My goodness!! It has been a long time between drinks, or blogs...However this is not because I have been idle. Quite the opposite.
I'll fill you in on a quick nutshell of the last few months....
Importantly I want to invite you to my new workshop - which is all about the recording studio. More about that in a second...
I had the great pleasure and honour of recording some music recently with the renowned guitarist Jim Kelly at "Tone Ranger Studio" on the North Coast of N.S.W. One of Australia's best musicians. "Guitar royalty" is how some refer to him.
We have recorded some jazz standards and some originals and we are having a ball in the process. Creativity is flowing and Jim has even said some of the "best work of his life" is on this album!
There's more work to do - yet it's coming together beautifully.
I always teach about honouring and respecting people we work with. So I would love to give credit to those who have worked on the project so far. Here's the line up.
Jim Kelly - Guitar/ Captain of the Ship
Scott Hills - Drums
Dave Tweedie - Bass
Wil Sargisson - Piano/Organ/Keys
Martha Baartz - Saxophone
Vanessa Baker - Featured Vocalist
A dazzling array of talent right there. I am very blessed to be in this position.
Jules Kelly also ensured that food and drink were never lacking. Great music, great food, great times were had. I think we were all barefoot the whole time. Relaxed. Summer. Yes.
The vocals are the next step and I'll be keeping you posted on how that develops.
The project with Jim was a springboard for my application to Sydney University - The Conservatorium of Music - for a Masters of Music (Performance) Research Award. This award is worth $40,000. After submitting a research proposal, performing a live audition and then attending an interview, I was successful! So the entire degree is funded. This was wonderful news for me and I'm now working closely with Kerrie Biddell, the top jazz singer (she sings a lot of other genres too). I have known and admired Kerrie for many years. It is so amazing. A real dream come true.
Also a journey of much stretching - yet in a mighty good way.
I'm also loving the time I have with Chantel Hampton from Signature Music Design - an American based record label. Chantel produced my vocals for a track over Skype from Rhode Island, USA while I was here in the studio in Sydney. I can't wait till you hear that song. It's a cracker. Our stance against human trafficking is resolute and all the music we create is dedicated to the goal of eliminating this scourge on the earth. It is my supreme joy to work with such incredible people at SMD.
As for workshops - I've just launched an exciting new workshop called INTRODUCTION TO THE RECORDING STUDIO! Hopefully you've read this far and you're staying with me here because this one is just awesome.
The first three recording workshops sold out immediately after "Sing From Your Soul" workshop last year with Doug Williams and Kathy Vavahea. (What a great day that was!)
Please have a look here to find out more and register. It is such an incredible opportunity and everyone is just loving them. Each person walks out of the studio with their own song on cd that they record that day, plus a stack of hands on knowledge about the studio.
Nothing else like it in Sydney. I would love to have you come along to one.
Apart from those things I still teach my lovely little choir, I am coaching singers, performing at gigs and events and challenging myself in ridiculous ways - like choosing an elective for my Masters that involves submitting a recording portfolio, (where I am the sound engineer...ah...) learning the software and learning the equipment and latest concepts of audio engineering. Help me Jesus. For real. Anyone say deep end?
I want all the people who suffer due to not being technology minded to feel my pain right now.
I even wrote a blog last week. It was gold. I promise. Utter gold. Then I accidentally deleted it. That's how savvy I am with technology people.
However, I love my iPhone. That's easy. It's just everything else...
Anyway, a nutshell update that went a bit long! There's more too. That can wait though.
Please don't forget to book in to a studio workshop. All ages and levels welcome. Crazy value and excellent content.
Thanks for reading this far. Would love to hear what's been happening for you in a nutshell too.
As you can see, a nutshell can be long too... I did think my ability to be verbose was going to decrease over time. I guess not yet.
Lots of love and always remember,
YOU HAVE A VOICE!
Love Simone x
Ps: here is a quick tip from Kerrie Biddell herself.
"Self love is incredibly important. If you're not on your side - who is?"