solopiano2

Onward...

And here we have…my first blog post of 2019…a lot has happened since  I last wrote anything for these pages. According to the internet, humans speak approximately 50,000 words a day - so here is my most recent attempt at finding 500 that fit together reasonably well…


As many of you know, Solo Piano Two was released on 12.12.18 (or a little bit earlier if you are a Bandcamp Subscriber) and I have been really busy overseeing the release of the album - since I am a ‘do everything myself’ kind of person, this has proved to be quite a task.


Solo Piano Two is the first album release I have ever put out on vinyl and that was a whole new learning curve. I wanted the vinyl to sound great and also to be a really beautiful piece of art as a physical product: one that would have ‘longevity’ in the sense that I hoped people would want to keep it for a long time, but also could be ‘disposable’ in the sense that when the time came, a substantial proportion of it could be recycled. I think the product turned out pretty well and I would definitely plan to release my next album on vinyl as well as CD. I am also pondering the idea of a cassette tape release (it appears that cassette tapes are making a come-back) - if anyone reading has any thoughts on this concept, please let me know!


Every vinyl record and CD sold and dispatched is packed by me personally (so right there is the explanation for the pink tissue paper that appears to have made many recipients smile - I could not bring myself to just ‘throw the record in the box’). I still do pack all vinyl and CDs and take them to the post office myself, for now at least…it may not always be this way forever, but for the moment it is something I really enjoy doing.


So what next? A few people I consider to be ‘very wise’ have suggested that it would be a mistake to stop writing new music…and I would love to write and record a new album (and release it) this year, so this is very much my plan. I have already started to create some new music which is currently residing inside my iPhone in a series of videos and voice notes - I will be sharing these early ‘sonic ideas’ with my Bandcamp Subscribers beginning next week, in much the same way I did for Solo Piano Two. 


Also, I am expecting to perform at the Shoreditch Treehouse in London during Piano Day on 29th March (I do not yet have confirmation on what time my set will be, but I will let everyone know as soon as I do!) and on 10th May at the Gosforth Civic Theatre in Newcastle (more detail to follow on that soon, also).


So finally, it remains for me to say ‘thank you’ to Everyone who has supported my music through buying CDs, vinyl and digital downloads, subscribing on Bandcamp, or listening on Spotify, Apple Music and Google Play…and also ‘thank you’ for all the lovely chats and conversations with Everyone on social media. The discussions I have about music and art with all of you are so interesting and enlightening to me…more than anything, there is one thing that I am so very grateful for and that is your endless encouragement of me to break boundaries within music and to be unafraid to be different. This reassurance is very much needed and appreciated and I hope the result can be seen and heard in the evolution of my albums. 


Love, as always, 


Alice. x

When Is Art 'Done'?

When Is Art Done Website picture.jpg

After a busy few months finishing the album, I am getting back to old routines and really starting to think objectively about the journey I have been on with art and music since I began in earnest to make Solo Piano 2. 

Some observations: I stopped doing a lot of outdoorsy stuff last year for several reasons....firstly to make the best album I could, because I will probably only make a full-length album every 4-5 years, so I wanted to ‘get it right’ and this takes time. Secondly, I think at the end of 2017 I developed a sort of obsessive, artistic ‘tunnel vision’ whereby I could think of only pushing myself musically and I wanted to make sure I gave Everything of my physical and emotional being to the album. I have absolutely no regrets about this, because however much listeners do or do not enjoy Solo Piano 2, I can honestly say that at this moment in my lifetime, I could not have produced anything better. 

Although what ‘better’ would be is hard to define. Here is the question....When is art ‘done’? When it is so polished and shiny and uniform that a machine could have made it? Or when it is raw and full of raging, quaking, terrifying and blisteringly beautiful emotion, the kind of music that is so close to the artist’s tears or euphoria (or whatever situation inspired it in the first place), the listener and the artist are metaphorically holding hands? I don’t have an exact answer to this question, though I think I likely lean slightly toward the latter. So I think that is kinda what you will be getting. And I thank Everyone who has metaphorically held my hand through this whole process.

