What’s Goin’ On

Wow, can it already be March? It’s hard to believe we’re already in the third month of 2007. Honestly, I’m not sure where the first two of them went.

So, will that work as my excuse for not having written a blog in the last couple of months? Oh well, at least I tried…

Anyway, since I haven’t written in a long time, and don’t actually have anything significant to say at this point in time anyway — unless you happen to ask me a question on some subject I’m passionate about, in which case you might have a hard time getting me to shut up (or stop writing, whichever the case may be) — I thought I’d at least drop a quick note to let you know what’s up. Just in case anyone has actually missed my rambling, or wondered what I’ve been doing…

Rewinding to the end of last year, I’d been so busy for so long trying to finish the Christmas EP (That Time of Year), from the recording to the mixing, and the artwork to the paperwork, then trying to get the word out as best I could in the short time that was available between its “official” release in late November and Christmas, that most everything else just piled up. I did manage to record a quick piano/vocal version of the traditional Christmas carol, “Away in a Manger”, which I finished just before my last blog, but that got right down to the wire with the holiday week.

One of the things I’d postponed was a long overdue upgrade of my studio computer. The one I’d been using was already over five years old, which is ancient in the world of technology, and even moreso in the world of computer-based recording. Figuring out what I needed to buy and getting things ordered consumed pretty much all the time I had between the holidays, and I got my upgrade parts order in just before the end of the year. Needless to say, I spent the first part of the year backing up, deconfiguring, reconfiguring, and, of course, troubleshooting each incidence of intervention by Murphy.

The good news is I’m now happily running on an Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 with 2 GB of memory, 600 GB of total disk space (of course, a lot of that is already used up with large sample libraries and such), and all the rest of the pieces that allow me to record my music and get it out into the world. The even better news is this new system absolutely screams, and that has made the recording and mixing processes much more efficient. I’m hoping this means I’ll be able to get more music out the door more quickly as time goes on. If you heard “That Kiss”, my featured song of last month (if you didn’t, you can still hear a clip from it on the songs page on my main web site if you like), that was the first direct beneficiary of the new system. It had been sitting on my hard disk, partially produced, for a few years, mainly waiting for a block of time in between other things to finish it up. The new system helped keep the block of time it needed a lot smaller than it would have been with the old system, thus making it way more likely to get finished before being interrupted again.

Since then I’ve mainly been remixing some of my recordings, trying to improve the production quality in anticipation of submitting them for possible inclusion in a music library aimed at film, television, and multimedia placements. That process has been going a bit more slowly than I’d have liked, and there have been a few detours (e.g. for getting my tax return together), but hopefully I’ll have an initial submission together soon, then additional ones as time goes on. There’s a long lead-time for getting from the point of submission to getting songs placed and having the results available to the public, but I’m really hoping these efforts will start yielding some results beginning late this year.

In the interim, I’ll be posting some of the results of my remix efforts from time to time. In fact, the new mix of “You Get What You Get” on my MySpace profile page (you can also find a slightly better quality MP3 version of it for download on my SoundClick site is one example. That is still not a final mix at this point, so please do let me know of any feedback you might have.

These remix efforts may also do double duty with helping get some of my recordings ready for a possible album release later in the year, or perhaps for some single song releases from time to time. I’ll be sure to let you know when anything new is available.

What else? Well, I did actually write a new song a few weeks ago with my friend and collaborator, Mike Parker, and I’m very excited about that. A few of you who have contacted me personally have already heard an early draft of that one. Those of you who have heard me play live last month have also heard it — I’m also planning to play it again tomorrow afternoon (Saturday, March 3rd) at The Neighborhood Cup (see the upcoming shows listings on my profile page for more details). Once I get a recording done with the final lyrics, I’ll be posting it here or on my web site. In the meantime, those of you who can’t make it to tomorrow’s show will just have to wait in suspense. Sorry…

Oh yeah, I’ve also, er, “had time” to have a multi-week bout of laryngitis. And, if you got to hear that early recording of the song I alluded to above, or heard me live last month, you, unfortunately, also got to hear that. I think I’m close to getting over that now, though.

So are we caught up now? Okay, a few last things…

First, for all of you Southern California locals, I’ll be among the featured songwriters performing in the Songwriters Live writer’s night at the Gypsy Lounge in Lake Forest on Thursday, March 22nd. This month, the headliner is going to be Steve Dorff (Kenny Rogers’ “Through the Years”, George Strait’s “I Cross My Heart”, Anne Murray’s “I Just Fall in Love Again”). I haven’t heard the full lineup yet, but two other writers I have heard will be there are my friends Anna Marie and Frank Jon Paul.

Second, I know many of my MySpace friends are also songwriters and musicians. Those of you who have your own home studios may be interested to know that I’ve written a number of music production software and hardware reviews, as well as a few other articles, over the past few years. The e-zine I write for is called CakewalkNet, which is aimed primarily at users of Cakewalk’s SONAR recording software, and you can find all my reviews on their web site. My latest article is an interview with Noel Borthwick, Chief Technology Officer at Cakewalk, who talks about Windows Vista, the latest SONAR developments, and more. For anyone who might be interested in quickly finding articles I’ve written, I’ve also added an Articles index page on my main web site.

Last, but not least, since March is the month for St. Patrick’s Day, I thought I’d feature “Portadown Rain” on my profile page this month. “Portadown Rain” is a song I wrote a number of years back with Vic Michener, from Ontario, Canada. This is one of those songs I’m really hoping to re-record in the not-too-distant future, but I hope you’ll enjoy my original demo of the song in the meantime. This is one of my personal favorites, and seems to always be a favorite with my audiences, too. Anyone coming out to Songwriters Live on the 22nd just might get a chance to hear it live, too. (Hint, hint.)

Okay, I think we’re caught up now.