Well, what a year. New job, lots of mixing, remixing, a few albums for media done and a healthy dose of academia.
My job running the Music curriculum at Confetti is going well. Very big compared to my last position, but a lovely set of staff to manage and some really nice people I share an office with.
Industry Week was a real highlight: a week of industry guests taking over Confetti. It felt like some of the best CPD I’d ever had. The new studios and rehearsal rooms are about done.. and this time next year the whole of the basement will be done… 14 practice rooms, 6 studios and lots of other rooms.
I visited Maida Vale studios earlier this month with some students: really brilliant… the sense of history there is amazing.
Part of my Confetti job is working with TileYard in London : Confetti validate their Masters in Songwriting and Production. Enjoyed visiting a few times : learning loads. Am back in a few weeks. Some lovely staff and students there.
I spoke on a panel at the Brighton Music Conference on production music in April: was terrified, but ended up really enjoying it and holding my own (I hope!)Here’s a picture of me looking like an idiot.
I finished two modules in my Masters degree in songwriting. Its been brilliant getting back into academic writing: a main reason for taking it on. So far, so good: 2 distinctions! Am a couple of weeks from my next module being submitted. Loving it.
Arms has come into its own this year: released 5 new albums, but, importantly, had lots of tracks placed in a couple of new series. More significantly, some new relationships with producers and music supervisors which have already yielded some positive responses for 2019. It’s been nice to see the balance further swing to material NOT written by me, but by over 80 composers on the books. People are responding to the fact we aren’t the shiny material that’s out there. Sticking to my guns is slowly paying off.
Gigs….not enough, but saw Matt Maltese a couple times…was great …his album’s a future classic for sure.
I also saw Father John Misty and Bjork at All Points East ..really great (but very middle class) festival in London in May. Father John was ace. Bjork was magical: it’s been a while since she wrote a chorus, but live she was amazing.
I saw Morrissey for the 16th time back in February. Pretty ropey sound (NEC in Birmingham) but his voice is on form.
Top albums this year:
Father John Misty, ‘God’s favourite Customer’ album was so good….I don’t remember an artist where their first 4 albums are such high quality. Best snare sound ever, too.
Matt Maltese, ‘Bad Comedian’. Great album. Love him and ‘As The World Caves In’ is just gorgeous. Listened to this a hundred times.
The Good The Bad and The Queen. What middle age music fan wouldn’t want Damon’s career? The first albums great and this is a worthy follow up.
Mitski, ‘Be The Cowboy’: Such a consistant piece of work, top to toe. Heartbreaking in places.
Anna Calvi, ‘Hunter’ : Ace production, amazing voice.
Billy Ryder Jones, ‘Yawn’ : Such a gorgeous piece of heartache..so good.
St Vincent, “‘MassEducation’ : Wonderful re-imagining of ‘Mass Seduction
Jon Hopkins, ‘Singularity’ . Wonky and lovely because of it.
BED, ‘BED’: Mini super group, topped off with Baxter Dury’s voice. Some ace stuff on here.
Young Fathers, ‘Cocoa Sugar’. Dark
Low ‘Double Negative’. Dark, distorted and awesome.
Tracey Thorn, ‘Record’. Still one of my favourite vocalists. Some good tunes, too.
Lykke Li, ‘So sad, So Sexy’. The prize for the worst album title of all time perhaps, but that voice carries some lacklustre songs and production. Was hoping for ten ‘Time In A Bottle’s
I did a mix of New Year by Sugababes for the Darling Buds. Then a remix of it for them too. Proud moment, that, as I was a massive fan.
Got another remix in the bag for them, too: hopefully that will see the light of day in 2019.
I mixed the fourth album for One Cure For Man, out in 2019. He’s a one man army with a great work ethic.
Also, finished mixing an album for Kafka Diva, mainly self recorded except the drums: another example of what you can do with a small budget these days.
I did a load of moderation and marking for RSL Awards, too this year. A great learning experience seeing how centres up and down the country do things.
2019 is the year I’ll finish my Masters degree, release some new music for media albums and once my Masters is out of the way in September time I’ll get some more time to focus on the music for media plan in more of a structured way.
Here’s to a healthy 2019