We've returned to Australia having spent the last 8 months roaming around in New York, so I have put all the songs I recorded and released from my East Harlem apartment on an EP called "deepseabigcitysmallroom" which is available for free download from Bandcamp (hit Buy Now and enter $0 to start free download) or pay what you want for it. Please give it a listen!!
Check out my newest song "The Escape Artist"
I talk a lot about music recording at home in my blog. From using my voice recorder to put ideas down through to microphone technique and Pro tools. Its all scattered amongst my song releases, music downloads and photos here. Recently, I've had conversations with friends more integral to the internal philosphy of DIY music and Home Recording in general...
Can a songwriter be an effective music producer for his own project? Is a self-producer the ultimate music wanker? The internet is drowning in a heaving sea of mediocre music recorded badly and some would say that its killing (or already killed) the music industry.
I think the answer is not a straight forward "yes or no" but more about what your musical and career goals are. If you're aim is to be a huge Top 40 artist then maybe not. Take a look at the music charts, how many in the top 50 are home recordings?? ANY?? At the moment of writing this I can say firmly, no. Sure there may be some examples of this happening, but if your goal is to compete with major labels, with big budget recordings and promotion schedules, then home recording is probably not the path to take. Audio engineers and music producers are highly skilled and while their industry is taking an on-going battering lately, they are still the top of the game.
In many respects, being a DIY music producer is operating outside of the concept of an 'industry'. Creating a sound unique to your own music and vision (that would probably not get traction with record labels anyway). Get that music out there and start building an audience of people who may be jaded by the posturing and predictability of the pop music industry. This is where home recording belongs and where the quirks and limitations associated with lower budgets can become part of the beauty. Of course there's still a learning curve and there's still financial outlay. There are still benefits to working with producers or mix engineers or mastering engineers. But the rules are yours to make up as you go along, your path becomes part of your unique identity as an artist.
Check out my latest song, called "A SONG" here. Download it from Bandcamp for FREE or pay what you want xx
Latest New York photos
Check out my latest song "You Do it to Yourself".
Listen and buy it here on Bandcamp:
And here's a DIY Film Clip, shot by Emma Dean (http://emmadean.com)
Its a behind-the-scenes "making of" the song, giving a look into the recording process in my NYC apartment
I've been working with a great dance producer from Poland called Nitropox. I met him online via CCMixster through sharing the vocal tracks from my songs so that producers could use them, under a non-commercial creative commons license. In this case, Nitropox got in touch with me seeking permission to use the vocal from my song "If I Ever (Crashing Down)" in a track he produced to be released in Poland on Magic Records
For this new (as yet untitled track), he sent me the produced instrumental track, I wrote and recorded the lyrics and melody here in New York on my (as always minimal) home studio and sent the tracks back to him to finish mixing for the track. From what I've heard so far, its sounding great.
I love that I can be an Australian musician recording in New York and working with a producer in Poland to be part of a music genre that I have next to no experience or skill in. And by sharing parts of my own creativity openly to help with other musicians creative endeavours, worthwhile relationships with other musicians at every corner of the planet develop
Latest month of photos from around New York
Where I grew up...
Where I am now...
We went to a "Wholefoods Picnic" in Midtown Manhattan this morning, where the Wholefoods supermarket introduces the organic farmers who supply them and local New Yorkers cue around the block to get free samples of organic hot dogs, stir fried noodles and locally made muffins (though very little actual fresh produce as far as I could see). As I stood casually listening to a parent trying to explain which part of the cow a hot dog comes from, I couldn't help but wonder (Fronz "Bradshaw" Arp) about the dramatic comparisons between where I grew up, on a farm outside a small Australian town of less then 1000 people, to New York city where I'm currently living. Of course, there's the purely physical differences of size; we can go for (vegan and gluten free) hot dogs (to continue a theme) at anytime of the day or night and then stroll around some of the best known landmarks in the world. Great, thats a beautiful thing. However, there aren't many of the millions of occupants of New York City who will ever know the unique experience of growing up and living in a physically isolated place and the outlook on life that can give you, in terms of your place in the world, your relationships with other human beings and your observations on the many and various forces which drive us all along. Not many here will understand it, even though that unique experience is one of the most defining parts of my personal and artistic life.