It’s been another fun packed week – three care home performances, the fifth meeting of our songwriting group (SWAP-NE) and the arrival of our friends Steve and Kristi Nebel from the USA who will be staying with us through much of March while guesting at local clubs.
But that’s only half of the story – Val has been doing a series of poster designs and Jimmy has been beavering away at the multitude of video and audio projects that we’re involved in.
Full Steam Ahead – woo woo !!
Maurice came around and spent a day going through the latest mixes and, with a few tweaks here and there, we now have what we think will be the final versions. All that remains now is for Maurice to sign off the project and we’ll produce the master CD for him to send off to his preferred replication company… once he’s back from holiday, hopefully he’ll find time to repeatedly listen in great depth to the CD before giving us the green light.
Then it’s down to the next audio project or two (including some work on our own tracks as well), and some preparatory early video editing for proof of concept for a major project commission. Exciting times ahead.
And, of course, it’s going to be a very busy month with 14 care home performances, and folk clubs to visit too.
Life is indeed busy, and stretching, and draining – but, most of all, life is good…
Jimmy & Val (jiva)
“Why do we never get an answer
When we’re knocking at the door?”
And why the question? And why now? You may well ask…
As songwriters and performers we – like many others – face the somewhat difficult task of balancing the writing, learning, performing and recording with the dreaded ‘P’ word… publicity. Even if you’re the best thing since sliced bread the world will not necessarily beat a path to your door. If you have, or are building, a good reputation for your songwriting and performing, it certainly won’t guarantee you fame or fortune or even a gig at at the ‘Slug and Ferret’.
Like many of our contemporaries we’ve been down the track of jumping on board the latest ‘next best thing’ for online networking and promotion. Does it work? Is there a good return on the amount of time and effort put into such activities. Here’s a list of some such sites we’ve looked at – some we’ve tried, some we still actively use, and others… well, let’s just say that they didn’t really do it. To head off any hint of relative importance we’ll make the list alphabetical:
Each of these sites requires setting up a profile, managing music and videos and photos, making ‘friends’, liking things, commenting, adding events, posting status updates, etc, etc, etc, yawn, yawn… and to what end? Another good question – and no, we don’t have the answer. We’ve been burning the midnight oil with many projects of late (Blue Room recordings, DVD project with associated video shoots, audio and video mixing, publicity material design, etc), and have been researching all manner of shiny new tech toys – but we still found time to squeeze in some in-depth examination of the whole online thing.
We decided that sometime soon we ought to screen out the scattergun approach (it’s counter productive and saps too much time and energy), we should focus more and zoom in on what’s important… and that’s what we plan on doing. Watch this space (not MySpace or some-other-next-best-thing space) for developments – hopefully it will pan out well, a lot of what went before will end up on the cutting room floor.
Are we ‘On The The Threshold Of A Dream’ or still ‘In Search Of The Lost Chord’ ???
Jimmy & Val (jiva)
This is becoming a habit – and we must apologise to avid followers whose Sunday would not be complete without the jivacoustic jiva blog… but it’s been another one of those crazy weeks where time has raced by while we furiously try to keep up with what we’re doing, what we’re supposed to be doing, what we’ve been asked to do, and what emergencies people trust to us to fix at a moment’s notice. Not that we’re complaining, far from it.
We’ve been performing in Gateshead, Durham and Hexham. We took a drive up to the Scottish Borders so digital Jimmy could work his magic on a broken PC (yes, it all works fine now), and spent some amazing musical time working on ‘Road Song’ (a song which was written in 2012, but which has sat gathering dust until recently, and is rapidly becoming a favourite song and a definite candidate for performance repertoire and recording). We had a very long day on Saturday, setting off at 2 pm for Upper Poppleton (near York) to see Anthony John Clarke at Poppleton Live – this was our first visit to this venue, run by John Watterson aka Fake Thackray… the place was packed and it was a grand night. We finally arrived home in the early hours and flopped into bed at around 5 am. Sunday morning brought more telephone troubleshooting of PC, two smartphones and two tablets (and yes, that all seems to be sorted now too).
Just when we were about to get to grips with the blog, some good friends arrived for a very welcome visit and we had an exceptionally enjoyable and creative couple of days absolutely brimming over with music… concentrating exclusively on jiva material. It was an incredible way to experience our songs with a different slant and a new way of working for us… totally inspirational and liberating. We’re looking forward to carrying on the good work and making the most of every available opportunity to let the music in and get the ideas flowing.
Now it’s head down again on the projects front with more mixing and mastering in the schedule, video editing is underway for a DVD project (there’s lot’s of stuff to look forward to there), Maurice will be spending time with us finalising the mix for his forthcoming CD we’ve been recording for him – and, of course, there are plenty of jiva gigs scheduled for the very near future (is it possible to have plenty of gigs, or do we all want more?).
So, you see, this is the first opportunity we’ve had to tap-tap (or, in Jimmy’s case, two-fingered crash-bang-wallop) on the keyboard. Tired? More like Exhausted… but, sometimes, you just have to go with the flow – and our experience is that the results are almost guaranteed to be very well worth it.
Tyred & Exhausted
but blissfully happy…
Jimmy & Val (jiva)
Talk about hectic – this is the first opportunity to stop for breath… we’ve played out every day, twice on some days… we’ve done some PC and laptop surgery and virus removal for friends (one by phone and one driving through blinding snow to get there)… we’ve been mixing tracks recorded in our Blue Room by friends… we’ve added a middle 8 and re-recorded and mixed our newest song… we’ve been working on a different approach to our next jiva recording venture – it’s really exciting stuff, but we can’t say too much yet… we’ve been deep in poster and leaflet design… we’re at the planning stage for a video shoot for a DVD project… and we’ve been burning the midnight (and 1 a.m. and sometimes 2 a.m.) oil on reviewing lyrics and recordings from the jiva back catalogue… and extra gig offers have been finding their way to our door (well, to our phone really).
So that’s all we have time for… must get back to burning even more midnight oil. Life is busy – very very busy…
And good? You bet!
Jimmy & Val (jiva)