Show up to the page. And tomorrow the same.

How do you start something creative? It’s always that first line, that first note, that first brush-stroke that’s scary. It can set the whole tone, can’t it?

What if I’m no good?

I’m reminded of the kept-me-up-that-night excitement of a Abba documentary that I saw. I think the music just got me buzzing all over again, but it could have been this bit.

Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus would keep office hours. Bjorn would make the coffee and hike up the hill to their little cabin/studio in the Stockholm Archipelago where he’d hear Benny was already tinkering on the little upright piano they put in the tiny hut. Sure, gorgeous scenery to write Eagle and Dancing Queen but I don’t think that’s what did it.

I wrote a book ages back and just recently finished my CD The Goldblacks which I’m releasing May 1st, first single out on Friday stay tuned lol (plug out of the way…😜) and I genuinely took a leaf out of their book on both things (with the second knowingly)

Just show up to the page (or the easle, or the keyboard, or in my case my little studio spot of my place.)

There’s something that happens thats true of Goal Setting where even if a goal seems too lofty that it’s worth it just to check it out anyway. It’s like the meta-you takes over and makes it more real. If, like my Mom for instance, you play Irish harp then each day at a time you’ve decided is your most focused, got sit behind that harp (add yours here…it would get way too distracting for me to list them each time)

Where were you yesterday in playing? What haven’t you tried? My note app on my phone is amazing for this. Throughout the day you can give yourself ideas to use at this special time to kick you off. Much as you want direction for your endeavor it’s perfectly ok to just ramble, trying things out. Ricky Gervais on set of the Office called it his “mucking about” that often came up with great natural ideas.

Don’t forget, you’re supposed to enjoy it. I don’t believe in everything being final-end product focused but to be true-you have to enjoy it for them to as well.

Some stuff is certainly hard, and one thing worth looking into is deliberate practice where you can make great stides but first…

Make the coffee.

Go up to the hilltop.

Sip your coffee.

See what your hands do.

Take a chance,

πŸ˜‰

Tom

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Goldblacks Stories – #1 Take Me Higher

Really had fun creating this and had to share it straight away! I was like.. shouldn’t I wait and be strategic with these but then just thought, it’s fine. Saturday is great for this so enjoy the clip with the little version of The Approach riff!

Cheers,

Tom

Wrap on Recording The Goldblacks

Why even do a solo CD?

Well first, these two weeks was a whole lot more than just recording. Last night marked not only my last night on vacation which I used for recording my first solo effort, but it was also my first day back on stage with Cookeilidh after almost the same two weeks.

But recording this now was for a mix of reasons. After ages of collaborative things I wanted to prove (mostly to myself) that I could be creative without someone to lean on. I was inspired by the project Low Roar which was essentially started as Ryan Karazija by himself in his kitchen in Reykjavik with a guitar and a laptop. (He’s since gone full time and has way more production going on).

I also had been working with the keyboard and for some reason got into this Instagram habit of a post per day, primarily a song. Some were covers like “Up Where We Belong” but some weren’t and they gave rise to songs like Reason, which this little teaser clip comes from…

I also had a few songs from the past and just this desire to create things that don’t necessarily fit in a Celtic band. It is fun to lead the charge, but of course it’s more demanding so I knew I wanted to give myself some actual time off to do it. I certainly learned a lot over both this recording process and the time building towards it. I’ve decided to give the whole thing some time so I can work out what to do with the project in post. I am busy with Cookeilidh and that’s still moving forward so how do I incorporate this new thing in? Anyways I will be releasing singles before the now May 1st release, starting with She Lives There and Reason.

The process hasn’t always been easy, which is one of the reasons I’m very proud of it, whatever it does. I’ve found myself listening to it regularly, like when I was in Vancouver filming parts of the She Lives There music video. There are parts I’m really proud of, even if they are less straight single material like Precipice, Missed Connections and parts of Secret Star.

Can’t wait to share more of this with you!

Thanks for checking me out!

πŸ™‚

Tom

Week One

It’s the first week for everyone which is partly the reason for the title as it’s also the first week of Goldblacks recording.

And my first time off in about eighteen years, which naturally, I used to work on something.

