graphics, editing, voice-over, music...

Here it is. A hastily put-together page for the Songwriters’ Collective! September was ‘Artwork’ month. When I have a spare moment, I will re-upload the previous months’ work.

1. The Wrong Side of the Street: Stephen Clarke

My girlfriend went to see Finding Vivian Maier, about an unknown photographer whose negatives turned up in an auction, and the bloke who found them, who is now minting it by selling prints at 1500 dollars a pop. 
She was showing me the photos on line, and I saw this one of a woman looking lost, as if she wants to cross the street but doesn't really know how. I've tried to imagine why. 
Production-wise, I'm afraid it's my usual One Afternoon With Garage Band standard. Voice, guitar, bass, recorded straight into the laptop's inbuilt mic. The "resonator" that one of you heard last time comes from me playing my Telecaster through an amp while sitting close to the computer, so you get both the electric and acoustic sound. The drum track is from an ancient Yamaha beat box that a friend was throwing away.  
I'm calling this one 1950s urban country rock (a bit like me really).

1. WrongSideOfTheStreet

1 VivianMaier v2

2. My Father’s Tree: Mike Gosling

For this month's artwork theme I decided to ask Karl to choose a picture for me to write a song about. Karl sent me following email:

I have selected the 2 Tree works by Mondrian because they remind me of my favourite painting by my Dad.
It was titled "Lonely Tree" and was quite unlike his usual work - it was VERY simple - a water-colour painted with a fairly large brush, quite quickly and using a limited palette.
At least that's how I remember it. It was sold at his retrospective exhibition before Mum told me to choose a painting to keep.

"My Father's Tree" then was inspired by the Mondrian picture but also by Karl's story of the "lost" picture painted by his dad.

For those of you who haven't known us since we were at Primary school (!), Russell Thomas was a carpenter, woodturner and painter
My own father, John, was also a carpenter and a lot of my childhood memories are watching him at work in the shed making something useful for the home (alas I didn't inherit his practical skills).

This song is for our dads.

Thanks to Karl who played drums and "gamelan" cymbals and did his usual mixing comments and suggestions.

2 My Father's Tree

2 Mondrian_The_Grey_Tree

3. Running Away With the Hairdresser: Tim & Glyn

The inspiration for this month's song is a painting called 'Running Away with the Hairdresser' by the Welsh artist Kevin Sinnott. I really like his paintings and I thought the title was irresistible!

Glyn wrote the lyrics but as you will hear, the vocals are not up to the usual standard...I tried for some time to write a drum part but decided in the end to use samples and edited them together. Otherwise, fairly standard instrumentation that would nearly have met next month's rules, with single bass, keyboard and guitar parts. 

3 Running away with the Hairdresser

3 Running Away with the Hairdresser

4. Stranded: Eddie Custard

Thanks to my friend Nick Lipley for writing the excellent words. He does poetry classes, and as a lucky coincidence for me a recent assignment was to do a poem inspired by an artwork. He based it on a painting called A Fish Sale on a Cornish Beach by Stanhope A Forbes. Nick has developed a story that the man in the picture is courting the seated woman, who is deeply suspicious of him. The two have a bit of history, but he's let her down and has been deceitful. He was rather too happy when the woman's ex-husband died at sea. The man has also made a play for the woman's sister, who is leaning against the boat. The fish beside them don't seem to be selling and there is a sense of poverty and helplessness.

4 Stranded_MP3

4 A Fish Sale on a Cornish Beach

5. In Springtime: Patrick Duffin

The painting is from my local gallery  - The Fitzwilliam, by Claude Monet called Springtime 1886.
There's two figures in the picture, one Claude's son and the other Claude's daughter from his mistress. It seemed a curious arrangement.

5 In Springtime

5 Claude-Monet-1886-springtime

6. Casting Shadows: Phil Sanderson

I started composing a 'dischordant' song to go with Munch's 'The Scream', but I kept on repeating one particular chord sequence from the piece which I really liked ... and it didn't really fit the mood of the painting - too happy! So I decided to stick with Munch and after a quick search found 'The Murderess'. To my eyes the lighting and mood seemed to say that the death of the man on the bed comes as a relief to the woman, and maybe he got his just deserts.
Musically I've managed to stray into 5 instrument month!  I've kept the arrangement sparse - only one guitar ( 12 string ), bass, vocal and a brief section with clarinet and an  'irish pipe thing'. Deliberately have no drums, electric guiitar, in fact no effects used save for reverb.  It does rather expose my vocal...never a good thing.

6 Casting shadows v1

6 pol_pm_Edvard-Munch-The-Murderess-16686_1

7. As I’m Painted: Tim & Julie

The real struggle of this song writing lark is feeling like your in a bubble with no idea what 'real people' may think of it. This month has been particularly difficult. I had, what I thought, was a good idea but the song, well, I'll let you decide.

The piece of art is Manet's Olympia. At the time, a revolutionary and contentions painting. I've done a verse for each of the characters on the canvas and an additional verse for Manet.

7 As I'm painted v4

7 1920px-Edouard_Manet_-_Olympia_-_Google_Art_Project_3