (if it were needed) that there is no better tonic than music. 🙂

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Rachel Elliot

Songwriting

I have another new song. I now have enough tunes for a double album! My new song has the working title of The Good Around You. It’s very folky, bouncy & catchy and I plan to perform it for the first time next week. I usually compose whilst playing guitar, but this was one of the rarer moments where the tune started to take form when I was out and about – so I ended up singing the tune full volume into my dictaphone recorder to ensure I didn’t forget it. I did nearly get run over in the process – the perils of creativity! 😉 I also have the start of another song called Worried, although that song is a long way from completion at this stage.

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Many thanks for checking out this weeks journal. Please pop back next Monday for details of a musical week which should include a gig in Kent, and rehearsing/preparing for my first ever session musician job!

Samantha x

www.soundcloud.com/samantha-edgley

www.facebook.com/samantha.edgley.music

www.st-james.org.uk

http://www.facebook.com/KingsHeadOpenMic

www.facebook.com/simonsings