Monday, September 06, 2010


Yarooh!, squealed Billy Bunter, all the time.
I've just Done a Bunter.
There was a fragment of glass on the bathroom floor and it lacerated my foot.
I left a satisfyingly crimson trail behind me as I searched vainly for a plaster; they had all gone and I am sitting with a scrap of loo roll stemming the flow.

Anyway, that wasn't what I meant to say!
I've had a busy day. the afternoon was particularly pleasurable but more about that tomorrow when I have processed it properly.

This morning I checked through the recordings for Take One to make sure they were in the right order, and a funny thing happened.
When I draw, I often have the TV on in the background and the flavour of the TV programme gets embedded in my memory so that every time I look at the picture I feel the atmosphere of the time I drew it.
Exactly the same thing happened when I listened to the recordings- I could almost feel the pressure of the headphones on my ears and see Sean and Martin through the glass in the control room, and beyond them the Ouseburn and the white January sky outside.
The memory was as clear as a bell, and I realised that most times when I make recordings, there are layers and layers of sound, whether backing vocals, a guest guitarist, cellist or sax player, that often get added to the recording on different days and sometimes in different locations.
Each layer has its own memory of the day it was recorded: sometimes I can disentangle them, sometimes I don't bother.
But as a listener to my own music, I 'hear' the whole recording experience.
The music comes along with the memories, and the more layered the music, the more complex the memories.
Because the tracks on Take One are all spontaneously-recorded single performances with no overdubs at all, they sound to me as though I recorded them yesterday and I can even hear the colour of the studio walls and see the music-stand in front of me with the doodles and scribbles decorating the lyrics.
I imagine the seconds before recording and the seconds afterwards, when time stands still, and the world inside your head when you are only conscious of 'now': each sound, each note, joined to the next one in a tension of hope that you aren't going to make a mistake, the song progressing in milliseconds, 'heard' in infinite detail by the recording equipment.
And that rare funny feeling when you know you have got it just right.
And the awful feeling when you know you can't get it just right.
Steeped in sound, your life is measured out just for a few minutes as a song rather than as a human being.

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