Musical Discoveries: Can you fill us in on what else have you been working on since The Dawnseeker album?
I've been working on a new album of songs with the guys from Sleepthief for a new band we have started as a side project called Spy Thriller. So I've been writing and recording for that as well as writing other music and touring a lot with Loreena McKennitt.
I've also been working very hard on another passion in my life, dog training and behaviour at university in the UK; I've been working with people to help them better to communicate with their dogs and the best ways to have a happy companion with a great relationship especially with sometimes reactive, agility dogs. But pressure of my musical career has made this difficult to fit in and so I'm just studying in the spare time from music again and not taking on clients. Oh, and I'm moving to France.
How did your participation in the last album influence your career?
Well, the aftermath of the first Sleepthief album influenced me in that I asked Justin and Israel to produce a track for me and this turned out so well that we got together and thought up the idea of Spy Thriller. It is such a pleasure to work with them, they are two of nature's gentlemen, renaissance men and general good chaps.
How did you get involved with this Sleepthief album?
Justin gave me a call and asked me and I was very, very happy to be involved.
What exactly were your responsibilites on this recording?
Justin and Israel sent me a backing track and I wrote the vocal melody and the words, then I send it back to them and they make it all sound gorgeous!
How would you characterize the track you contributed to?
It is about the devastation of a relationship, and I wanted to words and melody to chase round each other relentlessly in the way your thoughts do when you have trouble redirecting them. One day I'll write happy songs!
Please tell us more about the process of making the tracks.
I had read a poem by Robert Frost that I enjoyed, and I looked at its 'bone structure' and liked it and basically used the same number of syllables in each line, the same rhyming form and similar little inner rhymes. I love playing with words and find that the strictures of structure, haha, can be very good at condensing ideas into small spaces.
What do you think contributes to the immense popularity of Sleepthief's music?
The sweeping passion and romanticism. There is a unified idea behind all the voices and this is fascinating because you get many flavours of the one idea.
What can you tell us about your live performances?
I'd absolutely love to work live with Sleepthief; as yet there are no plans, but when the call comes!
What else and occupies your time these days?
I have a few passions. As I've already said I'm fascinated by communication with dogs and other animals, the countryside generally, astronomy, growing organic vegetables, writing poetry and now, learning French so I can communicate in my new country. I hope I will find some musicians in France to play and sing with, now my dear Hector is no longer there.
How is the internet affecting the business?
I think the chance for the artist to sell direct to the music lover is a good thing, as it brings costs down for the listener and as well, the musician gets more money than was divvied up by the big old record companies, thus enabling artistic integrity. A win-win situation.
The downside is I think that there is just so much music now that it can be difficult to find what you want. Digital distribution is great, and for the artists that are particularly singles artists especially great.
I miss the days when you were delivered a big experience of music that flowed into the next and the next piece as the artist had envisaged; taking you on a journey. Listening in our compilation world now misses that great listening experience.
Is there anything further you'd like to say to our readers?
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