Out of the mouths of babes

This lockdown has produced some rewarding results.

Despite being self-isolated in my own small top-floor studio, cut off from any physical contact with humans, animals and all other living creatures, with only my screen, mouse and workstation to shout at, I have found solace in a surprising amount of creative endeavours and managed to complete some excellent and encouraging end products.
I correct myself in mentioning that the wife, the handbrake, Missus Dangerous or Doris, depending on how you know us, has been present throughout and bears the scars of loud, irrational, temperamental and often disgraceful bad behaviour directed towards inanimate objects that I feel act personally to scupper and divert my efforts.

During these past months, I’ve created a new podcast with a total of twenty episodes for the first series. Working alongside the wife as co-host has been rewarding, with only a few minor disagreements and no actual physical blows. We’ve had a few ‘words’ as they say up north, and one or two moments of uncharacteristic silence during a live recording when we’ve run to ground. But generally, it’s gone without too much trouble.

I’ve been writing more Topline tracks, some with a new co-writer, the lovely and talented Terl Bryant.

I’ve played on a series of progressive rock tracks on an album project for an American client, done several commissioned pieces, made some Topline videos and now I find myself working on a music project for a lovely writer and musician who I’ve known since way back.

In fact, I remember the day he was born as well as hosting several on his birthday parties due to the fact that we had a big enough garden to cater for him and his screaming little chums.

So now he’s the client, instructing me, bossing me around and often being quite firm about exactly what he wants and not afraid to tell me.

This dynamic is a fascinating one and something that despite experience I don’t think I will ever take for granted. In some people’s mind, age means elder means you should never be told you’re wrong. “This is how I do it and this is the only way” is certainly one of the voices that I’ve heard whispered in my head. “There are no other choices except the one I’m giving you”, is another.

But one thing I do love about this business and the creative process is the fact that every day you must learn something new; And quite often this comes from people that are younger and haven’t had the same amount of experience as you. But nevertheless, their contribution, advice, thought process and different perspective is extraordinary and, so often, right on the money.

I have a similar experience at the moment with my youngest daughter Amy. She has offered to help outsource my initially disastrous Instagram efforts for the Home Service Podcast and has now brought the likes, stories, posts, shares and everything else peculiar to that platform kicking and screaming into public consciousness. Money is of course changing hands, but that’s another story!

Sometimes it is a hard process to learn and yet, you wonder why someone with such ‘youth’ wants to work alongside an old fart like me. So, the give and take, the sharing of ideas, keeping a constantly open mind and never thinking you have the only answer is by far the best way to move forward and enjoy the creative journey.
I think that as soon as anyone starts to believe there is only one way creatively to do something, and that’s “My Way”, it is time to stop!

This is a sharing process and I know that to date I have learnt so much from those younger than me and from those who have more patience, lightness,  who are not afraid to experiment, try something new, and from those who have the patience to believe we can  all contribute to the bigger picture.

Long may it continue so that we can pass on our own story to those starting out and feel honoured to be able to work alongside each other with humility and knowledge especially when they really do know more than I do.