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Showing posts with label dad. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dad. Show all posts

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Music in my blood

Vintage cool Dad

I spent a lot of my childhood sitting around in recording studios, peering at my Dad through the glass separating the sound engineers and producers from the musicians. As my Dad and his band hefted amps and instruments out of vans and into venues, I’d carry big round coils of leads and cables, one over each arm. I had my own pair of earplugs that I’d wear as I sat in the wings at my Dad’s concerts, and a pair of earmuffs to wear over the top because it was still too loud.

vintage rock band photo

My toybox was full of maracas, castanets, tambourines and penny whistles – I had my own tiny tape recorder, and I’d make up songs and pretend radio shows which I’d then record onto cassettes. (which weren’t old-skool at the time, if that gives my age away at all…)

So even though I was never pushed, I think my parents were delighted when it transpired that I could hold a tune, and they were happy to scrape money together to pay for me to learn the violin when I asked for lessons at about seven years of age.

While it turned out that the violin was not for me, my background in music meant that I picked up the piano really quickly, and managed to achieve grade 8 in both classical singing and oboe by the time I left secondary school. I took part in youth orchestras, wind ensembles and choirs as well as writing and performing lots of music with my friends for fun during my teenage years.

Despite not being a Christian, I had a choral scholarship at university and sang with my college chapel choir several times a week. I was so immersed in the world of classical and contemporary music in my formative years that once I reached adulthood and was released into the world like a bewildered baby bird, thrust from the nest of rigorous education, I felt a huge sense of loss.

It was around this time that after a long break from the ‘music scene’, my Dad found his way back into music and started to approach people with whom he’d made music before, as well as new friends he’d met since he moved to France. Inspired by him, I sought out some new musical friends too, and found my incredibly talented friend Robin, with whom I’ve been singing ever since. My Dad and his friends have managed to create an album which I can only really describe as a shape-shifter. To those who haven’t heard his music since the early days of The Perfect Disaster (the band for which he is most known), this new album will seem delicate and understated, in contrast with the gritty rock riffs from ‘back in the day’. For people who are coming to his music for the first time, I imagine the album sounds brooding and eclectic, new and nostalgic all at once. When I listen to the album, I hear the culmination of a thousand melodies, plucked and perfected throughout my childhood; I hear the zip closing on the front of a tent and the soft sound of my Dad singing by the fire outside; I hear the rain beating down on the roof of the deserted and dilapidated mill where my Dad lives now… I can also hear my own voice, since I was lucky enough to sing backing vocals on a lot of the tracks. I am very proud of my Dad for coming back to music and for being brave enough to release another album after so long, and he constantly inspires me to be more creative and make more music myself.

dad and daughter musical duo
Let's just ignore how short my dress is in this photo... I know it probably wasn't completely appropriate for a father-daughter outing, but meh...

So I know it’s probably too early to be thinking about New Year’s resolutions, but next year, I’m going to be making a lot more music. It’s been decided. This year has been The Year of the Flat. Next year is a brand new chance to be more me. Which means more music! Saying it here means that you guys all have to hold me accountable!

If you want to listen to the music I make with my friend Robin, click here, and if you want to listen to my Dad’s new album, a beautiful, moody-folky album (including lots of wailing from me), then click here. It would make my Dad very, very happy indeed.

P.S. Here's a video of my Dad and his old band, in the olden days (the 80s) being very rock'n'roll...


Monday, 28 January 2013

Winter in Brittany

I love the "country lifestyle".

Right now, I live in central London, but when I was growing up in Brighton I always had unlimited access to both the beach and the countryside. I also spent my summers in rural France, exploring everything on my own. I always relish going to stay with my Dad, so here's a little taster of what I got up to on my very relaxing trip to stay with him, this winter.

winter beach walk
winter sunset

festive table setting

winter prawn stew

analogue camera and woolen legs

twilight trees

magic lake brittany
It was the perfect way to convalesce after my operation. I'm on my way back to health, and looking forward to a productive, healthy, and happy new year. This year, I'm getting married, and lots of other exciting things are going to happen too! Keep your eyes peeled, friends!

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Another Long Blog.

Every now and again, I get an urge to write in this blog. Some might say more often than is really socially acceptable, but then nobody reads this blog anyway. Once I realise that, I usually lose my impetus. But never mind.