In any case, it’s nice to restore balance. So today I did yoga followed by a bike ride through a forest. Likely, this was not the ‘optimal order of events’, but it still felt good. I have only been in my bike (bought for me by my family) just once since I did Ride London last August, which I have done for five years now, mainly because my Father continues to sign me up for it and cycling is something my Father and I enjoy together (he is obsessed with bicycles and he is better than me at the whole thing and knows everything about cycling and mechanics....which is more than helpful). Now to rediscover what for me is 'the lost art of cooking'...!

Anyway, thank you to Everyone who has responded regarding a vinyl release of Solo Piano 2....I *think and hope* it will be do-able, which is exciting...I just need to check a couple of things next week....a vinyl release was not ‘part of the plan’ but nevertheless I think it is a wildcard that I am keen to run with if I can.

So it just remains for me to say, thank you, thank you, thank you to Everyone who has been on the journey of Solo Piano 2 with me. Unlike five years ago, when I made the first Solo Piano album virtually in secret, I have never felt alone this time around....and I am so very, very appreciative of all the comments and feedback…I hope you know that.

Big love, and always ‘Piano Forever’,

A xx

Seeking warmth.

Dear Friends,

I am sorry I have been a little quiet of late…please allow me to explain why! As many of you will know, I have this year embarked upon writing Solo Piano 2. One of my goals for the project is to create a piano album that has a real sense of enveloping ‘warmth’. Something that feels comforting, if you will. And something timeless. My personal impression of my first album Solo Piano is that it has a simplicity that is also it’s strength. I see the Butterflies EP that followed as ethereal, wistful and sentimental, while the subsequent EP Fables most definitely has a darker edge and a crystalline sound that reminds me of Winter. For Solo Piano 2 I am seeking a different feeling, as those who have watched my first two ‘Making Of’ videos (in which I talk endlessly about ‘warm’ chords) will be aware!

Consequently, a good deal of what will be Solo Piano 2 has been written in the past weeks in a fairly remote location in sunny South West France, a short distance from the coast and adjacent pine forests. The environment in which I find myself undoubtably influences the sonic outcome of music I write and record - somehow hot weather, the sound of cicadas and incredible sunsets to name just a few of the things I don’t experience often in London have had the effect I had hoped for. I am feeling encouraged that the result will be a really beautiful album to enjoy when I have finished. Sending love + good vibes to you, as always…

 

Alice xx

 

Hi.

My Dear Friends…it’s been ages since I’ve written. What to say. Firstly, thank you to Everyone who has bought Fables, Butterflies, Solo Piano and December these past few weeks…I am truly grateful to you for supporting my music…it means everything to me to know that it is appreciated and brings pleasure to people (hopefully)…

Now, on to plans. It has not escaped my attention that it is over three years since the release of my album Solo Piano. I think it is time for me to make another full-length album. Solo Piano was written on an extremely part-time basis. It wasn’t a pre-meditated thing. Back in 2011, at the inception of Solo Piano, I was focused on making electronica with synthesisers. It did not occur to me at that time that my future would be in making one of the most organic types of music there is…a type of music that came from an entirely mechanical instrument in my little studio at home, which also happened to be one hundred and three years old…my old piano. I was very surprised that my daily musings on the piano that frequently resulted in simple little solo piano melodies seemed to connect more with people that any of my odysseys of electronica. But it was to be so - and I couldn’t be happier about it.

Five years on, doubtless my writing process will be different. But what I will be glad to do is share with you my process and the evolution of my next album. It is my plan to write everything at home but go to an external studio to record. Whilst I can and do record frequently at home, I really enjoyed the studio experience of making Butterflies, which was made in a studio in Copenhagen. Having a studio engineer to take away some of the stress of creating a beautiful recording was a wonderful luxury, one that ultimately allowed me to get to a place in my mind where I could deliver the most beautiful performances I was capable of. I don’t know how long it will take me to write another album…but I do want it to be beautiful and brilliant…during the first few days of 2017, I plan to begin.

Love and hugs, as always…

A xx