The Music Sparkle ✨🎶

Recording!

I can’t believe it is just over two weeks ago already, but I actually fulfilled a dream to record some songs.  What an experience.  The week before I was suffering with a sore throat, achy bones and felt I was definitely coming down with some horrible bug.  Why that week?!!!  Why the week I was due to sing my heart out?!!!  I lived on paracetamol, honey and lemon drinks, Lemsip (which is gross even with added honey to sweeten it) and some of Dad’s throat spray as advised by the Doctor.  I had ordered some VocalZone pastilles under recommendation.  They didn’t arrive until the day of the recording and I was advised not to take them on the day I am due to sing.  Happily my throat had recovered somewhat by Thursday evening.  I didn’t sleep a wink Thursday night I was so excited and also full of apprehension.

Friday morning I felt my throat was totally constricted, “just nerves” I kept telling myself. My boyfriend arrived early; he was going to look after M & D whilst I was singing.  My Guitar tutor arrived with his mobile recording studio and we made a sound booth with two music stands and a duvet…amazing.  Then my vocal coach arrived.  I wanted her to be there plus she was very interested in how the recording would all work out at home.

img_7709

I was really nervous but we got started with the songs that are easier to sing.  It was weird to hear myself singing in my own ears alongside the backing track.  To stop and start. to break in later in the song, to rephrase a lyric, to put my own sound on it.  In two hours we had managed to record seven tracks; some Irish, some Country and some from totally different genres…all will be revealed in due course.  I was hoarse afterwards and I was on a high.  This was one huge tick off my “dreams come true” list.  I am very lucky that I managed to choose such wonderful people as Christine (Vocal Coach) and Roger (Guitar Tutor).

img_7710

 

A week later I received the unedited tracks to listen to.  They sounded amazing, I really can’t believe that it is me.  The sound quality is excellent, you’d never think we recorded the songs at home.

Over that weekend my boyfriend took some photographs in the garden with a camera, rather than a mobile phone, so that I could start on my music social media work.  I had been out the night before to see John McNicholl so a tad tired looking but I do like some of the photo’s and have used them for my Music page.  I’ll use them for the You Tube channel when I get that up and going.  There is so much to do and so limited time to do it. However, I have no great expectations of ambitions.  Singing and music is my respite, my stress buster from the caring role which takes up the majority of my time. This is my hobby.  I have a lot to research regarding licensing, commercial obligations, royalties, CD’s etc but it will all have to be done in my own slow available time.

img_7668

I also have the opportunity later in the year to make a video or two for a couple of the recorded tracks.  I’m very excited about this and yet this too will pose problems to get around.  I can’t not be at home in the morning so a full day out is out of the question. I will need cover whilst I am out so I’m looking at £20 per hour before I do anything with a video. Location is another question, I can’t be too far from home in case I need to get back quickly. I want to keep things as simple as possible as I don’t have people who want to appear in videos and I don’t want to have to hire rooms, theatre’s, bars etc.  So before I start I have some obstacles to overcome but as the saying goes, where there’s a will there’s a way.

img_7708

I spotted some dresses on Instagram in June and when I visited the website I was amazed that they were so reasonably priced, plus there was a sale and a first purchase discount. So I bought two, one in Black and one in White. They arrived at the end of last week…from China.  The Black one is huge but I can work with it, that’s what we have clothes pegs for 🙂  The White one is a perfect fit.  These are for photos and also for wearing in the videos.  How exciting life has become.  I am so grateful and blessed to be getting the opportunity to do these things albeit at a very slow pace.

Dad made me laugh the day after the recordings when he asked me what was going to happen to him and Mom.  I asked him why he asked that question and he said now that I’ve recorded the tracks things will change.  I laughed and said that I had only recorded a few songs, I didn’t think I would be taking on a World Tour next week and in any case, him and Mom are my priority.  I’m here 100% for them and that won’t change, global stardom will have to wait.

Pictures are mine or via Pinterest.

With love and sparkles xxx

The Music Sparkle ✨🎶

Musical Vibes.

Somehow, throughout the last three months of illness here at home, I have managed to keep some music going in my life.  Music is my respite. I can escape into it. It brings me peace, harmony, balance and happiness.  Even if I am wallowing in the saddest of songs, it brings me comfort.  I can dance around the kitchen to trance music and lose myself in the words of a country love song or the lyrics of old Ireland.  I am lucky that my guitar tutor comes to me for my lessons and I have been having my vocal coaching sessions online also.

So, the story so far…

I have all the backing tracks I require in order to record seven tracks.  It has been a steep learning curve so far.  License agreements – the two companies I have bought my backing tracks from work very differently.  One based in the UK has far superior tracks, a one off fee and job done, I can use it.  The other, head office in France, has excellent backing tracks, no charges initially, I think I need 100,000 downloads from Facebook…can you imagine that…I’ll be ecstatic if I get one download from anywhere!

img_7581

I’ve been practising when I can, I need to be note perfect plus I need to come in on que. I do have a habit of getting lost in the intro music and forgetting to sing.  I’ve also been making a list, which is becoming a never ending list of things to do.  I think of one thing which leads to another, then another and another.  All things which I know little or nothing about and with being a full time carer, time is premium and these items on my to do list need to be researched fully and properly.