Today has been Christmas. Even though technically it is Boxing Day as I write this, it has been Christmas today, as far as I am concerned. This Christmas has been a sparse and frugal one. We couldn't afford a tree, or presents, so we had a table cloth with a tree on it, which we hung from one of our bookshelves, and all of our presents were either home made, or from charity shops. Mum made me two pairs of pyjama bottoms, a hot water bottle and cover, and a dressing gown. Andrew got me a book about religion from a charity shop.
I did get a hard drive though, which is REALLLLLY USEFUL! I have a really old computer so, it has absolutely no memory, and I listen to quite a bit of music, which means I need memory space.









Dan got me a couple of books. One by Neil Gaiman, which I have already finished! And also the Alchemist, which is really lovely. Eleanor got me the DVD of a film that I really like called Eagle Vs Shark. It is a film from New Zealand, and it has the guy from Flight of the Conchords in it. (Another comedy which I adore)
That's the cover of the DVD/Poster for the film. I do love it. :) Andrew made me the DVDs of both series of Twin Peaks to take back to Cambridge when I go up.

So, now onto the rest of my holiday... I went to Dan's, and stayed with him and his family. Then Dan and I went to Venice. It was amazing. He took loads of photos. I took some too, but his are better, because he has an amazing camera which lets him take lots of high quality photos. Also, he has a lovely computer and software which allows him to edit them and make them lovely. I am more than a little jealous! :P

We spent hours and hours wandering the little lanes, passages, and bridges of Venice. We drank coffee in numerous little bars, and we did the usual touristy things, like going to St Mark's Basilica, and the Accademia. The hotel was nice, and we had some lovely food of course. I was expecting Dan to be able
to speak some Italian, being half Italian himself... but alas, he was somewhat linguistically challenged. Plus I kept speaking french, which was a bit of a problem.

Then when we returned from lovely Venice, it was my birthday! I am now 19. Crazy... I don't FEEL nineteen, but apparently I was born over nineteen years ago now. So yeah. Weird. I spent my birthday at Dan's, and we made an amazing brownie. The recipe is as follows:

  1. Look in cupboard and find a brick of year-old muscavado sugar, which miraculously weighs exactly 200g.
  2. Add this to 200g of melted butter, and stir a lot. A LOT.
  3. Add the remnants (about half) of a tin
    of golden syrup. You know you have some in your cupboard. Everyone does. Keep stirring.
  4. Melt an entire massive slab of Dairy Milk chocolate in the microwave, or in a bowl on top of hot water. Pour this into the mix. You should now have a bowl of brown, sticky gloop.
  5. Pour 200g of plain flour into the concoction. Do this bit by bit, to avoid having to deal with a massive flour explosion and a really dry bowl of gloopy flour.
  6. Break a couple of eggs in, and keep mixing.
  7. Pour messily into a brownie tin, and bake until you are bored.
  8. Take out the brownie and enjoy its unhealthy wonderment.
So, Dan got me some scarves, a ridiculously cute teddy bear, and a bracelet. And he took me out to eat at a Japanese restaurant in Cambridge. I will talk more about Japanese stuff in a minute. This appears to be turning into rather a mammoth blog.

The day after my birthday (The 22nd of December), Dan and I drove back to Brighton for my birthday meal with all of my Brighton friends. It was really good to see people again. Dan seemed to get on with everyone really well, a
nd Kim said that Dan and I were really cute together. Kat said that we were "unbelievably cute" too actually. I got some really thoughtful and nice presents from my friends, which made me very happy indeed. After the meal, Dan, Patrick, Tilly and I went to the pub for cider.

The week before we went to Venice, Dan and James came to Brighton and visited. That was so much fun! We went to the pier, and we went to the pub for lunch. Then we had a race back to Cambridge in their cars. They made me feel much better because that morning I had received the news that my cat had died. :(

On the 27th of December, I am off up to Dan's again, and he is giving me a lift to Stanstead airport the next day, (The 28th) so that I can g
o to visit my Dad, in France. I am going to miss Dan so much. But on the 27th, I am meeting his grandparents and his cousins and his aunt. I am nervous of the cousins most of all, because they are the same age as me, and I am scared of being judged!

On the 3rd of January, I am going to visit Laura in Luxembourg, and then on the 5th, we are going to Paris with the T.O.D.S plus a couple of others. This means ten days without Dan. The thought seems unbearable. I am tr
ying not to dwell on it.

Here instead is a picture of me and Emma, from the Winter Ball in Cambridge: