Another three episodes have been released of Carmina’s Cantata, featuring Caz Smiling, Jemima Foxtrot and Antosh Wojcik. I got to visit Brighton to record with Caz, and we even had a drink afterwards at The Poets Ale and Smokehouse… it had to be done really. I caught up with Jemima in SE London, during her trip back to the UK as she is currently living abroad, and returned to the area of Camden, where Antosh and I first met as part of the Roundhouse Poetry Collective.
Just one more interview to go, I’m currently reading some books about music, making a few notes and collecting my thoughts. I’m really interested in music and emotions, so this is the focus. I’ve just finished a book by Malcolm Budd, and I’m now onto Oliver Sacks. Watch this space for upcoming podcasts – there’s still one more interview to go before a special episode, and then this bonus one where I will share my thoughts on the research I’m currently doing.
It’s been a few weeks since I posted, so three more episodes of Carmina’s Cantata have been released – featuring Belinda Zhawi aka MA.MOYO, Tongue Fu’s Chris Redmond and the multi-faceted Joshua Idehen. It was great to catch up with Belinda, who I know from BARPo days, in Chris’ episode we are treated to a live ukulele track, and Joshua’s episode is the perfect blend of humour and vulnerability.
I’ll be having my last in-person ukulele lesson today. Perhaps I will continue in future, but for now I’ll make do with what I’ve learnt so far and dedicate the time to practice. I’m finding it hard to get to the G7 chord, and my little finger keeps sticking out, but I’ve found it really helps to play songs I know and love like Hallelujah. Ooh, I’ve also started reading my music books, so I can do a bonus episode at the end about my findings!
Just one more podcast episode to record next month and then I can focus on actually putting it out there! I have another project I’ll update about soon that requires a lot of my time at the moment, and I’m still waiting on some elements of the first episode to come together, so it may be out a little later that I hoped. If I manage by February to put them out every fortnight, that’ll still be enough time until the project ends in August.
Meanwhile, I’m still making time for my little red uke. I’ve been tired, I’ve been happy, I’ve been cold. I spent a lot of time doing ‘Ring of Fire’, which was good for some chord changes, and I’ve even learnt a bit about sharps and flats… I don’t know if my bed is the best place to do it, but that’s clearly where I tend to be!
I’ve recorded my penultimate podcast episode! Soon all that will need doing is the editing, and then working out Spotify and putting it out there! This has been my favourite part of this project as I’ve got to have some really interesting conversations and also caught up with poet friends that I haven’t seen in a while!
I’ve been dedicating more focussed time to playing the uke, and doing some tricky stuff in terms of both chord transitions and trying to play along to a metronome. On days where I have been able to have balance and do this, I have been feeling much more fulfilled and happier in what has felt like and up-and-down time. And apparently, only now mercury’s in retrograde.
So, the ukulele has become more of a New Year’s Resolution, but I did my first online lesson in my local area and it went so quickly! It turns out when you focus, time flies! We looked at Jingle Bells, so I’m going to get my boyfriend to have a go with me, taking turns to do the chords and the “melody” (just learnt this term). I hope to do hourly lessons in-person and then keep up 30-minutes a day as part of my more balanced schedule come January!
Meanwhile, I have completed my City Lit Logic Pro course, and have a pretty decent first podcast episode. I also really wanted to steal these pink, orange and green headphones. One of the group knew that I’d like them as another said they looked like they were for kids… I do often find myself being attracted to the bright colours of the kid’s section! So, next year will bring more editing and more strumming!
Things are really full on at the moment, so I’ve been struggling to put the time into my ukulele practice. I’d rather do it in the day time, as I can feel really tired by the evening, so it doesn’t feel as productive. However, something that has changed is that I’ve now been focussed on one song, and whilst previously I kept on moving on quickly after a few times, I’m now having the opposite problem: I want to perfect it and as I keep making mistakes, I’ve not been able to move on. How long should I spend on one lesson or song?
I’ve been learning a lot and playing around on my Logic Pro course at City Lit. It’s my third lesson so far, and it’s great as it’s specialised to the students on it and the different things we want to do. Today we’ll be doing more about editing, and how I can make the volume more consistent, and put different files together on one episode. In some ways, it would have been good to do the course prior recording interviews, but on the other hand, the whole point of this year is to learn as I go along. It would be good to know how to attach the Scarlett amplifier whilst recording. Things are intense right now, but hopefully he hard work I’m putting into various thing right now will pay off next year.
I last recorded in Brighton, and it was nice to take a trip down memory lane, as my gran used to live there. It was so nice that I have managed to convince my mum for us to go there for our annual Christmas shopping trip (which is really just an excuse to spend time together and eat nice food). I’m glad I managed to go away as I feel like I would be a lot more stressed and overwhelmed if I hadn’t. Like language learning, learning music is actually really good for managing stress as you are forced to be present… of course, it’s possible to get distracted, but when you get into the zone, you brain has to concentrate so much that there isn’t room for other things.