Yes, yes, I’m not the greatest at updating my blog. As with many fun things, blogging tends to drop off the end of my to-do list but here I am trying to be a bit better at writing these things to keep you up to date with all the creative things I’m up to at the moment.
The big news is that the last tracks for my upcoming EP have (finally) been laid down. It’s been about 5 years since I first started thinking about arrangements for the project and I can play a few more instruments now than I could when I started recording. It probably would have been completed a bit sooner had I not been struck with an annoyingly persistent cold in October which I didn’t manage to kick for about three months. The next part of the process is mixing, mastering and replication; I’m hoping it’ll be out in time for my solo gig at the Swindon Folksingers Club on 22nd June.
In addition to the EP, I’ve begun a new creative project which will feature not only new songs but also stories written by me. The project is called The Limbo Teahouse; I guess the genre could be considered fantasy/historical so if you’re into that sort of thing then why not check out the free piece up there to get a feel for the setting and then – if you’d like – why not consider becoming one of my patrons. You can find my Patreon page here: https://www.patreon.com/chantellesmith.
I’ve also been taking part in TradSongTues over on Twitter; like FolkloreThursday, TradSongTues encourages followers to share folk songs on a specific theme for the week. I’ve mostly tweeted songs from the Ballads in the Borders and Beyond project but I have recorded a couple of new ones. Here’s ‘Virginia’ which I learned specifically for TradSongTues as I didn’t have any songs about transportation.
Last but not least, I’ll be performing at Hammerman Day 2018 at the Beehive pub in Swindon on the evening of the 8th April. Hammerman Day is a celebration of author, poet and folk song collector Alfred Williams.
Despite the fact it was desperately trying to snow over the weekend, the first signs of Spring are starting to appear in the form of primroses and snowdrops (and the odd, enthusiastic daffodil), and buds on the trees. Winter has, for the most part, felt like a time of preparation (as it should do) but now, with the visible lengthening of the days, it feels like the right time to put those preparations into action.
The end of January saw me leading the Secret Garden wassail in Swindon followed a little over a week later by the launch of Wonderwords, a wordy event which I hope will bring together the various wordsmithing communities in the town to share with and be inspired by each other. Check out my blog post on ‘Creativity in the Community‘ to read a little more about both those events.
Having done a lot of outwardly creative events, I’ve needed to spend some time this month working on my own creativity. To that end, I used up some of my annual leave from my day job and spent a week having a bardic staycation. In addition to working on my harp and guitar playing, I managed to work on the arrangements for the last two tracks that will be going on my EP and I also managed to write the lyrics for five songs which will be appearing in the show that Kevan and I are putting together – the eponymous ‘Bríghid’s Flame‘.
I still have some rehearsal to do before I start the rough recordings for the EP tracks I haven’t done that for yet (so I can check the arrangements sound ok) but it feels good to have made some progress. Hopefully I’ll have some news on that, and the progress on turning my new lyrics into fully fledged songs, next month.
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