So I’m back from Japan, and living in a flat by myself on the south side of Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland, United Kingdom. I’ve got mountains in the distance (often covered in snow), a cobblestone street (the taxi drivers HATE it), and 3 neighbour cats fighting for ownership of said street in the middle of the night. It’s wonderful.
As I was getting settled into single-life-with-no-flatmates, it occurred to me that there was nothing stopping me from putting out an album. I had songs–10 years’ worth that I hadn’t done much with. I had the equipment and a pretty good knowledge of how to use it. But suddenly I also had multiple rooms all to myself in which to make noise during the day.
“Rain” was the result of those element coming together. I decided purposefully to record only vocals and piano, unlike the more-involved production on my previous album, “The Moment”. If you were to visit one of my Glasgow gigs (and I sincerely hope you do!), this album is pretty much what you would hear, the only difference being that I don’t often perform with an electric piano, which I couldn’t resist using on a few tracks. The minimal production also kept me from adding and changing and reworking and scrapping and starting over until I was exhausted and had nothing to show for it. I worked my away around perfectionism.
As I mentioned above, the songs span about 10 years of songwriting. I have a lot of songs. It was fun to sift through my computer and discover things I’d forgotten I’d written. Each one took me back to a very particular time in my life. Of course, it was equally fun to discover some absolutely awful songs (somehow my songwriting assignments at university were always the worst). Maybe I’ll figure out something to do with those, too, someday.
Well. I guess that’s all I have to say. I hope that you will enjoy listening to this album as much as I enjoyed making it.
I’ve been radio-silent for a couple of months, but now that I’m settled into a new experience, it’s time to update the website.
At the beginning of April, I started a 6-month contract in Japan. I play 6 nights a week at The Bar, on the 5th floor of The Ritz Carlton, Osaka. This is my first long contract since I left P&O Australia cruise ships in June 2016, my first hotel contract, and my first time in Japan.
So I’ve been here for a month now, and at the risk of sounding annoyingly optimistic (something I think we Americans are prone to!), I LOVE it. I arrived in Japan just at the cherry blossoms were in full bloom, which is something I’ve wanted to experience for a long time. And now the weather is becoming warmer and the days are filled with beautiful sunshine. (When you normally reside in Scotland, that’s a big deal.)
I am also really enjoying the sometimes-challenging experience of performing for mostly Japanese audiences. I studied a bit of Japanese language a few years ago, and when I found out I was getting this job I revised as much as I could. But I’m still very grateful that most people undertstand at least a bit of English. My go-to Japanese phrases are “皆様こんばんは” (good evening, everyone) and “ありがとうございます” (thank you) and beyond that I’m still pretty useless. But people have been very friendly and patient with me.
Repertoire has also been a challenge. Different songs are popular here than were in Australia/Scotland, so I have been learning new songs like crazy to compensate. “Honesty” by Billy Joel is a huge hit, apparently, as are “My Heart Will Go On”, “I Will Always Love You”, “Hotel California”, and every 90s Disney ballad.
So my mind has been expanded in many ways. I feel very fortunate to be having this experience, and I owe a big thank-you to Cross Channel Productions for getting me here and looking after me!
This is a video from last night’s performance…if you’re in Osaka, come to The Ritz Carlton and say hi!