To listen or to do?

Towards the end of yesterday afternoon, I was nagged by a dilemna. I had intended to go with Lynsey to see Emily Druce at a folk club in Leith. But I was aware of my stated intention to move the Romantic Fiction recordings a good couple of notches towards completion this week; and was also aware of having done not much at all, and having spent the previous evening (after an obligatory meeting at Pestilence’s school) not working on songs but watching X-Men 2 on Sky.

Finally I made a decision (‘Right or wrong you always find, relief in
making up your mind’) and went up to the Little Room of Cables to get
going. First dither point was ‘which song to work on?’ I have five or
six in various states. I felt like working on When I Went to Your House
but had invited Tricia Thom to sing it. I didn’t know if she wanted to
do it so had to phone her, which led to a lengthy call.  She did want
to sing it but hadn’t tried yet so didn’t know if the key in which I’d
done the demo would suit her. So there was nothing I could do on that
song last night. Then went to Leaving and attempted for a couple of hours to find the right interjections on electric guitar to create some variety in the backing track. I filled several tracks with ideas and played around with effects but it all felt gratuitous – nothing I heard really wanted to be there. I guess it’s progress in that (a) I still know it wants some extra guitar and (b) I  know that none of those ideas are what it wants. But it’s the kind of progress that doesn’t feel like progress.

I then turned to If You Had Said, which may be for the next CD rather than this one, as it’s a bit too similar in mood to Your House. (This song appeared on my site the night I wrote it but the lyrics and structure have evolved a little since then.)  Put down a nice guitar track and found another simple figure that could be good for the middle. However the message this song keeps giving me is ‘don’t add! don’t add!’. Reader, I disobeyed. I added a brass band! – well, what might be construed as a haunting trombone and french horn, courtesy of Cynthia Roland.  Having done that, aware of my transgression, I left recording and noodled with a loop version of Damn Grey until Mr Slumber started stretching my jaws and I pressed many buttons to shut down many pieces of technology, then shut down myself for the night.

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