Mom, Dad and I decided that my “Professional” name will be Dawn McDermott Music. I already have cousins in Ireland using my surname professionally so we chose another family name for my foray into music.  Last weekend I set up my Facebook Music Page 

There isn’t much content yet of course and I think I mentioned before, self promotion is not my thing.  After much thought about this I decided that in the end, I just have to be me.  I can’t let the unknown scare me.  I have no grand expectations of overnight stardom, number one on iTunes etc.  I am doing what I love as my hobby and respite. I am making a few dreams come true for myself.  I just want to sing the songs I love and if in turn they make people happy then that will be such a huge bonus for me.

img_7582

I have also set up my Twitter Music Account. If you would like to follow me on my musical journey on either Facebook or Twitter I would love that. Thank you.

All being well, recording date is set at 22nd June and again I am fortunate in that my guitar tutor has a mobile recording studio and can come to me.  My Vocal Coach will also be here and my chap has taken the day off work so that he can be here to help with Mom and Dad whilst I am recording for two hours.  I would think the recording will be ready two to three weeks later and then hopefully I’ll be shooting a couple of video’s in late Summer. Even as I type this it is all unbelievable.

A very good friend for many, many years is shooting the video’s with me.  He is a fabulous short film maker and this is a new project for him also and we are both really excited about this.  Check out some of Mulk’s films here Mulk Raj.

And so for now, that is where I am with the music hobby/project.  Still lots of research, broadcasting licenses, iTunes, Amazon Music, CD’s etc…once you start these things you realise there is a lot more to it than you originally thought.  I’m just going to go with the flow and do things as and when time allows.  Thank you for your support so far and I hope you will continue to support me as I travel along this path.

Pictures via Pinterest.

With love and sparkles xx

img_7583

 

 

The Music Sparkle ✨🎶

Do It Anyway.

Regular readers of my blog know that I love to sing and that I have been visiting a wonderful vocal coach, Christine, for a number of reasons. The main reason is that singing brings me stress relief; life as a full time carer to two elderly parents is not easy, it’s harder work than I ever thought it was going to be so stress relief of the singing kind works for me.

I have so enjoyed learning about the voice, to hear my own voice develop, to hear the clarity of the notes I can produce and to know that I am blessed with a good vocal range an a natural vibrato (apparently some singers would kill for a vibrato)!!

I am coming on well now with my Guitar lessons.  Since Christmas I can actually get the sound of a few chords from the Guitar and I bought myself a new Guitar book “American Country Hits” so that I can practice the chords and learn the songs at the same time.  It has taken time and I have more or less cracked “Jambalaya”, very little plink and thunk on that one now. I am learning, practising four more songs and I want to download the guitar chords for some of the Irish traditional songs and country songs that I love to sing.

At the start of the year I mentioned to my Guitar tutor that it would be a dream come true for me to record some songs.  I don’t care if anyone bought them or not, but to have recorded and released some songs would be just awesome.  He informed me that he can help me with that as he can bring a mobile recording studio to me here at home and we can record away. I’ve to choose four or five tracks so that we can utilise the recording time and keep cost to a minimum. He can then do the mixing at his professional studio.

My vocal coach is almost as excited as I am about this.  Every time I think about it I get a headache with excitement.  Of course this has now thrown me into a world I know nothing about, the music business…something new to learn.

Choosing four or five songs may sound easy but it is proving to be a little difficult. There is only one I am absolutely sure of and I keep changing my mind about the other four. I have backing tracks but I need to shop around for the best sounding tracks and then I need to check on the licensing.  Most that I purchase online are licensed for private use or public performance but not recording.  I require permission to use the track and there may be an additional cost.

I also need to research public broadcast licensing and how royalties work. I’ve been told to start getting things ready; website (although there won’t be much content at first), photo shoot (who me?), video’s for the songs (really, me in a music video?) and to get to grips with self promotion.

These are things I really want to do, this is very much dream come true time and if I can get these things done before I set foot on a stage to sing it will boost my confidence enormously. It really is a case of “Feel the fear and do it anyway” for me. However, I’m a full time carer to both of my parents along with running the home and everything that goes with that.  I have very limited free time.  I’m not sure how I’m going to do it but you can bet your bottom dollar that any free time I have will be spent on the music dream.

I have put together another video.  One of my favourite songs is “Making Memories of Us” which is sang by Keith Urban and also a couple of my favourite Irish singers; Mike Denver and Derek Ryan.  I managed to locate a good backing track but the key may be not quite right.  I can just about hit the bass notes but if I take the key higher, the higher notes may be off.

I used photographs of places I have been on holiday with my lovely boyfriend over the years for the video.  Places where we now have memories of being there together from taking him home to Ireland to visit Galway where my Mom is from to our summer holidays in Spain, Portugal and England.

Please give it a listen and let me know what you think.  Thank you for supporting me on this journey to my dream.