As I’m writing this, the protest here in Victoria is marching up Fort Street in solidarity with the BC First Nations who are, long story short, being put through the same crap that they did in Standing Rock. Really unfortunate this still needs to be sorted out but great to see such a large crowd of support on a rainy January day.

For those who we should be building bridges with we are quarreling with, pulling Elders (First Nations seniors) out in the snow.

Here’s a link to more about their first week.

For me the first cuts of each song are recorded and now it’s going over, fine tuning, remixing and some rerecording. Just did a live version of Take Me Higher, a song that’s been around for just decades, it being requested many times including at work and on a #4 bus

I also have some plans for a music video for She Lives There and maybe two more. I did that Such a Drag one to kick the year off but Ill have to see. The main thing is to finish the CD in time for this Summer.

First Cookeilidh rehearsal is this week so getting ready for that, with the focus being on Robbie Burns as his day comes up on January 25th.

There is a few shows this year that we’re doing including Craigdarroch Castle with the address to the Haggis. The castle has been a wonderful partnership with us all these years and we are very lucky to play such a beautiful Scottish castle for this date. If you are in Victoria at any point check it out, and especially during Robbie Burns or Christmas season.

Inside Craigdarroch, the last being us two years back!

It has been a politically busy first week, but I think that’s because we are finding more and more that we can’t take things for granted.

We should be all able to enjoy life at it’s fullest or as Freddie Mercury sang

“this could be heaven for everyone!”

Cheers,

Tom

The Goldblacks recording begins…

Going to be doing most of these kinds of updates in the evenings as the recording heat is from early in the day (like 7 am…sometimes earlier) until well past when I really should have eaten something.

Been not just recording songs but still learning about the entire process, like for instance how to relax and record.

I had been working on the material for months before this week but it’s still easy to be full aware of the recording button that’s just been hit.

Musicians are they’re worst critics but also the more worked up you get the more you can get so allowing for multiple takes and going for walks helps.

Two tracks are mostly done and just need tweaking and two more need more alterations but are essentially done.

You never quite know where it’s going until you start.

I already have unpolished versions of each song that I have been picking apart for a week. And now they are getting updated to pick more.

For bands or soloists I image the social media side of things is kind of the same. Behind the scenes is pretty much me in my corner of the living room fenced in by my music stuff with just enough room to escape if you avoid the Manhasset stand I got…oh, ages ago.

That and an array of drinks. Not booze but, water, coffee and Tulsi Tea which, by way, are King.

I have some CD mock-ups started as well which include this awesome cover art shot by Crystal Freeman…

After all this goes for printing I’ve got some ideas for maybe doing a few shows before the final cd release. I hope to include some other folks on stage too later as well, but I’ll update you on that as things confirm.

For those wondering, I’m still in Cookeilidh and still writing. Not sure about the full involvement of pitch writing at the moment, but I’m still creating and so is Cece.

On the band front, we had a great season just before the new year and lots of shows on for both Robbie Burns and St Patrick’s so I’m already getting that ready too.

The Goldblacks, based on early memories as a kid in the seventies, is more about self expression and doing those songs that wouldn’t fit in a Celtic environment. I’m as proud of it’s scope as I am of my work with the band and how far my stories have made it so far.

The Goldblacks track listing so far is…

She Lives There
Precipice
The Approach
Jubilata
Secret Star
Moonwatcher
Thank you, Blixa
Reason
Take Me Higher
Missed Connections

More to come!

Check me out on Instagram for more clips of early renditions and more at

@tompogsonmusic

Thank you for supporting indie music! ❀️

Cheers,

Tom

First CD project closer…

Morning everyone! Just an update of what’s happening. I am presently putting together my first full length CD which I hope to record in January and then have available spring of 2019. There will also be a CD Release Party for this and I have plans for location and members underway.

Getting ready also for the Holiday season with Cookeilidh as well, with our next show being Saturday and the Victoria Santa Claus parade and Tree Lighting.

Back to the album though, I have been working to flesh out the ideas I’ve already teased out there. I have been doing this little Instagram per day thing for the last while, more of a challenge than anything, and it has been full but honestly, for times sake, I’ll probably slow those down now from daily to a little less (or more depending of what’s going on 😊)

Definite songs for the album in their new form will be She Lives There, Precipice and Secret Star with their rough takes on my Soundcloud

Cheers,

Tom