It has been, I must say, probably the most upside down year that I have ever experienced in my life. That is probably the case for most of us, particularly those either the same age or younger than I. Our parent’s generation, particularly those in the UK and Europe who grew up during wartime and rationing and the Cold War may have experienced things that would not be a million miles removed from what we’re seeing now, but I think it can be safely observed that these are times that are alien to the vast majority of us.
I have, like many other non-professional musicians been somewhat financially fortunate to be able to have had a day job to be able to fall back upon and this has occupied the vast majority of my time over the last twelve months or so. The initial lockdown kept my partner and I apart for three months and this certainly allowed me to concentrate on the remix of the tracks for the AlterZero The Road Less Travelled EP; but beyond that, I have to admit that musically, it has been a very quiet time.
Now we have come to what is being sold as the end of the Lockdowns (time will tell whether it actually is or not, but I’m not going to get into that in this blog), and as I am between professional assignments, I have had some more time to come back to both writing and recording and making some progress on the KOAS tracks. Slowly but surely, the lumbering beast that is the KOAS Monochrome project is getting back on its feet and the writing and recording is inching forward. It is still likely to take some time to finish it because as much as I have some spare time to be able to devote to it, the necessity to earn a living and the machinations that go with that have not allowed me to allocate a block of time to exclusively work on the music. And, given how much the world is changing around us on a daily basis, particularly as it changes in a way that I have to admit that I am not really at all comfortable with, there are other things that I must prioritise. One of which is being able to sustain myself financially and the other is my elderly parents.
I cannot explain why I feel on almost a subliminal level as to why I am being guided and reminded by my spirit guides to look after my mother and stepfather and prioritise them above everything else, but that is the message that I am getting. I am lucky in the sense that they are both alive, both are in reasonably good health and neither have what have become known as co-morbidities. But, because of their age, I cannot lie, I am keeping a very close watch on them at the moment, particularly because of their enforced isolation over the last 12 months and the effects that it has had on them and how they see the world these days. As a result, while I am pushing to make progress on the music, by the same token, when they need me, I must prioritise them, while I am fortunate enough to still have them in my life.
Despite that, I have also found time to write and also to consider another project once the Monochrome EP is done. This work, I anticipate, is going to be a half self-written and half cover version EP; the working title is Mondegreen, which is, as I’m sure you know, something that you think you have heard clearly… but you have not heard quite what you may think you have. “Theres a bathroom on the right“, “the girl with colitis goes by”, and so on and so on. The title I think is appropriate more for the three cover versions that are going to be on the EP, which is not something I have done before. The covers that have been selected are… somewhat unexpected, shall we say. But, all three of them are songs which mean a great deal to me and always have done. This is a chance for me to try and do these songs justice and to reinterpret them in my own way.
And, it is not a great leap to announce as well that if half of the EP is cover versions, then the other half has to be self written or collaboratively written. To that end, so far there are three new songs that have come along, which I will detail further on with their own song notes over the next few days.
The most important thing about the Mondegreen project is whether that is going to be the end of the musical line or not, so far as I’m concerned. As I’m not in the flush of youth any more and the opportunities to collaborate as a writer and producer are also shrinking and not least, the way the changing world is ravaging the music industry and how people consume music these days, I have to consider whether I’m reaching a watershed in what I have to say, in a musical sense at least.
But that is a conversation for another day. As it stands for now, I’m back… and these EP’s will be done. Eventually…