No, not the English rugby team. I speak, of course, of TIME. “Where does the time go?”, as Sandy Denny asked us back in the day. Fecked if I know dearie. I had such good intentions to blog monthly, but life has been somewhat hectic. I find myself with the space to blog again, in the long dark tea-time of the soul between two events in the Science Gallery, my regular gig. So here I type feverishly with a rare golden hour to spend. Last time I blogged was last May, with Ireland in the convulsions of the 8th amendment referendum campaign. Wow. a lot has happened. I told myself, I’ll wait until I have something to blog about. And then, when I did, I didn’t have time to blog! Or the inclination, in fairness. I signed off then bemoaning that I was still wearing a fleece jacket in mid May. Little was I to know that the country was about to experience its longest and most intense heatwave and drought for 40 years. The grass yellowed, and a few late Skerries summer night’s were had on the harbour and beach. I took time off to celebrate my wife’s 50th birthday. 5 months later, the celebrations seem to be winding down just in time for my Mam’s 70th celebrations, which seem to be taking place over a more sober two month period. Ah sure, go on. Who am I to judge? I get to enjoy a bit of it too. So, in between work, there has been much travel. The first half of the heatwave was spent touring the Donegal coast from Errigal to Rossnowlagh, which felt almost like another planet as we paddled in the warm shore water after 10pm. Hardly time to start retreating inside to blog about it. But I did take some pretty pictures. There was lots of sheep. Other than that, I won’t bore you with the sublimely sunny details.
Rossknowlagh Beach, Co. Donegal
It’s sufficient to say that an extended period of warm sunlight can have a strange effect on the Irish. The national emergency plan for winter storm weather is to buy bread and watch Netflix. For warm sun, which is never guaranteed in the Irish summer, the corresponding plan is to drop everything and head to the coast. Which is well for me, as I live on the coast. Oh, how the harbours and beaches of Ireland were thronged with the pale troglodytic larval forms of Irish folks in divested of their woolies. Usually we’re lucky to get a week of solid fine weather. After nearly 6 weeks of unbroken sunshine, we were positively complacent about the sun. I woke up with the certain knowledge that the sun would be out, and it would stay out. I haven’t felt that since living in Arizona. People around me had converted to relaxed, beautiful, Meditteranean beings, sauntering around with deep golden tans. No, not the lobster red scorching of the first sunny day, but the tans of folks who have built their tan over an extended period of sun. Even my arms, while still milky at the shoulder, were so tanned that I nearly succumbed to a disassociative disorder where I thought I had someone else’s arm. Not really. I’ve just finished being a sound tech at an event on the latest studies into epigenetics, genomics and schizophrenic disorders so I may have picked up a few ideas from that.
A Skerries summer sunset
Was that last sentence really 18 days ago? Wow. Since then I got commissioned to do a score for another 10 mins short film - which is a very dreamy affair so the music is very much to the fore. It’s a bittersweet affair about a couple at the end of their lives looking back at the different chapters of their lives. Past and present blur and the music reflects that with variations of the same theme recurring throughout. The turnaround was pretty quick. I got the rough cut, did some prep work on Tuesday, did the main composition and tempo map on piano on Wednesday and started to flesh out the arrangement with string, synths, percussion. And then the cutting back on the arrangement for final mix. The final master was submitted on Friday morning. Not bad! Here’s a link to some examples of my recent score work for different projects.
There also a lot of podcast work on the way, as well as talk of a full length feature, so watch this space. Until a gig is done and dusted and paid for, I usually don’t speak of it but I’m excited and hopeful these will come to pass.
Over the summer, I finished an EP for an Italian client, and kept recording for another Mick Joyce CD, which is turning out to be a bit of an epic. Recordings only concluded last month before I embarked on a month of travel, and editing starts - tomorrow! There are tons of takes and alternate takes and scrap ideas….so it’s going to be like going into a scrapyard and assembling a shiny new car from spare parts. But I do look forward to it. I’ll try to get a track or even two close to final mix before Thankgsgiving’s turkey. Between all that there was a score for a score for a 20 minute film. After a weekend in Berlin I shall return and before Xmas try to get the scores for the next two shorts complete (assuming a locked in version of the videos becomes available) . These upcoming films are a supernatural horror, as well as a composition for a dance video. There’s been other stuff as well. Ads, charity ads work, theatre sound design, the list goes on. In late September to late October Kim and I travelled from Paris, to Toronto, Buffalo, upstate New York along lake Ontario to SUNY Canton, then onto Montreal. Some of it was work, other times it was just to chill out and explore. Then, swinging around Hurricane Michael, we landed in Savannah, Georgia and drove to Charleston and Folly Beach, South Carolina for Kim’s graduate school reunion. How nice to get a further injection of hot sun and hang out with good people. We concluded that trip with a restful final week with the in-laws in North Carolina. But after that season of travel and work, I’m looking forward to a restful Christmas. So...that’s the basic update on what’s been happening Chez Graham. In my next blog post, I’ll be musing on the dilemmas of working for clients that one may have ethical objections to. It happens. It'll be more....seasonal. But on this baltic day, with rain lashing against the window, it's nice to dream of sun warming the bones...