It all happened quite quickly, truth be told.
I was playing “So Long, Marianne” outside Mothercare a couple of weeks ago. It’s a good song.
A guy stood and watched for a little bit before he came and introduced himself. He had the social awareness to stand somewhat to side whilst he waited for me to finish — this endeared him to me.
The creative director of Bank Street Arts, he said. I’ve heard of it, I said. He said he wanted to talk to me about me maybe doing something there, perhaps a residency of sorts.
Well, that meeting in the street led to a real meeting with chairs and coffee and another guy, andthat meeting led to another meeting where we got a more specific about what we might do together.
We spoke of combining the busking with gigs in their cafe with making an album at the space with documenting the process of the whole damn affair in writing, photography, cinemascope…
The main decision was that I’m now officially making another album. A follow up to ManBoy. A new chapter in my fractured ouevre. But…
The catch is that I have to write and record the whole thing within the four walls of Bank Street Arts. (There are actually more like forty-four walls.) I’m working with a door-open policy. That’s the bit that frightens me.
Being a busker, I suppose I work with a door-open policy on a daily basis — no protection from hecklers and pimps— but it’s a very different thing to play Romeo and Juliet on Surrey Street for the 7000th time than it is to compose a whole album from scratch with people allowed to watch.
But I’ve agreed to it now. Do things that scare you, unless they involve snakes — I’ve always said that.
I have a schedule in place. For a few weeks I’m going to be strumming away with a smoothing iron; filling up notecards with lyrics and transferring the ones I actually like to bigger notecards; trying to make things rhyme against their will; scribbling mental black dots that to the right pair of eyes represent melodic matter; and probably taking Sundays off —I suspect I’ll need a hot bath.
After that it’ll be time to get some shit on tape. I don’t just want the songs — I really want to exploit the fact that anybody could come and be involved and end up on the final product. The gallery has some very unique-sounding rooms — in a way I wish I could fast forward to recording time. Being no Billy Pilgrim, I’ll have to wait.
If you like reading the things I write, you’ll be giddy to hear that I’ll be journaling each day, and sending an email out each week. The blogs will be here on Medium, on my own website, as well as my Facebook page.
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