Sunday, 11 November 2012

Studio Lock in

Well, having spent since March writing, composing, filming, directing and making, these last few weeks have been more focussed on producing and this weekend I have chained myself and the engineer to the studio for a 48 lock in to get to grips with the films and the soundtracks with narration, linking all the pieces into a whole.

Easier said than done, let me tell ya!
Thing is, in my head, I see things as a whole; I can see the completeness. The difficult thing is translating that. I almost feel as if I could do with a USB on my forehead to download the WHOLE of The Dragon Tree in one go, but instead, I have to marry together all the pieces so that it doesn't look like a patchwork quilt, but flows as one piece.
As a songwriter, traditionally I have recorded individual tracks and put them together as albums but I want to fuse the songs, to give a concept feel; the concept being the West Wales coastline and the story that has grown from it during my journey, using old folk stories, legends and tales, coupled with people's expectations of today and their aspirations for the future.
I have now consulted with over 650 people throughout the writing process and it's important to me that I encapsulate the human element into the piece as a whole, because for me, the coastline is as much about culture as it is about beautiful landscape; we are part of that landscape.

So, why do I want to do a concept piece? Basically, I'm fulfilling a childhood dream of mine. I grew up in the 70's, being born in the 60's, and my favourite times were those spent dancing to Peter and the Wolf in Juniors, or interpeting War of Worlds in Senior School!
Actually, it goes back much further than that.
I remember being about 4 or 5 years old and catching a glimpse of an animated series called The Point. It was about a boy called Oblio who had a round head. He was cast out of his village by all the triangle headed people. He had a dog a called Arrow and I remember recording the track about the dog with my mum from the radio onto our reel to reel tape recorder, as part of the Top 40 run down on a Sunday. It was called :
Me and my Shadow written by Harry Nilson who also wrote the whole story.

Here's The first clip of that film The Point from the 70's. I managed to find it on Youtube and have just realised it's narrated by Ringo Star! This is years before Thomas the Tank! lol! And, the little boys voice is that of Bobby Brady from The Brady Bunch! Well I never!
Anyway, I digress ... So this childhood introduction to concept story and song  is my inspiration.
I also wanted to do a concept piece because I thought it would be a way of me encapsulating everything that I do.
I make films, I write songs, I direct, I sing, I am a musician, I write children's books, I write poetry, I produce, I edit ... I make things! I have quirky out there ideas and make them so ...
I also LOVE to challenge myself and this really has been a personal challenge creatively mostly due to my technical limitations which I will definitely address before the next production ... do you see what I wrote there!
Yes, I almost dare to say it out loud! the next production .. because I am so at one with myself in this process that I can't see me wanting to stop at the end of the funding year!
The view from my Studio Window
PS. Spooky Coincidence?! 
Although written by Harry Nilson, The Point was co-written by Carol Beers ... now then, I don't know about you, but I find that a bit spooky given that my name is Cheryl Beer! (Can hear the theme music to Tales of the Unexpected in my head running right now!)

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