Tag Archives: Diana Stones CD

Dont Panic

Well OK I shall try not to then. This week has not gone to plan so far as I have had to change a few plans. Having to do that has made me a bit anxious though. Fingers crossed about getting back on track with stuff. but not today I think.  Most things have been done though with slight delays as it turns out. I am not sure how  Omicron is going to affect the planned musical doings I have on the Horizon at present which may through a  spanner in the works post Christmas break.  I did another Covid test which is ambiguous in its result. So I shall do another one tomorrow.     


So anyway here’s  a new tune for you and you, and you too. This one has electric 12 string(open tuned in DADGAD for you  guitar nerds) and Violin and a rhythm I programmed up myself so its a little different at least in that respect. My other recording projects are still on going with Jon Bickley and the Invisible Folk Club too at the time of writing.

In many respects at this time of life I am not in too bad a place considering. I have no lack of anything materially. I am and have been loved though not necessarily always understood. Much of my life described to me at the age of say 25 would have seemed the wildest shores of fantasy. So whilst I do not take great joy at Christmas I am not any less happy than others. I would be happier if I could have a Christmas drink with absent friends, but in some senses I have everything I need. I am a little bit depressed. That often happens to me around Christmas though to be honest, so perhaps it’s not really news. Its perhaps just the usual midwinter effect.

I am though more than a little obsessed with my age. It never occurred to me that I might still be around at 64 with another year about to click around the odometer of life in a few weeks. I suppose we all have thoughts like that of course.  I feel as if maybe I should not be not still be here at times. I feel as though I have done as much as I can and there is nothing new for me in some respects. Maybe its a special sort of crazy reserved just for me that I am experiencing?  Actually its more like some form of dépersonnalisation than the typical depression that I have had in the past. I feel as though I am reading the book rather than having  the lived experience in certain respects. That sounds weird but I think I have nailed it.  I feel very concerned about the future because I just cant imagine what its going to be like?  More of the same or something a  little different. So dare I hope for better after the last two years?  I just feel that there is more likely to be something really awful just around the next bend in the road.  I have a bit of a phobia about starting anything new that might take time as I feel as if that is really tempting fate.  Curiously Covid-19 is not at the top of my list of demons of which there are many and various. All creatures great and small of the unnatural sort beating there ghastly wings and extending their tallons or tentacles to ensnare me.  What am I on….

I suspect if I am not carried off to the never world by demons Christmas will be marginally  tolerable.  Its the best one can hope for.
 So just in case ” Seasons Greetings” and all that to you. 

The last song this month is Golden Ticket

I finished a song a day or so ago. I slightly messed up the final transfer of the mix so I had to redo it. Its  fairly conventional sounding tune for a change. Straightforward one might say in many ways.  As I type this we have gone from a heatwave to conditions more like the beginning of November in the space of a week or so. So I am sulking as I cant go out to play mostly due to the dread C19 virus messing things up bigtime. I dont expect much sympathy as you lot can’t really keep calm and carry on either can you? 

So here is the song first in case you dont want to read all the whinging first.

I am glad we got that bit over first. So back to the whinging then.  Some people are relentlessly upbeat all the time.How do they do it and what are they on?  The walls continue to close in on me I am afraid. I have been trying to open the doors but the wind is blowing them firmly shut again. The damp is making my bones complain again.

I cannot say I have ever felt as isolated and out of touch at anytime in my life so far as I have during the weeks since March 23rd this year when lockdown restrictions were formally introduced in the United Kingdom. Everything is strange and surreal. Even the most mundane activities as we go to the shop masked like cowboys with bandanas as we buy a hand of bananas. The novelty has worn off now though.
Will we ever get back to normal? I am not convinced its going to happen anytime soon. One year, two years, longer perhaps. It’s hard to imagine really. So far we have had restrictions for 159 days.  And we are still here.

if only I still had something to say.

“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

“He that can have patience can have what he will.”
― Benjamin Franklin

“Why is patience so important?”
“Because it makes us pay attention.”
― Paulo Coelho


Busy and ups and downs and around about


It’s been a fairly busy few days, 4 gigs in a row and a bit of website stuff to sort out for the Delta Ladies.  Plus I am working on a  new tune or two and have now managed the basic track for a new song. The lyric is incomplete at present, but I have the main part and  the chorus. It’s a funny thing but although I am quite competent technically I occasionally get a bit of a block and for get whats possible. I try to keep the focus on the musical aspect and not the production part, but you can get blown off course.  The almost limitless options in terms of production on even the most humble demo home studio really does mean its just a matter of your own creativity. You can’t really blame the gear anymore.  I remember saving up my penny’s when the first Teac Portastudio 144 appeared and having great fun with it over the years. It was very simple but gave good results. In those days you had to actually worry about head room and signal to noise big time.  Now all that’s pretty much an irrelevance, just make sure you record to -4db as peak and you are sorted.  I think you had to have more of a sense of adventure then to actually make something special.

The next big deal for me was when I got my Korg W1fd. I had had various keyboards before but this was my first workstation that I could build up complicated arrangements on.  It also had a real time sequencer, so that was a great leap for forward for me.  Before that I had a couple of Korg analogue synths (one was the Monopoly), but I never really got the full potential out of them. I then got a Yamaha Piano and started learning Piano as opposed to keyboard playing.  One thing I regret selling though was a not particularly good fretless bass, I could play it a bit and even used it on a few recordings, but lack of space and funds caused me to get rid of it in the end. It’s fun playing a bass. Maybe I will get another one some time 😉

View from the stage Millfield Theatre

Another regret is that I never did master sight reading music,  but I had been playing by ear for a long time.  I started working on it about ten years ago, but I am still pretty crap at  it. I can do lead sheets fairly well though.

I am dyslexic, and I wonder if the 2 things are related.  Still that’s life I guess and I wonder if I would have been inspired to do the other stuff if I had been playing by the rules.  Its interesting that many iconic songs have been created by people who have inherent musicality but have not had any formal training. Of course the reverse is also true at times.

I sing, but I am never happy with my voice. Not much I can do about that really. But I shall still keep singing.  My musical tastes are very eclectic, so the stuff I create and write is very wide ranging. That keeps it fun though not everything works of course. I first picked up an instrument about 1968 I guess and my first instrument was a Harmonica. I never really got much out of it, then I attempted guitar which was a bit more successful. Then came the violin which was difficult. So difficult that I gave up after 6 months or so. But  about a year later I thought I would  have another try. I got a slightly better instrument, which I still have in my collection and spent about 18 months fighting with it, but this time with more success.
Day jobs of many different flavours and finally a 13 year dabble in IT databases websites and programming whilst being a Civil Servant at  which point various problems caught up with me, and I ended up leaving a stable job and leaping in to the void. I seem to be still here but I can just about keep my head together on good days. At other times I don’t  do that well but I do better than others in my situation.

I very rarely played live until I joined Elephant Shelf  (now defunct)12 years back at the tender age of 48,  But I have done about  1500 gigs, so I have a bit of live experience under my belt now.

Elephant Shelf band, Catford, London UK 02.12.11
So that’s me, the depressive dyslexic and often cripplingly shy  person who strangely finds one’s self performing in front of the public.  Occasionally I even tell jokes on stage, but once the lights go off I am soon back in my shell.

The way the world is now,  is there is a lot to concern me, but I can’t write protest songs with lyrics that anyone can understand. I am not going to save the world with a song, but I might know some folks that can.