A fresh direction for 2023


A snoozy day, punctuated by washing piles of soft furnishings and spraying the entire house with Indorex. Surprise baths for reluctant pooches. Flea and worming tablets doled out a few days early. All just in case…but I had a feeling. Just writing about the thought of it makes my skin prickle. Ugh.

I’m still “off work”. I fell ill mid-November after going to see my first gig since 2019 (Gary Barlow’s one-man show – brilliant), so the end of year go-slow started early, but then, in early December – Covid. First-time Covid. Game over.

Unable to do much, I’m in rest and research mode: reading, writing, watching videos on topics that pique my interest. Today I watched videos about field recording and how to sample your own sounds, and made a list of the music production techniques I want to learn and practise in 2023.

Spurred into action, I bring my Zoom H6 recorder down from the studio for a cleanup. Since I paused my podcast this time last year I’ve rarely used it, and the machine has responded to its neglect by letting some batteries fizz and melt in their compartment. Cheers.

I bought a vat of white vinegar a while back for occasions such as these, but it’s probably in the shed, and it’s raining out, so I look for the next best thing. I waver between cider apple vinegar and white wine vinegar, and go for the latter to avoid staining. It works.

Rest is essential (I read that all the time), and I’m enjoying my cosy sofa duvet nest, but I’m starting to feel restless. I haven’t felt itching-to-get-started for months: overwhelmed, stuck and hopeless are three words that sum up much of my 2022. I’m finally starting to feel excited about making things again.

I think it’s because I’ve managed to stay away from external distractions long enough to hear the quiet voice inside urging me onto new and old topics of interest: field recording, sampling, cardboard art. Sculpting with air drying clay. Creating dioramas in boxes and box frames. Blogging! Twitter hasn’t been a satisfying place to write in YEARS and I still love reading (and writing) blog posts. Consider this one a statement of intent.

I’ve signed up for a Cartoons and Comics evening class in town. I’m thinking about creating sample packs using sounds from my solo albums so far. Instead of reminding myself of all the things I didn’t manage to do in 2022 and dragging them all along with me, I’m starting a fresh new list for 2023.

My break includes my YouTube channel: after successfully uploading videos for 52 weeks in a row I’ve stepped back to ponder my next move. I want everything I do to be part of a coherent world I create – I don’t want a hugely successful YouTube channel about cheese, delicious as that may be. It’s a fun challenge to make videos that fit with what I already make, packaging them with the right thumbnail and title to pique the interest of viewers who might not know me yet, as well as those who do.

A phrase pops into my mind, a fresh direction for the year ahead: “adventures in sound and songwriting”. That sounds like a fun year.

Will you join me? xx

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See you soon xo

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3 comments

  1. 2023 = 20-better-me, amirite?

    Really enjoyed reading this. My own grind comes from very similar days that revolve around paying off debt and daily childcare chores. Running a household is a full time job!

    But the moments of creative insatiably inevitably come from the new, or the indulgent. Adventures in sound and songwriting: now that’s exactly what a new 12 months should portend!

    Can’t wait. Long form FTW.

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